No. of Recommendations: 1
While annuitization of 401(k) balances is not necessarily appropriate for all 401(k) participants, it is an option worth consideration (regardless of the contrary IBD Editorial opinion).

It's unlikely it'll ever happen because of people who believe that every outside the box idea floated by the government is a sinister socialist plot designed to separate them from their money.

The rules of money and capital haven't changed. A large variety of annuities and other options exist now, and there has been a pretty large interest in doing the conversions. As of now, many 401-K participants do not have access to such products, because their company plans don;t offer them. That is changing.

I maintain that government has no real role in this. I've long been critical of the limited options available for investment to employees in 401K plans. This is why I've also long been an advocate of ROTH IRA investing. I find it unbelievable that so many large company plans offer a limited bag of the usual underperforming mutual funds, which has been an annuity of sorts for the mutual fund owners. Not so great for the participants, who have to pay some fairly steep fees for the Right to buy what they have to. But that's another story.

People should not lose any more control of their money than they already have. Once pensions were largely eliminated, the "choices" for tax-deferred retirement accounts were concocted by the major players that stood to gain the most. I'm a big fan of giving people the Option of being able to buy an annuity, or some other product, within their plans. Nothing more.

If government can give a nudge to the companies and the investment community, so be it. As it is, I think government has restricted and controlled these accounts far too much.
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