Selling Annuities: The Key to Unlocking Success

There are many benefits to selling annuities in today’s insurance landscape. As an insurance professional, your goal is to provide financial security and peace of mind to your clients. While you may already offer a variety of insurance products, one area worth exploring is the sale of annuities. Annuities offer a host of benefits that align with your clients’ needs for long-term financial stability and retirement planning. In this article, we will discuss why insurance professionals should consider selling annuities and how it can enhance their business.

Meeting the Retirement Planning Demand

With an aging population and an increase in life expectancy, retirement planning has become a top concern for many individuals. As an insurance professional, selling annuities allows you to meet the growing demand for retirement income solutions. Annuities are effective because they provide a reliable source of income during retirement, alleviating fears of outliving savings. By addressing the retirement planning demand, you position yourself as a trusted advisor in this critical area of financial security.

Expanding Client Relationships

Selling annuities presents a valuable opportunity to build long-term client relationships. Annuities are designed to provide financial stability over an extended period, often spanning several decades. This level of engagement allows you to provide ongoing guidance and support tailored to their evolving needs. This not only benefits your clients by ensuring they receive personalized and comprehensive financial advice but also contributes to your business success through client retention, referrals, and additional opportunities for cross-selling other products and services.

Enhancing Client Retention and Loyalty

Selling annuities offers significant advantages when it comes to client retention and loyalty. By helping clients secure their future income needs, annuities create a strong incentive for clients to stay with you as their trusted insurance professional. Additionally, annuities often come with surrender charges for early withdrawals. Surrender charges discourage clients from switching providers and strengthens their commitment to your services. The ongoing relationship you build through annuity sales allows you to continue providing valuable guidance and monitor their financial goals. This level of personalized attention fosters trust and satisfaction, making it more likely for clients to refer others to your services and seek your expertise for their future financial needs.

Generating Reliable Income

One of the most significant benefits of selling annuities as an insurance professional is the ability to generate a reliable source of income. Unlike one-time insurance policy sales, annuities provide recurring revenue through annual fees and ongoing management charges. This steady income stream can help stabilize your cash flow and contribute to the growth and sustainability of your business. Moreover, annuities often offer competitive commission rates, allowing you to earn a substantial income from each annuity sale. By incorporating annuities into your product portfolio, you can create a diversified revenue stream that complements your existing insurance offerings and provides financial stability for your business over the long term. The reliable income from annuity sales allows you to focus on providing exceptional service to your clients while enjoying the financial rewards that come with it.

Collaborating with Strategic Partners

Selling annuities opens up opportunities for collaboration with other financial professionals, such as investment advisors or retirement planners. By forming strategic partnerships, you can leverage each other’s expertise and provide holistic financial solutions to your clients. Collaborating with these professionals allows you to tap into their specialized knowledge and skills, offering comprehensive retirement planning services that encompass investment strategies, estate planning, and risk management. This collaboration enhances the overall client experience, as clients benefit from a well-rounded team of experts working together to ensure their financial well-being. Additionally, partnering with other professionals expands your network and opens doors to new business opportunities. Referrals between professionals in different areas of expertise can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship, allowing you to grow your client base and further establish yourself as a trusted advisor in the industry.


Incorporating annuities into your product portfolio brings numerous advantages. By diversifying your offerings, you can meet the growing demand for retirement income solutions and position yourself as a comprehensive financial advisor capable of addressing a wide range of client needs. Selling annuities allows you to build long-term client relationships and provide ongoing guidance throughout their retirement journey. This fosters loyalty and trust, leading to client retention and potential referrals. Additionally, annuities offer a reliable source of income, stabilizing your cash flow and contributing to the growth of your business. Collaborating with strategic partners further enhances your capabilities and opens up new business opportunities. Embracing annuities as an insurance professional not only benefits your clients but also contributes to your business success. By offering annuities, you position yourself as a trusted advisor in the realm of retirement planning, ensuring your clients’ long-term financial security and peace of mind.

Have you met all the CE requirements in order to sell annuities? Check out our Annuity CE Requirements Page

Why Use SuccessCE

The Success Family of Continuing Education Companies provides the highest quality Life/Health and Property/Casualty Insurance Continuing Education, CFP Continuing Education, CIMA Continuing Education, CPA Continuing Education, CLU/ChFC (PACE) Continuing Education, and MCLE (Legal) Continuing Education available in all 50 states in Live Insurance Continuing Education, Online Insurance Continuing Education, and Textbook Insurance Continuing Education formats.

New: Regulation Best Interest Standard

Update: The new Regulation Best Interest Standard is going into effect in new states across the nation. South Carolina and Pennsylvania are the most recent states to adopt the new Best Interest Standard. Effective May 27,2022 in South Carolina and June 20, 2022 in Pennsylvania advisors must now complete a new Regulation Best Interest training in order to continue to sell annuities.  Twenty states have now adopted the new standard and require additional training for advisors to complete.

Click here to see if your state adopted Regulation Best Interest:

NAIC Annuity Best Interest Standard

Starting in 2003, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) approved the “Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation” to protect consumers and provide uniformity between state regulations in annuity transactions. The “Suitability Model Regulation” offers a standard of procedure in which brokers must recommend products that are “suitable” for the consumer’s financial needs and objectives. However, in February 2020, the NAIC approved revisions to the “suitability” model that reflects a new “Best Interest Standard”. In short, the Best Interest Standard clarifies that agents and insurers must work in the best interests of the consumer and that agents and carriers may not place their financial interests ahead of the consumer’s when making recommendations. The new Regulation Best Interest Standard seeks to better aid consumers and impose consistency across state lines.

The Importance of Annuities

Annuities have long been a staple in the investment and retirement plans for millions of Americans but in today’s volatile financial landscape annuities are more popular than ever.

“Limra, an insurance industry group, forecasts annuity sales of $267 billion to $288 billion in 2022, eclipsing the record ($265 billion) set in 2008. Consumers pumped $255 billion into annuities last year — the third-highest annual total.”[1]

The increasing attractiveness of annuities can be attributed to a few key factors such as; tax-deferred growth, no contribution limit, death benefits, and the exposure to the market’s upside while protecting against market declines. Annuities are designed to provide guaranteed income for life while transferring the risk of outliving your savings to an insurance company. With rumors of a looming recession, it is easy to understand the allure of annuities as a secure financial product. The booming of annuity sales gives regulators all the more reason to re-evaluate the current regulations and examine if improvements are necessary.

How we got here

As mentioned previously, the NAIC implemented the “Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation” in 2003 to aid consumers in making decisions regarding their retirement savings and financial future. Prior to the Best Interest Standard the Department of Labor proposed a “fiduciary rule” on financial advisors selling annuity products which would impose a legal requirement for financial advisors to work in their clients’ best interest. The fiduciary rule differs from the “suitability standard” in that under the “suitability standard” advisors are free to recommend products that earn themselves a higher commission as long as the product is deemed suitable for the client.

The federal appeals court shot down the fiduciary standard on the grounds that the Department of Labor overstepped its authority.[2] While the federal court killed the fiduciary rule proponents of the new regulation argued that due to the recent weakening of Social Security, government pensions, and corporate pensions Americans are now more responsible over their financial futures and require increased protection. Opponents of increased regulation argue that, “the fiduciary rule would make it too expensive to work with smaller investors and could limit what types of investments are made available.”[3] The Regulation Best Interest Standard seeks to provide a middle ground between the “suitability standard” and the fiduciary rule.

So What’s in Regulation Best Interest?

Regulation Best Interest seeks to hold financial advisors more accountable. The model now requires agents and carriers to act with “reasonable diligence, care, and skill” when making recommendations. A producer has acted in the best interest of the consumer if they have satisfied the following obligations regarding care, disclosure, conflict of interest, and documentation.

  1. Care Obligation
  • A broker-dealer must exercise reasonable diligence, care and skill when making a recommendation to a retail customer. The broker‑dealer must understand potential risks, rewards, and costs associated with the recommendation. The broker‑dealer must then consider these factors in light of the retail customer’s investment profile and make a recommendation that is in the retail customer’s best interest
  1. Disclosure Obligation
  • Broker-dealers must disclose material facts about the relationship and recommendations, including specific disclosures about the capacity in which the broker is acting, fees, the type and scope of services provided, conflicts, limitations on services and products, and whether the broker dealer provides monitoring services.
  1. Conflict Of Interest Obligation
  • The broker-dealer must establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and at a minimum disclose or eliminate conflicts of interest.
  1. Documentation Obligation
  • Producers are required to make a written record of the recommendation and the basis for it. Obtain a consumer signed statement that the consumer understands the ramifications if they refuse to provide consumer profile information. Obtain a consumer signed statement as an acknowledgement that the customer decided to buy an annuity that was not based on the producer’s recommendation

In addition to these obligations the Best Interest Standard includes a few more important provisions that insurers and producers need to be aware of. Producers must describe the sources and types of cash and non-cash compensation received when making a recommendation. Producers must also disclose a reasonable estimate of the amount of compensation to be received from a recommendation. With regards to documentation, investment advisers and broker-dealers are required to deliver a relationship summary to retail investors at the beginning of their relationship. The relationship summary is called a Form CRS and firms must maintain a copy of the Form CRS for at least 6 years after the form is created.

Insurers also have new responsibilities under the Best Interest Standard. Insurers must establish and maintain a supervision system that is reasonably designed to achieve the insurer’s and its producers’ compliance with the regulation. This includes establishing procedures for review of each recommendation prior to the issuance of an annuity as well as establish procedures to identify and eliminate sales contests, sales quotas, bonuses and non-cash compensation.

What this means for you

                The Best Interest Standard seeks to aid consumers by mandating that insurers’ and producers’ disclose an increased amount of information that pertains to a producer’s recommendation as well as ensuring companies create procedures to review their own recommendations and provide a service that is in the client’s best interest. Since the original SEC approval of the new regulation in February of 2020, 21 states have adopted the Best Interest Standard with four more states set to adopt the provisions by July 21st, 2023. These states now require additional training in order to continue to sell annuities.

Click here to see if your state adopted Regulation Best Interest:

While some opponents may argue the new standard increases the cost of business for insurance companies and will drive out smaller investors, the Best Interest Standard does increase consumer protection and holds financial institutions to a higher standard. Additionally, the standard promotes uniformity across state lines, securing a quality of service for Americans across the nation. We will see in the coming years the true effectiveness of the new regulations. Does the Best Interest Standard go too far or should advisors be held to an even higher standard?

Click Here For Official Regulation Best Interest Information

Additional information

                If you are a licensed producer in a state that adopted the Regulation Best Interest Standard you may need to complete additional training in order to continue to sell annuities. Fortunately, SuccessCE Inc. offers the new “Annuity Products – Best Interest” course in every required state. Go to our Course Catalog page to order your required CE courses. New students can use the discount code “New” at checkout to receive $5.00 off their first purchase of our Unlimited Success Package.

Why Use SuccessCE

The Success Family of Continuing Education Companies provides the highest quality Life/Health and Property/Casualty Insurance Continuing Education, CFP Continuing Education, CIMA Continuing Education, CPA Continuing Education, CLU/ChFC (PACE) Continuing Education, and MCLE (Legal) Continuing Education available in all 50 states in Live Insurance Continuing Education, Online Insurance Continuing Education, and Textbook Insurance Continuing Education formats.

View State Requirements

[1] Iacurci, Greg. “Annuity sales rise, buoyed by market fears and higher interest rates. What to know before you buy.”, 6 June 2022,

[2] Smith, Kelly Anne. “What Regulation Best Interest Means for Your Financial Advisor.”, 5 March 2021,

[3] Smith, 2021,