Annuity Processing: Not Just Paper Pushing

I began my career at Sentinel in 2011; a month after the Personal Choice Annuity was launched. Annuity New Business is a tight-knit and dedicated team who eats, sleeps, and breathes our fixed rate annuity. Therefore, when I tell someone what I do for a living with great passion and excitement, and their eyes glaze over in preparation for boredom, I don’t understand. And when I tell our team about it they react as if the person said we had an ugly baby. There is nothing boring about financial planning and security. There is nothing dull about growing your savings tax-deferred or rolling funds over from an investment that no longer serves your needs into one that can. Well…Unless you find achieving your financial goals boring.  I guess that would depend on how much you enjoy playing golf.  See? Annuities aren’t boring at all.

The Personal Choice annuity is best for individuals who have funds that aren’t currently needed for living expenses, that they would like to invest tax-deferred for a guarantee period of 5, 7, or 10 years. It’s called a “guarantee period” for a reason, your principal is safe and the interest rate is guaranteed during that period.

In my role as a new business processor I spend much of my day reviewing applications and most of them say the client’s reason for purchasing the annuity is safety and the opportunity to grow their wealth tax-deferred. We all have to pay the taxman. But our clients enjoy putting it off for several years while they accumulate interest.

Annuities are purchased by many different people for many different reasons. Some of our clients are young and still in the meat of their working years and are interested in moving an IRA or 401k for a better interest rate. But on the other hand applications cross my desk daily completed by seniors whose agents have advised them to invest in a fixed annuity instead of variable accounts, providing them the opportunity to grow their savings whether their goal is a long and secure retirement or the inheritance of their loved ones.

I hope you can see why the Annuity New Business team is so excited about what we do. We don’t just push paper and enter numbers into computers. We get to do our small part to help people we’ll never meet achieve their financial goals.

For additional information on the Personal Choice Annuity, please visit us at www.sslco.com or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Deanna Martin, Annuity New Business Processor for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

 

Top Five Ways to Get Annuity Apps Processed Faster

Sentinel is a great company to work for because they provide their employees with many chances to develop their careers internally. I can attest to this because I was just promoted from a new business annuity processor to a graphic designer in marketing! It’s an exciting time for me and Sentinel and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Part of my new job in marketing is to assist agents with annuity questions I receive through e-mail or over the phone. I get a lot of questions from agents and marketers about our products and services. Fortunately, because I worked in new business as a processor, I have a special perspective on the entire client annuity application process, from start to finish.

So, I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks on making sure your application gets approved quickly! Here are the top five things you can do to ensure a faster processing time.

1. Double check all signature pages. One of the most common errors we receive is when an application has an incomplete signature page. Some signature pages even require additional information such as the city, state, and zip code of where the signature was taken. Double checking the application to make sure all signatures are complete will ensure much quicker processing.

2. Make sure you send us all the paperwork that will be required in order to approve the annuity. If the person approving an application does not have all the necessary paperwork, they have to send it back to processing so that they can track down what is missing. This could take days or even weeks if they can’t get a hold of the agent and/or client in a timely manner. If you applications are complete with all required forms including state-specific forms, we can approve the annuity much faster.

3. If the funds are arriving via transfer or a 1035 exchange, make sure to provide us with all of the transfer company’s information, including their overnight mailing address, fax numbers, telephone number, contract number, maturity date, etc. Many transfer companies require original paperwork, so double check that requirement before sending us a faxed copy of an application. Also, make sure the client’s information is filled out completely on the form, and that they sign and check all appropriate boxes. It also helps speed up the process if you can provide a copy of their statement, and any additional information that the company would require in specific cases (surrender paperwork, certificates, etc.).

4. Follow up with the processors. Our new business processors can be responsible for over 100 applications at any given time. That’s a lot of paperwork! Our processors have a standard follow-up time for each application that is scheduled in their calendar. However, if you have additional information, forms, or corrected paperwork make to submit, be sure to follow up with the processors. If you don’t know what is going on with your application, please call us at 1-800-247-1423, option 4. Our processors and representatives will be happy to work with you on application statuses.

5. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to contact us during our normal business hours (open earlier now at 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Mountain Time) if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to assist you with any questions you may have.
We have a fantastic customer and agent support team that can answer your questions and get you the help that you need in order to process your apps quicker. We love working with our agents and want our agents and clients to have a positive experience with us! As always, we look forward to our continued partnership. Thank you for choosing Sentinel Life.

Blog written by: LeiLoni Tilley, Graphic Designer for