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Archive for August 2017


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  • Does Life Insurance Deserve a Place in Your Retirement Portfolio? OPINION

    {August 31st, 2017} by Zach Gray

    Most people don’t like to talk about life insurance. They might acknowledge that it’s a necessity — especially when their kids are still young. But few look beyond the traditional payout of death benefits. They don’t necessarily think of life insurance as an asset for their own future; it’s more about helping to provide financial […]

    Life Insurance Industry Improves Its Marketing To Women

    {August 31st, 2017} by Corporate Insight

      NEW YORK, August 31, 2017 – Competitive intelligence and consulting firm Corporate Insight today published a report that examines the current state of women-oriented life insurance marketing, the industry’s progress since 2015 and the substantial opportunities for reaching this underinsured market. The report, titled Marketing Life Insurance to Women, identifies industry leaders in marketing […]

    SE2 Opens New Operational Service Center in Dallas to Support Continued Growth

    {August 31st, 2017} by SE2

    TOPEKA, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SE2, a leading third-party administrator for the North American life insurance and annuity industry, today announced the opening of its new Dallas operational service center. As SE2 experiences significant and continual growth, the Dallas site will play an integrated part of the company’s existing business operations in support of its strategic growth, to […]

    Financial industry steps up in Harvey’s wake

    {August 31st, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    As downgraded-to-a-tropical-depression Harvey moves across the country, the damage in its wake has left at least 32 people dead and displaced more than 32,000 Gulf Coast residents. Also in the storm’s wake: a financial services industry that seems eager to help in any way possible. Firms both large and small have stepped up with internal initiatives, including […]

    The Standard Names Ben Wacker Assistant Vice President & Individual Annuities Actuary

    {August 31st, 2017} by Standard Insurance Company

      August 30, 2017 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) announced today that Ben Wacker has been named assistant vice president and Individual Annuities actuary. In his new role, Wacker leads the Individual Annuities actuarial team at The Standard. Wacker has 13 years of experience in financial services. Most recently […]

    Athene Holding: Growth in Annuities

    {August 31st, 2017} by James Pearce

    Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH), a retirement services company, issues, reinsures, and acquires retirement savings products designed for individuals and institutions seeking to fund retirement needs in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Germany, notes Jim Pearce, editor of Investing Daily’s Systematic Wealth. It offers fixed deferred, immediate, and payout annuities; funding agreements to institutional investors; and […]

    United States: The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Charting A Course, Avoiding Collisions & Potential Litigation Q&A #2

    {August 31st, 2017} by James F. Jorden

    Q&As on Annuity Sales Practices, ‘Investment Advice’ and Litigation   Last month, we wrote about potential litigation issues under the “revised temporary” DOL Rule involving the offer and sale of annuities in the IRA market. This paper continues that discussion. I emphasize to the reader that the questions, and the answers below are limited to […]

    Do Your Homework on Fee-Based Annuities

    {August 30th, 2017} by Barron's

    Insurers have been scrambling recently to introduce fee-based annuities with the aim of helping advisors comply with the DOL’s fiduciary rule. But annuity experts say an advisor needs to don the proverbial eyeshade before selecting one of these products for a client, writes MarketWatch. John Olsen, author of “John Olsen’s Guide to Annuities for the Consumer,” […]

    M3 Financial Forms Strategic Alliance with BRAMCO Financial Services

    {August 30th, 2017} by M3 Financial

    NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — New strategic alliance formed. BRAMCO Financial Services and M3 Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of Simplicity Financial Marketing, are pleased to announce a strategic alignment creating a new avenue of annuity sales for representatives under both organizations. By aligning their resources, they are expected to generate $4 billion in annuity sales annually, with […]

    Half of Life Insurers Using Automated Underwriting

    {August 30th, 2017} by LIMRA

    Half of life insurers have some type of automated underwriting solution in place and 41 percent of companies are in the planning process, according to LIMRA research. By investing in automated underwriting solutions, insurers seek to reduce the time it takes to issue a policy. Almost three quarters of companies who have implemented automated underwriting […]

    Symetra Names New CEO

    {August 29th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Symetra Financial Corp. has picked Margaret Meister, an actuary, to succeed Tom Marra as the company’s president and chief executive officer. Meister will get those titles in February, the company announced Thursday. Marra is Symetra’s chairman as well as its president and CEO, and he will continue to be the company’s chairman, Symetra said. Click HERE to read […]

    3 Ways Harvey Is Touching the Life and Health Community Now

    {August 29th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    When Hurricane Harvey came ashore on Friday, it brought torrents of rain to areas in and around Houston. By early Saturday morning, one woman, whose home was still dry, tweeted about earthworms sliding under her front door, and into her home, to escape from the flooding. Around that same time, many people started tweeting in shock […]

    Katrina Survivors, Please Share Your Lessons for Advisors Hit by Hurricane Harvey

    {August 29th, 2017} by Danielle Andrus

    ThinkAdvisor: Advisors work hard to make sure their clients are prepared to handle setbacks that could derail their financial lifestyles. But what about when advisors’ own businesses are derailed? Continuity planning sometimes takes a backseat to the more immediate concerns of running a business and serving clients. As Harvey bears down on Houston and the […]

    Hurricane Harvey twist: Advisor flees storm, clients offer aid

    {August 29th, 2017} by Jonathan Swanburg

    This is all very surreal. On Friday night, as Hurricane Harvey ravaged my Houston neighborhood with driving rain, a tornado came down and missed my home by a few blocks. On Saturday, parts of Houston started to flood. On Sunday, the waters of the rivers and bayous around the area started to rise. Expenses for […]

    Charities Providing Assistance in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

    {August 29th, 2017} by Charity Navigator

    Our prayers are with all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Charities Providing Assistance in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey;  view the list of charities at the bottom right of the Charity Navigator site for ways to help. 

    Economists predict long-term effects of Harvey will remain local

    {August 29th, 2017} by Bloomberg News

    Tropical Storm Harvey will come with major economic consequences for an area critical to U.S. energy production that will be painful, costly and lasting, but the damage is unlikely to reverberate across the country, economists said. Harvey has been downgraded from hurricane status, but it’s drawing forecasts for unprecedented flooding across the heart of an […]

    Financial advisers in Harvey’s path ride out the Texas storm

    {August 29th, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    Financial advisers and their clients are weathering Tropical Storm Harvey in classic Texas style: by hunkering down and helping each other as much as possible. “A lot of people are checking in to see how other people are doing, but nobody is worried about their money right now,” said Tom Samuels, a portfolio manager at Palantir Capital […]

    Hurricane Harvey: Advice on tax planning, rebuilding costs

    {August 29th, 2017} by Carolyn McClanahan

    Seeing pictures of the horrific floods in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, I’m reminded of what television personality Mr. Rogers often said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. The people in Houston and surrounding areas will need many resources to recover from this event. Thankfully, our country is full of […]

    OMB Approves 18-Month Fiduciary Rule Delay, With ‘Change’

    {August 29th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    The Office of Management and Budget approved on Monday the 18-month delay for the more onerous provisions of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. The OMB approval, which usually takes 90 days, took less than a month. The office listed its action as “Consistent with Change,” which means OMB “had to make some changes as a result of […]

    OMB approves proposal for 18-month delay of DOL fiduciary rule’s second phase

    {August 29th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Office of Management and Budget has approved a proposal to delay for 18 months implementation of the remaining provisions in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. The OMB made its determination on Monday and posted the decision on its website on Tuesday, taking only a fraction of the 90 days that it could have had to review […]

    Annuity Sales Start to Stabilize: Wink

    {August 29th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Issuers of U.S. indexed annuities, multi-year guaranteed annuities and traditional fixed annuities may be starting to adjust to the new hard times. Sales of those types of annuities continued to fall in the second quarter, but more like a leaf, and less like a rock, than in some earlier quarters. Sales of non-variable annuities of all kinds […]

    Despite misleading ads, annuities can be critical for lifetime income planning: Blog

    {August 29th, 2017} by Greg Cicotte

    If you’re in the annuity industry, a client has probably walked into your office with preconceived notions about annuities for retirement planning, partly due to some critics’ opinions on annuities that may not consider the needs of everyone. Critics believe variable annuities aren’t right for anybody, and they convince people lifetime income retirement strategies are […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Members of Brighthouse Insurance Group; Assigns Issuer Credit Ratings to Holding Companies

    {August 29th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEW YORK – AUGUST 23, 2017 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 Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE), the largest operating entity for the group, New England Life Insurance Company (Boston, MA), and Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY (New York, NY), […]

    Thrivent Financial quietly expands beyond Christians

    {August 29th, 2017} by Jeff Benjamin

    Thrivent Financial doesn’t do anything necessarily fast, so it might have been easy to miss the evolution over the past several years of the world’s largest fraternal organization, which has a history dating back 115 years. But the Appleton, Wisc.-based diversified financial services organization is committed, in its uniquely deliberate way, to establishing a bigger […]

    For clients to get the most from fee-based annuities, you need to dig into the numbers

    {August 29th, 2017} by Robert Powell

    Hardly a month goes by these days when an insurance firm doesn’t launch, or announce plans to launch a fee-based annuity. In fact, the insurance industry introduced almost two dozen fee-based variable and indexed products in the last 12 months, according to Scott Stolz, president of Raymond James Insurance Group. In recent weeks, companies including Brighthouse Financial—the annuity […]

    Fiduciary Rule Is Squashing Annuity Surrender Charges

    {August 28th, 2017} by William H. Byrnes, and Robert Bloink

    Despite the slowed implementation of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, the new rule has unquestionably had an impact on the market for financial products—and some buyers of annuity products may benefit from the new changes.  One important trend that has emerged in the wake of the fiduciary rule is the replacement of certain […]

    Jim Beck – running for Georgia Insurance Commissioner

    {August 28th, 2017} by Sam Boyer

    Jim Beck, a 30-year insurance veteran, underwriting association president, and former deputy commissioner, has announced he is running for the position of Georgia’s insurance commissioner. In a Q&A with Insurance Business, Beck said he’s the right man to take the helm for insurance regulation in the Peach State. What is your insurance experience? “My insurance experience […]

    DOL fiduciary rule driving fundamental shift in variable annuity market

    {August 28th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is shaking things up in the variable annuity market. While the regulation has accelerated the downward trend in overall variable annuity sales for the past several quarters, only recently has the rule’s impact extended to the market share of different VA products. The fiduciary rule, which raises investment-advice standards […]

    DOL: Fiduciary Rule Lawsuit Angle ‘Will Likely Be Mooted’

    {August 28th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor sent its clearest signal yet this week that it plans to eliminate the hated class-action lawsuit provision of the Obama-ere fiduciary rule. In a court brief filed in District of Minnesota federal court, government attorneys said the lawsuit angle “will likely be mooted in the near future.” The lawsuit right is […]

    New York Life introduces Asset Flex, a flexible linked-benefit life insurance and long-term care product.

    {August 28th, 2017} by New York Life


    Another Sign DOL Rule Will Exclude Class-Action Provision

    {August 26th, 2017} by Bernice Napach

    The Trump administration has dropped another hint that it’s likely to pursue the elimination of the class-action suit provision in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. In a letter filed with U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans opposing that provision, the Justice Department wrote that “a stay of […]

    If you win the Powerball lottery, don’t take the payment in a lump sum

    {August 25th, 2017} by Lauren Lyons Cole

    The Powerball lottery jackpot has reached $700 million, the second-highest jackpot in US history. If there’s a winner or winners in Wednesday’s drawing, they will be given a choice of how to take the money: as an annuity or as a lump sum. Choosing the annuity option distributes the jackpot over 30 payments, which increase by 5% […]

    Latest DOL Fiduciary Fight Zeros In on Advice vs. Sales

    {August 25th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Lawyers representing the Department of Labor and the nine plaintiffs suing Labor over its fiduciary rule recently filed briefs arguing their stance on whether Labor has the authority to regulate advice versus sales. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments on Aug. 1 at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the U.S. […]

    DOL Rule Delay a Boon for Indexed, Variable Annuities

    {August 24th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

    The proposed 18-month delay to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is a big relief to distributors of indexed and variable annuities, InvestmentNews writes. The rule, which was originally scheduled to go into full effect January 1, would have cut sales in indexed annuities by up to 10% this year and up to 20% in 2018, according to […]

    Voya receives $500,000 in incentives for 3-block move

    {August 24th, 2017} by CH Joel Aschbrenner, Donnelle Eller, Kevin Hardy, Mike Trautmann, Patt Johnson, Grant Rodgers

    State officials awarded financial services company Voya more than half a million dollars Friday as it prepares to move its downtown Des Moines offices about three blocks away to Hub Tower. Voya received $553,080 in tax credits and tax refunds from the Iowa Economic Development Authority board. The investment, insurance and retirement firm plans to […]

    Allianz Life Maintains Pole Position in Indexed Annuity Sales

    {August 24th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Indexed annuities remain a top selling annuity product, and Allianz Life is maintaining a dominant market position in the category. There were few other changes among the ranks of top-selling fixed annuity providers, according to Wink’s second quarter Sales and Market Report. Wink sales data was released late Tuesday, and carriers could not be reached for comment by […]

    Charles Gipple Joins North American Company® as Vice President of Sales, Life Division

    {August 24th, 2017} by North American Company for Life and Health

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 22, 2017 — North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, a member of Sammons® Financial Group, is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Charles Gipple, CLU, ChFC as Vice President of Sales, Life Division. Gipple will be responsible for the overall sales management of North American life insurance products. […]

    Annuity Sales May Be Starting to Firm Up: Wink

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Issuers of U.S. indexed annuities, multi-year guaranteed annuities and traditional fixed annuities may be starting to adjust to the new hard times. Sales of those types of annuities continued to fall in the second quarter, but more like a leaf, and less like a rock, than in some earlier quarters. Sales of the kinds of […]

    Thrivent Fights DOL Fiduciary Rule’s Anti-Arb Clause

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the insurer suing the Department of Labor over its fiduciary rule, said Monday that it plans to file a preliminary injunction soon to halt the anti-arbitration clause set out in the rule’s best-interest contract exemption. In a Monday letter to Judge Susan Richard Nelson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, […]

    John Hancock Acquires HarborView At The Navy Yard

    {August 23rd, 2017} by John Jordan

    John Hancock Real Estate has increased its portfolio in Boston with the purchase of the HarborView at the Navy Yard multifamily property in Charlestown. The iconic Boston-based firm reportedly purchased the 224-unit Class A property for $149.25 million from Prudential Financial. The property, which is adjacent to the famed U.S. Constitution warship in Charlestown Harbor, was constructed […]

    Allstate sues Ameriprise for allegedly stealing client information

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Allstate Insurance Co. is suing Ameriprise Financial in a spat alleging Ameriprise is stealing Allstate’s confidential information by recruiting the giant insurance company’s salespeople, known as “exclusive financial specialists.” Ameriprise is allegedly encouraging the Allstate sales agents to create contact lists from customer information, use flash drives and portable electronic devices to download client data, and then […]

    How Nationwide, Transamerica Bring AI to Customer Service

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Emily Holbrook

    An estimated 30% to 50% of human call center tasks can be streamlined with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and nearly 80% of businesses are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution by 2020. That’s according to the “2017 Customer Service Trends” report from Jacobson, an insurance recruitment agency. Though AI’s initial impact primarily relates […]

    Largest industry in each state

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Sam Stebbins

    Connecticut has never been referred to as “the insurance capital of the world.” London has always captured this title. However, we do agree that Connecticut will lose their position as “the insurance capital of the United States” to Iowa soon.   Despite the inaccuracies, see the slideshow at http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/largest-industry-in-each-state/ss-AAqgcef?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=51

    Up to $3 Million of Life Insurance with No Medical Exams

    {August 23rd, 2017} by Pacific Life

    August 22, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A simple form and a brief client phone interview can get you up to $3 million of cash value life insurance from Pacific Life. The simplicity and speed of Pacific Life’s Executive Class Underwriting make it a hit with financial professionals1 and their clients. […]

    First Half 2017 Annuity Sales Reach Lowest Level in 16 Years

    {August 23rd, 2017} by LIMRA

    WINDSOR, Conn., August 23, 2017 – In the first half of the year, total annuity sales decreased 10 percent to $105.8 billion compared with the first six months of 2016, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s Second Quarter 2017 U.S. Retail Annuity Sales Survey. First half sales have not been this low since 2001. Second […]


    {August 22nd, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

      Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 2Q2017   Indexed Annuity Sales for the second quarter of 2017 were $14,647 million, compared with sales of $15,523 million for the second quarter of 2016. Second quarter indexed annuity sales were up 13.33% when compared to the previous quarter, and down 5.56% when compared with the same period […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases 2nd Quarter, 2017 Non-Variable Deferred Annuity Sales Results

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Press Release

     — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE INDEXED ANNUITY SALES INCREASE BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN THE SECOND QUARTER Wink, Inc. Releases 2nd Quarter, 2017 Non-Variable Deferred Annuity Sales Results Des Moines, Iowa. August 22, 2017– Wink’s Sales & Market Report, the insurance industry’s #1 resource for indexed annuity sales data since 1997, its beginning its third […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Launches i4LIFE® Indexed Advantage

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Lincoln Financial Group

    Fixed indexed annuity benefit provides dependable, tax efficient income with continued access to account value August 22, 2017 11:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) today announced the launch of i4LIFE® Indexed Advantage, a fixed-indexed annuity benefit rider providing dependable, tax efficient income for life, with continued account value access. Available for an additional […]

    Life Agents Face Internal Awareness Threat: Marvin Feldman

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Agents and brokers who specialize in selling life insurance may need to spend some time marketing themselves to other players in the life insurance market. Marvin Feldman, president of Life Happens, talked about the need for professional-to-professional outreach last week in an interview about the Life Insurance Awareness Month 2017 campaign. Life Happens, an Arlington, […]

    Will fixed index annuities stay ahead of fiduciary concerns?

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

    Debate over the fiduciary rule cast annuities in a harsh light, resulting in a recent sales slump, but fixed index annuity issuers and distributors remain optimistic. Few firms have slammed the Department of Labor rule more vocally than annuity firms and their advocates. The Trump administration pushed back full implementation of the rule by 18 months, but experts have […]

    Fiduciary Rule Delay Comes With Its Own Set of Problems

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    While industry groups applaud the Labor Department’s recent decision to seek a delay of the January compliance date for its fiduciary rule by 18 months, they say such an extension comes with its own set of problems. The ERISA Industry Committee told Labor in a Wednesday comment letter that while ERIC supports a delay, “uncertainty as to plan fiduciaries’ […]

    Channels, Agents Mix It Up In The UL Sales Wars

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With universal life (UL) and indexed universal life (IUL) insurance consistently capturing close to 40 percent of all life insurance sales, it’s no surprise that distribution channels battle incessantly over market share. The latest field report comes from actuaries Carl Friedrich and Susan Saip at Milliman, who compare the changes in share distribution from calendar […]

    Here’s What to Expect if You Sell Annuities

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Over the next three years, retail life and annuity agents and financial advisors can expect simpler annuity structures, more fee-based annuities and fewer riders and income guarantees in product rollouts, a consultant said Wednesday. The days when annuities giants pumped out an “overwhelming volume of complex, tough-to-understand annuity products are gone,” said Chris Eberly, vice […]

    Advisors Need To Better Engage Female Clients On Retirement

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

    A new study spotlights the uphill climb females and their financial advisors face while planning for retirement. Just 18 percent of retirement-age women are informed on how to make a nest egg last in retirement (compared to 35 percent of similarly-aged men), according to The American College of Financial Services’ 2017 RICP Retirement Income Literacy […]

    10 Companies Flagged as Top Lead-Gen Providers: Report

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    A new report from market research Aite Group identifies 10 companies as among the most innovative providers of lead-generation tools for insurers. The study, “Lead Generation in Insurance: In Search of the Golden Leads,” flags ApexChat, Conversica, Finanzen, Jornaya, LeadCloud, Lead Assign, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Life.io, PredictiveBid, and TransUnion as software developers meriting special recognition for their distinctive and differentiated products. Collectively, the providers offer one or several capabilities […]

    Life/Annuity Companies Take Different Paths to Fastest Growth Rates

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Strong fixed index annuity sales were a common theme among many life insurance and annuities companies experiencing the highest growth rates in admitted assets in 2016. But the sales strategies to achieve that growth were quite different. Sammons Financial Group, American Equity Investment Group, Global Atlantic Group and Great American Life Group showed the greatest percentage growth in […]

    Indexed Universal Life: It’s Just a Great Investment

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Jordan H. Smith

    Here’s another installment in our effort to bring time-tested sales, marketing and product knowledge articles to the eyes of new readers. The original version of this article ran on Dec. 9, 2014. In it, long before certain regulatory actions increased the appeal of life-based financial arrangements, Jordan H. Smith explained the appeal of indexed universal life insurance products.  Everything […]

    CNO Financial Finds Success with New Fixed Annuity Product

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Alex Padalka

     A new fixed indexed annuity product has translated into the majority of annuity sales growth for CNO Financial Group, Insurance News Net writes. The firm’s single-premium Guaranteed Lifetime Income Annuity, which comes with a lifetime rider, was particularly popular with middle-market consumers, according to the web publication. It also made up the “vast majority” of growth in annuity […]

    MassMutual to Partner with University of Vermont In Groundbreaking Data Science Initiative $500,000 pilot progr

    {August 22nd, 2017} by MassMutual

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. and BURLINGTON, Vt., Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Seeking to expand the applications of computational, social and data science, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today that it is providing the University of Vermont (UVM) $500,000 to fund an innovative pilot program within the university’s Vermont Complex Systems Center. The partnership with UVM focuses on three specific initiatives:   Funding for […]

    Sagicor Launches Digital Platform to Speed Consumers’ Purchase Process

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Add Sagicor Life Insurance to the carriers seeking to offer a simple, fast process for obtaining life insurance online. The company announced the launch of SagicorNow, a digital platform that allows consumers to get a quote and coverage within 20 minutes or less. Sagicor is testing the platform in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, with plans to expand […]

    Prudential Is Plotting Its Escape From Fed’s Tough Oversight By Jesse Hamilton

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Jesse Hamilton

    Prudential Financial Inc. is laying the groundwork to escape the government’s label that it’s too big to fail, a move that would dramatically reduce federal oversight of the largest U.S. life insurer. Prudential is preparing to push a federal watchdog — the Financial Stability Oversight Council — to remove it from a list of nonbanks […]

    Sammons: Uncovering the Secret Sauce of an Industry High-Flier

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    It’s not every annuity provider that sees its legal structure as a competitive differentiator. But for Robert TeKolste, president of the Independent Annuity Group at Sammons Financial Group, the company’s non-public status ranks high among several factors that have underpinned the annuity group’s extraordinary performance in recent years — outside financial results that show few signs of […]

    A.M. Best Company reaffirms Ohio National’s “A+ (Superior)” rating

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Ohio National Financial Services

    Cincinnati — Ohio National Financial Services is pleased to announce that A.M. Best Company has reaffirmed the financial strength rating of “A+ (Superior)” for both The Ohio National Life Insurance Company and Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation. This is the 54th consecutive year for Ohio National to receive A.M. Best’s “A+ (Superior)” rating, which is the […]

    Sagicor Life Insurance Company Changes The Way You Get Insured!

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Monika Donimirska

    SagicorNow launches with an innovative new way to purchase life insurance online in minutes. TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sagicor Life Insurance Company (Sagicor) is excited to announce the launch of SagicorNow[1], a digital platform that takes the online purchase of life insurance to a new level. SagicorNowoffers an industry-leading and fully online experience, removing the perceived pain […]

    Northwestern Mutual officially opens 32-story skyscraper in Milwaukee

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Paul Gores

    On a day when many eyes were looking upward, perhaps the only thing that drew more “oohs” and “aahs” Monday than Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s new skyscraper — at least in downtown Milwaukee — was the total eclipse of the sun. “Spectacular” seemed to be the most repeated word during the grand opening of the […]

    Prudential Plc announces another multimillion-dollar sale

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Terry Gangcuango

    Prudential subsidiary National Planning Holdings, Inc. (NPH) has announced the sale of its independent broker-dealer network to LPL Financial LLC (LPL). Structured as an asset sale, the transaction will include substantially all of the network’s business for an initial purchase price of $325 million. The price may increase to as much as approximately $448 million […]

    Senior Financial Fraud Is on the Rise: NASAA

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Senior financial fraud is on the rise with most cases going undetected, according to a just-released survey of state securities regulators. The 2017 Pulse survey on seniors and financial exploitation conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association found that while 97% of state securities regulators believe that most cases of senior financial fraud go undetected before […]

    SEC Files Fraud Charges Against Registered Representatives in Connection with Investments by Federal Employees in Variable Annuities

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Investment Services Group

    On July 31, 2017, the SEC filed a complaint alleging that four former registered representatives (the Registered Reps) of Keystone Capital Partners, Inc., a broker-dealer that did business under the name “Federal Employee Benefit Counselors,” fraudulently induced federal employees to roll over significant funds from their federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) retirement accounts into privately […]


    {August 22nd, 2017} by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

    07/31/2017 The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Broker-Dealer Task Force are warning the more than 5 million Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants, and investors in other federal government employee retirement plans, that investment scam artists may pretend to be affiliated with a government agency. Federal government agencies, including the SEC, do not endorse or sponsor […]

    Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Miller to Leave Post Aug. 21; Chief of Staff Altman to Take Helm

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has chosen Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller to head the state’s Department of Human Services beginning Aug. 21, with Insurance Department Chief of Staff Jessica Altman being named interim commissioner. Miller will be the acting secretary at DHS until lawmakers vote to make her the full DHS secretary, Insurance […]

    Best’s Special Report: U.S. Life/Health Industry Sees Upgrades Slightly Outpace Downgrades in First-Half 2017

    {August 22nd, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – AUGUST 18, 2017 The U.S. life/health industry’s Credit Rating activity over the first half of 2017 saw upgrades slightly outpace downgrades, as opposed to first-half 2016 when the number of upgrades and downgrades remained relatively balanced, according to a new A.M. Best special report. The Best’s Special Report, “Life/Health Sector Rating Upgrades Slightly […]

    Income riders: Use them or lose them

    {August 20th, 2017} by Keith Singer, JD, CFP

    Traditionally an annuity (which is derived from the Latin word annum) was used to create an annual payment stream. Although most people like getting periodic checks they don’t like giving up access to their principal. In an effort to help consumers create periodic lifetime income without giving up control of principal or disinheriting their heirs, […]

    Making the most of another delay in the DOL’s fiduciary rule: Editorial

    {August 20th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

    After seven long years of argument and comment, one would expect that the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule would be a done deal, and would now be going into full effect. Alas, no. While the DOL has allowed parts of the rule to go into effect, it has sought an 18-month delay in the implementation of […]

    Annuity issuers need to innovate: A.M. Best

    {August 18th, 2017} by Editorial Staff

    Boomer retirement, now well under way, was supposed to bring boom times to the life insurance industry, which alone can write life annuities. It hasn’t been working out that way, and a new report from A.M. Best explains why. Individual annuity direct premiums written (DPW) declined by 4.9% in 2016 to $202.7 billion after tepid increases each […]

    MassMutual Strikes $1.7B Deal to Sell Asian Unit to Jack Ma-backed Firm

    {August 18th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    MassMutual International is planning to sell its Asia unit to a business group backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma for roughly $1.7 billion, according to Reuters. But the Springfield, Mass.-based insurer will remain committed to the Asian market through the entity created from the transaction, signaling that the deal likely represents a new way of approaching this market. Ma-backed Yunfeng Financial Group would […]

    Women close work gap with men

    {August 17th, 2017} by Business Record Staff

    More women are joining the workforce as more men are staying away, leaving the smallest gap in “participation rate” since records began in 1948, Bloomberg reported. The share of 25- to 54-year-old women either employed or seeking employment hit a seven-year high in July. The 0.3 percentage point increase for women left the gap between […]

    Nationwide commits more than $100M in the next generation of insurance and financial services

    {August 17th, 2017} by Natiowide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Self driving cars. Artificial intelligence. Smart homes. The future of insurance protection and financial planning will continue to change significantly over the next several decades. It’s why Nationwide is investing in new initiatives to stay in front of consumers’ changing needs in the insurance and financial services category. During its […]

    Brighthouse Flicks On The Switch

    {August 17th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Brighthouse Financial, the newest major life and annuity distributor in the U.S., moved quickly to expand its product line in time for its spinoff from MetLife earlier this month. But has it moved quickly enough? So far, it’s been a tough start for Brighthouse, which began regular-way trading on Aug. 7. Click HERE to read […]

    DOL Has No Authority For Fiduciary Rule, DC Circ. Told

    {August 17th, 2017} by Carmen Germaine

    Law360, New York (August 16, 2017, 8:02 PM EDT) — The National Association for Fixed Annuities urged the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to revive the group’s challenge to the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement account advisers, saying the regulation threatens to upend the fixed annuities industry and exceeds the agency’s authority. NAFA filed […]

    Trump Chips Away at Postcrisis Wall Street Rules

    {August 16th, 2017} by Ryan Tracy and Dave Michaels

    Efforts toward financial deregulation are beginning to take concrete shape on rules governing trading desks, bank boardrooms, corporations’ financial disclosures and more. Nearly seven months into the Trump administration, regulators are setting the stage for a wave of eased rules. Several agencies are reviewing the Volcker rule, a part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that […]

    Married Women Need Their Own Financial Plan: Study

    {August 16th, 2017} by Bernice Napach

    Financial advisors have long known that the financial needs of women are different from those of men because women live longer and usually earn less money, but if the women are married, advisors usually develop one financial plan for the couple, known as the household. Now a new study from the Center for Retirement Research […]

    Court Rules Independent Agents are Employees of Insurer

    {August 16th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    A federal district court finding that independent agents working for American Family Insurance Group are company employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) could lead to other agents filing similar lawsuits, a legal expert said Monday. The finding by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio was certified for immediate […]

    SIFMA Study: Costs of Fiduciary Rule Compliance Exceed $4.7 Billion

    {August 16th, 2017} by Editorial Staff

    A new SIFMA study says the brokerage industry will incur more than $4.7 billion in start-up costs related to the DOL’s fiduciary rule, InvestmentNews reports. That’s much more than the $2 billion to $3 billion estimated by the DOL. The study, completed by Deloitte & Touche, jibes with news reports that broker-dealers are cutting back on […]

    Anticipating delay to DOL fiduciary rule, broker-dealers and RIAs change course

    {August 16th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Broker-dealers and registered investment advisers are pivoting in the wake of news that the Department of Labor is likely to get a lengthy delay in the implementation date of its fiduciary rule. While strategies and mechanisms put in place thus far will largely remain intact, according to analysts and executives, firms are gearing up to […]

    IRA Rollover Traps Lurk Under DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {August 16th, 2017} by William H. Byrnes and Robert Bloink

    IRA rollovers, which are an important component of many financial advisors’ business models, can in certain circumstances now be captured within the potentially confusing boundaries of the DOL fiduciary rule, which became partially effective on June 9.  Click HERE to read the original article via ThinkAdvisor. This means that advisors must proceed with caution when discussing […]

    LPL Buys NPH

    {August 15th, 2017} by Janet Levaux

    LPL Financial confirmed industry speculation late Tuesday, saying it would buy National Planning Holdings’ four broker-dealers: National Planning Corp., Invest Financial, Investment Centers of America and SII Investments. While LPL has about 14,300 advisors and $540 billion in assets, the four NPH broker-dealers have about 3,200 advisors with $120 billion of assets — putting the combined […]

    Life insurance medical exam may soon be a thing of the past

    {August 15th, 2017} by Julie Campbell

    Technology and data services may soon provide an accurate and cost-effective replacement to health tests. A life insurance medical exam is often one of the most dreaded parts of applying for that type of coverage. That said, as systems and data continue to improve, this requirement may not be needed for much longer. This could […]

    DOL fiduciary rule: Indexed, variable annuities big winners of a proposed delay

    {August 15th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    Indexed and variable annuities are the biggest winners of the Department of Labor’s recently telegraphed fiduciary rule delay. Sales of the products, especially indexed annuities, would arguably have been the most adversely impacted under the original timetable, which had the full regulation going into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Click HERE to view the full […]

    9 New Annuity Issuer Earnings Highlights

    {August 15th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Interest rates may be low, and sales rule uncertainty may be hurting distributors, but executives at the annuity issuers seem, generally, to be satisfied with the profitability of their annuity units. Executives have been talking about the performance of the annuity units during conference calls with securities analysts, while discussing earnings reports for the second […]

    Jackson Reports First Half 2017 Financial Results

    {August 15th, 2017} by Jackson National Life Insurance Company

    LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company®1 (Jackson®) generated a record $1.4 billion in IFRS pre-tax operating income during the first half of 2017, an increase of 7 percent over the first half of 2016. Jackson, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom’s Prudential plc (NYSE: PUK), also recorded sales and deposits of $12.1 […]

    DOL fiduciary rule rocks the shelves

    {August 15th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The U.S. Department of Labor may be trying to postpone implementation of its own fiduciary rule standards, but insurers continue to add annuity products designed for a world in which advisor fees may eventually crowd out insurance agent commissions. Brighthouse Financial Inc. contributed to the flow of new fee-based [buffer] annuity products this week. Brighthouse introduced the Brighthouse […]

    Brighthouse Financial Expands and Enhances Shield Portfolio with Launch of Streamlined Index-Linked Annuities

    {August 15th, 2017} by Brighthouse

    Charlotte, NC, August 14, 2017 Brighthouse Financial (Nasdaq: BHF), a major provider of annuity and life insurance solutions in the United States, announced today updates to its flagship Shield annuity family with the availability of the Brighthouse Shield Level SelectSM 3-Year and 6-Year Annuities and the Brighthouse Shield Level SelectSM Access Annuity. The portfolio expansion, which reflects […]

    Long DOL Rule Delay Hints at Revisions: Lawyers

    {August 15th, 2017} by N/A

    The Department of Labor’s further 18-month delay in enforcing major components of its fiduciary rule hints that the agency is planning substantial changes to the regulation, industry lawyers say. On Wednesday the DOL filed a notice of the pending delay in a lawsuit it is fighting brought by Thrivent Financial. Earlier that day, the agency filed proposed […]

    John Hancock IPO Talk Is Just Speculation: Manulife CFO

    {August 15th, 2017} by N/A

    Talk of Canada’s Manulife Financial spinning off its U.S. business John Hancock is just that — talk, Manulife’s CFO tells Reuters. Analysts and the media have said that under the firm’s incoming CEO Roy Gori, Manulife could unload its U.S. assets to focus on Asia, where Gori “has deep roots,” Toronto-based Business News Network wrote on its website last week. Gori takes over […]

    Financial Anxiety Is The New Diet Anxiety

    {August 15th, 2017} by Emily Zulz

    Financial anxiety is the new diet anxiety, according to millennial advisor Chantel Bonneau. Some people will try every new diet trend, rather than work on finding a diet that is sustainable long term. The same came be true with finances. “I do think it’s all about building a financial lifestyle that you can exist in long term […]

    Sammons Unit Debuts IUL Product for Baby Boomers

    {August 15th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Angling for a share of the estimated $30 trillion that baby boomers will be transferring to heirs over the next decade, a Sammons company has released an indexed universal life product offering a tax-efficient way to establish a legacy for heirs. The product also seeks to provide liquidity and living benefits for unexpected needs in retirement. The […]

    Jackson Books ‘Record’ Profits in Year’s First Half

    {August 15th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    Jackson National reaped record profits for the year’s first half, compared to previous reporting periods, and also registered a record in assets under management. That’s according to a mid-year update issued by the Lansing, Mich.-based life insurer. In 2017’s opening six months, Jackson booked $1.4 billion in IFRS pre-tax operating income, an uptick of 7% compared […]

    Insurance Premium Volume in U.S. Grows 4 Percent in 2016

    {August 15th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Overall insurance industry premiums in all lines rose 4 percent to $2.2 trillion in 2016 over 2015, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported. Of the $2.2 trillion in premiums, $914 billion went to health, $665 billion to life and annuity, $576 billion to property-casualty, $13 billion to title insurance, $2.5 billion to risk retention […]

    Insurance Execs: June 9 DOL Doomsday a Dud

    {August 15th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    June 9, the dreaded implementation date for the initial phase of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule came and went. Barely anyone blinked in the second quarterly earning calls over the past few weeks. “The June 9 applicability date for the Department of Labor fiduciary rule came and went without much fanfare,” John M. Matovina, […]

    NAFA Pushes for Uniform Treatment of All Fixed Annuities in Response to DOL RFI

    {August 15th, 2017} by NAFA

    Comment Letter Homes in on Specific Problem of the Fiduciary Rule WASHINGTON D.C. (August 9, 2017) In response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) request for information (RFI) issued July 6, NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, submitted a comment letter outlining recommended revisions to the fiduciary rule and its prohibited transaction exemptions. […]

    Delay of fiduciary rule not a done deal

    {August 15th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    The Labor Department has sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget to delay the January 1, 2018 implementation date for the full fiduciary rule by 18 months, to July 1, 2019. If approved, the delay would extend the current transition period for the rule and postpone the rule’s prohibited contract exemptions. On June 9 of this year, the rule’s impartial […]

    For one compliance chief, uncertainty around fiduciary rule feels like Wild West

    {August 15th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    Andrea McGrew could use some rest. The chief compliance officer for USA Financial, an Ada, Michigan-based broker-dealer and registered advisory supporting about 150 investment professionals across the country, says she’s had her share of restless nights overseeing the firm’s effort to comply with the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. “It’s been a massive overhaul,” McGrew told BenefitsPRO. […]

    Debunking Annuity Myths

    {August 15th, 2017} by Ben Mattlin

    Many clients—and no doubt a few advisors—are confused about annuities. Not surprising, perhaps, since there’s been such widespread product development in recent years, not to mention a degree of alleged misrepresentation by unscrupulous sales reps. To set the record straight, TIAA’s Timothy Walsh, a senior managing director based in Waltham, Mass., lays out some simple […]

    Ohio Family Charged in $2.9 Million Life Insurance Fraud Scheme

    {August 15th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has indicted three members of an Ohio family for participating in a $2.9 million life insurance fraud scheme, alleging they bought policies for a sick relative but hid that condition from the insurers, prosecutors said. A federal indictment charged Mitch G. Stevenson; his wife Patricia Stevenson; and their […]

    Allstate Lawsuit Alleges Ameriprise Stole Trade Secrets, Customers By Poaching Employees

    {August 15th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski

    CHICAGO – Allstate has filed a lawsuit against Ameriprise alleging the company directed Allstate employees to download thousands of pages of confidential documents that included trade secrets and customer information to unlawfully solicited clients. In a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Allstate Insurance Co. and Allstate […]

    Financial Elder Abuse Litigation Against Insurers

    {August 12th, 2017} by Dawn B. Williams and Gail E. Jankowski

    As the U.S. population ages, financial elder abuse litigation is proliferating. These claims no longer affect only nursing homes, heirs, or caregivers. Potential exposure has become a reality for any business that transacts with “elders,” including banks, investment funds and advisors, and insurance companies. Meritorious or not, financial elder abuse lawsuits can be highly volatile […]

    How Well Does Accelerated Life Underwriting Really Work?

    {August 11th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Actuaries want more information about what happens when life insurers sell coverage with some information about the applicants’ health, but without a full medical underwriting process. A group of state insurance regulators at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is working with actuarial groups to get insurers to provide detailed information about the performance of their “accelerated […]

    DOL Fiduciary Delay Would Be ‘Double-Edged Sword,’ Lawyer Says

    {August 11th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Opponents and supporters of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule were quick to react to Labor filing on Thursday with the Office of Management and Budget to delay by 18 months compliance with the rule’s more onerous prohibited transaction exemptions, with one ERISA attorney characterizing the move as “continued agony.” “We will be in limbo for another two years, […]

    ACLI Draws Ire of Consumer Groups over Annuity Sales Standard

    {August 11th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

    More than a dozen consumer groups have slammed the American Council of Life Insurers’ proposal on managing conflicts of interest in annuity sales, InvestmentNews writes.  Click HERE to read the original story via Life Annuity Specialist.  In April, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners began a review of its suitability standard in regard to annuity sales ahead of the Department of […]

    DOL Seeks 18-Month Delay of Fiduciary Rule

    {August 10th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor moved today to delay phase two of the controversial Obama-era fiduciary rule by 18 months, until July 1, 2019. Phase two of the rule deals with exemptions, which regulate the sale of annuities sold with retirement funds. In particular, the Best Interest Contract Exemption, which requires a financial institution to accept […]

    DOL to Propose Pushing Back Fiduciary Rule Another 18 Months

    {August 10th, 2017} by Kristen Ricaurte Knebel

    The Labor Department’s controversial fiduciary rule is likely going to see its most substantial delay to date. The agency said Aug. 9 in court documents that it sent the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to delay by 18 months several portions of the rule. Those portions, including the best interest contract exemption, were set to […]

    Trump Administration Proposes Delay of Fiduciary Rule to July 1, 2019

    {August 10th, 2017} by The National Law Review

    The Trump administration proposed on August 9, 2017 further delays to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The rule, adopted by the Obama administration in April 2016 and originally slated to be effective in April 2017, had already been partially delayed until January 1, 2018. In a notice filed in a lawsuit pending in federal […]

    Fiduciary rule delayed until July 1, 2019: DOL

    {August 10th, 2017} by Editorial Staff

    Apparently responding to requests from financial industry lobbies like the Investment Company Institute for further delays in the enforcement of the Obama-era “fiduciary rule,” the Department of Labor filed this statement in Minnesota federal court Wednesday: “On August 9, 2017, the Department submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) proposed amendments to three […]

    Trump Administration Seeks Further Delay in Labor Fiduciary Rule

    {August 10th, 2017} by Elizabeth Dexheimer

    The Trump administration is moving to further delay part of an Obama-era rule to require brokers who offer retirement advice to put their customers’ interests ahead of their own. The U.S. Department of Labor said in a court filing Wednesday that it has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to postpone parts […]

    The Single Most Important IUL Feature You Aren’t Looking For: BLOG

    {August 10th, 2017} by Keith Schettino

    Throughout my career, I have participated in countless conversations regarding the newest and shiniest indexed universal life. With an abundance of commendable products available today, insurance carriers need to continuously develop new consumer-focused solutions. To simultaneously keep pace with consumer desire and provide the value clients expect and deserve, innovation is vital. However, despite coming […]


    {August 10th, 2017} by NCOIL

      For Immediate Release DATE August 9, 2016 Contact: Paul Penna (732) 201-4133   NCOIL ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL DC FLY-IN TO EDUCATE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF STATE-BASED REGULATION   State Legislators to Meet with Senators, Representatives, Committee Staff and Member Staff to Further Education Process   Manasquan, NJ: – On September 19th, […]

    North American Company Releases Legacy Optimizer IUL

    {August 10th, 2017} by North American Company for Life and Health

    CHICAGO, Aug. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® announced August 1, 2017 the release of the new Legacy Optimizer Indexed Universal Life insurance (IUL) product. Designed to provide a guaranteed death benefit in a single premium1, Legacy Optimizer touts desirable features like liquidity and living benefits.  “Legacy Optimizer is […]

    Will DOL Gut Fiduciary Rule By Latest July 1, 2019 Extension?

    {August 9th, 2017} by Ashlea Ebeling

    The Department of Labor issued a notice of administrative action in one of the pending industry lawsuits against the Obama-era fiduciary rule: an extension of the transition period and delay of the applicability date until July 1, 2019 for three main exemptions to the rule. That’s pushing enforcement out another 18 months. It could mean […]

    Danica Patrick To Serve As National Spokesperson for LIAM

    {August 9th, 2017} by Life Insurance Awareness Month

    Arlington, Va. – Aug 9, 2017 – For the second consecutive year, professional race car driver and athlete Danica Patrick is serving as the spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), the annual campaign coordinated by the nonprofit organization Life Happens each September. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness about the importance of […]

    Brighthouse Seeks `Sleep-at-Night’ Calm in $79 Billion Portfolio

    {August 9th, 2017} by Katherine Chiglinsky

    Brighthouse Financial Inc., the annuity provider being spun off from MetLife Inc., is focusing on hedging risks in its $79 billion investment portfolio so that the company doesn’t have to worry about making abrupt shifts in its holdings, the chief executive officer said. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. “It’s a sleep-at-night investment portfolio, so […]

    CNO: 2Q Results Reveal Booming Annuity Sales

    {August 9th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    CNO Financial Group’s fixed indexed annuity (FIA) with a lifetime income rider has squarely hit its mark with middle-market consumers — helping CNO deliver better-than-expected second quarter results, the company reported. CNO’s success with its single-premium Guaranteed Lifetime Income Annuity is also likely to blaze a new product trail around income protection and longevity for […]

    The youth-led rebellion brewing in financial planning: Opinion

    {August 9th, 2017} by Bob Veres

    I’m a bit horrified by what I hear from younger advisors today. They say they want to take the next step in their firm’s evolution. They say they want to bring financial planning to the blue ocean of younger, not-yet-wealthy individuals who were, ironically, the same type of people that their firm’s founder worked with […]

    Why NAIFA Needs to Update Its Bylaws

    {August 9th, 2017} by NAIFA

    The five-member executive committee of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors sent us this blog to explain how the committee sees the changes the committee recently proposed. Two years ago, at the NAIFA 2015 Performance + Purpose Conference, the NAIFA National Council was introduced to NAIFA’s new chief executive officer, Kevin Mayeux. From the main stage, Mayeux […]

    Brighthouse Financial Goes Public

    {August 9th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    MetLife Inc., a New York-based company that has been selling individual life insurance in the United States since 1868, is now out of the U.S. individual life and annuity market. Brighthouse Financial Inc., a company that has inherited MetLife’s retail life and annuity operations, began trading today, under its own stock symbol, BHF, on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Click […]

    Wall St annuity push challenges Allianz as MetLife, Axa retreat

    {August 9th, 2017} by Bloomberg Munich

    Bloomberg/Munich Allianz is sticking with annuities in the US even as rivals MetLife and Axa retreat. But Europe’s largest insurer may face a bigger challenge from Wall Street firms vying for a slice of the market. Blackstone Group and Apollo Global Management are among companies that have been betting on fixed annuities, an area where […]

    Brighthouse to Expand Headcount by 200-Plus Amid Growth Push

    {August 9th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    Brighthouse Financial has offered details on its future business strategy as an independent company now that it is officially spun out from MetLife. The Charlotte, N.C.-based firm plans to hire more than 200 employees in the future, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. Meanwhile, Brighthouse is offering insight into how it will use its $79 billion investment portfolio to […]

    Labor Department to delay financial conflicts-of-interest rule

    {August 9th, 2017} by Joseph Lawler

    The Labor Department is planning to delay the enactment of a major Obama-era conflicts-of-interest investment rule for 18 months, the agency said in a court filing Wednesday. In a court filing, the agency said that it is planning to extend the effective date for the remaining provisions of the “fiduciary rule” until July of 2019. […]

    Allianz Net Income Soars 83 Percent

    {August 8th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Second-quarter net income at Munich-based Allianz SE soared 83 percent to 2 billion euros from a year-ago, boosted by profits generated from the company’s life and asset management segments, the company reported Friday. Revenue rose 2 percent to 30 billion euros, the global life, health and property-casualty insurer also reported. A euro is worth $1.18 […]

    DOL Releases New Round of Fiduciary Rule FAQs

    {August 8th, 2017} by John Hilton

    The Department of Labor (DOL) released a new round of FAQs Friday designed to help non-fiduciary advisors to plans navigate its complicated and controversial fiduciary rule. The six-page guidance addresses three questions aimed at resolving issues affecting defined contribution (DC) plans and retirement plan advisors. The department acknowledges the confusion created by a two-phase implementation period. On […]

    Annuity Rules Should Apply to Investment-Type Life Products: Consumer Reps

    {August 8th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Consumer group representatives say any new sales rules that apply to investment-type annuities should also apply to investment-type life insurance products. The group reps also say that any new life insurance and annuity sales rules should actually reduce the sellers’ potential conflicts of interest, not simply increase disclosure requirements. “The same standard of care — best interest of the consumer — […]

    IRI Submits New Data Exposing Detrimental Impact of DOL Fiduciary Rule

    {August 8th, 2017} by Insured Retirement Institute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) submitted a response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Request for Information (RFI) showing the harmful effects already occurring under the partial implementation of the fiduciary rule. Through IRI’s latest comment letter, Department of Labor was presented with new evidence demonstrating the negative consequences the fiduciary rule is […]

    Insurers, Trade Groups Seek Further Delay in Final DOL Rule Deadline

    {August 8th, 2017} by Frank Klimko

    WASHINGTON – Life insurers and trade representatives urged the U.S. Labor Department to delay and modify elements of the newly effective fiduciary rule before its final deadline in January 2018, preventing the rule from further upending the retirement advice industry. “The regulation — through a highly burdensome and paternalistic approach to regulation — effectively substitutes […]

    Brighthouse Separates From MetLife, Debuts on Nasdaq Market

    {August 8th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Brighthouse Financial Inc. has completed its separation from MetLife Inc. and began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Aug. 7. The spinoff created two independent, publicly traded companies. Brighthouse is trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BHF,” while MetLife will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Under […]

    Fiduciary rule may not be fully implemented until 2019

    {August 8th, 2017} by Charles Paikert

    Full implementation of the fiduciary rule may be delayed until 2019, according to an expert in ERISA law. Although the current transition period for advisors to fully comply with the rule, which went into effect June 9, Bruce Ashton, an ERISA specialist and attorney for Drinker Biddle in Los Angeles, said he expects the Department […]

    30 Under 30, Part 3: Young Life, Health and Annuity Stars

    {August 8th, 2017} by Kristen Beckman and Allison Bell

    Here’s our final batch of ThinkAdvisor Life Health 30 Under 30 award winners for 2017. These life, health and benefits sector professionals have survived the same economic ups and downs, and underlying societal changes, that have faced the other 2017 award winners, and they’ve survived another, additional challenge: the alphabet. The award winners we honored in our first two batches may have […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Comments Unearth Deep Unease

    {August 8th, 2017} by Murray Coleman

    Heading into the final day to comment on the Department of Labor’s efforts to enforce its new fiduciary rule on retirement planning, more than 400 letters from a range of different industry players are flowing into the regulator’s coffers. But a few common themes are already becoming apparent, say legal experts and wealth management analysts surveyed […]

    Voya Financial Reaps Rewards of Life-Annuity Reorg

    {August 8th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    To boost earnings, a growing number of insurers are unifying their annuities and life insurance businesses. Among the spate of carriers releasing financial results this week, the benefits of such a reorganization is notably evident for Voya Financial. Commenting on the company’s second quarter results, Carolyn Johnson, Voya’s CEO of Annuities and Individual Life businesses, says the […]

    DOL May Announce Fiduciary Rule Delay This Month, Attorneys Say

    {August 8th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Now that the comment periods have expired on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, industry groups say they “need certainty as soon as possible” about whether or not Labor will delay the Jan. 1 compliance date, and at least one attorney anticipates a quick delay. “I expect that we will hear something [regarding a delay] at […]

    Roundup: Manulife Agent Sets Guinness Record for Sales Tenure

    {August 8th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    No one can say Sun Yung Tsu isn’t a loyal employee. After a 62-plus year career as a life insurance sales agent at Manulife, Sun has been awarded a Guinness World Records title as “the longest career as a corporate salesperson.”  Click HERE to view the original story via Life Annuity Specialist. And the record could continue to […]

    AM Best Affirms Ratings of Knighthead Annuity

    {August 8th, 2017} by Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company

    GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands , Aug. 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company™ announced today that A.M. Best, the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source, affirmed its financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and issuer credit rating of bbb+ (Good).  The outlook for both ratings remains stable. […]

    DOL Releases New Fiduciary FAQ

    {August 8th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    ERISA attorneys are applauding the Department of Labor’s just-released FAQ guidance on its fiduciary rule. “We are generally pleased,” said Steve Saxon, partner at Groom Law Group. “The 408(b)(2) guidance just makes good sense because the DOL was already providing similar relief under the Transition Rule.” Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. […]

    Christopher Conroy Joins North American Company® as Vice President Annuity Sales

    {August 8th, 2017} by North American Company for Life and Health

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Christopher Conroy as vice president, annuity sales. Conroy will establish the sales direction and initiatives for North American Annuities, part of Sammons Independent Annuity Distribution, a division of Sammons® Financial […]

    Happy 100th Birthday! There Goes Your Life Insurance

    {August 8th, 2017} by Leslie Scism

    When Gary Lebbin turns 100 years old in September, hanging over any celebration will be one very costly fact: His life insurer aims to cancel two policies totaling $3.2 million in death benefits. The Lebbin family has run up against a provision that exists in many life-insurance policies. Policies have expiration dates, and the one […]

    Life Insurance Can Be a Great Retirement Planning Tool

    {August 8th, 2017} by April Caudill

    Many advisors don’t see an obvious connection between life insurance and retirement planning. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. After all, life insurance is best known for protecting your client’s family, particularly during their working years when children are younger and financially dependent. The truth is life insurance can offer much more than death […]

    American Equity Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results

    {August 8th, 2017} by American Equity Investment Life Holding Company

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, today reported second quarter 2017 net income of $26.9 million, or $0.30 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $14.7 million, or $0.18 per diluted common share, for second quarter 2016. Non-GAAP operating income1 for […]

    Fiduciary rule put to test in conservative 5th Circuit

    {August 8th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

    A three-judge panel in the 5thCircuit Court of Appeals, considered among the most conservative of the federal circuits, heard oral arguments Monday in the most wide-ranging of four lawsuits seeking to vacate the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. Earlier this year, the District Court for the Northern District of Texas upheld the fiduciary rule, dismissing a suit […]

    Industry groups opposing DOL fiduciary rule maximize spending on author of bill to kill measure

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

    Several financial industry trade associations that oppose the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule have maximized their campaign spending on the author of legislation that would kill the rule. In the first half of year, the Financial Services Institute, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Investment Company Institute and the National Association of Insurance and […]

    Consumer and insurance groups disagree on advice standard for annuity sales ​

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

    An effort by state insurance regulators to raise investment-advice standards for annuity sales appears to be driving a wedge between consumer organizations and a life insurance trade association. In light of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners established a working group in April to review its suitability standard for annuity sales. In advance […]

    AXA Announces Alternate Loan Option on BrightLife® Grow

    {August 8th, 2017} by AXA US

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AXA US, a leader in providing financial security and retirement products, announced today that an Alternate Loan option1 will now be included with all new issues of its BrightLife® Grow accumulation Indexed Universal Life policy. BrightLife® Grow provides the potential for tax-deferred growth while being able to access the policy’s cash surrender value tax-free through loans […]

    Roundup: National Western Taps Ex-Voya Marketer to Boost Life Sales

    {August 8th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

    National Western Life Insurance has hired a former Voya distribution strategist as the new chief marketing officer within its domestic insurance unit. R. Bruce Wallace will start this month in this senior VP-level role following previous stints as head of strategic distribution at Voya Financial, and managing general agent of the Eastern U.S. at Nationwide Financial, a press release states. […]