DTCC Celebrates 20 Years Of Automating The Annuities Marketplace

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is celebrating the 20thanniversary of its Insurance & Retirement Services (I&RS), which now helps over 500 insurance carriers and distributors to modernise their businesses through a suite of automated and standardised services.

Prior to I&RS, insurance carriers and distributors were forced to manage time-consuming manual processes on their own, often maintaining proprietary lines for each of their trading partners. Today, the industry can entrust this work to I&RS and refocus on their business.

Launched in 1997, and offered by DTCC’s National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) subsidiary, I&RS began with four members and the first fully centralized platform through which insurers could exchange data, called the Annuity Processing Service. Subsequently, I&RS has launched a suite of 20 distinctive, streamlined processing and compliance-driven solutions such as Financial Activity Reporting (FAR), Commissions (COM), and Automated Customer Account Transfers Service/Insurance Processing Service (ACATS/IPS).

The ongoing mission of I&RS is to provide a robust infrastructure for the exchange of information throughout the insurance lifecycle to ultimately help clients and the marketplace improve efficiencies while reducing operational risk and cost. Most recently, to support compliance to the standardized transparency requirements of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, I&RS developed Insurance Profile, a data management solution that enables annuities distributors to access data from carriers in a centralized location.

This new data management solution was the result of close collaboration between I&RS and more than 60 insurance industry firms – recognising the need for a centralised repository that standardises and automates the population and retrieval of product-level fee, expense and commission schedule data. It went live as planned on April 10th, despite the delay in Rule implementation. There have already been requests from the industry to expand the service beyond annuities.

“For 20 years, I&RS has worked with the industry to introduce more streamlined connections between carriers and distributors at a lower cost,” said Barbara Smith, Executive Director, DTCC I&RS. “With I&RS, firms are able to move away from costly, inefficient proprietary models that are wrought with direct lines, multiple trading partners and point-to-point to connections to automated, efficient and centralised solutions.”

“I&RS has always been an extremely nimble and proactive organisation when it comes to the needs of its stakeholders and clients. We take very seriously our central role in collaborating with and organising our clients to respond to industry-wide challenges,” said Ann Bergin, Managing Director and Head of DTCC Wealth Management Services. “I&RS will continue to be a solutions hub for the insurance and retirement savings industry and we look forward to the next 20 years and beyond.”