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2017 Monitor Awards Gold Winners: Annuities

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Corporate Insight is pleased to introduce the results of our 11th annual Annuity Monitor Awards. We benchmark the annuity industry across six critical categories, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals in each based on how firms meet our criteria.
As in past years, the gold medal is reserved for exceptionally valuable services. The silver medal rewards features with similar value that lack some of the outstanding attributes and functions of the best offerings. The bronze medal recognizes firms with a strong or unique service that do not meet the highest standards in the respective category.

Our analysis focuses only on specific attributes and does not attempt to rate the overall quality of the sites or apps that we review. Excellence in select areas may earn firms some distinction in this report, but readers should keep in mind that medals are awarded for highly focused, individual categories and are not intended as general endorsements.

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2017 Monitor Awards Gold Winners: Annuities

  1. 1. Annuity Monitor 2017 Gold Medal Winners
  2. 2. Corporate Insight provides competitive intelligence, consulting and user experience research to the nation's leading financial, health and education institutions. For more than two decades, the firm has tracked technological developments in the end-user online experience, identifying best practices in online financial services and investing, mobile finance, social media and other emerging areas. Corporate Insight offers subscription-based Monitor services in 15 verticals, including banking, healthcare and alumni relations, along with custom research, digital capabilities audits, special studies, user research and other consulting services. The firm helps its clients—including 70% of the financial services firms in the Fortune 500—to remain at the forefront of industry trends and improve their competitive position. About CI 2 Connect with CI
  3. 3. Corporate Insight is pleased to introduce the results of our 11th annual Annuity Monitor Awards. We benchmark the annuity industry across six critical categories, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals in each based on how firms meet our criteria. As in past years, the gold medal is reserved for exceptionally valuable services. The silver medal rewards features with similar value that lack some of the outstanding attributes and functions of the best offerings. The bronze medal recognizes firms with a strong or unique service that do not meet the highest standards in the respective category. Our analysis focuses only on specific attributes and does not attempt to rate the overall quality of the sites or apps that we review. Excellence in select areas may earn firms some distinction in this report, but readers should keep in mind that medals are awarded for highly focused, individual categories and are not intended as general endorsements. Annuity Monitor Awards 3 Connect with CI
  4. 4. Category Overview Public Site Homepages and Navigation Public Site Educational Materials Client Account Information Client Documents Publicly Accessible Advisor Information Promote Your Firm’s 2017 Monitor Awards! Corporate Insight is happy to assist all award-winning firms in promoting their honors. For more information, contact us at pr@corporateinsight.com. Advisor Site DOL Fiduciary Rule Resources
  5. 5. Medal Chart 5 Connect with CI
  6. 6. After taking a break from this category last year, we return to it here to recognize substantial industry changes. Since we last reviewed this category in the 2015 Annuity Monitor Awards Report, many firms have revamped or updated their homepages or navigation, with one firm implementing a complete public site revamp since then. It is impossible to overstate the importance that public site homepages and navigation menus hold when it comes to providing an attractive, informative and effective site. Firms should provide well-organized public homepages that offer seamless access to pertinent annuity content, educational information, relevant news and site features. Public Site Homepages and Navigation 6 Lincoln earns a gold medal for its comprehensive navigation that directs prospects to annuity content and commonly used resources and for its responsive homepage that organizes content in a tiled format, effectively promoting products and relevant news. © CORPORATE INSIGHT
  7. 7. Annuity Monitor put this traditional category on hiatus last year, but as with Public Site Homepages and Navigation, we revisit it this year, as informative public site educational resources are a pivotal component of a quality website. Annuity issuers must help prospects understand the complexities of annuities through enlightening public site materials. Ideally, provided resources should go beyond simple definitions and delve into more colorful explanations of topics, such as product characteristics, fees, retirement planning and tax considerations. Further, by using a range of formats, such as articles, case studies, infographics, tools, calculators and videos, firms can address various aspects of annuities from more engaging angles. Public Site Educational Materials 7 Brighthouse Financial wins the gold medal thanks to a public site centered around education both within the dedicated Education section and across annuity product pages. The firm provides a wealth of diverse content, including financial confidence and retirement readiness quizzes, instructional videos and informative infographics. © CORPORATE INSIGHT
  8. 8. Contract information and performance details are vital to the account management experience for the simple reason that clients need to be well informed at all times. Annuity providers should strive to provide comprehensive policy information in an organized, intuitive manner to foster positive interactions with their clients and minimize the need for customer assistance. Adequate policy details can also help clients make immediate account-related changes, such as updating their personal information or performing a transaction. Further, offering a full spectrum of relevant details promotes transparency, especially considering that contract owners often regard fees in annuity contracts as hidden. Client Account Information 8 AXA’s View section earns the firm a gold medal as clients can obtain a high level of contract information from both the dedicated section and the homepage. The firm stands above its competition for disseminating account information in an alternative format: it is the only firm tracked by Annuity Monitor that narrates account information in a personalized video. AXA also excels for the extent of information provided and for including term definitions. © CORPORATE INSIGHT
  9. 9. Online access to statements, annual reports and other key documents provides clients with immediate and infinite document copies without requiring them to contact the firm. Following our client documents report in January 2017, we introduce a new award category to highlight the importance of thorough and well-organized private site document centers. In assessing this category, we focus first on findability and organization, noting that filters and sortable columns are valuable tools for navigating a large library of documents. Client Documents 9 USAA’s comprehensive and well-organized document center, combined with its strong customization and help features and option to upload and store documents, earns it a gold medal. © CORPORATE INSIGHT
  10. 10. In recognition of an increasing amount of publicly accessible advisor-focused information, we introduce a new category this year that highlights the most detailed pre-login advisor information available. While public information typically targets prospects, our June 2017 public advisor content report documented a marked increase in the amount of advisor-oriented information available pre-login. More than half (68%) of firms in our coverage group now provide at least some advisor-focused material publicly, expanding their audiences and reducing barriers for advisors who may wish to avoid the hassle of logging in to access a single resource. Publicly Accessible Advisor Information 10 Nationwide’s rich library of product information, tools and sales materials earns it the gold medal. Nearly all advisor site material is publicly available, with the exception of forms, illustrations and client-related capabilities, like an advisor’s book of business. © CORPORATE INSIGHT
  11. 11. Advisor Site DOL Fiduciary Rule Resources 11 MassMutual has stood head and shoulders above its fellow Annuity Monitor firms in this category ever since the Department of Labor released its initial version of the fiduciary rule back in April 2015. The firm wins the gold medal for its DOL Fiduciary Rule section that is easily findable from a prominent homepage promotional image and the site’s top navigation menu. © CORPORATE INSIGHT After years of revisions and rescheduling, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule finally went into effect in June of this year, with an original transition period set to end January 1, 2018. In August, the DOL submitted a proposal to delay the remaining parts of the rule until July 1, 2019, to give DOL officials more time to conduct an economic impact review and offer the private sector a chance to submit feedback to improve the rule. This proposal was accepted in late November. Despite this decision, it is pivotal that the annuity industry continue to prepare to comply with the rule and educate advisors on current and planned changes. Given the rule’s monumental importance, which will only grow, Annuity Monitor is proud to introduce Advisor Site DOL Fiduciary Rule Resources as a category in our annual Awards Report.
  12. 12. 12 Connect with CI Senior Research Associate Annuity Monitor 646-751-6974 mrafferty@corporateinsight.com Megan Rafferty Contact Us

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