Annuity Monitor Awards: USAA and TIAA Offer Exceptional Education Tools

Joan Kagan by on Jan 18, 2017

Annuity education tools enhance firms’ public sites by recommending annuities targeted to prospects’ needs. In response to a general lack of clarity around annuity products, it is exceptional to provide tools that address how annuity products can address prospects’ specific needs. While Annuity Monitor has previously taken into account the provision of any retirement-related tools, the 2016 Annuity Monitor Awards Report includes an Annuity Education Tools category for the first time. This category only recognizes tools that include clear explanations of how annuities function and whether they may help a prospect meet their retirement goals, making them educational as well as promotional features. With tools embedded on their annuity product pages, USAA and TIAA earned medals for helping prospects understand how an annuity can support their financial goals and directing them towards a specific product. The medalists in this category surpass their peers and exemplify the strengths specific to annuity education tools.

USAA’s Is a Fixed Annuity Right for You? tool earns a gold medal for providing personalized recommendations and a remarkable level of transparency. The tool issues a series of multiple choice questions based on how prospects describe their needs, adapting the questions it asks based on their responses. While many educational tools’ results pages connect to product pages with recommendations based on prospects’ inputs, they are often limited to promoting annuities as a broad category among other products. USAA’s annuity-specific tool, in contrast, provides a targeted recommendation for either immediate or deferred annuities based on a detailed understanding of prospects’ needs. Notably, if prospects indicate that they do not have emergency savings or a well-funded retirement plan, the tool suggests that an annuity may not suit their needs. This transparency ensures that prospects are well informed and is unmatched among Annuity Monitor firms.

USAA Is a Fixed Annuity Right for You? Tool

With a convenient location and streamlined format, TIAA’s annuity product selection tool earns a silver medal. Once prospects answer one or two multiple choice questions, the firm recommends an immediate income, fixed or variable annuity. Notably, both TIAA and USAA offer convenient access by embedding annuity-related tools directly into annuity product pages. The TIAA tool’s presence on the Personal Annuities overview page contextualizes these recommendations, letting prospects refer to definitions and illustrations of annuity benefits. With a location directly on the Personal Annuities page, rather than in a more general education or retirement section, the tool complements other annuity-related information and helps prospects focus their research.

TIAA Now and Later Calculator

Both TIAA and USAA’s award-winning tools surpass traditional educational tools with resources and recommendations focused on annuities. USAA’s transparent advice and TIAA’s helpful context support prospects with an unmatched level of specificity. Detailed analyses of both tools are included in the 2016 Annuity Monitor Awards Report, which also contains awards for Public Product Information, Client Transaction Capabilities, Advisor Sales and Prospecting Materials and Advisor Book of Business Offerings.

To access a free slide deck highlighting the gold medal winners in all five categories of this Annuity Monitor Awards Report, click here.