Morningstar Rolls Out Variable Annuity Research Web Tool

Morningstar launched Annuity Intelligence, which evaluates variable annuities and gives data on more than 100,000 annuity subaccounts and 1,950 annuity contracts.

The Web-based tool, which combines features of the company’s Annuity Analyzer and its Annuity Intelligence Report, has a new user interface with simplified navigation, enhanced search functions, and new research features and functionality. The offering aims to be an all-in-one source for real-time annuity data and information for advisers, broker/dealers and compliance officers. Users can search for and compare variable annuity contracts, and generate reports.

“By combining our two most popular annuity tools, we’ve made it easier for financial professionals to make apples-to-apples comparisons between different annuity products and help find the most appropriate annuity for each client,” said Kevin Loffredi, vice president of insurance solutions for Morningstar.

The tool’s lifetime income calculator allows an adviser to see the amount of guaranteed income an annuity benefit will provide using different criteria. Complex provisions in annuity riders, annuity fee data, contract titling information and historical contract data dating back to the 1960s are written in plain English. The calculator helps compliance officers support their suitability and review process for an annuity purchase, and it enables suitability forms to be automatically populated with contract, benefit, and fee information to streamline the transaction process.

Two add-on capabilities are available for Annuity Intelligence: VA Expense Analyzer and VA Hypothetical Illustrator, which are designed to help provide transparency to advisers and their investor clients. VA Expense Analyzer helps streamline the compliance and sales disclosure process by conducting suitability and cost analyses to help make sure a recommended annuity is appropriate. VA Hypothetical Illustrator helps support client proposals by analyzing variable annuity performance as a standalone investment, in comparison with competing products or benchmarks or within the context of a complete portfolio.

Current clients of Morningstar Annuity Analyzer and Annuity Intelligence Report will be migrated to the Morningstar Annuity Intelligence solution over the next 12 to 18 months.