An option to buy an annuity is a key aspect of a retirement savings reform proposal by the public interest group Retirement USA. It's basically a way to "convert your lump sum into an annuity" for a "lifetime stream of income, something that kind of resembles traditional pensions," said Robert Hiltonsmith of the think tank Demos. "So it's kind of a hybrid between these two and one we think is a fair compromise, given the state of the U.S. economy and also the needs of individuals."

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