Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Prudential Says Number of Annuity Clients It Can't Find Is Small

Prudential Financial Inc. said the amount of annuity clients that it’s had trouble locating is small after rival MetLife Inc. said it would take a charge tied to losing track of some customers.

“Given the size and the age of our block of business, there are inevitably some customers we can’t locate for a number of reasons, but that number is small,” Vice Chairman Mark Grier said Thursday during a call discussing fourth-quarter earnings, adding that the firm was comfortable with the amount of money it set aside to back those policies. “We regularly review tests and enhance the processes and tools we use to locate customers, and over time we expect them to continue to evolve.”

MetLife said in January that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was inquiring after the insurer said it would have to set aside more money to back policies as it searched for annuity clients it couldn’t find after they moved jobs or relocated. Both companies have been active in the pension-risk transfer market, where insurers take on pension obligations from employers and often pay out annuities to those participants.

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