Variable annuity risks hurt Japanese life companies

Risk vs reward

hiroyasu-koike

For the average Japanese retiree, variable annuities are a  win-win situation. By investing in a balanced fund with put option protection, the product combines investment with insurance features, in effect providing upside exposure when equity markets are buoyant, but ensuring principal protection when markets turn sour. Depending on the structure of the annuity, the investment is guaranteed to return at least the minimum capital invested at death of the policy holder, in the case of a guarantee