September 8, 2010

Vanguard Introduces Web Comparison Service for Annuities

Service lets individuals compare income products

Vanguard announced Wednesday, September 8, that it had launched a new Web comparison service for individuals that allowed them to compare income annuities from a number of insurance companies. The service, called Vanguard Annuity Access, is powered by Hueler Companies' Income Solutions platform and is useful for those individuals trying to compare annuities that offer guaranteed streams of income or for retirement plan participants rolling over assets into a Vanguard IRA.

According to Vanguard, "Prospective purchasers can obtain customized quotes on a real-time basis and evaluate competitively priced, directly comparable contracts frommultiple companies." Direct contribution plan participants ready to retire will be able to use Vanguard Annuity Access as an IRA rollover option. This is in lieu of offering the option within the plan; plan sponsors are concerned that such an "in-plan" offering may increase fiduciary responsibility and add complexity to the plan.

Fixed deferred annuities are also available through Vanguard Annuity Access; fixed interest durations will vary from three to seven years. Such investments "are designed for tax-sensitive investors" who want to supplement existing retirement savings, which may include IRAs or 401(k)s.

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