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Archive for March 2013


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  • Maybe we should retire the word “retire”

    {March 29th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    Today’s retirees are not going to live the post-work dream of previous generations. In fact, most people can expect to work at least part-time for another 10 to 15 years after they turn 60, thanks in large part to a lack of pensions to cover people’s expenses in their sunset years. Between 2010 and 2020, […]

    How to talk to your aging parents about money

    {March 29th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    A 2012 Fidelity study finds that nearly one-quarter of adult children think their parents need help when it comes to financial planning — especially retirement planning and avoiding scams. Nearly all seniors, however, do not think they need any help. For those adult kids who want to have a money talk with their folks, it […]

    MetLife Could Put $90 Million Into N.C

    {March 29th, 2013} by Andrew Kenney, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

    March 29–CARY –Cary andWake County each could payMetLife about $1.9 million in cash incentives, according to staff projections. In exchange, the company could put more than $85 million into  a Cary campus by 2017. Under a rough-draft deal approved unanimously by the Cary Town Council on Thursday night, Cary and the county would make annual […]

    Women's Retirement Planning Woefully Inadequate, Study Finds

    {March 29th, 2013} by Shelley Emling

    A new study on women and retirement shines a light on some sobering statistics: nearly half of baby boomer women have no retirement strategy, while more than half either expect to work after 65 or simply do not plan to retire. According to findings released this month by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, most […]

    Genworth to sell wealth management business

    {March 29th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Genworth Financial, Inc., Richmond, Va., has announced it has reached an agreement to sell its Wealth Management business, including Genworth Financial Wealth Management and alternative solutions provider, the Altegris companies, to a partnership of Aquiline Capital Partners and Genstar Capital. The sale price is expected to be approximately $412.5 million and the company will record […]

    Prudential fined for failed bid for AIG’s Asia arm

    {March 29th, 2013} by Danica Kirka

    LONDON (AP) — Britain’s financial services regulator has fined insurer Prudential PLC £30 million ($45.5 million) and censured its chief executive, over the company’s handling of a failed bid to acquire rival the Asian subsidiary of American International Group in 2010. The fine from the Financial Services Authority centers on Prudential’s ambitious attempt to buy […]

    S&P 500 Breaks Record

    {March 28th, 2013} by ALEXANDRA SCAGGS

    After weeks of false starts, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index finally broke a six-year-old closing high to mark a new all-time new record. The push to record territory came in midmorning trading, as the S&P 500 broke past its previous record close of 1565.15 on Oct. 9, 2007. The S&P 500 gained 6.34 points, […]

    No. 1 Obstacle For Financial Planning? Lack Of Time

    {March 28th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    MILWAUKEE, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Northwestern Mutual today released data from its 2013 Planning and Progress Study showing that more than six in ten (63%) Americans say their financial planning needs improvement; and that the No. 1 obstacle is not having enough time (24%). “There’s an interesting parallel that exists between managing your finances and […]

    Social media: Look, we're doing it!

    {March 28th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    You can do just about anything online these days: shop for curtains; date people in other countries; video chat with elderly relatives; share business documents; read books; publish blogs; play games about birds, farms and jewels… Yet, in an age when you can tweet back and forth with Donald Trump, many people have a hard […]

    Middle-class Americans saved $1,400 less by 2005 because of income inequality

    {March 28th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    A new research paper finds that because of income inequality, middle-income households could have been saving $1,400 more annually by 2005 if their income growth had also kept pace with that of the top 10 percent. Part of the savings discrepancy is chalked up to a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality among middle-income families […]

    Insuring foreign nationals: Changes in underwriting criteria create new planning opportunities

    {March 28th, 2013} by Ron Roth

    Acquiring life insurance for foreign nationals has always been a difficult segment of the market. This is especially true for those who do not reside in the United States. As our economy continues to grow into one that is global in nature, we come into contact with individuals from all over the world who need […]

    OneAmerica achieves record results in 2012

    {March 28th, 2013} by Jim Gavin

    Contact: Jim Gavin, Media Relations Manager (317) 285-4168 or jim.gavin@oneamerica.com Indianapolis (March 28, 2013) – The companies of OneAmerica® achieved record overall sales in 2012, breaking the previous high water mark for the financial services enterprise set in 2011. The growth was driven by total individual life sales and 401(k) sales, both of which increased […]

    Ignorance is not bliss

    {March 27th, 2013} by Sam J. Friedman, Val Srinivas

    Many consumers don’t know enough about the most common products marketed to help address their retirement savings and income needs, accentuating the challenge facing life insurance and annuities providers struggling to connect with prospects, a survey by Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services confirmed. For example, nearly 40 percent surveyed by Deloitte don’t know anything about […]

    Pinterest: Why should advisors give it a chance?

    {March 27th, 2013} by Vanessa De La Rosa

    There really isn’t anything to lose — only a couple of minutes here and there. Let me anticipate some of your questions and provide some thorough answers. When it comes to advisors and social media, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are usually considered the top ways to project your brand’s voice and interact with prospects. Pinterest, […]

    Annuities + Living Benefits = Unknown Future

    {March 27th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    The possibility that the very popular guaranteed living benefit (GLB) features in annuities could one day become a so-yesterday item is difficult for today’s annuity professionals to fathom. Yet that is something that state regulators are thinking about as they put the finishing touches of a new Annuity Buyers Guide. Regulators don’t want to describe […]

    How the recession has changed retirement planning

    {March 27th, 2013} by Philip Rousseaux

    The economy may be recovering, but some of the changes wrought by the Great Recession will be long-lasting. Anyone planning for retirement, no matter what their age, needs to take those changes into account. People in their 40s and younger have some time to retool their plan, but baby boomers need to think with more […]

    Are Middle-Class Worries An Advisor Opportunity?

    {March 27th, 2013} by Ann Marsh

    Nearly half (or 45%) of all middle-class households spend all — or more than all — that they make every month, according to a survey by NestWise, LPL Financial’s new online planning service for middle-class investors. The good news for advisors: A total of 65% of the survey’s respondents said they wish they had someone […]

    Americans’ trust in advisors declines

    {March 26th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Only one in five Americans fully trusted their financial advisor in 2012, a four-point decline since 2010, according to a new report. Hearts & Wallets, Hingham, Mass., discloses this finding in the survey, “Trust-Building Practices: Updated Empirical Analysis of What Drives Trust.” The survey reveals the levels of trust that Americans place in their advisors […]

    Turn Do-It-Yourselfers Into Clients

    {March 26th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

    Why do so many people handle their own investments, rather than use an advisor? A bad experience? Cost concerns? Neither of the above, according to a new survey for theDeloitte Center for Financial Services. Many have a “higher comfort level in handling retirement planning on their own” and a “belief that they don’t need professional […]

    Mass. Proposes Background Checks For Advisors

    {March 26th, 2013} by Kenneth Corbin

    Massachusetts-based financial advisors could soon have to submit to a criminal background check under a proposed reform to the registration process in that state. Securities regulators in theBay State are asking for comments from the public on an amendment to the application process that would require investment advisor representatives (IARs) to submit a Criminal Offender […]

    Longevity Risk Not Discussed By Most Middle-Income Americans

    {March 26th, 2013} by PRNewswire

    CHICAGO, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –One out of every four 65-year olds today will live past age 90. Yet, for 87 percent of our country’s middle-income Americans age 55 and older, the idea of one’s own longevity is often not contemplated or discussed, according to a new study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty […]

    NAIC Testifies In Support Of Streamlined Producer Licensing Legislation

    {March 26th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Monica J. Lindeen, vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), has testified in support of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act, known as NARAB II, which would streamline insurance producer licensing. Speaking before a Senate panel earlier this month, Lindeen said NARAB II strikes the balance between protecting […]

    De-Risking DB Pensions Moves Into Higher Gear

    {March 26th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Paying out a one-time lump-sum to retirees to trim the risk of defined benefit pension plans – a move known as “de-risking” — is growing in favor in 2013 as companies look to shrink liabilities. That’s the conclusion of a survey of 230 U.S. employers by the benefits consulting firm Aon Hewitt. “There’s no question, […]

    The American Annuity Shuffle Begins

    {March 26th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Year-end individual annuity sales results provide plenty for annuity aficionados to ponder. There were some sorry-looking numbers, for sure, but also some intriguing surprises. Some would say the carriers were doing a dance, or at least a shuffle. As for the sorry numbers, LIMRA’s latest report shows that variable and fixed annuity sales combined were […]

    Help your clients ease into the retirement cycle

    {March 26th, 2013} by Briggs Matsko

    The retirement conversation can be daunting both for the advisor and the client. However, it’s a necessary discussion that my practice approaches using a unique strategy we call the “EASE” process. We approach retirement planning in a manner that helps make our clients feel secure rather than overwhelmed in their futures. In separate appointments, we […]

    Estate planning in a post-fiscal cliff world

    {March 26th, 2013} by David Port

    As closely as many Americans have been monitoring the high-stakes political jousting over federal monetary policy in Washington, D.C., perhaps no one has been paying more rapt attention to Uncle Sam’s adventures on the brink of the fiscal cliff than members of the estate planning community. Now, with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 […]

    Overcoming the silver bullet syndrome

    {March 26th, 2013} by Karl Schilling

    The existence of a magic remedy or a silver bullet keeps scams and fraud alive and well. When you give up this one belief and accept that success is possible only through a structured work ethic, great financial results can be had. Great wealth for little or no effort, free money, quick returns, overnight success, […]

    Do rich people buy annuities?

    {March 26th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

    The rich are usually rich for a reason. So do annuities even get their attention when it comes maximizing their investment goals? A recent industry consumer study showed that almost 7 out of 10 annuity buyers have a household income of less than $100,000 a year. Without getting into an argument of what the definition […]

    Acute Shortage Of Top Advisors

    {March 25th, 2013} by Charles Paikert

    If you haven’t had to fill any vacancies in a while, your next job posting may offer a rude awakening. Recruiting and hiring experienced, client-facing advisors with ultra high-net-worth experience is extremely difficult right now, with demand high and supply low, say a number of executive search specialists. Although the job market for all advisors […]

    Top 5 ‘don’ts’ for financial advisors

    {March 25th, 2013} by Steven McCarty

    With so many rules and regulations, selling life insurance or annuities can be a minefield for advisors. But by following these five “don’ts,” you can walk the straight and narrow and help your clients achieve financial success. 1. Don’t misrepresent your products. Click here to read…

    Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building

    {March 25th, 2013} by Annie Lowry

    WASHINGTON — Pearl Brady has a stable job with good benefits and holds two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s. But despite her best efforts, she has no savings, and worries that it will be years before she manages to start putting away money for a house, children and eventually retirement. Pearl Brady of Brooklyn […]

    Private Equity Has A Yen For VA Deals

    {March 25th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Variable annuity companies might become the apple of private equity eyes in 2013. That’s according to a new report from Deloitte, which says the appetite for insurance mergers and acquisitions among private equity firms appears to be on the rise, “especially in the variable annuity space.” The report does not name the carriers that might […]

    Boomers Say Retirement Is Out Of Reach

    {March 25th, 2013} by PR Newswire

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The closer Americans get to their golden years, the more they say retirement is out of reach. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey, only one third of Americans overall think a middle-income family can save for a secure retirement. Those nearest retirement are most skeptical, […]

    Consumer adoption of e-signature in the insurance industry

    {March 25th, 2013} by Jim Ferrell

    Tablet devices with touch screen e-signature capabilities are seen as the bridge to which carriers can begin to see real technology adoption and return on their STP investments, while jointly presenting a competitive advantage to their field force by providing a user-friendly way of completing orders for any line of business. This article will not […]

    Planning our digital estate

    {March 25th, 2013} by David Shields

    When estate planning, most everyone remembers to include instructions for the disposal of typical assets such as bank accounts, property, vehicles, homes and annuities. A growing concern, however, is what to do with a person’s digital assets: emails, social media accounts and online banking, among others. Few of us would think to mention such details […]

    Insurance Licensing and Other State Regulations Considered Redundant, Burdensome

    {March 25th, 2013} by Andrew Simonelli

    Washington, D.C. – March 20, 2013 – New research findings released by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) shows that maintaining state insurance licenses across multiple jurisdictions is a regulatory obstacle that may impede the sale of retirement income products. Considering that most financial advisors, 83 percent, are licensed in multiple states, the redundant processes are […]

    The Annuity Disconnect Is Here—Now What?

    {March 25th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Annuities are in a worse position than life insurance when it comes to consumer attitudes toward the products, according to a new study by Conning. The researchers are referring to the widely publicized disconnect that many consumer surveys have detected between what consumers say about needing annuity and life products and what consumers actually do […]

    Bill allowing multistate insurance sales on fast track

    {March 25th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    A Senate hearing on legislation that would make it easier to obtain licenses to sell insurance in multiple states has pushed the bill into high gear in Congress. Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate that would create the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers as a clearinghouse for nonresident-insurance-agent and broker […]

    Why Twenty-Somethings Aren't Doomed to Be Poor (but Thirty-Somethings Might Be)

    {March 25th, 2013} by Jordan Weissmann

    As we’re all too aware by now, it’s been a raw decade for young Americans. The job market still has a giant, recession-shaped crater in it. A college degree is more expensive yet more essential than ever. Wages are stagnant. All of this adds up to a single sad possibility, according to the New York […]

    Retirement preparedness unchanged since 2011

    {March 25th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    The percentage of workers confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is unchanged from record lows observed in 2011, according to new research. The Employee Benefits Research Institute, Washington, discloses this finding in its “2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Perceived Savings Needs Outpaced Reality for Many.” Based on telephone interviews with 1,254 individuals (1,003 […]

    You saved. You retired. Now what?

    {March 25th, 2013} by Mark E. Caner

    All their life, over and over, your clients probably have heard a familiar chant from family, friends, co-workers, financial institutions, the media and others, admonishing: “Save for retirement! Save for retirement!”  Click here to read…

    Bank annuity sales at low point

    {March 25th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    In 2012, bank-sold annuities hit their lowest point since 1999 with total annuity sales through banks totaling $29.6 billion. The findings, included in a report from Bank Insurance & Securities Research Associates (BISRA) found that annuity production at banks steadily rose from the previous low of $31 billion in 2000 every year until 2012. Annuity sales […]

    AnnuitySpecs.com Releases Fourth Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Life & Indexed Annuities Set Consecutive Sales Records In 2012! AnnuitySpecs.com Releases Fourth Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 18, 2013– Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 62nd edition of AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, representing 99% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $8.54 billion, down […]

    Female advisers: Male advisers don't relate to clients

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    Female financial advisers seem to relate to their clients in ways that wouldn’t occur to most male advisers. Women listen to clients more and ask more questions to learn about their concerns, as well as reaching out more personally into clients’ lives, according to four female advisers who discussed the issue on a webcast hosted […]

    Strapped for retirement, more hope to work longer

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Michael A. Fletcher

    Nearly half of Americans have little or no confidence that they are financially prepared for retirement, a problem many of them intend to solve by working longer, according to a new survey. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey found that 10 percent of workers plan to retire between ages 66 and 69, and another […]

    Tablets and e-signatures: The future of life insurance sales?

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Charles K. Hirsch

    I recently spoke with three top producers about how technology is changing, for better or worse, the way they do business. Here, they talk about whether they’re using e-policies and tablets and what those products mean for life insurance sales today … and down the road.  Click here to read…

    1 in 600 may be owed unclaimed life insurance money

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Jamie Novogrod

    By Jamie Novogrod, Producer, NBC Nightly News NEW YORK — Andy and Christina Fox, retirees living in Maryland, were shocked when they received a letter in late 2011 from a small life insurance company in the Midwest. “To be honest with you, we thought it was a scam,” Chris says. “It was five years after […]

    Sweet Spot For Advisors: Lump Sum Distributions

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Private defined benefit plans could represent an expanding market opportunity for advisors, according to Cerulli Associates. The opportunity comes from the sweet spot that opens up when people “separate” from their traditional employer-based pension plans, Cerulli indicates. Many of those “separated participants” will be looking for a new home for the assets they will take […]

    Advisors Maintain Tenuous Hold On Workers, Retirees

    {March 22nd, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Fee- and commission-based financial advisors have a tenuous hold on workers and retirees when it comes to dispensing advice, even with workers’ confidence in securing a comfortable retirement at historical lows, according to the latest Retirement Confidence Survey released by the Employment Retirement Benefits Institute (EBRI). Only 23 percent of workers and 28 percent of […]

    U.S. Insurance Mergers & Acquisitions Activity Drops

    {March 22nd, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    HARTFORD, Conn., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –In 2012, U.S. insurance mergers and acquisitions activity fell sharply, despite conventional drivers that seemed to suggest what should have been an active year for insurance M&A, according to Conning’s annual study, “Global Insurance Mergers & Acquisitions.” “Mergers and acquisition activity in the U.S. insurance market dropped in 2012, […]

    LIMRA names top 20 annuity carriers

    {March 21st, 2013} by Maria Wood

    The 2012 stats are in from LIMRA and Jackson National Life was the No. 1 seller of annuities last year, bumping 2011’s leader, MetLife, to third place. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise in light of the fact that MetLife declared its intention to scale back variable annuity sales last year. Scale back […]

    1 In 3 Seniors Dies With Alzheimer's Or Dementia

    {March 21st, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    2.3 Million Americans are “Long-Distance Caregivers” for people with Alzheimer’s; Costs for Long-Distance Caregivers are Almost Twice as High CHICAGO, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figuresreport released today, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia in the United States. The new report […]

    AUM of independent advisors to surpass wirehouses

    {March 21st, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Independent advisors’ share of assets under management is on track to surpass that of wirehouses’, according to a new survey. Tiburon Strategic Advisors published this finding in a new survey, “Financial Advisor Channels: An Overview of Full-Service Brokerage Firms,  Independent Advisors, & Other Financial Advisor Channels.” The report reveals that wirehouses’ share of assets under […]

    Protective Life Insurance Company Introduces Protective Indexed Annuity

    {March 21st, 2013} by Business Wire

    Protective Life Insurance Company today announced the release of the Protective Indexed Annuity. The annuity includes a range of withdrawal charge schedules and three interest crediting strategies to help customers grow contract value over time. It also has available principal protection.   “Less-than-favorable market conditions have consumers looking for low risk investment options which offer […]

    Debate over fed, state, international rules intensifies

    {March 21st, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa and Arthur D. Postal

    While the battle over the budget deficit, gun control and immigration grab the headlines coming out of Washington, an equally intense debate is underway over insurance regulation. As noted by a Congressional Research Service (CRS) official at a congressional hearing last month, insurance has been regulated by the states for more than 150 years. The […]

    Fewer U.S. Households Have Debt, But Those Who Do Have More

    {March 21st, 2013} by PRNewswire-USNewswire

    WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The percentage of U.S. households holding some form of debt declined from 74 percent to 69 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to new statistics released today by theU.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, the median amount of household debt increased over this period from$50,971 to$70,000 (in 2011 […]

    2012 Bank Life Sales Close to All-Time High

    {March 21st, 2013} by N/A

    Windsor, CT March 18th, 2013… Total life insurance premium sold through financial institutions reached $1,621 million in 2012, up 13 percent from the prior year. This represents the second highest annual production level in history for the bank channel, only 12 percent below the record $1,837 million sold in 2010. – Universal life products accounted […]

    How to choose a marketing organization

    {March 20th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    One of the biggest challenges that newly licensed independent insurance agents face today is identifying the marketing organization that they will appoint with. It seems logical that the typical independent agent is licensed with 26 different insurance companies. After all, the agent needs to have the most competitive products in their arsenal regardless of who […]

    Beacon Exec: Solvency II May Have Caused Some US Companies to Limit 4Q 2012 Indexed Annuity Sales

    {March 19th, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Solvency II requirements, increasing reserves and shareholder concerns all put a slight damper on indexed annuity sales, according to the director of sales and marketing at Beacon Research. Total sales of indexed annuities in the United States were nearly $34 billion in 2012, up about 5% from 2011, according to AnnuitySpecs.com, a […]

    Indexed annuity activity down in Q4, up from 2011

    {March 19th, 2013} by Michael Stanley

    Total fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were $8.4 billion, down three percent from the previous quarter but up two percent when compared to the same period last year. The results, found in AnnuitySpecs.com’s Fourth Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results released on Monday, March 18, were buoyed by the fact that annuity sales in 2012 set […]

    Workers Saving Too Little to Retire

    {March 19th, 2013} by KELLY GREENE and VIPAL MONGA

    Workers and employers in the U.S. are bracing for a retirement crisis, even as the stock market sits near highs and the economy shows signs of improvement. New data show that powerful financial and demographic forces are combining to squeeze individuals and companies that are trying to save for the future and make their money […]

    New, Younger Investors Wary Of Advisors

    {March 18th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    The financial crisis of 2008 and the explosion of social media as a way to tap into sources of investment advice have given rise to a new and very different kind of young investor, one with a fair amount of skepticism about financial advisors. That’s the conclusion of the consulting firm Accenture in a new […]

    How to figure out a retirement budget

    {March 18th, 2013} by Craig Brimhall

    The ultimate retirement- planning question is simply stated but not necessarily easy to answer: How much in savings is needed to secure a comfortable retirement? In a recent survey from Ameri-prise Financial Inc., working Americans 50 to 70 with at least $100,000 in investible assets esti- mated that what they needed to retire comfortably is, […]

    Underserved small-group market provides big opportunity

    {March 18th, 2013} by Jason Sanger

    Recent changes in the market, government regulations and other factors have made it an ideal time to find great sales opportunities in small-business retirement plans. Consider these facts: 99.7 percent of businesses are “small,” with fewer than 500 employees.1 The small-business marketplace is the fastest growing retirement plan segment at 7 percent growth.2 Click here […]

    Are Americans Stressed, Anxious Over Retirement Investing?

    {March 18th, 2013} by Irene Park

    So how do Americans really feel about retirement saving and investing? According to a newFranklin Templeton Investments survey, 73% of respondents reported they find thinking about retirement saving and investing causes them stress and anxiety. And retirement stress is only on the rise, the 2013 Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey revealed. […]

    FINRA Increasing Enforcement Actions, Fines

    {March 18th, 2013} by Charles Paikert

    A new report on FINRA’s 2012 actions suggests the self-regulatory body is getting tougher. FINRA’s enforcement actions rose for the fourth straight year last year, and the dollar amount of fines the self-regulatory agency levied jumped 15%. The amount of sanctions imposed in due diligence cases, meanwhile, climbed to $12.8 million, a 700% increase from […]

    America needs, but isn’t getting, more female advisors: Pershing

    {March 18th, 2013} by Editorial Staff

    Women advisors earn just 58% of what their male peers earn, a gap that can cost women an average of $1.25 million each over a 35-year career, according to the Department of Labor. Although women now make up nearly two-thirds of the U.S. workforce, only about 30% of investment advisors are women and the numbers […]

    Fourth Quarter 2012 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {March 18th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, 4th Quarter 2012 shows fourth quarter 2012 indexed annuity sales were $8461 million compared with sales of $8723 million for the previous quarter. Fourth quarter sales were down 3.00% when compared with the previous quarter and up 2.00% when compared with the same period one year ago. […]

    Aviva's TargetBenefit Annuities Offer Customers Greater Flexibility, Less Complexity in Preparing for Retirement Needs

    {March 17th, 2013} by Business Wire

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Mar 11, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Aviva USA launched a new fixed indexed annuity series today that brings simplicity and flexibility to the annuity marketplace. The TargetBenefit Annuities feature several innovative options to help consumers demystify retirement planning. The product offers a personalized approach to help someone preparing for retirement target […]

    Insurers Struggle With Strategy Under Solvency II Uncertainty

    {March 15th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    BRUSSELS – Serial delays in the European Union’s effort to implement the Solvency II capital adequacy directive are generating more vocal concern from the industry about cost and strategic uncertainty. Solvency II, at one point slated for January 2014 activation, now has a January 2016 target date, but insurers and their representatives are worried about […]

    Life insurers' return on equity is declining

    {March 15th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    The U.S. life insurance industry has returned in the aggregate less than its cost of equity since 1985, according to a new report. McKinsey & Company, New York, discloses this finding in “The Life Journey: Winning in a Risk-Driven World.” The report addresses risk skills that affect company performance, industry opportunities and challenges and strategic […]

    Replacing Mommy Would Cost 'A Small Fortune'

    {March 15th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    As many as 43 percent of adult women have no life insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute, citing a nationwide poll by wholesaleinsurance.net, an industry news and information resource. Among those women covered by life insurance many are severely underinsured, carrying only one-fourth of the amount that would likely be needed by their policies’ […]

    NAFA Celebrates 15 Years of Dedication to Fixed Annuities

    {March 15th, 2013} by N/A

    Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) March 14, 2013 The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) proudly celebrates its 15th year of dedication to fixed annuities.  The ‘for’ in the association’s moniker was 100% intentional as NAFA is the only association solely dedicated to fixed annuities. Originally founded in 1998 as the National Association for Indexed Products, today […]

    Hartford's VA buyback an offer many clients can't refuse

    {March 15th, 2013} by Darla Mercado

    Management at the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has been pretty clear that the carrier is keen to reduce its risks from legacy variable annuities. Just how keen is apparent in the offer the carrier is now mailing out to customers. Indeed, a couple of advisers say the deal is much better than expected. Thomas […]

    Ohio Launches Insurance Jobs Campaign

    {March 15th, 2013} by Carrie Burns

    A recent study that indicates more than 17,000 new jobs in the Ohio insurance sector, including underwriter, actuary, customer service, IT specialist and other infrastructure positions, will need to be filled in the next five years. After analyzing a recent Columbus State Community College’s (CSCC) Center for Workforce Development study, which concluded more than 17,000 […]

    The Changing U.S. Family: What Does It Mean For Advisors?

    {March 15th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Morphing cultural diversity across the U.S., changing family structures, growing swaths of underinsured Americans and the delaying of what the industry calls “life events,” will influence the demand for life and retirement product buying patterns, life insurance experts say. Reasons for the changes include the rapid increase in the U.S.-bornLatino population, multigenerational households living under […]

    Guidance is needed on new Roth 401(k) conversion

    {March 15th, 2013} by Paula Aven Gladych

    Although not well thought out, the Roth 401(k) conversion provision in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 could be a great opportunity for some investors moving forward. Since provision 902 of the bill was a last-minute decision, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service must issue some guidance, said Bob Kaplan, […]

    Ask Y and Build Your Annuities Sales

    {March 15th, 2013} by Kim O'Brien

    Y?…because the Y Generation is the next big market for fixed annuity purchases. The Y Generation, which follows the X Generation, is also called the Echo Generation because they are mostly children of Baby Boomers. While there is no precise start and end dates to define the exact members of this generation, many sources agree […]

    New York Life Recruiting To Focus On Women, Minorities

    {March 15th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

    After hiring 3,597 full-time agents last year, New York Life is raising the ante, with a goal of adding 3,700 reps in 2013. Among the new hires, more than half are expected to be women or individuals who represent the “cultural markets,” as the company put it, referring specifically to the African-American, Chinese, Hispanic, Korean, […]

    Women Of Color Save For Retirement To Avoid Being A Burden To Their Children

    {March 15th, 2013} by Dominique Echols

    BRYN MAWR, PA – March 14, 2013 – According to new research recently completed by the State Farm® Center for Women and Financial Services at The American College, roughly six in ten women of color save for retirement in order to avoid becoming a burden to their children. This concern was strongest among Asian women […]

    Calling Young Insurance Agents: Tell Us What You Think

    {March 15th, 2013} by Andrea Wells

    Are you a young insurance agent, 40 years old or younger? Do you know a young insurance agent? Insurance Journal is once again searching for young insurance agents to participate in this year’s Young Insurance Agents Opinion Survey. Tell us what you think about the insurance industry, the agency you work in, and what young […]

    Brighter market doesn’t ease retirement worries

    {March 15th, 2013} by Danielle Andrus

    Americans are “highly anxious” about their retirement prospects, a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security found. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they were worried about their retirement in spite of a more stable market, declining unemployment and increased consumer confidence over all. The report found almost the same percentage of respondents think the […]

    NAIC names top 25 life carriers by market share

    {March 15th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Metropolitan Group, the parent company of MetLife, ranks highest among 25 life insurers in terms of market share by direct premiums, according to a new report. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Washington, D.C., released this finding in a summary of results from the NAIC’s 2012 market share data for life/fraternal and property/casualty insurers. The […]

    Advisers good at retirement planning — except their own

    {March 14th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    Financial advisers continue to put off planning their own retirement even though an overwhelming majority of them are at least 50, a new survey shows. About 68% of advisers have no formal succession plan for their business, according to an SEI survey of 100 advisers released today. Of those who have a plan, about 39% […]

    5 things advisors don’t say to their clients — but should

    {March 14th, 2013} by Michael Goldberg

    You’ll absolutely do more business by having a system for staying in better touch with your clients. More importantly, by reaching out to clients on a more regular basis, you could establish a great relationship. Most advisors don’t even talk to their clients unless they have to — unless it’s time to renew something, up-sell […]

    Insurer CEOs Confident On Growth Prospects; Lag On Fundamental Strategy Shifts: PwC

    {March 14th, 2013} by Anand Rao and Eric Trowbridge

    Insurance carrier chief executives are upbeat about their companies’ growth prospects, with nearly 90 percent of those recently surveyed saying they are at least reasonably confident about their revenue growth over the next 12-to-36 months. Executive Summary Insurance industry executives are confident about revenue growth in 2013, according to a PwC survey, but PwC consultants […]

    ING Revamps European Management Structure Ahead of Spinoff

    {March 14th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    AMSTERDAM – ING Group NV announced changes in the governance of its European insurance and investment management operations ahead of a planned move to split those operations off as a stand-alone operation. “These governance changes follow the measures announced in November 2012 in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness through sharpening the strategic focus, improving […]

    Protecting against financial ID theft

    {March 14th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    News that hackers have stolen — and published — sensitive financial details of high profile individuals such as first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and rapper Jay-Z serves as a good reminder that no one is 100% protected from having their identity stolen and credit wrecked. But financial advisers should be helping clients […]

    Middle-income boomers not the retiring (planning) type

    {March 14th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    Many middle-income Americans are woefully under-informed about Social Security; have yet to calculate how much monthly income they will need in retirement or given much thought to their probable lifespan. Those perceptions came to light in a recent study, “Longevity Risk and Reward for Middle-Income Americans,” sponsored by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center […]

    Finra upped fines by 15% last year: Study

    {March 14th, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

    Finra brought 4% more disciplinary cases last year than in 2011 and amped up fines by 15%, according to a study released Wednesday by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, a law firm. Last year was the fourth consecutive year of growth in the number of cases filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. and […]

    Insurance stocks rally as bond yields climb

    {March 13th, 2013} by AP Staff Writer

    BOSTON (AP) – Shares of life insurance companies rallied to 52-week highs Friday as a surprisingly strong jobs report pushed bond yields to their highest levels in nearly a year. Insurance companies are major institutional investors in bonds, investing funds from policyholders’ premium payments and using the proceeds to pay out future claims and generate […]

    5 reasons you shouldn’t go it alone

    {March 13th, 2013} by Adam Cufr

    The relationship between a retirement-planning client and his financial advisor is a dynamic and multifaceted one. Or at least it should be. Consider what’s at stake: more to lose and less time to recover from any losses.  Click here to read…

    Wealthy Gay Couples Could Pay More Taxes If Unions Legal

    {March 13th, 2013} by Bloomberg News

    Top-earning gay couples who married in states where the law permits it may soon be paying more in income taxes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the legality of same-sex unions. Right now, couples’ finances are often complicated by the division between federal and state law: They’re able to handle their finances and tax-filing jointly […]

    Life Insurance Stocks Rally On Jobs Report

    {March 13th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    Stocks of life insurance companies finished a big week in the markets with a rally last week following a U.S. jobs report that was better than expected and which lent credence to investors’ hopes for a rebounding American economy. Shares of MetLife rose 4.9 percent, ending the week up 10.5 percent. Lincoln National was up […]

    Need for female financial advisors growing

    {March 13th, 2013} by Paula Aven Gladych

    The number of female financial advisors continues to drop, in part because they remain underpaid compared to their male counterparts and because there are cultural barriers that persist at the executive level, according to a new study by Pershing. In its study, “The 30% Solution: Growing Your Business by Winning and Keeping Women Advisors,” offers […]

    Aviva PLC posts major loss, chops dividend

    {March 13th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Aviva PLC shares tumbled last week after the company announced a net loss of £3 billion for 2012 and a chopped second-half dividend. Accompanying the loss, the second largest U.K. insurer by market share said they were going to cut directors bonuses to zero and freeze pay for 400 top managers. The after tax loss, […]

    8 annuity tax facts you need to know

    {March 13th, 2013} by Tax Facts Online

    If your clients are like most, come tax time they’ll have a number of questions for you, their trusty financial advisor. What penalties apply to premature distributions? What if I made a partial lump sum withdrawal last year, and am now taking a reduced annuity?  Click here to read…

    Gun-shy investors? The answer is fixed index annuities

    {March 13th, 2013} by Ted Williamson

    In recent weeks, the financial markets have been flirting with all-time highs as measured by both the Dow and the S&P. I have raised the question before of whether investors are setting themselves up, once again, for major disaster. We are all familiar with the emotional cycle of investing. The less sophisticated investor tends to […]

    Money for life with a fixed annuity

    {March 12th, 2013} by Kevin Lehman

    Financial professionals who help clients transition into their retirement years are well aware of the current intense focus on predictable income. For many, the challenge is finding a product solution that appeals to the client’s desire for income security and growth potential while also providing some measure of flexibility so that the client need not […]

    The Valuation of Retirement Income

    {March 12th, 2013} by Gary Baker

    For many, the idea of retirement is a daunting concept, partly because it means the idea of becoming older has to be accepted. This is even true for those who began planning in their twenties – aging isn’t always a desired idea. As agents, we need to learn how to educate our clients, sharing with […]

    How advisers can help clients deal with Alzheimer's

    {March 12th, 2013} by Dr. Robert Pokorski

    No doubt you have heard stories of older adults who suddenly stop paying bills, lose track of their assets or are tricked out of their savings by unscrupulous family members, friends or acquaintances. Sometimes this isn’t the result of fiscal irresponsibility. The fact is that the inability to manage money is one of the earliest […]

    Seeking income in a low-rate world

    {March 12th, 2013} by Mark Okada

    Sixty is the new 40. At least that’s how some investors at or near retirement would like to think of their portfolio’s asset allocation model and its potential returns. As baby boomers migrate out of the traditional 60/40 allocation model — 60% stocks and 40% bonds — and into a more conservative 40/60, the quest […]

    5 Women In Brokerage

    {March 12th, 2013} by Loida R. Abraham, Robin S. Landers, Debra C. Newman, Lyne Rosenberg-Kidd, Rebecca G. Wingate

    As women continue to influence change throughout the insurance industry, it is important to look at the origins of their experience, value of their perspective, and the ways in which to ensure their continued success. These five female leaders, who collectively have more than 150 years in business, share their experience in the insurance industry […]

    Clients underestimate retirement income needs

    {March 12th, 2013} by John Sulllivan

    The rich got it wrong. Despite a general sense of confidence in their financial readiness for retirement, affluent Americans might be overlooking critical tenets of retirement planning, according to a new Schwab survey. The company finds more than eight in 10 investors say they have a retirement plan in place, and 80 percent of these […]

    The advisor opportunity in tax season

    {March 12th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    With tax season now in full swing, you may well be looking for opportunities to convert clients’ and prospects’ heightened awareness of current or potential tax liabilities to solutions that will help them attain their financial goals. You’re not alone. Many life insurance and financial service professionals, observers tell NUL, generate substantial business from planning […]

    Smart Tax Planning Now: 20 Days of Tax Planning Advice for 2013

    {March 11th, 2013} by James J. Green, AdvisorOne

    Nothing is certain except death and taxes. Or to apply these words— written by Benjamin Franklin in a 1789 letter—to advisors and their clients, nothing’s certain except there will be changes to the Internal Revenue Code, including changes to estate planning. For the third year in a row, the editors at AdvisorOne will present a […]

    Have Americans Given Up on Saving for Retirement?

    {March 11th, 2013} by Dan Kadlec

    In the wake of the Great Recession, retirement-minded Americans are feeling an unprecedented amount of futility. They are undersaved and — worse — see little reason to do anything about it. That’s the alarming conclusion in a new report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, which found that 60% of preretirees believe health care […]

    AIG To Redeem $1.1 Billion Debt

    {March 11th, 2013} by Zacks Equity Research

    Mar 09, 2013 (Zacks.com via COMTEX) –American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has announced the redemption of its entire outstanding balance of 7.7% Series A-5 junior subordinated debentures due 2047. The company has setMar 18 as the redemption date, on which it will repay the principal amount along with any accrued and unpaid interest to debenture […]

    SEC seeks to nip new Madoffs in bud

    {March 11th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    In an attempt to prevent the next big investor rip-off, the Securities and Exchange Commission is targeting investment advisers who are stumbling over a regulation de-signed to prevent them from stealing client money. In an investor alert last week, the SEC said that roughly one-third of advisory firms examined last year — about 140 — […]

    Nine lives for notorious reps who skirt securities laws

    {March 11th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

    Two notorious independent registered representatives who violated securities laws are hanging on to life in the financial advice industry, reinventing themselves as investment “teachers” or “wealth coaches.” The two former reps, Frank Bluestein and Jeffrey Forrest, sold, respectively, a Ponzi scheme and a risky hedge fund that wiped out tens of millions of dollars of […]

    What’s In A Word? For Annuities, Buyers

    {March 11th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    “Do annuities earn money, interest or a return?” That was among the many questions that regulators and annuity industry participants took up this week during a phone conference on a consumer document about deferred annuities. The ensuing discussion may be of interest to annuity advisors, because the questions raised in the session touch on issues […]

    American Investors Want More Protection

    {March 11th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    Financial Planning Coalition Calls on New SEC Chair to Focus on Fiduciary, Increase Oversight of Investment Advisers WASHINGTON, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Results of a new survey released today by the Financial Planning Coalition show that by an overwhelming margin, Americans want the federal government to play an active role in protecting investors, including […]

    A Call To Arms – Get INNvolved

    {March 11th, 2013} by Susan Rupe, assistant editor, at (866) 707-6786 x 124 or srupe@insurancenewsnet.com

    Camp Hill, Pa., (March 7, 2013)– Millions of families are unaware that a slight change in the tax law on life insurance can have enormous implications for their financial future and dire consequences for 20 percent of Americans’ savings, says InsuranceNewsNet Magazine Publisher Paul Feldman. “Individuals and families bought life insurance with a promise of […]

    Nelson: FIO must stay in its lane despite agenda

    {March 11th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is warning against “mission creep” from the federal government, including the Federal Office of Insurance (FIO). FIO and the NAIC each must remain in their own lane of traffic – FIO must do its own job, “not our job,” said NAIC CEO and former U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson […]

    Experts from the 2013 NAFA IMO SUMMIT

    {March 11th, 2013} by NAFA Staff

    Exclusive Interviews with Industry Leaders to Assist Your Business This Year. The weekend of October 17-19, 2012, NAFA held its annual IMO Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. This event, which focuses on the unique issues facing Insurance Marketing Organizations, is the largest one of its kind and is attended by IMO principals and executives. The aim […]

    Technology That Helps You Connect to Clients

    {March 11th, 2013} by Bryan Mills

    Personal branding! Social Media! You have to have it! These words are presented in the financial marketing media daily, just like the bright lights in Times Square during the New Year’s Eve Celebration. Your brand recognition and services are what creates customer loyalty. There are so many marketing programs and systems that poke and tug […]

    What’s behind the annuity M&A blitz?

    {March 11th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    Who knew annuities were so popular? In recent months, financial giants ranging from Guggenheim Partners to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway have either acquired or reinsured annuity blocks of business. Not bad for an industry that still struggles mightily in a low interest rate environment. Click here to read…

    National Western Life Announces 4Q, 2012 Earnings

    {March 11th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    AUSTIN, Texas,March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Ross R. Moody, President ofNational Western Life Insurance Company (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today fourth quarter 2012 consolidated net earnings of$25.2 million, or$7.14 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of$4.4 million, or$1.23 per diluted Class A common share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the […]

    Berkshire Hathaway's Buffett Sees Dim Prospects Ahead for Most Insurers

    {March 8th, 2013} by BestWeek- Meg Green

    “Dim prospects”  are ahead for the insurance industry, which faces the double challenge  of dealing with unprofitable underwriting and a low interest rate  environment, said Warren E. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in  his annual letter to shareholders. Buffett also talked about how the  company handled Hurricane Sandy, which racked up after-tax losses for  Berkshire […]

    Aviva Takes Hit on US Disposal as It Posts 3 Billion Pound

    {March 8th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    LONDON – A write-down related to the sale of its U.S. business led to a 2012 net loss in what Aviva plc described as a “year of transition” as the group seeks to shore up its capital position. The group’s 2012 net loss was 3.05 billion pounds (US$4.6 billion), compared with a net profit of […]

    Finra's broker-comp proposal raises hackles

    {March 8th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Two major financial market lobbies have criticized a regulatory proposal that would require brokers to reveal the compensation incentives they receive when moving from one firm to another. In comment letters to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association both […]

    Dentist, Sit-Ups Or Financial Planning?

    {March 8th, 2013} by Alan Aldinger, alan.aldinger@pnc.com

    PITTSBURGH, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Americans who are actively planning for retirement are more likely to visit the dentist or exercise regularly this year than spend time on their investments or retirement planning, according to the newest findings in the PNC Perspectives on Retirement Survey. More than eight out of 10 (84 percent) expect […]

    MetLife Is Nation's Largest Life Insurer

    {March 8th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    MetLife was the largest life insurer in the nation in 2012, with a bit more than $16 billion in premiums written representing just shy of a 10 percent market share, according to figures released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on March 4. NAIC released two separate reports, which include 2012 market share […]

    Losing tax incentives would hurt boomers, annuity sales

    {March 8th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Almost one-fifth of investors cited tax-deferred growth as the main reason for purchasing an annuity according to an Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) study, “Tax Policy and Boomer Retirement Saving Behaviors.” The government was able to take the last exit before the fiscal cliff in January but that stop-gap measure has not done much for our […]

    AIG severs final bailout link with Treasury

    {March 8th, 2013} by Martin Crutsinger

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department has sold its remaining warrants in American International Group Inc., severing its final financial link to the insurance company that got the government’s biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis. Treasury received approximately $25 million for the warrants, which it sold back to AIG. Warrants give the purchaser the […]

    Insurer Ties New Product To 10-Year Treasury Notes

    {March 8th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    Lincoln Financial Group has introduced a new indexed universal life product tied to the performance of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, the company announced. The Lincoln Treasury Indexed Universal Life (IUL) policy is “designed to capture the benefits of a potential rise in interest rates,” Mike Burns, senior vice president for insurance solutions at Lincoln […]

    LIMRA: Life Sales Up For 3rd Consecutive Year

    {March 8th, 2013} by Targeted News Service

    WINDSOR, Conn.,March 7 — LIMRA issued the following news release: Total individual life insurance new annualized premium grew six percent in 2012 — resulting in the third consecutive year of growth — according to LIMRA’s fourth quarter 2012 individual life insurance sales survey. In the fourth quarter, total individual life premium grew 12 percent, the […]

    Annuity Toolbox Grows As Interest Rates Stay Low

    {March 8th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Why have producers been seeing new annuity tools and strategies popping up from carriers? Dana Pedersen thinks a lot of it has to do with the continuing low interest rate environment. Those two trends might seem to be unrelated but Pedersen believes there is a direct, and important, relationship. The low interest rate era has […]

    Top 5 insurance agent jokes and why you should tell them to your clients

    {March 8th, 2013} by Joe Simonds

    Insurance agents have been the butt of many jokes over the years. Some jokes focus on the insurance agent’s lack of trustworthiness, and in rare instances this is warranted, but in most cases, it is not. Unfortunately, a few bad apples have created an uphill battle for insurance agents and financial professionals to earn trust […]

    Penn. Regulator Advises Consumers to Review Insurance Policies This Tax Season

    {March 8th, 2013} by N/A

    Tax season is in full swing, and Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine is encouraging consumers to go the extra step this year and review their insurance policies. “Facing higher tax rates this year, consumers are looking carefully at how they spend their money,” Commissioner Consedine said. Insurance Costs Among Top 5 Household Expenses “Typically, insurance […]

    MetLife Is Nation's Largest Life Insurer

    {March 8th, 2013} by Robert Dixon

    MetLife was the largest life insurer in the nation in 2012, with a bit more than $16 billion in premiums written representing just shy of a 10 percent market share, according to figures released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on March 4. NAIC released two separate reports, which include 2012 market share […]

    Women Gaining On Men In Retirement Savings

    {March 8th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Fourth quarter 2012 data for defined contribution plans administered by MassMutual shows that women are closing the gap in retirement plan account balances as well as in savings rates compared to those of their male counterparts. According to the Q4 data, the average deferral rate for female participants […]

    MetLife Chief: We're Not 'Too Big To Fail'

    {March 8th, 2013} by Ian Katz

    MetLife Chief Executive Steven Kandarian said the insurer shouldn’t be designated a systemically important financial institution by U.S. regulators because its failure wouldn’t threaten other companies. “We don’t think we’re a SIFI,” Kandarian told reporters yesterday inWashington. “We don’t have the interconnectedness. If we go down, no other company goes down.” The Financial Stability Oversight […]

    What Next-Gen Planners Want Now

    {March 8th, 2013} by Ann Marsh

    Remote planning may be on the rise, but not everyone is enamored of the idea. A recent Schwab survey of planning students atTexas Tech found that the lure of client relationship management and working in-person with clients remains high, with nearly half of students citing the latter as a priority. Schwab surveyed 102 students and […]

    State of the industry: What it means to be an agent in 2013

    {March 8th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    What worries financial advisors the most? It’s not a seesaw stock market that can lift a retirement account one minute or devastate it the next. It’s not talk about new industry regulation that may very well impact their licensing requirements and how they conduct business. Click here to read…

    The Taxers Are Coming!

    {March 7th, 2013} by Steven A. Morelli

    By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet Editor’s Note: InsuranceNewsNet has launched a Web site, www.INNvolved.org, where you can get the tools and information you need to take action to preserve the favorable tax treatment of life insurance products. Of all the things to be called these days in Washington, D.C., a “tax expenditure” might be the […]

    MetLife to Share $190 Million Tax Refund With AIG, Former Owner of Alico

    {March 7th, 2013} by Meg Green

    NEW YORK, Mar 01, 2013 (A. M. Best via COMTEX News Network) — MetLife Inc. said it would share a $190 million tax refund with American International Group Inc., the former owner of American Life Insurance Co. In December, the Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of American Life’s Japan branch in a tax case […]

    The 5 Main Barriers To Retirement Planning

    {March 7th, 2013} by Chris McMahon

    The financial services industry spent$1.14 billion in 2011 to advertise products and services designed to address retirement and investment needs, and yet 58 percent of Americans do not have a formal retirement savings and income plan, and many don’t work with professionals to help them prepare a plan. “Meeting the Retirement Challenge: New approaches and […]

    Which Clients Give The Most Referrals?

    {March 7th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

    All financial advisory referrals come from just 28% of your clients, according to a survey. But what type of clients are sending you new business? The survey, sponsored by Genworth Wealth Management, indicated that virtually all referrals come from “engaged” clients, and multiple referrals are the norm. The study of 1,207 advisory clients, which was […]

    Americans Saving Beyond Workplace Retirement Plans

    {March 7th, 2013} by Margarida Correia

    Many Americans are using more than just their workplace retirement plans to save for their golden years, making their retirement preparedness less dire than often predicted, according to an analysis by Fidelity Investments. The analysis found that nearly 1 million investors use both a workplace savings plan and an IRA account, with an average balance […]

    Study shows declining life span for some US women

    {March 7th, 2013} by Mike Stobbe

    NEW YORK (AP) — A new study offers more compelling evidence that life expectancy for some U.S. women is actually falling, a disturbing trend that experts can’t explain. The latest research found that women age 75 and younger are dying at higher rates than previous years in nearly half of the nation’s counties — many […]

    Social Media Lessons From Carriers

    {March 7th, 2013} by Ian M. Lundahl

    Insurance companies have trailed other segments of finacial services, such as brokerage and banking, in social media usage and innovation. This is partly because of the industry’s stringent compliance and regulatory constraints. Despite these challenges, insurers are showing the recognize the benefits of having strong social media brand, and the insurance industry is evolving rapidly […]

    What Happens if Annuities Are Considered 'Complex'?

    {March 7th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Security regulators in the U.S. and internationally are sending out signals that they intend to step up review of distribution of complex financial products, such as variable annuities and equity-linked instruments. This could affect advisors who handle such products eventually , if not in the immediate moment. Click here to read…

    When is the Right Time to Have the Income Annuity "Talk"?

    {March 7th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    When do most advisors start talking with clients about income annuities? Quick, grab a pencil and jot down your answer. Then read on.

    The Power Of Gifting

    {March 7th, 2013} by David E. Appel and David B. Shannon

    With the uncertainity of future tax brackets, along with the turmoil that the stock market has experienced over the past number of years, many clients and financial professionals are eager to seek out alternative plans for successful people who desire to leave money or assets to the generations that follow. Click here to read…

    Moody's: Life insurers’ net income fell in 2012

    {March 7th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Life insurers’ aggregate net income in 2012 fell 22 percent compared with 2011, according to new research. Moody’s Investors Service, New York, publishes this finding in a special March 2013 survey of U.S. life insurers fourth quarter 2012 results. Aggregate net income for the 18 life insurers surveyed by Moody’s in fiscal year 2012 totaled […]

    Survey flags gap in life coverage among young families

    {March 7th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Young Americans with dependents have on average a $610,000 gap in life insurance coverage, new research shows. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and LearnVest Planning Service released this finding in a jointly conducted study, “Life and Disability Insurance: What 20- and 30-Somethings Think.” The report explores the attitudes and behaviors of men and […]

    Adviser issues lack Madoff moment

    {March 7th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Earlier this week, the House Financial Services Committee released its hearing schedule for the first part of March. It is replete with sessions revolving around housing, monetary policy and “too big to fail.” The roster underscores that adviser issues are buried under higher-profile or more urgent topics. What the adviser area lacks is “Madoff moment” […]

    Why Aren't More Advisors Succession Planning?

    {March 6th, 2013} by Samantha Allen

    Each firm’s succession plan and transition will be unique, but whether it’s an internal transition, merging and staying involved or selling and moving on, not enough advisors are planning for it. “We’re trying to help them think about what their options are,” saidWaldemar Kohl, vice president for Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services at a conference inNew […]

    Want referrals? Don't pester clients

    {March 6th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    Despite conventional wisdom, clients almost never give referrals to their financial advisers because they have been asked to do so. New research shows that the top reason for making a referral is because clients want to help friends who are in financial difficulty, and they trust the skills of their adviser. Understanding the referral process […]