Fitch Says Insurance Longevity Product Raises Questions and Concerns (Reuters)

Fitch notes the latest product offering aimed at the longevity risk protection market, the contingent annuity (CA), is generating controversy. "From a ratings perspective," the agency notes, "we are concerned with the ultimate risk profile of any CA products, pricing adequacy, questions of transparency, and how the product will be reserved for considering the level of capital required under regulatory capital ratios." To date, U.S. life insurers have been actively selling variable annuities and other lifetime income annuities that protect against the risk of outliving one's assets. The CA product structures that have been proposed would offer similar lifetime income benefit guarantees but would not require the policyholder to transfer the assets to the insurance company. "Over the near term," Fitch concludes, "we will be actively monitoring further developments related to the CA market."

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