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Archive for October 2014


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  • 5 things most financial advisors don’t know about email marketing

    {October 31st, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

    Have you ever received an email that piqued your interest? Perhaps it spoke to a relevant business conundrum you were facing or contained an offer that came just in the nick of time. Despite what you may assume, this is no coincidence. With segmented or “tripwire” email marketing, it is possible to deliver targeted messages […]

    Annuity Proponents Ready To Expand Beachhead

    {October 31st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Decades from now, financial industry watchers may point to 2014 as a seminal period in the history of annuities, given the progress that has been made in recent months to get annuities included in employer-sponsored retirement plans. In July, the U.S. Treasury Department issued its final rules regarding longevity annuities, and in early October the […]

    Court Rejects Northwestern Mutual’s Denial Of Death Benefit

    {October 31st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that Northwestern Mutual acted improperly when it refused to pay the death benefit of a dead man the company claimed had withheld information about his health history when filling out his life insurance application. In the case, Jacky L. Larson v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., the state’s […]

    AARP article: “Don’t buy equity indexed annuities

    {October 31st, 2014} by James Cadle

    Well, here we go again. This time, it’s published by AARP in the April/May 2014 issue of their magazine. Titled “Don’t Buy It” and written by a stock broker, professor and financial writer named Allan Roth, the article describes equity indexed annuities and several other products as “some of the worst investments and financial products you can […]

    8 precautions when using indexed universal life to save for retirement

    {October 31st, 2014} by Chris Conklin

    The first index universal life product was brought to market a mere nine years ago, yet sales for this product line have grown substantially each year. In fact, last year’s sales of index universal life exceeded $550 million of annualized premium.  A key reason that index universal life has become so popular is that a […]

    Top five regrets of the dying (and why advisors should care)

    {October 31st, 2014} by Paul Wilson

    One of the biggest hurdles faced by advisors in the life and health sector is the fact that people hate to talk about illness, aging and death. And on some level, who can blame them? It’s scary. Click here to read…

    Universal Life: Take Care Of 3 Problems With 1 Product

    {October 31st, 2014} by James A. Mallon

    As 2015 approaches, I’m struck by the persistency of three glaring needs and the resounding calls to action they pose for producers. The new year will usher in new opportunities to help Americans with: – Providing death benefit protection for their families. – Facilitating sufficient income during retirement. – Providing safe harbor from the financial […]

    5 business books to inspire you

    {October 31st, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Earlier this fall, I published my selection of the 25 best business books. You can find the full list at best business books. In case you missed the titles, I wanted to share with you five of the business books that had the biggest impact on my career. Click here to read…

    New rules for annuities and target date funds inspire products race

    {October 31st, 2014} by Darla Mercado

      Retirement plan service providers are revving up their product development engines now that the Treasury and Labor departments are paving the way for annuities to be paired with target date funds in 401(k) plans. Plan service providers have long awaited guidance from regulators on whether plan sponsors can use these products as qualified default […]

    Here we go: The insurance industry is hiring

    {October 31st, 2014} by Tim Sprinkle

    Insurance is on an upswing, according to a report released Thursday by InsuranceJobs.com. The industry added 6,300 jobs in August, based on the latest employment numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The insurance carriers and related activities sub-sector grew by 0.25 percent last month and now sits roughly at 2.45 million employed insurance […]

    Survey About Financial Planners Casts Doubt On GAO Report

    {October 31st, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    New research released by the Financial Planning Coalition about the “misuse” of financial planner titles casts doubt on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found planners were adequately regulated under federal, state and industry rule-making bodies. Consumers are “harmed by the lack of appropriate regulatory standards for those who hold themselves out as ‘financial […]

    With QE Ending, Will Interest Rates Rise? BLOG

    {October 30th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The Federal Reserve news that the government’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program will end this month is bound to set off a new round of what-iffing in the life and annuity industry. Will interest rates start rising soon? If so, when? What to do now, if anything? This is not the first time that industry professionals […]

    What Halloween taught me about insurance

    {October 30th, 2014} by Kelly Moser

    I’m Kelly, I’m 26 years old and I have a confession to make: I’ve never been trick-or-treating. While most children would dress up and parade the streets for a night of free candy and fun, I would stay inside, turn off the lights and join my parents in pretending we weren’t home. My parents believed […]

    New annuity study: Knowledge and attitude are keys to growth

    {October 30th, 2014} by LIMRA

    A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study found that the more knowledge someone has about annuities, the more likely they are to have a positive attitude about them and eventually own one.   “Knowledge and attitude are the key factors,” said Jafor Iqbal, associate managing director, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. “Households with positive attitudes are […]

    Allianz Life Introduces New Social Security Tools for Consumers and Financial Professionals

    {October 30th, 2014} by Victoria Peterson

    A Social Security video that illustrates factors people should consider when planning their Social Security benefits is now available at www.allianzlife.com/socialsecurity. The video, developed by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), is one component of a Social Security education program that includes other planning resources and a web tool. Offering key issues […]

    Northwestern Mutual Declares Industry-Leading Dividends

    {October 30th, 2014} by Northwestern Mutual

    Northwestern Mutual will share its success with its policy owners in 2015 through an estimated $5.5 billion dividend payout. It will be a record payout for the financial security leader and is expected to exceed its estimated 2014 payout by $300 million. “This dividend result is great news for our policy owners,” said John Schlifske, […]

    Regulators Give Annuities a Green Light for Retirement

    {October 30th, 2014} by Jeff Holt

    The Treasury issued guidance supporting the use of deferred annuities in target-date funds. Why does this matter to investors? As the retirement landscape has shifted investors from the predictable payments of defined-benefit plans to the relative uncertainty of saving for their own retirements via defined-contribution plans, plan sponsors and industry practitioners have sought to combine […]

    Investment Advisor Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison

    {October 30th, 2014} by Victoria Peterson

      A former Georgia investment adviser was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday for committing fraud that fueled a bank’s collapse, cost investors millions of dollars and turned the accused banker into a fugitive who was ultimately — and mistakenly — declared dead. Aubrey Lee Price, 48, returned to U.S. District Court for sentencing […]

    The Phoenix Cos. Is Late Again With SEC Filings

    {October 30th, 2014} by Matthew Sturdevant

      The Phoenix Cos. and its subsidiary are late again with financial filings due to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the latest of several delays, and it will result in more fines. The parent company was supposed to file its second-quarter earnings report for 2014 on Friday, Oct. 24, and the subsidiary, PHL Variable […]

    Analysts Look To Genworth’s 3Q Announcements

    {October 30th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

      With third-quarter earnings from life and long-term care insurance carriers rolling in this week, industry experts are looking closely at Genworth Financial and its long-term care claims review, as well as annual actuarial reviews at a half-dozen other large carriers. The big story remains with Genworth, which is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings […]

    New Treasury guidance to include deferred annuities

    {October 29th, 2014} by Cathy Weatherford

    The Treasury Department issued new IRS guidance to support the expanded use of annuities in defined contribution plans. The guidance makes clear that plan sponsors may offer deferred income annuities in target date investment options that are designated as the default investment in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. This guidance demonstrates the Treasury Department’s […]

    NAIC, Amy Grant offer advice to ‘Sandwich Generation’

    {October 29th, 2014} by Staff Writer

    The so-called Sandwich Generation is not a happy bunch, given that both their parents and their kids are eating up a lot of their resources in both time and money. While that’s hardly news, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has recruited performer Amy Grant in a campaign aimed at offering advice to members of […]

    Great American Launches New Fixed-Indexed Annuity Featuring Uncapped Earning Potential and Increasing Income Opportunity

    {October 29th, 2014} by Business Wire

    CINCINNATI — Great American has expanded its product offerings to include a new fixed-indexed annuity with three optional riders. The American Custom 10SM is designed to help consumers protect their retirement assets while providing the opportunity for increased accumulation. Consumers have the flexibility to select from multiple interest crediting strategies to fit their needs, including […]

    Phoenix FIAs Get An Exclusive Index

    {October 29th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Another exclusive index has popped up in the fixed index annuity (FIA) marketplace. This one is an exchange traded fund (ETF)-based index that Phoenix Companies has licensed from Credit Suisse for exclusive use in four of the company’s core FIAs. “’Core’ FIAs refers to our best-selling products,” Dana Pedersen told AnnuityNews. She is vice president […]

    Bullied, gay teen’s ‘dying wish’ denied after suicide

    {October 29th, 2014} by MSNBC Originals

    After AJ Bett’s suicide from bullying some of his organs were rejected because he was gay, according to his mom Sheryl Moore [Wink’s CEO]. Click here to view

    The 5 best closing lines

    {October 28th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

    Closing lines: They can be a little cheesy, sometimes unnecessary and most times overly dramatic. But they’ve also worked — on some occasions — to help close sales and gain clients. Of course, in reality, you’re not “closing” a sale, but opening a relationship once that prospect signs up for a policy.  Click here to read…

    3 reasons to wait until your clients retire to make a Roth conversion

    {October 28th, 2014} by Jeffrey Levine

    One of the most common questions clients ask about Roth IRAs is “Should I make a Roth conversion?” If the answer is yes, the next question is “When should I convert?” While Roth conversions can make sense at any age, depending on your clients’ particular circumstances, generally speaking, the younger a client is, the more […]

    5 ways to improve your client’s life insurance situation

    {October 28th, 2014} by Allen D. Gersten

    Since life insurance underwriting is an imperfect ‘science,’ it offers both opportunities for surprisingly good outcomes and disappointing setbacks. It’s well known that one company’s good risk is another company’s decline or highly rated case. Because of the potential disparity in responses to a case, advisors are faced with the daunting task of aligning a […]

    IRS Posts New Limits for 2015 Retirement Plan Contributions

    {October 24th, 2014} by Ann Marsh

    The IRS has released its new contribution levels for tax-deferred savings plans in 2015 — and the higher dollar figures may mean more to clients right now than in other years. That’s the message from CFP/CPA Karl Schwartz, a Miami-based advisor with Hewins Financial Advisors, who chalks the greater impact up to slow wage growth. […]

    Top 25 U.S. charities

    {October 24th, 2014} by Michael S. Fischer

    Any lingering doubts that donor-advised funds have come into their own have largely dissipated with the publication of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2014 Philanthropy 400, which ranks the 400 charities that collect the most from private sources. Four of the top 10 charities in 2013 raised money primarily from wealthy donors by offering donor-advised funds. In […]

    Why you shouldn’t push whole life

    {October 24th, 2014} by Mack Dudayev

    Even though there’s a polarizing debate among life insurance agents about the role of pure protection life insurance, the products in that arena are still growing in popularity. Some agents continue to be attached to the notion that whole life insurance is a good product for the consumer. The truth is, for the huge majority […]

    ACLI Chief: Regulators Should Keep Consumers in Mind When Setting New Rules

    {October 23rd, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    As the federal government and international regulators move forward with efforts to enact new rules for the insurance industry, they should not “lose sight of” the reason rules are implemented in the first place — to help the consumer, said American Council of Life Insurers President and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Kempthorne. During ACLI’s annual […]

    LIMRA: Knowledge Of Annuities Boosts Ownership

    {October 23rd, 2014} by LIMRA

    A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study found that the more knowledge someone has about annuities, the more likely they are to have a positive attitude about them and eventually own one. “Knowledge and attitude are the key factors,” said Jafor Iqbal, associate managing director, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. “Households with positive attitudes are six […]

    New York Life backs ex-Zell partner in emerging markets bet

    {October 23rd, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — New York Life Insurance Co. is turning to billionaire Sam Zell’s former partner to make bets on emerging-market real estate. The insurer took a stake in Jaguar Growth Partners and plans to commit as much as $100 million to the first fund at the firm, which will invest in properties in developing markets, according to […]

    This is the coolest life insurance marketing EVER

    {October 23rd, 2014} by Bill Coffin

    A little while ago, we had the pleasure of visiting with Marvin Feldman, the head of Life Happens, a nonprofit organization that promotes the value of life insurance. We here at LifeHealthPro and National Underwriter Life & Health are big fans of Life Happens, but we were not prepared for what they sent us. This […]

    Top 10 attributes of ‘elite’ retirement advisors

    {October 22nd, 2014} by Marlene Y. Satter

    To come out ahead in the retirement business today, there are 10 attributes that advisors and service providers need to demonstrate. These same attributes are associated with leadership, stewardship and are critical to an ethical decision-making framework. So says Don Trone, founder and CEO of 3ethos, a Mystic, Connecticut leadership consultancy. Trone has co-written a […]

    Five reasons to postpone retirement

    {October 22nd, 2014} by New York Life

    Are you considering postponing your retirement? Well, you’re not alone. According to the Employment Benefits Research Institute, in 2011 36 percent of workers expected to retire after age 65, compared to only 25 percent of workers in 2006. Gallup likewise finds that people are retiring on average four years later than they were in the […]

    Fixed Index Annuities can be a Perfect Fit for Women

    {October 22nd, 2014} by Women, Money & Power

    There’s no question that finance is traditionally a male-dominated industry. Though the number of female financial professionals has increased dramatically over the last several years, there is a lingering sense among many female consumers that they are not part of the club when it comes to fully understanding and controlling their finances. A recent study […]

    Insurance Carrier & Agent Summit

    {October 22nd, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    Wink’s CEO, Sheryl J. Moore will be speaking at Laser App Software’s two day Insurance Carrier & Agent Summit event at the West Des Moines Marriott in West Des Moines Iowa. The summit is designed to educate insurance carriers and agencies. Both sessions are free to attend. Insurance Carrier Day Wednesday, November 5th: 8 am – […]

    Phoenix Companies Partners with Credit Suisse to Launch CS Tactical Multi Asset Index

    {October 22nd, 2014} by The Phoenix Companies

    New Crediting Options Linked to Exclusive Index Enhances Fixed Indexed Annuities Portfolio HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE: PNX) today announced that it has entered into a partnership with Credit Suisse to license the CS Tactical Multi Asset Index?, a new Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)-based index available exclusively to Phoenix fixed indexed annuities […]

    Carriers Ramp Up For National Save For Retirement Week

    {October 22nd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Congress has declared Oct. 19-25 National Save for Retirement Week, so advisors and employees should be prepared for an onslaught of tips and advice courtesy of their insurance carriers and retirement-services providers. The most effective way to encourage employees to save is through their workplace retirement plans. Insurers promoting employer-based retirement planning are reminding employees […]

    Apollo-backed Athene invests $8.4 billion over 12 months

    {October 22nd, 2014} by Laura Davison, Bloomberg

    (Bloomberg) — Athene Holding Ltd., the insurer tied to Apollo Global Management LLC, added $8.4 billion of investments over 12 months at an average yield of 6.76 percent as the company pursues mortgage-related wagers. Net investment income for the quarter ended June 30 was “in line” with results from the prior three months, when the […]

    A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Positive for Athene USA Group’s Members; Assigns Ratings to Athene Life Re and Athene Holding Ltd

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

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has revised the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “bbb+” of the members of Athene USA Group (AUSAG). (See below for a detailed listing of AUSAG’s group members and ratings.) AUSAG is the consolidating rating […]

    A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Americo Life, Inc. and Its Core Subsidiary

    {October 22nd, 2014} by BusinessWire

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) to “a” from “a-” of Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company (AFL) (Dallas, TX). The outlook has been revised to stable from positive. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSRs of […]

    Carriers Ramping Up For FIA Sales Through B/Ds

    {October 22nd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Say that this week’s stock market volatility stirs up consumer desire to put money in financial products with guarantees. Say that fixed annuities come to mind. Who is likely to get that sale or that inquiry? Would it be a life insurance agent, a rep at the local bank or maybe the family stockbroker/financial advisor? […]

    A tough stretch for variable annuities

    {October 21st, 2014} by Ed McCarthy, CFP

    It’s been a so-so stretch for variable annuity (VA) sales. According to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, VA sales fell 5 percent in 2014’s second quarter, totaling $36.2 billion. Year-to-date, VA sales reached $70.4 billion, a 4 percent drop from 2013.  Click here to read…

    FSB Releases Guidance on Approach to Resolution of Insolvent Systemically Important Companies

    {October 21st, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – Insurance companies with highly complex business models that become insolvent may not be able to rely on traditional resolution mechanisms to avoid suffering a catastrophic collapse that affects the global financial system, according to new guidance released by the G-20’s Financial Stability Board. In an update to its guidance on the Key Attributes […]

    MassMutual Sues JPMorgan Seeking Judgment That ‘RetireSmart’ Doesn’t Constitute Trademark Infringement

    {October 21st, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    BOSTON – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. has sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. in federal court over its use of the term “RetireSmart” for financial services, saying it does not constitute trademark infringement on JPMorgan’s rights in the term “SmartRetirement.” In its complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts, MassMutual […]

    How a Red Pen can Be Bloody Mess for an Annuity IMO

    {October 21st, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

    The pen is mightier than the sword. You heard that one, right? As such, a pen can slice off a goodly amount of your assets and puncture your reputation. Does that pen scribble lies or defame another? No. It merely draws a red circle, this one around a number – 12.2% perhaps. That was a […]

    Prudential Operations Chief: The Time for Federal Regulation Is ‘Clearly Here’

    {October 21st, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The 50-state approach to regulating life insurance has proven itself through the industry’s stability, but the time for federal regulation is “clearly here,” said Stephen Pelletier, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential Financial’s U.S. businesses. Speaking to an audience at the American Council of Life Insurers’ annual conference in Washington, […]

    Americans Share Their Biggest Financial Fears

    {October 21st, 2014} by PR Newswire

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Oct. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Americans are finding cause for concern with their finances, and uncertainty over their spending habits and overall financial confidence might be behind it. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey nearly half of individuals (47 percent) do not keep track of their monthly discretionary spending whatsoever. […]

    Barely half of new producer hires last 12 months in their new jobs … and other bad news

    {October 21st, 2014} by PropertyCasuality360

    Independent agents/brokers posted a 56 percent success rate in producer hiring in the past five years, although the hiring performance of the top and bottom firms varied widely, found a new study from Reagan Consulting. Another key result of the Reagan Consulting Producer Recruiting & Development (PR&D) research was that only 35 percent of producers […]

    White House support for insurance-specific rules

    {October 20th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    The White House appears likely to support legislation allowing the Federal Reserve Board to apply insurance-based capital standards to the insurance portion of any insurance holding company it oversees, the president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurance said today. Indeed, the bill will be “well-received at the White House,” Dirk Kempthorne said […]

    Hacked! What to Do When Personal and Financial Information has been Compromised

    {October 20th, 2014} by Targeted News Service

    WASHINGTON,Oct. 15 — The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards issued the following news release: With a number of large retailers and banks reporting massive data security breaches in the last year, leaving hundreds of millions of consumers’ personal information compromised, it seems inevitable that one’s identity and personal information will be stolen at some […]

    Most Millennials Seek Budgeting, Savings, Lending Advice

    {October 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    When millennials seek financial advice — having lived through low wages, high unemployment and heavy debt loads — they look for guidance in budgeting, saving for school and managing student loans, a recent TIAA-CREF survey shows. For many members of Generation Y, budgeting is difficult and that’s why they need help, Amy Podzius, director of […]

    EMC Insurance Office to Replace Downtown Des Moines Buildings

    {October 20th, 2014} by Associated Press

    An insurance company plans to begin demolishing three downtown Des Moines, Iowa, structures to make room for a new office building. EMC Insurance spokeswoman Lisa Hamilton tells The Des Moines Register that crews will begin tearing down the three brick buildings next week. The century-old Foster Building, Robertson Building and an annex will be replaced […]

    4 more answers every investor needs to know about annuities

    {October 20th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    From Oct. 15-17 many of the major players in the annuity world gathered in Scottsdale, Ariz. at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa for the 2014 IMO Summit. You can read more information about annuities from the event. Prior to the 2014 IMO Summit, NAFA sent out a paper (“Answers every investor needs to know […]

    Private equity to buy European insurance assets in 2015

    {October 20th, 2014} by Sarah Jones

    (Bloomberg) — Private-equity investors are expected to buy European insurance assets in 2015 as more companies sell non-essential businesses, according to a Towers Watson report. About 82 percent of the 264 executives surveyed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa predict private equity to be among the top three groups of acquirers, lured by insurers’ […]

    New rules for IRA rollovers coming

    {October 20th, 2014} by Allen Greenberg

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Department of Labor is likely to hold broker-dealers who chase IRA rollovers to the same fiduciary standards that retirement advisors must meet. That was the prediction offered Friday by ERISA attorney Fred Reish, who noted that, with an estimated $2 trillion in the 401(k) accounts of baby boomers at stake, […]

    10 commandments of investor behavior

    {October 20th, 2014} by Emily Zulz

    Investor misbehavior: It’s the scurvy of the financial services industry. So suggested Daniel Crosby, the psychologist and behavioral finance expert who recently co-authored Personal Benchmark, during the Financial Services Institute’s second annual Financial Advisor Summit. It took over 500 years for the official cure for scurvy, Vitamin C, to be established — despite the fact […]

    Elder Victims Lose $30K On Average To Scams And Theft, Survey Finds

    {October 20th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    A new study by Allianz Life has found that older Americans who are victims of elder abuse experience an average financial loss of $30,000. Those losses are more likely to come at the hands of people with whom the victims are familiar. The Safeguarding Our Seniors survey was taken by more than 2,000 Americans 65 […]

    Elder Financial Abuse Under-Reported And Misunderstood

    {October 20th, 2014} by Proquest LLC

    Elder financial abuse remains an under-reported and misunderstood issue – one likely to get worse as America’s population ages – according to the 2014 Safeguarding Our Seniors study from Allianz Life Insurance Company ofNorth America (Allianz Life). In its release, the company said that as America’s population ages and life expectancy rises, more cases of […]

    More than half of seniors don’t report elder financial abuse by family

    {October 20th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Most seniors fail to report incidents of financial exploitation, according to new research. In “2014 Safeguarding Our Seniors,” published by Allianz Life, one in five (19 percent) of adults ages 40 to 64 reported they have an older friend or family member who has been a victim elder abuse. Of this total, more than half […]

    Top 10 life insurers: On a four-week losing streak

    {October 20th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    The past month can hardly be described as bullish for life insurance stocks. For the fourth week running, share prices of most leading life insurers tracked by LifeHealthPro declined, albeit modestly. But the dips don’t come as a surprise, given that major indices have also been trending in negative territory. Click here to read…

    Understanding the protection gap: It’s like peeling an onion

    {October 17th, 2014} by Neil Sprackling

    If you want an illustration of the current state of life insurance sales, look no further than Generation Y, the largest generation group in the US. When they hear the word “agent” they think of the FBI. When they hear “protection” they think of birth control. “Policy” to them means general rules, not an insurance […]

    MetLife, AIA said to mull bids for NAB’s life insurance unit

    {October 17th, 2014} by Brett Foley and Narayanan Somasundaram

    (Bloomberg) — AIA Group Ltd. and MetLife Inc. are among companies weighing bids for National Australia Bank Ltd.’s life insurance unit, which may fetch as much as AU$1.5 billion (US$1.3 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said. National Australia, the nation’s largest lender by assets, is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the […]

    Shades Of Gray In The Advisor World

    {October 17th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Consultant, advisor, counselor, broker, intermediary. Call them what you will, each provides a service. But following testy exchanges last month between proponents of different standards of fiduciary advice, it was easy to get lost in the fog of labels identifying a registered investment advisor, a fee-based advisor or a commission-based broker. Nailing down the nuances […]

    Whole life: where cash value is king

    {October 17th, 2014} by Sean Quigley

    The phrase “cash is king” is so true, especially for negotiable transactions such as purchasing a vehicle, a home, gold or any other type of investment. Having cash in hand is power, but there is something that can be even more valuable than cash. And that is the cash value in a permanent life insurance […]

    NY Life’s deferred income annuity sales top $2B

    {October 17th, 2014} by Marlene Satter

    Americans are looking for ways to ensure they won’t outlive their income in retirement, said New York Life, and as a result are driving sales higher for its Guaranteed Future Income (GFI) deferred income annuity. Sales of GFI have totaled more than $2 billion since the company introduced it in July of 2011, and 10 […]

    A Washington insider’s outlook on annuities

    {October 17th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Speaking at the 2014 IMO Summit in Scottsdale, AZ today, Andy Friedman gave reason for optimism for annuity advisors. “Be wary of tax drag on clients,” said Friedman, who is a political affairs expert and the founder of The Washington Update. “Look at clients’ mutual fund. If those funds are not tax efficient, the clients […]

    Insurance & tech: What is big data and how to use it?

    {October 17th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    “If there is Big Data, is there Little Data?” – Philosoraptor Ok, so there is no such thing as a velociraptor that is also a philosopher and is called a philosoraptor. That’s just an Internet meme that has been going viral for some time (a meme is a concept that spreads rapidly from person to […]

    Fixed Annuities Must Tell A Simple Story

    {October 17th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Financial commentators of all stripes harp on high-profile cases in which annuity contract holders were sold annuities ill-suited to their needs, how annuities are too complicated and expensive, and how inflexible terms make annuities unattractive to changing needs. Enough! says Kim O’Brien, president and chief executive officer of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA). […]

    Americans’ outlook for U.S. economy soars to two-year peak

    {October 16th, 2014} by Danielle Trubow

    (Bloomberg) — Americans’ expectations for the economy in October climbed to the highest level in almost two years as a pickup in hiring, falling gasoline prices, and low borrowing costs heartened households. A measure tracking the economic outlook climbed to 51 this month, the strongest since November 2012, from 41.5 in September, data from the […]

    Is the fixed annuity market like playing Russian roulette — and will you get hurt?

    {October 16th, 2014} by George Shave

    Quite possibly.” That’s the short answer. It’s funny how quickly we forget the past. Let me take you back to 2010. Anyone working in the fixed annuity market dodged a potentially career-ending bullet when Rule 151A was vacated by the DC Circuit Court Of Appeals following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and […]

    Allianz Life And Wells Fargo Collaborate For Essential Income 7 Annuity

    {October 16th, 2014} by Close-Up Media, Inc

    Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America reported that the Essential Income 7SM Annuity is now available on the Wells Fargo enhanced Index Annuity Platform. Designed for Wells Fargo, the new fixed index annuity and its Essential Income Benefit1, embedded in the product for an additional cost, provides customers retirement accumulation options and lifetime retirement […]

    New York Life Expanding Its Presence In N.J.

    {October 15th, 2014} by Richard Newman, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)

    Oct. 15– Mutual life insurer New York Life Insurance Co. is out to increase its New Jersey market share and is boosting its sales force in the state by 78 agents this year, a company official said. The firm has already hired 44 of them since the beginning of the year, and is planning to […]

    Engaging the Next Generation

    {October 15th, 2014} by Byran Mills

    ENGAGING THE Next Generation As a seasoned financial professional who has grown a successful business, you’ve seen consumer marketing trends come and go, and through it all, you’ve helped your clients achieve their financial goals. These goals can range from beginning a retirement plan to funding a child’s education to enjoying a comfortable lifestyle during […]

    Compliance question hurts LTC awareness funding

    {October 15th, 2014} by Allison Bell

    The leaders of Life Happens — the organization formerly known as the LIFE Foundation — think life insurers and life insurance producers should use the upcoming Life Insurance Awareness Month campaign to promote the need for long-term care (LTC) planning. Marvin Feldman, president of Life Happens, said today during an interview that he would like […]

    Voya Financial Announces Leadership Change for Retirement Solutions Business

    {October 15th, 2014} by PR Newswire

    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014 NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) announced today that, effective immediately, the company’s Retirement Solutions business, which consists of the Retirement and Annuities segments, will be led directly by Voya Financial Chairman and CEO Rodney O. Martin, Jr. “Over the past few years, we have […]

    Allianz Life Launches Essential Income 7 Annuity Through Wells Fargo

    {October 14th, 2014} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), announced today that the Essential Income 7SM Annuity is now available on the Wells Fargo enhanced Index Annuity Platform. Designed for Wells Fargo, the new fixed index annuity (FIA) and its Essential Income Benefit1, embedded in the product for an additional cost,provides customers retirement accumulation […]

    Why Bermuda is the natural domicile for life re/insurers

    {October 14th, 2014} by Seth Darrell

    Bermuda has long been known as a centre of excellence and innovation in the world of re/insurance. Nowhere is this more evident than in the rapidly growing field of offshore life re/insurance and annuity products. Life re/insurance today represents a significant portion of Bermuda’s re/insurance market, with numerous registered life re/insurers deriving their business principally […]

    Court Dismisses Excessive Fees Case Against John Hancock

    {October 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    A U.S. appeals court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against John Hancock, which was sued for charging too much for the sale and management of group annuity contracts to retirement plan participants. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia said the plan participants […]

    Insurers Should Keep A Wary Eye On E-Commerce Firms: BLOG

    {October 14th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Should the traditional insurers fear non-insurance firms like e-commerce companies? The answer will interest agents, since the issue impacts them as well as their carriers. According to a June survey of 338 C-suite executives in the life and property-casualty insurance business, the answer is yes, they should. Researchers for the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Lands Two Big Guns

    {October 14th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The bench strength at annuity carrier Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL) has deepened. The company has named Christopher J. Littlefield as president and James M. Benson to the board of directors. Littlefield is well-known in annuity circles. He was president and chief executive officer of big fixed indexed annuity (FIA) seller Aviva USA from 2009 […]

    Insurance & tech: Use of e-signatures expected to increase

    {October 14th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    A recent survey by LIMRA, “Survey of tech tools: Use of e-signatures expected to increase,” reveals that 60 percent of insurance companies that sell their products through financial professionals use e-signatures. Short for electronic signature, e-signatures are used to validate that a person wrote a message, much like a regular, pen-to-paper signature. Sometimes, in order […]

    5 answers every investor needs to know about annuities

    {October 14th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    From Oct. 15-17 many of the major players in the annuity world will gather in Scottsdale, Ariz. at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa for the 2014 IMO Summit. I will provide live highlights from the conference. In the meantime, here you can find out more information about the event. Prior to the 2014 IMO […]

    Inheriting An Advisor, Along With Great Wealth

    {October 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Millennials from families with a net worth between $25 million and $100 million aren’t only going to inherit tens of billions of dollars’ worth of wealth, they are also likely to “inherit” their parents’ advisors. The Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management/Campden Wealth “Next Generation” Survey of 87 ultrahigh-net-worth individuals under age 40 found that 49 […]

    40,000 Suicides Annually, Yet America Simply Shrugs

    {October 14th, 2014} by developed tools to better tolerate feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

    Standing high above the San Francisco Bay, perched on an I-beam outside the Golden Gate Bridge railing, the man dressed neatly in khakis and a button-down shirt hesitated. Kevin Briggs stood a few feet away, imploring him not to jump. In nearly 20 years as a California Highway Patrol officer policing the famous span, Briggs […]

    The top 10 annuity sales leaders for Q2 2014

    {October 14th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

    MetLife, which was recently designated a SIFI, has made measured gains in the annuity marketplace in the past year. In the first quarter of 2014, it was a different story, however, as the company experienced a 42 percent decline in annuity sales (compared to Q1 2013) and placed 7th on this list. The story now […]

    The geek shall inherit the earth: Opinion

    {October 14th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

    Every year, I attend the New York ComiCon, one of the biggest gatherings of comic book fans and industry professionals in the country. Comic books have always been popular, but only in recent years have they gained such wide mainstream appeal, helped in no small portion by the stunning success of multiple movies and TV […]

    Axa cites marriage of bible’s Jacob in defending derivatives

    {October 14th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — To fight wrong-headed oversight, insurers traditionally turn to lobbyists and lawmakers. Axa SA is picking up the Bible. Some regulators have proposed restrictions on contracts that they see as new and risky.  Click here to read…

    Everybody Panic, Again

    {October 13th, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

    Why are you not on a ledge? Haven’t you been reading and hearing the news? The end is near. Or the end of the bull run in the stock market. So, yes, the end of everything, of course. That would be the inescapable conclusion that a consumer would draw from the news over the past […]

    Stock performance of the top 10 life insurers: Oct. 6-10

    {October 13th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    For the third consecutive week, share prices of leading life insurers fell, the declines mirroring a slide in most major market indexes. That’s the word for this fifth installment of a weekly analysis of the stock performance of 10 leading publicly held life insurers. The 10 companies are the same as those featured in an […]

    NAIC Proposed 2015 Budget Seeks 1.26% Bump in Revenue to $90.6 Million

    {October 10th, 2014} by Thomas Harman

    WASHINGTON – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ 2015 proposed budget seeks slightly higher revenue and operating expenses than the 2014 budget passed last year. The proposal seeks total operating revenue of $90.6 million and operating expenses of $96.1 million, increases of 1.26% and 3.35% respectively over the 2014 budget, according to the budget executive […]

    Florida Modifies Its Annuity Suitability Rule

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

    On October 1, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) amended Florida Administrative Code Rule 69B-162.011, “Suitability and Disclosures in Annuity Contracts – Forms Required” (the Suitability Rule). This amendment implemented the July 1, 2013 changes to Florida Statutes section 627.4554, which expanded the applicability of Florida’s suitability requirements to sales to all consumers instead […]

    Prosperity Life Insurance Group Completes Acquisition of SBLI USA

    {October 10th, 2014} by PR Newswire

    Prosperity Life Insurance Group, LLC October 9, 2014 8:00 AM   NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Prosperity Life Insurance Group, LLC (“Prosperity”) and SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc. (“SBLI USA”) today announced that they have completed their previously disclosed transaction under which Prosperity has acquired SBLI USA through a sponsored demutualization. Following […]

    AIG Had No Better Offer, Bernanke Testifies In Trial

    {October 10th, 2014} by Aaron M. Kessler

    Ben S. Bernanke, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was not the most cheerful of witnesses on Thursday as he took the stand in the lawsuit over terms of the 2008 bailout of the insurance giantAmerican International Group. Mr. Bernanke gave terse and clipped responses to questions, many times just a ”yes, sir” or […]

    Trust-owned life insurance = opportunities for insurance professionals

    {October 10th, 2014} by Jeff Hallman

    With interest rates at record lows, trust-owned life insurance (TOLI) should be reviewed regularly to determine the risk of lapse. However, many trusts are administered by family members or others who lack the expertise to conduct policy reviews. Insurance agents have an opportunity to become a valuable member of the estate planning team by offering […]

    Seeing Opportunity And Going For It

    {October 9th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The term life insurance news this week has Phoenix Companies teaming up with three independent marketing organizations and a call center and distribution for two new term policies. That’s not the usual fare for term life insurance developments these days. In fact, term life sales have been dragging a bit industrywide. LIMRA reports that annualized […]

    ‘Crazily high’ AIG rate may have been forced on N.Y. Fed

    {October 9th, 2014} by Andrew Zajac and Christie Smythe

    (Bloomberg) — A “crazily high” interest rate levied on American International Group Inc.’s $85 billion bailout loan may have been forced on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by other regulators, according to evidence presented at a trial over the government’s taking stock of the insurer. Timothy Geithner, the bank’s former head who is […]

    Survey: Most workers plan to delay retirement by three years

    {October 9th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    A common theme of studies into retirement planning is that a growing number of Americans is, for a host of reasons, delaying their golden years. Offering further insights into this trend is Towers Watson, which in a new report explores which workers are delaying retirement and why. A key finding of the report is that […]

    Principal: Business owners say financials will improve in 2015

    {October 9th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Optimism among business owners about the economic outlook is at its highest point in three years, according new research. Principal Financial Group unveils this finding in “The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: Business Owners.” Conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Principal Financial, the study polled 600 U.S. business owners (those who own at least […]

    Survey: Most millennials view parents as financial role models

    {October 9th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    When asked who they trust most for information on money matters, one third (33 percent) of millennials identify their parents as the top choice. But almost one in four (23 percent) indicate they trust “no one” to advise them on money matters. Fidelity Investments discloses these findings in a summary of results from its first-ever […]

    Explaining and Measuring Return

    {October 8th, 2014} by Lowell Aronoff

    FROM AN INCOME ANNUITY PART TWO In this final article of a two-part series, we’ll discuss quantifying the value of an income annuity by comparing it to more common investment products and strategies. As you know, many retiring clients have spent their financial lives accumulating a nest egg. These retiring clients may feel that allocating […]

    How Do You Turn Social Situations into BUSINESS?

    {October 8th, 2014} by Michael Goldberg

    Very carefully! But here’s the truth: People don’t want to feel obligated to do business with you just because you took them to a ball game, wined and dined them over lunch, or spent hours playing golf with them on a Tuesday afternoon. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best financial advisor, broker, planner, rep, […]

    7 lessons producers can learn from Saturday morning cartoons

    {October 8th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

    The average producer is 57 years old. That means that the majority of our audience was born on or about 1957, and spent the first part of their weekends in one of American childhood’s grandest traditions: sitting in your jammies, eating cereal and watching Saturday morning cartoons. I know I did it. Pretty much everybody […]

    Life insurance companies could use iPhone apps to calculate rates

    {October 8th, 2014} by Julie Campbell

    Speculations are swirling about the use of data from health and fitness applications by insurers. As apps and gadgets focused on health and fitness tracking become increasingly popular, many are beginning to speculate that these tools could provide the life insurance industry with valuable data for determining the rates that they are charging individual consumers. […]

    Update: Fidelity & Guaranty Life Taps Former President, CEO of Former Aviva USA as President

    {October 8th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    DES MOINES, Iowa –  Fidelity & Guaranty Life has named Christopher J. Littlefield, president and chief executive officer of the former Aviva USA Corp., as president. As president of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, Littlefield will be responsible for several of the company’s operating units, including sales and distribution, Fidelity & Guaranty said in a statement. […]

    A Cautionary Tale For The Standard Of Care Issue

    {October 8th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    In the wake of tighter regulations on investment advisors in the United Kingdom, an analysis has determined that about 11 million U.K. investors who manage their own accounts say financial advice has become too expensive. This finding was cited by a Securities and Exchange Commissioner as a cautionary tale for advocates of a uniform fiduciary […]

    Indexed annuity issuer aims for LTC planning market

    {October 7th, 2014} by Allison Bell

    OneAmerica is going after consumers who hope stock market gains will make their long-term care (LTC) dollars go further. The State Life Insurance Company, a unit of OneAmerica, has introduced the Indexed Annuity Care product, a single-premium annuity contract. The company believes the product to be one of a relatively small number of indexed annuity […]

    Ohio under fire for blocking Medicaid for seniors whose spouses bought annuities

    {October 7th, 2014} by Encarnacion Pyle

    A war is being waged in Ohio over whether elderly couples with one person in a nursing home can buy an annuity to keep the other from going broke — and still apply for public assistance. Elder-law attorneys say the state isn’t following federal laws regarding Medicaid-compliant annuities, and that’s hurting middle-class seniors who worked […]

    Filling the retirement portfolio gap with indexed UL

    {October 7th, 2014} by Josh Durand

    Life insurance is often bought and sold based on the size of a death benefit. That is, after all, the long-established value proposition of a life insurance policy: it is an asset that provides financial protection in the event of death. However, in recent years, product development efforts have focused on making life insurance policies […]

    New Index Scores ‘Annuity Appeal’

    {October 7th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Do annuities have curb appeal? Sixteen percent of consumers think so, according to CANNEX USA. These consumers gave annuities a “high” ranking on a new index that measures the “appeal” of guaranteed lifetime income (GLI) annuity products among consumers. Twenty-one percent of consumers gave products with GLIs a somewhat lower score of “medium high.” Other […]

    MetLife Challenges Systemic Risk Designation

    {October 7th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer and Ian Katz

    MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, is challenging a U.S. finding that it poses a potential risk to the financial system if it were to fail. MetLife requested a hearing before the Financial Stability Oversight Council, or FSOC, to explain why the firm shouldn’t be considered a systemic risk, the New York-based insurer said […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: Low Interest Rates Remain Leading Insurance Industry Concern, Survey Finds

    {October 7th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – The persistent low interest rate environment remains at the forefront of insurers’ concerns, based on a new A.M. Best survey, titled, “A.M. Best Summer 2014 Insurance Industry Survey.” In this Best’s Special Report, the view on when and if rates will climb varies by segment and company size. In response to the interest […]

    John Hancock to refund $550,000 for “unsuitable” sales

    {October 7th, 2014} by Steven A. Meyerowitz

    John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), along with its subsidiary broker-dealer, has agreed to refund senior citizens in Massachusetts more than $550,000 to settle allegations that it failed to supervise one if its representatives, permitting him to sell unsuitable variable life insurance policies, variable annuities and other insurance and financial products. The settlement with Massachusetts […]

    Protective Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Dai-ichi

    {October 7th, 2014} by Protective Life Corporation

    NYSE:PL BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At a special meeting today, shareholders of Protective Life Corporation (NYSE: PL) (“Protective”, “the Company”) approved the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated June 3, 2014, with Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited (“Dai-ichi”), a kabushiki kaisha organized under the laws of Japan, and DL Investment (Delaware), Inc., a Delaware corporation and wholly […]

    Voya Financial to Announce Third Quarter 2014 Results on November 5

    {October 7th, 2014} by Voya

    NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) announced today that it will host an audio webcast of its third quarter 2014 earnings conference call on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET). The webcast will follow the issuance of the company’s third quarter 2014 earnings press […]

    6 celebrity estate planning lessons from 2014

    {October 7th, 2014} by Vanessa De La Rosa

    We’ve lost some of the most beloved personalities in show business this year, from funnyman Robin Williams to husky-voiced starlet Lauren Bacall. Many celebrities who passed away this year left behind not only critically acclaimed careers, but also complex financial situations in need of rock-solid estate planning. Some had multiple children from multiple marriages to […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Further Enhances Management Team And Board With Addition Of Seasoned Executives

    {October 7th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –Fidelity & Guaranty Life (“FGL”; NYSE: FGL) announced today that Christopher J. Littlefield, the former President & Chief Executive Officer of Aviva USA Corporation, has been appointed to the position of President of FGL. As President, Mr. Littlefield will be responsible for several of FGL’s operating units, including […]

    Clueless about guaranteed lifetime income

    {October 7th, 2014} by Marlene Y. Satter

    They need it, they want it, they gotta have it. But when it comes right down to it, Americans in search of guaranteed lifetime income are pretty uninformed about sources for it other than Social Security and pensions. That’s the conclusion of research from independent data provider CANNEX and market research firm Greenwald & Associates, […]

    Annuities — Straight Up: Opinion

    {October 6th, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

    John Olsen has a simple answer to why consumers are confused about annuities: sellers are confusing them. “Marketers, especially companies marketing index annuities, have a wretchedly bad reputation of fully describing their products,” said Olsen, who wrote and co-wrote many books on annuities and their sales, such as The Advisor’s Guide to Annuities. “I don’t […]

    Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes Put Pressure on New York Fed

    {October 6th, 2014} by Nathaniel Popper and Peter Eavis

    Wall Street’s top regulator is coming under new criticism for failing to adequately police the banks under its supervision, years after the financial crisis. Lawmakers are scrutinizing allegations that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went easy on one of the most prominent banks under its watch, Goldman Sachs, despite concerns voiced by those […]

    Some Turf Wars Could Surface In The FIA Biz: Opinion

    {October 6th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    If researchers at Cogent Reports have it right, the current market leaders in the fixed index annuity (FIA) market could run into some challengers this year. FIA providers such as American Equity and Jackson National are showing stronger “momentum” than established market leaders among insurance agents and financial advisors, according to a new study from […]

    Why PRT Deals Are Important For Annuities: Opinion

    {October 6th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    News of developments in the pension risk transfer (PRT) market may draw scant interest from annuity professionals, especially those in the retail market. Let’s revisit that. The reason for scant interest may be a simple matter of focus. By definition, PRTs shift some or all of an employer’s pension obligations to a third party such […]

    Northwestern Mutual Expands Annuity Suite

    {October 6th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Northwestern Mutual announced it will allow investors to fund an immediate annuity and a deferred income annuity using personal savings outside of qualified retirement dollars. The changes affect the Select Portfolio Immediate Income Annuity and Select Portfolio Deferred Income Annuity. Both belong to the company’s Portfolio Income Annuity product suite and have sold well since […]

    Stock performance of the top 10 life insurers: Sept. 29-Oct. 3

    {October 6th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Share prices of leading life insurers fell again last week, the declines mirroring a slide in most major market indexes. So reports LifeHealthPro.com in this fourth installment of a weekly analysis of the stock performance of 10 leading publicly held life insurers. The 10 companies are the same as those featured in an August 21 […]


    {October 6th, 2014} by NAFA

     You may have received, or have been asked to download, information about annuities produced by someone who doesn’t sell them or doesn’t believe you should buy or own them. Much of this information is misleading; some of it warrants four Pinocchios! The information provided in this brochure is intended to give you the facts behind […]

    Phoenix Adds Term Insurance To Product Lineup

    {October 6th, 2014} by The Phoenix Companies

    Hartford, CT, Oct. 6, 2014 – The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE: PNX) today announced it has added term life insurance to its product offerings, Phoenix Safe Harbor Term LifeSM and Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life ExpressSM. It also announced expansion into call center distribution through LifeQuotes.com for Term Life Express, complementing its traditional distribution through […]

    KAHLER: The ‘hidden’ state annuity tax

    {October 5th, 2014} by Rick Kahler

    We South Dakotans can be smug about the economic advantages of residing in our income tax-free state. While those advantages are big, we do have a few lesser-known taxes. These include a 6 percent franchise tax on banks and a 4.5 percent energy minerals severance tax on mining and oil companies. Like many other states, […]

    Dispelling misunderstandings about annuities

    {October 3rd, 2014} by David Shields

    Over the last 21 years of my career in the financial industry, I have constantly been amazed at the misconceptions and lack of knowledge the public has about annuities. I understand that annuities are rarely (if ever) discussed in schools or colleges, but the average investor’s preconceived notions about these incredible retirement vehicles are grossly […]

    Jobs Report: US Insurance Industry Adds 6,300 Jobs in September

    {October 3rd, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry continued to show strong signs of growth in September, adding 6,300 jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Oct. 3. The 0.26% seasonally adjusted increase added to the thousands of new jobs the industry has reported in recent months. Industry employment, which sits at 2.45 million, has grown […]

    4 of the biggest insurance stories this week

    {October 3rd, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    2. Enhanced and updated insurance products Penn Mutual updates its GPUL product In an effort to enhance the competitiveness of a popular permanent life product with attractive features and broad client appeal, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, has revised the pricing for its Guaranteed Protection Universal Life (GPUL) product. Click here to read more

    Advisors Cite Clients’ Emotions As Top Challenge

    {October 3rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    In a new survey, financial advisors named the top three challenges to their success and the success of their clients. Those challenges are clients’ emotions, managing investor behavior and convincing investors to stick to their financial plan. Though the findings aren’t necessarily news — other surveys have come up with similar results — they reinforce […]

    The Financial Advisory Profession Could Use An Extreme Makeover

    {October 3rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    It seems as if the financial advisory profession could use a makeover from some skilled public relations counsel in an effort to attract young talent and college graduates. When presented in the proper light, young graduates find the profession attractive. However, many young professionals lack an awareness of the financial advisory profession and the value […]

    FINRA considers making Series 7 scores public

    {October 3rd, 2014} by Nick Thornton

    Is FINRA considering publishing registered brokers’ Series 7 licensing scores in an effort to increase disclosure to investors? That’s what Robin Traxler, vice president of legislative affairs at the Financial Services Institute, reportedly recently told a room full of brokers at the Financial Advisor Summit. What would that mean for registered investment advisors? For most, […]

    Pacific Life Launches Fixed, Deferred Income Annuity

    {October 3rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Pacific Life has launched a new deferred income annuity the company says will help guarantee an income stream in the future. The launch of Pacific Secure Income comes on the heels of gains in the deferred income category, and among fixed annuities generally, as market watchers expect interest rates to rise. Christine Tucker, vice president […]

    Annuity Trade Group Names LPL President As Chairman

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Ted Knutson

    The Insured Retirement Institute, the trade group for the annuities industry, named LPL Financial President Robert Moore as its new chairman Wednesday. In the announcement, Moore said IRI has succeeded in telling consumers about the value of annuities in retirement planning, but organization must expand its education and outreach efforts. IRI also announced it selected […]

    Why insurance industry is crucial for Americans

    {October 2nd, 2014} by James J. Green

    Kicking off the Insured Retirement Institute’s second annual conference on Monday, Dennis Glass, CEO of Lincoln National Corp., made the case for life insurance and annuities in general. He said the industry now has “the best management teams in place in America,” competing no longer on “price and benefits” as was the case in the […]

    Fed Launches Study of New Capital Standards for SIFIs

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Jeff Jeffrey

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve Board has reached out to the large insurance holding companies it is charged with regulating in order to get their help in creating a new capital regulatory framework. The Fed announced it has launched a quantitative impact study that will evaluate the potential effects of imposing new consolidated capital requirements […]

    A.M. Best Analysts: Today’s Life Insurance Industry in the R&D Phase

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Lee McDonald

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best’s Tom Rosendale and Rosemarie Mirabella close out A.M.BestTV’s special series on Life Insurance Awareness Month by outlining the opportunities and threats facing the industry. View the video version of this interview at: http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=liam914 John Weber: Welcome to A.M.BestTV’s special series for life insurance awareness month. Throughout September we spoke to […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength ratings (FSR) of B (Fair) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “bb+” for the insurance subsidiaries of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (Phoenix) [NYSE: PNX]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR and senior debt rating of “b” of Phoenix. The FSRs continue to have a stable […]

    Positive economic news for fixed annuities

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Ken Nuss

    As of the second quarter, annuity sales as a whole have reached their highest level in three years. Meanwhile, fixed annuities have hit sales numbers not seen in five years, according to data released by the Insured Retirement Institute. This surge is a result of several factors, not the least of which is healthy interest […]

    A Call For Greater Tech Use By Annuity Producers

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    The existing system of bringing new producers on board a life and annuity carrier is not always a slam dunk. The problems are particularly acute in the independent agency system, according to a new report on insurance producer management from Aite Group. The problem is the technology that is used to make it all happen […]

    Iowa insurers work to match jobs, qualified employees

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Sharyn Jackson

    The job market is perking up, but in one of Iowa’s top industries, matching open positions with qualified employees is a puzzle employers and educators say they are struggling to put together. With 231 insurance companies operating here and 41,000 people employed in the sector, Iowa is one of the nation’s insurance capitals. More than […]

    Wisconsin’s M3 Insurance Named an IIABA Best Practices Agency

    {October 2nd, 2014} by M3 Financial

    M3 Insurance, based in Madison, Wis., announced it has been named a 2014 Best Practices Agency by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA). M3 is one of only 206 insurance agencies from across the country to be selected, out of more than 1,100 nominations. Requirements for being named a Best Practices Agency […]

    SEC busts 4 insurance agents in scam against seniors

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday charges against four insurance agents for unlawfully selling securities in what turned out to be a multimillion-dollar offering fraud targeting senior investors. The SEC previously charged a Colorado man, Gary Snisky, who allegedly orchestrated the scheme and recruited active insurance agents to help him solicit investors in […]

    Greenberg: AIG, Wall Street bailout a ‘government ripoff’

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Andrew Zajac, Patrick G. Lee, David Voreacos

    (Bloomberg) — In Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s telling, the $182 billion taxpayer bailout that saved American International Group Inc. and perhaps all of Wall Street during the 2008 financial collapse was a government rip-off. It trampled the rights of shareholders, denying them more favorable terms offered to banks and companies that foundered during the meltdown, according […]

    What expense drives a typical older senior’s budget?

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Allison Bell

    Some Americans spend a fortune on acute medical care and long-term care (LTC) at the end of their lives. But, for typical older Americans, the true money sponge is housing costs. Americans ages 85 and older devoted 44 percent of household expenditures to housing costs in 2011, up from 42 percent in 2003. Click here […]

    Securian’s Geurkink Receives Retirement Industry Leadership Award

    {October 2nd, 2014} by Securian Financial Group, Inc.

    ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kerry L. Geurkink, manager, Securian Retirement Annuity Marketing, was honored with the prestigious Leadership Award from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI). The IRI is the nonprofit trade association for the retirement income industry. Many of the nation’s largest life insurers, asset managers, and broker-dealers are members, and the IRI represents more than […]