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Archive for January 2017


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  • Trump to Direct DOL to Delay Fiduciary Rule: Sources

    {January 31st, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    President Donald Trump is expected to issue this week an order directing the Department of Labor to delay its fiduciary rule, according to two attorneys familiar with the matter. Trump appointed Edward Hugler as acting secretary of Labor on Jan. 20. Hugler also has been serving as the acting assistant secretary of Labor for administration […]

    Second Annual Insurance Careers Month to Build on Industry Momentum

    {January 31st, 2017} by Insurance Careers Month and Insurance Careers Movement

    Survey: 93 percent of young professionals proud to work in the industry; 73 percent have encouraged others to join Malvern, PA (January 26, 2017) — The second annual Insurance Careers Month kicks off February. 1, rallying risk management and insurance professionals to share their pride in their careers and encourage young people to learn more […]

    Fixed indexed annuities to dominate 2017 annuity marketplace

    {January 31st, 2017} by William H. Byrnes, Esq.

    Co-written by Robert Bloink Now that we’re in 2017, the forecast for the future of annuities remains hazy—rather than an uncertainty that is driven by new product innovations, this fog is generated almost entirely by new regulatory changes. Importantly, the future of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule remains uncertain under the new administration, […]

    FSI renews efforts to scrap DOL rule and push for universal standard by SEC

    {January 31st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Financial Services Institute plans to go on offense this year to shape an investment-advice standard to replace a Labor Department regulation that is likely to be delayed. Click HERE to read more via InvestmentNews about “The trade group for independent broker-dealers will take the offensive in trying to shape the kind of fiduciary standard […]

    RiverSource Life to Pay $1.5 Million as Part of Death Master File Settlement

    {January 31st, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – RiverSource Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay multiple states a combined $1.5 million settlement agreement and to use the Social Security Death Master File database to identify life insurance policyholders to search for beneficiaries owed benefits. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said the settlement agreement focused on the practice of […]

    Life Insurers ‘Like’ Social Media Marketing

    {January 31st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    U.S. Life insurers are expected to budget about $4.2 billion for advertising and marketing in 2017, a 12 percent increase over last year, according to a recent survey. Social media, internet marketing and radio and television notch the largest gains in the survey. In 2017, on average, budgeted advertising for television and radio is expected to […]

    Registration Opens For 2017 Global Insurance Symposium

    {January 31st, 2017} by Global Insurance Symposium

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Iowa Insurance Institute, the Federation of Iowa Insurers, Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Global Insurance Accelerator, Insurance Thought Leadership, and the Iowa Insurance Division today announce that registration is open for the 2017 Global Insurance Symposium, held April 25-27 in downtown Des […]

    The $2 Trillion Woman Who’s Turning Around Pimco

    {January 31st, 2017} by SARAH JONES, OLIVER SUESS

    Walk down a side alley in Munich, beneath apartments with net curtains in the windows, past figures of female superheroes on a cafe storefront, and you come to the unprepossessing headquarters of a $2 trillion asset manager. On the fifth floor, an elegantly dressed woman leans forward to field questions. She’s focused. In her hands […]

    DOL fiduciary rule not yet caught up in Trump maelstrom: Opinion

    {January 31st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Speculation mounts as to what is taking administration so long to act— click HERE to read the article via InvestmentNews; registration required.  What we probably can safely say at this point is that the DOL rule, which became effective last June, cannot be stopped by an executive order. Even proposing a delay likely would require […]

    Many Headwinds

    {January 31st, 2017} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J., January 31, 2017 — Many post-presidential election signs appear favorable for U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers in 2017: rising rates, increased potential for lower taxes and reduced regulatory hurdles. However, according to a new A.M. Best special report, L/A insurers still need to remain focused on the issues that have plagued the industry in […]

    Principal reports 25 percent bump in fourth-quarter earnings

    {January 31st, 2017} by Business Record Staff

    Principal Financial Group on Monday reported record earnings for both the fourth quarter and the full year. Net income available to common stockholders for fourth quarter 2016 increased 25 percent to $318.0 million, compared with $253.6 million for fourth quarter 2015. For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, net income available to common stockholders was a record […]

    New York state tightens life contestability period rules

    {January 31st, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Insurers in New York state should not count on life policy beneficiaries sending them the dead insureds’ medical records, even during a policy contestability period. Officials at the New York State Department of Financial Services make that point in a new circular letter about life insurance policy claim settlement practices. Life insurance regulations typically give insurers […]

    If DOL Fiduciary Gets Delayed, Seize the Moment: FSI’s Brown

    {January 31st, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    With a new sheriff in town, the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule is expected to be delayed — giving the industry the chance to work on reforms that make more sense for it, according to Financial Services Institute President and CEO Dale Brown. “Here we are a few days into the Trump administration with […]

    Super-IMOs Get 16 Months To Comply With DOL Rule For Exemption

    {January 31st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Independent marketing organizations will have a 16-month grace period before they have to follow the Department of Labor’s new IMO exemption in the fiduciary rule. Qualified IMOs only need to show that they are making a good faith effort and are “presently taking steps to put in place the systems necessary” to meet best interest […]

    The Standard Promotes Rich Lane to Second Vice President of Individual Annuity Sales and Marketing

    {January 31st, 2017} by Standard Insurance Company

    PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Insurance Company (“The Standard”) announced today that Rich Lane has been promoted to second vice president of Individual Annuities sales and marketing. Lane, who has more than 20 years of experience in the fixed annuity industry, joined The Standard in 2004 as director of Individual Annuities Sales and Marketing. Under his leadership, […]

    Forward-thinking advisors focus on women

    {January 30th, 2017} by Gina Mckague

    A shift in the financial market is taking place, and it seems many advisors are choosing to ignore it, despite the unfavorable affect it may have on their business.  Not only do most today’s women control their own finances, they’re also the primary consumer and positively or negatively influence 85 percent of all purchases. So, if […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: Many Headwinds, But Life/Annuity Insurers Remain Focused on What They Can Control

    {January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – Many post-presidential election signs appear favorable for U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers in 2017: rising rates, increased potential for lower taxes and reduced regulatory hurdles. However, according to a new A.M. Best special report, L/A insurers still need to remain focused on the issues that have plagued the industry in recent years as they […]

    DOL Tries to Clarify QDIA Regs on Annuities in TDFs

    {January 30th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    Target-date funds that feature annuities may be used as qualified default investment alternatives in 401(k) plans, according to a Labor Department information letter. The letter, which was a response to an inquiry from TIAA regarding one of the firm’s custom TDF products, attempts to clarify existing agency guidance on how TDFs with annuities can comply […]

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

    {January 30th, 2017} 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 Principal Life Insurance Company (PLIC) and Principal National Life Insurance Company. Both are life insurance operating companies of Principal Financial Group, Inc. (PFG) [NYSE: PFG], which is headquartered in Des […]

    A.M. Best Chief Rating Officer: Life and Annuity Insurers Respond to Reserving, Product Changes

    {January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    OLDWICK, N.J. – A.M. Best Chief Rating Officer Stefan Holzberger outlined highlights from A.M. Best’s annual Review/Preview report on the life and annuity sector, including the introduction of principle-based reserving for new business, regulatory changes and insurers’ efforts to more closely tie products to the interest rate environment. View the video version of this interview […]

    A.M. Best Places Credit Ratings of American International Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries Under Review with Negative Implications

    {January 30th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has placed under review with negative implications the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “ bbb ” of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NYSE: AIG] and the Financial Strength Ratings (FSR) and Long-Term ICRs of its insurance subsidiaries. (Please see link below for a detailed […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Protective Life Corporation and Its Key Subsidiaries

    {January 30th, 2017} 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 the primary life insurance subsidiaries of Protective Life Corporation (Protective) (headquartered in Birmingham, AL). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” and the existing Long-Term Issue Credit […]

    Trump renews pledge to curb Dodd-Frank financial regulations

    {January 30th, 2017} by Dave Boyer

    President Trump reiterated his intention Monday to ease financial regulations imposed by Washington in 2010, saying he plans to “do a big number” soon on the Dodd-Frank law. “Dodd-Frank is a disaster,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office as he signed an executive order trimming government regulations. “We’re going to be doing a […]

    NY Gov. Cuomo Warns Life Insurers to Pay Beneficiaries Within Two-year Contestable Period

    {January 28th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has told life insurers to be prompt in paying beneficiaries even if the insured dies within two years of signing the insurance contract. A guidance notice said Department of Financial Services investigations have uncovered some life insurers “have contested numerous life insurance claims following the death of […]

    Franklin insurance agent sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly client

    {January 28th, 2017} by Ray Howze

    A Franklin-based insurance agent has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for defrauding more than $100,000 from an elderly client. Scott Rolin, 56, of Franklin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. on Friday to the 18-month prison term along with three years of supervised release for his role in selling […]

    EMC Upgrades Fourth-quarter Guidance on Improved Prior-year, Catastrophe Outlook

    {January 27th, 2017} by David Pilla

    DES MOINES, Iowa – EMC Insurance Group Inc. said it raised its guidance for fourth-quarter and 2016 results ahead of its Feb. 10 earnings release on favorable prior-year reserve development and low property/casualty catastrophe losses. “We exceeded our expectations for 2016,” said Bruce G. Kelley, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our strong […]

    Prudential Fires Back Against Three Former Employees

    {January 27th, 2017} by Leslie Scism

    Prudential Financial Inc. said three former employees who accused Wells Fargo & Co. and the insurance firm of fraudulent life-insurance sales tactics were fired for inappropriate conduct, including degrading statements about co-workers, according to court documents. The three former Prudential employees sued the insurance company last month alleging wrongful dismissal. Their suit was the latest […]

    DOL rule could lead to broader tech use, spread of fiduciary standard

    {January 26th, 2017} by Marlene Y. Satter

    A new report from Celent says that the conflict-of-interest rule from the Department of Labor could lead to a wider adoption of optimization software to assist in recommendations that would satisfy the fiduciary rule. And the application of a fiduciary standard beyond the area of retirement could also happen regardless of any action against the […]

    Chamber: IMO Exemption Proves DOL Fiduciary Fail

    {January 26th, 2017} by John Hilton

    Plaintiffs suing to kill the Department of Labor fiduciary rule seized on a new exemption offered by the department last week as evidence of the flawed process. U.S. Chamber of Commerce attorneys argue that the DOL is conceding the futility of its rule by publishing a new exemption allowing independent marketing organizations to participate in […]

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

    {January 26th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – 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 National Life Insurance Company (NLIC) (Montpelier, VT) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (Dallas, TX) (together known as National Life). Both companies are life insurance subsidiaries […]

    MIB Life Index Reveals Uptick in Younger, Older Age Life Applicants

    {January 25th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    U.S. life insurance application activity rose 1.3 percent last year compared with 2015, according to the MIB Life Index. The index gained 2.7 percent in 2015 over 2014. This represented the largest annual year-over-year percentage increase since the MIB index began tracking life insurance inquiries in 2001. The index does not release the number of […]

    Even if DOL fiduciary rule is delayed, many firms preparing to serve as fiduciaries

    {January 25th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    As industry awaits what insiders say is an imminent delay of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, one consultant says many financial institutions are planning to keep compliance protections in place even if the rule is ultimately dismantled. “A number of our clients are saying they don’t intend to turn back,” said Jason Roberts, CEO of […]

    Industry Veteran Scott R. Perry Named CEO of AmeriLife

    {January 25th, 2017} by AmeriLife

    January 24, 2017 12:18 PM Eastern Standard Time CLEARWATER, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Scott R. Perry, a highly regarded insurance industry veteran, has been named CEO of AmeriLife, the nation’s premier annuity, life and health insurance marketing group. Mr. Perry succeeds Timothy O. North, who announced his plans to retire last year, and will now serve as Chairman […]

    Finra’s new chief Robert Cook vows to take a ‘fresh look’ at enforcement

    {January 25th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Striking a conciliatory tone with broker-dealers, Robert Cook, the recently appointed head of Finra acknowledged Monday night that he’d heard loud and clear the complaints brokerage industry executives had with their principal regulator. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Complaints surface at Finra over buffer annuities

    {January 25th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    A new type of variable annuity called a buffer annuity is beginning to gain attention from regulators.   Please click here to read more via InvestmentNews about “A new type of VA is highly complex and uses structured products — not mutual funds — in the sub account as the underlying investment.” Registration is required.

    It’s time for a reset on the fiduciary rule: Opinion

    {January 25th, 2017} by John Taft

    The fiduciary rule’s future is uncertain, as opponents and advocates of the regulation anticipate that President Trump may delay or overturn it. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined the fray by issuing a letter to more than 30 financial services firms, asking their leaders how they’ll respond to any changes to the rule that she has […]

    Broker-dealers have different views on recruiting over next six months

    {January 25th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Senior executives at leading independent broker-dealers are split in their assessment of recruiting over the first half of this year, with some expecting a strong start to 2017, while others are not as sanguine.   Click here to read the full article on Investment news regarding “DOL rule could prompt some advisers to move ahead of […]

    Two index options added to Nationwide New Heights fixed indexed annuities

    {January 24th, 2017} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The recent addition of two indices unique to Nationwide New Heights® fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) provides clients with more options to help with growth potential in a variety of market environments. The J.P. Morgan Mozaic IISM Index is a momentum-based index that strategically rebalances every month among a diverse […]

    IMOs to DOL: Fiduciary rule class exemption sets too high a bar

    {January 24th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Critics are voicing alarm over a Department of Labor proposal permitting independent marketing organizations to act as financial institutions under the DOL’s best interest conflict rule. Chief among their concerns: that the proposal establishes too high a sales threshold for most IMOs, one that could force widespread consolidation of a distribution channel already facing an […]

    Are annuities doomed in 2017?

    {January 24th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

    One of my most memorable years in the annuity business was 2008. So much was happening: the ‘Dateline Debacle,’ SEC’s proposed rule 151A, the market’s collapse. It was a challenging year! Many are predicting that 2017 will be just as challenging. The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) proposed fiduciary rule alone threatens to weaken the annuity […]

    Birthday memories

    {January 24th, 2017} by Wink RockStars

    Happy Birthday AJ!  CLICK HERE to view our tribute to celebrate the life of AJ for his mom, Sheryl J. Moore.          When God Comforted Me © Colleen Mclean Published on April 2015 From heaven he was delivered As a baby unto you, When God said to me softly I’m trusting you to […]

    Annuities Can Play a Larger Role During the Trump Administration

    {January 24th, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

    Donald Trump wants America to return to a past economic prosperity, that included guaranteed pensions for dutiful and loyal workers to their company. The Trump administration should know that annuities can be a building block to achieve this goal.   Promote Guaranteed Income   For some unknown reason, the annuity industry has never truly promoted […]

    SEC could step up if DoL fiduciary rule is overturned, FINRA CEO says

    {January 24th, 2017} by Chelsea Emery

    SAN FRANCISCO – If President Trump overturns the fiduciary rule, the SEC and FINRA could fill in the regulatory gap, according to FINRA CEO Robert Cook. Cook, speaking at the annual conference of the Financial Services Institute, said the SEC would be the most appropriate agency to implement a new regulatory standard. And FINRA would […]

    Great American Life Insurance Company Offers Annuity Customers More Options with Two New Indexed Strategies

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Great American Insurance Group

    January 23, 2017 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American Life® is expanding its annuity offerings with two new indexed strategies that earn interest based on the performance of the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF and the S&P U.S. Retiree Spending Index. iShares U.S. Real Estate Indexed Strategy The iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF […]

    5 Key Fixes That Will Improve Dodd-Frank: Opinion

    {January 23rd, 2017} by George W. Madison, Michael E. Borden and William A. Shirley, The National Law Journal

    When it comes to financial regulation and reform, one issue matters more than all others: systemic risk. In 2010, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, its authors made choices that they believed would address that problem. Since then, debate about the law has not been particularly constructive. One side has argued that no part of […]

    Voya Financial Recognized in 2017 Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Voya

    MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2017 NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has been recognized in the 2017 Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI) for its strong commitment to gender parity. Voya was recognized as a leader among its peers in the 2017 index, which includes only […]

    Lawsuits could be used to delay DOL fiduciary rule

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Supporters and opponents of a Labor Department investment advice rule continue to sit on the edge of their chairs waiting for the newly minted Trump administration to address the regulation — a move that could be related to several lawsuits underway in courts across the country. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; […]

    Two possible routes Trump could take to delay DOL fiduciary rule

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    While President Donald Trump’s order on Friday for a regulatory freeze doesn’t pertain to an investment advice regulation issued under the Obama administration, it has led financial industry stakeholders and analysts to engage in a dizzying guessing game on the rule’s fate. Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

    ERISA consultants expect Trump to delay fiduciary rule

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    High-placed industry consultants and administrative law experts are expecting a formal delay of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule to be announced this week, as President Trump sets about issuing executive orders to roll back the regulatory initiatives of the Obama administration. Last Friday, hours after Trump was sworn into office, Reince Priebus, White House Chief […]

    Trump Lowers Boom on Taxes and Regulations

    {January 23rd, 2017} by John Hilton

    President Donald J. Trump signed an order Friday freezing all government regulations in the works, even those published but not yet in effect. The Department of Labor fiduciary rule falls into that latter group. However, the Trump-ordered 60-day delay will not affect the fiduciary rule timeline — yet. Scheduled to begin taking effect April 10, […]

    Reserving Requirements, Premium Volume Top DOL’s IMO Exemptions

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Insurance intermediaries will need to reserve 1 percent of annual premium from fixed annuity sales and sell at least $1.5 billion in fixed annuities for each of three preceding years to qualify as a financial institution under the Department of Labor’s class exemption. The class exemption allows insurance intermediaries such as independent marketing organizations (IMOs) […]

    IMOs Call DOL Fiduciary Exclusion Unworkable

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Regulatory thresholds proposed for independent marketing organizations (IMOs) to participate in the sale of fixed indexed annuities are so high as to be virtually worthless and unworkable for the bulk of the IMO industry, industry experts said. Department of Labor regulators on Wednesday proposed that IMOs must have generated an average of $1.5 billion in […]

    Under proposed exemption, IMOs will need $15M in cash reserves

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    The roughly 350 independent marketing organizations that distribute fixed indexed annuities will need considerable cash on hand to operate as financial institutions under the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. Labor released a proposed class exemption that would qualify IMOs as financial institutions under the rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption. The financial institution designation is required to […]

    A.M. Best Special Report: Shifts in Bond Portfolio Strategies Help Life/Annuity Insurers Navigate Low Interest Rates

    {January 23rd, 2017} by AM Best

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – JANUARY 20, 2017 The challenging low interest rate environment has been, and will likely remain, a key obstacle facing the life/annuity (L/A) insurance industry as organizations continue to invest new money as well as proceeds from higher-yielding maturing assets into new assets at current rates, according to an A.M. Best […]

    DOL Proposes Easing Fiduciary Rule on Some Annuities

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Alex Padalka

    The Department of Labor has proposed easing the fiduciary rule to allow some sellers of fixed annuities to collect commissions. The rule requires retirement brokers put clients’ interest first but allows commissions on the sales of some products under the best interest contract exemption, which requires brokers to sign a best interest contract with their […]

    Trump’s Regulatory Freeze Might Delay Fiduciary Rule

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Ted Knutson

    The first stage of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule may be delayed from April 10 to May 10 because of President Trump’s regulatory freeze announced after his swearing-in Friday. However, the directive won’t have any impact on the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the […]

    NAMIC Chief Executive: Mutual Insurance Has Appeal for Younger Insureds

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Meg Green

    NEW YORK – Chuck Chamness, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, said the mutual insurance sector aligns the interests of policyholders with the company, which should resonate with younger prospects. Chamness spoke with A.M. BestTV at the Property Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum in New York. View the […]

    AXA Announces Extended Guarantee On BrightLife Protect

    {January 23rd, 2017} by AXA

    NEW YORK – AXA US, a leader in providing financial security and retirement products, announced today that it is extending the no-lapse guarantee on its BrightLife® Protect, protection Indexed Universal Life policy. With a “no-math” guarantee to age 90 for level annual premium payments, there’s no guesswork or calculation, just a simple number clients can […]

    Jackson National aims at fee-based, investment-only market

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Jackson National Life Insurance Company is adding another type of fee-based annuity. The Denver-based unit of Prudential PLC has introduced the Elite Access Advisory variable annuity contract. The contract is a fee-based, investment-only variable annuity contract. An IOVA offers the same kinds of investment options as a traditional variable annuity contract, without any principal or […]

    Will Trump’s Hiring Freeze Test Financial Regulators’ Independence?

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Aaron Klein

    One of President-elect Donald Trump’s first actions may test the independence of financial regulators during his Administration. Trump has said that he will freeze hiring government-wide during his first 100 days in office. The pledge echoes President Ronald Reagan’s hiring freeze that he instituted on Inauguration Day. It is unclear whether Trump’s hiring freeze will […]

    President Trump Issues Directives on Regulatory Freeze, Affordable Care Act

    {January 23rd, 2017} by Laura Meckler

    WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump issued his first executive order Friday, directing federal agencies to do what they can to pare back provisions of the Affordable Care Act and laying the groundwork to potentially gut the requirement that Americans carry health insurance, which lies at the heart of the law. The executive order, signed just hours after being sworn in, […]

    2017 to be year of independent broker-dealer mergers

    {January 22nd, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    If past is prologue, 2017 should see a steady pace of independent broker-dealer consolidation and mergers and acquisitions. Click HERE to view the full article regarding “A looming fiduciary rule, combined with regulations limiting product sales, have experts predicting more consolidation is inevitable” via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Trump puts freeze on new regulations

    {January 21st, 2017} by Tal Kopan, CNN

    Washington (CNN)White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum Friday night to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or pending regulations — giving the new administration time to review them. The action is a fairly standard move for a new administration taking over from the other party. It effectively halts any […]

    Nationwide Insurance fraud case moves forward

    {January 20th, 2017} by Robert Storage

    A federal judge has denied a motion by Nationwide Life Insurance Co. to dismiss a family’s lawsuit accusing the insurance giant of fraud and breach of contract related to two $500,000 life insurance policies purchased in the 1990s. In his six-page ruling on Jan. 9 denying Nationwide’s bid to dismiss, Senior U.S. District Judge Warren […]

    No ‘joke’: SocGen admits fault, pays $50 million in U.S. fraud case

    {January 20th, 2017} by Jonathan Stempel

    Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) agreed to pay a $50 million civil fine and admit to misconduct to settle U.S. claims that it fraudulently concealed from investors the poor quality of residential mortgage-backed securities it marketed and sold. In a statement on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice said the French bank concealed problems in a $780 […]

    Financial industry expects quick action from Trump to delay DOL fiduciary rule

    {January 20th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    While President Donald Trump’s order on Friday for a regulatory freeze doesn’t pertain to an investment advice regulation issued under the Obama administration, it has led financial industry stakeholders and analysts to engage in a dizzying guessing game on the rule’s fate. Click HERE to view the full article on InvestmentNews; registration required

    For Families With Special Needs, Listening Is Key for Advisors

    {January 20th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    Parents of children with special needs are facing a three-fold challenge when it comes to financial planning, according to Todd Sensing, founder of FamilyVest. “You’re planning for a family that could be typical, you’re planning for family members that may not be, and you’re planning for yourself,” Sensing said. “When you add in a wrinkle […]

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren challenges financial firms to resist efforts to delay DOL fiduciary rule

    {January 20th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., challenged financial firms that have already started to comply with a Labor Department investment advice rule to resist potential Trump administration efforts to delay its implementation. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Labor Proposes Easing Fiduciary Rule on Fees for Some Annuities Sellers

    {January 20th, 2017} by Lisa Beilfuss

    The Labor Department is proposing to water down an element of its new retirement-savings rule that would allow purveyors of certain annuities to continue charging commissions, though the concession isn’t likely to appease the rule’s harshest critics. The proposal, coming in the waning hours of the Obama administration, would effectively exempt some indexed-annuity sellers from […]

    Donald Trump Is Expected to Move Quickly to Start Regulatory Rollback

    {January 20th, 2017} by Andrew Ackerman and Amy Harder

    WASHINGTON—President-elect Donald Trump is expected to launch swiftly his administration’s deregulatory agenda, according to lobbyists who have discussed the matter with the transition team, affecting rules governing everything from investment advice to mortgage insurance and power-plant emissions. Among Mr. Trump’s first acts as president Friday may be an order to federal agencies to temporarily cease ongoing rule-making initiatives, […]

    NAFA responds to the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rule exemption

    {January 19th, 2017} by Elana Ashanti Jefferson

    The National Association for Fixed Annuities is scoffing at a new U.S. Department of Labor proposal for letting some independent marketing organizations that distribute indexed annuities serve as financial institutions under the DOL fiduciary standard. “This is the classic case of too little too late,” NAFA Executive Director Chip Anderson said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s too little […]

    NAFA Criticizes IMO Exemption as “Too Little Too Late”

    {January 19th, 2017} by NAFA

    NAFA Stands By Its Efforts to Seek Repeal WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2017) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities indicated today it would continue its challenge to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, notwithstanding the release earlier today by DOL of a proposed class exemption to permit certain insurance intermediaries to be “financial […]

    Advisor Group gears up for acquisitions ahead of DoL rule

    {January 19th, 2017} by Ann Marsh

    Advisor Group is gearing up for an acquisition spree, looking to snap up smaller independent broker-dealers as the Department of Labor fiduciary rule begins to phase in, starting in April. While some have speculated that the election of Donald Trump could delay or even halt the rule’s implementation, Advisor Group and other firms say they […]

    Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption for Insurance Intermediaries

    {January 19th, 2017} by A Proposed Rule by the Employee Benefits Security Administration on 01/19/2017

    SUMMARY:  This document contains a notice of pendency before the Department of Labor of a proposed class exemption from certain prohibited transaction restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code). The provisions at issue generally prohibit fiduciaries with respect […]

    Fixed Annuity Sellers May Get Fiduciary Rule Relief

    {January 19th, 2017} by Sean Forbes

    Insurance intermediaries would be allowed to receive commissions when selling fixed annuity contracts, under a proposed exemption from the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The fiduciary rule tightens conflict-of-interest restrictions on financial advisers handling retirement accounts. The rule was finalized in April 2016 and is set to take effect this April. It faces an uncertain […]

    DOL proposes allowing some insurance intermediaries to use a BICE under fiduciary rule

    {January 19th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Department of Labor issued a proposed rule Wednesday that would ease compliance with its fiduciary rule for some distributors of fixed annuity products such as indexed annuities. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    DOL posts indexed annuity fiduciary rule exemption draft

    {January 19th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The U.S. Department of Labor wants to let indexed annuity distributors act as financial institutions under its new fiduciary rule. But only if those distributors generate more than $1.5 billion in annual fixed annuity contract sales, according to a draft proposal that appeared Wednesday in the Federal Register. The DOL fiduciary rule sets standards for how retirement […]

    Allianz Life Promotes Chris Du Bois to Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer

    {January 18th, 2017} by Allianz Life

    MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 17, 2017 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced it has promoted Chris Du Bois to senior vice president, Chief Digital Officer. In this role, Du Bois is responsible for the company’s digital strategy and execution, ranging across email, mobile, apps, websites, social media, customer relationship management […]

    Legacy Marketing Group® Joins Forces With Two New Carriers— Ameritas and American Equity

    {January 18th, 2017} by Legacy Marketing Group

    Petaluma, CA, January 18, 2017—Legacy Marketing Group® announced today two new strategic alliances that will significantly broaden its product offerings and bring more benefits to consumers looking for innovative ways to reach their retirement goals. The move will give independent marketing organizations (IMOs) associated with Legacy and their Producers access to an even wider variety […]

    Shannon Pike To Head FPA

    {January 18th, 2017} by Financial Planning Association

    DENVER (January 9, 2017) – A 20-year veteran of financial services and long-time volunteer leader, Shannon J. Pike, CFP® officially assumed the role of 2017 President of the Financial Planning Association®(FPA®) effective January 1. In this important role Pike will be instrumental in working with the FPA Board of Directors, volunteer leaders across the country, […]

    Transamerica Launches Fee-Based Variable Annuity

    {January 18th, 2017} by Transamerica

    BALTIMORE, Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Transamerica is launching the Transamerica Variable Annuity I-Share, a fee-based variable annuity that offers investors and their advisors additional flexibility in planning for retirement. Transamerica’s Variable Annuity I-Share is available through broker-dealer managed money platforms, and charges an annualized fee that is based on a percentage of the investor’s assets, […]

    US annuities redesigned to allow for fee-based compensation

    {January 17th, 2017} by Andrew Rickard

    Last year, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) introduced a new fiduciary rule which imposes a higher standard of care on those who offer retirement planning advice. Recent research from LIMRA shows that the new regulations are prompting insurers to change they way they design annuity products. In a study released last week, The […]

    DOL fiduciary rule could be halted ‘within days’ of inauguration

    {January 17th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule could be delayed “within days” of the new administration through action taken by Labor, instructions from the White House, or pending court cases, David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said Wednesday. “There’s no one mechanism to achieve delay” in […]

    Can You Teach Financial and Emotional Confidence?

    {January 17th, 2017} by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

    NEW YORK, N.Y., January 12, 2017 – What does it take to go from stressed and struggling to confident and assertive? A new study by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian) explores the link between financial confidence and life satisfaction and identifies the specific behaviors that lead to success in these areas. According […]

    Database allows Maryland residents to search for lost life insurance policies

    {January 17th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

    The Maryland Insurance Administration and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners announced an online database that allows state residents to find lost life insurance policies and annuities. “There are many people who do not know where to begin when searching for a lost life insurance policy or annuity,” said Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. […]

    RightCapital Launches Enterprise Tool to Ease DOL Rule Compliance

    {January 17th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

    Financial planning software provider RightCapital announced on Tuesday that it has enhanced its platform to make it easier for advisors to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, as well as address clients’ retirement income, annuities, Social Security optimization and tax-efficient drawdown planning needs. RightCapital was founded in 2015 by Shuang Chen and his […]

    DOL Releases Two Batches of Fiduciary-Rule FAQs

    {January 17th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The U.S. Labor Department has issued back-to-back guidance, in the form of frequently asked questions, for advisors, investors and workers regarding the agency’s fiduciary rule, which takes effect on April 10. The Labor Department on Friday released a 17-page FAQ that included 35 questions and answers related mainly to advisors, covering the various provisions of […]

    Prudential Names Mullery To New Annuities Leadership Position

    {January 17th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Asset management veteran James Mullery has been hired to spearhead sales and distribution for Prudential Financial’s annuities business. This was announced as the company diversifies away from variable annuities and into the defined income space. Mullery is a former managing director at Black Rock Asset Management and former manager with Security Benefit and AXA Equitable. […]

    Athene USA to host Vet2Work Day workshop on Jan. 18

    {January 17th, 2017} by Business Record

    Athene USA, in partnership with IowaWORKS, will host its first Vet2Work Day workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at its West Des Moines headquarters, 7700 Mills Civic Parkway. The event, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., will assist veterans and military spouses who are working to secure employment with sessions on interview preparation, resume building, […]

    Life insurers reconfiguring distribution to deal direct with Millennials

    {January 17th, 2017} by Donna Glasgow

    Neil Skelding, president and CEO of RBC Insurance, says the industry is presently in the midst of a game-changing moment driven by tech savvy Millennials who prefer to have a direct relationship with their life insurers. “There’s a sea change going on in the marketplace and it’s powered by consumers making choices…We, as an industry, […]

    DOL Rule Will Create Decline In Annuity Market, LIMRA Says

    {January 16th, 2017} by Karen Demasters

    Annuity sales will decrease this year, in part because of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement accounts that goes into effect in April, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute predicts. Annuity sales will see a 10 percent to 15 percent decline in sales, the institute says. However, the annuity market will stabilize during 2018. […]

    Ameritas Hit By Finra For Indexed Sales

    {January 16th, 2017} by Dan Jamieson

    Ameritas Investment Corp. has agreed to pay a $145,000 Finra fine for failing to supervise sales of indexed annuities. The firm began treating the sale of indexed annuities (IAs) as an outside business activity in October 2013 as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established that the products were not securities. But AIC failed […]

    DOL releases fresh fiduciary rule FAQ for investors

    {January 16th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Department of Labor on Friday released the second batch of frequently-asked-questions with guidance on its fiduciary rule. In releasing the 16-page FAQ, which includes 30 questions and answers, Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, noted that the information is “meant especially for workers and retirement investors.” EBSA was deploying […]

    Update: Life insurance startup Ladder launches in California

    {January 16th, 2017} by Jonathan Shieber

    Ladder, the new life insurance startup looking to bring policy enrollment as easy as picking up a mobile phone, has launched in its first market — California. That’s right, citizens of the “Eureka” state are now able to select a life insurance policy right on their phones or their computers. Ladder was born out of […]

    Titles advisers use to play a bigger role in fiduciary regulation

    {January 16th, 2017} by Blaine F. Aikin

    Traditionally, regulation has focused on the functional definition of fiduciary.   Please click HERE to view the full article  via InvestmentNews. This article is regarding opponents of the DOL rule whom appear to be zeroing in on titles that cause confusion with the investing public.

    DOL encourages investors to ask advisers if they are fiduciaries

    {January 16th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Investors should press their financial advisers about whether the advisers are fiduciaries, how much they charge and whether they get paid more based on the investments they recommend, the Labor Department said Friday. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required     Wink’s Note: the above article references DOL documents; free […]

    Former ND Insurance Commissioner Hamm Takes Managing Director Post With Consultancy

    {January 12th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    CHICAGO – Former North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm has taken a job as a managing director for Protiviti, a global consulting firm. Hamm started his new job in Protiviti’s risk and compliance practice in the firm’s Chicago offices on Jan. 3, serving the firm’s financial services industry clients, Protiviti Public Relations Director Kathy Keller […]

    AIG Rebrands SunAmerica Mutual Funds as AIG Funds

    {January 12th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski

    NEW YORK – Keeping with its goal of becoming a “leaner, more profitable and focused insurer,” American International Group Inc. is rebranding its retail mutual fund family, according to the chief executive officer of AIG’s consumer insurance. Effective Feb. 28, SunAmerica Mutual Funds will become AIG Funds and carry the AIG brand. The company will […]

    Golleher appointed to NAIFA board

    {January 11th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Connie Golleher, president of The Golleher Group, LLC, of McLean, Va., has been elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA), a federation representing the interests of life insurance agents and financial advisors. NAIFA’s Board of Trustees appointed Golleher during the association’s political involvement training […]

    DOL fiduciary rule hastening death of L-share variable annuities

    {January 11th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The specter of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is accelerating the demise of L-share variable annuities. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Don’t Just Watch Your Annuity Income Rider!

    {January 11th, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

    Most variable or fixed index annuities are sold with attached benefit income riders that guarantee a lifetime income stream starting at a future date. Too many annuity owners never take advantage of that risk transfer benefit that income riders provide and simply track the rising income rider value on their statements as a false sense […]

    Office of Management and Budget reviewing proposed exemption under DOL fiduciary rule for some indexed annuity distributors

    {January 11th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Labor Department has submitted for review a proposal that would seemingly ease the compliance process for some distributors selling fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule.   Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; regisration required

    The benefit of joint and survivor annuities over trusts: Opinion

    {January 11th, 2017} by Gary Mettler

    A recent Forbes post explored the idea of establishing a “conduit trust” for a non-spousal IRA beneficiary, usually an adult child. In the article, an attorney recommended such a trust from a creditor protection standpoint relative to the IRA beneficiary.  In June of 2014, the Supreme Court ruled a non-spousal inheritance of an IRA isn’t protected as “retirement funds” […]

    American Equity Investment Life Holding Company Mourns the Death of Board Member Harley A. Whitfield, Sr.

    {January 11th, 2017} by American Equity

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, is sad to announce that Harley A. Whitfield, Sr., a long-serving and respected independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors, passed away on January 9, 2017 after a brief illness. Mr. Whitfield had served as […]

    AXA promotes Kevin Kennedy to Head Individual Annuities

    {January 11th, 2017} by AXA

    Media Contacts: John Cline (212) 314-5142 john.cline@axa.us.com Jennifer Recine (212) 314-2009 jennifer.recine@axa.us.com January 4, 2017 NEW YORK – AXA, a leading financial protection company, has promoted Kevin Kennedy to head Individual Annuities for AXA in the US and he will report to Brian Winikoff, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of US Life, Retirement and […]

    IMO Exemption Rule Out Next Week, OMB Says

    {January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The Office of Management and Budget hopes to publish a crucial exemption that would permit independent marketing organizations to sell under the new fiduciary rule by the end of next week. OMB wants the exemption enabling IMOs to serve as financial institutions published by the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, said an attorney close […]

    From the Desk of Van A. Lumbard

    {January 11th, 2017} by Van Lumbard

    “It is with mixed feelings I formally announce to our valued producers that I will officially retire as President of Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange as of December 31, 2016 after 25 years in that role and over 47 years in the industry.” Please click HERE to view Van’s retirement letter.

    FINRA’s Top 5 Exam Priorities for 2017

    {January 11th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    Advisors and broker-dealers have just received a “cheat sheet” of sorts from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Right after the start of the new year, FINRA shares its Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which highlights areas the regulator will focus on in its 2017 exams. As in previous years, the 2017 letter emphasizes “core […]

    Allianz Life Appoints Walther to Oversee B/D Relationships

    {January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Fixed indexed annuity (FIA) market leader Allianz Life has announced the appointment of sales veteran Corey Walther to lead the company’s broker-/dealer distribution channel sales growth. Walther, who joined Allianz Life nearly 20 years ago, assumes the title of head of Distribution Relationship Management. He will report to Tom Burns, CEO of Allianz Life Financial […]

    Forethought Life Broadens Platform, Launches First SPIA

    {January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Forethought Life Insurance launched the company’s first single premium immediate annuity (SPIA), the “missing piece” to the company’s annuity platform of fixed, fixed index and variable annuities, the company said. The SPIA, marketed under the brand ForeCertain, is available in 49 states and the District of Columbia, said Global Atlantic Financial Group, Forethought’s parent, in a […]

    Traditional Fixed Annuities are Latest Addition to North American Product Portfolio

    {January 11th, 2017} by Marketwired

    CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – January 10, 2017) – The brand new NAC FoundationChoice℠ annuity from North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® has a three-year initial interest rate guarantee with annual rate declarations thereafter. The NAC FoundationChoice℠ Plus annuity features an annual fixed interest rate declaration and offers two Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit options. These […]

    DOL Sends IMO Fiduciary Rule Exemption To OMB

    {January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    An exemption granting independent marketing organizations financial institution status under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review. OMB has 90 days from Dec. 29 to review the details, though the review isn’t expected to take that long, an OMB official confirmed Wednesday. Any changes […]

    The top 5 insurance tech trends for 2017

    {January 10th, 2017} by John Howard

    A few years ago, insurance experts began foreshadowing the impending digital disruption that would leave a wake of innovation in its path. With the rise of InsurTech and non-traditional players entering the space, it’s clear that “disruption” is here. However, if traditional players learn from their new counterparts, and continue to foster a culture of […]

    Proposed DOL fiduciary rule exemption could impact IMOs

    {January 10th, 2017} by Kristen Beckman

    The U.S. Department of Labor sent a proposed exemption to the Office of Management and Budget last week related to the classification of IMOs as financial institutions under the department’s fiduciary rule. Michael Trupo, a spokesman for the Labor Department confirmed the proposed exemption is under review, although the content is not yet finalized. Before […]

    Industry Changes in 2017 and beyond

    {January 10th, 2017} by Mike McGlothlin

    If you ask most people what the biggest change the financial services industry is facing, they will likely say regulation.  The DOL’s fiduciary standard and conflicts of interest rule has certainly captivated everyone’s attention for more than a year.  Regardless of implementation date, firms across America are already changing how they conduct business.  But, regulation […]

    MassMutual: When Will You Be Ready to Retire?

    {January 10th, 2017} by MassMutual

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – With two in five American workers saying they are unsure if they are on target to retire comfortably1, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) is sharpening an online tool to give retirement plan savers clearer information and help them make better decisions. MassMutual upgraded its RetireSMARTSM Ready tool available on the RetireSMART […]

    Why do the pundits hate annuities? OPINION

    {January 10th, 2017} by Chuck Ritzke

    Some of the most popular articles on LifeHealthPro (as measured by the vigorous comments that they engender) are those that take shots at (or sing the praises of) one type of financial or insurance product versus another. In my opinion, these debates often display serious misconceptions about how insurance products work — and these misconceptions […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Pacific LifeCorp and Its Subsidiaries

    {January 10th, 2017} by AM Best

    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 Pacific Life Insurance Company (Omaha, NE) and Pacific Life & Annuity Company (Phoenix, AZ) (collectively referred to as Pacific Life Group (Pacific Life). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term […]

    An Alternative to Annuities in a Fiduciary World

    {January 10th, 2017} by Horizon Investments

    The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has given pause to some financial advisors considering the use of variable annuities with their clients. Will the costs and commissions traditionally associated with VAs put advisors who use them at risk of being seen as not serving their clients’ best interests? Advisors who worry about the possible liabilities […]

    Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Delay Fiduciary Rule

    {January 7th, 2017} by John Hilton

    Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced a bill today that would delay the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule effective date by two years. Wilson’s Protecting American Families’ Retirement Advice Act calls the DOL rule “one of the most costly, burdensome regulations to come from the Obama Administration. Rather than making retirement advice and financial stability more accessible for American […]

    Kitces: When a life insurance policy sends out an S.O.S.

    {January 7th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

    As some clients may have realized, loans against cash-value life insurance policies can be made at relatively favorable interest rates. However, those clients run the risk of a substantial tax liability if the loan compounds out of control. This can happen whether the loan was a proactive “bank on yourself” borrowing strategy or just a loan […]

    Prudential names SVP to lead distribution and sales

    {January 7th, 2017} by Emily Bader

    Prudential Annuities, a business of Prudential Financial Inc., announced Thursday that it has named James Mullery to senior vice president and head of distribution and sales. He will develop and drive distribution and sales strategies for the Newark-based company. He will report directly to Lori Fouché, president of Prudential Annuities, and join her senior leadership […]

    New Single Premium Deferred Index Annuity Provides Clients with an Innovative Interest-Crediting Strategy

    {January 6th, 2017} by The Standard

    PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new single premium deferred index annuity with returns based upon the performance of the J.P. Morgan U.S. Sector Rotator 5 Index (Annuity Series) is now available from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). Strategic Choice Annuity 7 combines the strength of an annuity contract with the ability to receive interest based on increases […]

    Former Iowa Insurance Commissioner to Join FBL Financial Group as Chief Administrative Officer

    {January 6th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart will join FBL Financial Group Inc. as the company’s chief administrative officer, the company announced. Gerhart resigned as insurance commissioner Dec. 23 after taking the job in February 2013. Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen, a former Missouri insurance commissioner, became the interim commissioner (Best’s News […]

    Conn. attorney guilty in life insurance scam

    {January 6th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

    A Connecticut attorney, licensed to practice in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud in connection with a life insurance scheme, officials announced. David Quatrella, 61, of Trumbull, Conn., became involved in the scheme starting in 2008, according to a statement released by the U.S. District Attorney of Connecticut. “(He) and […]

    AIG 2016 Review: How did the life & retirement insurance division perform?

    {January 6th, 2017} by Trefis Team, Trefis

    AIG ( AIG ) provides life insurance in the U.S. and also has property & casualty operations in some of the larger markets around the world. In our analysis of the company, the life and retirement division is further divided into two sub-parts based on the two key revenue streams- investment income, and premiums and […]

    Sail through insurance industry flux by focusing on consumers

    {January 5th, 2017} by John Deremo

    This year, the financial services industry faces the prospect of significant regulatory change and potential impacts to the life insurance sector. In a time of flux, carriers are challenged to render their businesses more scalable, efficient and consumer-friendly, while supporting the bottom-line goals of distribution partners. Financial professionals, too, are challenged to consider how they […]

    Annuities and Roth IRAs: A Dynamic Duo

    {January 5th, 2017} by Rachel Summit

    For some investors, the capital commitment, tax treatment and complexity are enough to keep them from looking into purchasing an annuity. And or some, it isn’t a wise option, especially as a standalone product. But when combined with a Roth investing strategy, an annuity investing strategy can make a lot of sense. A recent article […]

    Orion launches fee analyzer for DOL fiduciary rule

    {January 5th, 2017} by Liz Skinner

    Advisers looking for help proving they’re charging a “reasonable” fee once the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule for retirement advice kicks in next year have a new source for comparison.   Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

    “Alexa, what’s an annuity?” Insurance company Aviva is using Amazon Echo (in the U.K.)

    {January 5th, 2017} by Lynsey Barber

    “Alexa, what’s an annuity?” Now your Amazon Echo can tell you the answer to burning questions about insurance and guide you through the unfamiliar jargon of the industry. The Insurance giant Aviva has developed a so-called skill (like an app for smartphones) for the voice activated speaker which proved a big hit for Amazon over […]

    Accept the challenges

    {January 5th, 2017} by Wink's RockStars

    General George Smith Patton Jr. said,  “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” This past year was a challenging year for most with a lot of uncertainty; can you say, DOL Fiduciary Rule?! We shared over 366 unique articles regarding the DOL rule in 2016 and news circling the ruling […]

    SEC ups disclosure requirements for advisor social media accounts

    {January 4th, 2017} by National Ethics Association

    The use of social media as a financial-services marketing strategy has come a long way. Less than ten years ago, only a minority of advisors used platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to help promote their businesses. Even that was an uphill battle, with compliance departments and financial regulators placing roadblocks in their path.  Today, […]

    ​What’s next for annuities

    {January 4th, 2017} by Bryce Sanders

    Annuities serve an important function in many investors’ portfolios. They can get bad press because of the fees associated with some features. Now the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its ruling requiring financial advisors to act as fiduciaries when working with a client and their retirement assets. If high fees make annuities a target, […]

    ACLI ‘Fact Book’ reflects consumer reliance on life insurance industry

    {January 3rd, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Data from the American Council of Life Insurers’ (ACLI) 2016 Life Insurers Fact Book shows that consumers continue to turn to the life insurance industry for their financial and retirement security needs. “The data within ACLI’s Life Insurers Fact Book tells the story of an industry that is helping families financially after the loss of […]

    Looking Ahead To 2017: Fixed Income Strategies And Tax Rules

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With 2017 around the corner, advisors will want to dig into their tool bag to hammer away at two of the biggest changes to financial planning likely in the coming year. Those changes are fine-tuning approaches to fixed income investing and mulling over income and estate tax strategies. Changes to fixed income allocations are due […]

    The Year In Politics: All About The DOL Rule

    {January 3rd, 2017} by John Hilton

    The year in political stories was dominated by one issue – the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. While President-elect Donald J. Trump has not rendered an opinion on the rule, he was virtually the only one to ignore it. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the rule “hurts Americans saving for retirement.” President Barack Obama said […]

    Industry Groups Encouraged by Latest Draft of New York Cybersecurity Rule

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    ALBANY, N.Y. – Insurance industry groups voiced encouragement over the new update to cybersecurity regulation proposed by the New York Department of Financial Services. The proposed regulation is expected to take effect March 1, 2017, and will require banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions under DFS regulation to create and maintain a cybersecurity […]

    BestWeek: Asia, Life Insurers Are Big Gainers Among Top 25 Largest Insurers

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Caroline Saucer

    OLDWICK, N.J. – Insurers in Japan and China were among the biggest gainers in terms of premiums while life and multiple-line insurers led gains by assets, according to A.M. Best’s list of the world’s largest 25 insurers featured in this week’s BestWeek. A.M. Best’s annual rankings found stability at the top, as the top five […]

    15 of the best insurance and finance websites for the New Year

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Van Mueller

    This is the final part of a series where I have been providing tools and resources that agents can depend on to enhance the services they provide. Part one focused on www.irs.gov, and part two focused on the debt clock, www.usdebtclock.org. Please keep in mind that you do not want to overwhelm prospects and clients […]

    Here’s How to Best Time Interest Rates When Purchasing an Annuity

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

    Is there a way to perfectly time an annuity purchase when interest rates are rising?  With the Federal Reserve recently raising rates, the continuing conundrum of trying to time an annuity purchase is once again the center of most annuity buying decisions and agent sales pitches. Like most financial decisions, there are no perfect answers. […]

    8 more Dave Ramsey myths debunked

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Michael Markey

    Dave Ramsey, underneath the scrutiny of financial regulation, has knowingly or intentionally unknowingly altered, tainted or ignored math to support his beliefs and claims. Like Lance “I use other people’s blood” Armstrong, Ramsey has misled the American public about his work. I know this sounds harsh. It is. I want it to be. The holidays […]

    3 significant challenges for annuity advisors in 2017

    {January 3rd, 2017} by BEN YAHR, GERRY MURTAGH

    We expect to see significant changes in the annuity industry during 2017. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will become applicable in April 2017 and have major impacts on financial services delivered to the retirement market. The DOL rule will affect companies’ strategies and operations, the products they offer, the advice they provide and the […]

    Advanced tax time planning: 15 life insurance considerations

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Stephan R. Leimberg

    Life insurance can be a superb savings asset, but it does carry distinct tax issues. All conventional saving vehicles serve the same purpose, but the unique feature of life insurance is that it assures the desired accumulation at a specific, but uncertain time; namely at the time of the insured’s death. No other savings or […]

    Outlook for life insurers is ‘credit negative’ thru mid-2018

    {January 3rd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Continuing low interest will put a damper on life insurers’ investment yields and guaranteed rates of return in 2017, depressing their earnings, solvency position and credit outlook, which dipped from “stable” to negative during the year past. The carriers’ credit and investment outlook may not improve until at least the second half of 2018. So […]