Barclays Global Investors has selected MetLife as the income annuity provider to retirement plans investing in the firm's SponsorMatch program.

Barclays Global Investors’s (BGI) SponsorMatch is a new investment category for defined contribution (DC) plans that seeks to enhance the matching component of a company’s 401(k) plan, in part by providing annuity income to the participant when in retirement.

While company matches in DC plans typically focus on company stock or investments pre-determined by plan participants, SponsorMatch provides access to an investment vehicle that combines a target date fund with institutional investment strategies managed by BGI and the addition of a deferred fixed income annuity element – provided by MetLife – designed to turn a component of the employer match of a 401(k) plan into a future stream of guaranteed income.

Kristi Mitchem, head of BGI’s US defined contribution business, said that the choice of MetLife as an annuity provider reflected that firm’s innovative work in managing longevity risk through income annuity solutions as well as its leadership position in this area.