Variable Annuity Review
In many instances, variable annuities aren’t regularly reviewed in the same fashion as other investment holdings. Sometimes a review isn’t made for years. Read this blog post to find out more!
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Variable Annuity Review
If you have clients in old annuities, long past their surrender charge, it may be an ideal time to perform a variable annuity review. In many instances, variable annuities aren’t regularly reviewed in the same fashion as other investment holdings. Whether it’s a portfolio rebalancing or a deep dive to determine if the managers are performing in line with expectations, variable annuities require the same degree of care as any advisory account or 401(k).
Let it be said upfront—many old annuities may have better features and benefits than the currently available products, but there are still several reasons to perform an annuity review, including:
- Fees—The trend toward cheaper variable annuities, including fee-based annuities, may mean that old products have higher fees than the current ones. As a consequence, there may be an economic case for exchanging out of an existing annuity into a new one. Of course, the higher fees may be connected to certain benefits, so a fair comparison of the relative fees and associated benefits is essential. Nevertheless, it is a good time to reconsider if those benefits are still valued and relevant. Advisors are also reminded that where benefits may be more costly with current products, the investment management fees may be lower.
- Investment Options—The available fund choices in an old product may have underperformed, undergone manager changes or do not offer diversification into certain asset classes, like lower volatility strategies.
- Portfolio Allocation—Years of inattention can lead to allocations that have drifted away from the investor’s original allocation, potentially introducing greater risk than desired. The allocation, even if it has stayed close to the original allocation, may no longer reflect an investor’s current investment objectives.
While certain factors—such as a lower insurance carrier rating, poor service or out-of-date investment options—may appear to be sound reasons for making a 1035 exchange, they alone are not sufficient reason to justify an exchange. Any exchange from one annuity to another must have a tangible economic benefit to the annuity holder.
Whatever the results of your review may be, performing an annuity review today, at the very least, begins a client conversation. And, when conversations with clients are started, good outcomes usually result.
See referenced disclosure (2) (3) (4) at http://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/