NU Online News Service, May 20, 1:10 p.m. – Standard & Poor’s, New York, is launching a Web-based service that financial advisors can use to evaluate variable annuities.

S&P has made the new variable annuity module part of its Advisor Insight product collection for investment advisors and brokers.

The service will start by giving information about 700 variable annuity contracts and more than 9,000 subaccounts.

Product descriptions will include general information, fees and expenses, features and riders, and subaccount performance for each policy, S&P says.

Subaccount reports will include average total return data, fees and expenses, modern portfolio theory statistics, bull/bear periods and best/worst total returns over a range of time periods from one week to 10 years.

The service will also include a variable annuity “hypothetical engine,” which will provide illustrations comparing the results of a variety of investment options over a range of time horizons, S&P says.