Sixty-eight percent of RIAs say they would consider recommending annuities to clients who ask about them, according to joint research released Tuesday by RetireOne, a platform for fee-based insurance solutions, and Jackson National Life Insurance Co.
The remaining third of RIAs in the study said they would not recommend an annuity because of cost, lack of liquidity or complexity.
(Related: Advisors’ Advice: Are Annuities Worth It?)
The research indicates that an increasing number of clients want to explore annuity protections for their portfolios during a period of uncertainty around the coronavirus, the March market crash and the current economic climate.
For their part, 62% of advisors anticipated a slow economic recovery from the global pandemic that will last a year or longer. Once growth does resume, more than half of advisors said they expected extensive structural changes to take place in the U.S. economy.
“We are not surprised to see that RIAs are open to recommending annuities for clients who inquire about them,” Scott Romine, president for retirement solutions at Jackson National Life Distributors, said in a statement.
“While these results are encouraging, there is still an opportunity to educate a large portion of these financial professionals about next-gen annuities designed for RIAs and how they can help reduce the cost and complexity.”
The survey sample comprised 101 financial professionals who identified themselves as RIA, hybrid or dually registered advisors and were polled during the second quarter.
Forty-five percent of survey participants said they discussed retirement income plans during initial meetings with clients.
However, more than a quarter said they did not begin to talk about converting defined contribution plans into retirement income until their clients were within five years of retirement.
“We uncovered a missed opportunity for a pretty big swath of RIAs with this survey,” RetireOne’s founder and chief executive David Stone said in the statement.
“Annuities in general, and lifetime income solutions specifically, are especially helpful for yielding some certainty in uncertain times.”
Stone said financial professionals who wait to discuss income strategies until clients’ 10-year retirement window opens may miss out.
“Utilizing lifetime income solutions at the right time can maximize opportunities to bridge the fragile decade, when their clients face one of the more serious headwinds to retirement security: sequence-of-returns risk,” he said.
The survey also found that nearly half of RIAs rely on solution-oriented discussions with topic experts for product selection and/or portfolio strategy — this despite what the report calls RIAs’ “well-known aversion to traditional wholesaling and sales pitches.”
Their primary sources of information are websites, cited by 64% of respondents, and publications, cited by 59%.
Meanwhile, only 38% of respondents said they relied on “thought leaders” for guidance.
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