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Archive for June 2013


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  • Advisors: Don't Miss The Under-40 Opportunity

    {June 28th, 2013} by Paul MaCaffrey

    Under-40 investors are unhappy with the financial advice they’re receiving and advisors should pay attention. Financial advisors are concentrating too much of their resources on baby boomers and not enough on the next generation of clients, suggests are port published Thursday by Boston-based consulting firm Cerulli Associates. Fewer than one in five under-40 investors say […]

    New derivatives rules raise life insurers' collateral needs

    {June 28th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa

    New derivatives regulations that kicked in this month will be costly for U.S. life insurers, requiring between $10 billion to $30 billion of additional collateral and liquidity needs over time for the top 20 U.S. life insurers, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. Life insurers are major users of derivatives, which are […]

    Securian Targets Agencies For Recruiting

    {June 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    St. Paul-based financial services provider Securian Financial Group, looking to attract new talent, keep existing advisers and expand its adviser network, will focus its future recruiting efforts on nine markets, the company has announced. The change represents a more focused approach to talent recruitment. Atlanta, home to WealthSpan Financial Group, which joined the Securian Financial […]

    Life Insurance And Philosophy: The Good Of A Life Secured

    {June 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    As its name implies, life insurance is connected to life, but also to what the Greek philosopher Aristotle called “the Good.” That proper life insurance coverage is synonymous with a life that is good, as well as the good life, is a foregone conclusion. Just in case there was any doubt, the latest analysis of […]

    Industry Looking At Likely Megatrends

    {June 28th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Tighter regulation and tougher capital requirements, economic volatility and longevity risk due to big demographic changes are the trends insurance executives say are most likely to affect their companies in the next five years, according to a new survey. A total of 47 percent of respondents said that new laws and capital management would have […]

    Allstate Lays Off More Employees In Va.

    {June 28th, 2013} by Jeff Sturgeon, The Roanoke Times, Va.

    June 27–Allstate Corp. has confirmed for the third time in about three months that layoffs have occurred at its 900-employee Roanoke County office complex. Company spokesman Adam Polak said Thursday that “some” employees were notified this week they were being terminated. He did not say how many and declined to give numbers when he confirmed […]

    Workers Revolt: Forget Stocks, Give Me Lifetime Income!

    {June 28th, 2013} by Dan Kadlec

    The do-it-yourself retirement has largely failed. Swapping traditional pensions for 401(k) plans sounded good while markets were roaring. But 15 years of choppy returns has brought us full circle: Most workers now say no benefit would be more valuable than guaranteed retirement income. Four in five employees would forfeit at least 5% of their salary, […]

    Hartford Selling U.K. Variable Annuity Business

    {June 27th, 2013} by The Associated Press

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) —Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is buying The Hartford’s British variable annuity business for about $285 million. Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced in March that it was exiting the annuity business so that it can focus on its property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. Hartford CFO Christopher Swift […]

    Greenberg suit cleared for further action

    {June 27th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

    A federal court judge in Washington has cleared for trial claims by former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg that the “federal government’s methodology in aiding a troubled American International Group amounted to an attempt to ‘steal the business.’” Greenberg refiled his suit last July through Starr International, which owns approximately 13 percent of AIG. In […]

    Mixed Messages Regarding Benefits

    {June 27th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Talk about mixed messages. Pick up the latest LIMRA survey on the dearth of small businesses offering workplace insurance benefits, and it’s like hearing a broken record. Business owners say they have neither enough money nor enough employees to make selling insurance through the workplace worthwhile. Besides, owners say, their employees often get benefits elsewhere. […]

    NFP Announces Stockholders' Approval Of Merger Agreement

    {June 27th, 2013} by National Financial Partners Corp.

    NEW YORK, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –National Financial Partners Corp. (NYSE: NFP) announced today that, at a special meeting of stockholders of NFP held on June 19, 2013, NFP’s stockholders voted in favor of the proposal to adopt the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of April 14, 2013 (the “Merger Agreement”), […]

    Penn Mutual Calls For Improved Captives Transparency

    {June 27th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

    The insurance industry must look to improve transparency in captive insurer transactions and provide consumers with confidence about the quality of industry reserves, said David O’Malley, chief operating officer of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. O’Malley’s comments to BestWeek follow a recent call for a national moratorium on captive transactions by New York Department […]

    Finra bails on plan to supervise reps' outside businesses

    {June 27th, 2013} by Dan Jamieson

    Controversial plan dropped in updated supervisory rules   Finra has dropped a controversial idea to extend its supervisory rules. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. filed a new package of updated supervisory rules last Friday with the SEC. Gone from the latest list: a hotly debated plan requiring broker-dealers to supervise non-securities-related businesses. An earlier […]

    Regular Life Insurance Review: A Lesson in the Supreme Court

    {June 27th, 2013} by Lori Messina, JD

    By Lori Messina, JD It’s standard advice that financial professionals give all of their clients: Be sure to update your beneficiaries whenever you have a life-event change. Unfortunately, amid the upheaval that such changes in circumstances cause, many clients simply forget to update things like beneficiary designations. The fact is, changing beneficiaries on a life […]

    Don't listen to Suze Orman's "buy term and invest the difference"

    {June 26th, 2013} by Jeffrey Berson

    To most of us who understand the insurance world and the real choices available for our clients, the advice that Suze Orman gives is, at best, irritating and, at worse, negligent. It is virtually impossible for one piece of advice to be the answer for millions of people all at the same time. In our […]

    Genworth Launches The Index Institute(SM), a Virtual Learning Community to Help Producers Tap Into the Soaring Demand for Index Insurance Products

    {June 26th, 2013} by PRNewswire

    RICHMOND, Va., June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In response to producers’ demand for better resources to help them educate their clients about the benefits of index products, Genworth has launched The Index Institute(SM) , a first-of-its-kind virtual community for producers. The Index Institute contains index life insurance and index annuity training, market insights, presentations, product […]

    Annuities: Heading into summer 2013

    {June 26th, 2013} by Kathy Donovan

    With some of the legislative sessions winding down, now is a good time to assess changes that need to be accounted for in the annuity business. From annuity disclosures to replacement requirements, and a variety of developments in between, legislative activity across the country continues to impact the life insurance industry. Click here to read…

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Introduces Traditional Deferred Annuity Series Focusing on Income

    {June 26th, 2013} by N/A

    BALTIMORE — Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company has introduced the Simplicity Elite series, a traditional deferred fixed annuity designed to address the needs of today’s consumers who are nearing retirement. “We wanted a product that boldly addresses pre-retirees’ and retirees’ need for guaranteed lifetime income. Simplicity Elite’s primary value focuses on creating income through […]

    Will N.Y. Block Private Equity From Insurance?

    {June 26th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    By Linda Koco AnnuityNews Deal watchers in insurance gave a knowing nod to news last week from Sun Life Financial that its December agreement to sell its U.S. annuities business to private equity firm Delaware Life Holdings will be on delay. Since April, many observers had been expecting that to happen. April was when Benjamin […]

    2013: The year of the hybrid

    {June 26th, 2013} by David Port

    Randy Rowray has been around the life insurance business long enough to sense when a product is on the verge of a breakthrough. And based on the surge in interest he’s seeing from advisors and consumers alike, Rowray, vice president of marketing at The National Benefit Corp. (TNBC) in West Des Moines, Iowa, says a […]

    World War Z: It’s actually about life insurance

    {June 26th, 2013} by Corey Dahl

    I saw “World War Z” over the weekend. The first 20 minutes make you think, “Wow, this is going to be good.” And then the remaining 102 minutes make you think, “Oh. Uh. Never mind.” So when I wasn’t guffawing at ridiculous plot holes or making snarky jokes in my head (the “Z” should stand […]

    Digital generation investors don’t trust you — here's why

    {June 26th, 2013} by Amy McIlwain

    Back in 2010, there was a dark cloud of skepticism hovering around social media — especially in the financial services industry. At that time, many advisors and financial professionals I spoke with struggled to see the value in social technologies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Three years later, I am ecstatic to see how the […]

    Do You Have a Contract for Your Retirement Income?

    {June 25th, 2013} by Ryan Thacker and Tyson Thacker

    By Ryan Thacker and Tyson Thacker Published June 21, 2013 FOXBusiness In the movie “Moneyball,” Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, the protagonist who  created a revolutionary way to look at  professional baseball management.  His famous saying is,  “Stop  solving the same problems the same way.” If you’re applying this concept to retirement income planning and […]

    Gen X Stretched Thinnest, Most Likely To Dip Into Savings

    {June 25th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    More than one third of Generation X employees are likely to dip into their retirement savings to pay for non-retirement expenses, a sign that these adults are under enormous financial pressure, according to a recent survey. The study also showed that 49 percent of Gen Xers find it difficult to meet household expenses on time […]

    MetLife must pay $2M tax-amnesty fine, court rules

    {June 25th, 2013} by AP Staff Writer

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. must pay a $2 million tax penalty imposed by a 2003 amnesty program even though it didn’t know it owed extra taxes at the time. Justices decreed Thursday that MetLife must forfeit the enhanced penalty even though an audit showing […]

    Living Longer + Lack Of Lifetime Income = Risky Business

    {June 25th, 2013} by PRNewswire / USNewswire

    WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Actuarial projections show Americans living longer, but if they are truly to enjoy their retirement years, they need to look differently at their lifetime income needs. A new discussion paper, “Risky Business: Living Longer Without Income for Life,” developed by the American Academy of Actuaries’ Lifetime Income Risk Joint […]

    Vermont Taps NJ Captive Chief for Deputy Commissioner Post

    {June 25th, 2013} by Meg Green

    MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont has hired Crosby Sherman, the New Jersey chief of captive insurance, to be deputy insurance commissioner in the Green Mountain state, Susan L. Donegan, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, said. Sherman will join the department on July 8. The Vermont position has been open since Donegan became commissioner […]

    Interest rates have 'modest' impact on retirement preparedness

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

    A confluence of factors is playing a major role in America’s troubling retirement security situation. A drop in housing wealth and a decline in equity values coupled with a protracted low interest rate environment and an increase in Social Security’s full retirement age have rendered many Americans underprepared for a comfortable retirement. A recent Prudential […]

    Not Many Female Advisors Serving Wealthy Women

    {June 25th, 2013} by GLOBE NEWSWIRE

    Los Altos, CA and New York, NY , June 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One-fifth of all financial advisors are women. There are over 9 million single women with investable assets over$100,000 and their affinity for using financial advisors is increasing. “When you look at where the women financial advisors are located within the broker […]

    Insurance A Force In Wisconsin Economy

    {June 25th, 2013} by Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    June 25–While manufacturing, tourism and farming are considered the big keys to Wisconsin’s economy, the insurance industry — with good-paying jobs and top companies nationally — often is overlooked as an important contributor to the state’s well-being, insurance industry advocates said. Wisconsin is home to almost 250 insurance companies, fourth-highest among states nationally, according to […]

    The effects of marijuana use on life insurance rates

    {June 25th, 2013} by Brad Cummins

    With eighteen states accompanied by Washington DC now allowing marijuana for medicinal use, you and your clients may be wondering how life insurance companies are viewing this new outlook on marijuana usage. Nearly 40% of the states have legalized the medical use of this substance. In addition, eleven more states have pending or failed legislation. […]

    American Equity founder has staying power

    {June 25th, 2013} by Victor Epstein

    West Des Moines resident Dave Noble still leads at 81 The prospect of retirement does not agree with Dave Noble, the founder of West Des Moines-based American Equity Group. He said he started the fast-growing insurance company with $160 million on Dec. 15, 1995, at the age of 64, after being retired for all of […]

    Russell survey: Optimism high among financial advisors

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

    Most financial advisors are feeling optimistic about their ability to grow their businesses and acquire new clients throughout 2013, according to global asset manager Russell Investments’ latest quarterly survey of U.S. advisors, the Financial Professional Outlook (FPO). The current iteration of the FPO survey includes responses from 251 financial advisors working in more than 100 […]

    Moody's: Unpredictable policyholder behavior challenges US life insurers' variable annuity business

    {June 24th, 2013} by Global Credit Research

    Global Credit Research – 24 Jun 2013 New York, June 24, 2013 — Unpredictable behavior by variable annuity policyholders will continue  to pressure US life insurers going forward, says Moody’s Investors  Service in its new special comment, “Unpredictable policyholder  behavior challenges US life insurers’ variable annuity business.”   US life insurers’ inability to predict policyholder […]

    No more immediate departures planned at Aviva USA

    {June 24th, 2013} by N/A

    Although two Aviva USA senior managers have left  the company recently, no more executive departures are expected until the sale  of the company is completed, a spokesman said Wednesday. “(CEO) Chris  Littlefield and Aviva USA’s other executives remain in place leading our life  and annuity business until the sale closes later this year,” company spokesman  […]

    5 Mistakes That Kill Life Insurance Claims

    {June 24th, 2013} by Susan Ladika

    You’ve got the best of intentions in providing for your loved ones after you’re gone, but your actions could come back to haunt them in the form of a bumbled life insurance payout if you’re not careful. Here we explain five mistakes to avoid so that your beneficiaries get what they’re owed – no matter […]

    Sun Life: Closing on Sale of US Annuities, US Life Insurance Businesses Delayed on NY Review

    {June 24th, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

    TORONTO – Canada’s Sun Life Financial said its closing on the sale of its U.S. annuities business and some of its U.S. life insurance businesses will be delayed, due to New York insurance regulators undertaking a review of private investor groups as owners of annuity businesses. Sun Life Financial (TSX/NYSE/PSE: SLF) in December said it […]

    Shenandoah Life CEO: Post Receivership, Company Strives for Alternatives to Mainstream Products

    {June 24th, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

    Best’s News Service – June 21, 2013 10:01 AM ROANOKE, Va. – After successfully exiting receivership a year ago, Shenandoah Life Insurance Co. has tapped a new president and chief executive officer who arrived from ING US. But Paul Mistretta said rather than traditional life products, the company is eyeing alternative ones for its middle-income […]

    Life is better for Americans with life insurance

    {June 24th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    Owners of life insurance report more fulfillment and optimism in their lives compared to those without coverage, according to a new report. New York Life, New York, discloses this finding in “Keep Good Going Report,” which surveyed 2,069 individuals age 21 or older. Conducted by Greenwald & Associates, the survey explores the attitudes and expectations […]

    Are you a George Costanza annuity salesman?

    {June 24th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

    “Outside The Box” with Stan The Annuity Man – Opinion By Stan Haithcock June 19, 2013 Jason Alexander’s character George Costanza could have made a good annuity salesman. If you are a fan of the recent TV sitcom, “Seinfeld,” then you remember George Costanza (played by Jason Alexander) sitting in their local meeting place restaurant […]

    LIMRA study reveals how important agents are to beneficiaries

    {June 24th, 2013} by Jennifer L. Douglas

    Debra believes in life insurance and the critical role it plays following the death of a loved one. After all, she knows about this firsthand: I feel a strong peace of mind about our coverage and the personal commitment of our agent, Clint, and his staff. At 51, Debra lost her husband to cancer. She […]

    FINRA Launches Social Media Spot-Checks

    {June 21st, 2013} by Mason Braswell

    A targeted examination letter from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has turned up the heat on firms using social media. The letter, which went out to an undisclosed number of firms this month, makes six requests ranging in scope from a general explanation of social media use to the names and Central Registration Depository numbers […]

    Sun Life Says Sale Of Annuity Unit Likely Delayed

    {June 21st, 2013} by The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) —Insurer Sun Life Financial Inc. said Friday that the sale of its U.S. annuities business to Delaware Life Holdings LLC is likely going to be delayed because it hasn’t yet received regulatory approval. Sun Life agreed to sell the annuities business in December for$1.35 billion. Sun Life said that the New York […]

    Prudential enjoys greatest increase in life premiums

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

    Prudential Financial Inc. enjoyed a double-digit, over-year-over gain in life premiums in the first quarter, by far the largest increase among 10 leading life insurers, new research shows. SNL Financial LLC disclosed this finding in a ranking of life insurance underwriters for the three months ended March 31. The rankings are based on group direct and […]

    Withering on the vine

    {June 21st, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

    It is a “trillion-dollar question:” When will the Federal Reserve Board change its monetary policy and allow interest rates to edge up from their current scrapping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel levels? That’s how Robert Benmosche, president and CEO of American International Group, described the wrenching challenge driving the insurance world, whether it be carriers, agents, customers, investors, regulators, marketing […]

    Glass Half Full

    {June 21st, 2013} by Marilyn Scherer

    A Refreshing View on Saving for Retirement by Marilyn Scherer, currently a product manager for Jackson. Marilyn joined the company in 2004 as assistant president of marketing, holding positions as assistant vice president and vice president in product support. Marilyn has more than 32 years of  experience in the financial industry.  Click here to read… […]

    Hybrid annuities: Good for clients, good for advisors?

    {June 20th, 2013} by Christopher Raham, James Collingwood

    Recently, insurers have begun to develop annuity products that are hybrids between fixed indexed annuities and structured products. These hybrids are designed to offer consumers downside protection (at the expense of upside limits), while also protecting insurance companies from the market risk that comes with traditional variable annuity product designs. To date, only two companies, […]

    Running out of funds in retirement

    {June 19th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Fifty-nine percent of advisors in a recent LIMRA survey reported that they had “major concerns” about their clients outliving their assets. Cautionary tales abound detailing the potential devastating outcomes of the longevity crisis — the combination of an extended lifespan and an inadequate retirement plan — have yet to force the masses to recalibrate their income plan […]

    Kreidler fines Allianz Life Insurance $150,000

    {June 19th, 2013} by WA Public Affairs

    News release Mike Kreidler Washington state Insurance Commissioner Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055 06/19/2013   OLYMPIA, Wash. –   Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined an insurance company $150,000 after its agents sold unapproved  annuities. Allianz Life Insurance Company of  North America has agreed to pay the fine. Before insurance products can be  sold in Washington, they generally […]

    Midland National introduces a flexible new annuity product providing an enhanced death benefit

    {June 19th, 2013} by Judy Thorpe

    WEST DES MOINES, IA – June 19, 2013 – Midland National Life Insurance Company has introduced a flexible annuity  solution featuring an enhanced death benefit. The MNL SecureVantageSM  is the first fixed index annuity from Midland National that offers a built-in enhanced  death benefit equipped with a stacking roll-up feature to help grow the death  […]

    LIMRA CEO: Americans Need Help With Finances

    {June 19th, 2013} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., June 18, 2013 — During his remarks to the to the advisory committee of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO), Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, told committee members that Americans are not necessarily making wise decisions with regard to their financial security. Kerzner shared LIMRA […]

    Gen X Employees Struggle The Most Financially

    {June 19th, 2013} by PR Newswire

    NEW YORK, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —Generation X employees – those born in the early 1960s to the early 1980s – struggle the most when it comes to juggling competing financial priorities related to their homes, children and parents, reveals PwC US’s 2013 Employee Financial Wellness Survey. As a result, more than one-third (36 percent) […]

    Very Few Clients Proactively Ask About Life Insurance, Survey Says

    {June 19th, 2013} by N/A

    HARTFORD, Conn., June 18, 2013 – A majority of financial advisors do not describe their life insurance sales and advice as successful or very successful, according to a recent survey by Saybrus Partners, Inc. The survey found that more than half (52%) of financial advisors do not describe their efforts to provide life insurance and […]

    Taking The Sting Out Of Annuity Taxes

    {June 19th, 2013} by Alan Lavine

    Your client is sitting on a pile of money in a deferred annuity, and now wants to limit the income tax damage upon withdrawal. What are the options? Based on IRS rules, an annuity policyholder owes taxes on the earnings upon withdrawal, at personal income rates (not the more generous dividend of capital gains rates) […]

    NAILBA Changes Reflect Changing Membership

    {June 19th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Looking to stay current with the changing business models of its membership, the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) has broadened the definition of who qualifies as a member, the association announced. NAILBA represents independent brokerage general agencies (BGAs) that distribute health, life, annuities, long-term care and disability coverage. The association reduced the […]

    Senior credentials in regulatory spotlight…again

    {June 19th, 2013} by Harry Lew

    In a case of back to the future, senior designations are receiving regulatory attention after the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a scathing report criticizing their use. Designations for advisors who work the senior marketplace were the focus of reforms about five years ago, but CFPB believes more must be done. “With such […]

    Indexed Annuities: Perception vs. Reality

    {June 18th, 2013} by Brad Johnson

    Lets just admit it., the words “indexed annuity” make advisors cringe. It evokes a visceral response, a nervousness that is rooted, perhaps, in a feeling of complacency – that this cannot possibly be an appropriate choice for clients.  I’d like to help open your eyes to a world that from my experience, most advisors have […]

    Former NASCAR racer: Did he have life insurance?

    {June 18th, 2013} by Jenna Fryer

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jason Leffler, like every other racer, understood the risks of his profession. It’s a conversation he had with his longtime girlfriend when his NASCAR prospects dried up and a return to the sprint car circuit was the only way he could compete on a regular basis. It wasn’t a glamorous life, […]

    Genworth Introduces 5-year Fixed Index Annuity With Guaranteed 4% Minimum Accumulation Benefit

    {June 18th, 2013} by PR Newswire

    SecureLiving Index 5 offers alternative to low interest rate alternatives RICHMOND, Va., June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Genworth today announced the expansion of its family of SecureLiving Fixed Index Annuities to include a five-year, single premium, fixed deferred annuity with a four percent guaranteed minimum accumulation value. “Our new SecureLiving Index 5 is […]

    Security Benefit Pioneers Alternative Crediting Strategy for Nation's Top-Selling Fixed Indexed Annuity

    {June 18th, 2013} by N/A

    Total Value FIA Adds Dynamic Blended Index Option TOPEKA, Jun 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) — Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, a leading provider of retirement savings and income vehicles, announced today the introduction of an innovative interest-crediting option for its Total Value Annuity (TVA), the nation’s top-selling Fixed Index Annuity. The new crediting […]

    FBL Appoints Two Senior Executives

    {June 18th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    FBL Financial Group, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based holding company, has hired agency veteran D. Scott Stice as its chief marketing officer and John D. Currier Jr. as its chief actuary, the company has announced. Stice will have responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution for the company’s brand and primary operating subsidiary, Farm Bureau Financial […]

    Cooperation among gov’t insurance agencies questioned

    {June 18th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

    Members of the Subcommittee of Housing and Insurance of the House Financial Services Committee peppered leading insurance governmental representatives, NAIC CEO Ben Nelson, the Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith, and the insurance expert on the U.S Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) Roy Woodall, on the deep concerns the direction of international regulatory standards are taking during […]

    Allianz Life Ranked 19th on Star Tribune's Top Workplaces 2013

    {June 18th, 2013} by Allianz

    Company’s Focus on Work/Life Balance Drives High Employee Engagement MINNEAPOLIS – June 17, 2013 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has been named one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota. Allianz Life, a leader in insured retirement solutions, employs about 2,000 throughout the United States and ranked 19th on the […]

    The not-so-irrevocable trust: Unlocking trust assets

    {June 18th, 2013} by Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes

    The key to these strategies is a cooperating trustee and, in some cases, beneficiaries who agree with the strategy. If the trustee is unwilling to allow termination, your clients may have to petition the courts in order to unwind an irrevocable trust. Considerations upon termination: What the client needs to know Click here to read…

    The new face of retirement

    {June 17th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    Opinion By Maria Wood , June 14, 2013   Last month, legendary broadcast journalist Barbara Walters announced she will retire next summer at age 84. (She’s now 83.) Why am I putting so much emphasis on her age? Click here to read…

    Insurers Shares Beating Banks by Most in 25 Years

    {June 17th, 2013} by Katia Dmitrieva

    Canadian life insurance stocks led by Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC) are outperforming banks by the most in more than two decades as they gain from business abroad while lenders face slower consumer borrowing. The six-company Standard & Poor’s/TSX Life and Health Insurance Index rose 19 percent this year through yesterday including dividends, while the eight-member […]

    Leaving a phoenix-like legacy

    {June 17th, 2013} by Louis S. Shuntich

    In mythology, a phoenix is a bird that rises from its ashes and symbolizes renewal. The gift of life insurance to a charity is a phoenix-like act in the sense that the proceeds from one’s passing bring renewal to the charitable purpose. That renewal is enhanced by the fact that the death benefit can be […]

    Life insurers should cast the net wider for Gen Xers

    {June 17th, 2013} by Michelle Canaan, Jaykumar Shah

    There is a lot of opportunity for growth with them Life insurers seeking organic growth amid a perfect storm of persistently low interest rates, a still struggling economy and intense competition for baby boomers should perhaps start casting their nets wider and reach out to the underinsured and often neglected Gen X segment. Gen X […]

    Final expense policies spring to life

    {June 17th, 2013} by Alan Lurty

    In the challenging economic times of recent years, it’s hard to imagine double-digit sales growth for many product categories. Yet, that is precisely the case with final expense insurance. According to the 2012 LIMRA Final Expense Survey, there was a 23 percent rise in new policies of this type in 2011. Why the sudden interest? […]

    Beacon CEO: Companies Continue to Limit US Sales of Fixed Annuities in First Quarter on Low Rates

    {June 17th, 2013} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    EVANSTON, Ill. – As companies continue to limit sales due to low interest rates, total first-quarter U.S. sales of fixed annuities, including indexed, declined to $15 billion, down 11.7% from the same period a year ago, according to Beacon Research. “Most carriers are emphasizing profitability over sales volume,” Jeremy Alexander, chief executive officer of Beacon, […]

    Time to boost retirement readiness at the worksite

    {June 17th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    As more baby boomers edge toward retirement, one question grows more urgent: Are financial services providers meeting the needs of workers participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans? The findings of my research for my recent feature on worksite planning provide reasons to cheer. But they also raise troubling questions about unmet needs. Click here to read…

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of American National Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {June 17th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a+” of American National Insurance Company (ANICO) [NASDAQ:ANAT]. Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a” of ANICO’s life insurance subsidiaries: American National Life Insurance Company of […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of ING U.S., Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {June 17th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of the key life insurance entities of ING U.S., Inc. (ING US) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NYSE: VOYA]. Following ING US’ initial public offering (IPO) last month, ING Groep N.V.’s (ING […]

    ING U.S. Falls as Analysts Cite Annuities Risk: New York Mover

    {June 17th, 2013} by Kathleen Chaykowski

    ING U.S. Inc. (VOYA), the insurer that had its initial public offering last month, declined 3 percent in New York trading after JPMorgan Chase & Co. gave the stock a neutral recommendation, citing risks related to annuities. The company, majority-owned by ING Groep NV (INGA), fell to $27.57 at 1 p.m. after dipping as low […]

    A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Negative for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company

    {June 17th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and issuer credit rating of “bbb” of Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company (Sentinel Security Life ) (Salt Lake City, UT) [OTCBB: SENI]. The negative outlook reflects a continuing decline in Sentinel Security […]

    Preventing financial fraud critical to protecting retirement security

    {June 17th, 2013} by Catherine Weatherford

    Americans spend decades and decades working and saving for their retirement years, and then, in an instant, a lifetime of savings — gone. That’s the reality for some victims of financial fraud. As we near World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, it’s important that we as an industry help clients avoid financial […]

    Who really needs an annuity?

    {June 17th, 2013} by Dan McGrath

    Article added by Dan McGrath on June 14, 2013 Do you have clients that are concerned about outliving their income in retirement? Of course you do — this is a legitimate fear for many Americans. A fixed annuity is often the best solution to offset that concern. For those that might not be familiar with […]

    New Genworth Chief Outlines Plan For 2013 At Annual Meeting

    {June 17th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    May 16, 2013 Future growth opportunities for Genworth Financial, the life, mortgage and long-term care insurer, lie in selling life insurance to the middle market, long-term care insurance and the recovery of the housing market, according to president and chief executive officer Thomas J. McInerney. McInerney, who spoke at his first annual shareholder meeting since […]

    Dad’s Value Goes Up; Pegged At $23,344

    {June 16th, 2013} by Amy Danise

    Foster City, Calif. (PRWEB)June 10, 2013 Dad has even more reason to celebrate this Father’s Day: His value has gone up since last year. Insure.com’s annual Father’s Day Index puts the 2013 value of Dad at$23,344, up from$20,248 last year, thanks to increases in average wages for certain “dad jobs.” The annual index uses average […]

    Stay-At-Home Dads Can Kick-Start Retirement Planning

    {June 16th, 2013} by Jaime Catmull, Director of Public Relations GoBankingRates.com

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (PRWEB)June 15, 2013According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of stay-at-home dads increased to 176,000 in 2011. While this transition marks a cultural change in America, it also results in fewer retirement planning and savings opportunities that employed fathers have. This Father’s Day 2013, GoBankingRates.com seeks to make life easier for […]

    Men And Women Have Different Financial Game Plans

    {June 14th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    MILWAUKEE,June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The latest research from Northwestern Mutual’s http://www.northwesternmutual.com/media-center/planning-progress-2013.aspx revealed attitudinal and behavioral discrepancies between how men and women are planning for their financial futures – and why they’re falling behind on financial goals. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130206/CG55426LOGO) According to the study, one in four Americans say they’d like to be more cautious with […]

    Exclusive Interview with Former US Comptroller General David M. Walker

    {June 14th, 2013} by NAFA Staff

    The Fiscal Grand Bargain: Former US Comptroller General Speaks Out About What’s Really Happening on Capitol Hill The editorial staff of NAFA Annuity Outlook Magazine and president and CEO of NAFA, Kim O’Brien, conducted an exclusive interview with the Honorable David M. Walker. Mr. Walker served as Comptroller General of the United States and head […]

    New York eyes probe of captives

    {June 13th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

    New York insurance regulators are calling for a broad state and federal probe of use of captives by life insurers as a means of lowering their reserve and regulatory requirements. “The Federal Insurance Office, the Office of Financial Research, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and other state insurance commissioners should conduct investigations similar to […]

    Federal Insurance Regulator Releases Annual Report

    {June 13th, 2013} by U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Insurance Office

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) today released its annual report on the insurance industry to the President and Congress. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, FIO must report annually on the state of the insurance industry and any other information deemed relevant or requested. The report […]

    Pump-and-dump e-mails jump: Regulators

    {June 13th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Securities regulators warned today that the number of online pitches about bogus investment opportunities are increasing.   View the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required  

    Minnesota adopts NAIC model annuity law

    {June 13th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    Becomes law without governor’s signature. Minnesota is the latest state to adopt a version of the NAIC’s 2010 Suitability in Annuity Transaction Model law. By this month, all states must enact into law a version of that legislation that either meets or exceeds the NAIC requirements if they are retain oversight of annuity sales. Click […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Jackson National Life Insurance Company and Its Affiliates

    {June 13th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Jackson), its wholly owned subsidiary, Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York (together known as JNL), and its direct parent, Brooke Life Insurance Company. Additionally, A.M. Best […]

    4 Things Financial Advisors Shouldn’t Be Doing on LinkedIn

    {June 13th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Posted on June 13, 2013 by Amy McIlwain I speak on social media at several conferences throughout the year and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to booths. Some have interactive TV displays and are buzzing with people while others are nothing more than a generic tablecloth and sterile white […]

    FIUL prospects: Think older

    {June 13th, 2013} by Jason Wellmann

    The market for fixed index universal life (FIUL) insurance reached new heights in 2012, topping the $1 billion sales mark, according to LIMRA, and affirming the product category as a viable option for all agents selling life insurance. Along with the income tax-free death benefit protection for beneficiaries that can be used for final expenses […]

    How A Boy And A Toy Turned Into An Awesome Customer Experience

    {June 13th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    PHILADELPHIA – One day, a small boy left a favorite toy at a hotel where he had stayed with his family. That’s not an uncommon event, but what happened afterwards was an awesome event, according to marketing expert Scott Stratten. The self-described geek recounted the story in vivid detail during a platform speech here at […]

    Berkshire Hathaway to Release More Data on Insurance Cat Losses

    {June 13th, 2013} by Zachary Tracer

    Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is providing more data about claims costs at insurance units after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pressed the company for the information. We “agree to provide disclosures in future filings of the significant catastrophe losses for our insurance group as a whole and for each of our underwriting units […]

    Individual Life Premium Improves In 1Q

    {June 13th, 2013} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., June 11, 2013 — With every major product line experiencing positive premium growth, total individual life new annualized premium grew seven percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter 2013 Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. Total individual policy count, which had been increasing slightly over the last two years, […]

    N.Y. Says Life Insurers’ Use of ‘Shadow Insurance’ Could Hurt Policyholders

    {June 13th, 2013} by New York State Department of Financial Services

    New York State’s financial regulators issued a report today that found a widespread use of captive, reinsurance entities by New York-based life insurance companies. Calling these arrangements “shadow insurance,” the report said life insurers used their captive entities, often based in offshore locations, to make it possible for parent companies to divert reserves for other […]

    5 Considered For New Mexico Insurance Regulator Post

    {June 13th, 2013} by Barry Massey

    Five government, insurance and health care officials are in the running to manage New Mexico’s newly independent insurance regulatory agency. Among the candidates are state Insurance Superintendent John Franchini and Milton Sanchez, who directs the Office of Health Care Reform in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration. Sanchez was the New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority’s executive […]

    Prudential Approves $1B Stock Buyback

    {June 13th, 2013} by Associated Press

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) —Insurer Prudential Financial Inc. said Tuesday its board approved the repurchase of up to$1 billion in company stock. The company can repurchase up to$1 billion in shares between July 1 and June 30, 2014. Prudential approved a$1 billion stock repurchase in June 2012, and as of March 31 it had bought back$150 […]

    Insurer to sell its broker-dealer to John Hancock

    {June 12th, 2013} by Bruce Kelly

    Another insurance company is exiting the independent broker-dealer business. Symetra Financial Corp. said today it intends to sell its broker-dealer to John Hancock Financial Services Inc., a unit of Manulife Financial Corp. Symetra Investment Services Inc., with about 280 registered representatives, would become affiliated with the John Hancock Financial Network. Signator Investors Inc., with 1,600 […]

    Life insurance claimants "satisfied" with experience

    {June 12th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    The operation of processing a life insurance claim is the greatest opportunity for life insurance companies to make an impression on an insured’s family and friends and therefore, make the case to do business with them. A recent study by LIMRA found the manner in which a claim is processed is more often than not […]

    The promise and problem with pension and annuity buyouts

    {June 12th, 2013} by Kevin Startt

    Article added by Kevin Startt on June 10, 2013 Now, pensioners as well as annuity holders from the earlier 2000s are facing what happens when you cross the Godfather with an economist: an offer you can’t understand. Advisors can utilize this opportunity not only in the pension market but with variable annuity companies that are […]

    Partners Advantage Announces Executive Leadership

    {June 12th, 2013} by Peggy Porter

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Partners Advantage Announces Executive Leadership   Riverside, CA (June 11, 2013) – Scott Tietz, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC, a national insurance marketing organization, announced the following changes in the company’s executive leadership.   James Wong was named President of Partners Advantage and will lead […]

    How insurers are solving the retirement crisis

    {June 12th, 2013} by Mark S. Fitzgerald

    Consumers approaching retirement today are more vulnerable than ever. Lower fixed rates, at times dramatic market volatility, longer life expectancies and soaring health care costs all threaten their financial well-being. Add in the growing concern about Social Security and the fact that fewer people have traditional pensions, and you can see why finding solutions to […]

    Where have all the prospects gone?

    {June 11th, 2013} by Brandon Stuerke

    Are you seeing the results you expected from your direct marketing campaign? Or are you frustrated because not enough people are attending your events? Many advisors spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on direct mail to promote their seminars and other events. Click here to read…

    Advisors must adjust to a post-trust era

    {June 11th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    It’s not what you say that that matters; it’s what your listeners hear,” according to Michael Maslansky, an author and CEO of Maslansky + Partners. The featured speaker at the 2013 annual meeting of the Million Dollar Round Table, being held this week in Philadelphia, Maslansky spoke at a special program on June 9, “The […]

    Millionaires’ biggest financial regret

    {June 11th, 2013} by John Sullivan

    Regrets, they’ve had a few. The deVere Group, which claims to be the world’s largest independent financial advisory organization, asked a sample of its clients in Europe (including the United Kingdom), Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the United States with investable assets of more than $1 million about their No. 1 financial regret. The answer? Click […]

    Q1 indexed annuity sales down

    {June 11th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    Total first quarter indexed annuity sales hit $7.8 billion, down 8.2 percent from the previous quarter and 2.7 percent from the same quarter last year. The results, found in Wink’s Sales & Market Report (formerly AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report) were released on June 7 and should not be cause for too much despair […]

    Wink Inc.: First-Quarter US Sales of Indexed Annuities at Two-Year Low; Large Drops in Sales by Allianz Life, Aviva

    {June 11th, 2013} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Total first-quarter sales of indexed annuities in the United States dropped to $7.8 billion, down 2.8% from the same period in 2012, according to Wink Inc., formerly known as AnnuitySpecs.com. Sales haven’t been this low in two years — since the first quarter of 2011, Sheryl J. Moore, president and chief […]

    Talking index products with Genworth’s Charlie Gipple

    {June 11th, 2013} by Staff Writer

    Index products have become a welcome option at a time when persistently low interest rates continue to challenge cash accumulation opportunities, according to Charlie Gipple, national director of index products at Genworth. That’s because index products provide clients with an opportunity to receive index-linked interest, potentially capitalizing on the upside of the market without the […]

    Can Searches On Google Help Sales? Richter Says Yes

    {June 10th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    PHILADELPHIA – Sam Richter had a meeting with an executive at Allianz, and he wanted to be present with information that shows he is keeping up with the company and cares about how it is doing. So he arrived about 10 minutes early, sat in his car, and booted up Google on his mobile device. […]

    NAIC to form new PE/hedge fund annuity committee

    {June 10th, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa

    As expected, the NAIC’s Captive and Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Use (E) Subgroup adopted its white paper, which it has been toiling with for many months. The white paper adopted by the subgroup and sent to the parent committee on June 6 during an NAIC open conference call puts to bed the classification by some […]

    Oregon Insurance Commissioner Leaving To Pursue Law Reform

    {June 10th, 2013} by N/A

    Salem, Ore. – After nearly two years as Oregon insurance commissioner, Lou Savage is leaving the division to work on legal reform in emerging democracies overseas. Laura Cali, the division’s chief actuary and manager of product regulation, who is currently leading the technical review of health insurance rates, will replace him. Savage was initially appointed […]

    Smartest Tips From Top Female Advisors

    {June 10th, 2013} by Paula Vasan

    Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” was a popular talking point at this year’s Women Advisors Forum in New York City, where roughly 200 female financial planners gathered to discuss how to become better at their jobs and level the playing field gender-wise. A study released earlier this month, relying on figures from the Bureau of Labor […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases First Quarter, 2013 Indexed Sales Results

    {June 7th, 2013} by Wink, Inc

    Pleasant Hill, Iowa. June 7, 2013 – Forty-one indexed annuity carriers participated in the 63rd edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 98.2% of indexed annuity production. Total first quarter sales were $7.8 billion. In reviewing first quarter indexed annuity sales, production was 8.2% lower than last quarter and 2.7% less than the same […]

    To 1035 or not to 1035?

    {June 7th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about whether, or not, I have concerns about 1035 exchanges in the current interest rate environment. Why? Click here to read…  

    Annuity sales slump lingers into Q1

    {June 7th, 2013} by Maria Wood

    By Maria Wood Overall annuity sales continued their downward arc in the first quarter, according to several recently released statistical reports. But there were some rays of light peeking through the clouds. Industry-wide, annuity sales in the first quarter totaled about $49.6 billion, down 2 percent from $50.6 billion in the final quarter of last […]

    Allianz Life Tops First Quarter Fixed Annuity Sales

    {June 7th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Allianz Life, marketer of the Dominator Plus-branded fixed annuity and the 222, 360, 365i, Endurance, MasterDex and Pro V1-branded indexed annuities, was the top seller of fixed annuities in the first quarter with $1.16 billion in sales, according to Beacon Research. Hot on Allianz’s heels was Security Benefit Life, which sold $1.10 billion in fixed […]

    Advisor Groups Voice Opposition To Weakened Fiduciary Standard

    {June 7th, 2013} by PR WEB

    Washington, D.C. (PRWEB)June 07, 2013 In a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White, a broad-based coalition of organizations today urged the agency to establish a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisers that is at least as strong as the existing standard for investment advisers and asserted vigorous opposition […]

    Genworth announces Lynchburg layoffs

    {June 6th, 2013} by Tim Saunders, Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief

    Genworth Financial, Inc. is eliminating approximately 400 positions across the United States, including 39 positions in Lynchburg   LYNCHBURG, Va.— One of Lynchburg’s largest employers is laying off part of its workforce. Genworth Financial, Inc. is eliminating approximately 400 positions across the United States, including 39 positions in Lynchburg. Genworth spokesman Tom Topkina said some […]

    Two-Thirds Of Engaged Couples Don't Want To Discuss Money

    {June 6th, 2013} by Targeted News Service

    WASHINGTON,June 5 — TheNational Foundation for Credit Counseling issued the following news release: The recent poll hosted on theNational Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website revealed that 68 percent of respondents held negative attitudes toward discussing money with their fiance, with five percent indicating the discussion would cause them to call off the wedding. “It […]

    Taking A ‘Quantum Leap’ Into Retirement Research

    {June 6th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Robert A. Kerzner, president and chief executive officer of LIMRA/LOMA, said the organizations would take a “quantum leap” into retirement research and data analysis. In the past, much of the work conducted by LIMRA/LOMA has been focused on life insurance research, but the exploding need to help Americans prepare for retirement has added to the […]

    Fixed Annuity Sales Take A Hit In 1Q

    {June 6th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Total U.S. annuity sales for the first quarter were $49.6 billion, down 2 percent from the fourth quarter in 2012, and down 6.6 percent from the first quarter in 2012 as fixed annuities took the biggest hit due to low interest rates, according to the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI). Sales of fixed annuities for the […]

    Des Moines Becoming An Indexed Annuities Hub

    {June 6th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    What does Des Moines have on Hartford and London? Indexed annuities, that’s what. In fact, Des Moines, already a worthy contender for the nation’s top life and health insurance hub, is in a league of its own when it comes to indexed annuities. Consider the following: American Equity Investment Life, Aviva Life & Annuity, EquiTrust […]

    FA Illustration Rules Take Hold In Iowa

    {June 6th, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Iowa’s new annuity disclosure regulation, complete with precedent-setting illustration regulations for fixed annuities, has been in effect since Jan. 1 but, so far, the Iowa Insurance Division has received no complaints about infractions. Given that the illustration regulations had a number of detractors during the proposal stage, this represents a fairly smooth transition to the […]

    One-stop shop for insurance licenses closer to reality

    {June 6th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

      The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday unanimously approved legislation that would make it easier to obtain licenses to sell insurance in multiple states. View the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required  

    Lincoln and LPL Financial visualize annuity sales together

    {June 6th, 2013} by Michael Kevin Stanley

    Lincoln Financial Distributors (Lincoln), the wholesale distribution subsidiary of Lincoln Financial Group, announced that LPL Financial, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings, a broker-dealer, Registered Investment Advisor custodian and independent consultant to retirement plans, has adopted Lincoln’s Annuity Visualizer as an addition to its annuity tools and resource platform. The Annuity Visualizer seeks to break […]

    Prudential seeks to help turn employees into savers

    {June 6th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

    More than half of employees who are eligible to participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plans do not believe they will ever be able to save enough for a comfortable retirement. Employers are also concerned about their employees’ eagerness to increase savings and their readiness to retire with a certain degree of security, according to Prudential […]

    Families Avoid Considering Financial Planning For Aging Parents

    {June 6th, 2013} by Michael Cohn

    Seven out of 10 U.S. adults claim to have major barriers that prevent their families from openly communicating about who will make financial decisions on behalf of their aging family members if they become unable to do so, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive by the National Endowment for Financial […]

    Glenn Neasham: victim of geography?

    {June 6th, 2013} by Stephan Forman

    Editor’s note: On June 3, 2013, Glenn Neasham informed ProducersWEB that his legal team had filed a reply brief to the Court Of Appeal of the state Of California. Neasham said he anticpates oral arguments to begin in approximately six months. ​No matter your feelings about Glenn Neasham — and surely he’s as polarizing a […]

    Glass Ceiling For Women In Financial Services?

    {June 6th, 2013} by Mason Braswell

    The financial services industry has one of the hardest glass ceilings for women to break through according to a recent survey from Edward Jones. Almost two-thirds, 65%, of men and women who responded felt that women in all careers faced more significant barriers to advancement, and one-in-five said that the financial services industry was the […]

    Deferred Income Annuity Sales Continue To Rise In 2013

    {June 6th, 2013} by Judith Alexander

    EVANSTON, Ill., June 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sales of deferred income annuities reached a record high in first quarter 2013, according to the Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study. Results for these products increased for the fifth consecutive quarter and were nearly 150% higher than a year ago. The success of DIAs helped overall […]

    Low Rates Make Retirees Gnash Their Teeth

    {June 5th, 2013} by Chris Kissell, Bankrate.com

    Savers Languish on Fixed Income In late 2012, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fessed up and revealed  the worst-kept secret in finance: The low rates the Fed has maintained in an  attempt to ignite the U.S. economy are badly hurting retirees and others who  rely on fixed income. “My colleagues and I know that people […]

    CUNA Mutual Group Triples Annuity Sales With Gamified Sales Platform

    {June 5th, 2013} by Anthony O'Donnell

    Retiring baby boomers need financial products to take them from the accumulation to the distribution phase of their financial lives, but financial advisers typically find annuities difficult to sell. CUNA Mutual Group’s (Madison, Wis.) Retirement Radar dynamic illustration platform applies gamification techniques to make choosing the right annuity easier for financial advisers to explain — […]

    Top 5 trends in annuities

    {June 5th, 2013} by Christopher Raham, Gerry Murtagh

    1. The reshaping of the VA market: Opportunities remain for advisors who can navigate the new landscape. Record low interest rates and the costly price of hedging are causing insurers to continually evaluate whether they want to remain in the variable annuity business. Several companies will continue to curtail sales of variable annuities by lowering […]

    Do as the Romans did — with annuities

    {June 5th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

    The Romans made a few major mistakes, but they got it right when it came to annuities and lifetime income planning. Annuities have been around since the Roman Empire, and I have always tried to envision the first annuity lunch seminar with some guy in a toga talking about a too good to be true […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of New York Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {June 5th, 2013} by Best's New Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings of “aaa” of New York Life Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation and NYLIFE Insurance Company of Arizona (collectively referred to as New York Life). Additionally, A.M. Best […]

    ‘I’ll pay your debt if you sell our annuities’

    {June 5th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

    “Outside The Box” with Stan The Annuity Man Last week I got a phone call from a friend who owns a small FMO and he told me a hard to believe story that was the most bizarre thing I have heard (so far) in the annuity industry. By the way, that’s hard to do in […]

    Court says ex-wife gets man's insurance money

    {June 4th, 2013} by AP Staff Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court says a Virginia law can’t override a federal employee’s decision to make his ex-wife, not his wife, his beneficiary in a federal insurance program. Warren Hillman made Judy Maretta beneficiary of his Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance policy before their divorce and his re-marriage to Jacqueline Hillman. He never […]

    Financial Advisors Ignore A Market Segment

    {June 4th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

    Financial advisors, where have you gone? The next time financial advisors sing the blues about falling life insurance premiums, ask them when they last reached out to an African-American prospect. Chances are they probably haven’t. But they should. Advisors ignore this market segment at their economic peril, according to the latest survey of the African-American […]

    US Sales of Variable Annuities Down 4% in First Quarter

    {June 4th, 2013} by Best's News Service

    WINDSOR, Conn. – First-quarter U.S. sales of stock market-linked variable annuities declined to $35.5 billion, a 4% drop from the same period in 2012, according to LIMRA. The opening quarter of 2013 represented the sixth straight quarter of year-over-year declines. Sales “continue to struggle despite sustained equity market gains,” said Joseph Montminy, assistant vice president […]

    IMO: Virtual Trade Shows Will Catch On

    {June 4th, 2013} by Don Jergler

    I imagined that during my first virtual trade show I’d sort of feel like the sci-fi movie character Tron, mesmerized and captive in some digital man-made construct that has drawn me down to the minute level of electric impulses carrying the very bits and pieces of information I was there to seek. Actually, the “lobby” […]

    Genworth Launches Its First Index Universal Life Insurance Product

    {June 4th, 2013} by PRNewswire

    New Offering Combines Protection, Income and Optional Accelerated Benefit Rider for Long Term Care Services RICHMOND, Va., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth today announced the launch of its first Index Universal Life (IUL) insurance product, which combines a death benefit with tax-deferred cash accumulation and an optional Accelerated Benefit Rider for Long Term Care Services. […]

    New York Life post sales gains in first quarter

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

    New York Life has recorded gains in sales of life insurance, income annuities and mutual funds in its first quarter financial results. For the period ending March 31, the New York-based mutual life insurance company has posted a 20 percent increase in individual recurring premium life insurance sales compared to the first quarter of 2012. […]

    A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Stable for Genworth Financial and Its Key Life/Health Subsidiaries

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Proquest LLC

    A.M. Best Co. has revised the outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of Genworth Life Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE), Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY) and Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company (Richmond, VA), the […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of National Western Life Insurance Company

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Proquest LLC

    A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a” of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWL) (Denver, CO) (NASDAQ: NWLI). The outlook for both ratings is stable. The affirmation of the ratings reflects NWL’s strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, an increasing statutory capital and surplus level […]

    Survey Reveals Significant Re-Pricing Activity For UL With Secondary Guarantees

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Carl Friedrich, Sue Saip

    PR Newswire Association LLC SEATTLE, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Thirteen of the 28 participants in Milliman’s sixth annual comprehensive study of Universal Life (UL) and Indexed Universal Life (IUL) issues reported they re-priced their UL with Secondary Guarantee design in the last 12 months. The majority of survey respondents that re-priced also reported that […]

    Rathgeber takes over Texas Insurance Dept.

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Elizabeth D. Festa, Chad Hemenway

    Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Julia J. Rathgeber of Austin as the commissioner of Insurance to replace former Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman. Rathgeber’s term expires Feb. 1, 2015. Rathgeber is a lawyer with an undergraduate and law degree from University of Texas at Austin and political figure, serving until today as the deputy chief […]

    Dave Ramsey flames financial advisers on Twitter

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Liz Skinner

    A Twitter war that began late last week escalated over the weekend between radio host Dave Ramsey and fee-only financial advisers who criticized the author of financial advice books for telling Americans to expect a 12% return on investments and for promoting commission-based brokers. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required […]

    As Others Dive, Indexed Annuities Cruise Strong

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

    Industry leaders say the public will continue to be enamored with indexed annuities as the desire for security trumps the attraction of chasing after interest rates. Click here to read…

    You're in the Retirement Business Now!

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Linda Koco

    The Great Recession and the aging of the population are factors driving advisors to be relied on upon more than ever to provide retirement guidance and solutions.  Click here to read…

    Insurance CEO: 'You Have To Be Open, Honest And Accessible'

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Henry Unger

    By Henry Unger, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution June 01–Actuaries have the best job in America. So says CareerCast, which ranked 200 occupations based on income potential, job prospects, work environment and stress. Aside from this latest study, actuaries, who predict financial risk for insurance companies, consistently place very high in such surveys. What about the stereotype […]

    As MetLife cuts, adviser ranks are thinning out fast

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Andrew Osterland and Bruce Kelly

    MetLife Inc. is making good on its plans to ratchet down sales of variable annuities and universal life insurance with secondary guarantees in the United States, and dramatically reduce head count in its financial adviser force. Over the past year, the company has axed 2,500 advisers from its career agency channel, leaving it with 5,000 […]

    Exec pay: Less vroom at the top

    {June 3rd, 2013} by Andrew Osterland

    The fortunes of large financial services companies have improved dramatically from the dark days of the financial crisis, but paychecks for the leaders of those companies still aren’t what they used to be. Compensation at broker-dealers and asset management firms generally has increased along with the recovering financial markets over the past two years, but […]