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HomeLife InsuranceWhy Pru, TIAA and State Street Put $5M Into Micruity's Annuity Platform

Why Pru, TIAA and State Street Put $5M Into Micruity’s Annuity Platform

What You Need to Know

  • Financial services firms’ tendency to protect proprietary data has held back retirement income innovation.
  • Perspectives are changing fast, and that figures to benefit consumers.
  • The tech firm is putting the capital infusion to work by creating new provider connections.

Building scalable retirement income solutions requires the development of flexible technologies that create a seamless way for data and information to flow across the full defined contribution plan ecosystem.

In the past, such interconnectivity was an illusive goal, according to Micruity founder and CEO Trevor Gary, primarily due to asset managers, recordkeepers, insurers and other key service providers putting up walls around their systems and data.

The environment to distribute annuities to retirement plan investors has improved, according to Gary, whose fintech firm just landed a $5 million investment from Prudential, TIAA and State Street to support the build-out of its Micruity Advanced Routing System.

More and more important players in the financial services industry have come to realize that “the future has to be open architecture,” Gary said, noting how this dynamic is one of the big factors behind the successful capital raise. It also explains the expanded MetLife partnership that the firm revealed in June.

Gary said the Micruity platform is already helping employers and their service providers add new types of income planning features to 401(k)s, 403(b)s and other retirement plans. He likened the developing platform to a “new nervous system” for retirement service providers, one that allows savers to more easily transition from asset accumulation to income.

The Importance of ‘Coopetition’

“The idea has finally sunk in that there needs to be open ‘coopetition’ in this industry in order for the income market to grow and expand — to meet clients where they are and in the way they want to interact with us today,” Gary said.

The annuity distribution space is also benefiting from legislative and regulatory tailwinds stemming from the Secure Act of 2019, as well as the follow-up Secure 2.0 legislation passed in late 2022, according to Kim Rosenberg, head of revenue for Micruity.

The retirement plan ecosystem, Rosenberg and Gary argued, faces both an obligation and an opportunity to meet the demand for secured income as the baby boomer generation enters retirement with a sizable portion of its wealth socked away in 401(k) plans.

They said that Micruity’s infrastructure provides annuity manufacturers with the necessary data to deliver decumulation products that support sustainable drawdown strategies. The new funding, they said, shows that the industry believes in the mission to build a connective infrastructure that will enable firms to provide income products that customers need.

Mind the APIs and Middleware

The key to a better approach to income product distribution, according to Gary, is to acknowledge the limits of the traditionally monolithic architecture long common in the financial services industry.