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Archive for March 2017


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  • IMOs to DOL: Delay Rule and Fix Our Exemption

    {March 31st, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor continues to post comments and petitions it received on its proposal to delay the controversial President Obama-authored fiduciary rule by 60 days. The comment period closed March 17 and the DOL sent its delay rule to the Office of Management and Budget Wednesday. As of Friday morning, the DOL reported 1,105 […]

    Most Annuity Sales Dropped In 2016

    {March 31st, 2017} by Karen DeMasters

    Total annuity sales dropped during 2016, with only a few bright spots showing through because of increases in the sales of fixed and fixed-income annuities, the Insured Retirement Institute reported Thursday. Fourth-quarter and full-year reports from Morningstar and Beacon Research revealed industry-wide annuity sales declined, with the fourth quarter of 2016 totaling $48.2 billion, a […]

    Manulife Names Roy Gori President

    {March 30th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    Manulife Financial Corp. is getting a new top executive from the Pacific Rim. The Toronto-based financial services company has named Roy Gori to be its president. Gori has been the general manager of Manulife’s Asia division. He has been working out of Hong Kong.  Gori will move to Toronto to take his new position in […]

    Sales of non-variable fixed annuities neared $100 billion in 2016: Wink’s

    {March 30th, 2017} by Editorial Staff

    Total fourth quarter non-variable deferred annuity sales were $21.0 billion; down nearly 8% from the prior quarter, and down almost 14% from the same period a year prior, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report for the fourth quarter of 2016. Overall non-variable deferred annuity sales for 2016 were $96.9 billion. Since 2015, the Wink […]

    Transamerica hires Salesforce’s “Einstein” to make distribution smarter

    {March 30th, 2017} by Editorial Staff

    Driven by competitive, technological and regulatory force, the automation of traditional insurance and investment distribution networks is now reaching big financial services companies long hobbled by a patchwork of legacy systems.    This week, Transamerica Financial Network (TFN), Transamerica’s North American distribution channel, announced that it will use Salesforce Financial Services’ “Cloud Einstein” technology to […]

    Life Group Blasts ‘Too Big to Fail’ Selection Process

    {March 30th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    The American Council of Life Insurers is hoping the new Congress will take a fresh look at how federal regulators decide which companies are central enough to pose a potential threat to the financial system. The Washington-based insurer group on Tuesday repeated its opposition to the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s process for designating “systemically important […]

    Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule blamed for insurers’ massive hit on variable annuity sales

    {March 30th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The variable annuity industry took a beating in 2016, with several of the top sellers inking losses upwards of 25% on the year and some exceeding 40%. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Professors give themselves a ‘B’ in financial literacy

    {March 30th, 2017} by InvestmentNews

    Good, but not excellent. That’s the self-assessment of college professors regarding their financial literacy, a subject in which they grade themselves a “B.” Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    DOL sends final fiduciary rule delay to Office of Management and Budget

    {March 30th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Department of Labor on Tuesday sent its final rule to delay the applicability date of its fiduciary rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    DOL Sends Final Fiduciary Rule Delay Request to OMB

    {March 30th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    The Department of Labor has sent to the Office of Management and Budget its final rule requesting a 60-day delay to the implementation date of its fiduciary rule. The rule must be approved by OMB. Once approved, it will be sent back to Labor for publication in the Federal Register. Labor announced on March 1 […]


    {March 29th, 2017} by Victoria L. Peterson

    Indexed Annuity  Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 4th Quarter 2016 shows sales for the fourth quarter of 2016 were $13,309 million, compared with sales of $15,573 million for the fourth quarter of 2015. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were down nearly 7% when compared to the previous quarter, and down over than 14% when compared […]

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Celebrates 170 Years

    {March 29th, 2017} by Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

    HORSHAM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) is proud to celebrate 170 years of service to policyholders this March. Over the recent past, Penn Mutual has enjoyed tremendous success and has doubled the size of its business. “Although we have been in business since 1847, we pride ourselves on being forward-thinking and remaining […]

    DOL fiduciary rule changes not one size fits all

    {March 29th, 2017} by Jodie Papike

    There is no denying the uncertainty that has been felt by broker-dealers and advisers as a result of the DOL fiduciary rule. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Dodd-Frank’s Inconsistent ‘Too Big to Fail’ Process

    {March 29th, 2017} by Financial Services Committee

    The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on Tuesday to examine the arbitrary and inconsistent process used by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to designate systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), or those deemed by Washington as “too big to fail.” Members of the subcommittee heard from a panel of witnesses who testified on […]

    VAs Outlook: Worse Before it Gets Better

    {March 28th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The long-suffering variable annuity market is going to get worse before it gets better, a product expert with Morningstar said last week. From new regulations issued by the Department of Labor to investment restrictions in subaccounts to stingier guarantees, variable annuity sales aren’t expected to pick up anytime soon – though no one is predicting […]

    2016’s top 10 life insurance providers ranked by NAIC

    {March 28th, 2017} by Elana Ashanti Jefferson

    Insurance and finance industry watchers who follow the annual rankings of top life insurance and annuities providers from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) may find little surprise in the organization’s latest numbers for 2016. Once again, Metropolitan Group topped the NAIC’s life insurer market share list, which ranks the top 25 carriers by direct premiums written […]

    2016’s Top 10 annuity providers ranked by NAIC

    {March 28th, 2017} by Daniel Williams

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has released its ranking of the top 25 annuities providers by market share of direct premiums written for 2016, and the numbers were down across the industry. Direct premiums written by the top 25 providers totaled $253.3 billion, down from $264.1 billion in 2015. The top 10 annuities providers accounted for 54.42 percent of […]

    Parents Are Likely To Pass Down Good And Bad Financial Habits To Their Kids

    {March 28th, 2017} by T. Rowe Price

    BALTIMORE, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — T. Rowe Price’s 2017 Parents, Kids & Money Survey, which sampled 1,014 parents of 8 to 14-year-olds nationally and their kids, analyzed parent attitudes and behaviors that were associated with kids’ financial habits. The survey found that positive money behaviors and expectations among kids are often associated with parents’ […]

    Why clients reject fee-only plans, even when told they are better

    {March 28th, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    Many commission-based clients reject the idea of fee-only plans, despite the public debate surrounding the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, according to a J.D. Power study. Almost 60% of investors using commission accounts said they would “probably not” or “definitely not” switch to fee-only plans, even after being told that many advisers and investors see […]

    2.76M Households Ready To Buy Annuities

    {March 28th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The number of U.S. households likely to buy an annuity rose 3 percent to 2.76 million in 2016 compared with 2013, an analysis of the annuity market has found. In the top-three states – California, Texas and Florida – the growth in the number of households likely to buy an annuity far exceeded the national […]

    Addressing the shortage of millennial financial advisors

    {March 28th, 2017} by Emmet Pierce

    As many financial advisors approach retirement age, the wealth management industry is searching for ways to draw more young people into the profession. The need for an infusion of young financial advisors is urgent and immediate, said Joseph Maugeri, managing director of corporate relations for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards. “We have […]

    Leveraging permanent life in retirement and protection planning

    {March 28th, 2017} by Mark Peterson

    As a financial professional, you’re likely well aware of the role and value proposition of permanent life insurance. Yet, the most recent LIMRA Ownership Study report, published earlier this year, shared that 2016 marked the first study period when owners of individual life insurance policies were more likely to have term life products than permanent […]

    MassMutual Completes Broker-Dealer Integration

    {March 28th, 2017} by MassMutual

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has completed the integration of its existing broker-dealer, MML Investors Services LLC, and MSI Financial Services Inc., the broker-dealer acquired as part of MassMutual’s July 2016 acquisition of the MetLife Premier Client Group. FINRA approved the merger of the broker-dealers earlier this month. The newly combined entity, which will […]

    DOL Rule Generates Flood of Comments, Petitions

    {March 28th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor is expected to publish a 60-delay of its fiduciary rule in the Federal Register any day now. That will push the looming April 10 “applicability date” to June 9. But many industry analysts say the DOL will use the extra time to undo many of the fiduciary rule measures, or implement […]

    Ownership Tilts to Broader Mix of Life Products

    {March 28th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Among households owning individual life insurance policies, a record 30 percent own a mix of term and permanent life, an increase of 12 percent in six years, a new life insurance trends ownership survey found. Only 44 percent of households own individual life insurance products of any kind and it is the first time that […]

    Brokers riled by overlapping enforcement penalties from multiple regulators

    {March 28th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Enforcement panels at regulatory conferences can sometimes be dull. But complaints about multiple regulatory penalties for the same violation brought the crowd to life last week in San Diego. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    SEC nominee Clayton vows ‘zero tolerance’ for bad actors

    {March 28th, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

    The nominee to chair the SEC is pledging to take a “zero-tolerance” stand against bad actors in the financial services sector, though at Jay Clayton’s confirmation hearing some senators questioned whether he will make good on those assurances given his deep ties with Wall Street. “There is zero room for bad actors in our capital […]

    Survey Says: 79% of Americans Shun Advisors

    {March 27th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The challenge for financial advisors is how to sell Americans on services they probably don’t realize they need. And this is why roughly 79 percent of Americans have never hired an advisor, according to a new study commissioned by the Million Dollar Round Table. “People don’t know what they don’t know and our job is […]

    Tontines could be making a comeback, providing alternative for retirement income

    {March 27th, 2017} by InvestmentNews

    An investment vehicle popular in the Victorian Age but plagued by scandals early in the last century may be coming back.   Click HERE to view the story via InvestmentNews (registration required)  to see how re-engineered, investment vehicles could provide alternative for retirement income.

    Goldman Sachs gets serious about robo-adviser services

    {March 27th, 2017} by Dakin Campbell

    (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to hire a software developer to help open an automated investing service for mass-market wealth clients. The bank is advertising for a software developer to help create a platform that can be used to give customers “detailed information on their financial portfolio & analytics,” according to a job […]

    SEC Halts Fraud Targeting Seniors

    {March 27th, 2017} by SEC

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2017-72 Washington D.C., March 27, 2017— The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an emergency asset freeze and temporary restraining order against a Chicago-based investment adviser and his financial management company accused of scamming elderly investors out of millions of dollars.  The SEC alleges that Daniel H. Glick and his unregistered investment […]

    Fiduciary delay: DoL deluged by more than 1,000 comments

    {March 27th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch, Maddy Perkins, Tobias Salinger

    The fiduciary rule is the industry’s perennially hot topic ― even nearly a year after the Department of Labor unveiled the regulation. Firms, advisers, investors and even other regulators have joined the commentary melee. More than a thousand letters and emails have been posted to the Labor Department’s website; 400 were posted late last week […]

    IRI Releases 2017 Policy Blueprint

    {March 27th, 2017} by Javier Simon EDITORS@ASSETINTERNATIONAL.COM

    The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) has announced its public policy agenda for the year. The organization’s 2017 Retirement Security Blueprint will act as the framework for advocating in favor of regulations aimed at ensuring Americans have access to the resources and advice they need to plan for a comfortable retirement.  The IRI says it will […]

    Can the Repeal of the Fiduciary Rule Harm Your Annuities Investments

    {March 26th, 2017} by John Persinos

    If you’ve been following news coverage of the confirmation hearings of Alexander Acosta, Donald Trump’s appointee for head of the Department of Labor, you know he’s been taking heat from Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren over the fate of something called the fiduciary rule. This rule is actually a change to the set of rules […]

    Key Trends in Life Insurance and Annuity Markets

    {March 25th, 2017} by Michael B. Liebeskind

    Analysts and rating agencies generally view the life insurance industry outlook as relatively stable, characterized by strong balance sheet fundamentals, stable operating performance and modest growth. Senior life insurance company executives are optimistic that Republican control of the White House and Congress will result in higher interest rates, lower corporate income taxes and less regulation. […]

    Groups Growing To Help ‘New-School’ Female Advisors Network

    {March 24th, 2017} by Juliette Fairley

    Morgan Stanley’s Lisa Cregan launched the Women’s Advisory Council in 2011 to provide female financial advisors in Houston with a platform to involve themselves in their community so they could network, find new clients and recruit talent. “It provided needed peer-sharing opportunities,” said Cregan, managing and regional director with Morgan Stanley in Washington, D.C. “The […]

    Insurance FMO Launches New Online Learning & Leads Platform

    {March 24th, 2017} by Empower Brokerage

    SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS (PRWEB) MARCH 24, 2017 Empower Brokerage, located in Southlake, Texas, intends to make 2017 the year of enhancements, upgrading their training and leads programs. In February, 2017, Empower Brokerage introduced their new “Performance Partners” program to the Empower University. Reserved for elite sales agents, Performance Partners is designed to teach how to maximize […]

    Fiduciary advocates push alternative approach to DoL rule

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    Fiduciary advocates are going on the offensive even as the Department of Labor’s rule appears to be dying a slow death. Investing legend Jack Bogle, the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard and a group of advisers are promoting a set of fiduciary best practices for planners to adopt. Their efforts will help ensure investors have […]

    New life insurance rules could make rates noticeably cheaper

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Marc

    People who have hesitated to purchase a policy may find that they have new motivation on its way. Changes to life insurance rules in all states except three are more than likely to bring rates down by a considerable amount. There have already been at least two insurance companies that have decreased their term life […]

    Millennials Aren’t Into Life Insurance, Despite Some Obvious Risks

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

    Two new studies out show that younger Americans would much rather travel, engage in a fine dining experience or buy a cell phone, among other purchases, rather than buy life insurance.    The data come from Vertafore, an insurance technology provider based in Bothell, Wa., which surveyed 450 millennials aged 18 to 35. Vertafore discovered […]

    Labor Nominee Pledges to Follow Trump’s Order in Reviewing Fiduciary Rule

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Yuka Hayashi

    WASHINGTON—Labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta said Wednesday he would closely follow President Donald Trump’s order to review a landmark retirement-advice rule, stressing that the White House has laid out clear guidelines for determining whether the Obama-era regulation should be repealed or revised. Speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Mr. Acosta said the president’s February […]

    How to make term life insurance do more

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Kenneth A. Shapiro

    Most consumers think of term life when buying life insurance. “Why not?” they say. “It’s a commodity like auto insurance or socks.” Find the lowest price, push the “Buy Now” button, and you’re done. Easy.  Consumers are not alone, life insurance agents often think the same way. Click HERE to view the full story via […]

    Annual Industry Checkup—Financial Institutions Battle DOLHeadwinds

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting

    Tim Kehrer and Ken Kehrer Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting (KBR&C) Sponsored by: Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA) The 2016/2017 Annual Industry Checkup provides a yearly review of the health of the investment services industry in banks and credits unions. This year, the Annual Industry Checkup is sponsored by BISA. Below are key findings […]

    Finra launches ‘360’ initiative to review operations, ‘look at ourselves from all perspectives,’ says CEO Robert Cook

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

    Finra is evaluating itself from “top to bottom” to seek ways to improve its interactions with brokerage firms and financial advisers it regulates, president and chief executive Robert Cook said on Wednesday. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    NAFA ALERT — NAFA Comment on DOL Proposed 60-Day Delay in Applicability Date of Fiduciary Rule

    {March 23rd, 2017} by NAFA

    NAFA ALERT — NAFA Comment on DOL Proposed 60-Day Delay in Applicability Date of Fiduciary Rule   WASHINGTON, D.C.  (March 15, 2017) — NAFA has submitted a comment letter to the DOL regarding the proposed 60-day delay of the fiduciary rule’s applicability date. As the comment letter makes clear, NAFA strongly supports a proposed delay to […]

    Modern Woodmen announces 2016 results

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Times Staff

    Rock Island-based Modern Woodmen of America has announced the organization’s financial and fraternal results for 2016. The fraternal financial services organization reported that life insurance in force grew by approximately $800 million — the sixth straight year it has grown by at least $800 million. Assets reached $15.4 billion and Modern Woodmen contributed $21.7 million to […]

    Texas judge denies emergency request to block DOL fiduciary rule

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The judge overseeing the lawsuit filed by nine plaintiffs in Texas against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule denied an emergency request by the groups to stop the rule from taking effect while they take their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn ruled Monday that the plaintiffs — which include the […]

    Academy of Insurance Director Surveys State of Learning

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Stephanie K. Jones

    Patrick Wraight knew when he took over as director of Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance earlier this year that he would be making some changes but first he wanted to find out who is taking the Academy classes and why. “I was convinced when I came on that the (Academy’s) content was good, high-quality stuff. […]

    Wake up, Dave Ramsey: Your math is flawed

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Michael Markey

    Dave Ramsey uses Ramsey math. Ramsey math makes something completely wrong sound completely right. Consider this: On YouTube, under the heading “Dave Ramsey on Social Security,” you’ll find a nine minute Ramsey rant full of half-truths, no truths, fallacies, and Ramsey math.  Click HERE to view the full story via LifeHealthPro; free registration

    Sparks fly as DoL nominee, Sen. Warren spar over fiduciary rule’s fate

    {March 23rd, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

    President Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Labor is pledging a thorough review of the fiduciary rule that could lead to a repeal or revision of the controversial regulation. At his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Alexander Acosta sparred with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) over the rule’s fate, but insisted that, if confirmed, he would […]

    Millennial Misconceptions Of Life Insurance

    {March 22nd, 2017} by Targeted News Release

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 20 — LIMRA issued the following news release: New LIMRA research shows that 41 percent of Millennials believe they do not qualify for life insurance coverage, which might prevent them from considering purchasing it. Speakers and workshops during the 2017 Life Insurance Conference will shed light on what consumers are thinking and […]

    FINRA Plays ‘Gotcha’ With Brokers, Short-Changes Investors: Hester Peirce

    {March 22nd, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority plays gotcha with brokers, turns a deaf ear to firms and falls short in giving investors enough protection. That rotten review is from Hester Peirce, a former Securities and Exchange Commission staff attorney whom Barack Obama nominated last year for an SEC commissioner seat. In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, Peirce […]

    Mary Bates Named SVP and COO, Individual Life at Symetra

    {March 22nd, 2017} by Symetra

    March 22, 2017 — BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Life Insurance Company today announced the promotions of two Individual Life executives as Mary E. Bates is named senior vice president, chief operations officer. Also, Phil Bouvier assumes divisional sales leadership responsibilities as vice president, Sales and Marketing. Bates and Bouvier report to Symetra CEO Tom Marra and are based […]

    While We Wait: The Current Fiduciary Rule and Annuities: Interesting Angles on DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #41

    {March 22nd, 2017} by Fred Reish

    This is my 41st article about interesting observations concerning the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and exemptions. These articles also cover the DOL’s FAQs interpreting the regulation and exemptions and related developments in the securities laws. As explained in previous posts, the delay of the new fiduciary rule does not mean that we are “rule-less.” […]

    The next hot M&A target? Solo advisers

    {March 22nd, 2017} by Charles Paikert

    Often overlooked, solo advisers now appear to be the belles of the M&A ball. Over 60% of RIAs who are considering an M&A transaction over the next five years plan to acquire a solo adviser, and 47% would like to take over a smaller firm’s client accounts by buying its book of business, according to […]

    Security Benefit Announces New Program with the IAFF Financial Corporation

    {March 22nd, 2017} by Security Benefit

    TOPEKA, Kan. – March, 14, 2017 – Security Benefit, a leader in the U.S. retirement savings market, and the IAFF Financial Corporation (IAFF-FC) today announced a new program to provide IAFF members with a supplemental lifetime income solution. The relationship, formally announced at Security Benefit’s Topeka headquarters today, launches a new program called “Responders First.” […]

    Why a Google search doesn’t cut it for financial advice

    {March 22nd, 2017} by Mitchell H. Caplan

    Most of us subscribe to a ‘Google it first’ mentality — and investors are no exception. The Internet has disrupted and disintermediated the value chain across many professional services, including financial planning. As do it yourself investing has evolved, the basic elements of tax preparation, portfolio management and financial planning have become commoditized. Today, access […]

    DOL Nominee Stands Up to Sen. Warren on Fiduciary Rule

    {March 22nd, 2017} by John Hilton

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., tried unsuccessfully to get Labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta to take a position on the department’s controversial fiduciary rule today. Warren pointedly asked whether Acosta would defy President Donald J. Trump’s Feb. 2 memorandum ordering the DOL to delay the fiduciary rule by 60 days. “There is an executive action that directs […]

    Please join us in congratulating the Moore family!

    {March 21st, 2017} by Wink's RockStars

    Wink’s CEO, Sheryl J. Moore gave birth to her handsome baby boy, Xander Paul Moore on March 14th, 2017.  Xander Paul weighed 8 lbs, 10 oz and is 20 1/4 inches long.  Sheryl and baby Xander are both doing great and resting up.   Please join us in congratulating the Moore family and welcoming Xander […]

    Two More Insurers Jump Into Expanding IUL Pool

    {March 21st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The addition of new indexed universal life products from two carriers is helping fuel a strong IUL market after an 18-month pause in sales as companies revamped their lineups. IUL sales, measured by premium revenue, rose to a record $1.86 billion in 2016, according to Wink’s Sales & Market report which tracks the industry. But […]

    Rules governing indexed universal life insurance may not go far enough

    {March 21st, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    New rules designed to curb overly rosy policy return illustrations, the primary sales tool used to sell indexed universal life insurance, seem to be having their desired effect, but they may not go far enough. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required   Indexed universal life insurance has been a hot-selling […]

    Did Warren Overreach in Blasting Annuity Sales Perks?

    {March 21st, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    A blistering report from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that takes certain life insurance and annuity providers to task over performance incentives they offer producers has mostly been met by silence from companies identified in the document. Contacted by our partner site, LifeHealthPro to respond to Warren’s central charge — that all-expense-paid trips and other sales incentives create […]

    Looming DOL Rule Makes Americans Wary, Curious About Annuities

    {March 21st, 2017} by Christopher Robbins

    Americans are concerned about the cost and complexity of annuity products, according to a study by Greenwald & Associates. At the same time, they want many of the benefits those products offer. The study’s respondents balked at annuities because they have difficulty determining how much a guaranteed lifetime income stream is worth, said the firm’s […]

    Future of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule Remains Uncertain

    {March 21st, 2017} by Best's Briefing, AM Best

    Excerpted from Best’s Briefing- March 2017. Reprinted with permission. – See more at: http://www.lifehealth.com/future-department-labors-fiduciary-rule-remains-uncertain/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=e-newsLink&utm_content=impact#sthash.XJZCKH9G.dpuf March 21, 2017 — President Trump made it clear both during and after his campaign that he was not a supporter of either the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) or the pending Department of […]

    Commission-based clients don’t want fee-only accounts, survey finds

    {March 21st, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    Most clients investing through commission-based accounts would consider changing firms if forced into a fee-only model, according to J.D. Power’s latest survey. Although fee-only clients report they are “generally more satisfied with what they pay their firm,” commission-based clients reject the notion that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would benefit them, according to the […]

    Texas judge shoots down latest effort to halt DOL fiduciary rule

    {March 21st, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Opponents of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule were dealt another blow Monday, when a federal judge in Dallas denied their latest effort to halt its implementation. Click HERE to view the full story via INN; registration required

    Warren presses Acosta on fidicuary rule

    {March 21st, 2017} by John Waggoner

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has sent R. Alexander Acosta, the Trump administration’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, a 23-page letter pressing him for details on his views on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule as well as other matters. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Labor puts fiduciary rule’s private right of action under microscope

    {March 21st, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    Will the fiduciary rule give way to frivolous class-action claims brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act? That question is at the forefront of the Labor Department’s new analysis of the rule, ordered by President Trump. The answer is in the eye of the beholder. Opponents of the rule have long argued it will […]

    Ohio National Storms into FIA Market

    {March 21st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Ohio National Financial Services has entered the fixed indexed annuity (FIA) market for the first time as the company takes advantage of robust sales trends in the product category, company executives said. The company’s ONdex FIA comes in several versions. ONdex Annuity offers four crediting strategies while ONdex Freedom offers only three of the four […]

    Prospects Fade for NAIC Unclaimed Life Insurance and Annuities Model Act

    {March 21st, 2017} by Steven Kass

    The prospects for an NAIC Unclaimed Life Insurance and Annuities Model Act (“Model Act”) appear to be fading based on developments at the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits (A) Working Group’s March 7 meeting. The Working Group, which was charged with “develop[ing] a new NAIC model law to address the issue of unclaimed death benefits,” voted […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company

    {March 21st, 2017} by Business Wire

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” of Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company (GLAC) (Wilmington, DE). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (rating) is stable. The affirmation of the ratings reflects GLAC’s adequate levels of risk-adjusted capitalization relative to its […]

    Fiduciary rule delay unleashes torrent of public commentary

    {March 21st, 2017} by Andrew Welsch, Ann Marsh

    The Department of Labor’s move to delay the fiduciary rule unleashed a torrent of public commentary. By March 13, more than 560 wealth management firms, advisers, and investors had posted opinions about the rule on the DOL’s public commentary board, in hopes of nudging the department closer to their position. Some say the rule will […]

    Hancock Launches ‘Insurance Planning for Women’ Initiative

    {March 21st, 2017} by John Hancock Financial

    BOSTON, MA (March 8, 2017) – Today John Hancock introduced a new initiative designed to help advisors better address the financial needs of women. The launch of the “Insurance Planning for Women” program coincides with International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and the powerful and influential role […]

    Annuities aren’t just for older investors, experts say

    {March 21st, 2017} by Sheryl Nance-Nash

    Mutual funds are a part of most people’s investment lexicon, thanks to the 401(k). Annuities though, are another story. An annuity is a contract with an insurance company to get financial benefits in the future. But many people don’t know much about them, and myths abound. Here’s how to separate fact from fiction. Myth: If […]

    Keep calm and carry on with both commissions and fees

    {March 21st, 2017} by John Kennedy

    Heightened transparency and education around the many financial products and services available in the marketplace today is critical in a client-adviser relationship, particularly surrounding changing consumer preferences for financial advice. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    New York Life Names Executive Vice President of Government Affairs

    {March 21st, 2017} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

    NEW YORK – New York Life Insurance Co. has promoted George Nichols to a new position as executive vice president in charge of the office of government affairs. Nichols, a former Kentucky insurance commissioner, led the government affairs office since 2007 but now is also responsible for enterprise supporting long-term objectives, according to a company […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Subsidiary

    {March 21st, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. (Ameritas Corp.) (Lincoln, NE) and Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York (Ameritas NY) (New York, NY). These insurance entities comprise the life/health operations of Ameritas […]

    Industry Representatives: Delay Gives Needed Time to Review DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {March 21st, 2017} by Frank Klimko

    WASHINGTON – Trade representatives support a 60-day delay of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule deadline that will give the department more time to remake or nullify the new mandates, which critics say will upend the retirement advice industry. The rule would postpone the current April 10 deadline until June 9 and is part […]

    Six reasons Gen X lags in saving, planning for retirement

    {March 21st, 2017} by Claire Serant

    American workers ages 35 to 54, better known as Generation X, particularly single working parents, are more concerned about sluggish finances and expenses related to emotional and physical health than saving for retirement, according to fresh research from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. These findings are part of the Fourth Annual Guardian Workplace Benefits […]

    Fitch: Insurers have made ‘enduring’ changes because of Labor investment adviser rule

    {March 20th, 2017} by Sylvan Lane

    The impact of the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule” for financial advisers may last longer than the regulation itself, a top international ratings firm said Monday. Fitch Ratings said that insurance companies have already made fundamental changes to the way they operate in order to comply with the Labor rule. The Trump administration delayed implementation […]

    Adviser or advisor? The debate rages on

    {March 20th, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    In the annals of financial advice, few questions have divided folks more than whether someone who offers professional financial advice is an “adviser” or “advisor.” Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Chlora Lindley-Myers to lead Missouri insurance department

    {March 20th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has picked Chlora Lindley-Myers to be the Show Me State’s next head of insurance regulation. Lindley-Myers is now the acting director of the state’s Department of Insurance, Financial Professional Registration. She is waiting for the state Senate to confirm her nomination. Lindley-Myers has been the deputy commissioner at the Tennessee Department of […]

    Rebutting Ken Fisher

    {March 19th, 2017} by Stephen Kelley, CSA

    Ken Fisher was on TV last week. I know because I saw him. I saw him up there on the tube, trashing the products I use every day to make my clients safe and ensure they have a secure and happy retirement. It’s not so much his message that I object to (though I surely […]

    Come Watch The Unraveling Of The Annuity’s Mysteries

    {March 17th, 2017} by Marie Beerens

    Annuities have gotten a bad rap among many people and for a reason. Often, insurance agents and others are willing to sell annuities to just about anyone, whether the person needs it or not. The driving factor is often the high commissions they’ll get from selling the product. So, let’s debunk some of the common […]

    Insurance sector M&A activity to hit new heights in 2017

    {March 17th, 2017} by Daniel Williams

    To go or grow?  That is the question insurance companies are asking themselves in 2017. The volatility caused by Brexit and the U.S. presidential election forced most companies to the sidelines in 2016. But after a year to catch their breath, mergers and acquisitions are the buzz of 2017. Click HERE to view the full […]

    Eye on the MetLife spinoff: Will it live up to billing?

    {March 16th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    MetLife Inc.’s months-long transformation advanced a step forward this month, when a soon-to-be spun-off business unit unveiled several products under its own brand. The question for industry-watchers is whether MetLife’s over-arching strategy will yield the desired results — more agile, focused and growing companies serving separate markets — or something akin to “divestiture remorse.” The […]

    New Accumulation Indexed Universal Life Product Series from John Hancock Features Strong Income Potential to Help Consumers Better Prepare for Retirement

    {March 16th, 2017} by John Hancock

    BOSTON, March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock today launched a new Accumulation indexed universal life (IUL) product series with improved income potential, expanded indexed account options and a new performance report to help policyholders achieve their retirement goals and other financial objectives. The new Accumulation IUL features a simple, straightforward product design that provides […]

    John Hancock Launches New Indexed Universal Life Solution

    {March 16th, 2017} by Javier Simon

    John Hancock Insurance has launched a new Accumulation indexed universal life (IUL) product series with enhanced income potential, expanded indexed account options, and a new performance report to help policyholders meet their long-term retirement income goals.   The new Accumulation IUL offers life insurance protection with the potential to boost cash value by linking to […]

    DOL: We Won’t Enforce Fiduciary Rule While Delay is Undecided

    {March 16th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor issued a bulletin Friday alerting the financial services industry that it will not pursue strong enforcement of its fiduciary rule in the short term. The bulletin was issued to clear up confusing over the rapidly approaching April 10 applicability date. That date may be delayed by 60 days if a DOL […]

    Morningstar expects up to $150M in annual class-action settlements under fiduciary rule

    {March 16th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    In a perfect world, all investors with qualified retirement accounts would have unfettered access to reasonably compensated fiduciary advisors offering non-conflicted advice on all investment options available in the market today. And no one would get sued. “That would be the best imaginable outcome,” says Michael Wong, a senior equity analyst for Morningstar Research Services. […]

    Insurtech: Adapting to a new way of looking at insurance

    {March 16th, 2017} by Heidi A. Lawson

    Fabric, BenRevo and many other life- and health-related insurtech startups are entering the insurance marketplace. I often have the pleasure of discussing ideas and proposed apps or platforms, and I can’t help but be impressed by their creativity and innovation.  Their focus is on the consumer, and their aim is to make access to a suite of insurance […]

    An Industry First! Sagicor Life Insurance Company Adds Single Premium Whole Life To Its Accelewriting Automated Underwriting System

    {March 15th, 2017} by Sagicor

    Tampa, Florida March 6, 2017 – Sagicor Life Insurance Company (Sagicor) is pleased to announce the addition of its Single Premium Whole Life Products to its industry leading cutting-edge automated underwriting system, Accelewriting®. Effective immediately, Sagicor’s Fixed Indexed Single Premium Whole Life and Interest Sensitive Single Premium Whole Life products are available via eApplication through […]

    NAFA ALERT — Submit Your Comment Letter by March 17

    {March 15th, 2017} by NAFA

    On March 3, NAFA shared an update outlining the Department of Labor’s proposed 60-day delay to the applicability of its fiduciary rule originally scheduled to take effect April 10. As of today, approximately 350 comments have been submitted to the DOL arguing both for and against the proposed delay. It is critical that NAFA members […]

    Judge: Explain Need for DOL Rule Injunction

    {March 15th, 2017} by John Hilton

    A Texas judge asked plaintiffs today to explain why an emergency injunction is needed given the Department of Labor’s willingness to defer enforcement. Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn of the Northern District of Texas gave plaintiffs, which include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Insured Retirement Institute, until Thursday to file briefs. Plaintiffs asked for […]

    Anecdotal Evidence: What Fee-based Indexed Annuities Reveal

    {March 15th, 2017} by Kerry Pechter

    The Obama fiduciary rule—which may not survive—triggered the creation of retirement savings and income products that have unusually high value for consumers. Ironically, few insurance agents or financial advisors will be eager to sell or recommend them.  That product is the no-commission or fee-based version of the popular fixed indexed annuity (FIA). Before advisory fees, […]

    Financing Annuity Upsides

    {March 15th, 2017} by Mike Janky

    Back in the spring of 1995, a couple of insurance companies designed a new breed of fixed annuity where the interest credited was linked to the S&P 500 index. Fast forward to 2017 and indexed annuities have become a dominant force in the annuity world. What makes these products so attractive? New Frontier When these […]

    Get More Strategic with Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

    {March 15th, 2017} by Joe Ross

    As you focus on helping clients plan now for the needs of tomorrow, turn an eye toward guaranteed universal life (GUL) insurance. As LIMRA President and CEO Bob Kerzner has shared, quarterly growth in total premiums for GUL insurance improved recently for the first time in several years. Kerzner pointed to “improved rates for GUL” […]

    GOP focus shifts away from gutting Dodd-Frank

    {March 15th, 2017} by Elizabeth Dexheimer

    (Bloomberg) — Here’s the latest indication Wall Street regulations won’t be gutted anytime soon: Republicans who write financial laws are starting to focus on other things. The Senate Banking Committee, led by Mike Crapo, on Thursday approved a measure about publishing research on exchange-traded funds, and a collection of other narrow bills with bipartisan support. In the […]

    FINRA’s 5 Biggest Fine Categories in 2016

    {March 15th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    Fines ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2016 shattered the self-regulator’s previous record in 2014 – jumping to a record high of $176 million, an 87% increase from the $94 million reported in 2015 and a 31% jump from the former record of $134 million reported in 2014. That’s according to Eversheds Sutherland’s […]

    Who’s Moving to LPL?

    {March 15th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    As it does each quarter, LPL Financial is providing the names of financial advisors who’ve recently affiliated with the independent broker-dealer. The list includes several large groups of registered reps and the names of individual advisors who have joined from a wide variety of firms. Despite the long list of new FAs, though, the IBD […]

    Emergency request to block fiduciary rule filed in Texas court

    {March 15th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and industry groups suing the Labor Department over its fiduciary rule in a Texas court filed an emergency request Friday asking a judge to stop the rule from taking effect while they take their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, in her Feb. 8 […]

    Financial Planning Coalition: DOL fiduciary rule delay harms investors, violates regulatory requirements

    {March 15th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Delaying the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would harm investors and violate regulatory requirements, groups representing investment advisers asserted in a comment letter on Wednesday. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Plaintiffs in Texas ask fiduciary rule to be delayed until 5th Circuit rules on appeal

    {March 14th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    While the Labor Department has promised a temporary enforcement reprieve of the fiduciary rule, that guarantee does not do enough to address potential confusion in the marketplace, say some industry stakeholders. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association, and a consortium of other industry trade groups that are appealing a decision […]

    Indexed Life Sales Dip 1.3% in 4Q, Flat in 2016

    {March 14th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Indexed universal life (IUL) sales dipped 1.3 percent to $534.5 million in the fourth quarter 2016 compared to the year-ago period. The drop was due primarily to declines from two sellers, according to industry tracker “Wink’s Sales & Market Report.” IUL sales, measured by premium revenue, for 2016, rose to a record $1.86 billion. That […]

    DOL issues temporary enforcement policy on fiduciary rule

    {March 14th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued a temporary enforcement policy on Friday regarding its fiduciary rule. In its Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01, EBSA states that “although the department intends to issue a decision on the March 2 proposal in advance of the April 10 applicability date, financial services institutions have expressed concern about […]

    Brighthouse Financial puts its brand on annuities

    {March 14th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Brighthouse Financial has put its own brand on two families of annuities. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based life and annuity unit of MetLife Inc. inherited the annuity families from its parent. Brighthouse Financial will now market the products in the indexed annuity family as the Brighthouse Shield Level Selector annuities, and the products in the variable annuity […]

    Comments Flood DOL on Fiduciary Rule Delay

    {March 14th, 2017} by John Hilton

    Comments are again pouring in to the Department of Labor arguing for and against its controversial fiduciary rule. As of the close of business Wednesday, the DOL posted 285 comments on a request to delay the rule’s April 10 applicability date by 60 days. President Donald J. Trump ordered the department to seek a delay […]

    Proof Wall Street Is Still A Boys’ Club

    {March 14th, 2017} by Ben Steverman

    Last week a statue of a young girl was temporarily installed in New York’s Financial District to mark International Women’s Day. Called The Fearless Girl and sponsored by State Street Corp., she was depicted bravely facing off against the bronze bull that’s become a symbol of Wall Street. A new study finds that, when it […]

    Research finds double standard for misbehaving female advisers

    {March 14th, 2017} by InvestmentNews

    While male advisers are more than three times as likely to engage in misconduct than female advisers, women face much more severe punishments at the firm and industry level, a report finds. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Equity Analysts See Uncertainty in AIG’s CEO, Strategy Choices After Hancock’s Exit

    {March 12th, 2017} by David Pilla

    NEW YORK – The day after Peter D. Hancock’s announcement he is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of American International Group Inc., equity analysts say it was a quick, but unsurprising, move by AIG as Hancock is being ousted from the multiple-line insurer halfway through a two-year strategic turn-around effort. Hancock is […]

    DOL issues bulletin to ease confusion over near-term fiduciary rule compliance

    {March 11th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Department of Labor on Friday issued an enforcement memorandum intended to ease compliance concerns related to its fiduciary rule in the near term, as the agency reviews the rule and decides whether or not to delay it.John J. Canary, the DOL’s director of regulations and interpretations, issued a field assistance bulletin to Mabel Capolongo, […]

    National Western Life posts 4Q profit

    {March 11th, 2017} by Associated Press

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ National Western Life Insurance Co. (NWLI) on Friday reported fourth-quarter profit of $22.9 million. The Austin, Texas-based company said it had profit of $6.67 per share. Earnings, adjusted for investment gains, came to $6.21 per share. The insurance provider posted revenue of $184.5 million in the period. For the year, the […]

    LPL puts final touches on product lineups in preparation for fiduciary rule

    {March 10th, 2017} by Margarida Correia

    HOLLYWOOD, Florida – Advisers affiliated with LPL will soon be free of any perception that they are conflicted even if the implementation of the fiduciary rule is delayed beyond the April 10 deadline, the country’s largest independent broker-dealer says. The firm has been pushing to standardize its investment products so that products within the same […]

    Merrill Lynch may be positioning itself for more commission flexibility in the future

    {March 10th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Merrill Lynch’s announcement that it may offer commissions in retail retirement accounts in limited circumstances may be an indication that it is giving itself some flexibility in case the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is repealed, according to some observers.”If that DOL rule get rescinded entirely, you’ll see more than what they’re doing now happen,” […]

    Survey Reveals Clients Love Annuities, Hesitant to Buy

    {March 10th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Retirees and pre-retirees overwhelmingly want their financial advisors to present them with a palate of retirement income strategies, but few advisors actually do, a new survey found. Consumers also believe financial advisors have a responsibility and a duty to present them with financial products that provide guaranteed lifetime income, according to the 3rd Annual Guaranteed […]

    Allianz Life Named to Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For List

    {March 9th, 2017} by Allianz Life

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced that it has made the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the sixth consecutive year. In the 2017 edition, Fortune recognized Allianz Life for its commitment to recognizing employees, creating an energetic culture, and offering unique benefits. The company […]

    Commenters express support, disapproval, and some confusion over fiduciary rule

    {March 9th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    The Labor Department has already received more than 80 comments following last week’s publication of a proposed 60-day delay of the fiduciary rule’s April 10 implementation date. In proposing the delay, Labor opened up a 15-day comment period specific to the cost benefits of delaying the implementation date. It also opened up a 45-day comment […]

    Annuity prospects may prefer general value message

    {March 9th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Older Americans with some cash to invest may respond better to general messages about income guarantees than to messages about funding specific types of post-retirement expenses. Analysts at CANNEX Financial Exchanges Ltd., a Toronto-based company that provides annuity and bank price information for financial institutions, has published data supporting that possibility in a summary of […]

    Merrill Reconsiders Commissions on Some Retirement Accounts

    {March 9th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

    With an anticipated 60-day delay to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule compliance date, Merrill Lynch appears to be altering its approach to commissions in retirement accounts. In a memo shared with the firm’s 14,500-plus advisors and a conference call on Thursday, executives signaled that the company intends for the Thundering Herd’s retirement accounts to […]

    Voya to pay $3.1 million for disclosure violations ​

    {March 9th, 2017} by InvestmentNews

    Voya Financial Advisors has agreed to pay almost $3.1 million as a result of payments it received from its clearing broker in connection with the sales of mutual funds. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    LIMRA: U.S. Retail Life Insurance Premium Increases 3% In 2016

    {March 9th, 2017} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 9, 2017—Total U.S. life insurance new annualized premium grew 5 percent in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 3 percent increase in 2016, according to LIMRA’s Fourth Quarter Retail Life Insurance Sales Survey. In the fourth quarter, policy count fell 4 percent and as a result, policy count growth was flat for […]

    Genworth Stockholders OK Merger With Chinese Insurer

    {March 8th, 2017} by Genworth Financial

    RICHMOND, Va., March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) today announced that at its special meeting of stockholders held earlier today, stockholders adopted the previously announced merger agreement with China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. (“Oceanwide”), whereby Oceanwide will acquire Genworth through Asia Pacific Global Capital Co. Ltd., one of Oceanwide’s investment platforms. Approximately […]

    Insurers Launch 17 Fee-Based VAs In Two Months

    {March 8th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    In the first two months of the year, insurers have filed no fewer than 17 fee-based variable annuity contracts. This is more than the number of variable annuity contracts filed in a typical calendar-year period, according to Morningstar. Fee-based variable annuity contracts are designed to offer advisors more sales options as the April 10 Department […]

    IMOs: BICE for Insurance Intermediaries Arbitrary and Onerous

    {March 8th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Dozens of industry voices over the weekend joined the chorus of objections to an exemption under which insurance marketing organizations (IMO) could sell fixed indexed annuities (FIA) as part of a far-reaching fiduciary rule. The proposal for IMO exemption eligibility sets premium thresholds and fiduciary liability insurance too high, IMOs said in comments on the controversial rule. […]

    Lincoln Financial hit with $1.5M claims-processing fine

    {March 8th, 2017} by Joel Stashenko

    New York regulators have fined the Lincoln Financial Group $1.5 million for the company’s failure to fix widespread claims-processing errors and for delayed reporting of the problem to state officials. A consent order announced Tuesday by the state Department of Financial Services (DFS) also said that Lincoln Financial, headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, and its life insurer-affiliates have […]

    Six commonly asked questions about annuities during tax season

    {March 8th, 2017} by Chris Conklin

    It’s that time of year again: tax season.  March is a great time of year to talk to your clients about the benefits of annuities. This is because they have been receiving 1099 forms in the mail over the last month — and seeing just how much tax they are paying on the interest in […]

    MetLife Annuities and Life Now Offered Under Brighthouse Brand

    {March 8th, 2017} by Brighthouse Financial

    CHARLOTTE, NC (March 6, 2017) –  Brighthouse Financial, an operating segment of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), today announced that it is now offering its suite of annuity and life insurance solutions under the Brighthouse Financial brand. MetLife has initiated the regulatory process for the planned separation of Brighthouse Financial. “Today marks an important milestone in […]

    Finra accepting comments on rule change to allow investment-strategy projections

    {March 8th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Finra is accepting comments on a proposal that would allow brokers to project the performance of investment strategies in communications with clients.Under the proposal by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., a broker could distribute to clients a hypothetical financial plan that includes projected performance of an asset allocation or strategy but not a prediction […]

    Delay of DOL fiduciary rule likely to extend beyond 60 days

    {March 8th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The delay of the April deadline for the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is likely to last longer than the 60 days the agency is initially seeking. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentsNews; registration required.

    Securian Sets New Standard in Indexed Universal Life Insurance

    {March 6th, 2017} by Securian Financial Group

    ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securian Financial Group has launched a new product that may provide a faster, easier and more flexible experience for financial professionals and clients seeking indexed universal life insurance coverage. “In 2006, Securian launched Eclipse Indexed Universal Life and quickly became a leader in the marketplace3” Orion Indexed Universal Life offers the potential […]

    DOL Proposes 60-Day Delay in Applicability Date of Fiduciary Rule

    {March 6th, 2017} by NAFA

    NAFA Continues to Fight the DOL Fiduciary Rule WASHINGTON D.C. (March 3, 2017) — Yesterday, the Department of Labor published a proposed rule to delay the applicability date of the fiduciary rule for 60 days. While NAFA believes it is critical the onerous fiduciary rule be eventually repealed, NAFA supports any action by DOL that […]

    Fiduciary duty brings higher standard, more lawsuits, on negligence

    {March 6th, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON — The fiduciary duty that compels advisers to act in the best interest of clients also subjects them to greater scrutiny from federal regulators in cases involving suspected negligence, SEC officials are cautioning. Advisers and their attorneys can look to district court rulings, as well as the findings of cases heard before the agency’s […]

    SEC chief rips into fiduciary rule

    {March 6th, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

    WASHINGTON ― The acting SEC chair isn’t mincing words on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. “I have a very nuanced view of the DoL fiduciary duty rule: I think it is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad rule. For me that rule was never ever about investor protection,” Chairman Michael Piwowar says. “To me, […]

    Brighthouse Financial Introduces Annuity and Life Insurance Solutions

    {March 6th, 2017} by Brighthouse Financial

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Brighthouse Financial, an operating segment of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), today announced that it is now offering its suite of annuity and life insurance solutions under the Brighthouse Financial brand. MetLife has initiated the regulatory process for the planned separation of Brighthouse Financial. “Today marks an important milestone in the evolution of Brighthouse […]

    Life & Leverage

    {March 6th, 2017} by Gonzalo Garcia, CLU

    When I started my career in the early 80’s, 401(k) plans were just becoming popular. Today they are the foundation of most people’s retirement savings plan. In fact, in a June 7, 2016, Time Magazine article “The Average 401(k) Account Holds $96,000. How Does Yours Stack Up?”, author Penelope Wang referred to these plans as […]

    American Equity Broadens Fixed Annuity Portfolio

    {March 6th, 2017} by American Equity

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, announced the addition of a new product to its competitive portfolio. The new RateShield fixed annuity series offers contract owners growth at a guaranteed interest rate for a guaranteed income source in retirement. All of the new fixed […]

    Fee-Based FIAs Are Customer-Friendly. But Will They Sell?

    {March 6th, 2017} by Kerry Pechter

    Let’s consider the relatively new phenomenon of no-commission fixed indexed annuities (FIAs). These products potentially create significantly more value for investors than traditional FIAs. But it’s not clear if they will prove popular with the people who sell them. How much more customer value can they deliver?  Click HERE to read the full story via […]

    Indexed universal life insurance sales hit new high

    {March 6th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Despite industry concerns about an 18-month-old regulatory guideline for indexed universal life insurance, sales of the popular product remain robust, new research shows. The 78th edition of “Wink’s Sales & Market Report,” which aggregates data from 48 manufacturers of indexed universal life products, reveals that IUL premium revenue for the three months ending December 31, […]

    Labor Department Proposes 60-Day Delay of Fiduciary Rule Implementation

    {March 6th, 2017} by Tara Jeffries

    The Labor Department on Wednesday filed a proposal that would delay by 60 days the implementation of an Obama-era rule aimed at preventing conflicts of interest in the retirement adviser industry. The proposal, which will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, calls for postponing the currently scheduled April 10 implementation date for the fiduciary rule. […]

    DOL removes consumer FAQs on fiduciary rule from its website

    {March 6th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The FAQs encourage investors to press their advisers about whether they are fiduciaries The Department of Labor has removed from its website a consumer-oriented document related to the agency’s fiduciary rule. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Yellen hints at more aggressive rate path

    {March 6th, 2017} by Rich Miller, Christopher Condon

    (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left little doubt on Friday that the central bank will raise interest rates this month. More importantly, she dropped hints that it might end up having to increase them this year more than planned. In a speech to The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Yellen singled out the danger of the […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Subsidiaries of CUNA Mutual Holding Company

    {March 6th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – FEBRUARY 28, 2017 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Ratings of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of CMFG Life Insurance Company (CMFG Life), the lead life and annuity insurance writer, and MEMBERS Life Insurance Company (Members Life), a life and annuity subsidiary, […]

    DoL moves to delay fiduciary rule by 60 days

    {March 6th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    The Department of Labor will propose delaying the applicability date of the fiduciary rule by 60 days in order to complete a review of the regulation ordered by President Trump, according to a document on the website of the Federal Register. The move comes as many firms have been plowing ahead with plans to comply […]

    PriceWaterHouseCoopers, fake news and the future of trusted advisors

    {March 6th, 2017} by Daniel Williams

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett In the case of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 83-years of reputation-building took a serious hit when a representative from the firm mixed up the envelopes for best picture on Oscar night.  […]

    Voya CEO: DOL rule or no rule, it’s time to upgrade your game

    {March 6th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Whether or not the Department of Labor’s now delayed fiduciary rule goes into effect, this much seems evident: Agents and advisors are increasingly migrating from commissions on product sales to a fee-based investment advisor model that engenders holistic planning, acting in the client’s best interest and, thus, adherence to aspects of the rule. Why the […]

    How to streamline the disability insurance claims process

    {March 6th, 2017} by Sophia Horsman

    Filing an insurance claim can feel daunting. From the time the claim is initiated to the time when benefits are paid, there seems to be a lot of paperwork and exchange of information. Filing a claim under an individual disability insurance (IDI) policy is both very much the same but also very different from any […]

    DOL Rule to Render Product Sales Secondary: Speaker

    {March 6th, 2017} by Susan Rupe

    The Department of Labor fiduciary rule will usher in a new era in which product sales will be secondary to the advice process. That was the word from David Macchia, CEO of Wealth2k. Macchia’s presentation on “DOL: The Silver Lining” concluded the 2017 LIMRA Distribution Conference in Ft. Lauderdale. The DOL rule creates an urgency […]

    Annexus Named Annuity Innovator of the Year

    {March 6th, 2017} by Annexus

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Annexus, a leading designer of indexed annuities and indexed universal life insurance, will be named the Annuity Innovator of the Year by EQDerivatives at an awards ceremony on March 17 in New York City. The honor further establishes Annexus as the leader in independent annuity and insurance product design. “After the market […]

    ‘Magical’ or ‘Unsuitable’?

    {March 5th, 2017} by Mark Fazlollah, Erin Arvedlund

    Wink’s Note: Wink’s CEO provided an unbiased, point-by-point correction to this article in the comments section at the original article’s source at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Fixed_Index_Annuities_Magical_or_Unsuitable.html  several days ago, and it has since been deleted. We challenge the authors and Philly.com if they are really looking to educate readers or if there is an underlying agenda? Journalists need to be willing […]

    DOL ‘relief’ would kill small annuity marketers, groups say

    {March 3rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    An Obama administration offer to put an air hole for indexed annuity marketing firms in its fiduciary rule is a sham, insurance industry groups argue. The administration’s proposed exemption for independent marketing organizations is so narrow that it would let most suffocate, the groups say in comment letters sent to the Employee Benefits Security Administration. […]