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  • Announcing Equitable: A New Day for a 160-Year-Old Financial Services Company

    {January 15th, 2020} by Equitable

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Equitable, a leading financial services company and subsidiary of Equitable Holdings (NYSE:EQH), today unveiled the brand it will operate under as an independent, U.S.-based company. Formerly known as AXA Equitable Life, the company will begin this new chapter in its distinguished history as Equitable, an iconic American brand synonymous with helping generations of […]

    American Equity Names Anant Bhalla to Succeed John Matovina as CEO & President

    {January 15th, 2020} by American Equity Investment Life Holding Company

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Board of Directors (the “Board”) of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL) (“American Equity”) announced today that Anant Bhalla will become American Equity’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) on March 1, 2020. Mr. Bhalla will begin his employment with American Equity on January 27, 2020 as President and will […]

    Highland Capital Brokerage Announces Strategic Partnership with BGA Insurance

    {January 15th, 2020} by Highland Capital Brokerage

    Birmingham, AL—January 9, 2020)—Highland Capital Brokerage’s affiliated partner Constellation has entered into a strategic partnership with BGA Insurance with the intent to build a long-term alliance and stimulate further business growth. “I am very excited about the strategic partnership that BGA Insurance has formed with Highland Capital Brokerage,” said Barry Zimmermann, President of BGA Insurance. […]

    NAIC Names 2020 Committee Leadership

    {January 15th, 2020} by NAIC

    WASHINGTON (Jan. 13, 2020) — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has named its 2020 committee chairs and vice chairs. The association also assigned members to the organization’s standing committees based on preferences, experience and requirements established by the NAIC Bylaws. “Our 2020 NAIC committee leadership aligns talent and expertise and reflects a strong commitment to […]

    DALBAR Identifies Top Web Experiences for Universal Life Policyholders

    {January 15th, 2020} by DALBAR, Inc

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — DALBAR’s inaugural ranking of the digital experiences offered to Universal Life policyholders finds Thrivent at the top of the list. Closely following Thrivent are Nationwide, Ohio National, Lincoln Financial and Prudential, the top five consumer site experiences. These firms excel at online policy management and making the topic of life insurance […]

    AmeriLifeÂŽ Continues Market Expansion with Stephens-Matthews Marketing Partnership

    {January 15th, 2020} by AmeriLife Group, LLC

    CLEARWATER, Fla., Jan. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”) – the national leader in marketing and distributing life, health and retirement solutions – has partnered with Stephens-Matthews Marketing (Stephens-Matthews), a leading insurance marketing organization, to expand AmeriLife’s distribution reach in meeting the needs of pre-retirees and retirees. Stephens-Matthews, through its 49-state network, has been providing quality […]

    Life Insurance and the Demise of the Stretch IRA

    {January 15th, 2020} by Steve Gibbs

    Since their introduction in 1974, IRAs have become one of the most popular tools for retirement savings. And with an average of one out of three Americans now owning an IRA, they are also among the most significant assets addressed in many estate plans. Although funding retirement remains the primary purpose of an IRA, not […]

    Athene Holding Ltd. to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full-year 2019 Financial Results and Host Conference Call on February 18, 2020

    {January 15th, 2020} by Athene Holding, Ltd.

    PEMBROKE, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Athene Holding Ltd. (NYSE: ATH), a leading provider of retirement savings products, announced it will release financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2019 on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, before the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The news release, financial supplement, and earnings presentation will be available on […]

    12 Best States for Retirement: 2020

    {January 15th, 2020} by Michael S. Fischer

    For most Americans, retirement generally occurs at the time they can start receiving Social Security or retirement benefits, according to a report released Monday by WalletHub, a personal finance website. For those whose finances in retirement is a big concern, relocating to a state that lets them keep more money without requiring a major lifestyle change […]

    The “7% Guaranteed” Annuity Myth

    {January 15th, 2020} by Ryan Shumaker

    One of the most common things I hear from people who own or have been pitched an annuity is the belief that the annuity will “earn 7% guaranteed.” Usually this is due to either a salesperson misrepresenting how the annuity works or the consumer misunderstanding. The fact of the matter is, to my knowledge, there […]

    The SECURE Act Increases The Buzz Around Annuities

    {January 15th, 2020} by Kevin Walsh and Thomas Roberts

    The SECURE Act includes three significant provisions relating to lifetime income.  These new provisions have the potential to both fundamentally reframe how participants view their accumulated 401(k) plan savings, and to generate an increasing level of participant interest in gaining “in-plan” access to lifetime income products. To complement this increased interest, the act furnishes plan […]

    The Good News and Really Bad News for IRA Owners Under the SECURE Act – Next Steps for IRA Providers

    {January 15th, 2020} by Morgan Lewis, Sariyah Buchanan, William Marx, Vivian McCardell

    The recently enacted Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the SECURE Act) makes significant changes to individual retirement accounts and individual retirement annuities (IRAs). These important changes generally start in 2020 and touch just about every IRA provider and IRA owner. These changes will have significant effects on retirement, estate, and […]

    Why 2020 Should Be Your Year to Buy Life Insurance

    {January 15th, 2020} by Esther Trattner

    It’s not something any of us ever wants to think about, but what if you were to die suddenly? How would your loved ones handle not only the emotional loss but also the financial cost? Life insurance can cover the loss of your income from the household, plus offset your funeral expenses and pay off […]

    3 planning alternatives to Stretch IRAs

    {January 15th, 2020} by Nick Thornton

    The elimination of the Stretch IRA that resulted from passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act is a game changer for wealth advisors, estate planners, and those parents who were considering bequeathing savings in individual retirement accounts to their kids. “For a lot of people, the bulk of their wealth has […]

    A Look Back at (and Beyond) the ‘Stretch’ IRA

    {January 15th, 2020} by Kerry Pechter

    The “stretch IRA” was a time-honored tactic in tax-efficient estate planning. It allowed children or grandchildren who inherited large traditional or Roth IRAs to spread the distributions—and their income tax liabilities—over the entire remainder of their lives. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ

    How Insurers Can Win Over Gen Z Consumers

    {January 15th, 2020} by Stuart Hyman

    The “experience economy” is here. It’s fundamentally changing how companies go to market, influence their buyers and engage people throughout the customer journeys. In this brave new world, experience trumps all else — consumers’ loyalty and dollars go to experiences, not products. Indeed, a recent survey conducted by Momentum Worldwide found that 76% of customers prefer to […]

    Insurers Ponder Product Design Amid New Reserve/Mortality Regs

    {January 15th, 2020} by John Hilton

    The new year brought the culmination of a long, technical, behind-the-scenes effort to update insurers’ reserving processes and mortality tables. On Jan. 1, the 2017 Principle-Based Reserving and Commissioners Standard Ordinary Table both took effect. Insurers had three years to meet the new standards, but some were certainly more prepared than others, one actuarial expert […]

    Life Application Activity Crept Higher in 2019: MIB

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    U.S. consumers were probably a little more likely to apply for individual life insurance in 2019 than in 2018 — but December was nothing special. That’s the picture that emerges from a new batch of life insurance application volume data from MIB Group Inc. MIB is a Braintree, Massachusetts-based industry consortium that helps life insurers share […]

    New York Insurtech Group to Take On Des Moines

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The insurtech community in New York City will be competing harder with the insurtech community in Iowa to showcase hot new insurtech startups. InsurTechNY, the most visible insurtech organization in the New York area, is launching an effort to identify interesting insurtech startups.   The group recently opened an application window for a 2020 InsurTech Startup Competition. The […]

    Envestnet and Dynasty Financial Partners Announce Plans to Launch Advisor Services Exchange

    {January 15th, 2020} by Envestnet, Inc.

    CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Envestnet, Inc. (NYSE: ENV) today announced it is joining forces with Dynasty Financial Partners to launch the Advisor Services Exchange (ASx), which will offer financial advisors using Envestnet’s platforms an enhanced set of tools and services to help build and grow their businesses.  “We’re excited to provide Envestnet clients access to services […]

    Aim Annuity Messages At The 4 Sources Of Uncertainty

    {January 15th, 2020} by Susan Rupe

    The picture of the retirement landscape isn’t a pretty one. Boston College researchers estimate that only about half of American households will be able to maintain their current standard of living in retirement. Annuities provide guaranteed lifetime income, something that should be attractive to those who fear running out of money in retirement. So why […]

    Ladder Launches Life Insurance Product in New York

    {January 15th, 2020} by Ladder

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ladder Insurance Services, LLC, (Ladder) announced that the LadderLifeTM term life insurance product issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (Allianz LifeŽ of NY) will be offered to New York residents, marking the completion of its nationwide rollout. New York residents will now be able to enjoy the same quick insurance application process, real time underwriting, […]

    Tracking Women-Led Funds vs. Benchmarks

    {January 15th, 2020} by Ginger Szala

    Women may only account for a fraction of U.S. mutual fund managers, but they have delivered returns similar to funds that lack women managers, according to the Goldman Sachs’ report “2020 U.S. Equity Outlook: United We Fall, Divided We Wise.” As the paper notes, “While women have voted for a century, their progress in the […]

    John Hancock and Human API Join Forces to Transform the Life Insurance Purchase Process

    {January 15th, 2020} by John Hancock Insurance

    BOSTON, Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Today, John Hancock announces a major step forward in significantly streamlining the life insurance buying experience through a strategic collaboration with Human API, a leading health data platform, offering a simple, digital way for consumers to share access to their electronic health records (EHR) in real time. Human API’s capabilities allow for EHR […]

    CNO Financial Group Announces New Operating Model to Create a More Customer-Centric Structure and Improve Financial Performance

    {January 15th, 2020} by CNO Financial Group, Inc.

    CARMEL, Ind., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) today announced a new operating model that realigns the company from three operating business segments into two divisions—Consumer and Worksite. The new structure will create a leaner, more integrated, customer-centric organization that better positions CNO Financial for long-term success and shareholder value creation. “CNO is transforming […]

    Nationwide announces five-year, $160M Future of Work investment

    {January 15th, 2020} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In a rapidly-changing business environment and competitive job market, businesses are looking to attract and retain talent to help them deliver on their mission, and workers are looking for a company that is values-based and values them. Workers are also seeking employers who will partner with them in preparing for their […]

    Venerable Establishes Fully Independent Operations

    {January 15th, 2020} by Venerable

    WEST CHESTER, Pa., Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Venerable Holdings, Inc. (Venerable) announced today the completion of its separation efforts from Voya Financial, Inc. (Voya). As announced on June 1, 2018, Venerable purchased Voya Insurance and Annuity Company, now renamed to Venerable Insurance and Annuity Company (VIAC), from Voya as part of Voya divesting substantially all of its […]

    Great American’s Photo Contest Returns for Third Year, Offering Chance to Win $100

    {January 15th, 2020} by Great American Insurance Group

    CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The annuity companies of Great American Insurance Group, leading providers of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities, announced the return of a popular campaign that invites annuity customers to submit photos of what makes their lives great. The campaign expanded this year to also accept videos and written stories. The campaign last ran in 2018 and received […]

    Americans’ Concerns About Market Volatility Reach Lowest Levels in Over a Year

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allianz Life

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–After a volatile year in the markets, American investors ended 2019 feeling more confident about their finances than they have in a long time. According to the latest Allianz Quarterly Market Perceptions Study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz LifeÂŽ), worries about an impending market crash or recession are at their lowest levels since 2018. […]

    Pacific Life to Court RIAs Through TD Ameritrade: Annuity Distribution

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Pacific Life is now offering two fee-based annuities to independent registered investment advisers through TD Ameritrade. RIAs can use TD Ameritrade to help clients buy Pacific Life’s Pacific Odyssey advisory variable annuity and the company’s Pacific Index Advisory indexed annuity. The indexed annuity is filed as a non-variable contract. Click HERE to read the full story via […]

    Life Insurer to Move to New Digs

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company is moving its headquarters, the company announced earlier this week. The company, which is an arm of FGL Holdings and uses the marketing name F&G Annuities and Life, plans to relocate to 83,000 square feet of space at the 801 Grand building in downtown Des Moines, from Two Ruan […]

    Equitable Gets Its Name Back

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    A New York-based life insurer that once dominated the U.S. financial services sector is getting its old name back. The company that has been operating as AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. has cut “AXA” out of its name and is now Equitable Holdings Inc. The company continues to use the stock symbol “EQH.” The company was […]

    We in the Annuity Community Stand for What’s Right: Annuity Group

    {January 15th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The Alliance for Lifetime Income is telling the federal regulators, state regulators, and regulator groups trying to set financial services sales standards, “Hold my beer.” The Washington-based group — which represents big annuity issuers, big annuity distributors, and other big annuity industry players — has adopted its own set of five retirement education guiding principles. Resources A copy […]

    3 Ways to Address Our Industry’s Gender Bias

    {January 15th, 2020} by Kristin Hull

    I have an idea: Let’s stop talking about Ken Fisher. Instead, let’s start acting on the power dynamics that produced his crude remarks and related behavior in the business. While we have to call out bad behavior, and women can lean in all day long (and they do), the problems Fisher’s crass commentary exposed are […]

    Ameriprise Nabs Raymond James Regional Director

    {January 15th, 2020} by Alex Padalka

    A Raymond James regional director has jumped ship for Ameriprise. Glenn Flego, who has been in the financial services industry for more than three decades, has joined Ameriprise as its franchise field vice president, the company says in a press release. In his new role, Flego will oversee 300 franchise advisors in New Jersey and […]

    I Hate ALL Annuities….or ALL Money Managers?

    {January 15th, 2020} by annuityman

    Many people say they hate all annuities without knowing they already own one That got your attention.  Huh? I’m assuming when you read that title, you thought it was crazy and ludicrous.  How could anyone hate all money managers?  Some are really good.  Some stink.  But no rational person can say that they hate ALL money managers.  Who would be swayed […]

    Does the ‘Old Boys’ Club’ Still Exist?

    {January 15th, 2020} by Ginger Szala

    Is there still a so-called “old boy’s club” that gives men an edge in getting promotions? A new National Bureau of Economic Research study, “The Old Boys’ Club: Schmoozing and the Gender Gap” by Zoe Cullen of Harvard University’s Business School and Ricardo Perez-Truglia of University of California-Los Angeles, finds that while some things remain […]

    iPipeline Appoints Daphne Thomas as Chief Operating Officer

    {January 15th, 2020} by iPipeline

    EXTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–iPipelineÂŽ – a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry – today announced the appointment of Daphne Thomas to the role of Chief Operating Officer. The appointment comes several months after iPipeline was acquired by Roper, a diversified technology company. Roper operates businesses that design and […]

    Investors Near Retirement Are Nervous About Economy, Volatility: Survey

    {January 14th, 2020} by Michael S. Fischer

    Risk aversion was on investors’ minds as they looked forward to the new year, according to new research released Thursday from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and Personal Capital, a digital wealth management company. Investors in a fourth-quarter survey expressed fear of market volatility, and said they were stockpiling cash and thinking about reducing investments in stocks and […]

    SEC’s Top 5 Exam Priorities in 2020

    {January 14th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    In tandem with its must-read annual exam priorities list, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in early January that its exam division covered approximately 15% of registered investment advisors in 2019. Pete Driscoll, director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, noted last year that the agency’s advisor exam rate would drop in 2019 […]

    SEC Releases FAQ on Reg BI Compliance

    {January 14th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission states in a just-released FAQ on Regulation Best Interest that the Customer Relationship Summary, or Form CRS, will not satisfy a broker’s Regulation Best Interest disclosure obligations. The six-page FAQ released Friday by the agency’s Division of Trading and Markets also clarifies the specific account recommendations covered under Reg BI. Reg BI […]

    Secure Act Quirk Opens a Tax Savings Window in IRAs

    {January 14th, 2020} by Janet Levaux

    The new year brings advisors lots of changes to retirement planning, thanks to the passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act in late 2019 (as part of the year-end spending bill). In addition to increasing the age for required minimum distributions and dropping restrictions on IRA contributions for some workers, the […]

    Secure Act’s 401(k) Annuity Options: The Pros and Cons

    {January 14th, 2020} by William H. Brynes and Robert Bloink

    The Secure Act contains provisions that will impact nearly every client saving for retirement—along with many who have already begun taking withdrawals from qualified plans and IRAs. The Secure Act provisions impacting lifetime income options in defined contribution plans have the potential to be some of the most significant. Although it is expected that most […]

    ACLI President: Elitist Proposal Denies Choices To Bay State Retirement Savers

    {January 14th, 2020} by American Council of Life Insurers

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely published the following opinion piece today on ACLI’s news and views site, IMPACT, about Massachusetts’s proposed fiduciary standard:  “Massachusetts is about to impose an elitist, fiduciary-only standard for those seeking financial services. Sadly, as the industry that helps small- and moderate-savers to plan their financial futures, we know this would […]

    American Equity’s Next CEO, and More: Personnel Moves

    {January 14th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The next chief executive officer of  American Equity Investment Life Holding Company will be a Brighthouse Financial Inc. alumnus. The board of the West Des Moines, Iowa-based annuity issuer has picked Anant Bhalla to become the company’s president Jan. 27, and the company’s CEO March 1. Click HERE to read the full story via ThinkAdvisor […]

    Breaking clients of their S&P 500 addiction

    {January 14th, 2020} by Craig S. Israelsen

    You’ve done your homework, run the data, performed your due diligence and built a diversified, multi-asset portfolio for your client. But your job isn’t done. All advisors know that clients may act surprised and disappointed when their portfolios get a little crazy. Naturally, it’s nearly always the downward volatility that bugs them the most. But […]

    Fraudsters Eyeing Life Insurance And Retirement Accounts

    {January 14th, 2020} by Russ Anderson

    Technology has opened up so many opportunities to improve how we live, work and communicate. It is hard to imagine going back to a time without mobile devices, social media, online banking or email. But with all of these technological advances we have also opened up greater exposure for criminals to access our personal information, […]

    SECURE ACT: Game changer for estate planning with qualified retirement benefits

    {January 14th, 2020} by Rebecca Rosenberger Smolen and Amy Neifeld Shkedy

    The new provisions of the SECURE Act, aka the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, which were enacted on Dec. 20, 2019, and became effective as of Jan. 1, 2020, change a key factor that goes into the retirement planning process. Prior to the enactment of the SECURE Act, one of the valuable […]

    Alicia Munnell’s Social Security bridge v. annuities income planning smackdown

    {January 14th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    More U.S. retirement savers should probably buy ordinary annuities before they retire, but they don’t, and policymakers need to come up with an alternative, according to Alicia Munnell, a top academic retirement policy researcher. Munnell — director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College — says she thinks promoting use of “Social Security bridge” arrangements may be the […]

    Seeking ‘Ambidextrous Advisers’

    {January 14th, 2020} by Kerry Pechter

    In the future, we intend to strengthen our content for financial advisers while still serving our long-standing audience of annuity professionals. We think all of our readers will benefit from that. If you’re new to Retirement Income Journal, I’d like to tell you where we’ve come from, what we’re trying to accomplish today, and what we’re […]

    Gov. Charlie Baker Breaks With State Officials Over Mass. Fiduciary Reg

    {January 14th, 2020} by John Hilton

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is asking the state Securities Division to pull its fiduciary proposal off the table, citing concerns it will cause “confusion” in the financial services industry. Baker sent a letter Tuesday to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin urging him to defer action on the proposed regulation. Galvin’s Securities Division conducted a […]

    Commentary: The SECURE Act – An Advisor’s Friend or Foe?

    {January 14th, 2020} by Lloyd Lofton

    No bill is a cure-all for the challenges of retirement saving. Traditional individual retirement accounts first became available in 1975. I have a plaque in my office from John Hancock recognizing me in weeks 77-43 (that’s 1977) for outstanding performance with a weekly total annual premium of $3,600. Click HERE to read the full story […]

    Financial Planning: Getting Smart About The SECURE Act, Part 2

    {January 14th, 2020} by Wire Reports

    In last week’s column, I discussed three key provisions of the SECURE Act that will likely affect the way you handle your IRA. These provisions went into effect on Jan. 1 and include 1) eliminating the stretch provision on inherited IRAs, 2) increasing the RMD age from 70½ to 72, and 3) allowing individuals older […]

    Five Affiliates from LIBRA Insurance Partners Receive NAILBA’s 2019 ID Twenty Award

    {January 14th, 2020} by LIBRA Insurance Partners

    BALTIMORE, Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — LIBRA Insurance Partners (LIBRA), a life insurance marketing organization with more than 60 affiliated partner agencies, is pleased to announce that five of its affiliates are winners of NAILBA’s 2019 ID Twenty Award. In its inaugural year, the award honors Independent Distribution’s most courageous innovators and visionaries, who have made important contributions […]

    Voices: Are advisors overpaid?

    {January 13th, 2020} by Allan Boomer

    I offended an entire table of fellow financial advisors while attending a conference last year when I made this statement: “Everyone at this table makes too much money relative to what we do.” I went on to explain that in no other profession do service providers have the luxury of basing their prices on what […]

    I reluctantly followed my father-in-law’s advice to purchase life insurance 23 years ago, but looking back my only regret is not buying a bigger policy

    {January 12th, 2020} by Hannah Van Sickle

    When I was 22, my boyfriend and I moved in together. I was delirious with joy at the idea of leaving my college roommates — and the grungy digs we called home — in favor of cohabiting with my main squeeze. The whole experience made me giddy, until his father insisted we get renters’ insurance […]

    Liberty Mutual Insurance Announces 19 Grants in $5 Million Effort to Address Youth Homelessness in Boston

    {January 11th, 2020} by Liberty Mutual Insurance

    BOSTON, Jan. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Liberty Mutual Insurance today announced the first round of recipients of a $5 million philanthropic effort to support organizations in greater Boston working to reduce and end youth homelessness. Nineteen local non-profit organizations are among the first round of grant recipients announced today. Organizations awarded grants today were acknowledged during a ceremony in Boston’s South End at the […]

    Jackson National Life Insurance to Pay $20.5 Million to Settle EEOC Lawsuit

    {January 10th, 2020} by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Jackson Tolerated Harassment, Discriminated Against Female and African American Employees in Promotions and Pay, and Retaliated Against Employees Who Complained, Federal Agency Charged DENVER, Colo. – Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Jackson National Life Distributors, LLC, and Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York (collectively, “Jackson”) will pay $20,500,000 to 21 complainants and furnish […]

    AmeriLifeÂŽ Announces Growth Investment from Thomas H. Lee Partners to Continue Rapid Expansion

    {January 8th, 2020} by AmeriLife Group, LLC

    CLEARWATER, Fla., Jan. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —  AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife” or the “Company”), the national leader in marketing and distributing life, health, and retirement solutions, today announced that it has entered into a recapitalization agreement with an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”), a premier private equity firm investing in growth companies, […]

    Pacific Life Launches Advisory Annuities Through TD Ameritrade

    {January 8th, 2020} by Pacific Life

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Life announced that the company’s fee-based, advisory annuities are now available to independent registered investment advisers (RIAs) through TD Ameritrade. “TD Ameritrade is an industry leader with independent RIAs. Expanding our distribution through them with our two fee-based annuities, Pacific OdysseyŽ and Pacific Index AdvisoryÂŽ, supports our overall strategy to provide broader access to […]

    Great American Life Unveils Comprehensive Suite of Fee-Based Annuities With Launch of Two New Products

    {January 8th, 2020} by Great American Insurance Group

    CINCINNATI — January 06, 2020 — Great American LifeÂŽ expanded its fee-based product offering with the launch of two new fixed-indexed annuities (FIAs). The Index Protector 4 and Index Protector 5 MVA (market value adjustment) annuities are designed specifically for advisors involved in fee-based planning, making it easy to incorporate these insurance products into their […]

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Introduces New Product to Bolster Individual’s Financial Security

    {January 8th, 2020} by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

    HORSHAM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual), a Fortune 1000 Company, introduces a new Guaranteed Whole LifeSM insurance product that provides an array of options for a lifetime of security. The product’s built-in features, including a customized payment period, can offer peace of mind for policyholders and their beneficiaries. The Guaranteed Whole Life […]

    Ohio National releases enhanced Virtus IUL II policy with expenses among the industry’s lowest

    {January 8th, 2020} by Ohio National Financial Services

    New IUL policy joins revamped V-Pro UL II policy to round out the product portfolio on new CSO tables   CINCINNATI, Jan. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ohio National Financial Services is pleased to announce an enhanced indexed universal life (IUL) insurance product that features affordable death benefit protection paired with expenses among the lowest […]

    Kim Cross Appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner for Supervision

    {January 8th, 2020} by Iowa Insurance Division

    Des Moines, Iowa – Kim Cross has been promoted to Acting Deputy Commissioner for Supervision as Jim Armstrong, longtime Deputy Commissioner for Supervision, has retired after more than 35 years serving at the Iowa Insurance Division. “I’m honored to continue to serve Iowans in this new capacity,” Cross said.  “As anyone in the insurance industry knows, […]

    Principal to Announce Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Results

    {January 8th, 2020} by Principal Financial Group

    DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Principal Financial GroupŽ (Nasdaq: PFG) announced today that it will release fourth quarter 2019 financial results 15 minutes after the market closes on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. On Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 10 a.m. ET, Dan Houston, chairman, president and chief executive officer, and Deanna Strable, executive vice president and chief financial […]

    F&G Announces Headquarter Relocation to 801 Grand

    {January 8th, 2020} by F&G Annuities and Life

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — F&G Annuities and Life (NYSE: FG) (“the company” or “F&G”), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance, recently announced a plan to relocate the F&G headquarters to the 801 Grand office building in downtown Des Moines. In the last two years, F&G has hired 58 people in 2018 and 94 in 2019. Of […]

    Athene Closes $6 Billion in Pension Risk Transfer Transactions During 2019

    {January 8th, 2020} by Athene Holding, Ltd.

    PEMBROKE, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Athene Holding Ltd. (“Athene”) (NYSE: ATH), a leading retirement services company, announced it has reached approximately $6.0 billion in total pension risk transfer (PRT) transactions for 2019, which includes approximately $800 million from a recently completed funded reinsurance transaction with a leading U.K. insurance company. Under the terms of Athene’s inaugural transaction in […]

    Kuvare Completes Acquisition of Lincoln Benefit Life Company

    {January 8th, 2020} by Kuvare US Holdings, Inc.

    CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kuvare US Holdings, Inc. (“Kuvare”), a growth-oriented life and annuity business, announced today the completion of its purchase of Lincoln Benefit Life Company and its affiliates (“LBL”) on December 31, 2019. With this latest acquisition, Kuvare’s pro forma consolidated assets are now valued at over $22 billion. Kuvare Chief Executive Officer, Dhiren Jhaveri, commented […]

    FBL Financial Group Schedules Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Release Date, Conference Call and Webcast

    {January 8th, 2020} by FBL Financial Group, Inc

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: FFG) will announce its fourth quarter 2019 earnings approximately 15 minutes after the close of the market on Thursday, February 6, 2020. The fourth quarter earnings release and financial supplement will be posted on the FBL Financial Group website (www.fblfinancial.com) at that time. FBL Financial Group will […]

    SIMON Markets LLC Expands InsurTech Platform; Introduces Great American Life as Second Carrier to Deliver Annuity Products to Market

    {January 8th, 2020} by SIMON Markets LLC

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SIMON Markets LLC (“SIMON”) is pleased to introduce Great American Life Insurance CompanyÂŽ (“Great American”)—a leading provider of annuities in the U.S.—as the second insurance carrier to offer products on SIMON’s new annuities platform for wealth managers. With the belief that sophisticated tools don’t need to be complex, SIMON recently launched its InsurTech […]

    Sammons Financial Group Names Bryce Biklen as Vice President and Chief Distribution Officer

    {January 8th, 2020} by Sammons Financial Group

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sammons Financial GroupŽ (SFG) has named Bryce Biklen to a new role as vice president and chief distribution officer for Sammons Independent Annuity Group (SIAG), a division of SFG. In this position, Biklen will lead the SIAG distribution teams for SFG’s member companies. Those companies include North American […]

    Life Reshaped

    {January 8th, 2020} by Jeff Roberts

    Kevin Hogan’s friend never made it home. The man owned his own business, and it took him into harm’s way on Sept. 11, 2001. The morning when everything changed. “His was one of those cars that never left the parking lot that night,” said Hogan, CEO of AIG Life & Retirement. He chose not to […]

    SEC won’t offer any grace period for Reg BI compliance

    {January 8th, 2020} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    The Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t plan to let any grass grow under its feet when it comes to checking on the implementation of investment-advice reform by brokers and registered investment advisers. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    Business Groups Blast Massachusetts Fiduciary Plan as Comment Period Ends

    {January 8th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged William Galvin, Massachusetts’ top securities regulator, on Tuesday to extend the comment period on the state’s fiduciary proposal, as the revised plan raises “serious new legal and practical concerns.” The Massachusetts Securities Division held a hearing Tuesday morning on its revised fiduciary rule, which Galvin, the Massachusetts secretary of […]

    Dodd and Frank Say SEC’s Reg BI Violates Law

    {January 8th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest violates Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which directed the commission to “harmonize” the standards of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisors through a fiduciary rule, current and former Democratic lawmakers, including the law’s authors, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Congress’ mandate […]

    Economic Impact: 2020 Forecast Looks Better Than It Did A Year Ago

    {January 8th, 2020} by Christine Chmura

    What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time there was talk of recession, in part, because the stock market and yield curve were signaling warning signs. At the end of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst year since 2008. If the stock market is falling, then investors must think […]

    Thomas H. Lee Group Agrees to Buy a Majority Stake in AmeriLife

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    An investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P., a private equity firm, has agreed to buy a majority stake in AmeriLife Group LLC from another private equity firm, J.C. Flowers & Company LLC, AmeriLife announced today. AmeriLife is a Clearwater, Florida-based life, health and annuity distributor that has relationships with about 140,000 insurance […]

    Gallagher starts the year with insurance agency acquisition in NY

    {January 8th, 2020} by Lyle Adriano

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Walsdorf Agency in Huntington, NY. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Walsdorf Agency, founded in 1926, is a third generation, family-owned commercial and personal lines insurance agency; a release noted that the agency has “strong real estate niche expertise.” Following the acquisition, David L. Walsdorf, Louis J. […]

    Fixed Index Annuities: The Pros And Cons

    {January 8th, 2020} by William Hinds

    The older and closer to retirement you get, the less risk you should be taking in your portfolio, generally speaking. The old rule of thumb was to take your age and place that much in bonds and the rest into an equity portfolio. And over the last 30 years or so, bonds have done well […]

    7 Things To Remember When Doing A 1035 Annuity Exchange

    {January 8th, 2020} by Matt Carey

    The process of using funds from an existing annuity to purchase another annuity is commonly referred to as an annuity exchange. If the funds being used are non-qualified (i.e. not held in something like an IRA), then the exchange would be a 1035 exchange (so named for Section 1035 of the IRS Code, which governs […]

    You can buy steady retirement income. Experts are divided on whether it’s a good idea

    {January 8th, 2020} by Lorie Konish

    If you think that Republicans and Democrats can’t see eye to eye these days, try sitting in a room with financial professionals who are for and against annuities. The inability to agree is real. And both sides hold steadfast to their positions. Annuities are insurance or investment contracts that give investors regular payments in exchange […]

    My Life Insurance Buying Journey

    {January 8th, 2020} by Jeff Piotrowski

    As someone who works with life insurance marketers on a daily basis, I am keenly aware of the interest that carriers and agents have in meeting their customers in the market, when they are actively interested and most receptive to a conversation. This not only improves productivity for the insurer; it also offers a great […]

    The 2020 Life, Health and Annuity Planner

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The new year has arrived. Here are some in-person events you could attend… Jan. 13-15: Society of Actuaries (SOA), 2020 Living to 100 Symposium, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Jan. 16: Council for Affordable Health Coverage, The Price of Good Health (What the 2020 Election Means for Health Costs), in Washington. Jan. 25: Chinese New Year. Jan. 29-30: Inter-Company Marketing Group, annual […]

    5 Things to Know About 707 Years of Interest Rate Data

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The Bank of England has published a breath-taking thriller for people involved with creating and selling safe saving and investment vehicles: a comprehensive look at what happened to inflation-adjusted interest rates from 1311 through 2018. Paul Schmelzing, a Harvard University economic history grad student who’s a visiting scholar at the bank, wrote the paper in response to […]

    Brokerage industry opposes Massachusetts fiduciary rule proposal at hearing

    {January 8th, 2020} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    Brokerage and insurance industry representatives on Tuesday criticized a Massachusetts proposal that would impose fiduciary duty on all financial advisers in the state, but investor-protection advocates are confident the state won’t back down under industry pressure.   Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    State insurance commissioners poised to approve annuity sales best interest rule

    {January 8th, 2020} by Mark Schoeff Jr

    State insurance commissioners are expected to approve in the next few weeks a model regulation designed to strengthen investor protections related to annuity sales, but consumer advocates say it falls far short of improving safeguards surrounding the often-complex products. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    New Nationwide Survey Finds that Debt Weighs Heavy on the Minds of Americans

    {January 8th, 2020} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dealing with debt is foremost on the minds of many Americans and understandably so. In December, the New York Federal Reserve announced that Americans have a record $14 trillion in debt, including mortgages, credit cards, and student loans. The situation can cause a great deal of anxiety. According to a recent survey conducted by Nationwide […]

    Kuvare Closes on Lincoln Benefit Life

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    A young company that says it wants to become a real life and annuity player, not just manage old blocks of business, now owns Lincoln Benefit Life Company — a life insurer that once helped power Allstate Corp.’s annuity operations. Kuvare US Holdings Inc. said Monday that it completed the purchase of Lincoln Benefit Life, and […]

    New York Asks Insurers What They’ll Do When Libor Goes Away

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    New York state regulators want insurers and other financial services companies to explain what they’ll do if and when a major interest rate benchmark — the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) — goes away. New York State Financial Superintendent Linda Lacewell has told the companies to send her detailed life-after-Libor plans by Feb. 7. The same […]

    Alicia Munnell’s Social Security Bridge v. Annuities Income Planning Smackdown

    {January 8th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    More U.S. retirement savers should probably buy ordinary annuities before they retire, but they don’t, and policymakers need to come up with an alternative, according to Alicia Munnell, a top academic retirement policy researcher. Munnell — director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College — says she thinks promoting use of “Social Security bridge” arrangements may be […]

    Symetra Financial Corporation Launches Investment Management Company

    {January 8th, 2020} by Symetra Financial Corporation

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Financial Corporation today announced that it has established an investment subsidiary, Symetra Investment Management Company (SIM). The standalone entity will initially focus on facilitating the ability of Symetra’s Japan-based parent, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, to invest in U.S.-based assets utilizing the expertise of the SIM team. Sumitomo completed its first investment of […]

    Voices: My predictions for regulations to watch in 2020

    {January 7th, 2020} by Todd Cipperman

    Below I offer my regulatory predictions for 2020, addressing Regulation Best Interest, closed-end funds, private equity and compliance, among others. One caveat: my crystal ball is always cloudier during a presidential election year. For example, if Jay Clayton or Dalia Blass decide to resign (not predictions, although possible based on history), all bets are off […]

    National Holdings Corporation Announces Closing of Acquisition of Full-Service Investment Firm Winslow, Evans & Crocker, Inc.

    {January 7th, 2020} by National Holdings Corporation

    NEW YORK, Jan. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — National Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: NHLD) (“National” or the “Company”), a leading full service independent brokerage, investment banking and asset management firm providing a wide array of services, announced the closing, on December 31, 2019, of the acquisition of Winslow, Evans & Crocker, Inc., an employee-owned full-service investment […]

    Opinion: Now that annuities can be part of your 401(k), here’s how to make them more palatable

    {January 7th, 2020} by Andrew G. Biggs

    The Secure Act passed by Congress at the end of 2019 is the biggest change in U.S. retirement savings policy since the Pension Protection Act in 2006. The Secure Act aims to expand retirement savings opportunities, give retirees more freedom on when to withdraw their retirement savings from IRA plans, and expand access to annuities […]

    A Roth IRA Refresher

    {January 7th, 2020} by Jeremy Hus

    We celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the Roth IRA in 2018 for we tax geeks who like to celebrate that type of thing. However, even though these accounts have been around for that long, there is still so much confusion about them. The benefits of a Roth IRA are clear — the potential for tax-free […]

    Insurers Can Offer Biometric Wearables Without ‘Rebating’: Connecticut

    {January 7th, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Life and health insurers can give consumers Apple Watch devices and Fitbit devices for use in health tracking programs  without getting into trouble with Connecticut insurance regulators, even if the insurers have failed to mention the devices in the policies. Andrew Mais, the Connecticut insurance commissioner, has given that interpretation of Connecticut’s insurance rules in a […]

    The stretch IRA is dead

    {January 6th, 2020} by Ed Slott

    The SECURE Act is the law for 2020 and beyond. Advisers are already scurrying to explain the retirement rule changes to clients, especially those with large IRAs who had planned on a stretch IRA for their heirs. We are receiving an avalanche of questions on exactly how and when this major change will be applied. Click […]

    Kitces Is Confident That Lawsuits Will Squash Reg BI

    {January 6th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    Popular advisor and Nerd’s Eye View blogger Michael Kitces says he remains “as confident as ever” that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit will affirm XY Planning Network’s lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest and delay the rule’s June 30 compliance date. Both XYPN, which Kitces co-founded, and […]

    Why retiring at 65 could become a thing of the past

    {January 4th, 2020} by Paola Peralta

    Welcome to Retirement Scan, our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be talking about. Why retiring at 65 could become a thing of the past As much as 54% of Americans will either stop working after age 65 or never retire at all, according to a study in this CNBC article. Just 24% […]

    Former Ladenburg chairman files suit to stop Advisor Group merger

    {January 4th, 2020} by Bruce Kelly

    A year after cutting ties with Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., Dr. Phillip Frost, formerly its chairman and largest shareholder, has filed a suit against his old firm as it is poised to merge with Advisor Group. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews

    SEC Asset Management Committee to Meet Jan. 14

    {January 4th, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    The SEC’s newly formed Asset Management Advisory Committee plans to hold its first meeting at the agency’s Washington headquarters on Jan. 14. The meeting will include a discussion of “various aspects of the asset management industry,” according to the meeting notice. The committee, made up of diverse industry professionals, was formed to help direct the […]

    Is the World Functional Enough to Support Life Insurance?

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Thousands of years ago, annuities looked like a much better than life insurance because… the world was chaotic. Life was short. Counting on customers to die soon was a safe bet. Political stability, a growing middle class, advances in medical knowledge, and improving public sanitation efforts began making the United States a good market for life […]

    Yes, Virginia, Whole Life Insurance Is Worth It

    {January 1st, 2020} by David Lewis

    In an article titled, “Four Reasons Whole Life Insurance Is Not Worth It,” Holly Johnson, writing in The Simple Dollar, confidently tells readers: “Instead of pouring money into a whole life insurance policy and hoping it pays off, I would much rather keep more of my money in my own hands. That way, I can […]

    Life Reinsurer Gets Its Wish to Intervene

    {January 1st, 2020} by Larry P. Schiffer

    Life insurance policies issued in the past are often transferred in blocks to reinsurers on a 100% indemnity reinsurance basis.  These transfers often include servicing agreements, where the assuming reinsurer takes responsibility for all policy services, including determining the cost-of-insurance.  In the past several years, policyholders have brought putative class actions against life insurance companies […]

    Why Clients Need Advisors’ Help With Annuities

    {January 1st, 2020} by Karen Demasters

    Financial advisors have an obligation to educate their clients about the ins and outs of annuities they own or want to purchase, according to portfolio managers at Ashfield Capital Partners, a financial services firm in San Francisco with $1.2 billion in AUM. Portfolio managers Adrian Fadrhonc and Lyman Howard said people buying and holding annuities […]

    INN’s Top 5 Life Insurance Stories Of 2019: IUL Tops The List

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    Regulatory concerns about the marketing and long-term viability of indexed universal life insurance policies made plenty of news in 2019. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners continues to debate tougher regulations on IUL sales. Coverage of this issue produced some of our most-read stories of the year. Click Here for the top five life insurance […]

    Top 5 Stories Of 2019: Annuities And Lawsuits: INN

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    Once again, the regulation of annuities made for popular reading in every month of 2019. It’s not surprising that lawsuits and regulation were the most-read annuity topics on InsuranceNewsNet. Otherwise, readers were naturally interested in annuity sales rankings, among other topics. Click Here for the five most-read annuity stories of 2019  

    NAIC Annuity Sales Model Law Teed Up For Dec. 30 Adoption

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    State insurance regulators plan to use all their available time before officially adopting a strengthened annuity sales model law by the new year. The Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee will hold a conference call Dec. 30 to adopt revisions to the suitability in annuity transactions (#275) model law. All final comments are due by […]

    NAIC Committee Passes Best Interest Annuity Rules

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners moved one step closer today to sending a best-interest annuity model law to the states for adoption in 2020. The Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee voted 11-1 to pass the annuity sales standard on to the NAIC Executive Committee and Plenary. The executive committee could ta Click HERE […]

    Don’t Forget: Your Clients’ Social Security Benefits Are Taxed

    {January 1st, 2020} by Bernice Napach

    Helping clients avoid the taxation of Social Security benefits is a tall order for any financial advisor because the income thresholds that subject clients to such taxation are set low. They were never indexed to inflation as are Social Security benefits, with their cost of living adjustments, or the incomes of high earners subject to the Medicare surcharge, or […]

    What the ‘Father of 401(k)s’ Thinks of the Secure Act

    {January 1st, 2020} by Ginger Szala

    In what has been called the most comprehensive retirement security legislation in a decade, President Donald Trump on Saturday signed a spending bill that includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure”) Act. This means changes to retirement plans going into the new year. Key changes include: It will be easier for small businesses to […]

    Your 401(k) could soon include new types of investments

    {January 1st, 2020} by CBS/AP

    Major changes could be coming to your retirement plan. The Senate on Thursday passed the Secure Act as part of its massive spending package. The House passed it earlier this week and it now heads to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law. The Secure Act — which stands for Setting […]

    Survey: Role of Sales Representatives Growing in Relevance to Brokers

    {January 1st, 2020} by OneAmerica

    INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The relationship between an insurance carrier’s sales representative and an employee benefits broker continues to gain more importance and relevance, according to a recently completed industry survey commissioned on behalf of OneAmericaÂŽ. The data comes from the survey OneAmerica Worksite Producer: 2019, a custom research project conducted by LIMRA. “Sales representative relationship” tied for third out […]

    The Past, for Agents

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Today is the start of 2020, and the start of the 2020s. It’s also 100 years after the start of New Year’s Day in 1920 — a year that’s much different from our own, yet hauntingly similar, and which is well-represented in various online digital archives, such as the Google Books and Newspapers.com databases. Here’s a […]

    Voices: From 401(k)s to stretch IRAs, what the Secure Act means for clients

    {January 1st, 2020} by Dan Collins

    The recently passed Secure Act is groundbreaking retirement legislation — just like its predecessors, the 1974 ERISA (the bedrock law of employee benefit plans) and the 2006 Pension Protection Act. It will substantially alter the landscape for employer-sponsored retirement plans and individual retirement savers. So, what does this mean for plan sponsors, participants, and clients? […]

    Annuity Issuers Roll Out New Videos

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company launched a new advertising campaign Saturday. The Milwaukee-based company is promoting the Northwestern Mutual brand with four ads based on the company’s 3-year-old “Spend Your Life Living” slogan. Northwestern Mutual began using the Spend Your Life Living slogan in December 2017. The company is delivering the new ads through digital media and social […]

    10 Young Life, Health and Annuity Stars: 2019 Generational Lists

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    This is an important time for professionals who help clients manage life, health and financial risk. The old ways are fading. The future is in a haze. Insurance agents, actuaries, underwriters, claims administrators and others are doing their best to create financial forts that can give the users some protection against the storms, and some […]

    12 Seasoned Life, Health and Annuity Stars: 2019 Generational Lists

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Here’s the second batch of entries for our 2019 Generational Lists recognition program. We developed this approach to succeed our 30 Under 30 program, to give ourselves a way to cast a spotlight on interesting industry professionals of all ages. We listed 10 industry professionals under 30 Tuesday, and we’ll list 10 industry professionals over […]

    10 Titanium Life, Health and Annuity Stars: 2019 Generations Lists

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Here’s the third batch of entries for our 2019 Generational Lists recognition program. We developed this approach to succeed our 30 Under 30 program, to give ourselves a way to cast a spotlight on interesting industry professionals of all ages. We listed 10 industry professionals under 30 Tuesday, and we listed 12 mid-career industry professionals […]

    What SECURE Act’s Annuity, Open MEP Provisions Mean for Advisors

    {January 1st, 2020} by Brian Anderson

    Big changes are coming to 401k plans in 2020 thanks to last week’s whirlwind passage of the SECURE Act as part of the broader federal government spending bill. Among the most significant changes are provisions focused on making it easier to include annuities in 401k plans and opening up multiple employer plans (MEPs) to small companies that […]

    Top-Level NAIC Committee OKs Annuity Sales Standard Proposal

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is getting closer to a final showdown over an annuity sales standards proposal that could help state insurance regulators create a defense against federal sales standards proposals. Members of the NAIC’s Life Insurance and Annuities Committee today approved proposed revisions to the NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, […]

    Life Insurers Increased Currency Swap Exposure in 2018: NAIC

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Capital Markets Bureau has published a new report on U.S. life insurers’ use of a complicated investment risk management tool: derivatives. U.S. life insurers ended 2018 with $2.3 trillion in exposure to derivatives, up 8.8% from the 2017 total, according to the bureau. Interest rate swap exposure increased 7.4%, […]

    Annuity transactions that cause tax-paying headaches: Tax Strategy Scan

    {January 1st, 2020} by Andrew Shilling

    Financial Planning’s weekly roundup of tax-related investment strategies and news your clients may be thinking about. The ‘gotchas’ in annuity taxation While income from an annuity is tax deferred, taxation on this financial product can be more complicated than what most clients think, writes a Forbes contributor. Among the misconceptions: companies sometimes assume they will […]

    NAIC Sales Standard Proposal Includes Reg BI Safe Harbor: IRI

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) says state insurance regulators’ sales standard proposal includes a great feature for financial professionals:  a provision that may protect annuity producers from having to comply with multiple sets of sales standards. Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance and Annuities Committee endorsed the proposal — an update of […]

    Finding Lost Life Insurance Policies

    {January 1st, 2020} by Holland & Hart - Fiduciary Law Blog

    As a probate paralegal, I often assist personal representatives, trustees and family members in collecting information about their loved one’s assets.  Life insurance proceeds can be a blessing to the family to pay for expenses and in relieving the financial burden after a death.  However, while the client may think they remember the deceased person […]

    FINRA Fines 5 Big Firms for ‘Know Your Customer’ Failures

    {January 1st, 2020} by Jeff Berman and Janet Levaux

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sanctioned Citigroup Global Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities, LPL Financial, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch for failing to reasonably supervise compliance with FINRA Rule 2090, its “Know Your Customer” rule, when dealing with custodial accounts, FINRA said Thursday. FINRA Rule 2090 requires member firms and their associated representatives to use reasonable […]

    Secure Act, Fiduciary Rules Set Up a Doozy of a Compliance Year

    {January 1st, 2020} by Melanie Waddell

    Along with new sweeping retirement planning rules ushered in under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act, advisors and broker-dealers will have new fiduciary-related rules to comply with in the new year. President Donald Trump signed the Secure Act into law on Dec. 20 as part of the year-end spending bill, the […]

    The Year 2020, for Agents

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Forecasters at organizations of all kinds have been getting out their 2020 crystal balls. Here’s a distillation of some of the forecasts pouring into our inboxes. (We’ve included links to the forecast documents only when we could find copies of the documents in front of paywalls.) 1. The Overall Business Climate Morgan Stanley securities analysts talked […]

    Will the Secure Act Help You Sell Annuities to Small Employers?

    {January 1st, 2020} by Allison Bell

    Financial services organizations have been providing annuities since the Egyptian pyramids since the pyramids had that new pyramid smell. U.S. life insurers have been telling consumers about all of the things annuities can do from the beginning. On New Year’s Day 100 years ago, for example, Pacific Life was advertising that an annuity can help […]

    Here are the Most Read Stories of 2019: Financial Advisor IQ

    {January 1st, 2020} by FA-IQ Staff

    The last year of the decade was a year of big stories for RIAs and broker-dealers. And the biggest story of 2019 was RIA heavyweight Ken Fisher being accused of ‘horrible’ comments at an exclusive industry conference. Over 11,000 readers heard about this marketing faux pas from reporters Mrinalini Krishna and Rita Raagas De Ramos. And when Fisher apologized, another 8,000 readers […]

    Oregon, West Virginia and Maine have the highest rates of depression

    {January 1st, 2020} by QuoteWizard

    SEATTLE, Dec. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — QuoteWizardÂŽ, a LendingTree company, and one of the nation’s leading online insurance marketplaces, released a report on depression rates among all 50 states, and the impact of mental health care access on decreasing numbers. QuoteWizard found that states which rated highly for mental health care access also saw significant decreases in depression from 2014 […]

    Top 5 Stories Of 2019: Fashion To Fiduciary: Advisor News

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    The top Advisor News stories of 2019 crossed a lot of boundaries, from fashion to fiduciary. It was a very busy year and our readership reflected the frenetic time for financial services.   Click Here are the top five most-read stories on Advisor News  

    Alliance Group and Living Benefits Awareness Month

    {January 1st, 2020} by Alliance Group

    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Dec. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alliance Group announced plans for their third annual Living Benefits Awareness Month, to be observed throughout the month of January 2020. The industry-wide campaign, which takes place each January, aims to educate consumers on the importance of owning Living Benefits life insurance and the role it plays in protecting families’ financial […]

    Alliance Group Announces 2020 Living Benefits Ambassadors Team

    {January 1st, 2020} by Alliance Group

    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Dec. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alliance Group announced the inaugural Living Benefits Ambassadors team as part of their third annual Living Benefits Awareness Month campaign. The Ambassadors will head up local grassroots campaigns to spread education and awareness for Living Benefits Awareness Month in January 2020. The chosen Living Benefits Ambassadors are as follows:   Alliance Group […]

    New Spots from Northwestern Mutual Explore the Realities and Dreams of Americans Today

    {January 1st, 2020} by https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-spots-from-northwestern-mutual-explore-the-realities-and-dreams-of-americans-today-300979334.html

    MILWAUKEE, Dec. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Northwestern Mutual, a leading financial services company, is building on the success of its brand campaign “Spend Your Life Living” with new ads that showcase powerful, diverse and emotive stories that reflect the realities and dreams of many Americans today. The new integrated campaign will launch across TV, digital and social on December […]

    Millennials Feeling Less Financially Secure in 2019

    {January 1st, 2020} by Country Financial

    BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – As 2019 comes to an end, Millennials are continuing to feel financially stressed. The 2019 COUNTRY Financial Security Index revealed that half (50%) of Millennials rate their level of financial security as fair or poor, compared to 44 percent of Americans overall. More than 1,000 Americans were asked about their confidence levels in a variety of personal finance […]

    A paramedic allegedly killed his wife for the insurance payout. The method? Eye drops.

    {January 1st, 2020} by Lateshia Beachum

    Stacy Robinson Hunsucker’s husband told several different versions of events in recounting how he found his wife dying. Joshua Lee Hunsucker, 35, told police on Sept. 23, 2018, that he was outside making sure his car was locked, according to ABC News’s review of the affidavit. He told a friend that he was out on a […]

    Big Growth Forecast For Independent Advisor Channels: Tiburon

    {January 1st, 2020} by John Hilton

    Financial advisor channels face unrelenting pressure moving forward from discount brokerages and robo-advisor options, a leading analyst said. But there is plenty of good news in the forecast as well, added Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. In particular, the independent advisor channels should continue to see its assets grow at a strong […]

    The ‘Gotchas’ In Annuity Taxation

    {January 1st, 2020} 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 […]

    Does student loan debt die when you do?

    {January 1st, 2020} by Tom Anderson

    More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt totaling $1.5 trillion, and it continues to grow at a rapid clip. Student debt comes in two primary forms: federal loans and private loans. Federal student loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Education, and private student loans are provided by banks and other private lenders. […]

    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 […]