Annuities saw the best of times (for clients) and the worst of times (for insurers) when the safety features kicked in during 2008. Insurers convinced they sold their guarantees too cheaply have rushed to repair the damage.

They are doing this in two ways. Some are stripping back the fancy features that proliferated in the past by offering simpler, cheaper products that carry less risk for insurers. Others continue to offer fancy bells and whistles, but at a slightly higher price.

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