ING Launches New Retirement Income Program to Address Important Needs of 401(k) Investors

January 12, 2012 Windsor, CT Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

ING's U.S. Retirement division announced today a new asset allocation program to help 401(k) plan participants convert their savings over time into a stream of guaranteed income that lasts throughout retirement. The ING Lifetime Income Protection Program represents the latest solution in the market to help address the challenges many people will face after they leave the workforce.

"There is a clear need for Americans to manage risk as they plan and save for their future. Not only must they build up a sufficient nest egg during their working years, they must also have a source of steady income at retirement that is well protected and lasts throughout their lifetime," said Rick Mason, president of Corporate Markets for ING U.S. Retirement. "ING is committed to advancing the retirement income conversation and we believe the industry has an important and collective duty to provide innovative and meaningful retirement solutions. We are pleased to announce the launch of ING's Lifetime Income Protection Program with retirement leaders AllianceBernstein, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Financial."

The ING Lifetime Income Protection Program is initially being offered to customers in ING's corporate defined contribution plans. It provides participants with a series of target date asset allocation models, or "portfolios," that help build critical retirement savings followed by an income benefit for life, guaranteed by multiple leading insurers. ING worked closely with AllianceBernstein to design a program that leverages the expertise of that firm's multi-insurer platform, while incorporating both guaranteed and non-guaranteed components into one consolidated program.

The non-guaranteed component consists of multi-manager, target date collective investment trust funds. These funds offer the potential for broad diversification and seek to leverage the benefits of both active and passive investment strategies from several well-known fund companies. ING's asset manager, ING Investment Management, oversees these collective trusts. AllianceBernstein also serves as an investment manager.

The guaranteed component, which is triggered at a certain time as a participant gets closer to retirement, is provided through multiple insurance contracts, each issued by one of three highly regarded insurance companies — ING's own ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company, as well as AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Financial. Investors benefit by having ING provide a single, consolidated program with the multiple insurance companies splitting the responsibility under the contracts. This diversifies risk and helps participants receive competitive payouts.1

Other important benefits and features of the ING Lifetime Income Protection Program include the following:

  • Contracts that offer the potential for income growth from market gains as well as income protection against market losses through a minimum guaranteed withdrawal benefit (MGWB). This feature provides participants with a stream of guaranteed retirement income for life.1
  • Flexibility for participants to withdraw their assets or transfer to other investment options at their convenience — giving them full control while in the program.2
  • A cost structure designed to benefit participants by allowing them to pay for the MGWB guarantee only when assets are allocated to the contracts available through the portfolio.3
  • A platform that adheres to the recommended recordkeeping standards established in support of plan sponsor portability by the Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers (SPARK) Institute — a key retirement industry association and resource.

ING's Lifetime Income Protection Program simplifies an important part of the retirement income experience for investors by utilizing features that take the guesswork out of retirement planning while minimizing enrollment efforts. Plan participants easily begin the process by providing their date of birth and their savings amount. The rest is handled through the "do-it-for-me" aspects of target date investing coupled with a timely and gradual glide path progression toward purchasing a guaranteed benefit over time. All critical, technical elements are taken care of through the program, including risk diversification, long-term asset allocation strategies that employ income-averaging concepts and income in retirement that offers growth potential from market gains as well as income protection against market losses.

"With over 5 million retirement plan customers, ING has the ability to conduct timely and relevant research. We know that participants are looking for ways to make it easier to build a successful retirement income plan," said Mason. "ING's Lifetime Income Protection Program is a way to do just that, providing investors with a simplified process and at the same time addressing the factors we believe matter most to plan sponsors and the financial professionals who serve them."

ING is a leader in helping Americans achieve their retirement objectives. The launch of the ING Lifetime Income Protection Program underscores ING's continued commitment to invest in, innovate and implement meaningful plan strategies that are designed to help drive positive retirement outcomes.

  1. All guarantees under the contracts are subject to certain conditions and limitations and to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer.
  2. Withdrawing amounts allocated through the program may reduce or eliminate the guaranteed income payout associated with amounts allocated to the contracts.
  3. The only expenses under the program are the fees and charges associated with the funds and the contracts.

A portfolio is not an investment separate from its allocation between the funds and contracts, is not an investment company and has not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940 or the Securities Act of 1933.

The contracts in which the ING Lifetime Income Protection Program invest are currently issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, NY, policy form # AE11-GRIF (may vary by state), ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company, Windsor, CT, policy form # G-GRIF-11 (may vary by state) and Nationwide Life Insurance Company, Columbus, OH, policy form # VAC-0125AO (may vary by state). The individual account value under each contract will fluctuate and may be worth more or less than the original amount allocated; however, any decreases in value due to market performance will not affect the MGWB guarantees of future retirement income.

Press inquiries:

Emily Dawe


Office: 860.580.1750

Cell: 203.589.7688

About ING

ING U.S. is a subsidiary of Dutch-based ING Groep N.V. In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 15 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit