Despite the negative attention that the variable annuity industry has gotten lately, many insurers are still introducing new products. American General just released their newest variable annuity, the Polaris Select Investor. Variable annuities still dominate overall annuity sales and offer benefits to consumers that are unmatched elsewhere. In Insurance News Net’s article, “American General Launches New Variable Annuity,” Cyril Tuohy talks about what the new annuity product has to offer consumers. American General says that the Polaris Select Investor is meant to meet the needs of consumers looking to grow their money over the long term. They say that this variable annuity has a “deep and broad investment platform.”
American General’s parent company, AIG, says that companies are working hard to create products that lead the industry in meeting the changing needs of consumers. More people than ever are responsible for creating their own income stream in retirement and these insurers believe that the Polaris Select Investor is a good option for many of these people. This particular annuity helps investors disperse their money throughout a broader asset class to accumulate capital, while still benefiting from tax deferral. There are 33 different money managers and 90 portfolios that cover 22 asset classes and allocation models. Investors can choose to invest in a customized allocation, one of the asset allocation models, or a combination of the two strategies. There is also the option to add a death benefit for your heirs with this new variable annuity.
Variable annuity sales were down 3% from the first three quarters of last year to the first three quarters of this year. Total annuity sales increased 6% in the same time frame, led mostly by fixed indexed annuity sales. The variable annuity sales decline stems from the fact that a number of insurance companies stopped selling variable annuity products altogether to decrease their own risk. Those companies who sell variable annuities are typically seeing sales increases and are continuing to create new products and innovate existing variable annuities. American General’s announcement of their new Polaris Select VA came less than a week before another big announcement. MetLife and Fidelity Investments collaborated on the new Accumulation annuity. This variable annuity product helps investors capitalize on market gains while limiting their account’s potential for loss. American General’s introduction of the Polaris Select Investor variable annuity is important for the industry as well as consumers.