Today’s brokers understand that information is power. They know that the better informed and trained they are, the better they’ll be able to communicate with and meet the needs of their clients – and increase sales.
A majority of brokers are looking for some help in how to recognize when a fixed indexed annuity (FIA) is appropriate for clients, and how an FIA fits into a larger retirement income plan. Brokers are also looking for more product-specific information to communicate to their clients, as well as some sales training. And in addition, many brokers want to understand the various regulations governing FIA ownership and the tax implications for each client.
According to the participants in the Fixed Indexed Annuity Study sponsored by Athene, brokers are looking for additional training covering retirement income planning as well as more in-depth product knowledge, which they hope will spark sales of FIAs. Nearly seven in 10 respondents – both experienced brokers and those with little experience in annuity sales – said they would benefit from training or sales assistance.
Retirement income planning, suitability: In particular, brokers cited an interest in learning how to help clients see how an annuity would contribute to their overall, comprehensive retirement plan. In fact, 61 percent of respondents said they would like some training on retirement income planning. Nearly as many study participants – 57 percent – want to learn how to tell if an FIA is appropriate for a client, and nearly half want some help in how to determine if a product is not suitable.
Many states require that brokers complete a state-approved training course before they can sell, solicit or recommend annuity products to the public. Brokers can typically take courses online, but annuity suitability training courses may be available locally or regionally. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers an online self-study course that meets the four-credit training requirement established in NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation adopted by many states.