Steak Dinner and Annuities: Retirement Product Surges After Fiduciary Rule’s Demise

By Ben Eisen and Lisa Beilfuss

A retirement investment product associated with steak-dinner sales pitches is flourishing thanks to the death of a regulation once expected to curtail it.

Annuity sales totaled $59.5 billion in the April-to-June period, the highest since late 2015, according to the Limra Secure Retirement Institute. Sales are expected to remain strong through at least the rest of the year.

The boom shows how Washington’s push to roll back financial regulations is giving new life to products that industry watchdogs say aren’t always good for investors. The annuities resurrection stems from the demise of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, an Obama-era proposal that would have required brokers who oversee retirement savings to act in their clients’ best interests.

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