As Baby Boomers begin to plan for their retirement income-in addition to asset accumulation they've been focusing on for years-financial services firms that provide them with products and advice to meet these new needs will win the coming battle for the $11 trillion retirement asset market, industry sources say.Retirees prefer structured payments to lump-sum IRA withdrawals by a wide margin, according to a report from Conning Research & Consulting Inc., Hartford, Conn. A recent survey indicated that 52% of individuals eligible to receive a retirement benefit chose a weekly payment, and an additional 23% preferred to withdraw assets on an as-needed basis. Only 4% chose a lump-sum pay-out, Conning states in a report, titled "Winning the Coming Battle for Retirement Assets."

The Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa, is betting that a new IRA account, which the company launched in January, will prove to be a preemptive strike in that battle.

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