The Profile of an Annuity Buyer

During the month of September, the Insured Retirement Institute is hosting 4 virtual sessions, the Supply Chain Summit, to examine the current industry climate with a focus on how to develop and market products during these unique times. Market fluctuations, economic turmoil and the COVID-19 pandemic are all influencing the messages being sent to consumers. The panel that met on September 9, 2020 agreed that these factors are also creating opportunities. 

“There are some clear profiles that the current COVID environment just further reinforces the merit of having both solutions, having an annuity can be a really core piece of that client’s portfolio,” stated Katherine Roy, head of individual retirement at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Roy also noted that annuities have to compete with other asset management types of products that offer more liquidity. 

According to a recent InsuranceNewsNet article, the panel was moderated by Christine Tucker, vice president of marketing for Pacific Life; and also included Alison Reed, executive vice president, product solutions, Jackson National; and Greg Jaeck, senior product leader, Insurance and Annuity Products, Edward Jones. The annual IRI meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Chicago, but the company cancelled the in-person get-together, opting for a four-week virtual meeting instead.

The group identified four profiles of clients who are sitting in “the sweet spot” for annuities during these uncertain times. Below is a summary of these profiles.

The ultra-conservative investor. After the 2008-09 financial crisis, which some say is being repeated in today’s market, we saw these individuals seek safety in annuity sales. Second-quarter sales data saw fixed-rate deferred annuity sales jump 33% from the prior quarter, as reported by LIMRA.

“The volatility in March, I think, only exacerbated and maybe created more of those than there had been in the past,” Roy said. “Those are individuals that just aren’t taking the right level of risk to keep up with healthcare costs that are growing at 6% over the course of retirement.” 

The “mistimer.” With unemployment peaking at more than 14% in May, many were forced to reevaluate their income sources. These are the investors who were forced into an early retirement, many of whom had to start collecting Social Security sooner than they had planned. 

“This is bringing home where an annuity can play a really strong role for that particular profile,” Roy added.

Good savers, bad spenders. Roy refers to these folks as those who “when they go through market volatility like this, the idea of tapping their portfolio or having the confidence to be able to do that with courage is really hard,” Roy said. “So they can strain their lifestyle to a significant degree. And that’s not necessarily a good outcome either.”

The inadequate saver. 75% of retirees are confident they can maintain a comfortable lifestyle through retirement, according to a recent Transamerica survey. However, only 29% are “very confident” in their ability to do so. 

“Really if they’re on the precipice of being able to or not being able to afford the retirement they’re looking for, that’s obviously where an annuity really plays really, really strongly,” Roy added.

If you find yourself in one of these four categories, an annuity might be the right move for your retirement planning portfolio. Visit our website,, or contact us to learn more about how an annuity can help you during these uncertain times. To speak to a registered agent, call 1-866-223-2121, or send us an email to

Written by Rachel Summit

Follow Rachel, aka Finance Mama, on Twitter and Facebook.

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