PROTECTED MODERN TONTINES: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD AGE PROBLEM
by David Blanchett
Financial advisors, defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors, and retirees are increasingly looking for strategies that can simplify the process of generating retirement income, especially that which is protected for life. While insured solutions like annuities are the predominate lifetime income strategies used today, there are structures that provide longevity risk pooling without the explicit income guarantee, typically referred to as tontines, that have been making a global resurgence.
Despite the widely acknowledged potential benefits of tontines (Fullmer 2019), questions regarding their legality in the U.S. remain. Even when the legal barriers are inevitably addressed, overall demand for strategies that provide longevity protection with an uncertain benefit is unclear, especially in the DC space given the relatively risk adverse nature of plan sponsors.
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David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP®, is Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research, DC Solutions for PGIM, the global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role he develops research and innovative solutions to help improve retirement outcomes for investors. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Wealth Management at The American College of Financial Services
David has published over 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals that have received a variety of awards. In 2021, ThinkAdvisor included him in the IA25 for “pushing the industry forward.” In 2014, InvestmentNews included him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” for the financial planning industry.
When David isn’t working, he’s probably out for a jog, playing with his four kids, or rooting for the Kentucky Wildcats.