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Phoeni Aims To Simplify Annuity Choices

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The Phoenix Companies Inc. is introducing a new line of variable annuities in an effort to make it easier for clients to buy the company’s products.[@@]

“Our intent with the new product eventually is to take off the market some of our other kinds of products,” says Mark Tully, a senior vice president at Phoenix, Hartford. “We’re attempting to simplify the choices.”

About 2 weeks ago, the company launched Phoenix Dimensions, a flexible-premium, deferred VA contract offering a wide range of living and death benefit riders.

Currently, Phoenix offers 7 other accumulation and income variable annuities, plus private-placement products designed for wealthy investors. Those are the choices it ultimately plans to thin down with Dimensions, which comes with a menu of riders that will help advisors to tailor the product to fit client financial profiles. The riders include a number of guaranteed minimum benefits. One guarantees a steady stream of income.

Phoenix has not yet decided which of its current annuities it will discontinue, or when, Tully says.

More on this topic

Another part of Phoenix’s strategy is a campaign to teach consumers about the role of variable annuities in retirement planning.

The company designed 2 brochures that Tully says will help both advisors and their clients grasp the complexities of variable annuities, without specifically touting Phoenix products.

One brochure, “Your Retirement, Your Style,” is a general guide to variable annuities. The other, “Living Benefits,” explains how different types of guaranteed benefits can be used to protect retirement assets.

Both publications are available through Phoenix wholesalers.