Advisors focus primarily on the long-term security of the issuer when weighing variable annuity options for their clients. Seven in ten advisors (70%) reported that insurance company ratings and reputation were very important to them when evaluating a variable annuity—the highest of any of the listed criteria. Investment performance (58%) was another very important factor, while the breadth of fund selection and the availability of a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit (GMWB) were tied for third at 52%.
Advisors are split on what to expect over the next five years. Nearly 4 in 10 advisors expect their use of the products to stay the same, and an almost identical percentage expects their variable annuity use to increase slightly. Only 15% of advisors expect to reduce their use of the variable annuities over the next five years.
Investment Trend Monitor: Advisor Use of Variable Annuities