With the COVID-19 pandemic placing a spotlight on the need for remote-friendly operations, IRI is leading an effort to push adoption of methods and practices that modernize the annuity transaction process. Our Four Guiding Principles set best practices to enable sales, portfolio updates, advisor-consumer communication, and the transfer of confidential materials without face-to-face interaction. 

The IRI Board Working Group is pleased to announce that initial progress among members to adopt systems and technologies that allow for seamless operations in a remote setting has been strong. Also noteworthy is the collaborative spirit that has underpinned this work, with members regularly coming together to share ideas and troubleshoot issues.

Measuring Success: IRI's Four Guiding Principles to
Enable Positive Consumer Outcomes

Since announcing our Four Guiding Principles for this initiative last month, we have worked with member companies to establish a baseline adoption rate. This baseline shows where IRI members stand on the road to full adoption of the guiding principles and what opportunities for improvement remain. These initial results are well within our expectations. IRI will continue to gauge member progress at regular intervals in the coming weeks. We will celebrate and publicize our successes and clarify the capabilities and behaviors needed to bring the industry fully in line with these established guiding principles.

We are using a traditional red-yellow-green project management tracking tool to signify progress toward adoption. Early survey results indicate a positive starting point with many member firms already taking strides to meet the outlined criteria.


Baseline Findings and Analysis

Guiding Principle 1 - Carriers have enabled e-Signature capabilities for broker-dealer trading partners on new business transactions. However, there is a great opportunity to deliver more of that capability for replacement and in-force policy transactions. Full adoption is needed to ensure that we are delivering e-Signature capabilities for all transactions across the annuity lifecycle.

Guiding Principle 2 - We have moved to a risk-based supervision model in the absence of e-Signature capabilities in light of social distancing measures put in place by the COVID-19 crisis. Moving forward, we must ensure e-Signature platform capabilities become the permanent, long-term solution.

Guiding Principle 3 – We have met the goal of suspending medallion signature guarantee requirements. In addition, we are working on a long-term solution that meets the community's additional validation requests.

Guiding Principle 4 - We currently have a limited ability to deliver physical policy and supporting documents directly to the client. Our greatest opportunity is to deliver all policy-related documents electronically.

Additionally, this initiative will track the commitment and progress of all member companies to deliver on the growth and adoption of e-Signature and e-Delivery capabilities while aligning to our strategic objective to create optimal digital solutions to better meet advisor and customer expectations.