With “Ascend,” Voya Enters the Structured Variable Annuity Race
October 26, 2017 by Kerry Pechter
Just as tablet computers occupy a niche mid-way between smartphones and laptops, indexed variable annuities (aka structured-note annuities) occupy a niche between fixed indexed annuities (FIA) and variable annuities (VA). Introduced in 2011, IVA sales have doubled yearly since 2014 and could reach $9 billion in 2017, according to LIMRA.
Voya Financial will soon jump into this niche with its first-ever IVA contract. The product, whose September 28, 2017, prospectus awaits SEC approval, is called Voya Ascend Annuity. It joins a field of IVAs issued by AXA, MetLife (now Brighthouse), Allianz Life and CUNA Mutual. The commission-based version of Ascend will be available in early 2018, with a fee-based version for registered investment advisors scheduled later in the year, according to Voya.