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Archive for March 2012


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  • After bailing on annuities, The Hartford looks to pump up its mutual funds

    {March 30th, 2012} by Jason Kephart

    Insurer sees big room for growth in fund world; relocating, bulking up sales force By Jason Kephart March 29, 2012 Despite throwing in the towel on several of its operations, executives at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. think the carrier can increase its mutual fund assets by double digits annually. And that’s a big […]

    Elderly investors bilked in annuities scam to get bubkes

    {March 30th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

    Will receive 2.8 cents on the dollar after getting hoodwinked by insurance agent By Darla Mercado March 29, 2012 A group of mostly elderly investors ensnared in a $7 million scam involving so-called “private annuities” will be getting back only a sliver of their original investment. On Tuesday, the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy case of […]

    Debunking Annuity Objections

    {March 30th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Posted By: Editor On 3/29/2012 10:59:00 AM By Sheryl Moore AnnuityNews When I started in the insurance business, I was an indexed life insurance expert. I worked in a home office for years before I even learned what an annuity was. Once I learned that an annuity was just a retirement savings vehicle that provides […]

    Dementia’s Youngest Victims Defy Stereotypes

    {March 30th, 2012} by Matt Sendensky

    By Matt Sedensky March 26, 2012 • LEESBURG, Fla. (AP)—Doreen Watson-Beard cared for more people with dementia than she could count. The nurse was so moved by her patients that she led Alzheimer’s support groups. She knew the warning signs and understood there was no cure. But the 49-year-old never thought the disease would affect […]

    Is Hartford Financial's market exit a death knell for the annuity crowd or just more Hartford haplessness?

    {March 30th, 2012} by Kelly O'Mara

    SunAmerica, John Hancock and Hartford are all in retreat mode but trade groups say aggregated industry sales are still solid Thursday 3.29.12 by Kelly O’Mara   Hartford Financial Services Group is joining an industry rush for the door by withdrawing from the annuity business in an effort to boost shareholder returns and raise profits — […]

    Hartford Says Annuity-Block Sale More Likely as Markets Gain

    {March 30th, 2012} by Andrew Frye and Andrea Ludtke

    By Andrew Frye and Andrea Ludtke on March 29, 2012 Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) (HIG), the insurer narrowing its focus under pressure from billionaire investor John Paulson, said it is more likely to divest its annuity business after stock markets rose. Hartford is considering sales, securitizations and reinsurance transactions to reduce risk tied […]

    S&P Indices Announces Changes to U.S. Indices

    {March 30th, 2012} by S&P Indices

    Published Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012 NEW YORK, March 28, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — S&P MidCap 400 constituent Fossil, Inc. (NASD: FOSL) will replace Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) in the S&P 500 index, S&P SmallCap 600 constituent BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: BMR) will replace Fossil in the S&P MidCap 400 index, and Innophos […]

    GREAT Statistic

    {March 29th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    According to Market Rates Insight, 18% of bank deposits were held in CDs as of December. This is down 31.1% in January 2007. Opportunities, anyone?  sjm

    The Merits of Annuities

    {March 27th, 2012} by Robert Miller

    By Robert Miller March 26, 2012 • This blog originally appeared on NAIFA.org. It is reprinted here with permission of NAIFA. It’s unfortunate when an isolated event could threaten the legitimate use of a financial product that has benefited and will continue to benefit so many individuals and families across the country. Individual annuity contracts […]

    Major Insurers Vie for ING's Asian Life Business

    {March 27th, 2012} by Micheal K. Stanley

    By Micheal K. Stanley March 26, 2012 •   It appears as though the stage is being set for a bidding war between some of the world’s largest insurers for ING Groep NV’s Asian life-insurance arm. It has been reported that ING is looking to unload the business for no less than $7B and major […]

    Majority of Americans Miss Opportunity to Contribute to IRAs

    {March 27th, 2012} by Jeannine DeFoe

    Women and baby boomers are more likely to contribute up to the maximum, while younger Americans unaware of the benefits of IRAs NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Only 22 percent of Americans say they are saving for retirement by contributing to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), according to a survey released today by TIAA-CREF, a leading financial […]

    In-the-dark Edward Jones pulls plug on Hartford life, annuity sales

    {March 26th, 2012} by Darla Mercado

    Insurer’s surprise exit from the two businesses ‘creates an amount of uncertainty’ for broker-dealer; B-D yet to be contacted By Darla Mercado March 26, 2012 The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s announcement that it is restructuring its business is less than a week old. But one of the carrier’s major distributors has already decided to […]

    Join the Conversation on Glenn Neasham’s California Case

    {March 25th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Perhaps one of the most controversial cases to erupt in the insurance industry, the plight of Glenn Neasham is resounding with insurance agents all over the nation. If you haven’t contributed to the conversation, join over 20,000 others in what is quite possibly the most commented-on blog ever published at Producers Web. While you are […]

    Hartford Offers Levenson $2 Million Bonus to Stay

    {March 25th, 2012} by Andrew Frye

    By Andrew Frye – Mar 23, 2012 Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), the insurer scaling back amid investor demands for a breakup, offered as much as $2 million in a retention bonus to David Levenson, president of wealth management. Levenson must remain “actively employed by the company in the performance of his duties on […]

    Allianz Life Promotes Matt Gray to VP, Market Management, Product Innovation

    {March 24th, 2012} by Sara Thurin Rollin

    Business Wire, Inc. Top Actuary Joins Marketing Division MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) named Matt Gray as the new vice president, Market Management and Product innovation (MMPI). In this role, Gray will be responsible for several key initiatives for Allianz Life, including product strategy and development, customer experience, and […]

    Here's Why The Hartford Is Really Killing Its Annuity Business

    {March 24th, 2012} by Halah Touryalai

    Love them or hate them, annuities sell. Last year sales hit $240.3 billion, an 8% jump from 2010. So why is The Hartford, a pioneer in the industry, dumping them? Yesterday the insurance giant said it is exiting the annuity business so it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual […]

    Hartford breaks up, bowing to Paulson pressure

    {March 24th, 2012} by Maureen Farrell

    By Maureen Farrell @CNNMoneyMarkets March 21, 2012: 10:49 AM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Hartford Financial Services Group said Wednesday that it’s exiting the annuities and life insurance businesses to focus on property and casualty insurance — a move that hedge fund investor John Paulson pushed for just last month. Hartford (HIG, Fortune 500) […]

    Hartford Financial exiting annuity business, will concentrate on property, casualty insurance

    {March 24th, 2012} by N/A

    By Associated Press, LEAVING ANNUITIES: Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Wednesday that it will leave the annuity business, instead concentrating on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. OTHER TRIMS: The company also is looking to sell or pursue other options for its individual life, its retirement plans and broker-dealer Woodbury […]

    Hartford insurance company will spin off annuity business

    {March 24th, 2012} by N/A

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG) is exiting the annuity business so it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds businesses. Its shares rose in premarket trading. The announcement Wednesday comes a little over a month after hedge fund manager John Paulson urged Hartford to spin […]

    Hartford Rises as CEO Responds to Paulson’s Breakup Push

    {March 24th, 2012} by Andrew Frye

    By Andrew Frye – Mar 21, 2012 Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) gained after Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee responded to billionaire John Paulson’s call for a breakup with plans to shut or sell parts of the 201-year-old insurer. Hartford rose 1.4 percent to $22.02 at 4:04 p.m. in New York and advanced as […]

    Should Hartford’s Annuity Holders Be Worried?

    {March 24th, 2012} by Leslie Scism

      Under pressure from hedge-fund titan John Paulson, Hartford Financial Services Group said Wednesday it would exit its annuity business and weigh a sale of a large portion of its life-insurance operations. Hartford will stop new annuity sales on April 27. So what does this mean for holders of Hartford annuities? In industry parlance, Hartford […]

    Hartford Exiting Life Business

    {March 24th, 2012} by Arthur D. Postal

    Stock jumps several points after announcement By Arthur D. Postal March 21, 2012 •     The Hartford Insurance Group is exiting its life business in order to concentrate on its stronger property and casualty and casualty operations. The company also said it is seeking to find a buyer for the remainder of its life […]

    U.S. Residents Not Confident in Their Ability to Save for Retirement

    {March 24th, 2012} by N/A

    SARASOTA, Fla., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Adequate retirement savings has become an issue of significant concern to members of every income bracket. It should come as no surprise that according to a recent BMO Harris survey, the majority of U.S. residents (57 percent) are not confident in their ability to save for their ideal retirement […]

    RI Lawmaker Pleads Not Guilty In Life Insurance Case

    {March 24th, 2012} by Laura Crimaldi

    LAURA CRIMALDI, Associated Press PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Providence lawmaker pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he pocketed funds from a life insurance policy on his friend’s dead daughter, calling the case a “big misunderstanding.” State Rep. Leo Medina, a Democrat, pleaded not guilty to embezzlement over $100, obtaining more than $500 under false […]

    Why Many Americans Don’t Save for Retirement

    {March 24th, 2012} by Jeanette Harrison-Sullivan

    One in Five Americans Over Age 50 Are Unsure of How Much to Save, Say They Lack Money for Investing BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Amid concern about Americans’ level of preparedness for retirement and other long-term financial goals, a survey of 463 investors commissioned by Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) found that even many affluent people aren’t […]

    Finra taking an interest in wholesalers’ role in product sales

    {March 24th, 2012} by Bruce Kelly

    Eyeing what info they possess, basis for suitability By Bruce Kelly March 21, 2012 Wholesalers, watch out. Finra is taking a clear interest in wholesalers’ roles in the sale of products that clients — and sometimes brokers — do not fully understand. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s concerns over wholesalers include how well-trained the […]

    Hartford Says Goodbye to Annuities .

    {March 24th, 2012} by Erick Holm, Leslie Scism and Gina Chon

    By ERIK HOLM, LESLIE SCISM and GINA CHON   Bowing to pressure from hedge-fund titan John Paulson, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Wednesday it would exit its annuity business and weigh a sale of a large portion of its life-insurance operation.   Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. on Wednesday unveiled plans for a radical […]

    Bail Granted for Neasham, Keeping Him Out of Jail until Appeal

    {March 24th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

    March 20, 2012 Click here to read more on the Glenn Neasham case. By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet A California insurance producer who was convicted of theft for selling an annuity was allowed to stay out of jail while he appeals his conviction. Glenn A. Neasham, 52, was allowed by a judge in a hearing […]

    Hartford to Exit Annuity Business, Fitch Affirms Rating

    {March 24th, 2012} by Brian Schneider

    March 21, 2012 Business Wire, Inc. CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Fitch Ratings has affirmed all Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs), debt and Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings for the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (HFSG) and its primary life and property/casualty insurance subsidiaries. The Rating Outlook is Stable. A full list of ratings appears at the end of […]

    Amid Hartford Split, Woodbury’s 1,600 Reps Face Tough Choice

    {March 24th, 2012} by Diana Britton

    By Diana Britton Penton Business Media Insurance giant The Hartfordannounced plans Wednesday to sell its life insurance and retirement businesses, as well as Woodbury Financial Services, the firm’s independent broker/dealer. The news leaves Woodbury’s 1,600 reps faced with the tough choice: Find another broker/dealer or stick around and see who the new owners will be. […]

    Prosecutor Admits Not Proving Agent Knew Client Had Dementia

    {March 24th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

    By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet The agent who was convicted of theft for selling an annuity to a woman with dementia was never proven to have known the client was impaired, according to the prosecutor in the case. Dementia was a central element in the case that led to the felony theft conviction of Glenn […]

    Hartford Exits Annuities. Industry Shrugs.

    {March 24th, 2012} by Maria Wood

    By Maria Wood March 22, 2012 •   Now that the news has sunk in that Hartford has decided to abandon its annuity business, industry groups and advisors say the action will have a negligible impact on annuity sales going forward. What it could mean, however, is that advisors and their clients must take a closer […]

    The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme?

    {March 20th, 2012} by Michael Ham

    By Michael Ham March 12, 2012 •   There are few MLM (multi-level marketing) products or schemes that are successful or even legal in some states. Yet, when trying to figure out exactly what are the varying levels of compensation passed down to you, “Joe Agent,” from FMOs/IMOs (field/independent marketing organizations) the water gets very […]

    Five things … about investing in a rising-tax environment

    {March 20th, 2012} by N/A

    11:29 PM, Mar. 18, 2012 | The fate of the Bush cuts will likely be decided by a “lame-duck” Congress convening between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2012. If the deadline for the cuts is not extended, the top tax rate on capital gains will rise from 15 to almost 24 percent. The top tax rate […]

    Jackson® Announces Expansion of IT Operations in Middle Tennessee Region

    {March 20th, 2012} by Corinne Bergeron

    Williamson County Mayor Anderson and ECD Commissioner Hagerty welcome the new IT center as a boon for the region FRANKLIN, Tenn., Mar 19, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson) today announced the expansion of its regional headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., incorporating a new Information Technology (IT) center and the addition of […]

    Glenn Neasham Case: What Will Be the Impact?

    {March 20th, 2012} by Brian Anderson

    By Brian Anderson March 19, 2012 •   What will be the fallout from the Glenn Neasham case? That’s just one of the hot-button topics we’ll be discussing during Thursday’s live 2012 Opportunities in Annuities Web seminar, where a trio of panelists will discuss a variety of key issues affecting the market during the free […]

    Allstate Ceo Sees Pay Rise To $11.2 Million

    {March 20th, 2012} by Becky Yerak

    By Becky   Yerak, Chicago Tribune McClatchy-Tribune   Information Services March 10–Allstate Corp.Chief Executive Tom Wilsonsaw his total compensation jump about 20 percent to $11.2 millionin 2011 despite an 11 percent drop in the Northbrook-based company’s stock, shrinking market share in its home and auto insurance business, and worsening relations with its agents. To appease […]

    Annuity Agent Loses License After Hearing

    {March 20th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

    By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers have asked how they may send donations to Glenn Neasham. He has set up this fund: http://bit.ly/NeashamSupportFund. InsuranceNewsNet did not establish and is not administering this fund. UPDATE: Visit this page for the original article and other Neasham coverage. ORDER: Here is the state order. Please be […]

    Allianz May Abandon Holocaust Insurance Policies, Find Beneficiaries

    {March 20th, 2012} by N/A

    (WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen(R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Allianz of Americathis week urging the company to adopt the active approach required by New York State’s Department of Financial Servicesfor contemporary claims in identifying beneficiaries for Holocaust-era policies. To view a copy of the letter, please click […]

    Wholesaler Sees Chilling Effect in Annuity Agent Conviction, Allianz Calls Case ‘Unique’

    {March 20th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

    Click here to read more on the Glenn Neasham case. By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet The theft conviction of a producer for selling an annuity will have a long-lasting chilling effect on agents, according to the distributor who worked with the producer, but the company that issued the annuity said the case was “unique” and […]

    I&RS: Monthly Annuity Inflows Averaged $7.5 Billion in 2011

    {March 18th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

    By Warren S. Hersch March 14, 2012 • Monthly inflows into annuities processed by a unit of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation averaged $7.5 billion in 2011, according to a new report. Insurance & Retirement Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of DTCC, published this finding in its 2011 Annuity Market Activity Report. I&RS’ Analytic […]

    Avoiding the Dementia Trap

    {March 18th, 2012} by Harry Lew

    By Harry Lew March 13, 2012 •   In the wake of the Glenn Neasham case, agents are concerned about their ability to sell annuities to elderly clients without getting charged with a crime. As has been widely reported, the Lakeport, California agent has been sentenced to 300 days in jail (reduced to 60 days, […]

    Opportunity’s Knocking

    {March 18th, 2012} by Cathy Weatherford

    Identifying and understanding markets for lifetime income products, like annuities. By Cathy Weatherford March 12, 2012 • National Underwriter Life & Health editor-in-chief Bill Coffin recently discussed findings from a Towers Watson survey that found that more than half of workers would be willing to sacrifice some take-home pay in exchange for more retirement benefits. […]

    Aging in America: Scammers vs. Seniors

    {March 18th, 2012} by David Crary

    By David Crary March 6, 2012 • NEW YORK (AP)—Boomers beware: Scams, frauds and other financial exploitation schemes targeting older Americans are a growing multi-billion-dollar industry enriching the schemers, anguishing the victims and vexing law enforcement officials who find these crimes among the hardest to investigate and prosecute. “The true con artists, who are in […]

    Allianz Life Promotes Three within Marketing Department

    {March 18th, 2012} by Sara Thurin Rollin

    press release March 15, 2012, 10:31 a.m. EDT MINNEAPOLIS, Mar 15, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today named Dan Krueger as assistant vice president for Variable Annuity products and In Force Management, Karen Gemmill as assistant vice president for Fixed Index Annuities and Life Insurance products, and […]

    Annuity Advisor Gets Prison For Stealing $1M

    {March 18th, 2012} by Fran Lysiak

    Fran Lysiak A former independent insurance agent who sold annuities for Bankers Life and Casualty Co.has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for stealing more than $1 millionfrom her elderly clients. Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim was arrested in March 2011 after an investigation by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s special investigations unit found that […]

    Lincoln National Wins Lawsuit Over Life Policies Benefiting a University

    {March 18th, 2012} by Jeff Jeffrey

    By Jeff Jeffrey A.M. Best Company, Inc. A federal judge in Texashas handed Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.a victory in a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma State Universityover a unique fund-raiser in which alumni were encouraged to purchase $10 millionlife insurance policies and list the university as the beneficiary. Cowboy Athletics, the fund-raising foundation of Oklahoma […]

    Annuities: Getting Started With Indexed Interest Crediting

    {March 18th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    By Sheryl J. Moore March 15, 2012 • At the close of 2011, 14 percent of all annuities sold were indexed annuities. In fact, indexed annuities accounted for one out of every two fixed annuity sales in the last couple of quarters of the year. These retirement income products are one of the fastest-growing segments […]

    Indexed Life and Annuity Products Hit Sales Highs in 2011

    {March 18th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

    By Warren S. Hersch March 15, 2012 • Total 2011 indexed annuity sales set a record, but revenue dipped in the fourth quarter from the year-ago period, a new report reveals. AnnuitySpecs.com, a unit of Moore Market Intelligence, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, published this finding in a summary of results from a new survey, Indexed Sales […]

    Table talk about California annuity sentencing and no hardening market

    {March 18th, 2012} by Bob Graham

    About the author Bob Graham is executive editor at Insurance & Financial Advisor and IFAwebnews.com. A luncheon with a collection of insurance agents in the Washington, D.C., area recently put two important news stories in a new context. A couple of insurance agents who sell property-casualty coverage said reports of a hardening market are greatly […]

    LIMRA Reports on Annuity Sales

    {March 18th, 2012} by Michael K. Stanley

    By Michael K. Stanley March 16, 2012 • Total annuity sales increased 8% in 2011 over 2010 to hit $240.3 billion as reported by LIMRA in its fourth quarter 2011 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales Survey. According to LIMRA, Windsor Conn., the survey represents 94 percent of the market. In the fourth quarter, total annuity sales […]

    Presidential Life 2011 Profit Up 81%, Plans Launch of Indexed Annuity

    {March 18th, 2012} by Fran Lysiak

    By Fran Lysiak A.M. Best Company, Inc. Presidential Life Corp.’s2011 net income increased 81% in part on investment gains and a lower effective tax rate, while the company plans to launch an indexed annuity in the third quarter of this year. Net income jumped to $38.9 million on $8.4 million in realized gains after other-than-temporary […]

    ‘Savers’ Of Yesteryear Turn To Indexed Products Today

    {March 18th, 2012} by Mark R. Triplett

    By Mark R. Triplett AnnuityNews Pink Floyd’s 1979 hit could easily be the theme song for many Americans disenchanted with Wall Street and Washington: “We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control.” Many savers (yes, I am purposely using the term “savers” in lieu of “investors”) are upset with the low interest […]

    Annuities Cure Asset Loss From Health Expenses

    {March 18th, 2012} by Ron Mastrogiovanni

    By Ron Mastrogiovanni InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, March 2012 A recent report from Credit Suisse estimates that health care eats up 33 percent of income for people 60 or older. Housing and food combined came in second at a distant 23 percent. This certainly supports surveys that consistently reveal overwhelming anxiety among retirees and pre-retires about rising […]

    Agent Gets 6 Months For Theft From Elderly

    {March 18th, 2012} by Patrick Lakamp

    By Patrick Lakamp, The Buffalo News, N.Y. March 15–An Amherstinsurance agent who stole $227,350from two elderly women and spent some of the money to make payments on a boat and a Mercedes was sentenced Wednesday to six months in jail and five years of probation. Lowell Chick, 65, was also ordered by Erie County Judge […]

    Federal Insurance Office to Hold First Meeting

    {March 18th, 2012} by Jeff Jeffrey

    By Jeff Jeffrey A.M. Best Company, Inc. The Federal Advisory Committee on Insuranceis set to hold its first meeting in Washingtonon March 30, according to an announcement placed in the federal register. The meeting, which will be held at the Treasury Department, comes as the insurance industry anxiously awaits the release of a highly anticipated […]

    Life Insurance, Annuities: Industry's Largest Investment Capital Sources

    {March 18th, 2012} by N/A

    PR Web Los Angeles, CA(PRWEB) March 17, 2012 According to the Federal Reserve, the Life Insurance and Annuities industry is one of the largest sources of investment capital in the United States. As a major source of capital, businesses, governments and organizations rely on life insurers to expand operations or finance transactions. “At the same […]

    AnnuitySpecs.com Releases Fourth Quarter, 2011 Indexed Sales Results

    {March 14th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Life, Annuities Set Consecutive Sales Records In 2011 AnnuitySpecs.com Releases Fourth Quarter, 2011 Indexed Sales Results Forty-one indexed annuity carriers participated in the 58th edition of AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, representing 99% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $8.2 billion, down just under 5% from the previous quarter. As […]

    Fourth Quarter 2011 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {March 14th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, 4th Quarter 2011 shows fourth quarter 2011 indexed annuity sales were $8295 million, compared with sales of $8374 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 5.00% when compared with the previous quarter, and down just under 1.00% when compared […]

    NAFA Announces Publication Focused on Annuity Marketplace and Regulation

    {March 13th, 2012} by W. Scott Hinds

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announces the inaugural issue of NAFA Annuity Outlook, a bi-monthly magazine. Email PDF Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) March 12, 2012 As part of NAFA’s ongoing commitment to advocating for and educating others about annuity products, NAFA announced the publication of a new bi-monthly (every other month) magazine entitled NAFA […]

    Finra enforcement actions, fines way up

    {March 12th, 2012} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Advertising, suitability two of the regulator’s top priorities in 2011 By Mark Schoeff Jr. March 12, 2012 Enforcement actions and fines by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. jumped sharply in 2011, with the latter rising to $68 million, from $45 million in 2010, a new study shows. The greatest proportion of that figure was […]

    The outrage over Glenn Neasham: a different perspective

    {March 12th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

    When you are an independent insurance agent, particularly in today’s day and age of regulation, disclosure, due diligence and scrutiny, you need to expect that you alone are responsible for your actions and the consequences that come with them. This is why I always advise agents to CYA — cover your annuities. There is no […]

    Jackson® Introduces Elite AccessSM

    {March 12th, 2012} by N/A

    New Challenges Require New Thinking: Investors Can Harness the Power of Alternative Asset Classes to Reduce Correlations and Improve Portfolio Diversification LANSING, Mich. –  March 5, 2012 – Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson) today announced the launch of Elite Access, a new investment vehicle designed to provide the opportunity for greater portfolio diversification1by utilizing […]

    Old Mutual Returns to Profit in a Year of Realignment

    {March 12th, 2012} by Robert O'Connor

    March 09, 2012                         Email Print Free Newsletter   By   Robert O’Connor A.M.   Best Company, Inc. As it moved closer to the completion of its strategy of building a long-term savings, protection and investment group,Old Mutual plcreported a 2011 after-tax profit of […]

    Alleged Annuity Fraud Scheme Uncovered in NC

    {March 12th, 2012} by N/A

    March 09, 2012                         Email Print Free Newsletter RALEIGH, N.C.,March 8– TheNorth Carolina Department of Insuranceissued the following news release: Insurance CommissionerWayne Goodwintoday announced the arrests ofMilton Scott Hooks, 67, of213 Westview Park Drive,Rocky Mount; andJames Lester Mangum, 64, of2005 Glissom St.,Tarboro. Hooks was […]

    Insurance Industry Adds 100 Jobs in February

    {March 12th, 2012} by Jeff Jeffrey

    March 09, 2012   By   Jeff Jeffrey A.M.   Best Company, Inc. The U.S. insurance industry added just 100 jobs in February, showing that growth in the industry slowed from the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-to-year basis, the industry, which currently […]

    NAIC Advances Bifurcated Approach to AG 38

    {March 12th, 2012} by Jeff Jeffrey

    March 05, 2012 By   Jeff Jeffrey A.M.   Best Company, Inc. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Financial Condition Committeesigned off on a proposed bifurcated approach to applying Actuarial Guideline 38 to universal life contracts with secondary guarantees and term universal life products, moving it one step closer to being officially endorsed by the […]

    Virginia Man Gets Nearly 5 Years For Savings Scam

    {March 12th, 2012} by N/A

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Henrico County man has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for a college savings scam. Fifty-eight-year-old Edward Menster also was ordered Friday in federal court in Richmond to pay nearly $816,000 in restitution to victims. Court records show Menster operated the College Dream Foundation. He claimed to assist […]

    Pacific Life Names New President and CFO

    {March 12th, 2012} by Michael K. Stanley

    By Michael K. Stanley March 9, 2012 •   Pacific Life Insurance Company, Newport Beach, CA, has named Khanh T. Tran as President of Pacific Life and Adrian S. Riggs as Chief Financial Officer. The March 8 announcement was made by Chairman and CEO James T. Morris and the changes will take effect on April […]

    Jackson National Life's "Genius" Project Boosts Annuity Service, Reduces Errors

    {March 10th, 2012} by Anthony O'Donnell

    By Anthony O’Donnell March 07, 2012 URL: Between product features and related regulations, you’d almost have to be a genius to be able to answer all of the potential customer’ questions about Jackson National Life‘s range of annuity products. That was the thinking behind the creation of Jackson’s Genius Operations Manual, which went live for […]

    Is an annuity in your future?

    {March 10th, 2012} by Mark Miller

    CHICAGO | Wed Mar 7, 2012 12:02pm EST CHICAGO (Reuters) – You’ve done a good job building your 401(k), and retirement is not far off. The question now: how to make sure that nest egg generates sufficient income to sustain you through a retirement that might last two or three decades. For years, retirement income […]

    Testing the 4%-a-Year Retirement Rule

    {March 10th, 2012} by Shefali Anand

    March 5, 2012 MIXING IT UP Testing the 4%-a-Year Retirement Rule The adviser who coined this rule of thumb for withdrawals is watching how it holds up in tough markets By SHEFALI ANAND The next five years could determine whether a rule of thumb for retirees’ withdrawals from their portfolios remains valid in these turbulent […]

    Planning for a Long Life: Longevity Insurance and Deferred Annuities

    {March 10th, 2012} by William H. Byrnes, Esq., Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M.

    By William H. Byrnes, Esq., Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M. February 29, 2012 •   The Treasury Department recently proposed rules that would encourage individuals approaching retirement to use a new type of planning tool–longevity insurance–to fund increasingly longer retirements. These proposed rules recognize that traditional products are insufficient when your clients are living well into […]

    Aviva’s new two-person life policy pays after each death

    {March 10th, 2012} by David Elbert

    West Des Moines-based Aviva USA has created a new two-person, indexed life insurance product that pays benefits separately after the deaths of both individuals. The policy is designed to appeal to small businesses, blended families and people with estate planning needs. It is called the Survivorship Builder policy and is different from anything currently on […]

    New Indexed Life Product Offers Financial Protection For Small Businesses

    {March 10th, 2012} by Kevin Waetke

    Business   Wire, Inc. WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)– An innovative new indexed life insurance product offers financial protection for small businesses, blended families and people whose estate tax planning needs may change. Aviva USA’s Survivorship Builder combines protection for more than one person on a single policy. “It’s the survivor life insurance equivalent of […]

    New Product from Athene Annuity Aims to Give Nest Eggs a Boost

    {March 10th, 2012} by Bill Free

    Business   Wire, Inc. GREENVILLE, S.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A new fixed annuity from Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Companyoffers a simple solution to millions of Americans whose retirement dreams are being challenged by volatile equity markets and a persistently low personal savings rate. ATHENE MaxRate is a multi-year guarantee annuity with a choice of five or […]

    Aviva's 2011 Profit Falls 97% on Investments, Delta Lloyd Costs

    {March 10th, 2012} by Robert O'Connor

    By Robert   O’Connor A.M. Best   Company, Inc. Aviva reported a 97% fall in 2011 after-tax profit related to “adverse investment variances and the disposal of a stake in Netherlands-based Delta Lloyd NV. In what it described as a partial reflection of “the reversal of investment variance gains seen in 2010,” Aviva said pretax […]

    Secrets of Guaranteed Lifetime Income Riders

    {March 10th, 2012} by Michael J. Prestwich

    March 02, 2012 By Michael J. Prestwich AnnuityNews The name says it all: the purpose of a Guaranteed Lifetime Income Rider (GLIR) is to provide a guaranteed lifetime income. Period. Improperly sold, a GLIR can do your customers great financial harm. On the other hand, a properly implemented GLIR can be an astute financial move. […]

    Money Places: Investing 'Safe' or Placing 'At Risk'

    {March 10th, 2012} by Ray Ohlson

    March 07, 2012 By Ray Ohlson AnnuityNews In his Safe Money Places™ presentation, Jack Marrion basically says that the only way you will lose money in a “safe money place” is if you “choose to lose.” That’s right . . . if you break the rules. For example, consider the rule “… penalty for early […]

    Annuity Anxiety

    {March 10th, 2012} by Chris J. Brown and Laura H. Varas

    March 07, 2012 By Chris J. Brown and Laura H. Varas InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, March 2012 With the aging U.S. population, many financial professionals are hoping to see a steady rise in annuity sales in the years ahead, as Americans convert their nest eggs into predictable retirement income. Indeed, this uptick may have already begun, but […]

    SERFF'S up for NAIC

    {March 10th, 2012} by Arthur D. Postal

    By Arthur D Postal March 2, 2012 •   The unilateral decision by officials of National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to broaden the use of the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing (SERFF) to include regulatory purposes is coming under strong fire from industry trade groups. In a letter dated Feb. 22, four […]

    Producer Roundtable: 2012 Annuity Opportunities, Part 2

    {March 10th, 2012} by Charles K. Hirsch, CLU

    By Charles K. Hirsch, CLU March 5, 2012 •   We’re hearing and reading a lot these days about the annuity market and how 2011 sales were a big improvement over 2010. We’re also hearing a lot about how annuities seem almost perfectly designed for today’s economic environment, especially in a society full of people […]

    NAIC's McCarty: How About Too Big to Bail, Instead of Too Big to Fail?

    {March 10th, 2012} by Elizabeth Festa

    By Elizabeth Festa March 5, 2012 •   National Association of Insurance Commissioners President Kevin McCarty has tried to reframe the debate over the too-big-too fail issue with systemically important financial institutions (SIFI) by saying, instead, that the key term should not be “too big to fail,” but rather, “too big to bail.” McCarty spoke […]

    Standard Insurance Debuts New Indexed Deferred Annuity

    {March 10th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

    By Warren S. Hersch March 2, 2012 •   Standard Insurance Company, Portland, Ore., had debuted a new single-premium indexed deferred annuity. Dubbed Index Select Annuity, the product lets policyholders choose between a five- or seven-year surrender-charge period and allocate funds between an index interest account and a fixed interest account. The company says the […]

    New Players Enter Indexed Annuity Space

    {March 10th, 2012} by Maria Wood

    The return of the captive agent? By Maria Wood March 2, 2012 •   When you’re anointed the latest hot product, others will naturally take notice and want to follow your lead. So it is with indexed annuities. According to Conning Research & Consulting, between 2005 and 2010, indexed annuities charted a 9.3 percent compound […]

    The Producers Group Hires Regional Vice President

    {March 10th, 2012} by Sarah Ventura

    Seymour Schreiber to work out of The Producers Group’s New York Office San Diego, CA – The Producers Group (TPG) announced today they have hired Seymour Schreiber as a Regional Vice President and will be based out of the Company’s New York office. In joining TPG, Seymour will focus on helping producers take their careers […]

    Okla. Commissioner Doak Comes out Swinging at NAIC Meeting

    {March 10th, 2012} by Jeff Jeffrey

    By Jeff   Jeffrey A.M. Best   Company, Inc. The National Association of Insurance Commissionersmeeting had just gotten under way in New Orleans, and Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doakwasted no time in bringing hot-button issues before the organization. Doak has already weighed in on the constitutionality of the Federal Insurance Office and the contentious question […]

    Fixed Index Annuities and Rising Interest Rates: How They Can Get Along

    {March 10th, 2012} by Kenneth L. Brown

    Brown, Kenneth L Much as New Year’s Day prompts Americans to commit to achieving healthier lifestyles, the federal tax deadline is a perennial call to action to get their financial lives in order. As a consequence, many producers see an increase in client interest to get serious about retirement planning and to bring order to […]

    Majority of Investment Advisors Expect an Increase in Advisors Moving to Independence

    {March 10th, 2012} by N/A

    More than half of surveyed investment advisors find the idea of becoming an RIA appealing; Even stronger interest from those under age 40 SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– As the investment advisory landscape continues to shift, a new Charles Schwab survey of advisors at major financial firms finds that more than three-fourths (76%) of those surveyed expect […]

    LIMRA: Two-thirds of Americans Are Not Confident They Save Enough For Retirement

    {March 10th, 2012} by N/A

    LIMRA: Two-thirds of Non-Retired Americans Are Not Confident They Are Saving Enough For Retirement 2012 Retirement Industry Conference Helps Industry Leaders Address Growing Concern WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 27, 2012—The 2012 Retirement Industry Conference, scheduled on April 25-27, in Orlando, Fla., will offer industry professionals of all disciplines cutting-edge market research, strategies and practical solutions to […]

    NAIC Committee Moves Forward on AG 38, Begins Evaluating Contingent Deferred Annuities

    {March 10th, 2012} by Jeff Jeffrey

    By Jeff   Jeffrey A.M. Best   Company, Inc. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’Life and Annuities Committeetook action March 4on several closely watched issues, including voting to approve a bifurcated approach to applying Actuarial Guideline 38 to universal life contracts with secondary guarantees and term universal life products. The committee also created a new […]

    American Injustice: Readers React to Theft Conviction of Advisor for Selling an Annuity

    {March 10th, 2012} by Peter Winer

    CAMP HILL, Pa. (March 5, 2012) — Readers have responded overwhelmingly to an exclusive InsuranceNewsNet Magazine article about an insurance producer who was convicted of felony theft for selling an annuity. Readers have left more than 70 comments on the online version of the article and have sent dozens of email messages to INN asking […]

    Montana Becomes 25th NAIC Member to Choose State Based Systems

    {March 10th, 2012} by N/A

    Targeted   News Service WASHINGTON, March 5– The National Association of Insurance Commissionersissued the following news release: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) announced that the Montana Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance has formally licensed State Based Systems (SBS), an NAIC owned and operated regulatory tool. “We are eager to benefit […]

    American Equity Wins Bronze Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service

    {March 8th, 2012} by Ron Grensteiner

    Business   Wire, Inc. To Show Appreciation for Its Customers, American Equity Hosted More Than 7,500 Policyholders at Events in 39 Cities WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company recently received a Bronze Stevie® Award for Innovation in Customer Service in the sixth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service […]

    The Standard Launches the Index Select Annuity

    {March 2nd, 2012} by N/A

      Business Wire, Inc. New product has highest interest rate cap offered by The Standard PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Standard Insurance Company (“The Standard”) is expanding its annuity product portfolio with the new Index Select Annuity (ISA), a single premium indexed deferred annuity. With the highest interest rate cap offered by The Standard, the ISA is […]

    How Economic Forces Have Affected Indexed Annuities

    {March 1st, 2012} by A.M. Best

    In her quarterly research, Sheryl Moore, president and chief executive officer of AnnuitySpecs.com, LifeSpecs.com and Advantage Group Associates, traces changes in the main components of indexed annuities. These changes can help in understanding how the industry’s products are distributed, how they work and why they are able to withstand market changes. Her following comments explain […]

    The Emotional and the Technical

    {March 1st, 2012} by Ron Panko

    Indexed annuity writers were on track in late December to achieve their third consecutive year of record sales, as buyers sought to protect their assets from frightening volatility in the stock market, and to earn more than prevailing low-interest rates. The appeal seems to reflect investors’ weariness with the relentlessly bad economic news. “They’re tired […]

    Ameriprise Sued by its Own Employees Over Excessive 401(k) Fees

    {March 1st, 2012} by Brent Everett

    Posted by Brent Everett on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 in Unconventional Wisdom Ameriprise has consistently recommended its own RiverSource (now renamed Columbia – fund companies love to change names when the old name is associated with unpleasantry) funds to its clients despite their high expense ratios and often poor performance while ignoring better alternatives.  This […]

    ECA Marketing, Inc. Is Closing The Iowa Office

    {March 1st, 2012} by N/A

    February 29, 2012 ECA Marketing, Inc, announces the closing of our Iowa, West Des Moines office on March 1, 2012, and the relocation of its sales, marketing, and operations to our home base in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. To our agents that have worked primarily with the West Des Moines office, we would like to thank […]