investor daily logo

Challenger tops annuity market

By Victoria Young
3 minute read

Challenger wins the annuity race for the second year running with superior adviser training and education

Product tweaking and first-rate adviser support clinched the top accolade for Challenger Financial Services Group in the fifth annual annuity awards run by a research house.

In the final results of the Plan for Life Annuity Provider of the Year Competition 2006, Challenger won overall and scooped a gold award in the short-term annuities category.

CommInsure received gold awards in the long-term and lifetime annuities sections.

"The awards highlight companies that display excellence in the areas of financial strength, rate performance, service, market strength and product innovation. These are the things that are important, not just for the adviser, but for the client," Plan for Life senior consultant Stephen Dingjan said.


Challenger has won the top title for the past two years and CommInsure came out on top in 2004.

"We knew that we were in the running and it's great that Plan for Life again recognised the great features of our Guaranteed Income Plan. In particular, this year Challenger has built even more capabilities around the servicing/training and accreditation of planners," Challenger distribution general manager Matt Gaden said.

Product innovation to address the perceived setbacks of annuities and adviser service put CommInsure ahead of the pack, managing director Simon Swanson said.

In a market first, CommInsure introduced a five-year death benefit guarantee in its annuity contract and devised online quotation software.

CommInsure also won silver awards in the annuity provider of the year and short-term annuities categories. Axa Australia scooped a silver title in lifetime annuities and Challenger was awarded a silver place in long-term annuities.

Last week, Challenger announced it would buy MetLife Insurance's $2 billion annuity, allocated pension and personal superannuation liabilities portfolio. The bundle included $1 billion of Australian investment grade fixed interest assets and almost $1 billion in cash.