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Archive for December 2014


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  • Overlooking minor violations can open the door to bigger problems

    {December 31st, 2014} by Brian Anderson

    A person is either ethical or they’re not. There are no degrees of integrity. You either have it or you don’t.” So says William K. “Bud” Bridgers, FLMI, CLTC, a financial services professional in Pleasant Grove, Utah, who has made ethics and compliance a priority throughout his career spanning four decades. Click HERE to read…

    Top 10 Most-Read InsuranceNewsNet Articles of 2014: Blog

    {December 31st, 2014} by Steven Morelli, steve.morelli@innfeedback.com.

    No themes necessarily pop out from the most-read InsuranceNewsNet articles in 2014, except that many involved insight into selling. That was particularly true about getting an inside look at Generation X and near-retirees. The list works up to the top most-read article of the year. 10. Telehealth: The Next Health Care Frontier Telehealth may be […]

    Morningstar: US Sales of Variable Annuities Flat in Third Quarter; ‘Investment Only’ Trend Continues

    {December 31st, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – Total third-quarter 2014 U.S. sales of variable annuities were essentially unchanged from the same period a year ago, coming in at $35.2 billion, according to Morningstar and the Insured Retirement Institute. Sales “have remained stable over the past eight quarters, and the third quarter was no different,” John McCarthy, product manager, annuity solutions […]

    Follow these lead generation tips if you want more business in 2015

    {December 31st, 2014} by Vanessa De La Rosa

    With so many strategies and schools of thought out there on how to generate new (and returning) clients, building one’s book of business can seem like a daunting task. Lead generation is not just about investing time and effort while providing as much value as possible—it’s also about making sure your value is conveyed up-front. […]

    Exciting enhancements for Wink’s services in 2015!

    {December 31st, 2014} by Jamie Johnson

    Happy New Year! Thank YOU for being a part of the extended Wink family in 2014. We’ve made it our resolution to offer the best darned competitive intel in the life insurance and annuity industries. Period. To ring in the new year, we are excited to announce enhancements for our analysis tools, AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs!   Effective January 1st, […]

    Outlook 2015: Annuity trends

    {December 31st, 2014} by Ed McCarthy, CFP

    The annuity market continues to roll along. According to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, total U.S. annuity sales were $177.7 billion for the first nine months of 2014, a 6 percent increase from the same period in 2013. Indexed annuity sales were particularly strong and were up 36 percent to $36 billion. Click HERE to […]

    How Women Can Generate Income For Life

    {December 30th, 2014} by Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY

    Many women have a “quiet fear” that they won’t have enough money for retirement, but they can take several steps to make sure that doesn’t happen. “The key is to continue earning throughout retirement and to find ways to create income for life,” says Donna Phelan, 62, who has worked with thousands of women nationwide […]

    Insurance Industry Adds 10,100 Jobs in November

    {December 30th, 2014} by PRWeb

    Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB)December 30, 2014 The insurance industry saw an increase in employment with the addition of 10,100 jobs for the month of November, according to the latest employment numbers from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics released earlier this month. The insurance industry grew by 0.41% last month and now sits roughly at 2.46 […]

    On choosing happiness. What’s your choice?

    {December 30th, 2014} by Jeffrey Gitomer, salesman@gitomer.com

    After is a self-defeating word. It robs you of the present, and resigns you to wait without taking any action. You convince yourself that life will be better after something: After you get a new job, after you get a better job, after you get more money, after you get out of debt, after the […]

    Why Ken Fisher Loves to Hate Annuities

    {December 30th, 2014} by Steve Marsh

    We all know that Ken Fisher hates annuities and believes everyone else should too. Fisher’s ads have been everywhere, although they have abated a bit lately. But anyone who has been on the Internet or has read a national consumer magazine has seen the ads where Fisher proclaims his hate for annuities and wants everyone […]

    RGA Agrees to Retrocede Part of Individual US Life Business to Pacific Life

    {December 30th, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    ST. LOUIS – Reinsurance Group of America will retrocede part of its individual life business in the United States to retrocession operations of the Pacific Life Insurance Co. Term and permanent individual life policies written by U.S. insurers and assumed by RGA primarily between 1999 and 2014 comprise the block of business to be retroceded. […]

    LIMRA’s 2015 life insurance forecast

    {December 30th, 2014} by Karen R. Terry

    If you had to summarize the 2015 life insurance market in a few words they would be “more of the same.” As of the fourth quarter of 2014 LIMRA is predicting another flat year for life insurance sales. As with 2013, this year’s story has been a tale of two products: indexed universal life and […]

    Life Insurance Valuation

    {December 30th, 2014} by Leigh Harter, Penton Business Media

    Often, the value of a life insurance policy becomes an issue when there’s a contemplated or actual transfer of a policy. The transfer may involve an estate or gift matter or moving a policy to an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT). When an estate or gift matter is involved, theInternal Revenue Service requires that a […]

    NAIC Names Consumer Liaisons For 2015

    {December 29th, 2014} by N/A

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 15, 2014) —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently named 30 consumer liaison representatives for 2015. The 20 funded and 10 unfunded consumer representatives begin their terms Jan. 1, 2015. Eighteen of the funded consumer representatives participated in the program in 2014. Established in 1992, the program promotes consumer interaction with […]

    The actuaries: Longer client life spans require big shift from advisors

    {December 29th, 2014} by Savita Iyer-Ahrestani

    Advisors who write financial plans for clients, and those who work with clients on their financial plans, take an individual’s life expectancy into account. But how seriously are you factoring clients’ extended life spans into your retirement planning? According to actuaries like Ron Gebhardtsbauer, clinical associate professor of actuarial science at Penn State University’s Smeal […]

    4 experts make 11 predictions on stocks, economy for 2015

    {December 29th, 2014} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    Wary optimism, not great expectations, pinpoints the outlook for stocks in 2015, top equity strategists told our sister site, ThinkAdvisor, in interviews last week. Next year — the third in the U.S. Presidential Election-Year Cycle and historically a strong one for stocks — is pegged as a continuation of the long bull market, though a […]

    ‘Longevity’ in annuities could be the big 2015 focus

    {December 29th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

    Where the retirement market will go next year is anybody’s guess, but insurance industry experts foresee a ramp-up in product development for certain types of annuities. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required     The growing appeal of indexed annuities compared with variable ones is reflected in data from Morningstar […]

    Annuities, IRAs and other retirement game-changers

    {December 29th, 2014} by Robert Powell

    Just climb out from under a rock? No worries, we got you covered, so to speak. Here’s a look back at some of the major retirement-related news that occurred in 2014. myRA In January, the federal government announced plans to create a new kind of retirement account called the “my Retirement Account” or myRA for […]

    Affluent Prefer Cash Over Annuities

    {December 29th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    A “somewhat surprising” trend in annuity ownership among affluent investors declined in 2014 to 33 percent from 36 percent last year, according to Julia Johnston-Ketterer. Meanwhile, ownership of cash rose to 83 percent in 2014 from 78 percent. The trends suggest that affluent investors are “scaling back from interest-rate sensitive products,” said the senior director […]

    Third-Party Exams Under Consideration

    {December 29th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com.

    Investment advisor examinations conducted in the 2014 fiscal year rose 20 percent to 1,126 over the previous year. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is evaluating whether to allow third-party reviews of investment advisors, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said. In a letter to U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee […]

    Rebranding Campaign Gives Pacific Life’s Term Products a Boost

    {December 29th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com.

    Pacific Life has announced that premium volume for its term life insurance products has soared 237 percent in the past year, due to a rebranding campaign involving its Pacific PRIME Term product suite. John F. O’Donnell, vice president, strategic marketing network for the company’s Life Insurance Division, said a big part of PRIME Term’s success […]

    Regulators tackle insurance agent license loophole

    {December 29th, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Regulators around the country are taking steps to patch a loophole that allows brokers who have been barred from the securities industry to sell insurance and other financial products. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said it would next month begin providing to state insurance regulators a monthly report of its disciplinary actions against securities brokers. […]

    Woman arrested in $16.6M annuity fraud in Arizona

    {December 25th, 2014} by The Associated Press

    PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona authorities say a woman has been arrested in connection with a nearly $17 million annuity fraud scheme. Officials with the state Department of Insurance say 33-year-old Jimmica Guess is being held on suspicion of fraudulent schemes, theft obtained by misrepresentation, theft of controlled property, forgery and aggravated identity theft. They say […]

    STOP Doing These Four Things…If You Want to Continue Selling Life Insurance

    {December 24th, 2014} by Marvin Feldman

    You cannot continue selling life insurance in the same manner you’ve relied on for so long. Our client and prospect base is changing rapidly. Social media, three-second attention spans and two generations growing up in an exclusively digital world have put an end to business as usual. Our industry might be reluctant to change, but […]

    Preconceived prejudices and the problem with ‘profitable’ clients

    {December 24th, 2014} by John Sullivan

    “Putting the client first”—do you consider it a central business philosophy or a tired cliché? If you fail to offer a product or service solely because you can’t make money at it, you’re squarely with the latter, no matter how much lip service you pay. Social Security is a prime example. Click here to read…

    Affluent Prefer Cash Over Annuities

    {December 24th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    A “somewhat surprising” trend in annuity ownership among affluent investors declined in 2014 to 33 percent from 36 percent last year, according to Julia Johnston-Ketterer. Meanwhile, ownership of cash rose to 83 percent in 2014 from 78 percent. The trends suggest that affluent investors are “scaling back from interest-rate sensitive products,” said the senior director […]

    Insurers Take Aim At IUL Illustrations

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

    WASHINGTON – A coalition of three large insurance companies is urging the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to act promptly to adopt a realistic regulation governing the illustrations insurers and agents can use in marketing indexed universal life insurance (IUL). The coalition is composed of MetLife, Northwestern Mutual and New York Life. In a […]

    24 holiday quotes to get you through the season

    {December 24th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    Tis’ the season of lights and love, to shop ’til you drop, to call family and old friends, and to jump on that one last chance before the year ends to get the house in order and reconnect with clients. And while most of the world is already in holiday mode, taking time off to […]

    The new variable and indexed annuity leaders

    {December 24th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

    Variable annuities are a staple of broker-dealers’ business, offering clients the opportunity to garner market exposure on a tax-deferred basis. In recent years, however, sales of indexed annuities — which credit interest to a client’s account — have climbed, particularly as advisers seek a fixed-income alternative with an optional guaranteed living benefit feature.   Click […]

    Manulife Acquires New York Life’s Retirement Plan Services Business

    {December 24th, 2014} by Rick Cornejo, managing editor, BestWeek: rick.cornejo@ambest.com

    TORONTO – John Hancock Financial, the U.S. division of Canada’s Manulife Financial Corp., is acquiring the retirement plan services business of New York Life Insurance Co. Manulife said the move will boost John Hancock’s expansion in the mid-case and large-case retirement plan markets, and increase plan assets under administration by 60% to $135 billion. Manulife […]

    New York Life And John Hancock In Major Retirement Deals

    {December 24th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – New York Life and John Hancock today announced two deals that will allow them to focus on areas they would like to grow. Under the deal, New York Life will acquire life insurance policies with a face value of $25 billion. In return, New York Life will sell its retirement plan business to […]

    Woman arrested in $16.6M annuity fraud in Arizona

    {December 24th, 2014} by The Associated Press

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona authorities say a woman has been arrested in connection with a nearly $17 million annuity fraud scheme. Officials with the state Department of Insurance say 33-year-old Jimmica Guess is being held on suspicion of fraudulent schemes, theft obtained by misrepresentation, theft of controlled property, forgery and aggravated identity theft. They say […]

    Nonretirees Seeking Sources Of Guaranteed Income

    {December 23rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com.

    A new survey by Allianz Life has found that Americans who are still in the workforce overwhelmingly prefer products with guarantees over products that have higher growth potential but a risk of losing value. The results show that even with the strong performance of the stock market, demand for guaranteed income remains high. “Hands down, […]

    Where Do Annuities Fit In? BLOG

    {December 23rd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Just where do annuities fit in the expectations of American workers who participate in defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s? New data from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (SRI) says that 14 percent of private sector employees who participate in such plans expect that some of their retirement income will come from annuities. In the not-for-profit […]

    Indexed UL-funded retirement income: 9 questions answered

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

    LifeHealthPro Senior Editor Warren S. Hersch recently interviewed Jason Konopik, chief financial officer of AMZ Financial Insurance Services, a national wholesaler of indexed universal life (IUL) products. The interview explored the product development and other services AMZ Financial offers life insurers and producers. And it examined how IUL solutions are evolving to better meet clients’ […]

    KBW Picks Voya As Top Life Stock In 2015

    {December 23rd, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com.

    Equity analyst Ryan Krueger of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) in New York has picked Voya Financial, Principal Financial, MetLife and Prudential as the top life and retirement industry performers in 2015, according to a research note. Voya is the analyst’s top pick because of its “company-specific fundamental story,” which includes better profit margins, more […]

    Allstate, Northwestern Mutual Title Sponsors for College Football Playoff Games

    {December 23rd, 2014} by Michael Buck, senior associate editor, BestWeek: Michael.Buck@ambest.com

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Sports fans tuning in to watch the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinal match ups on New Year’s Day will see two insurance companies as the title sponsors on both games. The Rose Bowl Game is being presented by Northwestern Mutual, which will be played in Pasadena, California, and pits the University of […]

    Maryland Insurance Commissioner Goldsmith to Step Down in January

    {December 23rd, 2014} by N/A

    Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith — who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2011 for a four-year term that ends on May 31, 2015 — will step down from her post on Jan. 21, 2015, a Maryland Insurance Administration spokesperson said. Goldsmith will step down on the same day that Republican Governor-elect […]

    5 insurance brokers indicted for $2.5 million fake life application scam

    {December 22nd, 2014} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Five San Francisco area insurance brokers are facing up to 30 years in prison for allegedly submitting fake life insurance applications to collect more than $2.5 million in commissions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco said. The five were indicted in federal court for running a scheme to defraud the American Income Life Insurance […]

    DALBAR recognizes Genworth for superior customer service in long term care insurance, annuities and life insurance

    {December 22nd, 2014} by Genworth

    RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — DALBAR has once again awarded Genworth its 2014 annual Service Award for its long term care insurance, annuity and life insurance businesses. Genworth ranked first for the high quality of service in long term care and third for the quality of service provided to life insurance policyholders. Genworth […]

    20 of the best insurance jokes

    {December 22nd, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    Even though insurance is rarely a laughing matter, that doesn’t mean that we can’t sometimes laugh at the silliness of some aspects of this business, or just laugh to melt the stress away. And, after all, the best free medicine is laughter. Tasteful jokes can also be used as ice-breakers when meeting new people or […]

    Wells Fargo Consolidates Research Services Under One Roof

    {December 19th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com.

    Wells Fargo’s Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement (WBR) division is consolidating WBR’s investment research, strategy, manager research and publications units into the Wells Fargo Investment Institute (WFII), WBR has announced. Darrell Cronk, former deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, was appointed chief investment officer of WBR and president of WFII, the company also […]

    Advisors look to wholesalers to increase service offerings

    {December 19th, 2014} by Limra

    In a recent LIMRA study, 85 percent of advisors said today’s wholesalers must do more than supply products. They need to offer more value-added services and support. Products have become more complex and the modern client roster can represent several generations, all with different demands. Click here to read…

    Are you ready for insurance in 2015? You will be if you follow these 6 key digital trends

    {December 19th, 2014} by Hannah Bender

    Digital and technological integration is changing the workplace, and the insurance industry is no exception. Approximately one out 
of four insurers are 
taking the lead in digital transformation, and this elite group is already aiming to achieve significant benefits. These are the companies to watch because, if they are successful, competitors will find themselves scrambling […]

    2015 outlook: Why financial wellness is the next big trend

    {December 19th, 2014} by Tom Ruggie

    Worksite wellness has been a significant theme throughout 2014, particularly focused on health wellness and the extended benefits of a healthy workforce. As we look toward 2015, we can anticipate the wellness movement to continue through the expansion of financial wellness, a component of the movement specifically focused on helping individuals ease economic stress, overcome […]

    NAIFA appoints Michael Gerber to serve as acting CEO

    {December 19th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Moving quickly to fill a vacancy in its leadership ranks, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has tapped Michael Gerber, NAIFA’s general counsel and vice president of human resources, to serve as acting chief executive officer pending the appointment of a permanent CEO. Gerber’s elevation follows the death of NAIFA CEO Susan Waters, […]

    IUL: the “next best thing” to a retirement income supplement?

    {December 19th, 2014} by Susan Wright

    With the stock market’s continued ups and downs, and interest rates still sitting at near historical lows, there are many clients who are likely left wondering how they may be able to supplement their retirement income sources. The good news is that there may be a product that fills the niche between being too risky […]

    MetLife objects to SIFI designation by FSOC

    {December 18th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    MetLife Inc. reacted negatively to a decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) naming the insurer a non-bank systemically important financial institution or SIFI. “We are disappointed in the FSOC decision,” MetLife said today in a press statement. “We continue to believe that MetLife is not systemically important under the Dodd-Frank Act’s criteria, and […]

    MetLife gets risk tag from U.S. panel, weighs legal options

    {December 18th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer, Ian Katz

    (Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc., the biggest U.S. life insurer by assets, was labeled a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) by a council of regulators and said it will consider whether to sue the government over the decision. The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) voted to designate New York-based MetLife a SIFI, the insurer said today […]

    FSOC Rejects MetLife’s SIFI Appeal

    {December 18th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department has rejected MetLife’s appeal of its designation as a systemically important financial institution (SIFI). MetLife officials said they were disappointed and have 30 days to consider appealing the decision, most likely in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Grace Vandecruze, managing director of Grace Global Capital in […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Holdings, Inc. and Its Key Life/Health Subsidiaries

    {December 18th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “bbb+” of the key life/health subsidiaries of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Holdings, Inc. (FGL) (Delaware). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR and existing senior debt rating of “bb+” of FGL. The outlook for […]

    NAIC Adopts New Rules for Insurance Captive Companies

    {December 18th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The NAIC Tuesday adopted a new set of guidelines aimed at giving regulators more comfort in approving captive financing deals for life insurance products. The insurance company practice of reinsuring liabilities through their own captive companies has come under withering fire by some regulators, particularly New York Financial Superintendent Benjamin M. Lawsky. In […]

    A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

    {December 18th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a” from “a-” of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company (FBL). Concurrently, A.M. Best has upgraded the ICR to “bbb” from “bbb-” of FBL Financial Group, Inc. (FFG)[NYSE: FFG], the parent of FBL. […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Manulife Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 18th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength ratings (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the life insurance subsidiaries of Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) (Toronto, Canada) [NYSE: MFC]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” as well as all existing debt ratings of MFC. The […]

    Nationwide agrees to $140M ERISA settlement

    {December 18th, 2014} by Nick Thornton

    More than 13 years of litigation has yielded a tentative settlement in Haddock vs. Nationwide, a $140 million deal believed to be the largest ever in a service-provider revenue-sharing lawsuit. Nationwide Life Insurance Co., and its affiliate, Nationwide Financial Services Inc., signed off on the preliminary deal late last week, according to court documents. On […]

    NAIFA CEO Waters will be Remembered for her Thoughtful Leadership: BLOG

    {December 18th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    People who didn’t know the late Susan B. Waters or have the opportunity to hear her speak really missed out on one of the leading lights of the insurance industry. She was the widely revered CEO of the National Association of Insurance Agents and Advisors (NAIFA). When she gave her reports at the NAIFA annual […]

    Voya Financial Helps Customers Protect their Financial Security against Chronic Illness Costs

    {December 18th, 2014} by Voya Financial, Inc

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2014 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), formerly ING U.S., announced today that its Insurance Solutions business has launched a new Chronic Illness Rider that can offer policyholders an important benefit to the company’s indexed universal life insurance products. The rider can provide customers with access to […]

    Pension Buyout Puts Group Annuities In The Spotlight

    {December 17th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    MetLife has signed a $440 million pension buyout agreement with TRW, a subsidiary of TRW Holdings. It is one of several such deals that MetLife has closed over the last few months, Wayne Daniel, senior vice president-U.S. pensions for MetLife, said in a statement. MetLife is one 10 or so insurance companies that provide services […]

    What’s Ahead for 2015?

    {December 17th, 2014} by Barbara Crowley, 2014 NAILBA Chairman of the Board

    Looking ahead for 2015 has already begun. What next year will bring is somewhat unknown and the answers vary, depending on whom you ask. Insurance carriers will continue to be pressured by the need to reserve for long-term guarantees and by continued low interest rates that suppress investment returns. As a result, we see higher […]

    7 biggest retirement stories of 2014

    {December 17th, 2014} by Nick Thornton

    By any measure, 2014 was a busy year for plan sponsors, retirement advisors and pretty much anyone else dealing, tracking or trying to comply with the Employment Retirement Income and Security Act. Next year promises to be just as hectic. Supreme Court decisions, crackdowns by the Department of Labor and a shift in the political […]

    Prudential Retirement Creates Gibraltar Ventures

    {December 17th, 2014} by Business Wire

    NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Prudential Retirement, a business unit of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), announced today a newly created organization, Gibraltar Ventures, which will explore, develop and invest in new strategies to advance retirement and financial security. “Gibraltar Ventures will build on Prudential Retirement’s significant successes over the past several years and complement our existing efforts […]

    NAIC Broadens Access To Annuity Buyer’s Guide

    {December 17th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Gaining access to annuity buying information is about to become easier. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) decided to make its recently updated Annuity Buyer’s Guide available to consumers and the industry, via download any time — without quantity restrictions or fees. That is according to the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA), which […]

    NAIFA Announces Death Of Chief Exec, Dr. Susan Waters

    {December 17th, 2014} by N/A

    Falls Church, Va. – Dec. 16, 2014 – The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is saddened to announce the death of Dr. Susan B. Waters, Chief Executive Officer of NAIFA. Dr. Waters, 63, died unexpectedly today at her home in Washington, D.C. “Susan’s passing is a great loss for the NAIFA family,” said […]

    Protective Life Sale To Close Feb. 1

    {December 17th, 2014} by Kelly Poe

    PROTECTIVE LIFE COMPANY PURCHASE The acquisition of Birmingham’sProtective Life Corp. by Japan’sDai-ichi Life Insurance Co. is expected to closeFeb. 1, Protective announced. Tokyo-based Dai-ichi announced the$5.7 billion purchase in June. Dai-ichi was founded in 1902 and sells life insurance inJapan, Vietnam,Australia,Thailand,Indonesia andIndia. It also has offices inNew York,Hong Kong,Beijing andShanghai. It employs 67,000 people inJapan […]

    Protective Update Regarding Dai-ichi Transaction

    {December 17th, 2014} by Business Wire

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Protective Life Corporation (NYSE: PL) (“Protective”) today announced that the transaction contemplated by 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 owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi, […]

    State of the industry: 5 annuity insights for 2015

    {December 17th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    According to a report released today, the insurance and retirement industries are muscling through “some macroeconomic challenges (that occurred) the past year” and are exhibiting strong gains and growth potential. “Fixed indexed annuities and immediate and deferred income annuities are showing especially strong growth as the industry is poised to begin 2015 in a strong […]

    Eye on Congress, the courts and regulators: 6 questions answered

    {December 17th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    LifeHealthPro Senior Editor Warren S. Hersch recently interviewed Andrew Oringer, a New York-based attorney and co-chair of Dechert LLP’s Employee Benefits Group. The interview covered regulatory, legislative and legal developments being watched closely by the insurance and financial services industry. Click here for excerpts.

    Lawsky urges Lew to order IRS review of life insurance loophole

    {December 16th, 2014} by Greg Farrell, Keri Geiger

    (Bloomberg) — U.S. life insurers take billions of dollars in undeserved tax deductions by shifting capital to states with looser reserve requirements and the practice should be halted by the Internal Revenue Service, a New York regulator said. Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, criticized the “insurance inversions” in a letter […]

    Insurers Use Deals To Avoid As Much As $100B In Taxes

    {December 16th, 2014} by MARY WILLIAMS WALSH

    Some companies have been called economic traitors for seeking to lower their tax bills by moving overseas. But life insurers are accomplishing the same goal without leaving the country, saving as much as $100 billion in federal taxes, much of it in the last several years. The insurers are taking advantage of fierce competition for […]

    Whom To Blame For The Coverage Gap?

    {December 16th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The life insurance coverage gap is growing and independent insurance agent Michael A. Masiello thinks he’s found out why: Life insurers simply aren’t selling enough of it. The reason carriers are not selling enough life insurance is that they have taken some of the business of selling it away from agents and have been going […]

    Fixed annuity sales cool, variable annuity sales stable

    {December 16th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Data from Beacon Research and Morningstar, Inc. is in and Q3 2014 news on annuity sales is not all peaches and cream. Total annuity sales hit 56.9 billion, a five percent decline from the previous quarter and a one percent drop from the same period a year ago. According to a report released by the […]

    The Connection Between Happiness And Planning

    {December 16th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The more retirees plan for life after work, the happier they are — not just in matters of the wallet but in matters of the soul and the heart. Financial planners have always known that the more financial planning is conducted before retirement, the more it’s likely to lead to better outcomes. It turns out […]

    Eden Prairie fraudster admits stealing $10M from clients, leaves court under armed guard

    {December 16th, 2014} by Paul Walsh, Star Tribune

    A Twin Cities financial planner has admitted to swindling more than 50 people in several states out of at least $10 million, using some of the money on gambling and sex-oriented entertainment in Minnesota and Las Vegas. Sean Meadows, 41, of Eden Prairie, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in St. Paul to mail fraud, […]

    Advisors just ‘meh’ about social media

    {December 16th, 2014} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Advisors aren’t crazy about social media or the results they see from it. But considering their level of commitment, perhaps that’s not all that surprising. Those are some of the conclusions from a new in-depth study from Howard Schneider, president of independent wealth management research firm Practical Perspectives, whose research found that while advisors believe […]

    Florida Insurance Agent Arrested in Alleged $1 Million Life Insurance Fraud Scheme

    {December 16th, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com)

    ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida insurance agent has been arrested and charged with defrauding clients of his financial services firm more than $1 million in life insurance payments, according to Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. Mario Ferreri, who worked for Financial Management Resources, was arrested following a five-year investigation between July 2009 and March […]

    Are you ready for the 4 biggest changes to IRAs in 2015?

    {December 16th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    Changes are coming to IRAs in 2015. Are you ready to help your clients take advantage of those changes? Sometimes, the inability to maximize value is found in the fine print. As Joshua Kadish, AIF, RFC of RPG Life Transition Specialists, explains, “Too often I see people who haven’t been maximizing their contributions simply because […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 16th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, Companion Life Insurance Company (New York, NY) and United World Life Insurance Company. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the debt […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Lincoln National Corporation and Its Key Subsidiaries

    {December 16th, 2014} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (LNL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York (LLANY) (Syracuse, NY), which are viewed as the key life/health insurance subsidiaries […]

    A.M. Best Co. Affirms A (Excellent) Rating For Insurance Companies of National Life Group

    {December 16th, 2014} by National Life Group

    Montpelier, Vermont – Dec. 8, 2014 – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) for National Life Insurance Company and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, the two insurance companies of National Life Group. This is the third highest of A.M. Best’s 16 ratings. “Our financial strength is a measure of […]

    Fitch Affirms Symetra’s Ratings; Outlook Revised to Negative

    {December 16th, 2014} by Business Wire

    CHICAGO, Dec 12, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘A+’ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating on Symetra Life Insurance Company (Symetra Life) as well as all ratings for Symetra Financial Corp. (Symetra), including the Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A-‘ and all outstanding debt issues. The Rating Outlook has been revised to […]

    Annuities: 2014 year in review [infographic]

    {December 16th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    A report from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) based on data from Beacon Research and Morningstar, has unveiled that fixed annuity sales have cooled off after a five-year high, while variable annuity total sales remain stable. The report based its findings on final third-quarter 2014 sales results from the U.S. annuity industry. Click HERE for  infographic […]

    Leadership Changes Announced at Jackson National Life Insurance Company

    {December 16th, 2014} by Business Wire

    DENVER — Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Jackson) today announced several changes in senior leadership, including the impending departure of Clifford Jack as executive vice president and head of retail at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities. Since joining Jackson in 1995 as a senior vice president, Jack has held a series […]

    Incoming Kansas Insurance Regulator Wants More Competition in State

    {December 16th, 2014} by The Associated Press

    The accountant and industry executive taking over as Kansas’ top insurance regulator next month says creating a more robust market is a top goal and argues that greater competition will address problems with the federal health care overhaul. Insurance Commissioner-elect Ken Selzer is confident that he can attract insurance companies into the state and encourage […]

    Charitable planning in 2015: Weighing the pros and the cons

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

    The Internal Revenue Code, revised two years ago as part of a down-to-the-wire tax bill, made the estate tax a non-issue for all but the most affluent individuals. But the legislation incentivized charitable planning for those endeavoring to avoid higher taxes on income, capital gains and dividends; and to dispose of policies rendered unnecessary by […]

    LIMRA forecast: Expect flat life insurance sales in 2015

    {December 16th, 2014} by Karen R. Terry

    If you had to summarize the 2015 life insurance market in a few words they would be “more of the same.” As of the fourth quarter of 2014 LIMRA is predicting another flat year for life insurance sales. As with 2013, this year’s story has been a tale of two products: indexed universal life (IUL) […]

    Office of Insurance Commissioner revokes license of Edmonds insurance agent

    {December 16th, 2014} by N/A

    The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has revoked the license of insurance agent Earl C. Dennis of Edmonds. According to an announcement sent Tuesday by the insurance commissioner’s office, in 2012, Dennis borrowed $210,000 from a 79-year-old insurance client, which was a significant portion of the client’s net worth. Dennis promised to secure the loan […]

    MetLife Approves $1 Billion Share Buyback

    {December 15th, 2014} by Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — Insurance company MetLife Inc. said Friday that its board approved spending up to $1 billion more to buy back its own stock. It has spent $967.1 million of a $1 billion buyback program launched in June, which was its first repurchase plan in about six years. CEO Steven Kandarian said that […]

    The Happy Retiree Probably Has An Advisor: BLOG

    {December 15th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Finally! Some good news about retirement! This comes courtesy of a new MassMutual study that probes how retirement feels to those who’ve done it, perhaps after a period of worrying about how it would work out. The study found what I have learned from talking with retired people around my town. They like it. Some […]

    Pro-Fiduciary Group Pushes for SEC Action: BLOG

    {December 15th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Once again, a coalition of pro-fiduciary trade groups is urging Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to expand the fiduciary standard to include broker-dealers (B/Ds) when they provide personalized investment advice to retail investors. This time, the message accompanies an eight-page letter that the Financial Planning Coalition recently delivered to the SEC. The letter argues in […]

    Congress Bumps Bank Standards for Insurance Companies

    {December 12th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    WASHINGTON – The House last night approved legislation that would clarify that the Federal Reserve Board can apply insurance-based capital standards, rather than bank-centric rules, to the insurance portion of any insurance holding company it oversees. The bill now heads to the president’s desk “where approval is widely expected,” said John M. Nadel, an analyst […]

    Social Media Fall Short Of Many Advisors’ Expectations

    {December 12th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    For financial advisors, the use of social media continues to be an unfulfilled economic promise with low satisfaction rates. Most advisors say social media have had very little impact on the key metrics of their business. About half of advisors who participated in a recent poll — 53 percent — perceived social media to be […]

    Manulife And Allianz To Co-Invest Up To $1B In U.S. Real Estate

    {December 12th, 2014} by PR Newswire

    TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –Manulife Asset Management Private Markets, the private asset management arm of Manulife (TSX, NYSE: MFC), today announced that it has entered into an arrangement with Allianz, a leadingGermany-based insurance and asset management company, to co-invest up to $1 billion in U.S. real estate. As part of the co-invest,John Hancock Real […]

    Annuity trends: 2015 and beyond: Opinion

    {December 12th, 2014} by Adam Cufr, Fourth Dimension Financial Group, LLC.

    The economy has clearly changed and so has the role of annuities. Simply put, annuities have had to adapt, and fast. As advisors scramble to keep pace with the changing landscape, a look at the recent past will pay big dividends as we look to the future of the annuity market to see what may […]

    2015 Outlook: The changing of the guard: Opinion

    {December 12th, 2014} by Michael Markey

    A few months ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Brian Belski, of BMO Capital Markets, spew 2015 market outlooks and predictions faster than what most of the audience could absorb. One big phrase struck me and has stayed with me since. He said in the financial world “things are rarely different.”  Click HERE to read…

    Annuity owners: Well-informed and secure: OPINION

    {December 11th, 2014} by Ed McCarthy, CFP

    If your retired clients say that financial peace of mind is a top priority — and who doesn’t want that? — they could be good candidates for annuities. Over the years, studies of annuity owners have shown that the products provide a greater sense of financial security. That makes sense because annuities provide stable retirement […]

    Survey shows social media use growing among advisers

    {December 11th, 2014} by Bianca Flowers

    Advisers are latching on to social media giants such as LinkedIn and Facebook to increase their business, and it’s paying off. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    5 of the biggest insurance stories this week

    {December 11th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

    This time, we bring you news that will affect the NFL and its players’ disability insurance and how the life settlement industry is growing. On page two, you will read more about why Aegon agreed to sell its Canadian life insurance business and how much they expect to lose in that transaction, and you’ll learn […]

    Planning for the modern family: No longer a simple matter

    {December 11th, 2014} by Juli McNeely

    Once upon a time, the typical American family consisted of a husband who was the family’s primary breadwinner, a stay-at-home wife and their 2.5 children. Traditional life insurance policies were developed during this bygone era and based on this common family dynamic to protect the wife and children in the event of the husband’s untimely […]

    Disinterested consumers offer potential for China insurance industry

    {December 11th, 2014} by LIMRA

    A recent study by LIMRA and Swiss Re concluded that the so-called “disinterested” consumer in China represents an opportunity for the insurance industry. As part of a larger effort that studied 12 Asian countries, this study, “The Chinese Insurance Consumer,” looked at 8 different personal insurance products such as, life, individual health, critical illness, etc. […]

    Mutual Of Omaha Announces CEO Transition

    {December 11th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Daniel P. Neary, chairman and CEO of Mutual of Omaha, will retire next year after a decade at the helm of Nebraska’s most well-known insurer, the company said. Neary will retain the role of chairman of the Mutual of Omaha board of directors. James T. Blackledge, former executive vice president, was appointed president last month […]

    MetLife Taps AT&T Exec for CMO Spot

    {December 10th, 2014} by Nathan Golia, senior editor of Insurance & Technology.

    Esther Lee will lead global brand and marketing for the life insurance carrier. MetLife has named Esther Lee EVP and global Chief Marketing Officer. The former AT&T executive’s first day is January 12, and she will report to MetLife chairman, president, and CEO Steven Kandarian. Lee replaces Beth Hirschhorn, who left MetLife in April and […]

    New Kansas Insurance Chief Hiring Former Rival

    {December 10th, 2014} by AP

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Incoming Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer says he’s planning to have a former Republican primary rival serve in a key position in the office. Selzer said Tuesday that Republican state Sen. Clark Shultz of Lindsborg has agreed to serve as the Insurance Department’s legislative liaison after Selzer takes office Jan. 12. […]

    South Dakota Insurance Commissioner Stepping Down

    {December 10th, 2014} by Thomas Harman

    PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Division of Insurance Director Merle Scheiber is resigning effective Dec. 29, following nearly 10 years in office. Larry Deiter, who currently serves as the division’s assistant director of property/casualty insurance, has been appointed interim director. Scheiber served as the chairman of the Nonadmitted Insurance Multistate Agreement, a body formed by […]

    Texas Insurance Commissioner Rathgeber to Take Temporary Departure From Post

    {December 10th, 2014} by Thomas Harman

    AUSTIN, Texas. – Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber will leave her job temporarily after agreeing to become Gov.-elect Greg Abbott’s deputy chief of staff for budget and policy effective Jan. 20. Abbott, a Republican, was elected governor in November with more than 59% of the vote against Democrat Wendy Davis. Abbott announced the composition of […]

    Dustin Johnson changes course in lawsuit against adviser, attorneys

    {December 10th, 2014} by Alan Blondin, The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

    Dec. 10–Dustin Johnson’s lawsuit against a longtime trusted adviser and his law partners has taken a peculiar turn. The PGA Tour member and Coastal Carolina alumnus has filed an amended suit to the one he originally filed on Nov. 3 in Georgia attempting to recoup$3 million that he says was scammed from him. Attorney Nathan […]

    Fixed Annuity Sales Cool Off From 5-Year High

    {December 10th, 2014} by N/A

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today announced final third-quarter 2014 sales results for the U.S. annuity industry, based on data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar, Inc. Industry-wide annuity sales in the third quarter of 2014 reached $56.9 billion, a 5 percent decline from $59.9 billion in the previous quarter and a […]

    iPipeline Wins 2014 Red Herring Global 100 Award

    {December 10th, 2014} by iPipeline

    Exton, PA – December 2nd, 2014 – iPipeline® – a leading provider of on-demand marketing, selling, and processing solutions for some of the nation’s top insurance carriers, distributors, financial institutions, producers, and advisors – today announced it was selected as a winner for Red Herring’s Global 100 award, a prestigious recognition honoring the year’s private […]

    65 No Longer The Magic Age For Retirement

    {December 10th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    PR Newswire Association LLC CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — More than nine in 10 (94%) working middle-income Baby Boomers have plans to retire one day, but many will be working past age 65, according to a new study commissioned by http://www.centerforasecureretirement.com/ ® (CSR). The study – http://www.centerforasecureretirement.com/archive-study/2014/the-middle-income-boomer-retirement-gap-savings-education-and-advice/– surveyed 1,000 Americans aged 50 to 68 […]

    3Q FIA Market Share Highest In 5 Years

    {December 10th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Fixed index annuities (FIAs) took a whopping 53.8 percent share of the third quarter fixed annuity market, as measured by sales. That is according to Beacon Research numbers appearing in third quarter annuity sales reports issued by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI). Seeing that percentage is a reminder that market share analysis can provide perspective […]

    Three gifts advisors can share this holiday season

    {December 10th, 2014} by Daniel Steenerson, CLU, ChFC, RHU

    The holidays bring out the best in all of us. When we interrupt our lives to give, socialize and celebrate, a funny thing happens. We become more sentimental and more grateful for our everyday blessings such as good health, a loving spouse and spirited grandchildren. However, the holidays don’t always bring out the best in […]

    Accumulation or Income?

    {December 10th, 2014} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) elections increased nearly 10% from the prior quarter.  It is surprising to see such a big increase in GLWB elections when there has been such a focus on the accumulation story with ‘uncapped strategies.’ Makes one wonder if the focus of third quarter sales was really on accumulation or not! ~sjm

    Life Happens Organization Reaches Adulthood

    {December 10th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    Life Happens, which is wrapping up its 20th year, is getting its own life together. After completing a rebranding campaign this year designed to speak as one voice and one brand, Life Happens received a little mainstream exposure during recent mentions on NBC’s Today Show and CBS This Morning. It’s no accident. Life Happens is […]

    Axa Acquires Majority Stake in Nigeria-Based Mansard Insurance for $243 Million

    {December 10th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    PARIS – France-based Axa S.A. said it has completed the acquisition of 100% of Assur Africa Holdings, which holds a 77% stake in the composite insurance company Mansard Insurance plc in Nigeria, for €198 million (US$243 million). When it announced the deal in November, Axa said the acquisition would make it a No. 4 insurance […]

    5 Trends For Fixed Annuities In 2015

    {December 9th, 2014} by Rich Lane

    PORTLAND, Oregon — December 9, 2014— 2014 has been a year of dynamic growth in the annuities industry. Fixed annuities, once viewed as a conservative investment strategy, emerged as an accumulation vehicle of choice for many soon-to-be retirees. Fixed annuity purchases show no signs of slowing in 2015. Rich Lane, director of individual annuity sales […]

    Indexed universal life: It’s just a great investment

    {December 9th, 2014} by Jordan H. Smith, Schechter Wealth Strategies

    Everything we do in life involves some element of risk. Some risks are known, and believed to be understood, while others are more uncertain and involve either probability or magnitude that we find difficult to quantify. When investing, we generally seek to obtain the highest return possible given the amount of risk that we are […]

    NAIC Backs Off On IUL Illustrations, Expected To Approve AG 48

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

    WASHINGTON – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is backing off on its previous decision to move aggressively on implementing a compromise regulation governing the illustrations insurers and agents can use in marketing indexed universal life insurance (IUL) by late March. At the same time, the NAIC executive committee is now expected to approve […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of NLV Financial Corporation and Its Affiliates

    {December 9th, 2014} by A.M Best

    OLDWICK, N.J. — A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a+” of National Life Insurance Company (NLIC) (Montpelier, VT) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (Dallas, TX) (together known as National Life). Both companies are life insurance subsidiaries of […]

    The 2015 interest rate outlook: 7 questions answered

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

    LifeHealthPro Senior Editor Warren S. Hersch recently interviewed Terence Martin, director of life annuity research at Conning & Co., a provider of asset management, risk and capital management solutions and insurance research. The interview explored the impact of the current rate environment on life insurers and the outlook for both in 2015.  Click here for excerpts.

    A.M. Best Affirms Allianz Life’s Excellent Rating With Stable Outlook

    {December 9th, 2014} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) announced that A.M. Best affirmed the company’s financial strength rating as A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings of “a+”. The outlook for all ratings is stable. This is consistent with the ratings assigned in 2013. The ratings reflect Allianz Life’s strategic position under […]

    Lincoln National sells radio stations as insurer exits media

    {December 8th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

    (Bloomberg) — Lincoln National Corp. is divesting the last pieces of a media business it acquired eight years ago as the company focuses on sales of life insurance and retirement products. Entercom Communications Corp. agreed to pay $105 million for Lincoln Financial Media, gaining 15 radio stations in markets including Atlanta, Denver and Miami, the […]

    Tony Robbins slams critics, says he’s not a financial advisor

    {December 8th, 2014} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    In his rousing seminars, primo coach Tony Robbins spurs willing attendees to tread across a bed of burning-hot coals as a lesson in overcoming fear. Now he’s raking RIAs over the coals for taking “pot shots” at him. Some advisors and others have mercilessly dissed Robbins’ new book, “Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps […]

    Diet, exercise more important than financial planning

    {December 8th, 2014} by Ed Silverstein

    Americans appear less concerned about personal finances – even those relating to their retirement – this coming year than they are about their personal figures (as in their bodies). Some 40 percent of those taking part in an Allianz Life survey listed managing money better as the New Year’s resolution that they would most likely […]

    Industry Survey 2014: Ten results you need to know

    {December 8th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

    From the survey: Where are you finding your biggest success right now? Annuities continue to dominate the industry survey. According to respondents, annuities remain number one with 35 percent of those surveyed claiming the safe product as their biggest area of success. Others clocking in were life insurance (23%), long-term care insurance (15%) and investment […]

    Individual life insurance premium up four percent in Q3

    {December 8th, 2014} by LIMRA

    Total individual life insurance new annualized premium improved four percent in the third quarter, according to LIMRA’s “Retail Individual Life Insurance Survey.” In the first nine months of 2014, individual life insurance premium fell one percent. Policy count dropped one percent in the third the quarter and three percent year-to-date (YTD), the LIMRA survey shows. […]

    The perfect tax-favored investment vehicle

    {December 8th, 2014} by E. Michael Kilbourn

    Today’s investors typically seek three things: safety, income and tax advantages. Unfortunately, there are few investments that satisfy all three, especially the desire for income at a satisfactory level. Investors who are in good health should look at the strategy of combining a high cash value life insurance policy with a single premium annuity to […]

    DALBAR Announces Its 2014 Annuity Service Award Winners

    {December 8th, 2014} by Globe Newswire

    BOSTON, Dec. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today DALBAR released the 2014 winners of its annual Annuity Service Award. AIG Variable Annuities, AXA, Genworth, New York Life, Pacific Life and Prudential Financial emerged as the titans of customer service in 2014. For nearly three decades, DALBAR has conducted rigorous testing of service delivery via its […]

    Indexed Sales are Sizzling, but is the Promise Fizzling? BLOG

    {December 7th, 2014} by Steven A. Morelli

    The latest LIMRA numbers yielded quite a bit of good news for indexed universal life. But it was not so rosy for the rest of the universal life field. IUL premium popped up 19 percent in the third quarter and 19 percent year to date. UL overall increased 2 percent but the YTD was –8 […]

    Insurers Hunt For Talented New Workers

    {December 7th, 2014} by Deirdre Fernandes

    Arbella Insurance hasn’t been shy on college recruiting trips about making a blatant play for a younger generation of workers. Ditching the pocket-protector image, recruiters from the Quincy company have arrived on campus in black T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, “Insurance is sexy.’’ “We were trying to show that we’re not an old dowdy industry,’’ […]

    MetLife Launches Ratings Class Prediction Tool

    {December 5th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    MetLife has announced the launch of what it calls a “field underwriting tool” that helps advisors and agents quickly deliver estimates of a life insurance applicant’s rating. The tool, called MetLife QuickPredict, is viewable on a computer, tablet or smartphone, and is available to MetLife producers who sell the company’s life insurance products. The product […]

    Do Consumers Want An Advisor Who Is A Person Of Letters?

    {December 5th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    If you’ve ever wondered why some advisors’ business cards have so many three- or four-letter credentials listed after their names, it’s because certification matters. Now, it could be argued that some financial professionals with five or six professional designations take their professional lives a little too seriously, or that for all their intellectual brainpower they […]

    Tell Stories About The Long-Lived Among Us: BLOG

    {December 5th, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Yet another survey has come out showing that older Americans have a great deficit in knowledge about, and readiness for, retirement. For instance, among Americans age 60 to 75 with at least copy00,000 in assets, 69 percent indicated they are unfamiliar with the “4 percent rule,” according to The American College of Financial Services, which […]

    2 Charged In $11.3 M California Ponzi Scheme

    {December 5th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    WASHINGTON – Two southern California insurance agents have been have been charged with defrauding 27 people of $11.3 million through sale of unsecured investments. The victims include a retired major league baseball player, according to officials of the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The CDI official said the scheme was financed through purchase of life […]

    New York Life Unit Acquires Investment Management Firm

    {December 5th, 2014} by Arthur D. Postal

    WASHINGTON – New York Life’s investment management subsidiary is expanding into the exchange-traded fund (ETF) industry. New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM) said it has acquired IndexIQ, the leader in the liquid alternative ETF industry. The acquisition “brings NYLIM’s powerful global asset management franchise and distribution platform together with IndexIQ’s proven ability to launch sophisticated […]

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRAs: The Individual Retirement Account Celebrates its 40th Year January 1, 2015

    {December 5th, 2014} by Business Wire

    Atlanta Advisor, Christian G. Koch, Provides Insight on the Importance of this Retirement Account ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)– January 1, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) inthe United States. Born from the passing of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, IRAs were created to protect workers’ earned company retirement benefits […]

    Carriers Wracked By Online Channel Conflict With Agents

    {December 4th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    The life and annuity industry has heard this story before, and now it’s about to hear it again: Life and annuity carriers just aren’t that into direct Internet-only sales, and many appear to be paralyzed to a certain extent by “channel conflict.” Many carriers may yearn to be players in the direct channel. Some, such […]

    Structured Notes: The Perfect Complement To FIAs?

    {December 4th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

    It’s not easy being a financial advisor these days, with fixed income portfolios yielding so little in this era of low interest rates. Shortly after the financial crisis began, when interest rates dived, advisors were content to wait for rates to rise once more. Today, advisors and their retail investor clients are still waiting. In […]

    Genworth offers lifetime income annuity

    {December 4th, 2014} by Nick Thornton

    Genworth Financial Inc., providing the latest example of the life insurance industry responding to an appetite for guaranteed income products and a favorable regulatory climate, has introduced a new annuity with a lifetime income rider. And the Richmond, Virginia-based insurer is hoping to expand its target market to include those as young as 45. Genworth’s […]

    Voya exec. stresses life insurance as a component of retirement security

    {December 4th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    Framing the value of life insurance for prospects in terms of retirement security will be key to the industry’s future growth. So said Michael Smith, CEO of Insurance Solutions at Voya Financial, during an afternoon keynote today at the annual Insurance Executive Conference. Hosted by Summit Professional Networks, the session explored opportunities for industry growth […]

    The ABCs of Annuities

    {December 4th, 2014} by Joanne Cleaver

    Annuities are the basic financial tool your financial advisor doesn’t want to talk about. That’s because annuities provide a bedrock income for retirement by shifting money out of the “I want this money to grow” part of your portfolio into the “I don’t want to outlive my money” part of your portfolio. An annuity is […]

    Partners Advantage Announces Acquisition of Independent Life Brokerage

    {December 4th, 2014} by Peggy Porter

    RIVERSIDE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC is pleased to announce its acquisition of Independent Life Brokerage (ILB) of Florham Park, New Jersey. The ILB offices in Florham Park and its employees will become a part of the Partners Advantage distribution network and will continue to serve its base of financial professionals primarily focused in […]

    Allianz Life Promotes Erin Krawiecki to Assistant Vice President Customer Contact Center and Fulfillment, Enterprise Operations

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) promoted Erin Krawiecki to assistant vice president Customer Contact Center and Fulfillment in the Enterprise Operations division. In this role, Krawiecki manages costs, quality and controls in the contact center to create positive results for the customer. She also leads the strategy for strengthening policy […]

    Why VA Owners Are Keeping Their Policies

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Living benefits riders have been around for a decade now in variable annuities and, more recently, in fixed indexed annuities. That invites a natural question: What are policyholders doing with those features? A new study on variable annuity (VA) “policyholder behavior” sheds some light on this. It is a light that annuity professionals may find […]

    Genworth Introduces New FIA With Lifetime Income Rider

    {December 3rd, 2014} by PR Newswire

    PR Newswire Association LLC RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — https://www.genworth.com/ has introduced a new fixed index annuity with a lifetime income rider for consumers as young as 45 who want to start building retirement income that is protected from market losses and has the potential to grow before and after withdrawals begin. “With […]

    7 ways to fight the holiday blues

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Margie Barrie

    Margie Barrie, a veteran long-term care insurance (LTCI) agent, marketer and educator, has been writing articles about long-term care (LTC) planning and related issues for several years. Here, she takes a question about ways to overcome consumers’ reluctance to think about LTC planning during the holiday season. Click here to read…

    AIG, MetLife, Pru below average in stress test [slide show]

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

    U.S. life insurers have more than adequate cash on hand to withstand a downturn comparable to the financial crisis of 2007-2009. But three major insurers have operating liquidity levels below the industry average, new research shows. Moody’s Investors Service discloses this finding in a new report that examines U.S. life insurance operating companies. Click here […]

    Why FIA Producers See A Silver Lining In 3Q

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Linda Koco

    Third quarter sales of fixed index annuities may have dropped by nearly 8.6 percent from the previous quarter, but annuity producers are hardly singing the blues. That’s because fixed index annuity (FIA) sales were moving swiftly for many in the field. In fact, when compared to third quarter last year, FIA sales were up. The […]

    Wink CEO: Independent Organizations Marketing Annuities Getting Regulatory Cautions From Kansas, Iowa

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Insurance regulators in Iowa and Kansas have turned their eye to organizations marketing insurance products/annuities, according to the chief executive officer of Wink Inc., a firm that tracks sales of  indexed annuities. Both state’s regulators have drafted bulletins cautioning marketing organizations about marketing and advertising,  Sheryl Moore, president and CEO of Wink and Moore […]

    Q3 fixed indexed annuity sales report: The proof is in the pudding. BLOG

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Matt Tarkenton

    More and more consumers are looking for the guarantees and income provided by fixed annuity products as part of their retirement strategy, and the proof is in the pudding. The growth of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) continued in the third quarter of 2014. Our friend and industry thought leader Sheryl Moore’s report showed that third-quarter […]

    Americans Get Failing Grades In Retirement Knowledge

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Rodney Brooks, USA TODAY

    In survey after survey, Americans have not scored well on retirement literacy tests. But a new survey of Americans ages 60 to 75 says 80% failed a retirement income literacy test. The results of the poll, released today by theAmerican College of Financial Services inBryn Mawr, Pa., are pretty dismal. The poll was conducted through […]

    Get it in writing: Proper documentation is key when it comes to annuity sales

    {December 3rd, 2014} by Brian Anderson

    In October a law firm in Chicago representing a former client of a financial advisor ran an ad seeking to find other investors who may have lost money with this particular advisor as a result of “annuity switching.” The advisor is accused of improperly switching the former client from indexed annuities to variable annuities, causing […]