In a poll sponsored by Nationwide Financial and conducted by Harris Interactive, 85% of those age 18-44 support a modification to the current 401(k) structure that would provide a guaranteed annuity stream from 401(k) plans, as compared to 77% of the total adult population. This suggests that as participants get closer to retirement, they are more likely to want a lump sum payment. To me, this is counter-intuitive.
I do not have the exact wording to the question that was asked.
As most surveys of this sort are, the poll has at least a bit of a self-serving element to it. Employer matches would not be available for loans or hardship withdrawals and plans would provide annuities via the purchase of fixed income deferred annuities (something that Nationwide presumably sells ... at a profit).
How big would the insurer's profit be? Do the survey respondents understand that they would be paying for that insurance? It's food for thought, but IMHO, it's a long way away.