Income Annuity Holders Could Use More Information

May 24, 2011 ( - Financial advisers and their clients would benefit from receiving more precise information about their existing immediate income annuity contracts, according to a new Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) survey sponsored by MetLife, New York Life Insurance Company, and CANNEX Financial Exchanges.

According to a press release, Gary Baker, President of CANNEX USA and the Chair of the RIIA Income Annuity Standards and Readiness Working Committee, indicated one of the most pressing concerns is that when an income guarantee is purchased, information about the money that is annuitized literally disappears from any consolidated statements that either the client or adviser receives.   

The survey found only 15% of distributors and manufacturers provide some information about the products on client statements.  However, two out of three survey respondents felt that the visibility of income annuity data would be valuable to both clients and their advisers and would actually increase the availability of these products across the financial adviser community.   

The survey also found that although advisory firms were split as to whether or not they would include a market value on a consolidated client statement next to investment values, virtually all parties were in agreement that such a value should be integrated into any asset under management reporting for a financial adviser.  

The announcement said Baker believes that by providing more information about clients’ income annuities, the industry can increase alignment with financial advisers’ business and service models.  

Based on key information and insight from the survey, the RIIA Working Committee’s next steps for addressing this income annuity communication and valuation issue will be to establish standards for sharing data between manufacturers and distributors, as well as the methodology to derive a present value of the income stream of an existing contract that is consistent across all products.