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Conditions fertile for annuities if industry can connect with investors

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Most investors want guaranteed, pension-like income yet are reluctant to buy an investment that can provide it: an annuity.

That reluctance, the so-called annuity puzzle, may be closer to being resolved as a combination of factors — fewer sources of sufficient retirement income amid low interest rates, greater longevity and regulation — come together in ways that may tip the scales in favor of annuities if certain impediments are eliminated.