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Archive for June 2015


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  • Updated Indexed UL illustration guidelines to take effect Sept. 1

    {June 30th, 2015} by Insurance Forums

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on June 18 approved updated, more reasonable guidelines for the illustrations that insurers, agents and brokers can use to market indexed universal life (IUL) products. The new guidelines are set to take effect Sept. 1. Adoption of Actuarial Guideline XLIX for Indexed Universal Life Illustrations (AG 49) represents […]

    Advisors Fear Fiduciary Rule Will Harm Client Relationships

    {June 30th, 2015} by Arthur Postal

    Advisor-client relationships will be harmed to the point where advisors will be unable to serve their clients if the investment advice fiduciary rule proposed by the Department of Labor (DOL) is approved. That’s according to a survey the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) conducted of its members. According to the survey, two-thirds […]

    Former NBA Star Magic Johnson Buys Controlling Interest in EquiTrust Life

    {June 30th, 2015} by Dennis Gorski

    Magic Johnson Enterprises, a business conglomerate founded by National Basketball Association Hall of Fame player Earvin “Magic” Johnson, said it has completed a majority purchase of Illinois-domiciled EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. Terms were not disclosed. The purchase gives the group a greater-than-60% controlling share of the company, which has $14.5 billion in assets under management, […]

    NAIC Closing the Loop on Illustrations

    {June 30th, 2015} by Barry D. Flagg

    On June 18, 2015, the Life Actuarial (A) Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC) Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee adopted new Actuarial Guideline 49 governing indexed universal life (IUL) illustrations.  The new guidelines are in response to overly aggressive marketing practices and are intended to make illustrations more reasonable.  Despite insurance companies […]

    Meet 4 leaders that are transforming the insurance industry

    {June 26th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    Nominations for the National Underwriter Industry Elite Awards grow stronger each year. They are a who’s who of the best and brightest in the categories of market innovation, industry awareness, community outreach and best rising star. Our winners and honorable mentions this year stand out for their leadership, drive and brilliance that only the Industry Elites can […]

    These 4 Types of Annuities Are Worth Knowing

    {June 26th, 2015} by Dan Caplinger

    Annuities draw a lot of controversy in the financial world for such a simple financial instrument. An annuity is a contractual arrangement with an insurer to exchange an upfront premium for future payments. Yet while some see annuities as a perfect solution to many different financial issues, others focus on some of their weaknesses, which […]

    Michael Babikian Joins Corporate Advisory Board at Partners Advantage Insurance Services

    {June 26th, 2015} by Partners Advantage

    Partners Advantage Insurance Services has announced Michael Babikian has joined the company’s Advisory Board. Babikian is the President and CEO of LegacyShield, a consumer engagement service that provides comprehensive legacy planning tools and services. He was formerly President and CEO of Transamerica Brokerage where he was responsible for six sales channels, including Transamerica Bermuda. He […]

    Annuity Technology: The 30,000-Foot View And The 30-Foot View

    {June 26th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    For Mitch Wein, a consultant steeped in the technological habits of individual annuity carriers, 2015 is a watershed year. It’s the first time that millennials will about equal the number of baby boomers in the workplace. From here on, every year will see more millennials than baby boomers in the workforce. This makes 2015 a […]

    Retirement optimism running at 7-year high

    {June 26th, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index continued to hold steady in the second quarter of 2015, tracking at a seven-year high for investors’ faith in the markets and their ability to save enough for retirement. Of the 1,000 investors surveyed in May, confidence remained equally high among retirees, whose median age was 68, […]

    Pacific Life Strengthens New Channel With FIA Launch

    {June 26th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Pacific Index Dimensions, a new fixed index annuity launched earlier this month by Pacific Life, is the company’s new FIA designed specifically for distribution by Pacific Life’s Producer Alliance Program, a distribution channel launched three years ago. Adding the Producer Alliance Program channel has made Pacific Life’s products available to a broader range of retail […]

    Labor Chief Signals Changes to Fiduciary Proposal

    {June 25th, 2015} by Arthur Postal

    The Labor Department is considering changing some aspects of exemptions in its proposed fiduciary standard expansion, the department’s secretary said on Tuesday. The department is focusing on additional data retention and point of sale disclosure requirements in the best interest contract exemption because of comments on the rule, Secretary Thomas E. Perez said during a […]

    How Hybrid Annuities Might Fit Into LTC Reform

    {June 25th, 2015} by Linda Koco

    Hybrid insurance products, such as deferred annuities with long-term care (LTC) riders, would be eligible for a LTC subsidy program proposed in a paper released this week by The Hamilton Project at Brookings, Washington, D.C. The paper also proposes modifications to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). These modifications would allow for penalty-free withdrawals […]

    About 1 In 10 ‘Expect’ To Rely On Annuities In Retirement

    {June 25th, 2015} by Linda Koco

    Slightly less than one-tenth (9 percent) of Americans of all ages do “expect to be able to rely” on an annuity for part of their retirement income, and 43 percent are somewhat or very interested in the features that annuities include. But 26 percent have no money saved for retirement, and 12 percent are not […]

    First Protective Expands by Purchasing Brokerage Business in Chattanooga, Tennessee

    {June 25th, 2015} by Jennefer Meyer

    First Protective Insurance Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Protective Life Corporation, today announced the acquisition of the brokerage business Profit Plans, LLC. Profit Plans is a Chattanooga, Tennessee, based brokerage agency founded in 1963 that specializes in both life insurance and annuities. The acquisition will allow producers at Profit Plans brokerage to access a broader […]

    Magic Johnson Adds Life Insurance To His Business Empire

    {June 25th, 2015} by USA Today

    Retired basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson has added a $14.5 billion life insurance company to his growing business and sports empire, Magic Johnson Enterprises. Tuesday, MJE, which Johnson founded in 1987, said it completed its planned acquisition for a majority, controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, which manages $14.5 billion in annuities, life insurance […]

    Bank Products Steal Annuities’ Thunder

    {June 25th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Usually a solid performer in terms of annuity sales, banks weren’t their old reliable selves in the first quarter. Consumers preferred shorter-term bank products such as certificates of deposit, in hopes of benefiting from rising interest rates. Rising equity markets also made variable annuities and hybrid annuity products more attractive than fixed annuities to depositors. […]

    New Jersey Commissioner Kobylowski to Resign; Gov. Christie Nominates Civil Attorney as Successor

    {June 25th, 2015} by Thomas Harman

    Gov. Chris Christie will nominate civil trial attorney Richard Badolato to succeed Kenneth Kobylowski as New Jersey’s insurance commissioner. Badolato is expected to start on Aug. 1. Christie had nominated Kobylowski to serve as the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance in January 2012 and the Senate confirmed him in December of that year (Best’s News […]

    AXA takes advantage of rising M&A activity

    {June 25th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    Taking advantage of the recent spike in M&A activity, AXA Equitable and SRS Acquiom have partnered to launch Escrow Shield Plus, an investment alternative for escrow accounts designed exclusively for mergers and acquisitions.  Escrow Shield Plus combines the following: A collateralized guarantee of principal from AXA Equitable The opportunity for higher yields than traditional deposit […]

    Study shows immediate annuities need bigger place in retirement

    {June 25th, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    Are plan sponsors and participants giving immediate annuities short shrift in designing income distribution strategies? One Harvard PhD and veteran retirement wonk has published a working paper suggesting that may be the case. Mark Warshawsky, a visiting scholar at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, a think-tank dedicated to market-oriented policy solutions, has been testing the […]

    Selling is not telling: 4 tips to offer better insurance solutions

    {June 25th, 2015} by Jim Kuerschner

    They say insurance is a relationship business. How do you forge and maintain relationships with your customers and prospects? Consider the answer as a question. Click here to read…

    10 tips for new insurance agents

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Whether you call yourself “rookie,” “newbie,” or “noob” (the youngsters’ version of this word), we’ve all found ourselves in a new job at one time or another. We may have had peers or coworkers joke with us by saying words like these as terms of endearment … or, better, had them take us under their wings […]

    N.J. Banking and Insurance Commissioner Kobylowski to Leave Post

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Insurance Journal

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday the departure of three long-serving cabinet members: Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff and Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd. Kobylowski will leave the administration over the next several weeks, according to the governor’s announcement. Christie said he plans to nominate Richard J. Badolato, a partner […]

    4 myths Dave Ramsey is spreading about fixed annuities (and how to overcome them)

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Michael Markey

    Yesterday’s experiences shape tomorrow’s beliefs. Had Dave Ramsey’s past experiences not been marred by financial ruin; had his past not been sensationalized by giving off-the-cuff, hard-to-hear, overly simplified advice; had he not generated most of his wealth during one of the strongest bull markets our country has ever seen; then we wouldn’t have a Dave […]

    How advisors can protect their elder clients against financial fraud

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    Today, June 15, 2015, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. To put a spotlight on the importance of the day, we’ve contacted advisor Christian Cordoba, president and founder of El Segundo-based California Retirement Advisors, who helped an elder client of his work through a very difficult fraud situation.  On the following pages, Cordoba offers eleven important points […]

    Why financial literacy is more important than a universal fiduciary standard

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Chris Carosa

    File this one under “Teaching a man to fish vs. giving man a fish.” We’ve all read plenty of stories about the need to improve financial literacy. Indeed, the lack of financial literacy has been fingered as one of the primary culprits behind savings and investing woes. Click here to read…

    The Basics Of Life Insurance

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Dee Lee

    Insurance can be a budget buster. Take the time to review your insurance policies annually. With a bit of research you may be able to save hundreds of dollars and keep the same coverage you have. Let’s start with life insurance: life insurance is used primarily to cover the loss of your income stream for […]

    Insurers Raise Rates Amid Ad Spend Boom

    {June 23rd, 2015} by The Palm Beach Post

    Insurance companies are pushing it real good — right to the top of the 10 biggest U.S. industries when it comes to growth in advertising spending. Geico’s “Push It” ad from Salt-n-Pepa, for example, aired at a Super Bowl this year where commercials cost an average of $4.5 million for 30 seconds. That’s a record-breaking […]

    Md. Attorney General Seeks To Shut Down ‘The Money Guys’

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Michael Dresser

    Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is seeking to shut down a prominent Towson financial-advice business, charging that it has fraudulently misrepresented the risks of its investment strategy. Frosh also announced Thursday that his office wants to permanently prohibit Phillippe Rousseaux, owner of Everest Wealth Management and Everest Investment Advisors Inc., from offering his investment […]

    NAFA: Emotional Stories Make An Impact With Congress

    {June 23rd, 2015} by LifeHealthPro

    Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, opened the 2015 NAFA Annuity Leadership Forum with a call to the emotions of our country’s lawmakers. While legislators may, at times, seem removed from the problems of regular Americans, Luetkemeyer said that if constituents want to get through to their Congressmen, then telling real […]

    RIAs, Listen Up: Your Clients Want Digital

    {June 23rd, 2015} by InsuranceNewsNet

    Clients’ approval means the robo trend is here to stay — and some traditional advisors are choosing to embrace it. During a panel at the In|Vest conference in New York, David Lyon, CEO of Main Street Financial and Oranj and Barry Ritholtz, CIO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, talked about how they incorporated digital tools into […]

    In Case of a Bear Market: Do This

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Imeriti

    The good news? The U.S. economy is in much better shape than it was a few years ago. The bad news? Because we’re doing better, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it will hike interest rates soon, which could cause stocks to tank. During the recession, the Fed kept rates low to help prop up […]

    The Future of the Insurance Industry Is a Present Concern

    {June 23rd, 2015} by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

    According to William J. Hold, CRM, CISR, Vice President of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, “We are all focused on the future of our industry.  Our collaborative mission with Gamma Iota Sigma and Assurex Global will assure quality, credentialed professionals in insurance and risk management.” Meg Allwein, Executive Vice President of Gamma […]

    5 major risks to a client’s retirement income

    {June 23rd, 2015} by David Port

    Retirement is risky business. Just ask The American College of Financial Services, which recently identified 18 distinct risks that retirees face — any one of which, if not addressed with careful planning, could irreparably damage a retirement nest egg. From longevity and long-term care to sequence of returns and public policy, the far-ranging list of […]

    Annuities and the tug-of-war over retirement accounts

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Ed McCarthy

    There’s a tug-of-war going on over retirement income. Fewer employees have access to traditional defined benefit pension plans and that trend is likely to continue. On the one hand, workers miss the security of a pensions’ guaranteed income. Click here to read…

    Principal CEO: Better Design Can Shrink Retirement Savings Gap

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Meg Green

    Larry Zimpleman, chairman and chief executive officer of Principal Financial Group, said techniques such as auto enrollment and re-enrollment can help boost participation in employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. Zimpleman spoke with A.M. BestTV at the International Insurance Society’s 51st Annual Seminar in New York. Following is an edited transcript of the interview. Q: What is […]

    Variable Annuity Plus Guaranteed Income Merits Careful Scrutiny

    {June 23rd, 2015} by TARA SIEGEL BERNARD

    ASK retirees to design the perfect investment and it would surely be a guaranteed paycheck for life, providing protection in the market’s darkest hours, yet allowing them to profit during upswings. A product that claims to achieve all of this, and often more, already exists: It is called a variable annuity with a guaranteed income […]

    Hartford CEO Channels Timberlake to Put Sexy Back in Insurance

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Chris Swift said the insurance industry is innovating more than people realize, as he looks to draw young and diverse talent to his company. “Our industry often gets knocked for being stale,” Swift said Thursday at a conference in New York hosted by the Insurance Industry Charitable […]

    SEC exams target advisers’ retirement-saving guidance

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Trevor Hunnicutt

    Securities regulators announced Monday a program to examine the retirement-planning guidance provided by financial advisers, placing new scrutiny on an industry already debating requirements that brokers act in the best interest of investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said it would conduct a string of examinations on broker-dealers and other financial advice firms as part […]

    The Best Annuities

    {June 23rd, 2015} by Karen Hube

    Fixed-income annuities have never paid out so little, and yet had so much appeal. These annuities, which provide a lifetime of guaranteed income, are paying out 12% less, on average, than in 2011, and 25% less than in 2007. And yet sales jumped 17% last year, to their highest level in five years.   The […]

    NAFA: Congresswoman Ann Wagner will ‘punch a bear’ to halt DOL

    {June 19th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    Rhetoric runs rampant in Washington, D.C., especially among legislators, but Congresswoman Ann Wagner, R-Mo., is fighting mad about the DOL’s fiduciary rule. How mad? Mad enough to put aside words and put up her dukes to “punch a bear” if it means an end to the DOL’s fiduciary rule, she joked to a frothy audience […]

    Update: Zurich Starts Talks to Possibly Buy Takaful Player in Malaysia

    {June 19th, 2015} by Ernesto Calucag

    Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. said it has started preliminary negotiations with MAA Group Bhd. to buy the Malaysian group’s 75% stake in MAA Takaful Bhd. Both parties have obtained approval from Bank Negara Malaysia to begin talks for the disposal of a majority stake in the takaful company, Zurich said in a statement. Zurich, however, […]

    Athene Introduces Performance Elite Annuity Suite

    {June 19th, 2015} by Athene USA

    As one of the top five indexed annuity sellers for first quarter 2015, Athene is proud to introduce a new series of fixed indexed annuities with a simple but compelling design. Athene Performance Elite® annuities are built to help individuals accumulate money for retirement – the reason FIAs were originally developed. Athene Performance Elite Plus […]

    Annuity Sales In Banks Fell 10% In 1Q

    {June 19th, 2015} by InsuranceNewsNet

    BISRA today announced that annuity sales in banks fell 10 percent in the first quarter of 2015, and a decline in the sales of fixed annuities was a major factor.  “Sales of variable annuities in the bank channel grew 5 percent, but the increase was not enough to compensate for the bank channel’s drop in […]

    Federal Regulation of Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities Redux?

    {June 19th, 2015} by Gary Cohen

    When SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar recently cited “the need for the Commission and state regulators to focus on combatting fraud involving complex securities” including “equity-indexed annuities,” he did not discuss specific details concerning indexed annuities. It is, therefore, unclear whether he advocates for enhanced state regulation or, less likely, a Commission effort to obtain […]

    NAIC OKs New IUL Illustration Rule

    {June 19th, 2015} by Arthur Postal

    “More realistic” guidelines for the illustrations insurers, agents and brokers can use in marketing indexed universal life insurance (IUL) products was approved today by the full National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The decision clears the way for implementation of the new guidelines on Sept. 1. It is intended to address existing regulatory loopholes that […]

    Celebrating 20 years of indexed annuities and bad chicken dinners

    {June 19th, 2015} by Jack Tatar

    In line with June being National Annuity Awareness Month, I’d like to also remind readers that fixed-index annuities, FIA, celebrated their 20th birthday this year. As MarketWatch RetireMentors contributor and annuity expert, Stan Haithcock, reports “in 1995, Keyport, which is now Sun Life, introduced the first fixed index annuity.” Stan reminds us of the tainted […]

    A Tale of Two Annuities: Exchange of Variable for Fixed Annuity Integral in SLUSA Dismissal

    {June 19th, 2015} by Paul Williams

    After attending an annuity seminar, Robert and Diane Ruud exchanged their variable annuity for a fixed annuity sold by PHL Variable. According to the Ruuds, seminar provider John Friendshuh represented the fixed annuity as superior but did not disclose his commission, causing plaintiffs financial loss due to reduction in annuity value and fee payments. The […]

    7 risks for retirement income planning

    {June 19th, 2015} by Wade Pfau

    Retirement income planning has emerged as a distinct field in the financial services profession. And while it suffers from many growing pains as it gains recognition, increased research and brainpower in the field have benefited retirees and those planning for retirement. One matter has become even clearer than before: The financial circumstances facing retirees differ […]

    Retirement Savings Rates Are Too Low, Vanguard Study Says

    {June 17th, 2015} by Arthur Postal

    The good news is that Americans are setting aside money for retirement. The bad news is that they are not setting aside enough. A new study by Vanguard indicates that the average American is setting aside 7 percent of their income in retirement savings accounts. However, according to Vanguard, this is less than the optimum […]

    Americans are taking fewer crazy risks with their retirement money

    {June 17th, 2015} by Ben Steverman

    To prepare for retirement, workers need to do two things: save enough and choose the right investments. The first is essential, and many Americans aren’t saving enough to retire on. But for those who are saving, there’s good news: Their retirement money is ending up in a better mix of investments. Click here to read…

    LIMRA: Life Combination Products Sales Rise, But Premium Drops

    {June 17th, 2015} by Dennis Gorski

    Sales of combination life insurance products continued to grow but new premium paid for these hybrid policies fell in 2014, a LIMRA study concluded. New combination life product sales registered just shy of 100,000 last year, up 4%, but premium of $2.4 billion was off 9% from 2013, LIMRA’s “2014 Individual Life Combination Products Annual […]

    What Americans don’t know about Social Security

    {June 17th, 2015} by Nichole Morford

    Just 28 percent of Americans received a passing grade (60 percent or higher) when asked basic Social Security questions, a new study from MassMutual finds. Moreover, from a pool of 1,500 respondents ages 18­ to 65, just one person answered all 10 true/false questions correctly. The quiz touched on a range of topics, including the […]

    New Retirement Income Challenge: QLACs, DIAs, GLBs

    {June 17th, 2015} by Linda Koco

    Agents and advisors have numerous retirement income tools and solutions to consider when structuring a guaranteed monthly income stream for clients. The question is, which products to use and how much to allocate to each one? It is a question that experts at CANNEX have been pondering, especially in light of the arrival of newer […]

    Annuities Face A ‘Fiduciary Threat’ As They Enter A Golden Age

    {June 17th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Even as the annuity industry seems primed to enter a golden age with retirees looking for guaranteed income, it faces a new “fiduciary threat” from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That’s the view from annuity expert Jack Marrion. Marrion, CEO of the consulting firm Advantage Compendium, said […]

    How Technology Can Keep Grandma Out Of The Nursing Home

    {June 17th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    The notion that older Americans are a bunch of luddites is dead. The latest news is that the elderly are as wired as ever – if not now, then very soon. What’s hidden under their mattresses? They aren’t quarters or silver dollars. They’re wired mattress pads streaming data to servers analyzing sleep patterns of an […]

    Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly What was Promised

    {June 16th, 2015} by Christine A. Stoddard

    Observing that it “delivered precisely what it promised,” the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an insurer in a case alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and state consumer fraud laws related to its sale of annuities. In Eller v. EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., the purchaser […]

    NAIC to Expedite Info on Agents Who Lose Advisor License

    {June 16th, 2015} by Arthur Postal

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners plans in July to start forwarding information on insurance agents who have been reprimanded for financial wrongdoing. The NAIC is setting up a system to get the reports from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and pass them to states, then commissioners will look at privacy issues and other […]

    6 Questions To Ask About Variable Annuities

    {June 16th, 2015} by LifeHealthPro

    Like any financial tool, a variable annuity can be a great addition to your client’s portfolio. Used properly, it can help manage the amount of taxes they’re paying on your money while also providing growth and security for their retirement years. There are some nuances, however, that you may not be aware of. Here are […]

    Life Happens Launches Online Marketing Solution

    {June 16th, 2015} by Jas Dhami

    Insurance agents and financial advisors now have all the benefits of a full-service marketing team at their fingertips, for a fraction of the cost. The nonprofit organization Life Happens today announced the launch of Life Happens ProSM, a groundbreaking new self-service, online solution that offers insurance agents and financial advisors a simple and cost-effective way […]

    Penn Mutual Launches New IUL Product

    {June 16th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Penn Mutual has announced the release of Accumulation Builder Advantage, an index universal life (IUL) insurance product offering four fixed accounts and a fixed account option, as well as a bonus credited in year 11. Penn Mutual said the 0.75 percent bonus, credited to the policy’s “non-loaned” index and fixed accounts, is credited regardless of […]

    Advisors Move Away From Recommending Annuities, FPA Survey Says

    {June 16th, 2015} by Arthur Postal

    Fixed annuities are fading as an investment option financial advisors offer their clients, according to a new survey. The study found that, during the height of the financial crisis, fixed annuities were a priority investment option financial advisors offered their clients. But financial advisors are suggesting fixed annuities at a lower rate now than they […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Kansas City Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {June 16th, 2015} by Business Wire

    A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a” of Kansas City Life Insurance Company (Kansas City Life) [NASDAQ: KCLI]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a-” of Kansas City Life’s wholly owned subsidiary, Sunset Life […]

    Insurance Executive Pleads Guilty in $100 Million Scam

    {June 16th, 2015} by Frank Klimko

     A Maryland insurance company president pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in connection with a long-running insurance scam that involved sending false financial documents to state regulators, independent auditors and A.M. Best Co. Jeffrey Brian Cohen, 39, of Reisterstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, making false statements to an insurance regulator […]

    Nevada Insurance Commissioner Announces Resignation Effective July 2

    {June 16th, 2015} by Thomas Harman

    Nevada Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper has announced his resignation from the post at the state Division of Insurance effective July 2, but he did so without any public explanation. Kipper has neither specified a reason for his departure, nor indicated any importance to the July 2 resignation date, according to Yeraldin Deavila, public information officer. […]

    5 calamities that aren’t likely to kill you — and 5 ordinary things that might

    {June 16th, 2015} by Robert Beaupre

    Some fears are hardwired into humans, and for good reason: Lightning storms, towering heights and predatory animals have signaled danger since the beginning of human history. But what isn’t hardwired into humans is the likelihood that a given danger will be fatal. For instance, numerous people struggle with a fear of flying, though the odds […]

    NYDFS Names Lawsky’s Chief of Staff Albanese as Acting Superintendent

    {June 16th, 2015} by Insurance Journal

    Outgoing New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said in a memo to his staff last Friday that his chief of staff, Anthony Albanese, will serve as acting superintendent while the Governor’s office conducts a search for a permanent replacement. In his memo, Lawsky said he will be transitioning out of his role as […]

    CEO says private equity ‘mixed bag’ for insurance

    {June 16th, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    Athene Holding Ltd., the insurer tied to Apollo Global Management LLC, said it’s sensitive to the risks of private-equity firms buying insurers and that the trend could be a “mixed bag” for an industry with decades-long obligations to policyholders. “I share those concerns,” Athene Chief Executive Officer Jim Belardi said Wednesday at a conference in […]

    One way to find new insurance professionals: Grow your own

    {June 16th, 2015} by Rosalie L. Donlon

    When you hear the word “apprentice” do you picture Donald Trump and his television show, “The Celebrity Apprentice”? Or do you have a vision of the plumber or electrician who made repairs at your home? Thanks to a new program established by Zurich Insurance Group, you might soon begin to look at apprenticeships differently. Click […]

    Your questions about qualified money, RMDs and QLACs answered

    {June 16th, 2015} by William K. Bridgers

    A big problem confronting those with significant retirement savings is that the money that they have accumulated is “qualified” money (sometimes abbreviated “TQ”). That is, money that has “grown” without being reported on the annual tax report to the IRS. Upon reaching 70½ years old, the IRS requires at least minimum distributions from those retirement […]

    32 great insurance jokes

    {June 16th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Sometimes you have to laugh a little to ease the stress of a busy work schedule. So, come on, take a break away from the many spreadsheets or calls that are in front of you, relax, sit back and laugh along with us. We bring you part deux of the best insurance jokes that you can use […]

    Love is in the air- Jamie Johnson and Family welcome baby!

    {June 16th, 2015} by Victoria Peterson

    We are very excited to welcome the newest member of our extended Wink, Inc. family: Bremen Leo Johnson! Bremen Leo is the son of Wink Communication Specialist, Jamie Johnson and her husband Jack.  Bremen (Brey-muhn) is the first child for the Johnsons. He was born Monday June 8th at 9:33 A.M, weighed 7lbs 15.2 oz, and […]

    Majority of Americans flunk Social Security quiz

    {June 15th, 2015} by Mary Beth Franklin

    How much do Americans know about their Social Security benefits? Not much, it turns out. And that could have serious implications for their future retirement income. Only 28% of more than 1,500 adults received a passing grade when asked basic questions about Social Security benefits in a true/false quiz developed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance […]

    Voya Launches Newly-Designed Group Term Life

    {June 12th, 2015} by InsuranceNewsNet

    Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), today announced that its Employee Benefits business has launched a newly-designed Group Term Life1 product, offering employers increased ease and flexibility when providing life insurance options to their employees. Industry research shows that simply having the opportunity to purchase coverage through the workplace prompts the majority of employees to pursue […]

    LIMRA: 9 In 10 Consumers Believe Their Advisor Puts Their Interests First

    {June 12th, 2015} by InsuranceNewsNet

    Nine in ten consumers who work with a paid financial advisor* believe their advisor always puts their interests first, according to a new consumer study by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. The report, Spotlight on Advisors: Consumer Perception, Assessment and Experience, describes that nearly one in three Americans work with a paid financial professional. Fifty […]

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

    {June 12th, 2015} by A.M. Best

    A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a” of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWL) (Denver, CO) [NASDAQ:NWLI]. The outlook for both ratings is stable. The affirmation of the ratings reflects NWL’s consistently favorable operating results, which have led to increases in statutory capital, consolidated […]

    Consumers Flock to Indexed Universal Life Insurance, But Advisors Urge Caution

    {June 12th, 2015} by Alice Holbrook

    There are so many varieties of permanent life insurance, it can be tough to keep them all straight. Some even have subvarieties. And in some cases – as with indexed universal life insurance, a type of universal policy – a subvariety can become even more popular than the type on which it is based. Indexed […]

    Ex-Iowa Deputy Gets 13 Years in Arson for Insurance Case

    {June 12th, 2015} by Insurance Journal

    A former sheriff’s deputy in Jones County, Iowa, has been given 13 years in prison for fraud linked to a fire he set at his vacant home. Prosecutors say 50-year-old James Plower, of Olin, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. Plower had pleaded guilty to mail fraud and using fire to commit […]

    Des Moines just topped 3 national Top 10 lists this week

    {June 12th, 2015} by KCCI

    The Des Moines metro was named this week in three national Top 10 lists. WalletHub ranked Des Moines the No. 2 Best City to Find a Job.  They used 16 metrics to determine the best job markets, including job opportunities and employment growth. Bankrate.com ranked Des Moines as the No. 5 Best City For Retirement. […]

    FIA Sales Remain Strong

    {June 10th, 2015} by InsuranceNewsNet

    The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today announced final first-quarter 2015 sales results for the U.S. annuity industry, based on data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar, Inc. Industry-wide annuity sales in the first quarter of 2015 reached $52.7 billion, a 6.9 percent decrease from $56.6 billion in the previous quarter and a 6 percent decline […]

    Meet 2 thought leaders who aim to revamp retirement planning

    {June 10th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch

    The education that financial advisors receive today, while providing the tools and skills needed to help workers build a nest egg, is inadequate to a critical task of planning: ensuring a sufficient income throughout retirement. This shortcoming, say Dirk Cotton and François Gadenne, can be attributed to the fact that traditional financial planning concepts fail […]

    21 reasons to love being an annuity advisor

    {June 10th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Selling annuities might not seem like the most glamorous job in the world, unless you are Real Housewife of Orange County Vicky Gunvalson … then yes, yes it is as glamorous as one can imagine. Gunvalson, who runs a $15 million annuity business, is also passionate about helping others, as she told our Annuities Channel Editor, Daniel […]

    How peer pressure can help you (and your clients) save for retirement

    {June 10th, 2015} by Suzanne Woolley

    Peer pressure might start when you’re a kid, but it can continue right into adulthood — and even affect your retirement savings.   That’s according to a new survey, which found that either financial stress, feeling behind peers in saving and salary, or embarrassment over finances motivated almost a third of non- retirees to “make positive financial […]

    Penn Mutual Launches New IUL Product

    {June 10th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy

    Penn Mutual has announced the release of Accumulation Builder Advantage, an index universal life (IUL) insurance product offering four fixed accounts and a fixed account option, as well as a bonus credited in year 11. Penn Mutual said the 0.75 percent bonus, credited to the policy’s “non-loaned” index and fixed accounts, is credited regardless of […]

    LIMRA: Sales Of Individual Life Combo Products Sold Increased In 2014

    {June 10th, 2015} by LIMRA

    More individual life combination policies were sold in 2014 than in 2013, according to LIMRA’s 2014 Individual Life Combination Products Annual Review. Just under 100,000 policies were purchased in 2014, a 4 percent increase over 2013. New premium collected fell 9 percent in 2014, compared with 2013 sales results to reach $2.4 billion. Combination life […]

    DOL fiduciary proposal feels heat as more industry players pile on

    {June 10th, 2015} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    The leader of a prominent retirement-plan company and a top business trade group both warned Tuesday that a proposed U.S. Department of Labor rule to change investment-advice standards for retirement accounts would hurt small investors and small companies. Robert Reynolds, president and chief executive of Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments, said the DOL rule, which […]

    Sales lessons from ‘Saturday Night Live’

    {June 10th, 2015} by Joe Arak

    For nearly five decades, the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” of “Saturday Night Live” have been taking viewers on a wild and crazy ride, much of which is fueled by the deft improvisational skills of the performers. To be a master at improv, you’ve got to think on your feet, keep your mind open […]

    Why Do Financial Advisors Keep Giving Retirement Annuities a Bad Name?

    {June 10th, 2015} by Hal M. Bundrick

    NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Annuities can be an effective tool to trigger a lifetime stream of income in retirement, yet buying the insurance product is a process complicated by conflicts of interest and “kickbacks.” That said, for retirees seeking to create a personal pension, it may be well worth the effort. In a comprehensive study just released […]

    Symetra Looks To Grow Beyond Retirement-Investment Sales

    {June 10th, 2015} by Coral Garnick

    In the world of insurance, people can often rattle off jingles, name the famous NFL player spokesman and quickly recognize national brand logos. All that makes it harder for the smaller companies to gain national attention and market share. But that is Bellevue-based Symetra Financial’s plan — to become a national player in all three […]

    Genworth Still An LTC Player Despite Sale Talk

    {June 10th, 2015} by Linda Koco

    Genworth Financial will remain in the long-term-care insurance market, including annuity/LTC combos, even if one of its companies is sold, said Chris Conklin, senior vice president-product design. The statement of commitment comes on the heels of April news reports that the Richmond, Va. company is exploring possible sale of Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company […]

    Push-Pull Dynamic Heats Up Annuity Awareness Month

    {June 9th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    There’s momentum building around annuities, and that’s good news for the annuity industry, which this month celebrates its second annual National Annuity Awareness Month (NAAM). Call it a “rise and shine” moment for guaranteed income products. As the sun rises on its way to solstice on June 21, the Society for Annuity Facts and Education […]

    SAFE Promotes National Annuity Awareness Month

    {June 9th, 2015} by Society of Annuity Facts & Education

    Pleasant Hill, Iowa – June 4th, 2015– The Society for Annuity Facts & Education (SAFE), a nonprofit with the aim of educating consumers about annuities, joins the Coalition for Annuity Awareness for the second annual National Annuity Awareness Month in June. Research indicates that 52% of workers have less than $10,000 saved and only 18 […]

    10 worst cities for retirement

    {June 9th, 2015} by InvestmentNews

    You’ve seen the top 10 cities for retirement so here are the bottom 10, as measured by Bankrate.com.  Just because these cities are at the bottom doesn’t make them bad. “We ranked the cities on factors that matter most to seniors, but recognize that every city has its pros and cons that will be shaped […]

    Stifel agrees to buy Barclays’s U.S. wealth management unit

    {June 9th, 2015} by Zeke Faux

    Stifel Financial Corp., the Missouri-based investment bank known for snapping up regional rivals and Wall Street castoffs, agreed to buy Barclays Plc’s U.S. wealth-management business. Barclays had about 180 financial advisers in the U.S. managing $56 billion in total client assets as of May 31, St. Louis-based Stifel said Monday in a statement that didn’t […]

    Finra launches ad campaign for BrokerCheck

    {June 9th, 2015} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    Finra launched a $3.5 million advertising campaign on Monday to encourage investors to research their brokers before hiring them, but some industry observers said Finra’s database doesn’t provide enough information. The digital, print and television ads, which will run through the month of June, promote BrokerCheck, an online database managed by the Financial Industry Regulatory […]

    State officials to flag brokers with disciplinary history selling insurance

    {June 9th, 2015} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    State insurance officials want to identify brokers who have been barred from the securities industry who are selling insurance. And so the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is developing a program that would inform state insurance departments about insurance professionals in their state who have a disciplinary history with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., […]

    The Retirement Crisis: Is It Real?

    {June 9th, 2015} by Jacob Stern

    According to a PBS survey, 92 percent of Americans think there’s a retirement crisis in the country. But is there? And if so, how big is it? There are new retirement studies released seemingly every day, and the data is often conflicting. For example, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 Retirement Readiness Rating, […]

    SEC Warns Of False Credentials

    {June 9th, 2015} by The Securities and Exchange Commission

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today warned investors to thoroughly check the claimed credentials of people soliciting their investments to ensure they are not falsifying, exaggerating, or hiding facts about their backgrounds.  The agency has brought several recent enforcement cases along these lines, including two actions announced today. An investor alert issued by the SEC’s […]

    13 of the best life insurance quotes ever

    {June 9th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Kids sometimes say the darndest things, but so do adults, especially if they have a live microphone near their faces. This group of writers, religious leaders, pundits, comedians, philosophers and celebrities shares words of wisdom (OK, or humor) that capture some very real consumer sentiments about the product our livelihood depends on. Without further ado, here […]

    NAIC Committee Approves New Actuarial Guideline for Indexed Universal Life Illustration

    {June 9th, 2015} by Thomas Harman

    A National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ panel has approved a guideline that would provide insurers with a standard means of calculating illustrated rates for indexed universal life policies, despite insurer objections about implementation deadlines. The changes approved June 4 by the Life Insurance and Annuities Committee are based on a guideline developed by its Life […]

    Nationwide Introduces First-Time Index Option for FIAs in Expanded New Heights Lineup

    {June 9th, 2015} by Ryan Ankrom

    Today, Nationwide® enhanced its New Heights® fixed indexed annuities (FIA) with the J.P. Morgan MOZAICSM Index (USD), a dynamic, multi-asset index from the award-winning index design team at J.P. Morgan. The Index is one of three index allocation strategies available on the expanded New Heights lineup of four products. “The innovation behind New Heights FIAs […]

    A New Warning on ‘Indexed’ Annuities

    {June 9th, 2015} by Leslie Scism

    If an insurance agent pitches you an “indexed annuity,” here is something to ask: What fabulous prize are you helping him, or her, to win? The question springs from a probe under way by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) targeting sales incentives for annuities, which are tax-deferred savings, investment and lifetime-income products issued by insurance […]

    Teach or Lose

    {June 5th, 2015} by Steven Morelli, steve.morelli@innfeedback.com.

    If you think that annuities do not need an awareness month, try this Google search: “Should I buy an annuity?” You will face a page of warnings and “helpful” advice. In fact, the first thing on the list is a guide from Forbes that pretends to be an unbiased information source. It even has the […]

    AIG to avoid losing proposition of regulatory battle, CEO says

    {June 5th, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. (AIG), which was named a potential risk to the financial system by U.S. regulators, prefers to cooperate with watchdogs rather than to resist oversight, Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock said. “For the most part, where we encounter government, whether it’s in Japan, the U.K., at the federal level in […]

    Voya lifts profit target, announces $750 million buyback

    {June 5th, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    (Bloomberg) — Voya Financial Inc., the U.S. insurer and investment manager that was spun off from ING Groep NV, announced a $750 million share buyback and increased its profitability target. Chief Executive Officer Rodney Martin plans a 2018 operating return on equity of 13.5 percent to 14.5 percent, the New York-based company said Tuesday in […]

    How to Compete and Win the Illustration War

    {June 5th, 2015} by Gonzalo Garcia and Liz Michel

    We discovered a way to compete and win in the world of illustration warfare. We were presented with a case from a financial advisor who was competing against a major carrier’s indexed universal life (IUL) policy illustration that was packaged as a life insurance retirement plan (LIRP). In our opinion, the interest rate used in […]

    NAIC Panel OKs New IUL Illustration Rules

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

    A National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ committee approved new indexed universal life illustration guidelines, which are expected to be approved by the full NAIC in a conference call later this month. All indications are that the guidelines will go into effect on Sept. 1 now that the NAIC Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee passed […]

    MetLife CEO: Company Is Big and Important but ‘That Isn’t the Same Thing’ as Systemic

    {June 4th, 2015} by Marie Suszynski

    NEW YORK – MetLife Inc.’s chief executive officer said the company expects a district court judge to rule on its systemically important financial institution designation late this year or early next year as he laid out the company’s argument against the designation. “We have said a number of times — we are big, we’re important. […]

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

    {June 4th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Midland National Life Insurance Company (Midland National) and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American) (both domiciled in Des Moines, IA).Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” and […]

    Voya Financial Joins the Fortune 500

    {June 4th, 2015} by PRNewswire

    – Voya Financial Also Named one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S. by Newsweek Magazine NEW YORK, June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that the company has been named to the 2015 Fortune 500 list. Voya Financial’s appearance on the 2015 Fortune 500 at No. 268 marks […]

    How Annuities Soothe Retirement Anxiety

    {June 4th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    How Annuities Soothe Retirement Anxiety One day, advisor Joe Lucey received a call from a commercial airline pilot who wanted to come in and talk about financing retirement. The pilot, whom we’ll call George, said he had heard Lucey talking about retirement planning on Secured Retirement Radio, a weekly show that Lucey hosts. That commentary […]

    8 ways to successfully sell to seniors

    {June 3rd, 2015} by Bill Haynor

    Seniors are by far the fastest growing market segment in the United States. It’s also one of the most lucrative. According to the latest U.S. census, this demographic comprises 37 percent of the total U.S. population and will grow to 45 percent this year. Seniors also possess approximately $1.6 trillion of all the disposable income […]

    NAIC Proposes Rules to Put Restraints on IUL Illustrations

    {June 3rd, 2015} by Susan Rupe

    A truce could come to the battle described in this month’s article “How to Compete and Win the Illustration War”. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is expected to adopt new rules governing the illustrations to be used in selling index universal life (IUL) products. These rules are expected to be phased in beginning […]

    Iowa Proclaims June as Annuity Awareness Month

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Wink, Inc.

    Pleasant Hill, Iowa. June 1st, 2015– On May 28th at 2:00 PM, Sheryl J. Moore, CEO of Moore Market Intelligence accepted Iowa’s proclamation that June be recognized as “Annuity Awareness Month” at a formal signing ceremony held at the Iowa state capitol with Governor Terry Branstad. Iowa is the first state to proclaim National Annuity […]

    Iowa’s Proclamation Honoring Annuity Awareness Month in June

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Terry Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa

    Please click on the link to view pdf: NAAM_Iowa    


    {June 2nd, 2015} by Wink, Inc.

    FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION NEWS RELEASE WINK SUPPORTS THE SECOND ANNUAL NATIONAL ANNUITY AWARENESS MONTH Pleasant Hill, Iowa. June 1st, 2015—Wink, Inc. has joined the Coalition for Annuity Awareness for the second annual National Annuity Awareness Month in June. National Annuity Awareness Month is designed to provide awareness and understanding of annuities and their benefits in […]

    Why Agents & Their Clients Should Love Annuities

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    The story surrounding annuities is a textbook example of the adage that there are two sides (at least) to every story. Many people love annuities and what annuities can do for them. Consumers cherish the host of guaranteed income features that annuities offer.  But mention the word “annuity” and some clients are likely to recoil […]

    FIAs Shine A Light In A Foggy Financial Picture

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Charlie Gipple

    As the Federal Reserve has indicated, we expect an increase in the federal funds rate at some point during 2015. If this happens, it is possible your clients’ fixed income investments could decline in value, hurting their broader retirement portfolio. Older retirement income plans included an increasing shift to traditional fixed income solutions such as […]

    Pros, Cons Of Indexed Annuities


    Indexed annuities are hot. In a survey by Wink’s Sales & Market Report — a researcher serving the life insurance and annuities industries — annuity carriers reported first-quarter sales of $11.3 billion for these kissing cousins of traditional variable annuities. That was up nearly 5% vs. the same period last year. It was the best […]

    Risk, regulation at forefront of insurance symposium

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Matthew Rizai, press@workiva.com

      Much of the focus at this week’s Second Annual Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines is on reducing risk, which should come as a surprise to no one. Risk reduction has been at the core of the insurance industry ever since English tradesmen banded together for mutual protection following the Great London Fire of […]

    Sammons Retirement Solutions® Inc. Launches the LiveWell® Guarantee Annuity

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Business Wire

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Sammons Retirement Solutions, which administers simple, innovative, and straightforward solutions to help individual investors live well in retirement, has launched the LiveWell Guarantee Annuity (MYGA), issued by Midland National® Life Insurance Company. This new addition to the LiveWell® Retirement Series provides independent financial and insurance professionals with a new tax-deferred […]

    Pacific Life Launches New Fixed Indexed Annuity Exclusively for Independent Insurance Agents

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Marketwired

    NEWPORT BEACH, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 1, 2015) – Pacific Life, a highly rated and widely recognized annuity provider, has expanded its distribution network with the launch of a new fixed indexed annuity to independent insurance agents and agencies. The newly introduced product, Pacific Index Dimensions(SM), is available exclusively to agents and agencies that contract with […]

    Lincoln Launches New Flexible Premium Deferred Fixed Indexed Annuity Blending Safety of Principal Protection with Upside Market Potential

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Business Wire

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today announced the launch of its new OptiBlendSM Fixed Indexed Annity, a flexible premium deferred fixed indexed annuity (FIA), that blends the safety of principal protection with upside market potential. Lincoln’s new solution offers four interest crediting strategies providing clients with a combination of growth potential and capital […]

    LIMRA: Individual Life Sales Increase 8% In 1Q

    {June 2nd, 2015} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., June 2, 2015—Total individual life insurance new annualized increased 8 percent and policy count rose 5 percent in the first quarter, according to LIMRA’s Retail Individual Life Insurance Survey. Measured by new annualized premium and policy count, every product line recorded positive growth in the first quarter, compared with first quarter of 2014. […]

    Elizabeth Warren Blasts SEC Chief Over Delays, Enforcement

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Reuters

    Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren issued a scathing critique of Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, citing executive pay rule delays and inadequate enforcement in the lawmaker’s latest swing against the Obama administration’s financial policies. In a 13-page letter on Tuesday, Warren laid out numerous concerns over how White has run the agency. […]

    Two Views On Advisor Use Of Social Media

    {June 2nd, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Compliance department rules aside, how do financial advisors approach social media? Do advisors weigh in on topics with their strongly-held view of where they stand? Or do they steer clear of potential controversy at the risk of being ignored? Advisor Ted Jenkin, author of the blog yoursmartmoneymoves.com, said that to reach a broad audience, advisors […]

    FIAs: Equity Or Fixed Income, Or Something Else Entirely?

    {June 1st, 2015} by Ben Mattlin

    Fixed index annuities may seem complex. These hybrid savings vehicles have been growing in popularity, yet many advisors and their clients still wonder what to make of them. Are they equity or fixed-income assets? The difference is important in terms of what you expect them to do, and how you characterize them in a portfolio […]

    The 9 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week

    {June 1st, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Paradigm shift news roundup: Petersen International, NAIFA, MetLife, USAA, Wink, Guardian Life, LIMRA, Lincoln Financial, New York Life Click HERE to read..

    Can insurers reinvent annuities to widen prospect pool, accelerate growth?

    {June 1st, 2015} by Sam J. Friedman

    With thousands of baby boomers turning 65 every day, and the number of defined-benefit pension plans available to support them continuing to decline, the pool of prime prospects for annuities offering lifetime income options should theoretically be deepening. Yet despite seemingly optimal growth conditions, individual annuity sales last year were actually 11% lower than their […]

    Connecticut Interim Commissioner Named New Illinois Insurance Director

    {June 1st, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Anne Melissa Dowling, an insurance industry veteran who had been serving as Connecticut’s acting insurance commissioner, has been appointed as the new director of the Illinois Department of Insurance. Dowling will succeed Andrew Boron, who had been appointed in 2012 to serve as Illinois’ permanent director by then-Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat […]

    MetLife’s New UL Product Emphasizes Cash Access, Commission Structure

    {June 1st, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    MetLife has announced the launch of a new universal life (UL) insurance product aimed at making it easier for consumers to access cash within the policy and more lucrative for advisors to sell over the period the policy is in force. The product, Premier Accumulator Universal Life, or PAUL, also benefits from MetLife’s newly developed […]

    Stowe to lead Prudential’s North American unit, replacing Wells

    {June 1st, 2015} by Mark Bentley

    (Bloomberg) — Prudential Plc named Barry Stowe to lead its North American operations, including Jackson National Life, after Mike Wells became global chief executive officer. Stowe, 57, who remains on the board, was previously CEO of Prudential’s Asian division and will relocate from Hong Kong, the London-based firm said in a statement on Monday. “Barry […]

    Annuities: 4 ways to reach more, sell more

    {June 1st, 2015} by Sam J. Friedman, Michelle Canaan, Nikhil Gokhale

    For those familiar with current demographic and economic trends, it would appear the stars have aligned for an uptick in annuities growth. With the Pew Research Center projecting 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next 15 years, juxtaposed with a decline in defined benefit pension plan availability to support them in their […]

    Cameron Named Idaho Department of Insurance Chief

    {June 1st, 2015} by The Associated Press

    Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed state Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert to oversee the Idaho Department of Insurance. Otter announced that the 13-term Republican lawmaker will be the new director effective June 15. Cameron is co-chair of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful legislative committees in the Idaho Statehouse. He […]

    Life Insurer Use Of Captives Is Growing

    {June 1st, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON — Life insurers’ use of captives and affiliates to cede their reinsurance risks is growing despite heavy criticism, especially from federal regulators. In a report issued last week, SNL Financial said that in 2014 U.S. life insurers ceded 51.42 percent of the business they reinsured based on industry data reported to the National Association […]