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Some U.S. individual annuity issuers may seem to be cool toward live-human agents and advisors these days.

Issuers’ information technology spending priorities are conveying another message.

Analysts at Novarica, a Boston-based insurance technology consulting firm, write about individual annuity issuers’ current IT efforts in a new report.

(Related: 7 Technology Priorities for the Individual Annuities Market)

In spite of the talk about how automated systems will replace live-human advisors, annuity issuers are making customer portal projects just a mid-level priority.

Many projects that could improve service for existing annuity holders, such as billing system projects and document management system projects, are low-priority projects.

The list of high-priority projects includes reinsurance management systems, which might help issuers cope with low interest rates and holders’ unexpectedly long lifespans; business intelligence systems, which might help issuers make sense of rapid market change; and agent portals.

Producers need more help from technology to cope with a projected increase in workloads, the analysts say.

“With a push to lower fees, producers need to grow their client base to make up for lost income, but an increased compliance workload makes serving that base challenging,” the analysts write.

— Check out 3 Strategies for Annuity Carriers Bracing for DOL Fiduciary Rule Impact on ThinkAdvisor.