This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

A New Option for the Retirement Crowd




By Janet Whitman, Special to CNBC.com

NEW YORK ( CNBC) --As a growing number of Americans worry about outliving their retirement savings, the government is encouraging employers to offer an old-school, pension-style option for 401(k) holders.

The proposed revamp of retirement fund rules would make it easier for workers to convert part of their 401(k) savings into an annuity that would pay guaranteed income checks for life -- no matter the ups and downs in the markets.

And in keeping with the new assumptions about retirement, there is an unconventional component; a "longevity option" would let 401(k) savers take a lump sum portion at retirement age and defer it for 20 years, so retirees would start getting steady checks in the mail at age 85 and beyond.

More from CNBC
Social Influence Marketing is About to Change Your Business: Author of 'Return On Influence'
The New Shanghai Surprise: The Cost of Registering a Car
Geithner Warns Europe Against Draconian Austerity

Investment advisers say that's a big improvement on the "all-or-nothing" choice of many current plans, which allow retirees to take their entire 401(k) as a lump sum in cash or convert the whole thing into an annuity, instead of a combination of options.

"The new regulations give people more flexibility," says Warren Ward, a financial planner in Columbus, Ind. "You could put a third into an annuity and invest the remaining lump sum or keep some cash handy for medical needs and emergencies. It can give people piece of mind, which is important. After you work for your whole life, you don't want to worry about money when you get to retirement."

The U.S. Treasury proposal to encourage partial annuity options for 401(k) investors comes as Americans contemplate longer life spans while being spooked by the drop in value of retirement portfolios in the wake of the 2008 financial market meltdown.

A recent survey from global financial services association Limra found that 40 percent of Americans don't feel well informed about generating retirement income, investing their nest eggs, or managing their risks and expenses.

The survey, cited in a recent edition of Financial Advisor Magazine, also found that less than 50 percent of Americans plan for more than 20 years of retirement.

Only a handful have factored in how they might cover the cost of health care, long-term care, rising taxes and inflation, and what they might do in the event they outlive their savings.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,172.68 -107.06 -0.62%
S&P 500 1,994.29 -16.11 -0.80%
NASDAQ 4,527.6890 -52.10 -1.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs