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Archive for June 2011


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  • IRI Conference: SEC Official Sees Possible Living Benefits Conflicts

    {June 30th, 2011} by Allison Bell

    By ARTHUR D. POSTAL Published 6/29/2011 Subscribe to Life & Health   Print This Article Return To Article Normal Text Large Text ShareThisShareThis     She said the SEC is paying close attention to the disclosure filings because living benefit riders in variable annuity contracts have proliferated, especially since the market decline of 2008. Living […]

    Allianz Study: Boomers Favor Guarantees over Higher Returns

    {June 29th, 2011} by Warren S. Hersch

    By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 6/28/2011 By nearly a 4 to 1 margin, baby boomers remain more attracted to guarantees for their retirement savings than to potential high returns with market risk, according to a new study. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, published this finding in a summary of results from […]

    American General Life Companies Announces AG Choice Index GUL

    {June 29th, 2011} by N/A

    Copyright: Copyright Business Wire 2011 Source: Business Wire, Inc. Wordcount: 895 HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American General Life Companies (American General) announces AG Choice Index GULSM, a new fixed index interest, flexible premium, adjustable universal life insurance product with secondary guarantee provisions. The product follows our industry leading Secure Lifetime GUL product that was launched in February, […]

    Colo. Lawmaker Tapped As Insurance Commissioner

    {June 29th, 2011} by N/A

    June 28, 2011 | Associated Press Copyright: Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Source: Associated Press Wordcount: 110 DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov.John Hickenlooperon Monday named state Rep.Jim Riesbergof Greeley the state’s new insurance commissioner. Hickenlooper said the Democratic lawmaker will start work July 1. He will replaceJohn Postolowski, who was appointed as […]

    Iowa Provides Guidance on “Source of Funds”

    {June 28th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

    The state of Iowa Insurance Division has issued guidelines that put registered reps and insurance agents on a level playing field in terms of “source of funds.” See below the bulletin which was issued: INSURANCE BULLETIN 11-4 AND SECURITIES BULLETIN 11-1 To:                          Persons Licensed in Iowa to Sell Insurance and/or Securities From:                    Susan E. Voss, […]

    Lighting the Fuse

    {June 28th, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

    Will market conduct concerns in Florida and Illinois put equity indexed annuities into a new regulatory hurt locker? By ARTHUR D. POSTAL Marketing of equity indexed annuities continues to run into compliance headwinds despite a go-ahead from Congress and the courts as well as a commitment from the industry to clean up its act. The two […]

    Iowa Draws Line in the Sand for Advisors

    {June 27th, 2011} by Linda Koco

    By Linda Koco The Iowa Insurance Division has drawn a line in the sand regarding permitted activities for advisors who hold only an Iowa insurance license or only an Iowa securities license. Insurance Bulletin 11 -4 and Securities Bulletin 11 1, issued today by Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan E. Voss, outlines what these advisors can […]

    Iowa draws clear line for insurance agents and securities brokers

    {June 26th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

    State issues long-awaited guidance on what each camp can — and can’t —do when working with clients By Darla Mercado June 24, 2011 Iowa on Friday released its long-awaited regulatory guidance on how far insurance agents and brokers can go in advising clients on the suitable sources of funds for insurance products. The bulletin aims to […]

    Symetra Edge Pro(SM) Fixed Indexed Annuity Completes National Rollout

    {June 24th, 2011} by Diana McSweeney

    BELLEVUE, Wash., Jun 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Symetra Life Insurance Company today announced that its new single-premium fixed indexed annuity (FIA) product, Symetra Edge Pro(SM), is now available nationwide through its distribution network of banks, broker-dealers and general agencies. This follows an initial launch of the product with select partners in April 2011. “We […]

    DTCC Adds Insurance Transaction Data Service

    {June 24th, 2011} by Allison Bell

    By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 6/21/2011 The insurance and retirement services arm of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) has introduced the Analytic Reporting Service for Annuities, a service that draws on DTCC daily annuity transaction data. The Web-based service will provide customizable, searchable information about annuity inflows, outflows and net flows, according to […]

    More Annuity Suitability Rules Going into Effect This Summer

    {June 24th, 2011} by Linda Koco

    By Linda Koco Contributing Editor, AnnuityNews June 22, 2011 — Five states and the District of Columbia will be implementing new annuity suitability regulations this summer. All six have adopted rules that incorporate or closely follow the NAIC Suitability of Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (NAIC 2010). Now those rules are going into effect. The newcomers […]

    Oregon Bolsters Rule on Annuity Sales

    {June 24th, 2011} by Al Slavin

    Copyright: (c) 2011 A.M. Best Company, Inc. Source: A.M. Best Company, Inc. Wordcount: 332 Oregon is imposing stronger due-diligence requirements on producers selling annuities and will make companies responsible for detecting and halting inappropriate sales. Both companies and agents will be required to keep three years of records on the client research that was done […]

    Allianz Life CEO Identifies America’s New Retirement Paradigm

    {June 20th, 2011} by N/A

    Research paper shows Americans now seeking guarantees versus market risk MINNEAPOLIS – June 17, 2011 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today released a research paper that finds America has entered a new wave of retirement thinking focused on “guarantees” and “lifetime income,” replacing a previous wave that was more concerned […]

    Best Annuities

    {June 20th, 2011} by Karen Hube

    By KAREN HUBE Shortly after George Altmeyer of Bucks County, Pa., retired from his senior-management job at a large industrial company, half his stock portfolio vanished. It was wiped out by the stock-market crash of 2008. But Altmeyer, 67, never lost a night’s sleep, and he doesn’t worry about whether he will run out of […]

    Aviva USA Names Former General Counsel to Lead Sales and Distribution

    {June 17th, 2011} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    Copyright: (c) 2011 A.M. Best Company, Inc. Source: A.M. Best Company, Inc. Wordcount: 332 Michael H. Miller has been named executive vice president of sales and distribution for Aviva USA. He is succeeding Mark V. Heitz, president of sales and distribution, who is retiring from the Iowa-based life insurance and annuity company after 35 years […]

    Indexed Annuities or Indexed Life: Top Producers Use Both

    {June 15th, 2011} by Brian D. Mann

    Take a look at this chart from [AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report] that shows industry sales volumes of indexed products, and it is clear why agents would want to be selling indexed annuities and indexed life insurance.  During a decade where sales of traditional fixed or variable products have bounced up and down from year […]

    Minnesota Life's Eclipse is Top Selling Indexed Life Insurance Policy

    {June 14th, 2011} by N/A

    June 13, 2011 11:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to data compiled by LifeSpecs.com, Minnesota Life Insurance       Company’s Eclipse was the top-selling indexed life product in the US       during the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, Minnesota Life, a       Securian Financial Group, Inc. subsidiary,ranked third overall in       indexed life sales1. “I am not […]

    What Would You Think?

    {June 13th, 2011} by Brian Fechtel

    A close look at a popular annuity sales presentation begs the question: is it misleading? By BRIAN FECHTEL Published 6/6/2011 Imagine that you and your spouse are fifty year-olds, and in the summer of 2010 hear about the following retirement product. This annuity offers a guaranteed 8% on your money for the next 10 or […]

    Minnesota Life’s Eclipse is Top Selling Indexed Life Insurance Policy

    {June 13th, 2011} by N/A

    June 13, 2011 11:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-–According to data compiled by LifeSpecs.com, Minnesota Life Insurance Company’s Eclipse was the top-selling indexed life product in the US during the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, Minnesota Life, a Securian Financial Group, Inc. subsidiary, ranked third overall in indexed life sales1. “We are […]

    Sammons Financial Group Announces New Business Line

    {June 8th, 2011} by N/A

    WEST DES MOINES, IA–(Marketwire – Jun 6, 2011) –  Sammons Financial Group (SFG) announces the appointment of Bill Lowe as President of its new business line, Sammons® Retirement Solutions. The new business will distribute retirement-oriented products such as mutual funds and variable annuities through broker dealers and their financial advisors. With the individual retirement market […]

    Top 10 Indexed Annuity Misconceptions

    {June 7th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Posted By: Editor On 6/7/2011 11:56:00 AM By Sheryl Moore AnnuityNews June 7, 2011 — Negative and inaccurate publicity on indexed annuities seems to overshadow the product’s value at times. It is frustrating to see how hard it is for consumers to find accurate and reliable information on these products. I have spent the past […]

    Illinois Governor Names Messmore Acting Insurance Director

    {June 7th, 2011} by Jeff Jeffrey

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. June 06 (BestWire) — Following the departure of Illinois Insurance Director Michael McRaith, who stepped down on June 3 to become the first director of the newly created Federal Insurance Office, Gov. Pat Quinn has tapped Jack Messmore to serve as acting director of the State Department of Insurance. Messmore, who has worked […]

    Illinois Indexed Annuity Case Heads to Court

    {June 7th, 2011} by Linda Koco

    By Linda Koco Contributing Editor, InsuranceNewsNetJune 3, 2011 — An Illinois dispute over whether indexed annuities are securities is heading for court. An attorney for two Illinois advisors said he filed in Illinois circuit court today for a stay of an administrative order that suggests the indexed annuities the advisors sold are securities. The Illinois […]

    Consumer Federation of the Southeast Warns Public Employees Against Investing in Unvetted Indexed Annuities

    {June 6th, 2011} by Ryan Duffy

    ~Educators among the top targets of those ensnared by unscrupulous individuals selling unvetted indexed annuity plans~ TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 3, 2011 – In an era in which budgets are being cut drastically and public employees are being asked to carry a larger burden for their own retirement and healthcare costs, the Consumer Federation of […]

    Public Plan Annuity Marketing Programs Draw Jeers

    {June 6th, 2011} by Allison Bell

    By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 6/3/2011  The Consumer Federation of the Southeast (CFSE) says teachers should look carefully before investing retirement plan assets in indexed annuities. An indexed annuity is a product that is defined as an insurance product, rather than a security, by the federal government. The annuity offers a guaranteed minimum rate of […]

    Should you use more than one index?

    {June 4th, 2011} by Jack Marrion

    BY Jack Marrion Published 6/1/2011    Roughly 4 out of 5 premium dollars placed into index annuity indices today have interest crediting linked to the S&P 500 index, which was the original index. The first additional indices were offered by Jackson National Life and included the S&P 400, Nasdaq 100, and an international index. In 1999, American Equity became […]

    Fantasy-world Returns for Equity Indexed Annuities

    {June 4th, 2011} by Robert Huebscher

    When research fails to meet the basic standards of academic rigor, its conclusions should be questioned.  One such case is a recent paper, Real-World Index Annuity Returns, whose conclusions you should trust at your own risk. See here for the remainder of this article.

    Illinois Ruling May Reopen Indexed Annuity, Securities Issue

    {June 4th, 2011} by Linda Koco

    By Linda Koco, Contributing Editor, InsuranceNewsNet.com May 31, 2011 — The Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White hinted that indexed annuities are securities in an order he issued barring two advisors from selling securities in the state. The ruling against the advisors came on May 24 following more than three years of investigation into alleged violations of […]

    Illinois securities cops revoke licenses of reps for annuity sales

    {June 4th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

    State regulator says husband-and-wife team recommended that elderly clients partially surrender VAs for indexed annuities; $426K in commissions in less than four months By Darla Mercado June 2, 2011 The Illinois Securities Department has revoked the registration of two investment adviser representatives for inappropriately liquidating clients’ annuities to fund the purchase of fixed indexed annuities. Thomas […]

    Aviva Names Former Friends Provident CEO to Lead UK Region

    {June 4th, 2011} by Lori Chordas

    LONDON June 02 (BestWire) — Former Friends Life’s vice chairman Trevor Matthews is slated to lead Aviva plc in the United Kingdom. Matthews has been named as chief executive officer of the U.K. region and as an executive director of Aviva. The appointment is subject to FSA approval. He succeeds Mark Hodges, who on June 2 resigned from the […]

    The Basics on Indexed Annuities

    {June 4th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

      By Sheryl Moore AnnuityNews.com June 1, 2011 — It has been more than 2,000 years since consumers were first offered the benefits of annuities. With these insurance products came guaranteed annual payments for life, regardless of how long one lived. Historically, sales of these income annuities accounted for a small portion of all insurance […]

    Phoenix Companies releases new indexed annuity

    {June 4th, 2011} by N/A

    Hartford, Conn., June 1, 2011 – The Phoenix Companies announced today the introduction of the Phoenix Personal Income Annuity. This new offering is a single premium indexed annuity with six indexed accounts, a fixed account, principal protection from investment loss and an optional guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB). The annuity also includes two GLWB rider […]

    Why The Press Doesn't Understand Annuities

    {June 4th, 2011} by Brian D. Mann

    By Brian D. Mann AnnuityNews.com June 1, 2011 — A common theme in the popular financial press is that indexed annuities are a rip-off. In January, for instance, Bloomberg published an article titled “Indexed Annuities Cap Gains, Obscure Fees as Sellers Earn Trip to Disney.” Money Magazine published the article, “Index Annuities are a Safety […]

    Why The Press Doesn’t Understand Annuities

    {June 4th, 2011} by Brian D. Mann

    By Brian D. Mann AnnuityNews.com June 1, 2011 — A common theme in the popular financial press is that indexed annuities are a rip-off. In January, for instance, Bloomberg published an article titled “Indexed Annuities Cap Gains, Obscure Fees as Sellers Earn Trip to Disney.” Money Magazine published the article, “Index Annuities are a Safety […]

    Allianz Life Introduces Allianz Life Pro+ Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance

    {June 4th, 2011} by N/A

    New FIUL Product Offers Inflation Protection Rider and Low Guaranteed Loan Rate MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today announced the launch of Allianz Life Pro+SM Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy (FIUL). As the newest addition to the Allianz Life line of FIUL products, Life Pro+ helps consumers protect […]

    Illinois Securities Regulators Treat Indexed Annuities as Securities

    {June 3rd, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

    By ARTHUR D. POSTAL Published 6/1/2011  WASHINGTON BUREAU — The Illinois Securities Department has issued an order that treats indexed annuities as securities.Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who oversees the department, recently entered the order in connection with In the Matter of: Senior Financial Strategies Inc., d/b/a Pinnacle Investment Advisers, Thomas N. Cooper and Susan B. Cooper […]

    Financial Markets – Financial Writers Called Upon To Practice Financial Reporting With Due Diligence

    {June 1st, 2011} by Steve Salerno

    Media reporting on retirement products is conveniently slanted to reflect the “Wall Street view.” Periodically, when financial writers tire of explaining why their fail-safe prognostications didn’t come to pass, they fall back on another favored hobby: bashing any alternative investing philosophy that diverts money from the stock market. So it is with the latest round […]