BlackRock Is Adding Annuities to 401(k)s

This article from Wall Street Journal written by Dawn Lim

The investment giant said five employers have signed up for a new retirement product that will allow workers to receive a stream of payments for the rest of their lives.

A small number of 401(k) plans currently incorporate annuities. Employers who offer retirement plans worry about annuities’ complexity and their cost—and about being sued if the insurer that stands behind the annuity fails to make payments. A 2019 law now protects many employers from legal liability.

BlackRock’s offering is one of the first from a major asset manager since the law passed. Workers at electric utility Tennessee Valley Authority and four other companies will have the new annuity product as the default option in their employee retiree plans. That means collectively around 100,000 U.S. employees with some $7.5 billion in workplace savings stand to eventually get annuities in 401(k)-type plans.

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