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Annuities are life insurance products that provide contract owners with living benefits such as lump sum cash payments or monthly income payments. These products are sold by insurance providers who employ a variety of administrative and sales employees in many different types of annuity jobs. Typically, annuity jobs include actuaries, wholesalers, insurance agents, marketing professionals and brokers.
When an insurance firm enters into an annuity contract, the contract purchaser pays a premium to the insurer and the insurer promises to provide the annuitant with periodic income payments that will exceed the amount of the premium. The insurance company invests premiums in stocks and fixed interest accounts but the insurer can lose money in the long-term if the returns on those investments fail to cover the cost of the monthly annuity payments. Income payments usually end upon the death of the annuitant which means that the insurer makes money if annuitants die sooner than expected. Consequently, actuarial positions are among the most important annuity jobs because the individuals filling these roles must use historic data to calculate average mortality rates. Insurance companies base premiums and monthly payments on the information that actuaries prepare.
Wholesalers are sales employees who are responsible for educating independent sales agents about annuity products. These individuals normally cover a certain region and attempt to negotiate sales deals with banks and other financial firms that employ large numbers of agents. Some firms employ an internal wholesaler who provides ongoing marketing support to sales agents but also employ a remote wholesaler who conducts actual sales presentations alongside agents.
Many insurance firms primarily sell products through independent agents and other financial firms. Nevertheless, some firms also employ in-house sales agents who are able to sell products such as annuities directly to consumers. Agents must pass licensing exams and in many nations, insurance agents also have to have securities licenses in order to sell complex products such as indexed or variable annuities. In many instances, the insurance firm covers the cost of obtaining the license, but sales agents are normally paid with commissions rather than salaries.
Annuities are mainly targeted at retirees or people who are close to retirement age since the products provide annuitants with income benefits that can be especially helpful to those in this age group. Consequently, many insurance firms have annuity jobs for marketing professionals. These employees must work with market research firms to discover the best way to market new annuity products.
Marketing employees also have to plan major advertising campaigns and are responsible for branding annuity products. Premiums on annuities are typically invested in securities such as stocks and bonds, and insurance companies employ licensed investment brokers who can buy and sell securities with annuity funds. Like sales agents, brokers are often paid with commissions rather than base salaries.
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