Hartford expands into annuity market

Oct 07, 2011

Annuities can provide steady income for retired customers.

The Hartford recently announced it will re-enter the structured settlement annuity market in an effort to expand its annuity business. Issued by the Hartford Life Insurance Company, the Structured Settlement Fixed Annuity will provide customers with tax-free payouts for settlements from workers' compensation or personal injury claims.

According to Rob Arena, head of annuities for the Hartford's Wealth Management unit, the structured settlement market is growing, and the company has the financial strength, expertise and distribution relationships to be a successful contender in the settlement market.

"One of the most important considerations for recipients of structured settlements is the financial stability and strength of the insurance company that stands behind their annuity," Arena said.

Annuities provide a steady income stream during retirement for many consumers, and Investopedia named it one of the top retirement investments for 2011. Consumers can choose between a standard annuity or a fixed annuity.

A standard annuity has the insurance company pay the annuity holder a fixed or variable amount of money regularly for a set period of time. Fixed annuities enable annuity holders to receive a predetermined amount of money each month as long as they are alive.

In addition, variable annuities provide a guaranteed income benefit as well as an additional payment that is determined on the performance of the annuity's investment. This allows the annuity to grow but also exposes the account to market risk.

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