The Competitive Performance of Life Insurance Firms in the Retirement Asset Market
Olivia S. Mitchell
Anthony M. Santomero
This paper summarizes the findings of the joint Wharton Financial Institutions Center and KPMG study of the retirement assets market and the role of life insurance companies within it. The study began with the following goals: Investigate how people save for retirement and whether this is adequate. Determine the primary products and institutions of the retirement asset market and observe how these have changed through time. Key findings: For most, asset accumulation is less than adequate for a comfortable retirement. The average worker exhibits little of the needed financial understanding to adequately plan for retirement. Upon retirement, households do not spend down their assets optimally. The retirement asset market is rapidly expanding. Products in retirement portfolios have shifted with time. The market share of mutual funds has exploded, mostly at the expense of depository institutions. Life insurance companies maintain a large, but slipping share.
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