Retirement Plan Lump Sums Being Depleted Too Quickly, According to MetLife

Guía de Regalos

~ MetLife’s Paycheck or Pot of Gold StudySM
Reveals 21% of Retirement Plan Participants, Who Took a Lump Sum,
Depleted It in 5.5 years, on Average ~

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#401k–Lump sum payment or guaranteed monthly annuity? That’s the decision
facing many soon-to-be retirees with either defined benefit (DB) or
defined contribution retirement plans (DC). While a lump sum may be
attractive to some, there could be significant drawbacks as found by
MetLife’s new Paycheck or Pot of Gold StudySM. According to
the study, released today, one in five retirement plan participants who
selected a lump sum from either a DB or DC plan (21%) say they depleted
it. Of those who depleted their lump sum, they had run through their
money, on average, in five and a half years. One in three with money
remaining (35%) are concerned about the money running out.

The online study was conducted by Harris Poll among more than 700 DB and
DC plan participants. The study was designed to understand consumers’
attitudes and decision-making with regard to lump sums and income
annuity payments from several sources, including a DB or DC plan. The
full report examining these findings is available at: www.metlife.com/paycheckstudy.

“MetLife’s Paycheck or Pot of Gold Study highlights a real risk in
retirement—running out of money,” says Robin Lenna, executive vice
president and head of Retirement & Income Solutions at MetLife. “Today,
people may live 20 or 30 years in retirement, and while lump sums may
meet retirement plan participants’ immediate needs, they may fall short
in providing funds that can last a lifetime.”

A Choice with Lifelong Implications

Nearly all retirement plan participants who chose an annuity from a DB
or DC plan (96%) were happy with their choice. Similarly, the majority
of participants who took a lump sum say they are glad they made the
choice they did (93% for DB lump sum recipients and 85%1 for
DC lump sum recipients). However, the lump sum recipients appear to have
had more financial concerns.

More than half of DB and DC plan participants who chose a lump sum (52%)
concede that, if they would have taken the annuity, their budget would
be more predictable. In contrast, most participants who selected an
annuity feel they are financially secure (91%), and that the annuity
payments make budgeting more predictable (95%).

In addition, four in ten participants who chose a lump sum from their DC
plan over an annuity (41%)2 say that they would not be
concerned with outliving their assets if they had chosen to annuitize,
and 38% of those who chose a lump sum from their DB plan say they would
not be afraid of running out of money in retirement if they had chosen
to receive annuity payments. Sixty percent of annuity recipients believe
they worry less about outliving their money than their friends and
neighbors without steady income from an annuity, while only 6% believe
they worry more.

Spending Habits

When it came to spending their lump sums, the study found 63% of
individuals reported that they had major purchases/spending within the
first year. But these decisions were not without remorse—nearly
one-third of those who made major purchases/spending in the first year
(31%) say they have regrets about the spending and almost a quarter
(23%) of those who gave money away regret doing so. When asked about
specific regrets, a 54-year-old DC participant commented that, “Once
spent, [the money] will never be available for my future,” and a
66-year-old DC participant said, “I didn’t need the money then, but I
need it now.”

“When an individual receives a lump sum, it is often more money than
they have ever had at one time,” notes Lenna. “As a result, it is easy
to underestimate how quickly it can be depleted. Guaranteed income from
annuities can help participants plan their spending, ensuring there is
enough money available when they need it.”

About the Study

The research was commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Poll.
The study surveyed 1,069 adults, ages 18+, online in the U.S. between
June 16, 2016 and July 11, 2016, including 712 adults ages 50-75, who
received a lump sum of at least $25,000 if they had a defined benefit
(DB) plan or had a balance of at least $25,000 upon retirement in their
defined contribution plan (DC), or monthly annuity payments of at least
$500 from a defined benefit or defined contribution plan. Data are
weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region,
education, income, and propensity to be online to bring them in line
with their actual proportions in the population.

About Harris Poll

Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With
comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion
polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’
motivations and behaviors, Harris Poll has gained strong brand
recognition around the world. Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of
proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into
actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health
care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial
services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer packaged
goods. Contact us for more information: ConsumerInsightsNAInfo@nielsen.com

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates
(“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the
world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance,
annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately
100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and
holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin
America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

1 Small base (n<100)

2 Ibid

Contacts

MetLife
Judi Mahaney, 212-578-7977
jmahaney@metlife.com
or
Kim
Friedman, 212-578-1524
kfriedman@metlife.com