Funded and private pensions

Annuity products


Life Annuity Products and Their Guarantees

This publication is designed help policy makers to better understand annuity products and the guarantees they provide in order to improve the role that these products can play in financing retirement. Product design is a crucial factor in the potential role of annuity products within the pension system, along with the cost and demand for these products, and the resulting risks that are borne by the annuity providers. Increasingly complex products, however, pose additional challenges concerning consumer protection. Consumers need to be aware of their options and have access to unbiased and comprehensible advice and information about these products.

It will be released at a launch event on 5 December 2016 at the same time as the 2016 edition of the OECD Pensions Outlook.


The market for annuity products is fraught with problems, particularly given the multiplicity of types of annuity products available. On the demand side, annuities are often viewed as investment instruments and as such they may be perceived to be unattractive, for instance given the cost of built-in guarantees may be passed on to consumers. Yet annuities are “insurance” products in that they provide some form of costly protection against risk, be it longevity, mortality, or financial risk.

The OECD launched a multi-year project in 2013 to improve the understanding of the problems facing annuity markets by focusing more closely on the nature of the guarantees provided by annuity products and their costs for insurance companies and consumers.

The main objectives are to:

  • assess the different types of annuity products and the nature of the guarantees involved
  • identify the exposures and costs of annuity products for insurers and consumers in light of their characteristics and guarantees
  • better comprehend insurer risk management of annuity products and the regulatory framework governing annuity products given the guarantees provided
  • review the fiscal treatment of annuity products, including the treatment of income from these products.

 Download the full project description (pdf)




Pensions Outlook

Pension Markets in Focus

Improving the design of retirement saving pension plans

Mortality and life expectancy - Longevity risk

Retirement Savings Adequacy

Financial incentives and retirement savings

Global pension statistics

Pensions at a Glance

2011 OECD Seminar on Annuities and Pensions



Pablo Antolin (+33-1 45 24 90 86 |


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