The biggest secret to long-term retirement security? According to a new IRI survey, 76 percent of middle-income Baby Boomers see the tax-deferred status of an annuity as one of their biggest draws to the product.

A quarter of those surveyed said they would actually save less for retirement if those tax incentives were reduced or eliminated; 60 percent said they would simply cut back on their savings if taxes were increased, and almost 40 percent would also cut their savings inputs if Social Security payroll taxes were increased.

"The tax-deferred status of annuity earnings – not tax-free – is a key attribute that has helped Americans to attain financial security through lifetime income coverage," said Cathy Weatherford, IRI's president and CEO. "Now is not the time to eliminate incentives that assist Americans in saving for retirement."

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