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Archive for September 2014


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  • The case for the child-owned life insurance policy

    {September 30th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    For most producers who sell individual life insurance policies to families, the terms “policy owner,” “insured” and “beneficiary” call to mind “parent,” “parent” and (absent a spouse) “child,” in that order. It’s not every day that a child applies to be both policy owner and beneficiary of a contract in which the parent is merely […]

    American National’s VP loses battle with cancer

    {September 30th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    On September 22, 2014, Truitt Smith, vice president of qualified plans for American National Insurance Company, passed away after a battle with cancer, the Texas-based company announced on Thursday. Many in the insurance industry knew Truitt from his NAILBA speaking events. “He was a mainstay at NAILBA each year representing American National and was a […]

    Fed to study insurance reg rules

    {September 30th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    The Federal Reserve Board announced that it will be seeking detailed financial and other data from the insurance companies and insurers with thrifts it regulates as it starts the process of tailoring its regulatory metrics to coincide with its mandated role of overseeing them. Sources familiar with the Fed’s thinking said it will be a […]

    National Life Starts Work On Solar Project

    {September 30th, 2014} by The Associated Press

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) —Vermont and local officials in Montpelier are going to mark the start of construction on a 500-kilowatt solar array being built by the National Life Group insurance company on the edge of the city. Gov. Peter Shumlin and company officials are planning to attend a Tuesday morning event at the site. The […]

    Response from NAFA: Watch Your Back in the Annuity Game at MarketSurge.com

    {September 29th, 2014} by NAFA CEO

      September 23, 2014 RE: Watch Your Back in the Annuity Game at MarketSurge.com    Dear: MarketSurge.comNAFA is writing to request that you update your website because the information contained in this article (which is dated September 2014 by the URL) is no longer accurate or relevant. Since it repeatedly references the “NASD” which changed […]

    W&S Launches FIA With Goldman Proprietary Index

    {September 29th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Insurance holding company Western & Southern Financial Group said in mid-September that it would soon issue a fixed index annuity (FIA) that includes a Goldman, Sachs & Co. proprietary index option. “What kind of FIA will this be?” industry people wanted to know. “And what is global investment firm Goldman doing in there with a […]

    No big price increases for Lincoln National annuities

    {September 29th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

    Good news is ahead for customers and advisers who use Lincoln National Corp.’s annuities: CEO Dennis Glass doesn’t anticipate significant price increases for clients, and some price reductions may be coming up in the next couple of years. Mr. Glass spoke Monday about the state of the life insurance industry at the Insured Retirement Institute’s […]

    Fed Study Shows Americans Slip in Financial Assets

    {September 28th, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

    The poor are getting poorer and the middle is getting lesser, so it stands to reason that their money would be moving out of financial products. That is in fact happening, according to a report published in The Federal Reserve’s September bulletin. Cash value life insurance is among the assets that slipped in family ownership. […]

    King Of Bonds Abruptly Leaves A Mutual Fund Giant He Built

    {September 28th, 2014} by Matthew Goldstein

    The bond king heard rumblings of a palace coup. William H. Gross, who helped build Pimco from scratch into a $2 trillion mutual fund behemoth over four decades, abruptly quit on Friday for a much smaller firm. The surprising exit came after Mr. Gross learned in recent weeks that top executives at Pimco and Allianz, […]

    John Hancock refunds seniors $550,000 in alleged bilking

    {September 26th, 2014} by Deirdre Fernandes

    John Hancock Life Insurance Co. and a subsidiary will refund Massachusetts seniors $550,000 for its failure to properly supervise a salesman who persuaded elderly customers to take out a reverse mortgage and invest the money in risky variable annuities and life insurance policies, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said Friday. Under the settlement, John Hancock, […]

    Wall St. Bankrolls Ex-Exec As He Sues Over AIG Bailout

    {September 26th, 2014} by BEN PROTESS and AARON M. KESSLER

    One might call it ”chutzpah,” as several irate lawmakers did, or ”rubbing salt in the wounds” of the American taxpayer. But to a fewWall Street financiers, a lawsuit that accuses the government of shortchanging theAmerican International Group in its 2008 bailout is something else: a promising investment in a cause they support. Maurice R. Greenberg, […]

    42 reasons to love being an insurance agent

    {September 26th, 2014} by Paul Wilson, Vanessa De La Rosa

    Attendees of the 2014 Advisor Network Summit in Las Vegas were presented with a deluge of sales tips, sound bites and statistics. From inspirational quotes to regulatory predictions to nuts-and-bolts discussions about the products themselves, there was something for everyone. On the following pages, you’ll find a sampling of what was shared during the three […]

    FIO Eyeing Captive Life Reinsurers

    {September 26th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The U.S. Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office has a message for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the issue of captive life reinsurance: We’re keeping an eye on you. “FIO will continue to monitor and report on regulatory treatment of this issue,” it said in its second-annual wide-ranging report on the state of the insurance […]

    7 things you need to know about term life insurance

    {September 26th, 2014} by Stephan R. Leimberg, Robert J. Doyle Jr., Keith A. Buck

    The two principal characteristics of term insurance are: the insured must die for any benefits to be paid and, by definition, the contract expires at the end of the term. Stated more specifically, a term life insurance policy promises to pay a death benefit to a beneficiary only if the insured dies during a specified […]

    Prudential takes over $3.1B in pension liability from Motorola

    {September 25th, 2014} by Laura Davison, Bloomberg

    (Bloomberg) — Motorola Solutions Inc. plans to reduce its pension obligations by $4.2 billion as it transfers liabilities to Prudential Financial Inc. and offers some employees lump-sum payments. Prudential, the No. 2 U.S. life insurer, will assume responsibility for future pension payments to about 30,000 Motorola Solutions retirees, the Schaumburg, Illinois-based maker of two-way radios […]

    L.A. Bikur Cholim head’s role revealed in annuities scheme

    {September 25th, 2014} by Jared Sichel

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. Image via Wikipedia Although the final legal shoe appears to have dropped in an $850,000 settlement between broker Michael Horowitz and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in an illegal $80 million variable annuities scheme, the effects of the fraud are still being felt in Los […]

    Should buying life insurance be like buying a new iPhone? OPINION

    {September 25th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

    On September 19, the new iPhone came out, and my family, probably against its better collective wisdom, decided that was the day for us to upgrade all of our mobile phones. It did not go well. Not necessarily because we tried to do it on National Freak Out Over the New iPhone Day, but because […]

    Associate adviser brings growth to practice

    {September 25th, 2014} by Pamela Koehler-Zastrow

    Many financial advisors feel comfortable hiring support staff for their practice. They understand the importance of an office manager or administrative assistance. However, when it comes to hiring a junior or associate representative, many advisors are not as versed on sourcing, interviewing or utilizing this type of team member. Bill S., owner of a wealth […]

    Why I hate false advertising (and Ken Fisher ads) part II

    {September 25th, 2014} by Michael D. Anderson

    In my first opinion article, I laid out the premise that investment adviser Ken Fisher has forsaken some basic rules of advertising and good competition in his ‘I hate annuities” ad campaign. In this, the second part of my opinion article as promised, I provide another example of his investment style and philosophy that has […]

    Words That Are Creating Buzz In The Annuity World

    {September 25th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Certain buzz words keep coming up in this year’s annuity discussions. A few examples appear below. As the list unfolds, brace for a sprinkling of “investmentese,” or language that derives from the world of securities and investments. Also prepare for a dusting of “computerese,” or language that glimmers with a digital aura. The industry is […]

    Allianz Life Product Latest Addition To The Survivorship Market

    {September 25th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Allianz Life said it has moved further into the survivorship market with the announcement of a fixed index universal life insurance policy that provides death benefits for two lives on one policy. The product, branded as Allianz Life Pro+ Survivor, is designed for consumers looking for affordable, flexible premium options and comes with chronic illness […]

    Who Is Winning The Advice Wars?

    {September 25th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    For the Institute of the Fiduciary Standard, its “Fiduciary September” event was one to remember, based on its notable speakers’ consistent admissions that fiduciary advocates are losing the battle of attrition in the advice wars. Knut A. Rostad, president of the Institute, said fiduciary advocates had “simply fallen short” in terms of making their case […]

    Founding Fathers Favored Annuities

    {September 25th, 2014} by Joe Stark

    Present-day annuities have been around for a few decades. However, the concept of an income stream paying out into retirement dates all the way back to the Roman Empire, when soldiers received annuities as compensation for military service. During the Middle Ages, feudal kings turned to annuities to cover the cost of wars. Annuities crossed […]

    The Bond-Zombie Apocalypse

    {September 24th, 2014} by Frank Maselli

    It’s often said that experience is the best teacher. But if you can learn from someone else’s experience, the tuition is often a lot cheaper, and in this case, far less agonizing. So, allow me to share a horror story with you. We are now facing an economic situation similar to what we saw 20 […]

    Treasury, IRS Rules On In-Plan Annuities

    {September 24th, 2014} by Rebecca Moore

    On July 1, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final rules to make longevity annuities more accessible to the defined contribution (DC) and individual retirement account (IRA) markets. In short, the final rules ease certain minimum distribution requirements that have made it difficult for retirees to purchase and hold longevity annuity […]

    Kenmore financial advisor sentenced to five years in prison for fraud

    {September 24th, 2014} by Briana Gerdeman

    A long-time Kenmore financial advisor was sentenced on Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison for mail fraud and Social Security Number fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Edward H. Kahler, 65, was the owner of Key Resources, a Kenmore retirement consulting company that sold annuities and life […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and its Subsidiaries

    {September 24th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of the insurance subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (StanCorp) [NYSE: SFG]: Standard Insurance Company and The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York. Collectively, the group is referred to as Standard Insurance […]

    Insurance marketing warning issued by state of Iowa

    {September 24th, 2014} by H. Cutner

    An official agency has now released a statement cautioning consumers of potentially deceptive ads. The Iowa Insurance Division has now released a warning to the residents of the state, cautioning them that certain insurance marketing and ads for annuities may have potentially deceptive messages. The agency has been watching a growing number of marketers that […]

    12 worst financial advisors in America: 2014

    {September 24th, 2014} by Dan Berman, ThinkAdvisor

    It’s been a year since we picked though the landscape of miscreant financial advisors to choose the worst among them. Unfortunately, a recent Google search turned up all too many that served themselves rather than their clients. The list of Ponzi schemers, scammers and those who just flat out stole investors’ money seems endless. Reading […]

    Fixed Annuity Transactions Soar In First Half Of 2014

    {September 24th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    First-half annuity sales numbers from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) point to strong growth for fixed annuities but modest growth for variable annuities. That might be expected, considering that other industry researchers have reported similar results. But there’s a difference. The DTCC numbers are based on actual annuity transactions, not a survey of […]

    All Insurance Companies Writing Life and Annuities in the State of Iowa

    {September 24th, 2014} by Nick Gerhart, Iowa Insurance Commissioner

    Bulletin 14-02 To: All Insurance Companies Writing Life and Annuities in the State of Iowa From: Nick Gerhart, Iowa Insurance Commissioner RE: Insurance Marketing Organizations Date: September 15, 2014 The Iowa Insurance Division (the Division) has observed an increase in misleading advertising by producers and insurance marketing organizations (IMOs) under contract with insurance companies. IMOs […]

    State warns about misleading insurance ads

    {September 24th, 2014} by Matthew Patane

    Iowans looking at annuities and other insurance products should be wary of potentially deceptive advertisements, a state agency said this week. The Iowa Insurance Division has seen more marketing companies that work with insurance firms use misleading ads to try to attract customers, the division said in a bulletin. Those ads, the division said, give […]

    Iowa Eyes Misleading Indexed Annuity Ads

    {September 24th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Insurance marketing organizations (IMOs) and similar third-party marketers need to toe the line where advertising is concerned, according to regulators in Iowa and Kansas. In Iowa, some troublesome ads involve indexed annuities. In Kansas, the focus is on life and annuity advertising in general. In both cases, the message is that the regulators intend to […]

    New York eyes IUL product

    {September 24th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    IUL marketing — and the accuracy of claims within — have come under the eye of the NYDFS. The life insurance industry is split over the accuracy of claims about the value of indexed universal life insurance (IUL) and whether the illustrations used to market such products provide adequate data as to the potential risk […]

    New York probes universal-life sales practices

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Leslie Scism

    New York’s top financial watchdog has launched an investigation into sales practices surrounding the hottest new product in life insurance, according to a letter from the regulator’s office reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. New York Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky is concerned that some insurance companies may be giving buyers overly optimistic projections of […]

    New York Regulators Probe Indexed Universal Life Insurance Marketing- Bestwire

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Thomas Harman

    ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York Department of Financial Services is investigating the marketing of indexed universal life insurance products, regarded as one of the fastest-growing in the life insurance sector. The letter sent to insurers said DFS “is seeking information from authorized life insurers regarding indexed universal life insurance and the illustrations used to […]

    Is IUL In Muddy Water Now? OPINION

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Iowa is not the only state in which insurance officials are tracking sales practices tied to indexed insurance products. New York insurance regulators are reportedly sniffing around indexed sales practices, too. In Iowa’s case, the object of scrutiny is advertising of fixed indexed annuities. In New York’s case, the eagle eye is on indexed universal […]

    5 ways regulation is affecting the annuity industry

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Paul Wilson

    The last few years have seen dramatic regulatory change in the life/health industry. From financial planners to health agents to annuity producers, everyone has felt the effects of regulatory restraint on both the local and national level. What changes are yet to come? And how can you adapt in order to survive and thrive in […]

    Life Insurance Industry Offers Competing Plans for Future IUL Illustration to NAIC Panel

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Thomas Harman

    WASHINGTON – The American Council of Life Insurers and a partnership of four major life insurers have offered a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ panel competing plans on how companies should market indexed universal life insurance products to consumers. The insurers are MetLife, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual and OneAmerica. The plans were put up […]

    McRaith: Insurance Industry ‘Inextricably Connected’ to Global Capital Markets

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith pushed back against the oft-cited claim the insurance business does not pose systemic risks to the U.S. financial system and should not be regulated as though it carries that level of risk. Speaking before a packed house at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies annual conference […]

    What’s hurting annuity sales?

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Annuity sales are at their highest levels in years, but they could be even better. So says Fixed Annuity Brandscape, a just-released Market Strategies International/Cogent report that looks at the reasons given by insurance agents and financial advisors for not selling fixed and fixed indexed annuities. More than half of all insurance agents and roughly […]

    SEC plans to hand out whopping $30 million whistleblower award

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday that it expects to award a whistleblower more than $30 million for providing key original information that led to a successful SEC enforcement action. The award will be the largest made by the SEC’s whistleblower program to date and the fourth award to a whistleblower living in a […]

    5 ways to compete with the new industry challengers

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Denise Garth

    Google and Amazon may not sell insurance (yet), but they still pose a competitive threat to the insurance industry. (AP/Jens Meyer) It’s a new dawn … It’s a new day … It’s a new life … For me … And I’m feeling good. These lyrics from the song “Feeling Good” were composed by English songwriters […]

    Stock performance of the top 10 life insurers: Sept. 15-19

    {September 23rd, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    In this second installment, LifeHealthPro reviews the stock performance of 10 leading publicly held life insurers — AIG, MetLife, Prudential Financial, among others — and provides context by highlighted key macroeconomic developments during the week. The 10 companies are the same as those featured in an August 21 LifeHealthPro story listing the top 10 life […]

    Prudential’s Kent Sluyter: Life’s Challenge Is Relevance

    {September 22nd, 2014} by Bestwire

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Kent Sluyter, chief executive officer for Prudential Individual Life Insurance, said insurers and producers must focus on showing that life products can be relevant to consumer needs at multiple life stages. Sluyter spoke with A.M.BestTV as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month. View the video version of this interview at: http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=sluyter914 Q. […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {September 22nd, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of RiverSource Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and its wholly owned subsidiary, RiverSource Life Insurance Company of New York (Albany, NY). A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of […]

    IRI and Beacon Research: Second-Quarter US Sales of Fixed Annuities Up 41.6%

    {September 22nd, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    WASHINGTON – Second-quarter 2014 total sales of fixed annuities in the United States grew to $24.3 billion, a 41.6% gain from the same period a year ago, supported by sales of indexed annuities, according to the Insured Retirement Institute and Beacon Research. By company, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, a unit of Germany’s […]

    Modern Families Are The Next Frontier For Financial Professionals

    {September 22nd, 2014} by N/A

    NEW YORK – September 22, 2014 – Despite the complex financial situations of today’s modern families, a surprising number have never used a financial professional (57%) and many are using non-professional resources, such as family members, significant others, friends, or colleagues to help them plan for their financial future, according to the new LoveFamilyMoney study* […]

    Insurer Claims ‘Elaborate Scheme’ In Alleged Fake Death

    {September 22nd, 2014} by Steve Patterson

    An insurance company fighting the son of a Jacksonville businessman reported dead in Venezuela told a federal judge it uncovered “an orchestrated, elaborate scheme to fake … [a] death and commit insurance fraud.” Jose Lantigua, who owned two Circle K Furniture stores, “fabricated a story of his death complete with bribes, collusive statements and forged documents,” […]

    Word To Women: Get Social Security Advice Now Or Pay Dearly Later

    {September 19th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Women who don’t work with a financial advisor are nearly three times as likely to say their Social Security payment was less than expected, according to a survey commissioned by the Nationwide Financial Retirement Institute. The survey found that 37 percent of women working with an advisor said they received good advice regarding Social Security, […]

    Don’t Discount Millennials’ Need For Life Insurance

    {September 19th, 2014} by Denise Flannery

    In the life insurance industry, where the average advisor is 58 years old, there is a perception that millennials (born between 1978 and 1995) are too young and in too much debt to even begin talking about life insurance. But, the reality is quite different. Many in this generation are making a significant amount of […]

    AIG’s head of life insurance quits

    {September 19th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    Jay S. Wintrob, president and CEO of American International Group Life & Retirement, is leaving the company after missing out on becoming CEO. AIG also announced that Michael R. Cowan, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, will retire from the company after nearly five years of service. Wintrob apparently left after his rival to […]

    Your official life insurance M&A outlook for 2015

    {September 19th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    It might not be the end of 2014 yet, but we’re already looking back at the mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry this year and looking toward what 2015 might bring. A report back in March of 2014 from Deloitte found that M&A activity in the insurance industry had cooled down significantly compared to […]

    The top 10 life insurance sales leaders for Q2 2014

    {September 19th, 2014} by Nichole Morford

    With nearly 10 percent market share, MetLife led all life insurers for premiums written in Q2 of this year, bringing in $3.89 billion, a 1.7 percent increase over their sales in the second quarter of last year. This modest increase was in keeping with the industry as a whole, which saw 1.8 percent sales growth […]

    New CEO Hancock Puts Stamp on AIG Management in Shake-Up

    {September 19th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    American International Group Inc. named Kevin Hogan to lead its main life insurance business, putting him in charge of offerings for individuals, as new Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock shakes up management. Hogan takes on the duties from life-unit CEO Jay Wintrob, who worked at AIG for about 15 years and is departing after being […]

    Western & Southern indexed annuity to offer Goldman Sachs index

    {September 19th, 2014} by RIJ Publishing LLC

    Western & Southern Financial Group and Goldman, Sachs & Co. (Goldman Sachs) are collaborating to offer a Goldman Sachs proprietary index in a new fixed indexed annuity issued by Western & Southern member insurance companies set to launch this fall. “The Goldman Sachs index will provide a distinctive allocation option alongside more traditional interest crediting […]

    Former Va. pastor gets federal prison time for life insurance scam

    {September 19th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    The founder and former pastor of a Chesterfield, Va., church was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for scamming at least 1,249 people nationally out of $240,000 with false promises of obtaining universal life insurance policies for a one-time $25 fee. Nathaniel A. McNeil Jr., 46, former president of Life Transformation Ministries […]

    NAIC to Tackle IAIS Transparency at Upcoming International Insurance Forum

    {September 19th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has “serious concerns” about what is seen as an opaque process for developing global capital standards for large international insurers, the organization’s chief executive officer said. Former U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, who heads the NAIC, said the organization has scheduled an Oct. 14 forum at the Brookings […]

    LPL wants bigger voice in Washington

    {September 19th, 2014} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Increasing federal financial regulation has prompted LPL Financial to get closer to the action by opening a public affairs office in the nation’s capital, the firm announced Wednesday. “Our company and industry face an array of complex and rapidly changing challenges in the regulatory and legislative arena,” David P. Bergers, LPL managing director for legal […]

    The biggest gift to advisors in 30 years

    {September 18th, 2014} by William Meyer

    Whatever you do, don’t mention the word “annuity.” There seems to be an endless parade of research and studies performed by the Insured Retirement Institute, Mathew Greenwald and Associates and others that find the public likes the features of annuities, but not the term itself. Mention the guarantees, riders, “upside participation and downside protection,” diversification […]

    Universal life: rethinking its role in retirement planning

    {September 18th, 2014} by John Deremo

    Did you do a double take when you saw the title of this article? I ask because if, at your next networking event, you were to mention universal life insurance in the same breath as retirement planning, you may get a blank stare from some of your fellow agents or advisors. After all, the thought […]

    Don’t Fear the MVA

    {September 17th, 2014} by Jonathan C. Illig

    For many insurance professionals, MVA is a “four letter word.” This is because a Market Value Adjustment, or MVA, is an additional potential charge that can decrease the total “walk-away dollar value” of a deferred annuity in the event of a full surrender or excess withdrawal (any withdrawal that is more than the annual penalty-free […]

    Gen Y Matures Into Emerging Market

    {September 17th, 2014} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn., Sept. 17, 2014 — In a new LIMRA study, 52 percent of Generation Y consumers said they want professional financial advice to determine their need for life insurance. In the last five years, Generation Y has also improved their income and financial situation more than other age groups. “As members of Generation Y […]

    Roundup: Allianz, New York Life, Prudential, SMA, VRC Insurance Systems, Assurity Life, Guardian, LIMRA, SOA

    {September 17th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    Roundup: Allianz Life launches new life insurance policy Allianz Life launches Pro+ Survivor Fixed Index universal life insurance policy Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) announced the launch of Allianz Life Pro+ SurvivorSM Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy, now available in 43 states. The new product is designed for consumers seeking […]

    Life Insurance Coverage Slowly On Decline

    {September 17th, 2014} by Brittany Tate, The Brunswick News, Ga.

    Sept. 17–Sifting through life insurance policies can be a stressful ordeal for someone who is unfamiliar with its logistics and fine print, and many across America are proving that the language of life insurance is one that’s not easily understood. Since many people don’t have disposable income readily available at their fingertips once bills and […]

    Understanding And Managing The Hidden Challenges Of GUL

    {September 17th, 2014} by Eric Henderson

    Most people know guaranteed universal life (GUL) for its flexibility and guarantees. These features are built right into the policy and are the reason many of your clients are drawn to it. They may not know that there is a third and equally important design aspect to these products, though — risk. While a “risky […]

    Financial Planning For Pets Is A High Priority For Some Owners

    {September 17th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Americans love their pets so much that millions are willing to put their money where their pets are. Nearly 20 percent of respondents to a recent survey by Securian Financial Group said they engaged in financial planning for their pets’ care. This planning included drawing up pet protection agreements, naming pets in their wills, granting […]

    Term vs. whole life: Why rent if you can afford to own?

    {September 17th, 2014} by Christopher P. Hill

    For decades, I have studied and learned a wide variety of ways to explain the differences between term and whole life insurance. Regardless of how you choose to review the key differences with your client, their decision almost always boils down to cost: Is it affordable and will it fit into their budget? When you […]

    SEC’s uniform fiduciary rule could ‘haunt’ advisors

    {September 17th, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    Creating a uniform fiduciary duty rule for brokers and advisors is a “deeply flawed” concept, and the Securities and Exchange Commission should instead create a “generalized obligation” for brokers that requires them to act in their clients’ best interest, Robert Plaze, the former deputy director of the agency’s Division of Investment Management, said Tuesday. “To […]

    Wells Fargo pushes insurers to lower commissions on indexed annuities

    {September 17th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

    Annuity gatekeepers at broker-dealers are closely watching Wells Fargo Advisors as it presses insurers to lower commissions for the indexed annuities sold by its representatives.   Click HERE to view via InvestmentNews; registration required           During the second quarter of 2014, sales climbed to $12.6 billion in total, up nearly 37% […]

    Why Some Don’t Sell Fixed Annuities: Opinion

    {September 17th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Industry researchers are reporting sales growth for fixed annuities, especially the fixed index annuity (FIA), during the first half of 2014. But are most producers selling them? No, according to a study from Cogent Reports. The researchers decided to find out why. The results — especially the reasons cited by insurance agents — are a […]

    MetLife Hopes Campaign Will Help Change Perceptions Of Life Insurance

    {September 17th, 2014} by Stuart Elliott

    A new campaign seeks to accentuate the positive about life insurance, promoting it affirmatively as a way to “live for” the loved ones in your life rather than taking a downbeat tack with terms like “death benefit” or “beneficiary.” The campaign, now getting underway, is from MetLife and comes as the life insurance industry spends […]

    Allianz Life Launches Allianz Life Pro+ Survivor Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy

    {September 16th, 2014} by Business Wire

      New product offers cost-effective death benefit protection for two lives plus cash value accumulation MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced the launch of Allianz Life Pro+ SurvivorSM Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy, now available in 43 states. Allianz Life Pro+ Survivor is designed for consumers seeking an […]

    IRI Recognizes Importance of Financial Advice

    {September 16th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 –The Insured Retirement Institute issued the following news release: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today issued a statement from IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford to recognize National Financial Advisor Week and the important part financial advisors have in preparing Americans for a financially secure retirement. IRI is a sponsor of this […]

    An Antidote To Advisors-Gone-Wrong: Opinion

    {September 16th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Wouldn’t you know it? Just as I was reading about the inaugural National Financial Advisor Week that is getting underway this week in Times Square, along came some rain on the parade. The event is designed to celebrate “the excellent work financial advisors do for investors.” A sunny hello to that. But then there was […]

    Financial adviser sentenced to five years | US District Court

    {September 16th, 2014} by N/A

    A long-time Kenmore, Washington financial adviser was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison for mail fraud and Social Security Number fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Edward H. Kahler, 65, was the owner of Key Resources, a Kenmore, Wash. retirement consulting company which sold annuities and life […]

    10 things to know about whole life insurance

    {September 16th, 2014} by Stephan R. Leimberg, Robert J. Doyle, Jr., Keith A. Buck

    Whole life insurance, as the name implies, is a contract designed to provide protection over the insured’s entire lifetime. There are many types of whole life policies, but the oldest and still the most common type of whole life policy is ordinary level premium whole life insurance, or simply ordinary life. This form of insurance […]

    Andrew Madoff leaves more than $15 million to family, fiancée

    {September 16th, 2014} by Chris Dolmetsch

    (Bloomberg) — Andrew Madoff, the son of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, left more than $15 million in property to his children, wife and fiancée in his will following his death from lymphoma this month. Andrew Madoff listed $11 million in personal property and $4.5 million in improved real property in his will, which was […]

    How the insurance industry is being disrupted

    {September 16th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    Disrupt: n. Disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity or process. – Oxford Dictionaries In an age where everything and everyone is being “disrupted,” where even TechCrunch, a technology news site, has its own set of conference-type events in different countries called TechCrunch Disrupt (recently featured on the HBO TV show Silicon Valley), and […]

    Two-thirds of small biz owners plan to retire within 10 years

    {September 16th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    New research from Asset Life Settlements points to an increase in the supply of corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) policies brokered in the secondary market due to business owners seeking to cash out and retire. “The improving economy and financial performance of small businesses is the driving force behind the recent spike in the sale of […]

    The future of insurance comes down to these 4 things

    {September 16th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

    From September 10-14, a group of young (ages 30-50) business and financial leaders gathered in Montreaux, Switzerland at the fifth annual meeting of the G-20Y summit. The mission? To discuss sustainable prosperity in the face of a world increasingly at risk. The summit covered ten issues specifically in a series of structured discussions from which […]

    Allstate bets on timber, property to boost annuity returns

    {September 16th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — Allstate Corp. is betting on timber and real estate to boost returns at a struggling annuity unit. “We do need to figure out what we do with our annuity business,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson, said at an investor presentation today. “It’s still not where we’d like it to be on a long-term […]

    5 ways to sell life insurance to millennials

    {September 15th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    “To sell or not to sell life insurance to millennials, that is the question” – from William Shakespeare’s newly discovered blog series, Two Noble Insurancemen. OK, that’s not a real blog by the English renaissance playwright and poet. And this should not be a question you have to ask yourself. Click here to read…

    Nationwide Reorganizes Leadership, Units to Implement Brand Consolidation

    {September 15th, 2014} by Michael Buck

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. is reorganizing parts of its leadership and unit structure as it works to implement its brand consolidation strategy, according to a company statement. The company is focusing its organization around three primary business units: Nationwide Property & Casualty Agency Operations; Nationwide Direct and Member Solutions; and Nationwide Financial. […]

    AIG’s Deremo: Consumers Need More Useful Life Products

    {September 15th, 2014} by Lee McDonald

    OLDWICK, N.J. – John Deremo, American International Group Inc.’s head of distribution for life products, said longer life spans and limited savings mean Americans will require life products that perform multiple functions. Deremo talked to A.M.BestTV as part of special coverage of Life Insurance Awareness Month. View the video version of this interview at: http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=deremo914 […]

    NAIFA’s message to Congress: Leave our products alone

    {September 15th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Congressional efforts to secure more than $3.2 trillion in new revenue by rolling back financial services industry tax benefits could be realized if advisors don’t make their voices heard on Capitol Hill next year. That was the overriding theme of a Legislative Forum at the 2014 Career Conference and Annual Meeting of the National Association […]

    State Roundup

    {September 15th, 2014} by Pam Heinrich

    A Brief History of the NAIC Model Laws Affecting Fixed Annuities In the 143 years since the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) passed its very first model law in 1871 (related to the standardization of fire insurance policies), the NAIC has adopted some 193 different model laws or regulations, along with an additional 16 […]


    {September 15th, 2014} by Kim O'Brien

    MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT There have been a number of significant developments in state actions against sellers of annuities that provide great insight into what regulators and prosecutors are watching these days. In the last issue of Annuity Outlook Magazine, we spoke about the “State of the States” on these same pages and provided a […]

    Principal Financial joins Macquarie in CMBS bet as sales surge

    {September 15th, 2014} by Madeline McMahon and Sarah Mulholland

    (Bloomberg) — Principal Financial Group Inc., the provider of life insurance and retirement products, is joining with Macquarie Group Ltd. in a venture that will make loans and package them into bonds. The real estate arm of Principal Financial will underwrite, close and service the loans while Sydney-based Macquarie will provide funding, the companies said […]

    Insurers Mine Data For Better Underwriting, Deeper Client Relationships

    {September 15th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Despite many life insurers taking a “backseat approach” to mining large data sets, carriers can profit from big data by using more advanced underwriting analytics and by deepening the relationship with customers, a new report has found. Analytical tools have helped some global insurance carriers increase the number of purchases after a prospect begins an […]

    Life insurers’ earnings and ROE dip, but surplus rises in Q2

    {September 15th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Life insurers’ statutory earnings, though still positive, fell by 16.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the year-ago period, according to a new report. ALIRT Insurance Research discloses this finding in a study that examines the performance of life insurers during the first six months of 2014. The research also compares industry […]

    Nationwide Names Executives, Divisions Under One-Brand Strategy

    {September 12th, 2014} by N/A

    Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has realigned its internal structure and named new division leaders, one week after announcing it is bringing all of its product lines under the single brand, Nationwide. Last week Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. said it will use the Nationwide brand for all of its products and subsidiaries and drop the use […]

    Allstate Bets on Timber, Property to Help Annuity Result

    {September 12th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    Allstate Corp. (ALL) is betting on timber and real estate to boost returns at a struggling annuity unit. “We do need to figure out what we do with our annuity business,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson, said at an investor presentation today. “It’s still not where we’d like it to be on a long-term basis, […]

    Don’t Let Clients Fall Into A Beneficiary Form Trap

    {September 12th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Filling out the beneficiary form for annuities might seem simple. Just fill in the names and move on. But Jeffrey Levine, an individual retirement account (IRA) consultant with Ed Slott and Co., said those simple-looking forms might harbor traps for agents and advisors, and ultimately their clients. One trap pops up if the client fails […]

    Insurance broker AmeriLife taps Evercore for sale -sources

    {September 12th, 2014} by Greg Roumeliotis and Mike Stone

    (Reuters) – Insurance marketing and brokerage firm AmeriLife Group LLC is exploring a sale that could fetch as much as $500 million, and has hired investment bank Evercore Partners Inc to assist with that effort, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. Founded in 1971, AmeriLife develops, markets and sells annuity, life and health […]

    Fla. Pastor Gets Prison For Insurance Scheme

    {September 12th, 2014} by The Associated Press

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Florida pastor has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty inVirginia to a life insurance scheme. The government says 46-year-old Nathaniel A. McNeil’s scheme victimized more than 1,200 people. U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente (BEN’-tay) says McNeil was sentenced Friday to 68 months in prison […]

    How millennials think about insurance

    {September 12th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    In a perfect world, we would all understand each other with a single look or word. In the real world, we’re all a cluster of experiences that make us unique, a universe in our minds. Millennials are no different. Click here to read…

    Society of Actuaries Names Craig Reynolds as President-Elect

    {September 11th, 2014} by PR Newswire

    PR Newswire SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 11, 2014 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Society of Actuaries (SOA) announced the results of its member voting, with Craig W. Reynolds, FSA, MAAA, selected as President of the SOA for the 2015-2016 term. Reynolds will serve as President-Elect during the association’s 2014-2015 year. Based in Seattle, […]

    Response to Andrew Silva, Financial Planning

    {September 11th, 2014} by NAFA Response

    NAFA Response to Annuity Sales Up, But Should They Be? Financial Planning By Andrew Pavia September 10, 2014   Annuity sales are up, even as some experts question whether certain products make sense for clients in a low-interest rate environment.   In the second quarter, industry-wide annuity sales reached the highest level in three years, […]

    Does The Industry Have A Tax-Expenditure Or A Tax-Revenue Problem?

    {September 11th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The issue of insurance industry tax expenditures figured high on the agenda of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), which met in San Diego this week for its annual convention. Whether the government eventually manages to roll back tax exemptions across the board or pick off insurance-related pieces from the expenditures list […]

    MetLife hopes campaign will help change perceptions of life insurance

    {September 11th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    Who do you live for? MetLife has launched a social media only marketing campaign in which they ask random people in the street just that. The company is trying to raise awareness about the importance of having life insurance by focusing on the positive aspect of family and life, instead of the traditional way of […]

    8 questions to help you choose the perfect annuity for your client

    {September 11th, 2014} by David Shields

    Imagine walking into your local sporting goods store and telling the salesman, “Give me your best golf club.” He would inevitably look confused and then ask a myriad of questions: What’s your budget? How far do you want to hit the ball? Do you need a putter? A driver? A sand wedge? An iron? Are […]

    Insurance Fraud Chief Appeals 20-Year Prison Term

    {September 11th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    MIAMI (AP) — The man who masterminded an$800 millionFlorida insurance scam that fleeced more than 30,000 investors is appealing his 20-year prison term. The attorney for 64-year-oldJoel Steinger filed notice of appeal Wednesday inMiami federal court. Steinger was chief executive of the now-defunctMutual Benefits Corp., which bought life insurance policies from people with AIDS, cancer […]

    Insurance broker AmeriLife taps Evercore for sale -sources

    {September 10th, 2014} by GREG ROUMELIOTIS AND MIKE STONE

    NEW YORK, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Insurance marketing and brokerage firm AmeriLife Group LLC is exploring a sale that could fetch as much as $500 million, and has hired investment bank Evercore Partners Inc to assist with that effort, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. Founded in 1971, AmeriLife develops, markets and sells […]

    Florida Proposes Rule for Annuity and Life Insurance Surrender Disclosures

    {September 10th, 2014} by Ann Young Black, Kelly Cruz-Brown, Steven Kass

    On September 4, the Florida Department of Financial Services (the “Department”) published a Notice of Rule Development for Proposed Rule 69B-215.090, Florida Administrative Code (the “Proposed Rule”) setting out disclosure requirements for certain annuity and life insurance policy surrenders. This Proposed Rule implements Section 627.4553, Florida Statutes, which applies to surrenders of cash value annuities […]

    How to overcome your client’s annuity misconceptions

    {September 10th, 2014} by Rich Lane

    As a broker, you are poised to profoundly affect your client’s financial decisions by bringing them sound advice and recommending the best vehicles for their hard-earned retirement dollars. Many brokers have found that recommending a fixed annuity can help clients gain an advantage and maintain peace of mind leading up to and during retirement. Many […]

    MetLife’s too-big-to-fail fight

    {September 10th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

    MetLife CEO Steve Kandarian says “MetLife is not systemically important under the Dodd-Frank Act criteria. In fact, MetLife has served as a source of financial strength and stability during times of economic distress, including the 2008 financial crisis.”Whether those arguments hold up when MetLife contests the designation remains to be seen. The company has one […]

    Future Of Advice Lies In Translating Needs Into Strategy

    {September 10th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The future of financial advice lies not with accurate readings of the proverbial crystal ball, nor with nimbly stepping in and out of investment positions. And in no case does it lie with dumping a dictionary worth of investment and market jargon on a client. No, the future of advice lies with the valuable exercise […]

    Life Insurance Activity Up 0.6%

    {September 10th, 2014} by N/A

    Braintree, MA. (September 10, 2014) — U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance rose +0.6% in August year-over-year, all ages combined, according to the MIB Life Index. Modest growth in the composite Index for a second consecutive month may be cause for cautious optimism against a backdrop of five prior consecutive quarterly losses. The […]

    How financial services firms will use social media in 2015

    {September 10th, 2014} by Norah Denley

    In 2013, LIMRA asked financial services firms about their future plans for social media. For the most part, plans emphasized growing the community and learning more about how to best use the different networks. What a difference a year makes. A 2014 study of 54 financial services companies reveals much more awareness of social media […]

    SEC Still Looking At Fiduciary Rule Options: Opinion

    {September 10th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    In Senate testimony this week, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made clear that the SEC is not yet clear on the final direction the agency will take on proposals to expand the fiduciary standard to the retail investment advice community. While a clear/not-yet-clear signal may seem to be too fuzzy to […]

    Agent Steals More Than $100K From California Businesses

    {September 10th, 2014} by N/A

    Isidro Santillan, 53, of Pacoima, Calif., has been arrested and charged with 13 counts of grand theft and three counts of commercial burglary. Santillan allegedly stole more than $100,000 by selling insurance policies and bonds to licensed contractors and not forwarding the premium to insurance companies. Investigators allege Santillan, who also went by Art Sanchez, […]

    Wink’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    {September 10th, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    Wink  recently joined the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce and celebrated their location in Pleasant Hill, Iowa on Tuesday September 9th, 2014 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Wink’s CEO, Sheryl J. Moore, purchased the building at 5148 E. University Avenue over two years ago after doubling her staff and outgrowing their previous office. The building, remodeled […]

    Younger Adults Buy Fixed Annuities, Too

    {September 10th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    An annuity agency executive was reviewing the average age of his firm’s fixed annuity buyers when he noticed a shift. There was a bump-up in buyers who were under age 50 when they bought their policies, Ken Nuss said. For instance, fixed index annuity (FIA) buyers in the “under-age-50” category represented 26 percent of his […]

    A Look At The Life Insurance Gap

    {September 10th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Maybe it’s that life insurance has a marketing problem. Maybe it’s the competition with retirement and investment products. Or maybe it’s just that there are fewer life insurance agents willing to sit down at the kitchen table for a tete-a-tete about family protection needs. Why so many Americans are uninsured and underinsured for life insurance […]

    Insurance Industry Blasts MetLife’s Preliminary SIFI Designation

    {September 10th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – Representatives of the U.S. insurance industry are roundly criticizing the decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council to issue a preliminary systemically important financial institution designation to MetLife Inc. The American Council of Life Insurers issued a statement shortly after the FSOC’s decision was handed down, saying the organization was “extremely disappointed” by […]

    Insurance Agent Charged In $100,000 Grand Theft

    {September 10th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    LOS ANGELES, Calif., Sept. 9 — The California Department of Insurance issued the following news release: Isidro Santillan, 53, of Pacoima, was arrested in August and charged with 13 counts of grand theft and three counts of commercial burglary. Santillan allegedly stole more than $100,000 by selling insurance policies and bonds to licensed contractors and […]

    LIMRA’s Kerzner: Life Industry Needs to Move Beyond Life Events

    {September 9th, 2014} by Lee McDonald

    WINDSOR, Conn. – LIMRA President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Kerzner said he believes life insurers have huge untapped growth opportunity but must convince consumers that life insurance is a necessity, not just a purchase tied to major life events. Kerzner was interviewed as part of special coverage of Life Insurance Awareness Month. LIMRA recently […]

    Fed to go easy on insurance companies

    {September 9th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    The Federal Reserve Board outlined for itself a very circumscribed role in regulating insurance companies. Specifically, it made clear that it doesn’t want to preempt the role of state insurance regulators in overseeing the traditional activities of insurance companies. In an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, Daniel Tarullo, the Fed governor most directly associated […]

    Boomer Esiason Steps Up for Life Insurance Awareness

    {September 9th, 2014} by Lee McDonald

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Former pro football star Boomer Esiason discusses events in his early life that led him to a new appreciation for the need for adequate life insurance protection. The retired NFL quarterback spoke with A.M.BestTV as part of special coverage of Life Insurance Awareness Month   Q: In this first episode of the […]

    LIMRA: Second-Quarter US Sales of Individual Life Insurance Rose 1%

    {September 9th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    WINDSOR, Conn. – The second quarter of 2014 continued to be slow for sales of individual life insurance in the United States as total sales, based on new annualized premium, rose 1%, according to LIMRA. Driving overall sales was individual whole life, which rose 6% during the period. For the first six months of this […]

    Jobs Report: US Insurance Industry Adds 6,200 Jobs in August

    {September 9th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry continued its streak of growth in August, adding 6,200 jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Sept. 5. The 0.25% seasonally adjusted increase followed the upward trend the industry has seen in recent months. The employment figures released by BLS show industry employment, which sits at roughly 2.43 […]

    Coventry First CEO Calls AIG Unit’s Life Settlement RICO Lawsuit ‘Salacious,’ ‘Personal’

    {September 9th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. – Alan Buerger, chief executive officer of Coventry First, is calling a racketeering lawsuit filed by an indirect subsidiary of American International Group Inc. “salacious” and “personal as anything I’ve ever seen.” Lavastone Capital LLC, a subsidiary of AIG formerly known as AIG Life Settlements, sued Coventry First in the U.S. District […]

    ING Name Vanishes From U.S.

    {September 9th, 2014} by Megan Leonhardt

    After nearly 40 years of seeing the ING name in the U.S. financial services industry, the remaining retirement, insurance and broker/dealer divisions of the company’s U.S. operations re-branded to the Voya name on Monday. Amsterdam-based ING Group, which purchased a number of U.S.-based companies starting in 1975, has slowly been divesting its global assets, including […]

    Financial firms liking social media

    {September 9th, 2014} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Financial services companies are much better informed about social media than they were a year ago, and their plans for future use of such media are becoming more ambitious, refined and targeted. That’s according to LIMRA, which in 2013 asked the firms about their plans for social media. Answers a year ago were pretty much […]

    AIG’s Expanded Operations Will Create 300 Jobs in Kansas

    {September 9th, 2014} by N/A

    American International Group Inc. held a grand opening Tuesday to celebrate its expansion in Olathe, Kan., which will bring 300 new jobs to the state by the end of 2015. Gov. Sam Brownback and AIG President and CEI Peter Hancock joined officials from AIG, the University of Kansas and Olathe at the ceremony. AIG’s expanded […]

    Four Challenges That Make A Great Argument For Life Insurance

    {September 9th, 2014} by Steve Sanders, LLIF. Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Columbus Life. Steve may be contacted at steve.sanders@innfeedback.com.

    Most life insurance professionals look beyond the life insurance industry for major trends that may impact our clients and our businesses. Policies at the federal level ranging from new health care laws to tax reform to budget challenges will have a major impact on our businesses in the coming years. At a minimum, they will […]

    NAIFA YAT Forum panelist: Expect a new wave of life products

    {September 8th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    In the coming years, many more carriers will offer products that allow owners of permanent policies to convert the cash value or death benefit into a single premium immediate annuity-like life income option. So predicted Michael Staeb during a panel discussion of young advisor team (YAT) members at the career conference and annual meeting of […]

    Why clients want the new fixed indexed annuities

    {September 8th, 2014} by Robert Bloink, William H. Byrnes

    Fixed annuities have taken the market by storm this year, as carriers have responded to growing client demand for financial products that provide a guaranteed level of income. Much of this growth, however, has been driven by a new crop of fixed indexed annuity products that have been designed to allow clients to participate in […]

    2014 annuity sales report: Industry-wide sales at highest level in three years

    {September 8th, 2014} by Cathy Weatherford

    The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today announced final second-quarter 2014 sales results for the U.S. annuity industry, based on data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar, Inc. Reaching the highest mark in three years, industry-wide annuity sales in the second quarter of 2014 rose to $59.9 billion, a 6.8 percent increase from $56.1 billion in […]

    Heard In The Hallways – NAIFA 2014

    {September 8th, 2014} by N/A

    Question: Will indexed universal life insurance sales continue to climb, level off or decline in the coming year? Why? “We’ll definitely see indexed universal life sales continue to climb — not just for the next year, but for the next couple of decades. That is, sales will keep rising provided that regulators don’t change the […]

    AIG vs. Coventry First: Competing lawsuits on life settlements

    {September 8th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    American International Group (AIG) and Coventry First, a leader in the life settlement market, are trading strong charges in competing lawsuits dealing with the appropriate interpretation of a 2006 deal where an AIG affiliate hired Coventry to help it acquire life policies in the then-booming life settlement market. The suits also expose for the first […]

    Annuity Sales Reach Highest Level In 3 Years

    {September 8th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Consumer demand for protection and guaranteed income, particularly in fixed annuities, drove overall annuity sales to $59.9 billion in the second quarter. This is an increase of 9.9 percent over the year-ago period, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) announced. Overall annuity sales rose 6.8 percent over the first quarter, the IRI added, citing data provided […]

    Wanted: Permanent Life Prospects

    {September 6th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Northwestern Mutual, a long-standing advocate of permanent life insurance if there ever was one, has some sad news and some hopeful news about that product. Let’s get the pain over with first: The company’s new 2014 Planning and Progress Study found that only 22 percent of Americans currently own a permanent life insurance policy. This […]

    Annuity Scams Can Drain Savings

    {September 6th, 2014} by Drew J. Breakspear

      Elder financial exploitation is a growing problem. Many senior citizens have worked for decades, paid off their homes and saved money for retirement. However, these assets can make seniors a prime target for individuals who seek to financially exploit them. Seniors account for 13 percent of the U.S. population, and according to the Virginia […]

    Partial annuitization: A useful planning strategy: Opinion

    {September 5th, 2014} by Ed McCarthy, CFP

    There’s an interesting and well-known dichotomy between researchers’ view of income annuities’ value and retirement plan participants’ behavior. Researchers correctly argue that guaranteed income annuities are excellent tools for covering retirees’ basic expenses and securing a lifetime income for one or two lives. Participants in defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) plans might agree […]

    Fixed annuity sales rising in 2014, but why now?

    {September 5th, 2014} by William H. Byrnes, Robert Bloink

    New studies show that, despite relatively stable conditions, fixed annuity sales have increased considerably in 2014 over 2013, as a perhaps unexpected number of clients flock toward these traditional guaranteed income products. While it is unsurprising that products providing guaranteed income for retirees are popular, what is surprising is that the historical motivations behind an […]

    American Equity Expands Contract Owner Offerings

    {September 5th, 2014} by Business Wire

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, a leading underwriter of index and fixed rate annuities, announced two new enhancements affecting crediting methods and lifetime income benefit payouts. These developments mark an expansion on the Company’s robust annuity product line, which has already established American Equity as one of the top carriers […]

    LIMRA: Whole life sales drive positive 2Q premium results

    {September 5th, 2014} by LIMRA

    Individual whole life new annualized premium increased six percent in the second quarter, according to LIMRA’s Second Quarter 2014 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales report. The increase, the LIMRA research reveals, boosted premium revenue for all individual life insurance products by one percent in the second quarter. For the first six months of 2014, however, […]

    MetLife CEO ‘Strongly Disagrees’ With FSOC Preliminary SIFI Designation

    {September 5th, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – MetLife Inc. has become the third insurance company to be designated as a systemically important financial institution. The Financial Stability Oversight Council voted unanimously to issue a preliminary designation during a Sept. 4 closed-door meeting. One FSOC member voted present. MetLife Inc. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steven A. Kandarian said the […]

    Symetra CFO: Company Working to Become a National Player in Life Insurance

    {September 5th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski

    NEW YORK – Symetra Financial Corp., a U.S. stop-loss carrier, sees opportunity to grow its group life and group disability business to eventually “rival” its stop-loss operations, the company’s chief financial officer said. “We’re trying to build ourselves into a national player life insurance company,” Margaret Meister, executive vice president and CFO, said at the […]

    Are Annuity Providers Prepared for Growth in Payouts Triggered by Treasury’s New Rule?

    {September 5th, 2014} by Erik Stockwell

      Annuities enjoyed a strong run in the 1990s as an excellent savings accumulation vehicle, particularly for those above qualified plan savings limits. However, the new millennium has not been so kind to annuities with persistent low interest rates and significant equity market volatility. Annuity interest may soon be resurfacing in the form of payouts […]

    Does employer stock rock retirement?

    {September 5th, 2014} by Kevin Startt

    When asked why he no longer visited a certain St. Louis restaurant, former Yankees Hall-of-Famer and coach Yogi Berra responded, “Nobody goes there anymore. It is too crowded.” This witty saying for employees, who have a bulk of their blood, sweat and tears in their company’s stock for their retirement plan and who are still […]

    Social media content and “social LIMRA” takeaways: Opinion

    {September 5th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    Are you sitting down and hopefully not drinking anything? OK, here it goes: There are more than 200 active social media platforms in the online world right now, and that’s not counting dating sites. But before you become overwhelmed: You don’t have to join all of these platforms. Click here to read…

    Why we should revise the licensing requirements for selling annuities

    {September 5th, 2014} by Michael Markey

    During an interview with an editor from LifeHealthPro, I was asked the question, “What are you most excited about in this industry?” Part of my answer was that I am very excited about the ways in which our industry is evolving. NAFA and other industry powerhouses have done a tremendous amount of work to change […]

    RetirePreneur: Sheryl J. Moore

    {September 4th, 2014} by Jenna Gottlieb

    What I do: I own two firms. The first, Moore Market Intelligence, assists with the product development of indexed annuities. The second is Wink, Inc., which provides competitive intelligence tools to life insurance and annuity product home offices, distributors, sales professionals, and consulting firms. My grandmother would say that I’m the president of an insurance […]

    There’s more to business life insurance than the claims it pays

    {September 4th, 2014} by Nichole Morford

    Writing for Forbes, Steve Parrish makes a convincing case for business owners to consider life insurance, arguing that the product has transitioned from the equivalent of a landline phone with a single purpose in the home to a smartphone used for multiple purposes in commerce. Whether used to fund a buy-sell agreement, to protect a […]

    Survey Finds Modern Families Gripped by Financial Insecurity

    {September 3rd, 2014} by Katie Libbe

    In 1970, nearly 40 percent of families in the U.S. identified as “traditional,” meaning those headed by a married opposite-sex couple having at least one child under age 21 living at home. Fast-forward 40 years and the picture of the American family looks quite different. Less than 20 percent of families now fit that traditional […]

    How to Prevent Life Insurance Buyer Amnesia

    {September 3rd, 2014} by Ron Sussman

    For years, those of us in the life insurance industry have suspected – and bemoaned – that life insurance policies too often are tossed in a drawer immediately after being signed. Clients, we have feared, have not given their life insurance policies the same treatment they might extend to other forms of insurance, let alone […]

    Women Share Their Secrets To Being Financially Prepared For Retirement

    {September 3rd, 2014} by Mary Cornatzer, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

    Sept. 01–Jo Ann Williford, 61, retired in 2011. Sheri Green, 56, sees retirement on the horizon. The two Raleigh women have this in common: They see themselves as financially prepared. Part of their confidence comes from having worked for the state, which means guaranteed pensions “as long as the state retirement plan doesn’t go belly […]