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Archive for May 2015


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  • 6 Reasons Why Whole Life Is Causing Advisors To Take Notice

    {May 30th, 2015} by N/A

    Life insurance has been around for thousands of years. It is believed that the Romans originated the product to fund burials of military personnel who were members of a burial club. Over time, the reasons for owning life insurance grew more complex, such as to meet estate planning or business planning needs, in addition to […]

    Tech Spotlight: Next steps for the Global Insurance Accelerator

    {May 30th, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

      A 100-day adventure came to an end last week for six startups going through the Des Moines-based Global Insurance Accelerator. While the six teams officially graduated Wednesday, they still have work to do to remain viable. The same goes for the accelerator, which has another two years to go under its original mission. About […]

    Dave Ramsey’s debunking debacle on retirement income

    {May 29th, 2015} by Kevin Startt

    In Georgia, we celebrated Tax Freedom Day on April 15, a little before the folks on the West Coast who celebrate Tax Freedom Day about three months later. Their plight is similar to what a German executive at Deutsche Bank told me years ago about why so much drinking, celebrating and carousing goes on during […]

    NAIFA appoints New Chief Executive Officer

    {May 29th, 2015} by NAIFA

    The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has named Kevin M. Mayeux as the Association’s next Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1. Mayeux, 45, is executive vice president, chief officer for North American operations and general counsel for the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), an international professional society with 185,000 members throughout 190 […]

    SEC Names New Chief Of Staff

    {May 29th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — A former staffer with experience in the fiduciary standard wars has been named chief of staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The appointment of Andrew J. “Buddy” Donohue as staff chief was made as SEC chair Mary Jo White gears up to tackle the creation of a uniform fiduciary standard for […]


    {May 29th, 2015} by Raymond James Financial Inc

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire The Producers Choice, LLC, a private insurance and annuity marketing organization and decade-long partner based in Troy, Michigan. Producers Choice will operate as part of the Raymond James Insurance Group. The transaction is expected to […]

    American Equity unveils flag mural

    {May 29th, 2015} by Business Record

    American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. on Wednesday unveiled a giant American flag mural mounted on the exterior of its West Des Moines headquarters. The mural, which measures nearly 600 square feet on the south side of the building, was installed to kick off a yearlong celebration of American Equity’s 20th anniversary. The company is […]

    Congressman Wants FINRA To Examine Investment Advisors

    {May 29th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — An Arkansas congressman’s proposal to shift oversight of investment advisors to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ran into opposition immediately from a trade organization representing advisors. Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., said he is considering legislation that would give FINRA authority to examine investment advisors. He […]

    Columbus, IN area financial representative receives national quality award

    {May 29th, 2015} by Daily News

    COLUMBUS – Matthew Carothers, a Financial Representative of Northwestern Mutual, in Columbus, Indiana, has qualified for the NAIFA Quality Award from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). The NAIFA Quality Award recognizes professionalism through education and earned designations, production measured by performance metrics customized for each practice specialty, adherence to the NAIFA […]

    Fiduciary Rule Increases Cost, Oversight, Not Consumer Protection, Say Financial Officials

    {May 28th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary standard adds another regulatory layer while increasing costs and failing in its stated mission of unifying a standard of care, according to financial services officials attending a conference today. “The DOL’s proposal goes far beyond [putting your customer first] standard to limit choice and raise costs, unnecessarily […]

    Finra sends BrokerCheck link rule to SEC

    {May 28th, 2015} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Rule would require brokerage firms to include links from their websites to a public database containing information on brokers’ backgrounds   Finra has advanced a rule that would require brokerage firms to include links from their websites to a public database containing background information on their brokers. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. filed the […]

    FINRA Head Trashes DOL Fiduciary Proposal

    {May 28th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — The head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said he believes that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard proposal “will lead many firms to close their individual retirement account business entirely or substantially constrain the clients that they will serve.” Richard G. Ketchum, FINRA chairman and CEO, embraced the Department of Labor’s […]

    3 IRA annuity RMD traps you must avoid

    {May 28th, 2015} by Jeffrey Levine

    Whether you agree with their use or not, annuities have become popular investment vehicles for IRA and Roth IRA owners alike. Despite the fact that there is no additional tax benefit to holding an annuity inside an IRA, many of today’s annuity contracts offer certain benefits or guarantees that appeal to clients. Like many aspects […]

    Money Fix: what to know about annuities for retirement

    {May 28th, 2015} by SHERYL NANCE-NASH. Special to Newsday

    With so much talk about how unprepared most people are to retire, it’s not surprising that annuities have new appeal. An annuity is an insurance product designed to pay income for a period of time. Typically, you make a lump-sum payment or a series of payments to the seller, often an insurance company. In return, […]

    Annuities Can Be Part Of A Charitable Gift Replenishment Structure

    {May 27th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    May and June are filled with university and high school graduations. As school administrators launch into Latin extolling the virtues of scholarship and citizenship, expect them to gaze beyond the mortarboards and toward the parents and alumni sitting in the audience. It’s those people sitting in the back rows whose gifts make graduation possible for […]

    To sell more permanent coverage, stop selling death insurance

    {May 27th, 2015} by Marlin Bollinger

    Over the past decade or so, life insurance agents have sold a greater percentage of term insurance as compared to permanent coverage. We are all aware of the transition from needs analysis selling to transactional order taking. Although we look at ourselves as professionals, many independent agents will have to admit they too have fallen […]

    Wall St. watchdog says Labor Department broker rule ‘not the way to go’

    {May 27th, 2015} by Suzanne Barlyn

    A U.S. Labor Department plan to reduce conflicts with brokers who offer retirement account advice drew criticism from the chief of Wall Street’s self-funded regulator on Wednesday, who said it would shift enforcement from regulators to investors. The plan, unveiled in April, aims to ensure that brokers offering retirement account advice do not steer customers […]

    LIMRA: Lack of Consumer Awareness A Top Challenge For Banks That Sell Life Insurance

    {May 27th, 2015} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., May 27, 2015 — Among financial institutions that sell life insurance, almost 8 out of 10 program managers said lack of consumer awareness presents a key challenge to growing their sales. The LIMRA-BISRA 2015 Bank Life Insurance Study looked at how financial institutions market and sell individual life insurance, the challenges faced, and […]

    In-Plan Annuities And Guarantees Headed Toward Mainstream

    {May 27th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    The number of people electing in-plan retirement income guarantees has increased for three years in a row. By the double-digits. So has the number of plan participants who have access to in-plan guarantees. So has the number of plans offering in-plan guarantees. They’re not mainstream yet, but they are heading in that direction. This has […]

    Tech Spotlight: LifeDB rooted in founders’ personal experiences

    {May 27th, 2015} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

      Made up of two financial advisers and a former Pleasant Hill mayor, LifeDB is one of two Iowa-born teams moving through the Global Insurance Accelerator in Des Moines. All three founders said they were drawn to LifeDB from past experience. Scott Venerable and Jason Dively each ran into problems with lost life insurance policies. […]

    Is your insurance data safe from hackers?

    {May 27th, 2015} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

    For hackers, the insurance industry is a virtual treasure trove of data. It’s one-stop shopping for data thieves, with a smorgasbord of consumer information — medical, financial and personal — all in one place. In recent months a handful of insurance companies have announced security breaches, including Anthem, Premera and CareFirst, that resulted in more […]

    Des Moines’ insurance accelerator graduates first class

    {May 27th, 2015} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

    Two interruptions — one from a fire alarm and the other giving the all clear — didn’t stop a series of startup pitches Wednesday in downtown Des Moines. Des Moines’ Global Insurance Accelerator graduated its first class Thursday, with six insurance-centric startups having six minutes to show off their companies and hopefully attract some attention. […]


    {May 26th, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    WINK, INC. CELEBRATES 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY Pleasant Hill, Iowa. May 26th, 2015. Wink, Inc. (originally known as AnnuitySpecs.com) celebrates their 10-year anniversary on May 27th, 2015. Wink is the competitive intelligence firm behind the industry’s #1 source for annuity and life insurance product information, AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs analysis tools located at www.winkintel.com. Wink also distributes Wink’s […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases First Quarter, 2015 Indexed Sales Results

    {May 26th, 2015} by Wink, Inc

      — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE INDEXED SALES HAVE A STRONG START TO 2015 Wink, Inc. Releases First Quarter, 2015 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. May 21, 2015- Forty-nine indexed annuity carriers participated in the 71st edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total first quarter […]

    Indexed annuity sales off to strong start in 2015

    {May 26th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    First quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 5.0 percent when compared to the previous quarter, but up nearly 5.0 percent when compared with the same period last year. Total first quarter sales topped $11.3 billion. “Indexed annuity sales began the year with sales greater than any other first quarter has in the history of the […]

    Financial Regulatory Improvement Bill Out Of Committee, But Unlikely To Pass In Current Form

    {May 26th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — A bill that would significantly reduce federal agencies’ authority to regulate insurance companies was reported out of committee today, despite it being unlikely to win enough votes in its present form to become law. The Senate Banking Committee passed the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act 12-10 along party lines. The bill will likely need […]

    Meet the life insurance startup that lets clients buy in real time

    {May 26th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    In today’s digital world, it’s easy to find sites that offer online quotes and the ability to connect with life insurers’ call centers and agents. What’s been lacking are turnkey solutions that let consumers do everything they need — from securing price comparisons to transacting a policy purchase — with the click of a mouse. […]

    National Life Group Introduces a New Critical Injury Accelerated Benefits Rider

    {May 26th, 2015} by National Life Group

    May 25, 2015 Montpelier, Vermont – National Life Group insurance companies introduce what is believed to be an industry first Critical Injury accelerated benefits rider and has enhanced its Critical Illness rider. Accelerated Benefits Riders, available on all its life insurance policies, provide access to the death benefit in the event of a qualifying terminal, […]

    Life Insurance, Charitable Giving: Easy Way To Stay In Front Of Clients

    {May 26th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    May and June are filled with university and high school graduations. As school administrators launch into Latin extolling the virtues of scholarship and citizenship, expect them to gaze beyond the mortarboards and toward the parents and alumni sitting in the audience. It’s those people sitting in the back rows whose gifts make graduation possible for […]

    Fitch Affirms Symetra’s Ratings; Outlook Negative

    {May 26th, 2015} by Business Wire

    CHICAGO–(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 is Negative. A full list of rating actions follows at […]

    Here are 8 ways to profit from millennials

    {May 22nd, 2015} by Julie Verhage

    (Bloomberg Business) — As the largest generation in U.S. history, millennials have a lot of potential to change the investment landscape. A couple of weeks ago Goldman Sachs sent out a research note detailing which companies were poised to benefit from this large demographic, in particular from millennial parents. Now Bank of America Merrill Lynch […]

    NAIC Group Looks At Uniform System For Unclaimed Policies

    {May 22nd, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – A National Association of Insurance Commissioners task force will meet May 29 as the first step in crafting a uniform system for states and insurers to deal with the festering issues of handling the proceeds of unclaimed insurance policies. Developing a uniform system for states to deal with the issue within a year […]

    Insurers Struggle To Keep Pace With Customer Online Demands

    {May 22nd, 2015} by PRNewswire

    WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., May 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Insurers are struggling to keep pace with demand as website visits by insurance shoppers and customers servicing their accounts via smartphones and tablets has become more prevalent, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Insurance Website Evaluation StudySM (IWES) released today. The 2015 IWES measures online consumer experiences […]

    The benefits of tax-deferred annuities, and the cost of waiting: BLOG

    {May 22nd, 2015} by Brad Harruff

    We’ve been in a declining-interest-rate environment for about the last 10 years, with historic low rates the last few years. These low rates are driven by the Federal Reserve in hopes of jump-starting the economy by allowing consumers to borrow money cheaply. While lower rates may sound good, they also mean very low returns for […]

    Safe Money Resource Co-Founder Educates Investors on Insurance Field Marketing Organizations

    {May 21st, 2015} by Globe Newswire

    CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via PRWEB – For retirement income planning, people have many options for annuity products. But according to Brent Meyer, licensed annuity expert and dedicated consumer advocate, annuities can greatly differ in terms of the benefits they offer. Choosing the right option involves being fully educated about […]

    LGBT and modern families: What advisors need to know

    {May 21st, 2015} by Holly Hanson

    Coping with a changing society and changing rules There are many areas in which the recent legal developments have meant big changes for the LGBT community. In fact, just due to the fall of DOMA alone, there are 1,138 federal laws and protections that are now afforded to the LGBT community. That’s a staggering number, […]

    Annuities, Experts and My Losing 90 Pounds

    {May 21st, 2015} by Don McNay

    Shot through the heart and you’re to blame You give love a bad name. — Bon Jovi     I watched a man give annuities a bad name. I was in a coffee shop, having breakfast with my daughter, Angela Luhys, on a week when my weight loss had reached the 90 pound mark since […]

    Annuities With GLBs Pose Risks To Financial System, FSOC Says

    {May 21st, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — Annuities sold with guaranteed living benefits (GLBs) pose “meaningful financial risks” to the U.S. financial system, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) said in its annual report. The report was released earlier this week. Moreover, the FSOC appeared to voice particular concern with fixed index annuities, citing their growth and the fact they […]

    10 undeniable behaviors of a great leader

    {May 20th, 2015} by Alan Zimmerman

    It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a country, a company, a department, a team, a church, or even a family … leadership has nothing to do with title or position. You could be the president of a country or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and not be a leader. In truth, leadership has […]

    Volatility controlled index options: The forest for the trees: BLOG

    {May 20th, 2015} by James A. Martin II

    Within the fixed indexed annuity (FIA) marketplace, volatility controlled (VC) index options are the talk of the town. Developed to increase the attractiveness of FIA returns in a low-interest-rate environment, these new crediting strategies present something new and interesting to consider. However, without a full understanding of the underlying mechanics and, more importantly, the setting […]

    Everyone wins when agents get involved in their communities

    {May 20th, 2015} by Brian Anderson

    Deserved or not, many insurance agents often find themselves being pigeonholed into the stereotyped of the annoying, “you need more insurance,” sales-focused Ned Ryerson character from the movie Groundhog Day. People just don’t understand the important work insurance agents do every day to help people protect their families. They don’t understand the commitment many agents […]

    How the life insurance industry’s chief champion reached 611M prospects in a single year

    {May 20th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    Life Happens, formerly the Life Foundation, has carved out a unique industry niche: The 21-year-old organization coordinates campaigns designed to raise consumer awareness about the value of life, disability income and long-term care insurance. The not-for-profit also serves as a resource to agents and brokers who sell these products. What many of those producers don’t […]

    Investor Education Would Be Difficult Under DOL Standard, Lawyers say

    {May 20th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    Advisors will have a tough time promoting products such as annuities in educational materials without potentially violating the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary standard, industry lawyers say. The investment materials that would potentially be subject to the new standard include plan information, general investment information, asset allocation models and interactive investment materials, according to lawyers […]

    FIA Sales Rise In Otherwise Tough 1Q

    {May 20th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    All but two annuity lines saw sales fall in first quarter 2015 over first quarter last year, according to sales estimates from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI). The two product stars were fixed index annuities (FIAs) on sales of $11.6 billion, and structured settlements on sales of $1.4 billion. Sales for these products increased […]

    Indexed Universal Life Policies: Watch These Risks

    {May 20th, 2015} by Justin Keupper

    Universal Life insurance policies come in many different flavors, ranging from low-risk fixed rate to higher risk variable models. Of course, the trade-off is that fixed rate models have lower returns and variable models involve the potential for a decline in value. A new rapidly growing type of policy promises to offer the benefits of […]

    Pacific Life Ranks Number One in Indexed Universal Life Insurance Sales for 2014

    {May 20th, 2015} by Marketwired

    NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (Marketwired) — 05/20/15 — Pacific Life Insurance Company once again led the industry as the number one seller of indexed universal life insurance (IUL)(1) in 2014.(2) Since introducing its first IUL product in 2005, the company’s sales in this category have grown by an average of 19 percent per year for […]

    First Quarter 2015 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {May 19th, 2015} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 1st Quarter 2015 shows first quarter 2015 indexed annuity sales were $11,382 million, compared with sales of $10,887 million for the first quarter of 2014. First quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 5.00% when compared to the previous quarter, and up nearly 5.00% when compared with the […]

    I Give a Damn About Annuities – You Should Too

    {May 19th, 2015} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Why People Need Annuities I recall well my entrance into the life insurance market. Nearly 20 years ago, I was a single mother with three babies in diapers; wondering what career I could hold in Des Moines, Iowa that was stable. Aha! Insurance. Before becoming a homemaker, I had managed a grocery store, so working in […]

    IUL: Accumulation vs. Protection

    {May 19th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    One of the strategies discussed in the Insider’s Guide to Indexed Universal Life in the March edition of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine sparked some heated discussion from readers. The difference in opinion formed over discussing the death benefit with clients. Josh Mellberg, president of J.D. Mellberg Financial in Tucson, advised that in certain instances or for certain […]

    Support for National Annuity Awareness Month on the Rise!

    {May 19th, 2015} by Janet Terpening, Director of Operations, NAFA

    As June 1 draws near, support for National Annuity Awareness Month is continuing to grow! As of this week, 22 submissions have been completed requesting proclamations for Annuity Awareness Month from various State Governors. In late April, Iowa was the first state to move forward with a declaration (Yay IOWA! We’ll have more on Iowa’s […]

    DOL Extends Comment Period On Fiduciary Proposal

    {May 19th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON— The Department of Labor (DOL) extended the comment period on its fiduciary standard proposal by 15 days. The announcement of the extension, as well as the dates of public hearings, will be published next week in the Federal Register, the DOL said. The public hearings will take place during the week of Aug. 10, […]

    NAIFA’s McNeely sees a ‘glimmer of hope’ on the fiduciary rule

    {May 19th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, led by NAIFA President Juli McNeely, is spearheading an effort to block implementation of the Department of Labor’s second iteration of its proposed fiduciary rule. The association believes the proposal would impose unacceptably steep costs on registered reps of broker-dealers recommending retirement products — among them the […]

    NAFA: Consumers Already Protected Through Annuity Regs

    {May 19th, 2015} by Susan Rupe

    NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, issued the following statement in regards to the request for information Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent to insurers regarding the sale of annuities: “In today’s unpredictable economic environment, consumers face a burgeoning responsibility for taking control of their financial future. Yet, one way they are successfully doing so […]

    ACLI Urges Quick Action On IUL Rules

    {May 19th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) today urged quick action on approving new rules for illustrating index universal life (IUL) insurance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee had scheduled a conference call today to approve the illustration proposal. However, the call was cancelled late Tuesday. […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Launches New IUL

    {May 19th, 2015} by Business Wire

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) has introduced the newest addition to its suite of Indexed Universal Life (IUL) insurance products, Lincoln WealthAdvantageSM Indexed Universal Life. The new offering provides advisors flexibility in how they help clients achieve specific goals related to wealth protection and legacy planning, tax efficient income or business needs. “Lincoln’s […]

    Lincoln Financial Introduces IUL Product With A Twist

    {May 19th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Lincoln Financial Group has announced the introduction of an index universal life insurance (IUL) product with a new twist – the death benefit is equal to the policy face amount plus premiums paid. The IUL, branded as Lincoln WealthAdvantage and sold by advisors, is available immediately in states where the product has received approval. Three […]

    Delaware Life Enters The FIA Market

    {May 19th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Delaware Life has decided to get into the fixed index annuity (FIA) market. Its first offering is a policy that includes two volatility control index options sponsored by Deutsche Bank, the global banking giant based in Germany. Called Retirement Chapters 10 Fixed Index Annuity, the policy will benefit from the heft that the Deutsche Bank […]

    Delaware Life Announces The Launch Of Innovative Index Annuity With Deutsche Bank Indices

    {May 19th, 2015} by PRNewswire

    WELLESLEY, Mass., May 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Delaware Life Insurance Company (“Delaware Life”) has announced the launch of Retirement Chapters 10℠Fixed Index Annuity, a new product that includes crediting strategies based on two Deutsche Bank-sponsored indices. The CROCI Sectors III USD 5.5% Volatility Control Index offers global equity exposure via Deutsche Bank’s CROCI Sectors Index and […]

    LIMRA: Annuity Sales Decline In First Quarter

    {May 19th, 2015} by LIMRA

    News release from LIMRA WINDSOR, Conn., May 19, 2015—Total U.S. annuity sales dropped 7 percent in the first quarter, totaling $54.4 billion. Every major product line except indexed annuities and structured settlements experienced declines in the first quarter. “Persistent low interest rates and market volatility in the first quarter had an impact on all product […]

    Annuity sales decline 7% in Q1 2015

    {May 19th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    After riding a wave of recent good news, the annuity industry was dealt a blow as total U.S. annuity sales dropped 7 percent in the first quarter, according to research compiled by LIMRA. Every major product line except indexed annuities and structured settlements experienced declines in the first quarter. “Persistent low interest rates and market […]

    Insurance Company Trying Online Sales

    {May 19th, 2015} by Deirdre Fernandes, The Boston Globe

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is hoping that just as consumers buy car, home, and health insurance online, they will look to purchase life insurance by using their computers, too. The 150-year-old Springfield life insurance company is launching its first online-only product Tuesday as it tries to appeal to younger, more tech-savvy consumers and ignite […]

    European Insurance Forum Examines a Changing World

    {May 19th, 2015} by Charles E. Boyd

    With the long journey towards a unified regulatory system for insurance in the European Union – Solvency II – finally appearing to be near its end, the re/insurance industry has realized that even greater challenges need to be addressed – some of them urgently. In an interview at the European Insurance Forum 2015, Sarah Goddard, […]

    There’s Plenty Of Life Out There For Advisor-Prospectors

    {May 19th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Kevin Cox, an advanced sales consultant with Lincoln Financial Distributors, has a message for financial advisors who complain that no one’s buying life insurance: Clam up, you’re just not prospecting hard enough. Cox has answers for advisors with clients in more than a dozen categories, from professionals looking for higher tax-free retirement income, to widows […]

    Meet the reality TV star with the $15M annuity business

    {May 19th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    “Woo hoo!” says Vicki Gunvalson, owner of Coto Insurance & Financial Services and star of Bravo’s, “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” She’s standing before a vast array of cameras and lights for a photoshoot at her Rancho Santa Margarita, California office that’s been transformed for the day, replete with a Flemish-inspired backdrop that would […]

    The Happiness Factor and Annuity Buyer Behavior

    {May 19th, 2015} by Gregory Bailey

    Take a look at these top annuity buyer behaviors that may impact the happiness factor for your clients. It has been said that you can’t buy happiness. But it turns out that the prospect of financial security in retirement can provide a positive boost of bliss – and advisors play a key role in making […]

    Nationwide settles claim it manipulated fund orders for 15 years

    {May 19th, 2015} by Doni Bloomfield

    (Bloomberg) — Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., the insurer whose slogan says it is “on your side,” will settle claims it delayed mail deliveries, allowing mutual funds underlying its products to be repriced before it carried out customers’ orders. Nationwide agreed to pay $8 million to end the case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: For U.S. Life/Health Industry, the Challenge is Profitable Growth

    {May 19th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – Pre-tax net operating earnings for the U.S. life/health (L/H) industry declined nearly 24% in 2014 to $50.2 billion, following a five-year high of $65.8 billion in 2013, according to a new A.M. Best special report. According to the Best’s Special Report, titled, “For the Life/Health Industry, the Challenge is Profitable Growth,” the earnings […]

    Outliving Retirement Income: The Elephant In The Living Room

    {May 19th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Insurance advisors and other financial professionals may need to help older clients make retirement decisions that clash with the notions that those clients hold close. Case in point: Is aging in place feasible, and is working into one’s late 60s realistic? A Harris Poll conducted in March for HomeServe USA found that two-fifths (41 percent) […]

    2015 Earnings Estimates Raised for MetLife, Prudential; Lowered For Voya

    {May 19th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    A Wall Street analyst last week raised his 2015 earnings estimates for MetLife and Prudential, but lowered them for Voya Financial. This was in the wake of conference calls earlier this month reflecting the latest changes to the companies’ financials. Ryan Krueger of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, in a note to clients, raised MetLife’s full-year […]

    Allianz Life Hires Paige Vinall as Assistant Vice President Application Development

    {May 19th, 2015} by Business Wire

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) hired Paige Vinall as assistant vice president of Application Development in the IT division. In her new role, Vinall leads the company’s technology strategy and business systems for variable annuities, fixed index annuities and sales. She is also responsible for developing the Allianz Life e-commerce […]

    Elizabeth Warren Is Worried About Annuities: Should You Be, Too?

    {May 19th, 2015} by Selena Maranjian

    If you’re a financial-services company, can there be a scarier sound than the footsteps of Elizabeth Warren approaching you? Senator Warren is famous on Wall Street and beyond for taking on banks and other financial companies, criticizing many of their practices, and advocating for us American consumers. She’s the one we have to thank for […]

    A Six-Point Advisor Refresher On Gender

    {May 19th, 2015} by Carla Fried

    Scores of articles have been published on women financial planning clients in recent years, aimed at improving the state of advisor-female client relationships. And yet, problems remain, the latest research shows. Thus, we offer a much needed refresher on the issues surrounding the advising of women clients, a list you and colleagues might want to […]

    Uncovering the subconscious barriers to owning life insurance

    {May 18th, 2015} by LIMRA

    On the surface, life insurance seems to be a basic product designed for a simple purpose. Logic and reason would tell us that life insurance coverage is a sensible thing to have. But people don’t always make decisions in a rational or logical way. Click HERE to read…

    Income Annuities As Part Of An Integrated Planning Approach

    {May 18th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Some advisors are showing increased interest in using income annuities for a portion of their clients’ retirement income plans. But other advisors are wondering, just how does that work out? Wade Pfau suggests that using income annuities in an “integrated approach” that also includes whole life insurance and investments may yield higher income and greater […]

    SEC Charges Nationwide With Pricing Violations

    {May 18th, 2015} by Press Release

    PRESS RELEASE – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission   Washington D.C., May 14, 2015 —The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Nationwide Life Insurance Company with routinely violating pricing rules in its daily processing of purchase and redemption orders for variable insurance contracts and underlying mutual funds.Nationwide agreed to settle the charges and pay an […]

    In The Social Media Age, It’s Who Knows You

    {May 18th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Many veteran financial advisors looked at Ted Jenkin with a hint of envy as he pointed to a LinkedIn page with the click of a mouse. Jenkin is co-CEO and founder of oXYGen Financial in addition to being a blogger, Wall Street Journal columnist and avid social media user. His social media numbers sounded impressive: […]

    John Paulson’s latest bet on insurers is $800 million AIG stake

    {May 18th, 2015} by Kelly Bit

    (Bloomberg) — Billionaire John Paulson’s hedge fund firm bought a position in American International Group Inc. in the first quarter valued at $800 million at the end of March, in his latest bet on the insurance industry. The New York-based firm purchased 14.6 million shares of AIG, according to a regulatory filing, joining Andreas Halvorsen’s […]

    Early Termination of Annuities Not Permitted

    {May 18th, 2015} by Robert Delano, Sands Anderson PC

    Since investing can be a risky business with investments dropping in value from time to time, investors seeking steady income with minimal risk are sometimes attracted to an annuity’s guaranteed-income feature. A recent case from the Western District of Virginia, however, illustrates why an investor should first research whether an annuity is the right choice […]

    3 vehicles needed to optimize a retirement income strategy

    {May 18th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    Life insurance and financial service professionals agree on some basic guiding tenants for building a retirement nest egg. These include investing in a well-diversified equity and fixed income portfolio; buying protection products to guard against the unexpected; and maintaining a sizeable emergency fund to cover immediate cash needs in a financial emergency. Yet there remain […]

    Forget Fiduciary: Real Battle Coming Over Harmonization

    {May 16th, 2015} by ThinkAdvisor

    In a wide-ranging session at the Envestnet Advisor Summit in Chicago on April 8, MarketCounsel’s founder and CEO Brian Hamburger addressed many of the big regulatory and compliance issues facing advisors, and that one of the main issues is the regulators themselves. The SEC “hasn’t been doing its job for a long time. We haven’t […]

    Longevity credits: The time to act is now

    {May 15th, 2015} by Tom Hegna

    Just like the Spring temperatures, annuity sales are also heating up. Despite interest rates remaining at an all-time low, annuity sales continue to increase. According to LIMRA’s recent report for the United States, “Immediate income annuity sales spiked 17 percent in 2014, totaling $9.7 billion.” Click HERE to read article.  

    Genworth Considers Strategic Options, Including Going Private

    {May 15th, 2015} by Reuters

    Life and mortgage insurer Genworth Financial Inc. is considering going private and would be open to selling its long-term care insurance unit, among other strategic options, Chief Executive Tom McInerney said. McInerney said that, although Genworth would be open to selling its long-term care insurance unit, it could be difficult to find a buyer. Asked […]

    Insurance Industry Approaches Its Next Regulatory Crossroads: Fiduciary Standards

    {May 15th, 2015} by Cliff Andrews

    A fiduciary standards firestorm has ignited in Washington D.C. as the Administration, Congress and regulators debate standards of care for consumers in the retirement marketplace. Recently, at an event hosted by AARP, President Obama announced his support for a uniform fiduciary rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that will be proposed by […]

    The Writing’s on the Wall: It’s Time For AnnuRetirement

    {May 15th, 2015} by Lee Stiegemeier

    With Americans facing the growing challenge of successfully planning for retirement, the need for annuities in financial portfolios has never been greater. At the same time, our industry continues to face state and federal regulatory and legislative hurdles that make it critical that we work together to protect the product; the professionals who sell, wholesale […]

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

    {May 15th, 2015} by Business Wire

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the domestic life/health insurance subsidiaries of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI) (Newark, NJ) [NYSE: PRU]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” of PFI and all existing debt ratings of the […]

    Annuity rule No. 1: Know what you’re buying — and why

    {May 15th, 2015} by Andrew Murdoch

    Unfortunately, most people don’t understand annuities well enough to make a fully informed purchase. Shoppers need to focus on their fundamental goal — the amount of guaranteed income they wish to achieve. But the likes of roll-up rates and withdrawal rates — not to mention an avalanche of confusing jargon — sidetrack many annuity buyers. […]

    MetLife CEO flags cash flow as key metric for investors to evaluate

    {May 15th, 2015} by Doni Bloomfield

    (Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian has highlighted free cash flow as a key metric for investors to evaluate when judging his company. If you want to take his advice, you’ll have to wait to get a thorough look. The insurer reports the figure only on an annual basis, and just as […]

    11 important facts about the life insurance industry [infographic]

    {May 15th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    If you could look into a magic ball and see how long you would be here on this Earth, would that help you plan for your every need, down to the your last second? There’s no such thing as that magical crystal ball, though the Society of Actuaries has its own methods for calculating the […]

    The 6 most innovative industry products of 2015

    {May 15th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    The insurance industry has long been considered by some as archaic and lacking in modernization. But things are changing, and they have been for some time. The insurance industry, whether deservedly recognized or not, is an innovation juggernaut. Click HERE to read article…

    AEGON earnings fall on U.S. claims

    {May 15th, 2015} by George C. Ford, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Dutch insurer AEGON, corporate parent of Transamerica in Cedar Rapids, on Wednesday reported lower first-quarter earnings primarily due to higher-than-expected claims in the United States. Underlying earnings before tax fell to $528 million from $565 million in the same quarter of 2014, while net profit dropped to $358.5 million from $444.7 million in the same […]

    Advisors Getting It Wrong On Advertising Rules

    {May 14th, 2015} by Financial Planning

    As they explore new digital channels to promote their practices, advisors continue to struggle with compliance regarding federal and state advertising regulations, a former state official cautions. In an online presentation this week, former Michigan Securities Examination Manager Chad Hartwick outlined some of the challenges advisors face in producing effective advertising that remains compliant with […]

    MetLife says focus on cash flow and wait nine months for data

    {May 14th, 2015} by Doni Bloomfield

    (Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian has highlighted free cash flow as a key metric for investors to evaluate when judging his company. If you want to take his advice, you’ll have to wait to get a thorough look. The insurer reports the figure only on an annual basis, and just as […]

    4 reasons income annuities are picked last for dodgeball

    {May 14th, 2015} by Nichole Morford

    In my last post I discussed how, despite conventional wisdom, income annuities can be a smart buy even in today’s low interest rate environment. The link between income annuities and interest rates is just one of a handful of myths that often cloud advisors’ and clients’ consideration of these annuities and why many write them […]

    Embracing the Financial Mixed-Marriage

    {May 14th, 2015} by Gary Baker

    Applying insurance concepts in guiding retirement spending from investments How many investors or advisors have an established process to monitor and adjust withdrawal rates frequently over the course of time in retirement? Chances are that those with limited retirement income planning experience may rely on general rules and guidelines centered on withdrawing a fixed percentage […]

    Putting life insurance on the millennial shopping list

    {May 14th, 2015} by Keith Bossey

    While life insurance companies are eager to capture the millennial generation, they appear to be having limited success. Millennials are 33 percent less likely than typical adults to have policies, and less than two in ten are planning to buy coverage in the next 12 months, according to GfK MRI’s “Survey of the American Consumer.” […]

    SEC charges radio hosts with lying about life settlements

    {May 14th, 2015} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission Monday said that it had charged a retirement planning firm and its principals who host a financial radio show with falsely telling investors that interests in life settlements they offered and sold were “guaranteed,” “safe as CDs” and “federally insured.” A month ago, the SEC charged Los Angeles-based Pacific West […]

    Towers Watson Releases New Version of Software for Life Insurers

    {May 13th, 2015} by Business Wire

    ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Global professional services company Towers Watson (NASDAQ: TW) has introduced version 2.0 of its U.S. Library applications for its RiskAgility FM financial modeling solution. Along with enhancements to existing applications in the Library, version 2.0 introduces a new application for life insurers modeling indexed universal life (IUL) products, currently the fastest-growing type of […]

    Do you know these 13 annuity terms?

    {May 13th, 2015} by Nichole Morford, Stephan R. Leimberg, Keith Buck, Bob Doyle

    Annuities are complex products designed to meet a number of complex needs. For many, they are the lynchpin in a secure retirement. For many others, they are shrouded in mystery: How do they work, who do they work for, and when should they be purchased? Click HERE to read article

    AIG Names Brian T. Schreiber Chief Strategy Officer

    {May 13th, 2015} by Business Wire

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) today announced that Brian T. Schreiber will assume the newly created role of Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Mr. Schreiber, who has served in various senior roles over the course of his 18-year career at AIG, will report to Peter D. Hancock, President and Chief […]

    West Virginia adopts updated annuity disclosure rule/buyer’s guide

    {May 13th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    According to a release from NAFA, “On April 24, 2015, the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner filed the final amended annuity disclosure rule, 114 CSR 11E, with the W. VA Secretary of State, adopting the updated NAIC Annuity Disclosure Model Regulation #245 (as revised in 2011), which includes the adoption of the updated […]

    Don’t Be Too Quick To Drop Life Insurance At Retirement

    {May 13th, 2015} by Dan Moisand, dan@moisandfitzgerald.com

    With good reason, safe withdrawal rates and income generation generates a lot of discussion among those advising retirees. A topic that I don’t see getting enough attention is how retirees handle their life insurance. Many retirees do not need life insurance, or do not think they do, so they drop their policies. Financial planners can […]

    Inquiry Signals Further Federal Regulation of Annuity Product Sales Likely

    {May 13th, 2015} by Frederick J. Pomerantz, Aaron J. Aisen and Sandra McDermott

    Late last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy, sent a letter to 15 of the top writers of annuity products, including AIG Companies, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, AXA, Lincoln Financial Group, New York Life Insurance Company, and MetLife, seeking information about the manner in […]

    New Annuities Hit A Market Moving In Two Directions

    {May 12th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Two big players in the U.S. annuity market, Allianz Life and Voya Financial, have announced annuity product launches into a marketplace that is moving in two opposite directions at once. Allianz has introduced new investment options for the company’s Vision Variable Annuity and Connections Variable Annuity product lines. These choices are available to new business […]

    Consumer Group Rejects IUL Proposal

    {May 12th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — On what was supposed to be the eve of a key vote, consumer representatives of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have asked the panel to go back to the drawing board in its year-long effort to craft new rules on indexed universal life (IUL) insurance illustrations. The comments of the eight […]

    NAFA responds to Sen. Warren, says annuities offer consumer protections

    {May 12th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    In a response to the recent questions lobbied by Sen. Warren regarding the sales of annuities, NAFA, the National Association of Fixed Annuities, issued the following statement: Click HERE to read.

    NAFA Responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Request for Annuity Sales Information from Leading Insurance Carriers

    {May 12th, 2015} by Scott Hinds, Dir of Communications, NAFA

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chip Anderson, Executive Director Direct 414.332.9306 ext.1 chip@nafa.com Annuity Benefits and Robust Regulations Provide Thorough Consumer Protections NAFA Issues Statement Following Senator Warren’s Request for Annuity Sales Information from Leading Insurance Carriers WASHINGTON (May 6, 2015) – NAFA, the National Association of Fixed Annuities, issued the following statement in regards to […]

    Bill Aims To Curb Fed Regulations On Insurance

    {May 12th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will take up legislation aimed at ensuring state regulators have a role in establishing international insurance rules. The primary purpose of the legislation is to reduce the regulatory burden imposed on community banks through the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law of 2010. But it is also expected to […]

    Financial advisers don’t care about millennials, and the feeling is mutual

    {May 12th, 2015} by Ben Steverman

    (Bloomberg Business) — The investment industry has an age discrimination problem, and millennials and Generation X are bearing the brunt of it. Only 30 percent of financial advisers are actively looking for clients under age 40, according to a survey of 500 advisers by the research firm Corporate Insight. Advisers prefer older clients for a […]

    How to prevail over today’s life insurance industry challenges

    {May 12th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    A recent study from Towers Watson has unveiled some of the top challenges that life insurance companies face for growth, profit and risk in 2015. When asked what was most concerning for the company, achieving growth objectives or achieving profit and risk objectives, 33 percent replied that “growth, level of profit and volatility of profit […]

    The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX) Reports First Quarter 2015 Results

    {May 12th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Net Loss Attributable to The Phoenix Companies, Inc. of $74.0 million, driven by non-recurring charge for litigation settlement and unfavorable mortality Holding Company Cash and Non-affiliated Securities at $83.1 million Phoenix Life Insurance Company (“PLIC”) Statutory Surplus and AVR at $590.4 million (preliminary) Annuity deposits of $189.4 million, Saybrus Partners revenue of $9.0 million Investor […]

    National Western Life Announces 2015 First Quarter Earnings

    {May 12th, 2015} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    AUSTIN, Texas, May 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Ross R. Moody, President of National Western Life Insurance Company (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today first quarter 2015 consolidated net earnings of $21.3 million, or $6.03 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $19.8 million, or $5.61 per diluted Class A common share, for the […]

    Strong U.S. Retirement Growth Lifts Prudential’s Q1 Results

    {May 12th, 2015} by Trefis Team

    Prudential Financial reported strong earnings for the first quarter of 2015, posting net income of $2.1 billion compared to $1.3 billion a year ago. After-tax adjusted operating income, a non-GAAP metric used to measure operational performance, increased 14% year-over-year (y-o-y) to about $1.3 billion. The U.S. retirement solutions business recorded healthy growth during the quarter, […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Oxford Life Insurance Company and Subsidiaries

    {May 12th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of Oxford Life Insurance Company (Oxford Life) (Phoenix, AZ) and its subsidiary, Christian Fidelity Life Insurance Company (Christian Fidelity) (Dallas, TX). A.M. Best has also affirmed the FSR of B++ (Good) and the […]

    MetLife CEO: Regulatory Uncertainty, Capital Management Are Challenges While Share Buybacks Will Be Substantially Lower

    {May 12th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    NEW YORK – Low interest rates, regulatory uncertainty and capital management are challenges for MetLife Inc.’s return on equity going forward, and it’s likely share buybacks will be “substantially lower” than MetLife assumed in its strategic plan, its chief executive officer said. First-quarter 2015 net income for MetLife jumped 64% to $2.12 billion on gains […]

    MetLife Posts 1Q 2015 Results

    {May 12th, 2015} by Proquest LLC

    MetLife reported the following results for the first quarter of 2015: In a release on May 6, the Company noted that it reported operating earnings of $1.6 billion, up 5 percent over the first quarter of 2014, and up 10 percent on a constant currency basis. On a per share basis, operating earnings were $1.44, […]

    Voya Financial Announces First Quarter 2015 Results

    {May 12th, 2015} by Voya

    NEW YORK, May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), today reported the following financial results for the first quarter of 2015: After-tax operating earnings1,2 of $197 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, compared with $150 million, or $0.57 per diluted share in the first quarter of 20143. The following items primarily accounted for […]

    AXA’s Plans For The U.S. Market

    {May 12th, 2015} by Source Media, Inc

    It’s not often a company finds itself in a market position where it has the flexibility and agility of a newcomer along with a storied history that provides name recognition and a solid base of existing expertise. Global financial services giant AXA is in this sweet spot as it enters the U.S. employee benefit business […]

    SEC slaps charges against “retirement planners” for fraudulent life settlement sales

    {May 12th, 2015} by Darla Mercado

    Investments were fraudulently marketed as “safe as CDs” and “federally insured” The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday filed charges against a pair of so-called retirement planners for fraudulent sales of life settlement interests to investors. Defendants named in the SEC’s complaint include Christopher A. Novinger, Brady J. Speers and their firm, NFS Group. The […]

    Using Fixed Index Annuities For Retirement Income

    {May 11th, 2015} by William H. Byrnes, Robert Bloink

    As advisors and clients continue to search for reliable retirement income alternatives, one bright star has emerged among the many contenders: the fixed indexed annuity (FIA). The FIA’s assent is, at least in part, due to the fact that many of the historical objections to fixed annuity products have been overcome by the development of […]

    ‘Top-Down’ And ‘Bottom-Up’ Views Of Fiduciary Proposal

    {May 11th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    New fiduciary standards proposed by the Department of Labor (DOL) are in store for advisors in the 401(k) business. The smaller the advisory, the more likely it will be faced with higher record-keeping costs and more onerous compliance responsibilities. The question is who’s likely to suffer the most, and what effect will the DOL proposal […]

    Fitch Upgrades Athene’s IFS Rating to ‘A-‘; Outlook Stable

    {May 11th, 2015} by Business Wire

    CHICAGO, May 11, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fitch Ratings has upgraded the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company (Athene) to ‘A-‘ from ‘BBB+’. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Athene is an indirect subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd. (AHL), a privately held Bermuda-domiciled insurance holding company. AHL’s other major subsidiaries […]

    Why Gen X is the No. 1 opportunity for agents and advisors

    {May 11th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    It seems both baby boomers and Gen Xers have lost all confidence in traditional retirement — and that may have something to do with a lack of planning by both generations. That’s according to a recent study by Allianz, titled “Generations Apart,” which states that the vast majority of both generations view retirement as a […]

    A Look At What’s Exempted In Fiduciary Proposal

    {May 11th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    The Department of Labor’s new fiduciary proposal, published recently in the Federal Register, barrels on for more than 36,000 words and spans nearly 75 single-spaced pages, footnotes included. The definition of a “fiduciary” alone runs to nearly 4,000 words. But buried deep within this hefty tome, on Page 48, under the heading “Administrative Prohibited Transaction […]

    Three Companies, Three Different Quarterly Income Results

    {May 11th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Voya Financial reported first quarter 2015 net income of $186 million, a 28 percent drop from the year-ago period, due to after-tax losses of $71 million. The company announced an after-tax loss of $22 million in connection with its Closed Block Variable Annuity, and another $71 million in after-tax losses connected to hedging and expenses […]

    Study Confirms Financially Concerned Boomers, Reveals Hopeless Gen X

    {May 11th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Study Explores how Boomers and Gen Xers are Facing their Financial Future;Finds Lost Confidence in Traditional Retirement, But Also Lack of Active Planning MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The baby boomer generation is in the throes of retirement and Generation X is only steps behind.According to Generations ApartSM* – a new study on how baby boomers and Generation […]

    ‘Predictable And Steady’ Make Insurers Attractive To Private Equity

    {May 11th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Private equity firms interested in buying life insurance companies are not looking to hit home runs, but singles and doubles. That’s according to the authors of a paper appearing in Institutional Investor’s blog, “Unconventional Wisdom.” The private equity industry is showing an interest in buying life insurance companies. That interest reflects private equity’s […]

    The Changing Face of Retirement

    {May 8th, 2015} by IAL Council

    This week we (Indexed Annuity Leadership Council) launched the Changing Face of Retirement project— a nationwide survey, photo series and personal narratives that explore what retirement in America looks like today. The project gives an in-depth look at the changing nature of retirement. The photo series covers the entire country— from Arizona and Minnesota to […]

    Anniversaries: Shiller Barclays CAPE US Index and the BalancedChoice Annuity celebrate successful first year

    {May 8th, 2015} by PRWeb

    Barclays and Annexus celebrate the success of Athene’s BalancedChoice® Annuity linked to the Shiller Barclays CAPE® US Index with an exclusive event in Manhattan, NY on May 6th. The Retirement Income Roundtable will feature award-winning Yale economist Professor Robert Shiller. Scottsdale, Arizona (PRWEB) May 06, 2015 The Shiller Barclays CAPE® US Sector Risk Controlled 10% […]

    AALU: Life industry facing a ‘bloody battle’ over DOL’s fiduciary rule

    {May 8th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    Washington — At the AALU’s closing general session on Tuesday, members of AALU’s advocacy teams warned of coming fights in Washington, including expected legislation on income tax reform, repeal of the estate tax and, most immediately, the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule governing IRA and 401(k) plan providers. The session’s panel included Kenneth Kies, […]

    Trust Mom: 75% of millennials would take financial advice from their mothers

    {May 8th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    A new survey by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, the 2015 myWorth Survey, reveals that 75 percent of millennials said that they would take financial advice from their mother, but only 52 percent of baby boomers said they would. The survey, released earlier this week, also reveals that generation seems to be more important […]

    2015 shaping up to be record year for insurance jobs

    {May 7th, 2015} by Dan Cook

    Looking for a job? The insurance industry is hiring. According to a report by GreatInsuranceJobs.com, a sampling of competitors in the industry will be trying to fill some 22,500 jobs between now and year-end.  Click HERE to read article.

    What do the Wright brothers have to do with life insurance?

    {May 7th, 2015} by Mark Milbrod

    During a recent family trip to the Outer Banks, we visited the Wright brothers museum at Kitty Hawk. As a lover of history, you can’t help but feel awe standing at the site where one of the most important and impactful scientific advances of all time took place. On the museum grounds, you get to […]

    California Fines 60 Insurers for Late Life Payments

    {May 7th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – California has collected $29.8 million from approximately 60 life insurance companies based on their alleged failure to pay the state on a timely basis the proceeds of insurance policies where the owner died and the beneficiaries failed to claim the policies. Insurance industry lawyers say that state Controller Betty T. Yee has assessed […]

    Top Insurance Regulatory Trends for 2015

    {May 6th, 2015} by Deloitte Insights

    The regulatory landscape for insurance will likely continue to be challenging and uncertain in 2015. As was the case in 2014, the insurance industry can expect to face new rules and modified requirements that could significantly affect how companies operate. “Regulatory bodies in the U.S. and abroad have been significantly expanding their compliance oversight and […]

    Many millionaires say no to advisors on retirement planning

    {May 6th, 2015} by Danielle Andrus, ThinkAdvisor

    Almost a third of millionaires nearing retirement have never consulted a financial professional because they feel they can do a better job on their own, according to a survey released Monday by Deloitte Center for Financial Services. The survey found that while retirement confidence has increased since 2012, more than half of respondents said they’re […]

    Jackson National’s Wells to head parent firm Prudential

    {May 6th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Prudential has chosen the head of its U.S. business, Mike Wells, to succeed Tidjane Thiam as CEO of the London-based insurer. Wells, 55, has been with Jackson National Life Insurance since 1995 and at the helm of the firm since 2010. He will assume his new role as CEO of parent firm Prudential on June […]

    Elizabeth Warren Welcomes Wall Street’s Hatred

    {May 6th, 2015} by Eric Garcia

    Speaking at Harvard on female regulators of the finance industry, Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave a response to herWall Street critics: Your critiques won’t keep me quiet. Sitting on a panel Monday with former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairwoman Sheila Bair and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro, panel moderator Ron Suskind asked if […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life : Declares Quarterly Dividend

    {May 6th, 2015} by 2015 ProQuest Information and Learning Company

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life, reported that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.065 per share. According to a company release, the dividend is payable on June 1, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 18. Fidelity & Guaranty Life is an insurance holding company. More information: […]

    AIG Challenges PIMCO Lawsuit

    {May 6th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The legal battling between AIG and the asset management company PIMCO took another turn. AIG filed suit in New York seeking dismissal of a March 27 lawsuit filed against it by PIMCO. The PIMCO suit related to AIG’s huge bet on credit default swaps (CDS), a decision which forced AIG to seek a […]

    Will Driverless Cars Impact Life Insurance And Annuities?

    {May 6th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    When Delphi Automotive’s “driverless car” took its much publicized cross-country test run this spring, the nine-day journey drew cheers from champions of “autonomous technology.” Meanwhile, other onlookers started wondering how this disruptive technology might impact, of all things, insurance. It’s not just auto insurance that they’re wondering about. It’s also the life, health and annuity […]

    Life Insurance 101: Choosing Policy Boils Down To 1 Question

    {May 6th, 2015} by Dan Nielsen, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich

    May 02–TRAVERSE CITY — Life insurance hardly ever comes up as a topic of everyday discussion. Any serious conversation involving death is emotionally awkward. The idea seems ridiculous to young folks who haven’t yet internalized the idea of their own mortality. The topic is scary for those of middle age or beyond. Insurance agents sometimes […]

    How to sell insurance to women

    {May 6th, 2015} by Caroline Feeney

    Prudential Financial’s recently released “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women: 2014-2015 Prudential Research Study” focused on women’s attitudes and behaviors toward money and financial goals. The study found that although women are assuming greater overall control of their family finances, they are not any more confident about their financial preparedness than they were 10 years […]

    NexusHQ and Partners Advantage Rolling Out Insurance Industry’s First Agency Operating System (aOS)

    {May 6th, 2015} by NexusHQ

    Kansas City – March 25, 2014 -– NexusHQ, a technology provider of software and services solely focused on the needs of insurance distributors, announced it has been selected to develop the agency Operating System (aOS) for Partners Advantage, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative Insurance Marketing Organizations (IMOs). NexusHQ is the first to […]

    Wink is turning 10!

    {May 5th, 2015} by Sheryl J. Moore

    As we celebrate our ten year anniversary at Wink this month, I have been reminiscing about on how it all began… I have worked in the research and development of these products for over a decade and am committed to the advocacy of the life insurance industry. My career started at a small insurance company that […]

    Top 5 reasons to buy a fixed annuity

    {May 5th, 2015} by Rich Lane

    For financially conservative investors who want to build and protect their assets, fixed annuities are a great option. With many investors scarred from losing money in the recent economic downturn, clients are interested in a vehicle that has a guaranteed minimum rate of return. That is one of the reasons why the fixed annuities industry […]

    Great American Launches New Death Benefit Rider to Complete Rider Portfolio

    {May 5th, 2015} by Business Wire

    CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American has expanded its product offerings to include an optional death benefit rider with its newest fixed-indexed annuity, the American Custom 10SM. The Legacy Income OptionSM rider, offering consumers the ability to receive income while preserving their legacy, is now exclusively available with the American Custom 10. The annuity product is designed to […]

    How a foreign national could benefit from a U.S. IUL policy

    {May 5th, 2015} by Travis M. Burke

    Whether one is classified as a resident alien (permanently resides in the U.S.) or non-resident alien (has their primary residence in a country other than the United States), international clients face a number of complex financial planning challenges that could be addressed by the prudent use of a U.S.-based life insurance policy. Some of their […]

    AALU speaker: Watch for these 15 changes come 2020

    {May 5th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch

    By 2020, most life insurance and financial service professionals will belong to multigenerational professional insurance services firms. Wearable devices like smart watches will enable carriers to provide continuous underwriting and adjust premiums accordingly. Advisors and client prospects will also more easily locate each other through social media networks. Click Here to read article 

    Mom’s Annual Worth Rises Above $65,000

    {May 5th, 2015} by Globe Newswire

    FOSTER CITY, Calif., May 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The annual value of a mother’s work has risen more than $5,000 in the last two years, according to the Insure.com 2015 Mother’s Day Index. Mom’s work is now worth $65,284 per year, 9.1 percent above the $59,862 her work “earned” in 2013. This year’s figure […]

    Fiduciary Rule to Affect Fixed Annuities, Credit Suisse Says

    {May 5th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The new fiduciary standard proposed by the Labor Department targets the sale of securities products such as variable annuities, but will likely also pull fixed indexed annuities into the picture, according to a Credit Suisse investment note. That is for two reasons: The proposed rules include a reasonable compensation standard and a letter […]