For the life insurance industry, it's a victory that came only after years of battle.

The Treasury and Labor departments last month gave the green light to the inclusion of deferred-income, or longevity, annuities, which guarantee monthly income streams for retirees, in target-date funds seen in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. Plan sponsors will be able to offer these annuities in qualified default investments to workers aged 55 or older without running afoul of ERISA's non-discrimination rules. 

The move has the potential to unleash huge changes in the retirement industry, and is exactly the type of regulatory support the insurance industry has spent years promoting.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.