DALBAR Seeks Out Best-in-Class Annuity Illustrations

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Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:05 pm EST

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MARLBOROUGH, Mass.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Feb. 13, 2020, /PRNewswire/ -- Illustrations are essential to the annuity sales process and DALBAR's recent review found Lincoln Financial to be the top provider of these communications, with New York Life, Jackson, Nationwide and Pacific Life all rounding out the top 5.

Lincoln's qualification for the Communication Seal of Excellence is well deserved as the firm set a new standard with its highly digestible, colorful design and use of visual elements to convey key details such as performance and protected values. "This recognition underscores Lincoln's commitment to helping advisors and clients have more informed conversations about the value annuities can bring to a retirement income plan," says Brian Kroll, head of Lincoln's Annuity Solutions.  "Annuity illustrations are critical to these discussions, and making them easier to review and understand helps investors better navigate the buying process – providing an overall experience that is unmatched in the industry."

Highly effective illustrations simplify aspects of annuity contracts that can be difficult to explain, most importantly, guarantees. Very few firms, (only 18%), give prominent placement to projected guaranteed income and death benefit amounts; most force clients to delve into hypothetical tables to find these key details.

Presentation is everything in ensuring client comprehension. Lincoln aptly meets NAIC requirements by displaying projections for both up down markets on the same page, facilitating easy comparison. Nationwide provides projections for up and down markets in one chart, making the impact of performance easily distinguishable.

Tables are another differentiator and best-in-class illustrations incorporate shading, colors and easy-to-read text to outline year-by-year returns, values and protected amounts. Lincoln and AIG venture further with iconography, using locks, arrows and shields to highlight when protections kick in, helping clients to more easily grasp how these benefits work.

DALBAR's review encompassed fixed and variable annuity illustrations for content, design, format and clarity. Industry leaders are going beyond simply providing required information and recognizing the impact that an exceptional presentation has on client understanding and the experience overall.

DALBAR Inc., the financial community's leading independent expert, evaluates, audits and rates business practices, customer performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, DALBAR has earned recognition for consistent and unbiased evaluations of investment companies, registered investment advisers, insurance companies, broker/dealers, retirement plan providers and financial professionals. DALBAR awards are recognized as marks of a superior standard of care in the financial community.

SOURCE DALBAR, Inc.

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