In 2012, deferred income annuities (DIAs) were offered by only five or six insurance companies, according to Jafor Iqbal, assistant vice president at LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. “Total sales were just over $1 billion,” he says. By the end of 2014, 15 companies were selling individual DIAs, and sales reached $2.7 billion, Iqbal says.

One reason for DIAs’ current popularity is the growing scarcity of traditional pensions, which have long provided retirees with a steady income stream. “Our data show that over half the households with retirees 75 or older have pensions,” says Iqbal, “while many fewer households in the 46-54 age range expect to receive pensions.”

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