The ongoing decline of both public and private pension plans has afforded life insurers space to offer products that guarantee a person an income stream for life.

New York Life Insurance Company is reporting that its new Guaranteed Future Income Annuity is far exceeding expectations in terms of sales since it was launched on July 11. Chris Blunt, EVP and head of Retirement Income Security, says the $100 million sales estimate for 2011 was shattered in the first ten weeks the new annuity was on the market.

“The current pace of applications of Guaranteed Future Income Annuity represents more than 20 percent of all income annuity sales at New York Life, making it the fastest off the blocks of any New York Life annuity product launch in memory,” Blunt said

The company says the product targets pre-retirees in the age range of 55-65, who plan to retire in 5-10 years and are seeking ways to efficiently generate a guaranteed income in retirement. The product allows a policyholder to make an initial premium payment of at least $10,000 and set an income start date in the future, at which time they will begin receiving guaranteed income payments for the rest of their life.

“The concept of a pension is certainly not new, but paying for a pension-like stream of income with cash rather than years of service is,” Blunt said added. “Once pre-retirees understand that they can create their own pension-like income stream similar to what a traditional pension once provided, they want to buy. Given its early success, we believe the Guaranteed Future Income Annuity is striking a chord with Americans looking to recover lost income and find a future retirement income they can guarantee, and we are delighted to expand the availability of this product to millions more Americans through our distribution partners.”

-- This article first appeared on Insurance Networking News.