MetLife Retirement & Income Solutions

2023 Retirement Income Pulse Check

Mar 08, 2023

While offered in some defined contribution (DC) plans today, guaranteed retirement income is expected to be the next big enhancement to DC plans. Although it is too soon to tell who in the retirement industry will be the driving force behind greater adoption of retirement income solutions, consultants play a critical role in helping companies maximize the success and value of their DC plans – and, in turn, help strengthen the retirement security of plan participants. 

MetLife’s 2023 Retirement Income Pulse Check Study examined consultants’ views towards income annuities and other income solutions in the DC marketplace, including:

  • The actions they and their clients have taken since passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, as well as how closely they were following SECURE 2.0 and other retirement legislative developments
  • The recommendations they most frequently make to their clients to help strengthen retirement security though guaranteed lifetime income
  • Their evaluation of income annuities and other solutions in the DC market, including key attributes and approaches (e.g., guaranteed vs. non-guaranteed, in-plan accumulation vs. point-of-distribution, etc.)

Infographic: The Next Evolution in Retirement Income Solutions

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DC plan consultants’ sphere of influence cannot be overstated…whether millions of future retirees will enjoy retirement security rests largely in their hands."

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Consultants More Comfortable Recommending Retirement Income


of consultants are more comfortable recommending retirement income since the SECURE Act removed regulatory barriers.


have taken some action regarding guaranteed retirement income options since SECURE.

Product attributes typically associated with annuities purchased at the point of retirement (e.g., immediate income annuities) are the most important attributes, according to consultants. 

Top Product Attributes

96 % Guarantees the money will not run out
96 % Simple/easy for participants to understand
95 % Steady stream of income
95 % Competitive pricing
93 % Provides protection against longevity risk

Did you know?

60% of consultants would consider purchasing an annuity option for themselves with a portion of their DC plan assets.


DC plan consultants’ sphere of influence cannot be overstated – from conducting due diligence, recommending solutions to their clients, to helping recordkeepers integrate solutions on their platforms. Whether millions of future retirees will enjoy retirement security rests largely in their hands.

View other insights from the 2023 Retirement Income Pulse Check