IRI: Training key to increasing advisor use of VAs

Increased education in retirement planning may be the key to expand the number of advisors who sell variable annuities, according to a new survey from The Insured Retirement Institute. In the survey, 50 percent of asset managers and 46.7 percent of insurers said more training was the best approach and that a focus should be on increasing awareness as to how VAs fit into the retirement puzzle could substantially boost the number of advisors selling them.

"The financial industry has done a good job educating advisors on strategies to help consumers accumulate wealth and manage their financial resources, but we have room to improve when it comes to the decumulation side of the equation," said IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford.

"When it comes to long-term financial security, IRI research shows that boomers are most concerned about having sufficient income throughout their retirement." Weatherford also says that nine out of 10 boomers who own annuities are more confident about their retirement future than those who do not own annuities. "With the need for guaranteed lifetime income at an all time high, there is a great incentive for the industry to ensure that advisors have the necessary tools and information to help alleviate client retirement concerns and provide the financial safety and security investors seek."

The survey also found that:

  • Out of five, non-qualified variable annuities ranked 3.8 and income guarantees in defined contribution plans ranked 3.7, the highest rankings by insurers when specifying future product opportunities.
  • Sixty-three percent of insurers rank the independent broker/dealer channel as the leading area for variable annuity sales growth within the next two years, followed by bank channels and wirehouses, with 54.5 percent of insurers citing upcoming sales growth in those areas.

Source: Insured Retirement Institute

For more on annutites, see:

Annuity update: Sales up by double digits

GLWBs add flexibility to VAs and FIAs

12 tactics to convert annuity leads

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