ING Variable Annuity Informational Kit Rated Best by Financial Professionals

May 22, 2007 West Chester, PA Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

Retiring Baby Boomers exploring variable annuities as a retirement income option sometimes are bewildered by the complex combination of investments and insurance products and features. Fortunately for investors interested in variable annuities, ING Variable Annuity, a marketing arm of ING U.S. Financial Services, has been cited for bringing improved clarity and simplicity to variable annuity marketing communications.

The ING Variable Annuity product information kit has been cited as earning the number one ranking – the best practice in the marketplace – by financial advisors and brokers participating in Marketing Matrix International's 2006 Best Practices in Variable Annuity Sales Literature study. The ING Variable Annuity information kit came out ahead of 10 other major annuity providers in the variable annuity market.

“It’s a common message from financial professionals—Baby Boomers aren’t as prepared as they need to be for an increasingly long retirement, and they are sometimes confused – and probably a little bit numbed – by all the retirement security products and options in the marketplace,” said Harry N. Stout, president, ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company. “Meanwhile, the financial professionals and agents who try to serve these clients have told us they needed a better set of tools and informational materials to make variable annuities easier to understand.”

“The result of our collaboration with brokers is an informational kit that pulls together the important features of the variable annuities products offered through the ING family of companies in a way that makes them relevant to a client’s life today, as well as to his or her financial goals for the future,” Stout said.

The Marketing Matrix study was based on insights from more than 140 financial professionals, representing wirehouses, large regional brokers, independent and bank-based financial professionals and insurance representatives.

"The ING variable annuity sales kit takes a complex product and breaks it into its essential concepts which, taken one at a time, can be easier for a consumer to grasp,” said Marcia Selz, Ph.D., president of Marketing Matrix, a marketing consulting firm specializing in sales literature research for financial services companies. "At the same time, there is enough depth in terms of illustrations and explanations that a broker can use the ING kit to clarify any particular product aspect for the client.”

The ING kit and those of 10 major market rivals were rated by the financial professionals in six dimensions of performance:

  • Visual Appeal
  • Readability
  • Usability
  • Information Substance
  • Information Comprehension
  • Motivation (to sell or buy)

The financial professionals gave ING top scores in four of these six dimensions, resulting in the company’s achievement of a Best Overall ranking in the study.

“ING’s brand philosophy spells it out-- ‘Your future. Made easier,’” said Stout. “It’s a commitment to simplicity and ease-of-use that we take very seriously, and it infused our efforts to create a kit that consumers could understand and financial professionals would find useful as a means to explain a complex, but very powerful, retirement income product.”

Variable annuities provide a range of professionally managed investment options to which individuals can allocate their annuity investment. Most variable annuities offer a wide range of investment options to suit a person’s risk tolerance, from higher-risk choices to more conservative options that earn a fixed rate of interest.

Press inquiries

ING US Financial Services
Chuck Eudy, 770.980.5209, or, 770.490.6420 (mobile), or, chuck.eudy@us.ing.com

Annuities are issued by ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York. Variable Annuities are distributed by Directed Services, Inc. member FINRA. 1475 Dunwoody Drive, West Chester, PA 19380. Only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products offered, in the state of New York. All are members of the ING family of companies. Variable insurance products are subject to investment risk, are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in value. In addition, there is no guarantee that any variable investment option will meet its stated objective.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks and charges, and expenses of the variable annuity and its underlying investment options carefully before investing. The prospectuses for the variable annuity and underlying investment options contain this and other information. You may obtain free prospectuses by calling your financial professional or 800-366-0066. Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing.

In the U.S., the ING family of companies offer a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients which include life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million customers across the nation.

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.

For more information, visit www.ing.com.