Vanguard Introduces Online Annuity Service

Vanguard has introduced a new Web-based service that enables individuals to compare income annuities from leading insurance companies.

Vanguard Annuity Access, powered by Hueler Companies’ Income Solutions platform, is designed for individuals seeking a guaranteed stream of income in retirement to augment their investment holdings, workplace retirement plan, and Social Security benefits, according to a press release. Prospective purchasers can obtain customized quotes on a real-time basis and evaluate competitively priced, directly comparable contracts from multiple companies.  

Vanguard Annuity Access is designed to provide competitive payments to investors, resulting from the meaningful competition among insurance companies on the Income Solutions platform and from the institutional, or group-rate, pricing of the annuities offered, the announcement said. The quotes should also be competitive because of the low transaction fee of 2% of the annuity purchase amount.  

The service will also offer access to fixed deferred annuities with fixed interest durations ranging from three to seven years. A fixed deferred annuity lets clients earn a fixed interest rate on their savings for a set number of years. Both the interest rate and principal are guaranteed by the insurance company that issues the annuity, Vanguard explained.  

“Traditionally, annuities have been viewed as complex products that were sold and not bought. Vanguard Annuity Access brings the tools and transparency to the annuity-buying process, enabling self-directed individuals interested in a ‘paycheck for life’ option to make an informed decision,” said Tim Buckley, managing director of Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group, in the announcement.