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Katherine Dease, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, IRI

Katherine Dease
Chief Technology
& Innovation Officer

A unique initiative of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is driving industry digital solutions to enhance the consumer and financial professional experience across the lifecycle of the annuity transaction process and ultimately increase opportunities to deliver protected lifetime income to consumers. This year, that effort takes a new form as IRI leads an industry-wide alliance dedicated to making annuity transactions easier.

Collaborating to achieve optimization

IRI is well-positioned to lead this effort as we represent the complete supply chain of the insured retirement industry. But no single organization can tackle these issues alone. Nor can any one segment of the industry move forward in isolation. The path ahead will require collaboration from all sides. That’s why 24 insurers and ten distribution partners have signed on to work with IRI to identify the most critical points in the financial professional experience and to propose short-term and long-term solutions.

A paradigm shift at play

The annuity market is in a paradigm shift that requires change. Three main factors led to this shift:

  1. Dual registered financial professionals now exceed the number of solely registered broker-dealer representatives,[1] making it essential to have financial planning tools available that can create holistic plans for consumers that support annuities.
  2. The aging and retiring American population continues to increase the need for guaranteed income.
  3. Macroeconomic trends, such as rising interest rates and a volatile market, create an optimal environment for annuity sales.

Why now?

This increase in sales and the evolving financial professional model is straining insurers’ ability to process business fast enough, a logjam that, in turn, impedes financial professionals’ workflow. What’s more, data inadequacies also make it difficult to build annuity investments into financial planning tools in a standardized way. To be the solution of choice for the next generation of retirees, we must update the industry collectively. 

Ready, set, go!

For our industry to truly champion retirement security for all with the one product that delivers protected lifetime income that cannot be outlived, we have to fix the issues that stand between our products and the consumers we aim to serve. They deserve nothing less, and IRI and our members stand united to deliver that outcome.

For more information about this initiative, please contact Katherine Dease, IRI’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, at

[1] Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, 2022 Industry Snapshot

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