The addition of optional benefits, also referred to as riders, significantly impacts an annuity’s payout and overall impact. As riders vary greatly in their specifics and can offer death benefits, income growth and income protection, it is imperative that firms offer information on their advisor sites that enable advisors to gain a full picture of how they function and of which riders are available for each product. This Annuity Monitor report analyzes how 14 firms in our coverage group position their optional benefits on the advisor site. Our research mainly focused on the accessibility, quality and type of information offered.
Overall, firms do an excellent job of detailing optional benefits for advisors. We found that all firms detail rider features and highlight withdrawals, and the vast majority of firms also include information on rates. All of the firms analyzed in this report offer some materials online addressing optional benefits. Most firms offer client brochures, with fewer firms offering flyers, fact sheets and advisor brochures. Firms stand out for going beyond the typical downloadable brochure and supplementing information with presentations, multimedia and comparison options like calculators. Firms are graded according to the amount and type of resources provided, as well as the organization and accessibility of these resources.