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Archive for December 2019


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  • What Might the SECURE Act Mean for Lifetime Income?

    {December 31st, 2019} by John Manganaro

    Among the many important provisions included in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is the establishment of legal protections for plan sponsors offering lifetime income products on their defined contribution (DC) plan menus. Click HERE to read the full story via PLANADVISER     ………………………………………………………………………………………….     Annuity Misconceptions Are Hard […]

    Merry Christmas

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Wink's RockStars

        “Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas everyday.”     Wishing many Christmas blessings for you! -The Wink, Inc. family   Sheryl, Victoria, Andrew, Emily, Jamie, Lawrence, Peter, Rita, Talia, Vince

    10 Annuity Tax Facts You Should Know

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes

    There are many types of commercial annuities, all of which are designed to do different jobs. For this reason, any statement that begins “Annuities are …” is probably misleading or outright false, precisely because the term covers so many different types of contracts. Even more complex is the taxation of these products, which varies based […]

    Genworth and Its Suitor Put Off Wedding 3 More Months

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. have agreed to yet another extension of their deal completion deadline — and, this time, they’re showing some impatience with all of the delays. The company’s 13th waiver and agreement will push the deadline back to March 31, 2020, from Dec. 31. Genworth recently sold a […]

    MetLife Cleans Up SEC Financial Statement Problems

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    MetLife Inc. has agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve concerns about problems the company discovered with some of its financial filings, SEC officials announced Wednesday. The SEC concluded in an order that MetLife improperly freed up reserves for annuity benefits owed to pension plan participants […]

    Life and Annuity Players Prepare to Pop Secure Act Champagne Bottle Corks

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

      President Donald Trump has said he’ll sign the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (CAA 2020) bill today. The spending bill will give the federal government the spending capacity it needs to keep from shutting down. For life, health and annuity professionals, and their clients, provisions built into the package will also: Acknowledge that Congress was […]

    Senate Passes Secure Act With Spending Bill

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    The full Senate passed by a 71-23 vote Thursday the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act as part of the year-end spending bill. The spending package is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday as the current continuing resolution funding the government expires. Andy Friedman, founder and […]

    ‘Be Wary of Bond Ratings’: NASAA

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    The North American Securities Administrators Association is warning investors to “be wary of bond ratings” because inflated ratings, which were a key factor in the 2008 financial crisis, remain a concern today. Investors “should look beyond” a credit rating “when considering investing in a specific bond of bond fund portfolio,” according to the NASAA advisory. […]

    Reg BI Continues To Tantalize And Frustrate Advisors And Regulators Alike

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Contributor

    (JDSupra) My young boys will sometimes chase me around the house, catch me, and yell “gotcha” as they drag me off to their pretend jail. No matter how much I plead that I’ve done nothing wrong, I always end up in jail, despite having no knowledge of any rules that I’ve broken – because they […]

    15 Funky, Expensive Gifts for the Wealthy

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Marlene Satter

    While lots of folks struggle with a gift list that’s actually affordable, those in the higher income echelons have other issues: what won’t their recipient already have simply gotten for themselves? We looked around to find some of the most luxurious gifts for those at the high end of the income scale, and have come […]

    Advisor who touts his holiday giving faces SEC fraud charges

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Ann Marsh

    “Springer turkey challenge feeds over 25,000!” advisor Keith Springer says in a blog posted on his website, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his fundraising effort for which he thanks his clients for their “generous donations.” The SEC offers a different picture of Springer’s relationship to clients in a complaint dated the same day as the post. […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” for the life insurance subsidiaries of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (WSFG). WSFG’s subsidiaries are The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company (WSLIC), Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Columbus Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, National Integrity Life Insurance […]

    AM Best Comments on Credit Ratings of Members of ReliaStar Life Insurance Group Following Announcement of Sale of Voya Financial, Inc.’s Life Business

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has commented that the Credit Ratings (ratings) of ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN), collectively known as ReliaStar Life Insurance Group (ReliaStar), remain unchanged following the Dec. 18, 2019, announcement of the sale by its parent, Voya Financial, Inc. (Voya), of the […]

    AM Best Takes Various Credit Rating Actions on AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. and Its Life Subsidiaries

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of MONY Life Insurance Company of America (MLOA) (Phoenix, AZ). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+” of AXA Equitable […]

    DALBAR Announces 2019 Annuity Service Award Winners

    {December 23rd, 2019} by DALBAR

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Service matters. This is a maxim that is true across all industries and for every product. Of course for some products the stakes are higher than for others. Annuities are certainly one such product, considering the length of time people own them for and the importance of the product to their […]

    Congress just made retirement planning easier for small business owners and American workers

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Congress just made it easier for small businesses to offer a workplace retirement plan to their millions of employees. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act’s provisions included in Congress’ appropriations package were today approved with the passage of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. Nationwide […]

    The ‘Gotchas’ In Annuity Taxation

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Steve Parrish

    How are annuity taxation and attorneys alike? For both, the answer is “it depends.”  Contrary to popular wisdom, there is no simple answer to how annuities are taxed. Yes, they are generally income tax deferred, but there is more to it than that. Taxation depends on how the annuity is owned, and how distributions are made from the […]

    The Secure Act Has Passed. 2 Life Insurance Stocks That Could Benefit.

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Al Root

    The Secure Act is has passed. The new retirement law, known fully as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, has a lot of implications for retirees. Whole life insurance policies, for instance, will become a relatively more useful estate planning tool under the coming regulatory regime. That’s interesting for aging workers, but also […]

    Significant Changes Are Coming to Retirement Plans: What You Need to Know

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Anne Tergesen

    The spending bill the Senate passed on Thursday includes a variety of changes for people with retirement accounts. Here are answers to questions Wall Street Journal readers have raised about the retirement provisions of the bill, which President Trump is expected to sign into law, and its effect on 401(k) and individual retirement accounts. Q: I turned […]

    MetLife to pay $10M for ‘longstanding’ accounting errors

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Jaclyn Jaeger

    MetLife will pay a civil penalty of $10 million to resolve charges the insurance company violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of federal securities laws relating to two errors in its accounting for reserves associated with its annuities businesses. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission order, MetLife improperly released reserves for […]

    Transamerica Celebrates Passage of SECURE Act

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Transamerica

    BALTIMORE, Dec. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Transamerica applauds the passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, included in the year-end government spending bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 20, 2019. The SECURE Act is a bipartisan package of provisions intended to encourage retirement savings. The Act initially passed the U.S. House […]

    BLOG: What the SECURE Act means for annuities

    {December 23rd, 2019} by aahrens

    The SECURE Act, which was approved by the House Tuesday, would impact annuities in a number of ways, but I want to focus on two, starting with a provision that changes how annuities would be treated, which can be found in Sec. 204 of the act. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    The 2010s: A Look Back

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Rich Blake

    For retirement investors, saying goodbye to the 2010s is bittersweet. They’re closing the books on one of the most bullish decades in history. For the advisors helping to oversee those accounts, the past decade will be remembered as one of the most disruptive in terms of the forces, mainly technology-driven but also regulatory in nature, […]

    Annuity Use Is Expanding, But Knowledge Is Limited, Advisor Says

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Karen DeMasters

    Annuities are becoming mainstream even though knowledge about them among investors is still limited, said Len Hayduchok, president of Dedicated Financial Services and Dedicated Senior Advisors in Trenton, N.J. “Annuities used to be a limited product with only a small market penetration, but the addition of riders for income, death benefits and long-term-care benefits to […]


    {December 23rd, 2019} by New York Life

    NEW YORK and BLOOMFIELD, Conn., December 18, 2019 – New York Life, America’s largest mutual life insurer, and Cigna, a leading global health service company, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby New York Life will acquire Cigna’s group life and disability insurance business for $6.3 billion. The acquisition is expected to […]

    Insurance Salesman Charged With Allegedly Bilking $4 Million From Seniors in ‘Free Lunch’ Scam

    {December 23rd, 2019} by A.M. Best

    BOSTON – An insurance salesman is accused of bilking $4 million from retirees and seniors he invited to “free lunch” seminars during which he allegedly advised them to cash out their savings to buy insurance policies through his company, authorities said. Ryan Skinner, of Summit Financial Partners and Summit Financial Ptrs Inc., has been charged […]

    JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Slams Elizabeth Warren: ‘She Vilifies Successful People’

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Contributor

    (The Federalist) JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had some harsh words for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. “She uses some pretty harsh words, you know, some would say vilifies successful people,” Dimon said during an interview with CNBC published Tuesday. “I don’t like vilifying anybody. I think we should applaud […]

    Opinion: 5 steps to unwinding the ghosts of your investment mistakes

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Chris Mamula

    “I told you these were shadows of the things that have been.That they are what they are, do not blame me!” — The Ghost of Christmas Past from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. I frequently hear from readers haunted by past investments. Many of you are trying to build an investment portfolio that meets your […]

    ‘Free Lunch’ Annuity Scheme by Unregistered Advisor Targeted Seniors: Galvin

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    An insurance salesman and his firm in Massachusetts have been charged with persuading seniors to liquidate their assets to buy an annuity that paid the salesman commissions, according to William F. Galvin, Massachusetts’ top securities regulator. Ryan P. Skinner and his company, Summit Financial Partners, made millions of dollars in the scheme, Galvin’s complaint states. […]

    Lincoln Starts to Clear Another Barrier to Annuity Advisory Fee Payments

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Lincoln Financial is making an annuity payment feature change that could boost the power of the  new Internal Revenue Service affection for fee-based annuities. The Radnor, Pennsylvania-based company says it plans to let the holders of many of its annuities use to assets to pay annual advisory fees equal to up to 1.25% of the contract […]

    MetLife Cleans Up SEC Financial Statement Problems

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    MetLife Inc. has agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve concerns about problems the company discovered with some of its financial filings, SEC officials announced Wednesday. The SEC concluded in an order that MetLife improperly freed up reserves for annuity benefits owed to pension plan participants […]

    Resolution Life Agrees to Pay $902 Million for Voya’s Individual Life Business

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A company that hauls away life insurers’ unwanted blocks of business has agreed to buy Voya Financial Inc.’s remaining blocks of individual life, individual annuity and pension risk transfer business. Resolution Life Group Holdings Ltd. plans to pay Voya $902 million in cash up front for the unwanted blocks of business, Resolution Life announced today. […]

    The SECURE Act Set To Pass (Finally)

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    After years of lobbying by large firms in the retirement industry, the Setting Every American Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 appears headed for enactment as part of Congress’ $1.4 trillion appropriations bill, whose passage averts an otherwise imminent government shutdown. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ

    SEC Orders MetLife To Pay $10M For Internal Control Failures On Annuities

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Targeted News Service

    The Securities and Exchange Commission charged MetLife, Inc. with violating the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the federal securities laws relating to two errors in its accounting for reserves associated with its annuities businesses. MetLife has agreed to pay $10 million to settle the charges. According to the SEC’s order, MetLife […]

    Crafting Annuity Confidence and Clarity Is Hard Work

    {December 23rd, 2019} by John Manganaro

    One passionate analyst says the highly nuanced annuity marketplace does not receive sufficiently careful attention from either the financial services media or potential consumers.     In response to an American Benefits Council (ABC) survey fielded last year, of the 93 large companies polled by the Council, only 13 (14%) indicated that their organization offers a lifetime […]

    With annuity sales rising, Congress provides a ‘safe harbor’ in 401(k)s

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Tobia Salinger

    Congress has passed a bill expected to lead to rosier annuity sales in the future — just as structured products are picking up on the macroeconomic slack dragging down fixed products. Issuers and brokerages are cheering the inclusion of a bipartisan federal retirement bill called the Secure Act in a giant budgetary measure. The legislation […]

    Nine Financial Factors To Consider Before Buying Your First House

    {December 23rd, 2019} by Expert Panel

    Purchasing a house is one of the most — if not the most — impactful financial investments that most of us make in our lives. The mortgage, financing and associated costs of maintenance have the potential to impact a homeowner’s income well into the future. Deciding to buy a house today could have a major […]

    Sen. Warren: DOL Fiduciary Rule That Copies Reg BI Is a ‘Costly Mistake’

    {December 22nd, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is warning Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia to not propose a “weak” fiduciary rule that would allow financial advisors “to put their own interests above the interests of working families saving for retirement.” In a letter to Scalia on Wednesday, Warren cited the anticipated Labor conflict-of-interest rule to replace the Labor rule that was […]

    SEC Votes to Move Forward with Expanding Accredited Investor Definition

    {December 18th, 2019} by Rita Raagas De Ramos

    The SEC has voted 3-to-2 in favor of proposing rule amendments to the definition of “accredited investor” to enable more qualified individuals and institutions to participate in private markets. For brokers and advisors, having more flexible accredited investor rules would mean having a bigger pool of investment products and strategies to offer retail investors who could […]

    New York Life Makes $6.3 Billion Deal for Cigna Group Life and Disability Unit

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    New Life Insurance Company today announced plans to pay $6.3 billion, in cash, for Cigna Corp.’s group life and disability businesses. New York Life would get Cigna’s Life Insurance Company of North America and CIGNA Life Insurance Company of New York’s subsidiaries, according to a deal analysis from analysts at Fitch Ratings. New York Life […]

    Blair DuQuesnay: ‘The Future of Finance Should Be Female’

    {December 18th, 2019} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    “Consider Firing Your Male Broker.” That was the bold headline The New York Times gave a candid opinion piece penned by Blair DuQuesnay, investment advisor with Ritholtz Wealth Management, in January of this year. She argued that since an abundance of research found that women’s investment accounts outperform those of men, “the future of finance […]

    Slow Gains for Female Board Membership: Report

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    Keep this year in mind: 2044. That’s when MSCI projects there could be a 50/50 gender split on company boards globally. Although that date seems far away (and no doubt some of us won’t be around to witness it), the MSCI’s Women on Boards 2019 Progress Report has found some positive trends. For companies that make up […]

    How RBC’s Kimmell ‘Bulldozed’ Through the Glass Ceiling

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    Kristen Kimmell, the new head of Advisor Recruiting and Field Marketing of RBC Wealth Management, recently received a compliment that first unnerved her.  “Someone told me I was ‘like a bulldozer,’” which made her wonder if she really had received a compliment, Kimmell said in an interview.  “Once [the person] explained that a trailblazer was someone who ran down […]

    Pacific Life Also Has an Advisory Fee Letter Ruling

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Internal Revenue Services has now issued a total of 18 private letter rulings concerning payment of asset-based fees for fee-based annuities, and Pacific Life has one of the letter rulings. The IRS letter rulings will give the 18 recipients, and only those companies, use annuity assets to pay fees to the annuity holders’ advisors […]

    U.S. Adults Prefer Playing It Safe Rather Than Taking Risks With Their Money, Careers and Social Lives

    {December 18th, 2019} by Northwestern Mutual

    MILWAUKEE, Dec. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Americans are far from daredevils when it comes to how they manage their finances, careers, social lives and more. In fact, the latest findings from Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning & Progress Study suggest that when U.S. adults face choices about how much risk to take on, most prefer to play things safe. For example, […]

    Whole Life Insurance Critics Aren’t Serious

    {December 18th, 2019} by David Lewis

    Norman Dacey. “Art” Williams. Suze Orman. Dave Ramsey. What do they have in common? Other than being famous and controversial figures, they also happen to be some of the fiercest critics of whole life insurance. What they promise to consumers is a comprehensive education on life insurance, but what they deliver instead is inauthentic sophomoric […]

    Fidelity’s 11th Millionaire Outlook Study Finds Health Concerns Are Top Stressors for All Investors

    {December 18th, 2019} by Fidelity Investments

    BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fidelity Investments® today released the results of its 11th Millionaire Outlook Study, an in-depth survey analyzing the investing attitudes and behaviors of more than 2,000 households, including 1,100+ millionaires. The study revealed that concerns about their health are the leading causes of stress for millionaires and non-millionaires alike, demonstrating that having more financial resources doesn’t […]

    Voya Financial to Sell Individual Life Business and Other Closed Blocks

    {December 18th, 2019} by Voya

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Resolution Life Group Holdings (Resolution Life) whereby Voya will divest its Individual Life and other legacy non-retirement annuities businesses. The blocks of business being divested include those that Voya had previously closed to new sales and include […]

    7 (Polite) Life and Annuity Player Whoops of Joy for the Return of the Secure Act

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Members of Congress could approve a mammoth spending bill that includes a Secure Act section this week — and life and annuity groups are rejoicing. The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019″ legislation could do everything from creating new and better tax credits for small employers that set up retirement plans, to […]

    Amerilife Acquires Agent Support Group

    {December 18th, 2019} by AmeriLife Group, LLC

    Clearwater, Fla. – AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”) – the national leader in marketing and distributing life, health and retirement solutions – has acquired a majority interest in Agent Support Group (ASG), a leading multi-company life insurance brokerage agency group in the New York metropolitan area.   Agent Support Group, founded in 1973, is a LIBRA […]

    7 Possible Obstacles to Secure Act Bliss

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Some life and annuity groups’ lobbyists may be starting to think about which brand of champagne they ought to try when the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (Secure Act) becomes law. Congressional leaders have put the Secure Act in Division O of House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to House Resolution […]

    Survey: Investors Struggle To Grasp Basics Of Fixed Income

    {December 18th, 2019} by Christopher Robbins

    Given the increasing efficiency of equity markets, most do-it-yourself investors can find low-cost access to U.S. stocks – but fixed income is another matter. In fact, DIY investors are at a significant disadvantage to their professionally advised peers when it comes to investing in bonds and other fixed-income instruments, according to recent research from BNY […]

    Pivotal questions follow Ladenburg’s four-month sprint to Advisor Group deal

    {December 18th, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    It only took four months — and some haggling the day before the agreement — to negotiate one of the largest deals of the year in wealth management. Despite hitting a speed bump when Advisor Group and Ladenburg Thalmann were closing in on an agreement, they cruised to a billion-dollar deal. Five days before the […]

    America the risk-averse

    {December 18th, 2019} by Emily (Recker) Holbrook

    Americans are generally risk-averse and tend to play it safe, especially when it comes to their finances. According to the latest findings from our Planning & Progress Study, three-quarters of Americans (72%) report they are more comfortable reducing risk to ensure the safety and stability of their savings and investments, even if it means the potential […]

    Quiz: How Well Do You Know Annuities?

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell and Ronald Pechtimaldjian

    Annuities have been around a long time but their complexity has generated a lot confusion. Many investors love the income stream they can get but don’t like or understand the surrender charges and other triggers that can muddle their usage. So let’s see who how much you know about some general themes surrounding annuities. Good […]

    Symetra Pledges $250,000 to GSBA Scholarship Fund

    {December 18th, 2019} by Symetra

    SEATTLE & BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra, a national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, has committed $250,000 to the GSBA Scholarship Fund, one of the oldest and most active LGBTQ scholarship programs in the country. The multi-year pledge will also help launch a new “Symetra Empowers Scholarships” program. “Our GSBA relationship is grounded in […]

    My dad’s life insurance completely changed my life, and when I saw the impact it made I immediately bought a policy of my own

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kelly McClure

    On Halloween morning 2013, I received the first in a series of three calls that would change my life forever. It was early, around 7 AM, and receiving calls from family members at that hour is never good news, unless it’s your birthday. This wasn’t my birthday. This was the morning I found out my […]

    How A Life Policy Can Send A Grandchild To College

    {December 18th, 2019} by Jason Wellmann

    Leaving a legacy is a top priority for many people. The death benefit proceeds from a life insurance policy can be an important financial resource for your clients’ loved ones, allowing them to address a number of needs, including debt, college funding or other financial obligations. But what if your clients could provide their beneficiaries […]

    Pershing adds fee-based annuities to its managed accounts system ​

    {December 18th, 2019} by InvestmentNews

    Clearing and custodial giant Pershing has integrated its managed accounts platform with its annuity order-entry system, making it easier for advisers to incorporate fee-based annuities into their clients’ portfolios. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    Pacific Life Receives Favorable Private Letter Ruling for Nonqualified Annuity Contracts

    {December 18th, 2019} by Pacific Life

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Life has received a favorable private letter ruling (PLR) from the IRS allowing for advisory fees to be withdrawn from a non-qualified annuity contract without prompting a taxable event. According to the PLR, advisory fees taken from non-qualified fee-based annuities, such as Pacific Odyssey®, will not result in a taxable event […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Symetra Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 18th, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Symetra Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary, First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY), together referred to as Symetra Life Group. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb+” and […]

    TIAA Applauds Passage of the SECURE Act

    {December 18th, 2019} by TIAA

    WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TIAA issued the following statement from Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO, upon U.S. House passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act: “TIAA commends Congress for prioritizing passage of the SECURE Act, the first comprehensive retirement reform in the U.S. in over a decade. This much-needed bill stands to […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 18th, 2019} by Brighthouse Financial

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM 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 Brighthouse group of companies, New England Life Insurance Company (Boston, MA) and Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY (New […]

    NAIC Conduct Model For Annuity Sales Agents Moves Forward

    {December 18th, 2019} by Tracey Longo

    A new conduct model governing annuity transactions moved closer to reality after winning the approval of a key National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) committee. The NAIC Life Insurance and Annuities Committee adopted a model that the NAIC says requires agents to make annuity recommendations with their customers’ best interest in mind. That claim has […]

    In Defense of ‘Buffered’ Annuities

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    A Wall Street Journal’s article last weekend (‘An Imperfect Solution to a Calamity’) could have put structured variable annuities (aka registered index-linked annuities) in a much more positive light.   As the annuity industry celebrated record sales of structured, or “buffered,” index annuities last week ($12.5 billion in the first three-quarters of 2019, according to […]

    A Few of Our Best Income Strategies

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    Bill Sharpe, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, once described retirement income planning as the most complicated financial problem he’s ever faced. There are “up to 100, 200 parameters that you’ve got to nail down before you can find an optimum strategy,” he said in a 2014 interview. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ

    Life Groups Back Quick Adoption of State Regulators’ Sales Standards Proposal

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A sales standard fight at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) could create a Regulation Best Interest rival. Two consumer groups that oppose the latest NAIC proposal — the Center for Economic Justice and the Consumer Federation of America — say the NAIC’s current draft standard would be much weaker than the Reg BI standard. The […]

    Americans Resolve to Prioritize Health and Wellness in 2020; May Leave Financial Fitness Behind

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allianz Life

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Americans are more focused on improving their health and wellness than their finances in 2020, with only 14% of people including financial planning as a resolution in 2020 – down from 18% last year. In addition, when asked about their top focus areas for the New Year, more than half (51%) of Americans said […]

    Sproutt Launches; Uses Data and AI to Finally Reward Life Insurance Customers Who Live Healthy

    {December 18th, 2019} by Sproutt Insurance

    NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Sproutt Insurance, the next evolution of life insurance, announced today that it has launched and secured $12 million in Series A funding from State of Mind Ventures (SMOV), Moneta Capital, and Guardian Life. Sproutt sets out to do what many of today’s players in life insurance do not: celebrate life. Sproutt’s mission […]

    RIAs Getting Bigger Slice Of $7 Trillion Pie

    {December 18th, 2019} by John Hilton

    Assets under management are growing at twice the rate for registered investment advisors than independent broker-dealers, according to a leading analyst. That is one trend line not likely to change anytime soon, said Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. Roame hosted a Thursday conference call that AUM held by RIAs grew 11.3% annually over […]

    Surveyed Americans Working with Financial Advisors Have Greater Fixed Income Understanding and Exposure

    {December 18th, 2019} by BNY Mellon

    NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2019 — A major research study from BNY Mellon Investment Management, one of the largest asset managers in the world with $1.9 trillion in AUM as of September 30, 20191, and the world’s third-largest fixed income manager by assets2, revealed a dramatic difference in levels of sophistication about fixed income investing between those surveyed who have worked […]

    Who Buys Annuities, And Why

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ben Mattlin

    Annuities are often recommended as a solution for the risk of outliving your money. But if you die young, you might not realize that full value. So should clients consider their life expectancy before considering an annuity? “A person in poor health and with a limited life expectancy may not see much of a need […]

    Ladder To Launch in New York via Relationship with Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ladder Insurance Services, LLC

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ladder Insurance Services, LLC, (Ladder) announced that the LadderLife™ term life insurance product issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (Allianz Life® of NY) has cleared regulatory approvals and will be offered to New York residents as early as January, marking the completion of its nationwide rollout. New York residents will now be able to […]

    DALBAR Announces 2019 Insurance Service Award Winners

    {December 18th, 2019} by DALBAR

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today DALBAR announced the 2019 winners of the Insurance Service Award which recognizes leading providers of life, long-term care, and disability insurance for delivering outstanding telephone support to policyholders. In order to earn this prestigious DALBAR award, companies must undergo a thorough and independent year-long audit looking at the quality of contact center […]

    CNO Financial Group Celebrates the Holidays with ‘Wintry Wishes’ and Charitable Donations

    {December 18th, 2019} by CNO Financial Group

    CARMEL, Ind., Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group recently unveiled the winner of its first corporate holiday and New Year’s card contest. Chloe Foks (13), daughter of David Foks, branch sales manager in Salt Lake City, Utah for Bankers Life, an insurance brand of CNO. The winning artwork, titled Wintry Wishes, will be used as the image on CNO’s official 2019 […]

    BNY Mellon’s Pershing Launches Fee-Based Annuities in Its Managed Accounts Solution

    {December 18th, 2019} by BNY Mellon

    JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — BNY Mellon’s Pershing (“Pershing”) today announced that it has completed the integration of its managed accounts technology with its annuity order entry platform, Subscribe®, delivering advisors streamlined annuity purchasing and servicing capabilities within its managed accounts solution. The integrated solution supports over 70 fee-based annuity products from 18 carriers and […]

    Envestnet | MoneyGuide Empowers Advisors at Buckingham Wealth Partners to Deliver New Levels of Financial Wellness to Their Clients with its Advanced Planning Solution – MoneyGuideElite

    {December 18th, 2019} by Envestnet | MoneyGuide

    POWHATAN, Va., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Envestnet | MoneyGuide, the creator of leading financial planning software, MoneyGuidePro®, today announced a partnership with Buckingham Wealth Partners, providing access to the MoneyGuide Elite planning software to advisors under their umbrella. Elite, MoneyGuide’s more advanced planning product, has the ability to address the complexities of clients’ financial needs by identifying income […]

    Nationwide opens “The CoOperative”

    {December 18th, 2019} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As innovation becomes more of a focus for businesses all across the country, the need for creative spaces to foster the collaboration needed to identify customer needs and develop solutions to address them is growing. For that reason, Nationwide has opened a new innovation center, The CoOperative, at the site of the […]

    Brookstone Capital Management Expands Darryl Ronconi’s Role, Naming Him President and Chief Operating Officer

    {December 18th, 2019} by Brookstone Capital

    CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Brookstone Capital Management (“Brookstone”), a leading SEC-registered investment advisory (RIA) firm providing fee-based asset management services, announces Darryl Ronconi as the company’s new president. Ronconi will retain his chief operating officer (COO) position and expand his role in managing the company’s day-to-day operations while strategically working alongside Brookstone founder and CEO, Dean Zayed, on […]

    10 Most Searched Financial Topics of 2019: Investopedia

    {December 18th, 2019} by Michael S. Fischer

    Investopedia, an online financial content provider, reported this month that some 22 million monthly readers peruse the more than 30,000 articles on its site. So, what are these visitors interested in? Each year, Investopedia’s data science team looks at historical data to identify which topics had the biggest influx of visitors over the past 12 […]

    Ex-NFL, Ohio State Players Tackle New Advisor Roles

    {December 18th, 2019} by Janet Levaux

    Two advisory firms say they recently hired former college and professional football players to join their teams. Integrated Partners, an RIA affiliated with LPL Financial that works with financial advisors and CPAs, has recruited Harrison Till from Merrill Lynch, where he worked with about $100 million in assets.  Till played football at Ohio State and […]

    Treasury’s Little Insurance Meltdown Glossary

    {December 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A team that helps U.S. regulators look for cracks in the financial system has come out with its latest look at what could break next. Analysts at the Office of Financial Research (OFR) have told Congress, in a new Financial Stability Assessment report, that the financial system as a whole looks pretty stable, and that […]

    Jud Bergman remembered, and what happened at Envestnet when the CEO suddenly died

    {December 18th, 2019} by Bruce Kelly

    In an emotional tribute to Envestnet Inc. founder Jud Bergman, his business partner, William Crager, spoke Wednesday at the MarketCounsel Summit in Miami Beach about Mr. Bergman’s sudden death in October, their decades of friendship and the importance of businesses, including registered investment advisers, to have a plan in place for the unexpected passing of […]

    Investors With Advisors Have Higher Risk Tolerance Than Others: Northwestern Mutual

    {December 18th, 2019} by Jeff Berman

    U.S. investors tend to prefer playing it safe when managing their finances, but American adults who use an advisor have higher average risk tolerance than those who don’t, according to the latest findings from Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning & Progress Study. American adults 18 and older who worked with an advisor reported an average risk […]

    Don’t Let Unexpected Taxes Diminish Your Retirement Dreams

    {December 18th, 2019} by Ken Heise

    Good financial advisers spend a fair amount of time harping on the value of solid tax planning — even if their clients might not want to hear it. No one likes to dwell on the idea that they’ll be handing over a large percentage of their nest egg to Uncle Sam every year in retirement. […]

    New York Life to Air :60-Second Commercial During the Big Game in Celebration of the Company’s 175th Anniversary in 2020

    {December 18th, 2019} by New York Life

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New York Life, America’s largest mutual life insurer, is set to advertise during the Big Game next year in Miami. The company’s :60-second commercial will run between the 1st and 2nd quarters. The commercial coincides with a larger brand campaign launch scheduled for New York Life’s 175th anniversary in 2020. “As we prepare to celebrate New […]

    New startup FinFit Life launches to promote physical and financial fitness

    {December 18th, 2019} by Brian Anderson

    Tampa, Fla.-based insurance startup FinFit Life launched nationwide on Dec. 11 as a network of independent contractors who promote and distribute protection products focused on “financial fitness” as a key pillar of health and wellness. As part of the company’s commitment to “Health, Wealth, and the time to enjoy them,” FinFit Life is working with John Hancock to offer […]

    Congress tacks SECURE Act to 2020 spending bill

    {December 18th, 2019} by Insurance Forums Staff

    House and Senate leaders announced a deal Monday afternoon to include the SECURE Act in a legislative package to fund the federal government. The SECURE Act, HR 1994, is the most comprehensive retirement security legislation in more than a decade, since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. It has been bogged down in the Senate since passing […]

    Most Investors Without Advisors Are Clueless About Fixed Income: Survey

    {December 18th, 2019} by Michael S. Fischer

    Investors who work with a financial advisor are much likelier to have a sophisticated understanding of fixed income investing than those who do not enlist professional guidance, BNY Mellon Investment Management reported Monday. A survey of American investors’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors about fixed income assets revealed, however, that misconceptions exist around fixed income investing, […]

    Managing Inflation Risk in Retirement

    {December 18th, 2019} by Kelly Lavigne, J.D.

    While there are many potential risks to consider when planning for retirement, one that is often overlooked is inflation. Most people factor in inflation when planning how much they will need when they reach retirement. But inflation does not stop the day you retire. In fact, your budget on the day you retire could look […]

    The Whole Story Of ‘Financial Security Insurance’

    {December 17th, 2019} by Herbert K. Daroff, J.D., CFP, AEP

    In a world of economic (tariffs, etc.) and political (Brexit, etc.) turmoil, including changes in income taxes and estate taxes, an urgent question to pose to your clients is: what is going to happen to your children’s (or grandchildren’s) education funds, your business, your retirement savings? Within the answer to this question lies an important […]

    Five Tips To Help Your Clients Have Healthier Finances In 2020

    {December 17th, 2019} by Nathanael Hughes

    With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to put your financial planning on the back burner. It’s also easy for the treadmill of life to sweep us up through work, caring for children, home repairs, taking care of pets, etc. – it can be hard to find time for anything else. […]

    Prudential Completed the Biggest Q3 Insurance Deal: GlobalData

    {December 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Companies announced 121 U.S. insurance mergers and acquisitions in the third quarter, and those deals had a total value of $4.2 billion, according to GlobalData PLC. The deals had an average value of about $35 million. GlobalData did not provide comparable data for the third quarter of 2018. The London-based firm said companies averaged 116 […]

    New York Life to Advertise During Super Bowl

    {December 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    New York Life Insurance Company appears not have the rights needed at this time to put “Super Bowl” in a press release, but it expects to run a 60-second TV commercial during the upcoming Super Bowl in Miami. The New York-based mutual insurer announced Wednesday that the commercial run between the first and second quarters of […]

    Majority of U.S. Investors Fail Finra’s Investing Quiz

    {December 17th, 2019} by Alex Padalka

    Americans with non-retirement investment accounts are for the most part unaware of main investing concepts, and many have little idea of the fees they’re paying, according to a new report. Two-thirds of U.S. adults with taxable investment accounts incorrectly answered more than half of the questions on a 10-question investor knowledge quiz put out by Finra, […]

    Ways millennials can reach financial independence

    {December 17th, 2019} by Paola Peralta

    Welcome to Retirement Scan, our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be talking about. Ways millennials can reach financial independence Millennials are advised to consider redefining their concept of retirement and pursue financial independence, as their hurdles are different from those of baby boomers and Gen-Xers, according to this article in MarketWatch. To […]

    Wealth management fares worst in mobile app client satisfaction

    {December 17th, 2019} by Sean Allocca

    Wealth management clients are not happy with their mobile apps. That could mean less opportunities to cross sell additional financial services products and a loss of wallet share, according to a recent J.D. Power survey. Wealth management apps fared worse in terms of client satisfaction when compared with a group of firms from other industries […]

    Boston man posing as dead brother charged with making fraudulent life insurance claims with Iowa companies

    {December 17th, 2019} by Anna Spoerre

    A Boston man posing as his dead brother took out more than two dozen life insurance policies across the country, federal prosecutors charge in a case with Iowa ties. Several insurers, including at least one in Iowa, aided in the case, the Iowa Insurance Division said in a news release. Ming Xun Zheng, also known […]

    Top 10 U.S. Variable Annuities in Q3

    {December 17th, 2019} by Jacqueline Sergeant

    This year, variable annuities recorded their best quarterly sales in three years, with $26.5 million. That was 6% higher than third quarter 2018, according to the Secure Retirement Institute (formerly LIMRA SRI). Year-to-date VA sales were $75.1 billion, level with results from the same period in 2018. Variable annuities are sometimes compared to mutual funds […]

    Life insurtech launches dominant in Dec.

    {December 17th, 2019} by Nathan Golia

    There have been 81 investments in life and health insurtechs as of the third quarter of 2019, according to Willis Towers Watson’s Quarterly Insurtech briefing. That’s as many as there were in the entire year for 2017 and just nine less than last year, with another quarter of data still to be reported. The increased […]

    Ameriprise Nabs MassMutual FAs; Wentworth Makes 5th Acquisition

    {December 16th, 2019} by Alex Padalka

    Ameriprise has poached several experienced financial advisors from MassMutual, Ameriprise says. Troy Aarthun, Sharon Hickey and Kevin Kimball of Bedford, N.H., join Ameriprise’s franchise channel, aligning with Rise Private Wealth Management, an Ameriprise practice headed by Bob Bonfiglio, according to a press release from Ameriprise. The three advisors previously managed around $126 million at MassMutual, […]

    Securities America Adds $565 Million Indie Practice

    {December 16th, 2019} by Alex Padalka

    Securities America has added an independent wealth management firm based in Wisconsin to one of its corporate RIA platforms, Securities America says. Middleton, Wis.-based Goldstein & Associates has joined Arbor Point Advisors, according to a press release from Securities America, a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services. Led by founder and CEO Jon Goldstein, Goldstein […]

    One Of The Hardest Days Of Your Life — The Day You Retire

    {December 13th, 2019} by Randall Dolph Janis

    Congratulations, you made it! No more having to go to work or planning your days and vacations around a work schedule — it’s like every day is Saturday. You are now officially retired! Now what? Since I started working with those nearing or in retirement in 2005, I’ve heard many times that the first day […]

    Data And Disruption In the Digital Age

    {December 13th, 2019} by Greg Driscoll

    Looking back on 2019, a couple of observations come into sharp focus. I believe the most significant developments in the life insurance industry during the past year have been the creation of more appealing digital experiences and the utilization of data to perform predictive analytics. This is encouraging because our industry has historically wrapped itself […]

    Symetra Awarded ISO 27001 Certification for Cybersecurity

    {December 13th, 2019} by Symetra Life Insurance Company

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Life Insurance Company today announced it has attained ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, a globally recognized standard mandating multiple controls for the establishment, maintenance and certification of an Information Security Management System (ISMS). These stringent requirements ensure that an organization’s data management, customer data and third-party information is secure and that best practices are […]

    Genworth Completes Sale of Stake in Canadian Unit

    {December 13th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Genworth Financial Inc. may have now cleared the last major barrier it controls to getting itself hitched to China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. The Richmond, Virginia-based insurer announced today that it has closed on the sale of a majority stake in Genworth MI Canada Inc., a large mortgage insurance business, to Brookfield Business Partners […]

    Integrity Marketing Establishes Employee Ownership Plan

    {December 13th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A rapidly growing life, health and annuity distributor says it has set up an employee ownership plan for its employees. Integrity Marketing Group LLC says it has provided about $50 million in funding for the plan.   The Dallas-based company says it’s making the plan available to employees who have at least one year of […]

    Envestnet to carry on ‘big plans’ in wake of co-founder’s death: Bill Crager

    {December 13th, 2019} by Charles Paikert

    MIAMI BEACH – When Envestnet president Bill Crager heard the news about the tragic death of his friend Jud Bergman, the company’s CEO and co-founder, he was devastated, but “knew the company had to run.” The next day, Crager, now Envestnet’s interim CEO, flew from California to the company’s headquarters in Chicago to address the […]

    Voices Hey Google: What’s the future of financial advice?

    {December 13th, 2019} by Jud Mackrill

    Google made a ripple in the financial services sea earlier this month when it announced, somewhat quietly, that it is wading into the industry’s most traditional financial services (except for maybe the barter-and-trade system) — banking. “Cache” is Google’s code name for its smart checking account solution, rolling out next year in partnership with Citibank and […]

    Principal Announces 2020 Outlook and Long-term Guidance

    {December 13th, 2019} by Principal

    DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Principal Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PFG) today announced business unit outlook metrics and capital deployment plans for 2020 and updated long-term guidance. These metrics provide greater clarity around the key drivers of earnings growth for each of the business units. Company senior leaders will provide additional detail on guidance and answer questions […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of American Life & Security Corp.

    {December 13th, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” of American Life & Security Corp. (American Life) (headquartered in Lincoln, NE). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. The ratings reflect American Life’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, […]

    Longevity Project explores the nuanced implications of longer life

    {December 12th, 2019} by Longevity Project

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As longer life expectancy brings about substantial changes in the make-up of American society, Americans are still grappling with the implications of longer life on how we work, live and learn, according to a poll fielded by the Longevity Project, a new initiative developed in collaboration with the Stanford Center on […]

    Equisoft Partners with Refinitiv to Deliver a Powerful Solution for Wealth Managers

    {December 12th, 2019} by Equisoft

    PHILADELPHIA, PA, Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Equisoft announced the launch of a web-based fund sales acceleration platform solution powered by Refinitiv. Equisoft/analyze for wholesalers is designed to help fund wholesalers enhance their value proposition to advisors by offering them insightful fund and portfolio analytic services. With the disruption in the wealth management industry due to technology, fee transparency, […]

    Envestnet’s Bill Crager Urges Advisors to Be Prepared for the Worst

    {December 12th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Reflecting on the loss of Envestnet CEO Jud Bergman on Oct. 3, Bill Crager, president of Envestnet and head of Envestnet Wealth Solutions, who was named interim CEO after Bergman’s death, urged attendees at the MarketCounsel Summit Wednesday to not ignore a succession plan. “I may be the 2019 poster child for succession, but it […]

    With Haven Life, you may be able to get cheap life insurance in minutes with no medical exam

    {December 12th, 2019} by Clint Proctor

    For many of us, buying a life insurance policy will be one of the most important purchases we make in our lives. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been an easy purchase to make. Today, you can buy most products with a few clicks from your computer. But buying life insurance has traditionally been a more grueling process, often […]

    F&G Announces Next-Generation Accumulation Annuity: F&G Power Accumulator™

    {December 11th, 2019} by Fidelity & Guaranty Life

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — F&G Annuities and Life (NYSE: FG) (the “Company” or “F&G”), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance, recently announced the latest fixed indexed annuity, F&G Power Accumulator. This product is the first annuity brought to market that features iShares® ETFs as the primary crediting strategy, as well as a blended […]

    Plaintiffs Abandon Lawsuit Targeting Security Benefit Proprietary Index

    {December 11th, 2019} by John Hilton

    A class-action lawsuit alleging that Security Benefit Life Insurance Co. defrauded consumers by implementing a “fraudulent scheme” involving a proprietary index used in two fixed indexed annuities was quietly withdrawn last week. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 16 in California federal court, was closed with a two-sentence brief asking the court for a “voluntary dismissal.” An […]

    States May Give You an Annuity Relationship Carton Label

    {December 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    State insurance regulators have been working this week on an annuity suitability proposal that could add some red tape but could, possibly, shield you from the effects of other financial services sales standards projects. One possible unexpected side effect of insurance regulators’ annuity suitability activity: You could end up with the equivalent of a new […]

    Raymond Farmer to Lead NAIC in 2020

    {December 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners today confirmed that Raymond Farmer will be the NAIC’s president in 2020. Farmer, the South Carolina insurance director, has been the NAIC’s president-elect. Farmer will succeed Eric Cioppa, the Maine insurance superintendent. Farmer has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from John Marshall […]

    NAIC Regulators Move Annuity Sales Model Forward

    {December 11th, 2019} by John Hilton

    A key National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ committee put its tentative stamp of approval Sunday on strengthened suitability in annuity transactions model law. The Life Insurance and Annuities Committee met Sunday morning in Austin, Texas at the NAIC Fall Meeting. The committee adopted the text of the annuity sales model, which adds a best-interest standard […]

    AmeriLife Buys Majority Stake in Agent Support Group

    {December 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A life, health and annuity distributor is expanding its ability to help financial advisors set up high-end life insurance arrangements. AmeriLife Group LLC of Clearwater, Florida, said Tuesday that it has acquired a majority stake in Agent Support Group Inc. of New York. AmeriLife has relationships with about 140,000 insurance agents and advisors. Agent Support Group […]

    Efma and Accenture Launch 5th Annual Innovation in Insurance Awards

    {December 11th, 2019} by Efma and Accenture

    PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Efma and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) are now accepting applications for the fifth annual Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards, which recognize insurers and insurtechs that are transforming the insurance industry. Established in 2016, the awards celebrate the most innovative projects and ideas in insurance and provide a forum for organizations to share best practices. The […]

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

    {December 11th, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” of Minnesota Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary, Securian Life Insurance Company, together referred to as Securian Financial Insurance Group (Securian). AM Best also has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and […]

    Wink Unveils Beefed Up AnnuitySpecs Tool

    {December 11th, 2019} by Press Release

    Wink, Inc. revealed enhancements to their industry-leading analysis tool for annuities, “annuity intel in your pocket,” AnnuitySpecs. Wink’s AnnuitySpecs tool houses nearly 300% more products than some of their competitors, and 200% more companies are represented in their system. The highly-anticipated rollout of Wink’s Variable Annuity (VA) solution within AnnuitySpecs gives their clients access to […]

    Canada Throws China Oceanwide-Genworth Deal a Lifeline

    {December 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Canadian regulators have made a decision that could increase the odds that Genworth Financial Inc. will be able to sell itself to China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. — or that Genworth will have the cash to survive on its own if the China Oceanwide deal falls through. The Canadian regulators gave Brookfield Business Partners, an arm of Brookfield […]

    In Your 30s? 14 Strategies To Reach Savings Goals Faster

    {December 11th, 2019} by Expert Panel, Forbes Finance Council

    Your 30s are often considered your prime earning years. At this age, you’re in a great position to start capitalizing on life experiences and building your nest egg. Starting to save earlier in life gives you more options later on and puts you in a great position when it’s time to retire.  We asked a […]

    Structured annuity sales up 61% in 3Q2019, YoY: Wink Inc.

    {December 11th, 2019} by Editorial Staff

    Total sales for all deferred annuity products in the third quarter of 2019 was $55.2 billion, a decline of 5.2% from the previous quarter, according to the 89th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, issued November 26. Total variable deferred annuity sales—including structured annuities and conventional variable deferred annuities—were $25.9 billion in the third quarter, up […]

    Principal Names Chris Littlefield as New General Counsel

    {December 11th, 2019} by Principal

    DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Principal Financial Group® today announced Christopher (Chris) Littlefield (53), former president and CEO of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance (FGL) Holdings, will join Principal as its new general counsel effective January 13, 2020. After 38 years with the Principal®, current executive vice president, general counsel and secretary Karen Shaff, announced her intentions to […]

    Accenture Named a Leader in Automated Life Insurance Underwriting Systems By Independent Research Firm

    {December 11th, 2019} by Accenture

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has been named a leader in automated life insurance underwriting systems in a new report from independent research firm Forrester. In the report — “The Forrester Wave™: Automated Life Insurance Underwriting Systems, Q4 2019”[1] — Accenture was named a leader based on the current offering and strategy of its product, Accenture […]

    Report: Diversity and inclusion in insurance will enable innovation

    {December 11th, 2019} by Lyle Adriano

    A new white paper discusses how the insurance industry can push innovation – by promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Published jointly by the nonprofit Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) and insurance consultation firm MarshBerry, the “Women and Insurance: Where Innovation and Inclusion Meet” report identifies insights gleaned from discussions and presentations featured at the IICF […]

    Wink, Inc.’s AnnuitySpecs Analysis Tool Unveils Variable Annuity Enhancement

    {December 11th, 2019} by Press Release

    — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION —  NEWS RELEASE   WINK’S VALUED CLIENTS RECEIVE MUCH MORE FOR DRAMATICALLY LESS- WITH VARIABLE ANNUITY SOLUTION Wink, Inc.’s AnnuitySpecs Analysis Tool Unveils Variable Annuity Enhancement Des Moines, Iowa. December 9, 2019– Staying true to their vital mission statement, “To provide the best darned competitive intelligence to the life insurance and […]

    Finder.com Features Global Atlantic in Best Life Insurance Companies List

    {December 11th, 2019} by Global Atlantic Financial Group

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Price comparison website Finder.com has featured Global Atlantic in its list of the top seven life insurance companies in the U.S. in 2019. Specifically, Global Atlantic was named best for rider selection. The list was developed by Finder.com’s team of experts, who evaluated each company based on industry reputation, product selection, underwriting and policy customization. The […]

    SIMON Markets LLC Launches InsurTech Platform for Annuities and Partners with Prudential to Deliver First Annuity Product to Market

    {December 11th, 2019} by SIMON Markets LLC

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SIMON Markets LLC (“SIMON”) today ­­announced that it has expanded its digital platform to empower financial professionals to navigate the multifaceted world of indexed annuities to better serve their clients. Partnering with Prudential, SIMON is reshaping how financial professionals use annuities for retirement planning. The first product is Prudential’s PruSecure®, a fixed indexed […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Prudential Financial, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {December 11th, 2019} by Pacific Life

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of the domestic life/health insurance subsidiaries of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI) (Newark, NJ) [NYSE: PRU], referred to as Prudential. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” of PFI and […]

    Pacific Life Completes Sale of Aviation Capital Group to Tokyo Century Corporation

    {December 11th, 2019} by Pacific Life

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Life Insurance Company today announced it has completed the sale of Aviation Capital Group (ACG), its commercial aircraft leasing subsidiary, to Tokyo Century Corporation (Tokyo Century). In 2017, Tokyo Century acquired from Pacific Life a 20% membership interest in ACG, and later expanded ownership to 24.5%. The completion of this transaction, […]

    Best’s Market Segment Report: U.S. Life/Annuity Insurance Market Outlook Held at Stable

    {December 11th, 2019} by A.M. Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has maintained its market segment outlook for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry at stable for 2020, citing strong capitalization and improved liquidity among carriers, along with a manageable regulatory environment. Companies’ measured approach to increasing investment risk also is a factor in the stable outlook. A new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Market Segment […]

    MetLife Named Life Insurance Company of the Year

    {December 11th, 2019} by MetLife, Inc.

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MetLife was named Life Insurance Company of the Year at the 2019 Middle East Insurance Industry Awards (MIIA), organized by Middle East Insurance Review. As the fourth time recipient of the award, MetLife was commended for its customer focus and recognized for its efforts in enhancing the customer experience. The awards, […]

    Having a baby forced me to confront my mortality, but spending $6.50 a month on life insurance means I don’t lose sleep over it

    {December 11th, 2019} by Becky Kleanthous

    There’s nothing quite like growing a new human life to make you confront your own mortality. Conceiving soon after miscarriage, and being naturally predisposed to worry, I simply couldn’t shake the feeling that in pregnancy, I was fighting a fire that the universe wanted to fan. Other pregnant women seemed to be glowing and serene, […]

    What The SECURE Act Means For Annuities

    {December 11th, 2019} by Ben Mattlin

    Last May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act by a whopping 417 to 3. If it passes in the Senate (expected by year-end), many annuity providers will be celebrating. “The SECURE Act will make it easier for employers to offer as part of their retirement […]

    The Geneva Association Launches New Women in Insurance Award

    {December 11th, 2019} by The Geneva Association

    ZURICH, Dec. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Geneva Association is launching the Geneva Association Women in Insurance Award, the first global award of its kind, to call attention to the most impactful initiatives implemented by senior-level women in the re/insurance industry. Each year the Award will celebrate a woman’s contribution to advancing the industry’s response to the greatest […]

    Younger Consumers Applied for Life Insurance: MIB

    {December 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    MIB Group Inc. is reporting the first year-over-year increase since June 2018 in younger U.S. consumers’ individual life application activity level. For U.S. consumers ages 0 to 44, the individual life application activity level was 4.6% higher in November than it was in November 2018, according to MIB. The overall U.S. individual life application activity […]

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Promotes Peter Owh to Managing Partner of Centra Financial Group

    {December 11th, 2019} by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

      HORSHAM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) is excited to announce the promotion of Peter Owh to managing partner of its Rochester agency, Centra Financial Group. Formerly the managing director, Owh will lead the firm through a seamless transition, focusing on providing a high-touch experience for clients and advisers as well […]

    Buttigieg Retirement Plan ‘Impressive,’ But How Will He Pay For It?

    {December 11th, 2019} by Cassie Miller

    Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind. and presidential candidate, recently unveiled his plan for a public 401(k) option. Released in late November, the plan focuses on ensuring “all Americans experience dignity and security in retirement.” “I am determined to usher in a new era for older Americans, one that empowers them to age and […]

    Integrity Marketing Group Announces Employee Ownership Plan; Nearly $50 Million Paid Out to Employees

    {December 10th, 2019} by Integrity Marketing Group

    DALLAS — December 10, 2019 — Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), the nation’s largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, today announced the completion of a new Employee Ownership Plan. The plan provides meaningful ownership to all of Integrity’s eligible employees who have at least one year of tenure, […]

    How these women are breaking the industry’s culture of secrecy around sexual misconduct By Ann Marsh

    {December 10th, 2019} by Ann Marsh

    People who publicly allege that they were raped or sexual assaulted ⁠face a queasy period waiting to see if their disclosures draw backlash, support or an unpredictable mix of the two. When Mary Moore, who works for advisor billing firm AdvicePay, shared her account with Financial Planning of sexual assault at an industry gathering, she […]

    Massachusetts’ Galvin Posts Revised Fiduciary Rule

    {December 10th, 2019} by Alex Padalka

    Massachusetts’ top securities watchdog has unveiled an amended regulation that would hold broker-dealers as well as investment advisors operating in the state to the fiduciary standard. The Massachusetts Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth had sought comments on a proposal for a state fiduciary standard in June, ending the comment period in […]

    Lifetime Income: Building Confidence From Uncertainty

    {December 10th, 2019} by Patrick C. Rowan

    There is no doubt that preparing for retirement can be tricky. A recent study by TIAA found only 27 percent of Americans are highly confident they will never run out of money in retirement, leaving the majority (73 percent) worried about how they will make ends meet in retirement. What can advisors do to improve the […]

    DALBAR Announces 2019 Financial Intermediary Service Award Winners

    {December 10th, 2019} by DALBAR

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today DALBAR recognized those companies providing industry-leading telephone support to financial advisors, agents and other intermediaries. These firms stood out from the competition in the service being provided to this critical audience after a year-long audit of their service delivery, based on direct observation and evaluation. The winners of the 2019 Financial […]

    Integrity Marketing Group Announces Employee Ownership Plan; Nearly $50 Million Paid Out to Employees

    {December 10th, 2019} by Integrity Marketing Group

    DALLAS, Dec. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), the nation’s largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, today announced the completion of a new Employee Ownership Plan. The plan provides meaningful ownership to all of Integrity’s eligible employees who have at least one year of tenure, at no cost to them. This […]

    CNO Financial Group Receives Number One Ranking Among the 2019 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America®

    {December 10th, 2019} by CNO Financial Group

    CARMEL, Ind., Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group was recently recognized as the top Healthiest 100 Workplace in America, an award program administered by Springbuk®. This marks the sixth year that CNO Financial has been recognized as a top Healthiest 100 Workplace for its commitment to employee health and exceptional corporate well-being programming and the first year […]