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Archive for November 2016


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  • New online tool to search for life insurance benefits launches

    {November 30th, 2016} by California Department of Insurance

    News: 2016 Press Release For Release: November 22, 2016 Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566 New online tool to search for life insurance benefits launches Consumers able to search nationwide for life policies and annuities SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new online tool, the Life Insurance Policy Locator, is available to help consumers search for possible life insurance […]

    NAFA asks D.C. Circuit to delay DOL rule deadline

    {November 30th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

    In the latest legal gambit in what is becoming an uphill battle for opponents of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the National Association of Fixed Annuitiesis asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to delay implementation of the fiduciary rule by at least 10 months. The first so-called applicability […]

    4 DOL fiduciary rule compliance considerations


    Effective April 10, 2017, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will impose a “best interest” standard on advisors and firms making investment recommendations to qualified retirement accounts in the United States. The DOL rule aligns the definition of best interest to that of a fiduciary under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The rule […]

    Apollo-backed Athene to be valued up to $7.8 billion in IPO

    {November 30th, 2016} by Sonali Basak

    Athene Holding Ltd., the annuity provider tied to Apollo Global Management LLC, filed for a sale of 23.8 million shares at $38 to $42 apiece in one of the biggest initial public offerings this year in the U.S. At the high end of that range, the IPO would raise $997.5 million for selling holders and value […]

    Annuities Industry Fiduciary Challenge Dwelt Blow In Federal Court

    {November 30th, 2016} by John Manganaro

    A U.S. District Court judge has denied a motion for preliminary injunction filed by annuity firm Market Synergy in a case focused on whether fixed-index annuity providers will be able to use the so-called “84-24 prohibited transaction exemption [PTE],” rather than the “best-interest contract exemption [BIC],” when bringing sales and compliance procedures into alignment with […]

    United States: ACLI Says Life Insurance Activities Pose No Systemic Risk

    {November 29th, 2016} by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

    In response to the latest designations of globally systemic important insurers (“G-SIIs”) by the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”), American Council of Life Insurers (“ACLI”) President and CEO Dirk Kempthorne asserted that the “core activities” of the life insurance industry (i.e., providing financial protection and retirement security to customers) do not pose a systemic risk. On November […]

    DC Judge Rejects NAFA Request to Delay DOL Rule

    {November 29th, 2016} by John Hilton

    A District of Columbia federal judge rejected plaintiffs’ request last week to set aside the fiduciary rule applicability date until its appeal is heard. Judge Randolph D. Moss denied the request by the National Association for Fixed Annuities. On Nov. 4, Moss denied NAFA’s motion for a preliminary injunction and granted a summary judgment to […]

    Does The Fiduciary Rule Violate Free Speech?

    {November 29th, 2016} by Elizabeth Dilts

    A group of lawyers representing insurance and securities brokerages have made a curious argument for why a federal court should kill a rule aimed at protecting retirement savers: It restricts Wall Street’s First Amendment rights. In front of a packed federal courtroom in Dallas last week, plaintiffs attorneys fighting the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule said […]

    Securian Expands Suite of Annuity Solutions to Give Advisors, Clients More Options

    {November 29th, 2016} by Securian Financial Group

    ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securian Financial Group has added four new annuity solutions to its suite of products designed to help financial advisors meet their clients’ retirement income needs. “The number of Americans seeking retirement income guarantees increases literally every day,” said Chris Owens, Securian’s national sales vice president for retail life insurance and annuities. “Securian’s […]

    DOL rule puts a damper on Cerulli’s VA sales forecast

    {November 29th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    Industry speculation has been rife for months that the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule would reduce sales of retirement products. Among them: individual retirement accounts, fixed indexed annuities and variable annuities. In respect to the last, a new report from Cerulli Associates lends credence to the gloomy forecast. The November 2016 edition of […]

    5 ways annuity providers can use tech for fiduciary compliance: OPINION

    {November 28th, 2016} by Mary Anne Durall

    There’s been much conversation since the 2016 presidential election about whether the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will be abolished or remained active for possible adoption in April of 2017. It’s a valid concern given, the administration changes underway in Washington, D.C. Politics aside, we continue to hear from clients that the intention behind the […]

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

    {November 28th, 2016} by AM Best

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – NOVEMBER 22, 2016 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Symetra Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary, First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the […]

    Life Group Athene Announces Intention to Launch IPO

    {November 28th, 2016} by David Pilla

    PEMBROKE, Bermuda – Bermuda-based Athene Holding Ltd. said it is launching an initial public offering of its Class A common shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ATH.” All of the 23.8 million shares in the IPO are being sold by certain shareholders of Athene, and Athene will not receive any […]

    3Q IUL Sales Up and Down, Report Finds

    {November 28th, 2016} by John Hilton

    Third-quarter indexed universal life (IUL) sales were $452.9 million, down 5 percent from the third quarter 2015, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report. IUL sales were up nearly 3 percent compared to the second quarter, noted Sheryl J. Moore, president and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc. “It is amazing to see that indexed life sales […]

    Athene’s December IPO could value company at $8 billion

    {November 28th, 2016} by Joshua Jamerson

    Athene Holding Ltd. submitted an amended filing for its coming initial public offering that could value the fixed-annuities provider at about $8 billion. The firm, backed by a private-equity group Apollo Global Management LLCAPO, -2.13% said the company itself wouldn’t receive any proceeds from the public sale of stock. Instead, the insurer’s IPO stands to […]

    Judge Temporarily Blocks Implementation of DOL Overtime Rule

    {November 24th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

    SHERMAN, Texas – A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule, finding the DOL had overstepped its authority in expanding the pool of employees eligible for overtime pay. Judge Amos L. Mazzant, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, put on hold […]

    How will annuities fit into post-fiduciary world portfolios?

    {November 24th, 2016} by Chris Orland

    The annuity industry has always raised red flags, from tax-free exchange rules, to suitability, to whether index annuities are securities, to the new fiduciary rule, assuming it doesn’t get rolled back under the Trump administration. At every turn, annuities are scrutinized. But there are no bad or good financial products, and it is how a […]

    Apollo Global’s Athene Plans to List Shares in December

    {November 24th, 2016} by Maureen Farrell and Matt Jarzemsky

    Athene Holding Ltd. is planning to go public in December, in a long-awaited debut that could value the fixed-annuities provider at more than $7 billion and end a dismal year for IPOs on a positive note. The initial public offering of Athene, backed by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC, is expected to raise $1 billion or […]

    Nationwide New Heights Fixed Indexed Annuities May Help Shift the Efficient Frontier

    {November 23rd, 2016} by Annexus

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Annexus, a leading designer of fixed indexed annuities and indexed universal life insurance, announced that the Nationwide New Heights® fixed indexed annuities are capable of shifting the Efficient Frontier. Through a license agreement from Morningstar Investment Management LLC, a leading source of independent retirement research, the Morningstar® […]

    Will DOL fiduciary rule compliance dates be delayed?

    {November 23rd, 2016} by Nick Thornton

    Sources familiar with talks between lawmakers and industry stakeholders say consideration is being given to delaying the implementation dates for the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Speaking on background, sources said discussions have explored the possibility of delaying implementation of the rule for a year, and maybe longer. The rule’s first implementation date is April […]

    Coalition Urges Trump Not to Dump DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

    {November 23rd, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

    Fiduciary advocates are urging the incoming Trump administration to spare the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, as government lawyers press a Washington judge not to put on hold his recent ruling that upheld the merits of the regulations. As speculation intensifies that the fiduciary rule could be on the chopping block or significantly curtailed under President Donald Trump […]

    Latest Farm Bureau survey shows price tag for classic Thanksgiving dinner is a bargain for the ages

    {November 22nd, 2016} by Laurie Johns

    Efficiency of Iowa farmers contributes to holiday meal affordability in 2016 Iowans preparing to shop for their annual family Thanksgiving dinner feast can be glad the efficiency and diversity of today’s livestock farmers is working in their favor to keep their traditional meal affordable. According to the annual American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Thanksgiving Dinner […]

    Third Quarter 2016 Indexed Life Sales

    {November 22nd, 2016} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Life Indexed Life sales for the third quarter of 2016 were $452 million, compared with sales of $478 million for the third quarter of 2015. Third quarter indexed life sales were up nearly 3% when compared with the previous quarter, and down over 5% as compared to the same period last year.   Total […]

    Billions from insurers are flooding into ETFs

    {November 22nd, 2016} by SONALI BASAK, DANI BURGER

    (Bloomberg) — The booming demand for hot exchange-traded funds has finally caught up with the insurance industry. U.S. insurers are the latest group of investors to start buying ETFs en masse, with one of the fastest adoption rates among institutions. And they’re not done yet, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Mark Snyder, who helps oversee funds […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Third Quarter, 2016 Indexed Life Sales Results

    {November 22nd, 2016} by Press Release

      — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   Indexed Life Sales Continue Momentum Wink, Inc. Releases Third Quarter, 2016 Indexed Life Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. November 22, 2016– Forty-seven indexed life insurance carriers participated in the 77th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Third quarter indexed universal life (IUL) sales were $452.9 million, […]

    Indexed annuity sales on pace for record year, as variable annuities take another big hit

    {November 22nd, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

    Fixed indexed annuity sales are on pace for a record year in 2016 as low interest rates and product features drive their popularity among broker-dealers, and despite headwinds from a new Labor Department investment-advice regulation that will make sales of such products more difficult.   Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required […]

    Grateful heart

    {November 22nd, 2016} by Wink's RockStars

    In this time of gratitude, we give thanks for YOU. We value your patronage and appreciate your confidence in us each and every day. Counting you among our customers is something for which we are especially grateful. The Wink office will be closed on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th to enjoy the holiday […]

    12 ways to engage millennials in insurance and finance careers

    {November 21st, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

    It should come as no great surprise to the insurance and financial services industries that succession is a looming issue — one that statistically can’t be solved without tapping into the millennial generation. One-third of producers are between the ages of 55 and 64, and 43 percent of advisors are within 15 years of retiring, […]

    Legal & General CFO Sees Vast Potential for US Life and Retirement Growth

    {November 21st, 2016} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

    LONDON – Legal & General Group will grow its business in the United States by replicating its financial services model in the United Kingdom, Chief Financial Officer Mark Gregory said. “The potential for this is ginormous,” he said, noting the life and retirement services market in the United States is potentially larger than in the […]

    NY regulators propose new life insurance price hike rule

    {November 21st, 2016} by Joel Stashenko

    For the first time, life insurers would be required to give New York State regulators and consumers advance notice of when the companies intend to raise premiums on life insurance and annuity policies, under a new rule proposed by the state Department of Financial Services. A 45-day comment period about the new proposal would begin once […]

    Outside vs. inside sales: For DOL it’s a key distinction

    {November 21st, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    If some of your employees are taking too much time to get the job done, now would be a good to have a serious sit-down talk with them and insist they start working more efficiency. If you don’t, you could end up doling out a lot more in overtime pay. The reason: a new U.S. […]

    Deciphering the DOL rule at NAILBA 35

    {November 20th, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

    At NAILBA 35 in Dallas, which just ended, the topic of the DOL fiduciary rule was on most people’s minds. Chris Morton, senior vice president of government affairs for AALU, was on hand to decipher where the insurance industry now stands with regards to the rule.  “There are a lot of challenges but also a […]

    Judge in Texas Case ‘Very Hard’ on DOL Rule, Lawyer Says

    {November 20th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

    Lawyers present at the much-anticipated oral arguments that took place on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in the case brought by the nine plaintiffs against DOL’s rule, had differing views about which way Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn was leaning. “I think she gave DOL a very hard time,” […]

    New President Could End FSOC, Designation Powers

    {November 19th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

    WASHINGTON – A Donald Trump administration could end the Financial Stability Oversight Council as a regulatory body and unwind the systemically important financial institution designation process that has exposed insurers to higher levels of prudential supervision, market watchers said. “FSOC as we know it will not survive the incoming administration and Congress, nor will the […]

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

    {November 19th, 2016} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Minnesota Life Insurance Company (Minnesota Life) and its key subsidiary, Securian Life Insurance Company (Securian Life). A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs […]

    The Post’s View If Trump and Republicans dismantle Dodd-Frank, they’ll have many more problems to solve

    {November 18th, 2016} by Editorial Board

    By Editorial Board November 17 at 7:29 PM ON SOME points President-elect Donald Trump has been consistent. One of those is opposition to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, which as a candidate he repeatedly blamed for crippling the financial sector and stifling economic growth. Now he and his fellow Republicans, who control Congress, are […]

    Cash value life insurance makes Harbaugh college football’s top-paid coach

    {November 17th, 2016} by Jordan Smith

    In August, the University of Michigan announced that it had amended its contract with head football coach Jim Harbaugh to include a creative deferred compensation alternative involving cash value life insurance. The arrangement makes Harbaugh the highest paid college football coach in the country, according to Sports Illustrated and other news outlets. What most people don’t know, however, […]

    Women Still Lag Men in Life Insurance Ownership

    {November 16th, 2016} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn., Nov. 16, 2016—A new LIMRA study finds only 56 percent of American women have life insurance coverage. This represents a one percentage point decline from 2010 and remains well below men’s life insurance ownership rate of 62 percent. “Our research has consistently found that women are less likely to have life insurance coverage […]

    Deciphering ‘BICE-Lite’ in the DOL Fiduciary FAQs

    {November 16th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

    On Oct. 27, the Department of Labor issued its Conflict of Interest Exemption FAQs, 34 questions and answers about the fiduciary advice regulation, the 84-24 exemption (for fixed rate annuities and life insurance policies), and the Best Interest Contract Exemption for any and all types of investments. While the FAQs included questions covering all of […]

    DOL lawsuits will progress for now

    {November 16th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

    For the time being, proceedings in the lawsuits against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will continue as scheduled, in spite of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in Tuesday’s presidential election. This is according to two Employee Retirement Income Security Act experts. The Trump victory has called into question whether his administration will seek to stay […]

    SEC Chair Mary Jo White made decision to leave before election

    {November 16th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

      Outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White made her decision to leave the agency before the Presidential election, according to testimony she gave in a final appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. Chair White announced she was stepping down this week, effective at the end of President Obama’s term. Her term […]

    ACA Noise Could Drown Out DOL Rule Repeal

    {November 16th, 2016} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor fiduciary rule is a wild-card issue in the new Republican-led government, say several industry and Beltway sources. Republicans have vocally opposed the rule and now control Congress and the White House. While the fiduciary rule should be on life support, several factors make that outcome less than obvious. For starters, President-elect […]

    A.M. Best’s Mosher Outlines Updates to Best’s Credit Rating Methodology

    {November 16th, 2016} by John Weber

    OLDWICK, N.J. – In an interview with A.M. BestTV, A.M. Best’s Matthew Mosher reviews the latest announcements and timetables for updates to Best’s Credit Rating Methodology and Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio, and how those apply to various insurance sectors. View the video version of this interview at: http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=bcrm1116 Following is an edited transcript of the […]

    Commissioners in Missouri, Vermont Face Possible Replacement After GOP Takes Governor Spots

    {November 16th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

    WASHINGTON – Missouri Insurance Commissioner John Huff and Vermont Commissioner Michael Pieciak are among those whose jobs may be at risk when governors from parties different than those who appointed them take office in January. In Missouri, Republican Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL who styled himself as a “conservative outsider,” captured the governor’s chair […]

    Amid low rates, insurers focus on alternative investments

    {November 15th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    Total invested assets in U.S. insurance general accounts will grow to more than $7 trillion by 2022, according to new research. So predicts Boston-based research firm Cerulli Associates in its latest report, “U.S. insurance asset pools 2016: Meeting the investment needs of the U.S. insurance industry.” The study examines trends and opportunities in the insurance […]

    FIA Sales Ready to Push the Reset Button?

    {November 15th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    When the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule was released in April, analysts expected a rush to sell more fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) in anticipation of distributors having a tougher time selling them next year. But instead of rising in the third quarter from the second quarter, sequential sales of FIAs softened well ahead of schedule. […]

    Voya Financial Advisors Launches New Practice Management Tool to Support Advisor Business Growth

    {November 15th, 2016} by PRNewswire

    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2016 WINDSOR, Conn., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that its retail broker-dealer and registered investment adviser Voya Financial Advisors, Inc., has launched its Business Builder tool, the latest addition to the firm’s expanding suite of practice management resources. The new tool, a data-driven modeling and forecasting […]

    How the military creates successful financial advisors

    {November 15th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

    People join the military for a wide variety of reasons and with many goals. Some finish their service quickly while others stay for years and make the military their career. By the time they have completed their service, most veterans come away with ample time to build a second career, along with valuable knowledge and […]

    The election’s dramatic effect on insurance stocks

    {November 15th, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

    As many election viewers heard time and again Tuesday night, the financial markets hate uncertainty. During the several hours that poll results were trickling in, the stock market was predicted to open down, as many investors were certain Trump’s unpredictable nature and anti-trade stance could bring global economic turmoil. In true election night tradition, the […]

    Insurance, finance industry leaders react to election results

    {November 15th, 2016} by ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON

    The United States has turned a political corner. Here are some early reactions from around the insurance and finance industries to Donald J. Trump becoming the nation’s president-elect: In a prepared statement released Wednesday, Cathy Weatherford, president and CEO of the Washington-based Insured Retirement Institute, congratulated the president-elect, and encouraged renewed focus on bipartisan reforms that will […]


    {November 15th, 2016} by Press Release

    — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   WINK UNVEILS FIRST-IN-THE-INDUSTRY SALES DATA QUERY Wink, Inc. Releases Advanced Sales Data Tool Pleasant Hill, Iowa. November 14th, 2016– Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for indexed annuity and indexed life sales data since 1997, has unveiled an enhancement where subscribers can now harness […]

    Nationwide New Heights Fixed Indexed Annuities May Help Shift the Efficient Frontier

    {November 15th, 2016} by Annexus

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Annexus, a leading designer of fixed indexed annuities and indexed universal life insurance, announced that the Nationwide New Heights® fixed indexed annuities are capable of shifting the Efficient Frontier. Through a license agreement from Morningstar Investment Management LLC, a leading source of independent retirement research, the Morningstar® […]

    Greenberg’s firm confronts U.S. again over 2008 AIG rescue

    {November 15th, 2016} by Andrew Harris, Susan Decker

    (Bloomberg) — U.S. lawyers on Friday urged an appeals court to bless the federal government’s $85 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. At the same time, attorneys for Maurice “Hank” Greenberg are asking the same court to rule that he and other AIG investors deserve billions of dollars because terms of the 2008 rescue made it […]

    Lobbyist: Congressional Panels Hold Clues to Trump Insurance Moves

    {November 14th, 2016} by Robert O'Connor

    LONDON – European insurance executives trying to work out how the U.S. presidential elections might affect their industry might start by looking at the relevant congressional committees, according to Washington lobbyist Bryan R. Tackett. “No one saw this coming,” Tackett, government relations director at law firm Drinker, Biddle & Reath, told a seminar hosted by […]

    DOL rule faces certain death under President-elect Trump

    {November 14th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    The Department of Labor’s conflict-of-interest rule is headed for a near-certain demise. The much-maligned rule, the first phase of which is set to take effect in April of 2017, will likely be killed come January in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s resounding victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. The reason: The election of a […]

    LexisNexis shifts life insurance underwriting into high gear

    {November 14th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    Compliance isn’t the only pet peeve of agents and advisors. Another is underwriting. The rating of a life insurance policy, which can make a purchase untenable for the client, is one source of annoyance. Potentially more aggravating is the wait time — the worst cases extend to weeks or months — in procuring physician statements […]

    Manulife profit soars as equity, bond investments pay off

    {November 14th, 2016} by Katia Dmitrieva

    (Bloomberg) — Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, rose the most since February after reporting profit that almost doubled in the third quarter, benefiting from gains in its life insurance business and reaping the rewards of investments. Manulife rose 7.9 percent to C$21.65 at 9:42 a.m. in Toronto, the most intraday since February and to […]

    Trump, Ryan Have Three Paths To Killing DOL Rule

    {November 12th, 2016} by John Hilton

    As far as we know, Donald Trump never specifically mentioned the Department of Labor fiduciary rule during his 17-month campaign for president. That hasn’t stopped plenty of would-be surrogates from stepping up to speculate on what he will do with the rule after his Jan. 20 inauguration. DOL rule opponents have been energized over the […]

    Insurance CEOs Welcome Chance Of Less Regulation Under Trump

    {November 12th, 2016} by Mara Lee

    With Donald Trump’s win in the presidential race, insurers are looking forward to the possibility of lower corporate income taxes and less regulation. The Hartford’s CEO Chris Swift said, “On the tax side, from my perspective, anything that helps growth, employment, us making more things, we would be supportive. I think we all have to […]

    BestWeek: Insurance Industry Displays Cautious Optimism After Surprising Trump, GOP Victory

    {November 12th, 2016} by Rick Cornejo

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Insurance trade groups expressed optimism that President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled 115th Congress would pursue a new agenda that would reduce federal regulation and support industry-friendly legislation to improve the business environment, according to the latest edition of BestWeek. The surprise Trump victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton — along with continued […]

    17 life-annuity issuers meet Conning’s ‘multi-year success criteria’

    {November 10th, 2016} by Editorial Staff

    Conning has released the seventh edition of its annual study evaluating individual life-annuity companies. The study identified 17 companies in three size categories that met its “multi-year success criteria,” the research firm announced this week. The consulting firm did not make the names of the companies public.  “We identified seventeen companies that met our multi-year […]

    LPL Hosting First Stand-Alone Event for Female Advisors

    {November 10th, 2016} by LPL Financial

    The conference is bringing together 100 registered reps and others to focus on leadership, wellness and more Female advisors affiliated with LPL are meeting this week near San Diego. LPL Financial (LPLA) is hosting its first stand-alone women’s conference this week in the greater San Diego area for about 100 female registered reps and 75 […]

    Annuity Group to Appeal DOL Fiduciary-Rule Court Decision

    {November 9th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities said Monday it will appeal the decision by a Washington federal trial judge denying the annuity group’s request to block the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss denied in his 92-page ruling, released late Friday afternoon, NAFA’s request for a preliminary injunction to stay the rule. […]

    A Conversation With Gregory Bailey: Millennial Acquisition

    {November 9th, 2016} by N/A

    Describing what Denim Labs does requires some careful distinction. First, they do not make clothing… they make connections between carriers and their prospects, especially the millennial demographic. Beyond that, their own marketing description probably describes them best: Denim is an intuitive social media advertising platform for insurance and financial services companies. Denim is transforming financial […]

    National Western Life Group, Inc. Announces Appointment of President of National Western

    {November 9th, 2016} by National Western

    AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — National Western Life Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced the appointment of K. Kennedy Nelson to the position of President & Chief Operating Officer of its wholly owned subsidiary, National Western Life Insurance Company (“National Western”), effective as of October 24, 2016.  Ms. Nelson will report directly to Chairman and […]

    Using SPIAs as bond replacements in a retirement portfolio

    {November 9th, 2016} by Jeffrey Levine

    The number one fear of many retirees is running out of money before they run out of life. For clients who share this concern, new research suggests that they use annuities to replace certain portions (or all) of a client’s portfolio that would normally be allocated to bonds and other fixed-income investments. Doing so, studies […]

    Big and getting bigger: Top life insurers boost market share

    {November 9th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    If you want to nab an outsize share of life insurance and annuity sales, it’s best to be big. That much is evident in a new report from Conning. The investment management firm’s 7th annual study, “Individual Life-Annuity Growth and Profit Leaders: Leading for the Long-Term,” shows the industry’s titans garner the lion’s share of […]

    Trump, GOP could torpedo DOL rule, Dodd-Frank

    {November 9th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

    Donald Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States — as well as a GOP majority in both chambers of Congress — could spell the end of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, as well as what amounts to repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law via the […]

    Random Acts of Kindness

    {November 9th, 2016} by Jamie Johnson

    #RAOK The giving spirit doesn’t stop after the holidays at Wink. We embrace this spirit every day and strive to make random acts of kindness become not-so-random.  Our collective Wink family is grateful to feel blessed and as a result, we are diligent in “paying it forward” to our family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.  We want to […]

    Even Math Teachers Are at a Loss to Understand Annuities

    {November 9th, 2016} by TARA SIEGEL BERNARD

    Even a well-caffeinated person with an advanced degree in math would have a hard time deciphering a 53-page contract called “Your Flexible Premium Indexed and Declared Interest Deferred Annuity Policy.” Melanie Panush Lindert, a 66-year-old elementary school dance teacher in Los Angeles, was sold one of these mind-numbingly complex products last year through her workplace […]


    {November 8th, 2016} by Wink RockStars

    From Italy’s Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia originating in 1530, to Beano reaching the U.S. in 1929 and evolving to the game we know today; Bingo has proven to be a popular game as it has continued across countries for ages. In the senior community, Bingo is great for recreational therapy and socializing. It is easy […]

    DOL rule for dummies: An 8-step compliance guide [infographic]

    {November 8th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    With just 5 months to go before the fiduciary rule kicks in, advisors will need to familiarize themselves with steps of the process needed to be DOL-compliant. These include requirements pertaining to client education, fact-finding, documentation, production recommendations and post-sale plan reviews. The requirements will vary, depending on whether you’re a level-fee fiduciary or derive variable […]

    NCOIL to Consider Resolution Opposing Labor Department Fiduciary Rule at Annual Meeting

    {November 8th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

    LAS VEGAS – The National Conference of Insurance Legislators will discuss a resolution opposing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule at its annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nov. 17-20. Also on tap are discussions about big data and new model legislation to save insurers claims costs by preventing abuse by towing services. The NCOIL Executive […]

    Voters to decide 5 insurance commissioner races

    {November 8th, 2016} by Allison Bell

    Voters in five states will be electing the states’ top insurance regulators tomorrow. Wayne Goodwin is running for re-election in North Carolina, and Mike Kreidler is running for re-election in Washington state. Delaware, Montana and North Dakota all have open races. Click HERE to view the full article via LifeHealthPro; free registration  

    NAFA to Appeal Court Decision on DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {November 8th, 2016} by NAFA

    WASHINGTON (November 7, 2016) — The National Association for Fixed Annuities (“NAFA”) announced today, following a federal district court decision upholding the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, that it will appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  “We are obviously disappointed by the court’s decision, but we have always assumed this case would get […]

    Annuity Group to Appeal DOL Fiduciary-Rule Court Decision

    {November 8th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities said Monday it will appeal the decision by a Washington federal trial judge denying the annuity group’s request to block the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss denied in his 92-page ruling, released late Friday afternoon, NAFA’s request for a preliminary injunction to stay the rule. […]

    Court denies NAFA in DOL fiduciary rule case

    {November 8th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities has lost its challenge to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. In a decision issued today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Randolph Moss denied NAFA’s motions for a preliminary injunction and summary judgment. Among other things, NAFA claimed DOL violated the Administrative […]

    Judge Denies NAFA Injunction Request Against DOL Rule

    {November 8th, 2016} by John Hilton

    Judge Randolph D. Moss denied a motion for a preliminary injunction today by the National Association for Fixed Annuities in its lawsuit to stop the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. As part of the ruling in District of Columbia District Court, Moss granted the DOL request for summary judgment. Moss presided over an August 25 […]

    Labor Dept.’s ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Survives Early Hurdle in Washington Court

    {November 8th, 2016} by C. Ryan Barber and Melanie Waddell, The National Law Journal

    A Washington federal trial judge on Friday refused to block the U.S. Labor Department’s sweeping new “fiduciary rule” that the Obama administration crafted to help curtail conflicts of interest in the retirement-planning industry. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss, in a 92-page ruling, rejected arguments from the National Association for Fixed Annuities that the Labor Department […]

    Beyond retirement: Prudential makes case for financial wellness

    {November 8th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    Financial wellness has been a popular buzzword of late. Few have latched onto the phrase with more enthusiasm than employers aiming to avail their workers of tools and programs that can help put their finances on firmer footing. But businesses aren’t rolling out these initiatives for solely altruistic or paternalist reasons. That’s because there is […]

    The View from the (DOL) Trenches

    {November 7th, 2016} by Kerry Petcher

    Just a few years ago, mutual fund companies happily anticipated the “rollover opportunity”—a windfall that would come from managing the trillions of dollars in Boomer savings that were pouring out of 401(k) plans and into retail IRAs. “Capturing Rollovers” was their mantra. Asset managers’ euphoria ended last spring, however, when the Labor Department released the […]

    Word’s First Virtual Summit for Financial Advisors and Life Insurance Agents

    {November 7th, 2016} by Virtual Advisors Summit

    Denver, CO., Nov 7, 2016, 2016 – The world’s first virtual summit for financial professionals, retirement planners and life insurance advisors will be held online from November 7-11, 2016. Because the summit is virtual, participants can attend from the comfort of their own homes or offices without added travel, lodging, or scheduling concerns—all that’s required […]

    Could Fee-Based Annuities Entice More Advisors To Sell Them?

    {November 6th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    Financial advisors who avoid commission-based annuities could be drawn to selling more annuities as insurers repackage them into fee-based products to comply with fiduciary regulations. That’s the word from the chief executive of Lincoln Financial Group, a major seller of variable annuities. “With fee-based annuities currently representing a small portion of industry sales, we see […]

    CNO Financial: DOL Rule to Cost $8-$10M in 2017

    {November 5th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    CNO Financial Group plans to spend between $8 million and $10 million in 2017 to comply with the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. In addition to initial implementation costs, the company will spend between $2 million and $3 million a year to comply with the rule, said Gary Bhojwani, president of CNO Financial Group, a Carmel, Ind.-based holding […]

    Girls ‘Rock The Street’

    {November 5th, 2016} by CFP Board

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and Rock the Street, Wall Street are partnering to narrow the gender gap in financial planning with programs for girls in high school, introducing them to careers in financial planning by teaching lifelong financial skills. Rock the Street, Wall Street (RTSWS) is […]

    The pros and cons of fixed and indexed annuities

    {November 5th, 2016} by Stephan R. Leimberg

    The risk and return characteristics of fixed and variable annuities are so fundamentally different that each type is more or less suitable for various purposes.   However, some form of annuity would be indicated in the following circumstances: When investors want a retirement income that they can never outlive. When investors (often retired) want a monthly […]

    Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Shows Insurance Industry Added 7,700 Jobs in October

    {November 4th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry added 7,700 jobs in October, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Nov. 4. The seasonally adjusted 0.29% increase for September 2016 through October 2016 shows continued industry growth. Updated industry data show the insurance industry added 2,300 jobs in September, up from the 1,700 […]

    Are You Missing Out on Guaranteed Income Because of These 5 Misconceptions?

    {November 4th, 2016} by Walter Updegrave

    Here’s why you shouldn’t dismiss annuities out of hand. Almost half of the 1,000 adults polled for TIAA’s 2016 Lifetime Income Survey said the primary goal for their retirement plan was to provide guaranteed money to cover their living costs in retirement. Yet when they were asked whether they owned or planned to buy an […]

    Annuities’ Future

    {November 4th, 2016} by Ben Mattlin

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new standards for retirement products last April. Included among the items subject to a higher fiduciary standard are variable annuities (VAs) and fixed-indexed annuities (FIAs). But what exactly that means isn’t entirely clear. Yet. Whether you believe the new regs […]

    Believe the Annuity Policy, Not the Sales Pitch

    {November 4th, 2016} by Stan Haithcock

    If you watch cable TV, listen to the radio, or surf the internet, you will be inundated with annuity sales pitches that sound appealing on the surface. Local bad chicken dinner annuity seminars and face-to-face sales presentations can even be more fantastical and high pressure, so it’s important to know how to filter the sales […]

    American Financial Group, Inc. Announces Third Quarter Results

    {November 4th, 2016} by American Financial Group, Inc.

    November 01, 2016 05:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: AFG) today reported 2016 third quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders of $109 million ($1.23 per share) compared to $63 million ($0.71 per share) for the 2015 third quarter. Net earnings for the quarter include after-tax charges of $26 million ($0.30 […]

    Prudential Financial, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2016 Results

    {November 4th, 2016} by Prudential

    November 02, 2016 04:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) today reported third quarter results. Net income attributable to Prudential Financial, Inc. was $1.827 billion ($4.07 per Common share) for the third quarter of 2016, compared to $1.465 billion ($3.16 per Common share) for the year-ago quarter. After-tax adjusted operating income […]

    Eight Financial Firms Fined Over Type of Variable-Annuity Contract

    {November 4th, 2016} by Maria Armental

    Wall Street’s self-regulator fined eight financial firms more than $6 million and ordered five of them to return to customers more than $6 million following questionable sales of a type of variable-annuity contract. Variable annuities are widely used for retirement saving. The contracts at the heart of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s action are so-called […]

    NAIC Life Actuarial (A) Task Force Approves Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 for Exposure and Comment

    {November 4th, 2016} by Frederick Bellamy, Thomas Bisset, Stephen Roth | Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

    On October 20, the NAIC Life Actuarial (A) Task Force (LATF) of the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee met and approved proposed revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG 49) for exposure and comment. If adopted, the proposed revisions would apply AG 49’s standards for determining the maximum annual rate of index-based interest that can […]

    Annexus Ventures Launches to Accelerate FinTech and InsureTech Innovation

    {November 3rd, 2016} by Annexus Ventures

    New Venture Capital Firm Sets To Improve Financial Services Technology Scottsdale, AZ (Nov. 2, 2016) — Annexus, a leading designer of fixed indexed annuities and indexed universal life insurance, announced the formation of Annexus Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on making early-stage investments in InsureTech, FinTech and software startups. Annexus Ventures delivers a wealth of financial […]

    Slow down before you buy this complicated investment

    {November 3rd, 2016} by Darla Mercado

    As long as interest rates remain low, investors will search for investments that promise safety and better-than-average returns. This is especially true for retirees, who have been waiting for years for a boost in interest rates in order to earn more on certificates of deposit and money market funds. That search for yield is highlighting […]

    Low Rates Spark Interest in Indexed Annuities: BLOG

    {November 3rd, 2016} by Rachel Summit

    With no real sign of an increase in interest rates, investors continue to look for places to put their money that promise both safety and reasonable returns. Retirees who thought the rate boost was on the horizon have been waiting to earn more on their certificates of deposit and money market funds for quite some […]

    Despite Elizabeth Warren, Wall Street’s top cop White might stay awhile

    {November 3rd, 2016} by BEN BAIN, BLOOMBERG, ROBERT SCHMIDT

    (Bloomberg) — Political friction and vacancies in top posts at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have increased the likelihood that Chair Mary Jo White could remain in the job beyond the end of President Barack Obama’s term. White has privately told agency officials that people with ties to both the Hillary Clinton and Donald […]

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

    {November 3rd, 2016} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of RiverSource Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and its wholly owned subsidiary, RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York (Albany, NY). A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) […]

    Survey Says: DOL Rule Will Shrink Advisor Force

    {November 3rd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

    The Department of Labor fiduciary rule is expected to reduce the financial advisor population, with 10 percent of advisors planning to leave or retire from the business, according to new research. Another 18 percent reconsidering their careers, the Fidelity Institutional survey revealed. While many advisors appear headed for the exits, plenty of advisors are here to stay. Twenty-nine percent of […]

    American Equity Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results

    {November 3rd, 2016} by American Equity

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 2, 2016– American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, today reported third quarter 2016 net loss of $7.4 million, or $0.09 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $97.3 million, or $1.19 per diluted common share, for third quarter 2015. […]

    MetLife profit falls 52% on costs of retail unit’s spinoff

    {November 3rd, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinsky

    (Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, said third-quarter profit tumbled 52 percent on derivative losses and costs tied to the spinoff of a U.S. retail business as Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian reorganizes the company. Net income slipped to $571 million from $1.2 billion a year earlier, New York-based MetLife said Wednesday in […]

    LPL Mum on Possible Sale, Sees No Payout Cuts From DOL

    {November 3rd, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

    LPL Financial (LPLA) continues to decline comment on “rumors and speculation” regarding a sale of the firm, CFO Matt Audette said during a call with equity analysts earlier this week. A possible suitor who stepped forward in mid-October – former registered rep Joseph Nodarse, head of Hudson, Riley Asset Counsel – told ThinkAdvisor that he and […]

    Treasury Dept. Rules Give Annuities a Boost

    {November 3rd, 2016} by John Hilton

    New Department of Treasury rules could be a boon for annuities as an option within defined benefit plans. The rules, announced in early September, simplify rules that allow retirees to simultaneously elect a partial lump sum and a partial annuity from a defined benefit pension plan. Annuities are rarely offered in DB plans. Those plans […]

    S&P panelists: Insurance industry is ‘ripe for disruption’

    {November 2nd, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

    Huge amounts of capital are flowing into insurance-focused technology companies. The dollars invested are matched by the stakes: opportunities to reap gains — in cost savings, productivity increases and industry-disrupting changes to business processes — that could displace established incumbents. This was the common theme during a panel discussion held at the 7th annual Insurance […]

    Here come the lawsuits over fiduciary compliance

    {November 2nd, 2016} by Scott Wenger

    SAN DIEGO – The advisory world should expect more litigation over compliance with fiduciary regulations as lawyers become more aggressive once the rule is phased in starting in April. “In Washington right now, the drive to the lowest fee is the base principle,” said Mike Townsend, Schwab’s vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. At […]

    National Life Group Strengthens Solutions for Middle America

    {November 2nd, 2016} by National Life Group

    New universal life insurance product FlexLife II offers features to help consumers secure the life insurance protection they need Montpelier, VT (PRWEB) October 28, 2016 National Life Group member companies, National Life Insurance Company (National Life) and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (LSW), introduce a new indexed universal life product to provide greater solutions […]

    Survey: Most advisors expect rise in DOL compliance costs

    {November 2nd, 2016} by Warren Hersch

    Advisors will need, among other things, to enhance governance processes and implement new technologies as they seek to comply with the DOL rule. Market-watchers have for months warned about an increase in compliance costs for insurance and financial services professionals stemming from the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule. New research from Cerulli Associates, […]

    Life insurance has changed since the Cubs last won a World Series

    {November 2nd, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

    It was 1908 when the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series. The Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 14 that year, winning the World Series for the second consecutive year. While the Cubs would make it back to the series seven more times (the team’s last World Series appearance was in 1945), they […]

    DOL Releases New Guidance on Fiduciary Rule

    {November 2nd, 2016} by Frank Klimko

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Labor Department released a new guidance — in the form of an online FAQ — to help investment advisers comply with the DOL conflict-of-interest fiduciary rule that goes into effect next April. The guidance is set up in a question-and-answer format to address basic implementation questions that brokers, dealers or agents […]

    Northwestern Mutual Introduces Income Protection for Part-Time Workers and Stay-at-Home Spouses

    {November 2nd, 2016} by Northwestern Mutual

    MILWAUKEE, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Demographic shifts and changing economic realities are redefining the work world with a growing number of Americans opting for the flexibility of freelance or part-time positions. In fact, one-third of the U.S. workforce (55 million people in 2016) now considers itself freelance and that’s expected to reach 50 percent […]

    DOL releases first fiduciary rule FAQs

    {November 1st, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

    The Department of Labor on Thursday released its widely anticipated frequently-asked-questions guidance on its fiduciary rule, answering 34 questions posed on new exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions. Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (pictured here), said Tuesday that the release of the first “wave” of FAQs was imminent and that […]

    Morgan Stanley Keeps Commission Retirement Accounts, Despite DOL Rule

    {November 1st, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

    Morgan Stanley (MS) says its 15,850 advisors will be giving their clients the option of having fee- or commission-based retirement accounts in 2017, after the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule goes into effect. The official announcement comes one week after CEO James Gorman alluded to this decision during a call with equity analysts. “But I […]

    Morgan Stanley Sets Off a Fight Over the Cost of Your Retirement Account

    {November 1st, 2016} by Michael Wursthorn

    Morgan Stanley will let its customers keep paying for retirement advice with commissions, setting up a split in how the brokerage industry interprets new federal regulations governing $3 trillion in assets. A Labor Department rule taking effect in April requires investment advisers to act in the best interests of their clients when it comes to […]

    More fiduciary fallout: Commonwealth to stop offering commission-based retirement accounts

    {November 1st, 2016} by Ann Marsh

    In what may be a historic first among IBDs, Commonwealth Financial Network will stop offering commission-based products in all retirement accounts next year, citing liability risks under the fiduciary rule. “The thing everybody is concerned about is class and action,” says Commonwealth CEO Wayne Bloom. “It’s hard to come to any conclusion other than the […]