The insurer's problems stem from its exposure to the U.S. variable annuities market. It has been battered by investment losses and higher costs from guarantees on these retirement products, which are linked to stock market performance. Hartford provides financial services to more than 7 million customers and employs 30,000 staff.
The Hartford said it is suspending sales of annuities in Japan and the U.K. and halting plans to sell the products in Germany in a move to cut costs. The company said it will raise prices on the
lifetime income rider in its U.S. variable annuity business and will launch a new variable annuity product in the third quarter. The Hartford also said it is pursuing options for its institutional
markets business.--Tanya Irwin