In this July 11, 1985 file photo, cans of New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic are on display. New Coke's sweeter formula was a marketed as an improved replacement for the flagship soda, but the outcry was immediate and sustained. Coke tried to sell both versions for awhile, but eventually reverted to “Coca-Cola Classic.” (AP Photo/Charles Kelly, file)

In the past two years, the government decreed the new availability of retirement products that promised to pave the way to post-career happiness by answering the direst needs of savers everywhere. Both the MyRA and the Longevity Annuity came out with such fanfare you’d think regulators had parted the Red Sea.

It turned out not to be the Red Sea, but merely a faded red can of New Coke. Sure, the wizards down in research and development could design anything based on any specs. And the policy wonks thought they had a winner with these particular specs. Regulators thought the MyRA and the QLAC offered the answers to what academic research insisted were the most pressing wants of the working class. So the financial engineers built it, only they didn’t come.

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