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  • Fee-based annuities still require caution, despite IRS olive branch

    {August 21st, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    Financial advisers who use fee-based annuities are likely celebrating after the Internal Revenue Service extended an olive branch last week, ruling favorably on how advisers can charge for annuity advice. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    AM Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of Ohio National Financial Services, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {August 21st, 2019} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to A (Excellent) from A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” from “aa-” of The Ohio National Life Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Ohio National Life Assurance Corporation (together referred to as the Ohio National Life Group). These […]

    Allianz Life Strengthens FIUL Lineup With Launch of Life Pro+ Advantage

    {August 21st, 2019} by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced the launch of the Allianz Life Pro+ Advantage℠ Fixed Index Universal Life (FIUL) Insurance Policy, which will serve as the company’s flagship FIUL product. Life Pro+ Advantage was built to be in compliance with the 2020 commissioners standard ordinary (CSO) mortality table. Life […]

    After PE deal, Advisor Group pays advisors $50M ‘thank you’ award

    {August 21st, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    Financial advisors who stayed with Advisor Group as it changed hands twice in four years will reap the rewards of their loyalty to the tune of $50 million in awards from the firm. “We wanted to do something for them to say thank you,” says Advisor Group CEO Jamie Price. The independent broker-dealer network’s new […]

    Opinion: Millennials are the new face of the retirement crisis

    {August 21st, 2019} by Mark Hulbert

    You think you are facing a retirement finance crisis? Consider the millennial generation, those born between 1981 and 1996. Starting this year they became the largest living generation in the U.S. Compared with their dismal retirement finance prospects, those currently in or close to retirement would seem to be living on Easy Street. At least […]

    SEC Enforcement’s Cyber Unit Leader Decamps to Davis Polk

    {August 21st, 2019} by Ryan Lovelace

    After 15 years at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Robert Cohen is joining Davis Polk & Wardwell as a partner in Washington, D.C. Cohen was most recently the SEC’s first-ever chief of the division of enforcement’s cyber unit, a position created in 2017, and was formerly co-chief of the SEC’s market abuse unit. At […]

    Two insurers to pay $117,000 to Pennsylvanians after major investment scam

    {August 21st, 2019} by Christian Hetrick

    Two life insurance companies have agreed to pay more than $117,000 to refund 25 Pennsylvanians who were sold financial products that unnecessarily cost them thousands of dollars, the state Insurance Department said Tuesday. A pair of agents from Pittsburgh, Donald L. Gilberg and Nicole P. Gilberg, convinced consumers to replace their annuities with new ones, […]

    Deferred Income Annuities: Loved by Economists, Ignored by Investors

    {August 21st, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Retirees are weathering retirement under “substantial risk and uncertainty” by not choosing a deferred income annuity — a product “that specifically targets longevity risk” and is much loved by economists, according to retirement experts. In a their paper, Can Annuities Become a Bigger Contributor to Retirement Savings?, written for the Brookings Institution, Martin Baily and Benjamin […]

    Life Insurers Have Cut Down on Credit Card Assets: NAIC

    {August 21st, 2019} by Allison Bell

    U.S. life and annuity issuers seem to be cutting down on investments in securities backed by consumer debt. Analysts at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Capital Markets Bureau have raised that possibility in a new report based on insurers’ financial reports. The analysts looked at insurers’ holdings of three classes of asset-backed securities: securities […]

    Regulators Could Help Life Insurers Buy More Stock

    {August 21st, 2019} by Allison Bell

    State insurance regulators are thinking about the idea of making it easier for life insurance companies invest in stock. A team at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Life Risk-Based Capital Working Group, is asking for public comments on a stock-investment proposal from Allstate Corp.’s life insurance business. Allstate told the working group that, today, […]

    IRS Posts Charitable Lead Annuity Trust Letter Ruling

    {August 21st, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Internal Revenue Service has posted an anonymized version of a letter ruling concerning a charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT). A CLAT is a vehicle used in estate planning. A CLAT letter ruling could be of interest to financial professionals who are using life insurance, annuities or other instruments to help wealthy clients with estate […]

    Penn Mutual Goes Deeper Into Rugby

    {August 21st, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company is continuing its rugby-based marketing effort. The Horsham, Pennsylvania-based life insurer announced earlier this week that it has renewed a sponsorship agreement with the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO). Penn Mutual is the NSCRO’s top sponsor. Click HERE to read the full story via ThinkAdvisor.

    Cross-selling gaining prominence in retirement-plan lawsuits

    {August 20th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    Cross-selling by record keepers has become a hot-button issue in retirement-plan lawsuits, raising broader awareness and questions around how service providers can use participant data. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.    

    IRS Makes Annuities RIA-Friendlier

    {August 20th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    Fee-based financial advisers now have one less reason not to recommend annuities to clients, thanks to the private letter rulings (PLR) that at least four life insurers—Nationwide, Lincoln Financial, Prudential and Great American—recently received from the Internal Revenue Service. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ. 

    Storm Warning? Let an Annuity By Your Umbrella

    {August 20th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    Financial advisors’ cell phones must have been ringing with anxious client calls last night. Yesterday’s 3% drop in the S&P 500 Index undoubtedly made a lot of people nervous. And, if the advisors followed their training, most of them probably told a lot of people to “Stay the course,” as Jack Bogle liked to say. […]

    Analysts: LTC Hybrid Policies Will Keep Driving Life Insurance Sales

    {August 20th, 2019} by John Hilton

    It was one of the most stunning data sets discussed during the recent state insurance commissioners’ summer meeting in New York City: policies sold with a long-term care rider jumped from 228,000 in 2015 to 461,000 in 2018. Today, more than 40 carriers are selling these products with a long-term care element, said Steve Schoonveld […]

    3 Ways Annuities Can Help Boomers Reduce Retirement Risk

    {August 20th, 2019} by Craig Hawley

    As 10,000 Baby Boomers a day leave the workforce behind, only 28% believe they are doing — or have done — a good job preparing for retirement. What’s more, only 25% believe they will have enough money to live in retirement, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. Americans are living longer and healthier lives. Life […]

    CUNA Mutual Group Rolls Out Zone Income™ Annuity

    {August 20th, 2019} by CUNA Mutual Group

    Product is Designed for All Phases of Retirement Savings—Accumulation, Income and Legacy MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group today announced the launch of Zone Income Annuity, which includes features that address all phases of retirement, including a protected lifetime income feature that locks in a minimum income stream to the policyholder for life. The new product also expands […]

    Cost to play bigger role in investment recommendations

    {August 19th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    Cost will soon play a more important role in the investment recommendations brokers make to clients. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    Jackson Reports First Half 2019 Financial Results

    {August 19th, 2019} by Jackson National Life Insurance Company

    LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) today announced its half-year financial results, generating a record $1.6 billion in IFRS pre-tax operating income2 during the first half of 2019, an increase of 13.6 percent over the first half of 2018. Jackson, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom’s Prudential plc (NYSE: PUK), also reported […]

    Executive Interview: PRU’s Kent Sluyter

    {August 19th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    While Prudential Financial’s history dates to 1875, the Newark, NJ-based insurance and asset management firm has changed dramatically in recent years. After demutualizing in 2001, the firm acquired American Skandia’s variable annuity business, then CIGNA’s retirement plan business, then Hartford’s life insurance business, among other changes. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ

    Ohio National makes C-suite change

    {August 19th, 2019} by Steve Watkins

    Ohio National Financial Services has promoted two people to key positions, including one as a member of its C-suite. Montgomery-based life insurer Ohio National promoted Christopher Calabro to senior vice president and chief marketing officer. That move is effective immediately. Calabro has responsibility for Ohio National’s sales, distribution and marketing efforts for its life and […]

    Using Insurance to Help Wealthy Clients ‘Disinherit the IRS’

    {August 19th, 2019} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    Matthew Celenza, an innovative advisor in the posh Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills (think Rodeo Drive), is providing his billionaire clients with bespoke life insurance solutions that function as family banks outside their estates. They allow the ultra-high net worth to spend more now, build legacy and “disinherit the IRS.” Insurance can be “an incredible […]

    Insurers pivot amid declining interest rates

    {August 19th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    Interest rates have done an about-face, and insurers are feeling the pinch. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    Nationwide now offers advisors customized digital annuity product kits

    {August 18th, 2019} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Often, less is more. Advisors now have the ability to deliver a custom experience for their clients tailored for what they are purchasing. Nationwide’s digital client kits, which are available on select annuity products, also enable advisors to be more agile and responsive because they instantly have access to the […]

    SE2, the leading InsureTech Opens Technology and Innovation Center in Pune; Expands India Operations

    {August 18th, 2019} by SE2

    GURUGRAM, India, Aug. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SE2, a recognized industry leader providing technology-driven third-party administration services for many of the top U.S. life insurance and annuities companies, today announced the launch of its Technology and Innovation Center in Pune, India. Spanning 35,000 square feet of space, the Center will be responsible for comprehensive solutions in life […]

    Former New York Life Agent Sentenced to Prison in $2.8 Million Fraud Scheme

    {August 14th, 2019} by Frank Klimko

    BALTIMORE – A former New York Life insurance agent and financial planner was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to collecting $2.8 million in a fraudulent scheme, prosecutors said. Jonathan Williams, a former Maryland insurance agent and financial planner with New York Life, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison and ordered to pay […]

    Great American Life Rallies for Industry Change and Overcomes Major Taxation Hurdle for Fee-Based Annuities

    {August 14th, 2019} by Great American Life

    CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American Life® is pleased to announce it received a Private Letter Ruling (PLR) from the IRS that changes the tax treatment of advisory fees. The PLR was issued on August 6 and states that advisory fees may be withdrawn from a non-qualified fixed-indexed annuity without creating a taxable event for the client. The PLR […]

    Report Shows Where Insurance Departments’ Money Goes…

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has published the new edition of a kind of almanac aimed at people who want to know exactly how insurance regulation really works: the first volume of the NAIC’s Insurance Department Resources Report. The first volume covers topics such as how many insurers the United States has, how many people work […]

    Thoma Bravo Enters into Agreement to Sell iPipeline to Roper Technologies

    {August 14th, 2019} by Thoma Bravo, LLC,

    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Thoma Bravo, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell iPipeline, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry, to Roper Technologies. The company is being acquired for $1.625 billion, and the transaction is […]

    Socially Responsible Investing and ESG: It’s Not Just a Millennial Trend

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While millennials seem to be the generation most interested in applying their ideals on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to their finances, Gen Xers and baby boomers are also expressing growing interest, according to the ESG Investor Sentiment Study* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®). The study found that although […]

    New Law in New Hampshire Aims to Fight Financial Abuse

    {August 14th, 2019} by Michael Casey, Associated Press

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — In a state with one of the oldest populations in the country, New Hampshire regulators are counting on a new law to protect the growing numbers of vulnerable adults. The law allows securities brokerage firms and investment advisers to delay disbursement of funds from an investment account if they believe it could result […]

    Annuities Aim for Spot in ‘Starting Lineup’

    {August 14th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    Impatient with their limited roles as relief pitchers, designated hitters or pinch runners on a financial advisor’s line-up card, annuities aim to be recognized as starters—dependable athletes who play airtight defense and, most importantly, deliver clutch hits in extra-inning games. Click HERE to read the full story via RIJ. 

    Dually registered advisers found to have conflicts and higher fees

    {August 14th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Investment advisers who also are registered as brokers are rife with conflicts of interest and charge their clients more than independent RIAs, according to a new academic study. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    U.S. Life Insurance Activity Reverses in July Reports the MIB Life Index

    {August 14th, 2019} by MIB Life Index

    Braintree, MA. (August 8, 2019) — U.S. life insurance application activity reversed direction in July displacing virtually all of the prior June’s gains, down -3.2% Y/Y, according to the MIB Life Index. The 2019 MIB Life Index reflects a zigzag pattern that included five months of small gains peppered by two months of sharp declines, keeping the […]

    Are Annuities Really Illiquid?

    {August 14th, 2019} by Scott Stolz

    Annuities are typically considered illiquid, long-term investments. In general, I don’t think anyone would disagree with that view. After all, annuities are designed to be lifetime contracts. However, it would be wrong to assume all annuities are created equal when it comes to liquidity. Instead, it’s important to recognize the differences. Why Are Annuities Considered […]

    Commonwealth Sees a Surge in BDs Ditching FINRA Registrations

    {August 14th, 2019} by Jeff Berman

    As Commonwealth Financial Network continues to see a significant number of broker-dealers (BDs) and dually registered BDs and investment advisors transition to become fee-only registered investment advisors and investment advisor representatives, the company has reached $5 billion in assets under management from fee-only advisors who don’t have any affiliation with the firm’s BD business, according […]

    Integrity Marketing Makes a New Deal in Texas

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Integrity Marketing Group LLC has acquired Senior Insurance Brokers LLC from Jake Bailey for a price that was not disclosed. Integrity is a Dallas-based senior products distribution company that has been growing rapidly through acquisitions. Senior Insurance Brokers is a 15-year-old insurance marketing organization based in Fort Worth, Texas. Click HERE to read the full […]

    3 Things Unum and CNO Said About You

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    When many health insurance company executives are talking to securities analysts during conference calls, they sound as if they want to run walk-in clinic companies that focus mainly on telling people to exercise. Many executives from life insurers seem to want to grow up to be financial planning companies. Executives from Unum Group and CNO […]

    Roper Agrees to Acquire iPipeline, a Key Life and Annuity Distribtech Provider

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Roper Technologies Inc. — a big, publicly traded technology company — has agreed to acquire Internet Pipeline Inc., one of the major suppliers of life insurance and annuity distribution software and technology services. Internet Pipeline, which does business as iPipeline, announced the deal today. IPipeline said it expects to keep its name, its brands, and its headquarters offices, […]

    IRS Posts Tax Help for Life Insurers

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Internal Revenue Services has developed a system that could help U.S. life insurers comply with part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). The new system, described in IRS Revenue Procedure  2019-34, is supposed to give life insurers a quick way to change accounting methods that conflict with the new TCJA policy acquisition cost […]

    Fee-Based Annuities Get IRS Nod

    {August 14th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    The Internal Revenue Service has reversed course, allowing Nationwide and Lincoln Financial in private letter rulings to treat the payment of an advisory fee from a variable, fixed indexed or hybrid nonqualified annuity to qualify as a nontaxable distribution. The move is being hailed by fee-only advisors as a means for them to get compensated for […]

    IRS Rules for Nationwide and Lincoln on Annuity Advisory Fees

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Internal Revenue Service staff has given at least two insurance organizations advice that could cut the cost of administering fee-based annuities. The IRS has sent Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and two affiliates a private letter ruling that affects the companies’ fee-based fixed annuity contracts and fee-based variable annuity contracts. The new IRS ruling lets the companies […]

    Annuities and Heirs

    {August 14th, 2019} by Brian Jarosinski

    When asked what their most valuable assets are, most clients say their homes or their careers. While homes and careers are certainly on the short list, after reflection, clients usually agree that their most valuable assets are, in fact, their families, genuine friendships, and time. As individuals and couples work hard to generate wealth for […]

    Genworth Finds Buyer for Canadian Mortgage Insurance Unit

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A big asset manager has agreed to pay about $1.8 billion for Genworth Financial Inc.’s 56.9% stake in the Genworth MI Canada Inc. mortgage insurance business, Genworth announced today. The would-be buyer, Brookfield Business Partners L.P., hopes to close on the deal by Dec. 31, Genworth said. If Brookfield and Genworth fail to get the […]

    5 IRS Asset-Based Fee Ruling Possibilities

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Annuity issuers are celebrating the arrival of new private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service. The new IRS rulings give life insurers the ability, under certain circumstances, to pay fee-based financial advisors asset-based fees directly from ordinary, individual annuity contracts, without generating any of those dreaded “taxable events” for the customers. Sales of fee-based […]

    Lower Interest Rates Hurt: Annuity Issuers

    {August 14th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Federal Reserve Board has just cut a closely watched, mostly symbolic interest rate it controls by a quarter of a percentage point. Players out in the bond market itself have been pushing down the market’s own rates for months. The shift has come after a few years in which rates had been starting to creep […]

    777 Re Ltd Announces First Reinsurance Transaction

    {August 14th, 2019} by 777 Re Ltd

    HAMILTON, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–777 Re Ltd (“777 Re”), a newly formed Bermuda-based reinsurance company, has announced the completion of a $307 million annuity block reinsurance transaction with a US based insurance company. Under the agreement, the direct writer will continue to service and administer the policies. The transaction has an effective date of April 1, 2019. […]

    Four Things You Should Know About Life Insurance and Divorce

    {August 14th, 2019} by Chad G. Boonswang, Esq.

    As a couple, you’ve purchased life insurance as part of your comprehensive financial plan. Sadly, you and your spouse have decided to part ways. Over the years our firm has found that clients needed to be apprised of the following considerations when a divorcing couple has life insurance: 1. A Life Insurance Policy May Be […]

    What Does Financial Empowerment Mean To Women Today?

    {August 14th, 2019} by Kate Warne, Ph.D., CFA

    Women have compelling reasons to take a long-term approach to planning for their financial future. They live longer than men, a growing number are their family’s primary breadwinner, and they stand to inherit a substantial portion of the $68.4 trillion in wealth that will be transferred over the next 25 years. Yet a recent survey by […]

    A Conversation With Aimee Johnson

    {August 14th, 2019} by P.E. Kelly

    The idea of the ‘empowerment of women’ would seem by now embedded in our culture, having germinated in protest in the 1960’s and becoming gradually codified into the consciousness of society, and ultimately into the fabric of our lives. But how engrained is it? Just how confident are women today in the quest for equal […]

    The Future Of Insurance: A View From The Driver’s Seat

    {August 14th, 2019} by Majesco

    August 8, 2019 — Check your rearview mirror. Who is back there? Look out of your windshield. Who is in front of you? Can you see yourself in the visor mirror? Who is staring back? For two weeks now, we’ve been looking at our own insurance companies in the mirror, while at the same time […]

    Girls Who Invest Scholars From 63 Colleges and Universities Secure Internships at Elite Investment Firms in U.S., Canada, UK

    {August 14th, 2019} by GWI

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Girls Who Invest (GWI), a non-profit organization that prepares undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities for careers in investment management, today announced that 150 students from GWI’s 2019 cohort are completing six-week paid internships at some of the top investment management firms, including Vista Equity Partners, PIMCO, The Baupost Group, BMGI, Farallon Capital Management, […]

    Labor Nominee Would Likely Sit Out Financial-Advice Rule Making

    {August 14th, 2019} by Andrew Ackerman

    WASHINGTON—President Trump’s pick to be the next secretary of labor would likely have to sit out the department’s rewrite of a closely watched investment-advice rule if he is confirmed, according to people familiar with the matter. Eugene Scalia, a Washington lawyer who has helped companies challenge financial rules, previously handled a legal challenge to the […]

    Finra Gives Small Firms a Break for Exam Frequency

    {August 13th, 2019} by Alex Padalka

    Finra is giving small firms a break when it comes to how often they get examined, according to news reports. While typically the industry’s self-regulator examines firms every two or three years, small firms without disciplinary history will only be examined every four years or so, Robert Muh, chief executive of Sutter Securities and a small-firm representative on Finra’s […]

    IRS: Advisory Fees Can Come From Non-Qualified Annuities Tax Free

    {August 13th, 2019} by Christopher Robbins

    The Internal Revenue Service has announced that billing advisory fees from an annuity in a non-qualified account will not trigger a taxable distribution. Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide announced on Friday that it received a private letter ruling from the IRS stating that the payment of advisory fees from variable, fixed-indexed or hybrid non-qualified annuities would not […]

    National Western Life Welcomes New Senior Vice President, Head of Sales

    {August 13th, 2019} by National Western Life Group, Inc.

    AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Ross R. Moody, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Group, Inc. (NWLGI) along with Chad J. Tope, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWLIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of NWLGI, have announced the expansion of the sales and […]

    Conning: Life-Annuity Insurers Face Distribution Challenge in Delivering Omnichannel Capabilities

    {August 13th, 2019} by Conning

    HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The life insurance industry continues to struggle to increase policy counts, however, improving retention and deepening customer relationships can help reverse this trend along with new sales growth, according to a new study by Conning. “Life-Annuity insurers have the basic building blocks to develop omnichannel marketing and distribution capabilities, but it […]

    IRS delivers ‘game changer’ for fee-based annuities

    {August 13th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    The Internal Revenue Service has issued a tax ruling that may quickly boost the use of annuities by registered investment advisers with clients, by knocking down what many saw as the primary road block to their uptake. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    SEC Lets Symetra Put Insurance-Style Financial Statements in Annuity Filings

    {August 13th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The staff at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing forward with a policy shift that may help life insurers save some money on variable annuity accounting. The SEC staff put out a “no-action letter” ruling Thursday that gives two life insurers permission to use the financial statements they have prepared for state insurance […]

    Nationwide Receives Favorable IRS Private Letter Ruling on Taxation of Advisory Fees from Non-Qualified Annuities

    {August 13th, 2019} by Nationwide Advisory Solutions

    LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Nationwide, one of the largest providers of insurance and financial services products in the U.S., today announced that it has received a favorable private letter ruling (PLR) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with respect to the tax treatment of advisory fees paid from non-qualified annuities. The new ruling concludes that the […]

    National Western Life Group, Inc. Announces 2019 Second Quarter Earnings

    {August 13th, 2019} by National Western Life Group, Inc.

    AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Ross R. Moody, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today second quarter 2019 consolidated net earnings of $33.7 million, or $9.53 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $32.5 million, or $9.18 per diluted Class A common share, for the second […]

    AXA Equitable Holdings Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 13th, 2019} by AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc.

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (“AXA Equitable Holdings”, “Holdings”, or the “Company”) (NYSE: EQH) today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. “Our strong second quarter 2019 results were driven by continued operating performance and momentum across our segments,” said Mark Pearson, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We delivered 15% […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Great-West Lifeco, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

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

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” of The Great-West Life Assurance Company (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and its affiliates. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a” and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of Great-West Lifeco, Inc. (Lifeco) (Winnipeg, Manitoba). The […]

    Fixed Indexed Annuities Stage a Comeback

    {August 13th, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    Fixed indexed annuities are making a comeback following the demise of the Labor Department fiduciary rule last year and rising volatility in the current stock market, according to a new report from Cerulli Associates. In the first quarter of 2019, sales of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs), which guarantee a minimum rate of return usually tied […]

    Annuity Suitability Working Group Tries to Get Out of the Parking Lot

    {August 13th, 2019} by Ann Young Black, Jamie Bigayer

    The NAIC Annuity Suitability Working Group (Suitability WG) spent the summer at the July 23, July 29, and August 3 Suitability WG meetings trying to get out of the parking lot and discussed several issues to frame up the proposed revisions to the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (Suitability Model). Chair Jillian Froment explained […]

    Court Upholds New York Rule on Insurance, Annuity Sales

    {August 13th, 2019} by Ross Snel

    A New York state rule that raises the standard of conduct for sellers of annuities and life insurance policies has survived a legal challenge from industry groups. On the eve of the rule’s implementation last Thursday, the New York State Supreme Court upheld it, InvestmentNews reports. State regulators proposed the rule in late 2017 and issued it […]

    N.Y. Supreme Court Upholds State Fiduciary Rule For Annuities

    {August 13th, 2019} by Tracey Longo

    The New York Supreme Court has upheld the state’s contentious fiduciary rule governing annuities and lift insurance sales practices. The ruling (https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2019/08/reg187.pdf) found that the New York State Department of Financial Services was neither “arbitrary” nor “capricious” in “providing guidelines for trustworthy and competent producer practices and preventing self dealing by producers at the consumer’s […]

    New Hampshire law aims to protect vulnerable elderly

    {August 13th, 2019} by InvestmentNews

    At the request of its securities regulators, New Hampshire has enacted a law that will take effect on Sept. 8, intended to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. Click HERE to read the full story via Investmentnews.

    Why Teaching Kids About Credit Can Score Points with Their Parents

    {August 13th, 2019} by Miriam Rozen

    Prepare a fingertip-ready roster of recommendations for credit-card and credit-building best practices if you want a handy tool to build relationships with next-generation clients, according to financial advisors who have done so with success. Wide swaths of the population share little knowledge about credit-card and credit-building best practices. One in five consumers gets dinged for […]

    Genworth Noteholders Shrug Off Consent Pay Offer

    {August 13th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Some holders of notes issued by Genworth Financial Inc. may prefer to keep their notes as is than to get cash up front. The Richmond, Virginia-based insurer said today that it has ended a “consent solicitation,” or effort to pay the note holders for permission to change the terms of the notes. Genworth is ending the consent […]

    Voices: RIAs hold the winning hand in a Reg BI world

    {August 13th, 2019} by Knut Rostad

    In his article published in July in Financial Planning, Michael Kitces made two assertions concerning the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest: One, it did “materially lift” the broker-dealer standard; and two, RIAs will have trouble “differentiating themselves in a world where broker-dealers can legitimately state they, too, have a best interest standard.” On the first point, Kitces is just […]

    Opinion: Why annuities should be part of your retirement ‘pension’

    {August 12th, 2019} by Howard Gold

    Recently, I wrote about how retirees can use their Social Security benefits and required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans as substitutes for defined-benefit pensions that, at least in the private sector, may soon be as extinct as the woolly mammoth or Tasmanian tiger. But they may not be enough. Social Security […]

    Nerd Wallet: How to mess up a variable annuity

    {August 11th, 2019} by Liz Weston

    Variable annuities are complex insurance products – so complex that what people actually buy and what they think they’re buying may be quite different. Those misunderstandings can end up costing them, or their heirs, a lot of money. For the uninitiated: Variable annuities are insurance company contracts that allow people to invest money in a […]

    World’s Top 20 Biggest Asset Managers: 2019

    {August 9th, 2019} by Michael S. Fischer

    ADV Ratings has released its list of the world’s biggest asset managers in 2019. The top 20 firms on the list have combined assets under management of $44.9 trillion. Twelve of these asset managers are located in the U.S., three in France and two each in Switzerland and Germany. Other countries on the extended list include Canada, […]

    Multi-line agents can grow by helping clients with life insurance, retirement planning

    {August 7th, 2019} by Insurance Forums Staff

    A recent LIMRA report sheds light on how multiple-line agents—who are affiliated with one company and primarily sell auto, home or other property and casualty insurance—feel about selling life insurance products, lead generation, and opportunities for future growth. Multi-line agents derive most of their business from selling property and casualty products. Some agents, however, have […]

    Slideshow IBD Elite 2019: Which firms have the most reps who are women?

    {August 6th, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    Women make up 51% of the U.S. population and about 17% of affiliated producing representatives of independent broker-dealers. The first statistic represents the latest census figure showing the U.S. government’s definitive study of the country’s population. The latter one represents the stark finding from the limited number of IBDs who publicly disclose their gender demographic […]

    Regulators Mull Moving Up Delivery Of Life Insurance Buyer’s Guide

    {August 6th, 2019} by John Hilton

    Industry proponents lost one argument and forced a delay in another decision during a conference call Tuesday as regulators debate which disclosures will be required to accompany life insurance sales. A National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ working group has accelerated efforts to complete its long-delayed “policy overview” summary to accompany life insurance sales. The two […]

    American Financial Group, Inc. Announces Second Quarter Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by American Financial Group, Inc.

    CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: AFG) today reported 2019 second quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders of $210 million ($2.31 per share), unchanged from the 2018 second quarter. Net earnings for the quarter include $45 million ($0.48 per share) in after-tax net realized gains on securities, including $29 million ($0.32 per share) in holding […]

    Brighthouse Financial Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by Brighthouse Financial

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (“Brighthouse Financial” or the “company”) (Nasdaq: BHF) announced today its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. Second Quarter 2019 Results The company reported net income available to shareholders of $377 million in the second quarter of 2019, or $3.27 on a per diluted share basis, compared […]

    American Equity Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by American Equity Investment Life Holding Company

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities (FIAs), today reported a second quarter 2019 net income of $18.6 million, or $0.20 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $93.9 million, or $1.03 per diluted common share, for second quarter 2018. Non-GAAP […]

    Horace Mann Reports Second-Quarter 2019 Net Income of $2.24 Per Share and Core Earnings* of $0.17 Per Share

    {August 6th, 2019} by Horace Mann Educators Corporation

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE:HMN) today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2019: Horace Mann Consolidated Financial Highlights Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30, ($ in millions, except per share amounts) 2019 2018 Change 2019 2018 Change Total revenues $ 451.5 $ 306.2 47.5% $ 764.7 […]

    The Standard Launches Index Select Annuity with LPL Financial

    {August 6th, 2019} by Standard Insurance Company

    PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) announced today that the Index Select Annuity is now available through LPL Financial, LLC. LPL Financial is the largest independent broker-dealer in the United States. This single premium deferred fixed index annuity has returns based on the upside performance of the popular S&P 500® index. Clients can choose one or […]

    Athene Holding Ltd. Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by Athene Holding, Ltd.

    PEMBROKE, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Athene Holding Ltd. (“Athene”) (NYSE: ATH), a leading provider of retirement savings products, announced financial results for the second quarter 2019. Net income for the second quarter 2019 was $720 million, or $3.75 per diluted Class A common share (“diluted share”), compared to net income for the second quarter 2018 of $257 million, or […]

    FBL Financial Group Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by FBL Financial Group, Inc.

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: FFG): Financial Highlights (Dollars in thousands, except per share data) Three months ended June 30, 2019 2018 Net income attributable to FBL Financial Group $ 32,298 $ 32,803 Adjusted operating income(1) 31,737 31,915 Earnings per common share (assuming dilution): Net income 1.30 1.31 Adjusted operating income(1) […]

    Prudential Financial, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by Prudential Financial, Inc.

    NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) today reported second quarter results. Net income attributable to Prudential Financial, Inc. was $708 million ($1.71 per Common share) for the second quarter of 2019, compared to $197 million ($0.46 per Common share) for the second quarter of 2018. After-tax adjusted operating income was $1.307 billion ($3.14 per […]

    Lincoln Financial Group Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by Lincoln Financial Group

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today reported net income for the second quarter of 2019 of $363 million, or $1.79 per diluted share available to common stockholders, compared to net income in the second quarter of 2018 of $385 million, or $1.70 per diluted share available to common stockholders. Second quarter adjusted income […]

    MetLife Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by MetLife, Inc.

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced its results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. Second Quarter Results Summary Net income of $1.7 billion, or $1.77 per share, compared to net income of $845 million, or $0.83 per share, in the second quarter of 2018. Adjusted earnings of $1.3 billion, or $1.38 […]

    Principal Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by Principal Financial Group

    DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Principal Financial Group® (Nasdaq: PFG) today announced results for second quarter 2019. Net income attributable to PFG for second quarter 2019 of $386.3 million, compared to $456.6 million for second quarter 2018. Net income per diluted share of $1.37 for second quarter 2019 compared to $1.58 in the prior year quarter. Second quarter 2018 […]

    Ameriprise Financial Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

    {August 6th, 2019} by Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP): Earnings ($M) Earnings Per Diluted Share Return on Equity, ex. AOCI  GAAP $492  GAAP $3.57  GAAP 33.1%  Adjusted Operating $560  Adjusted Operating $4.06  Adjusted Operating 37.1% Adjusted operating earnings per diluted share increased 14 percent to $4.06 and adjusted operating return on equity increased 670 basis points to 37.1 […]

    AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of New York Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

    {August 6th, 2019} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aaa” of New York Life Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation (collectively referred to as New York Life). Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings […]

    Women, Gen-Xers Most in Need of Education about Full Benefits of Permanent Life Insurance

    {August 6th, 2019} by Allianz Life

    MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A majority of Americans (82%) continue to have a strong understanding of the primary need for life insurance within their financial strategy – particularly the death benefit that provides monies to family/loved ones upon death of the insured – but women and Gen Xers are behind in awareness about additional benefits that permanent life […]

    AM BestTV: Life/Annuity Insurers Better Prepared for Next Downturn, Say AM Best Analysts

    {August 6th, 2019} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In this AMBestTV episode, Ken Johnson, senior director, and Thomas Rosendale, director, both of AM Best, examine how changes in product mix and asset allocation, along with a focus on asset liability and enterprise risk managements, will likely affect life/annuity insurers in the event of an economic slowdown. Click on http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=la719 to view the entire program. Although […]

    NY Judge Upholds State’s Tough Annuity Sales Regulation

    {August 6th, 2019} by John Hilton

    NEW YORK CITY — A New York judge upheld the toughest annuity sales standard in the nation Thursday, dismissing a lawsuit brought by industry opponents on the same day the rule took effect. Acting Albany County Supreme Court Justice Henry Zwack ruled that the New York State Department of Financial Services was within its authority […]

    Three Reasons To Add Annuities To Your Financial Planning Toolkit

    {August 6th, 2019} by Michael Reidy

    When 73% of clients say they like the idea of adding a source of protected monthly income — on top of Social Security — to their retirement income plan, registered investment advisors pay attention. As traditional pension plans become increasingly rare and an uncertain rate environment jeopardizes the value of many fixed-income investments, clients will […]

    How To Turn $500K Into $1.5M Worth Of Income And An Annuity

    {August 6th, 2019} by John L. Terry III

    I was fascinated with the legend of King Arthur when I was growing up. From the classic Disney animated film The Sword in the Stone to more modern adaptations of this romantic tale, what young man can’t grow up envisioning himself as the heir to the kingdom, pulling the mystical sword Excalibur from its stony […]

    Regulators Vow To Push Out Annuity Sales Model Law By December

    {August 6th, 2019} by John Hilton

    NEW YORK — State insurance regulators moved briskly through four topics Saturday as they try to thread the needle between suitability and fiduciary in crafting an annuity sales model law. Annuity Suitability Working Group chairwoman Jillian Froment urged members to maintain that pace as she outlined a schedule to produce a draft model “by mid-September.” […]

    New DOL advice rule must factor in reality of aging investors

    {August 6th, 2019} by Editorials

    The responsibility ahead for Eugene Scalia, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, should he be confirmed, is enormous. No less than the well-being of Americans in retirement rests on the decisions his agency has before it. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    New York best interest rule for annuity, life insurance sales upheld by state court

    {August 6th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    The New York State Supreme court upheld a state regulation imposing a tougher standard on agents and brokers selling annuity and life insurance policies, on the eve of the rule taking effect. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    Two of the most widely-used adviser fintechs you’ve never heard of

    {August 6th, 2019} by Ryan W. Neal

    Financial advice requires boatloads of paperwork, but two little known fintech firms have been working for 20 years to make it easier. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    New York State Implements Best-Interest Standard for Annuity Sales

    {August 6th, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    Months before any action is expected on a proposed New York State fiduciary rule for investment professionals, the state has implemented new rules that require broker-dealers selling annuities to operate in the best interest of their clients. The new rule, known as Amended Regulation 187, requires that broker-dealers licensed to sell insurance products in the […]

    Top 10 Most Influential Financial Advisors of 2019: Investopedia

    {August 6th, 2019} by Michael S. Fischer

    As financial planning and investing become more and more complicated, financial advisors assume an outsize role in educating consumers about the challenges they face and helping them take the right steps. Financial advisors are “the pathfinders through this financial maze,” in the words of Caleb Silver, Investopedia’s editor-in-chief. This week, Investopedia announced the winners of its […]

    NAIC Creates a Retirement Security Working Group

    {August 6th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Members of the Life Insurance and Annuities Committee — an arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) — have agreed to set up a new working group that will focus on retirement security. The committee named Stephen Taylor, the insurance commissioner for the District of Columbia, to serve as the working group’s first chairman. […]

    U.S. Life Insurers Add $44 Billion to Mortgage Investments

    {August 6th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    U.S. life insurers still have almost three-quarters of their assets parked in bonds, but the value of their mortgage investments is growing much faster. A team at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Capital Markets Bureau has painted that picture in two new insurance company investment reports based on insurers’ financial statements for 2018. U.S. […]

    An Annuity Alternative That Simplifies Retiree Payouts

    {August 6th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Welcome back to Human Capital! This week, we’re checking in with David John, senior strategic policy advisor at AARP Public Policy Institute and a nonresident senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, to drill down on two papers he recently co-wrote on ways to deliver retirement income. Should all retirees use annuities? That’s […]

    New Bermuda Reinsurer Jumps Into Annuity Game

    {August 6th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A new, Bermuda-based reinsurer, 777 Re Ltd. , says it has completed its first reinsurance transaction. The reinsurer will reinsure a $307 million annuity block for a “U.S.-based insurance company,” 777 Re said. The company that wrote the annuities will continue to service and administer the annuities, 777 Re said. The reinsurer declined to provide any […]

    Annuities and Heirs

    {August 6th, 2019} by Brian Jarosinski

    When asked what their most valuable assets are, most clients say their homes or their careers. While homes and careers are certainly on the short list, after reflection, clients usually agree that their most valuable assets are, in fact, their families, genuine friendships, and time. As individuals and couples work hard to generate wealth for […]

    Individual Life Has Assumption-Change Headaches: Prudential

    {August 6th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Prudential Financial Inc. is now assuming that some older U.S. individual life insurance policies are going to perform differently than it had originally expected, and that change in assumptions took a $153 million bite out of U.S. individual life results in the second quarter. Executives from Prudential told securities analysts Thursday that concerns about the problems […]

    Variable Annuity Expense Levels Might Be Converging

    {August 5th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Big U.S. variable annuity issuers might be using more similar expense structures for popular living benefits riders. Hedgeness Inc., a Chicago-based financial services data analytics company, has included data supporting that possibility in a new batch of variable annuity living benefits rider rating data. Hedgeness included 13 issuers in its latest rating table, up from […]

    State Regulators Push Annuity Sales Standards Project One Step Forward

    {August 5th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Annuity Suitability Working Group today decided to pass its proposed update of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ annuity suitability model regulation on to other teams at the NAIC. The working group plans to post a new draft revision of the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (Number 275) in September, seek public comments, then push […]

    Cetera, product sponsors launch tool as firms embrace annuity demos

    {August 5th, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    As the industry works toward demystifying annuities, Cetera Financial Group and major product sponsors are launching a retirement planning tool aimed at addressing longevity. Over the past two years, the independent broker-dealer network, Allianz and Capital Group developed SetIncome, a simulation program comparing annuities to asset management models, according to Cetera President Adam Antoniades. Cetera plans to […]

    Vanguard veers away from annuities: News Scan

    {August 5th, 2019} by Bernadette Berdychowski Paola Peralta

    Vanguard is cutting insurance-based options as it transitions its Vanguard Variable Annuity to Transamerica, along with its client service and account administration, the firm said. It will also discontinue its online platform, Vanguard Annuity Access. “Annuity administration is not central to our long-term product and service plans,” says Karin Risi, managing director of Vanguard’s Retail […]

    Waddell & Reed plans local layoffs

    {August 3rd, 2019} by Brian Kaberline

    Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. has filed notice of its intent to lay off 158 employees. On Tuesday, the Overland Park-based financial services company (NYSE: WDR) disclosed the planned cut in a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act filing. A company spokesman said most of the employees affected by the cuts are located in Overland […]

    Scott Boyd Joins Principal As Head Of Sales In Retirement And Income Solutions

    {August 1st, 2019} by Principal Financial Group

    Principal Financial Group® today announced that Scott Boyd has joined the company as Head of Sales for Workplace Savings and Retirement Solutions in the Retirement and Income Solutions division, effective August 12, 2019. In his new role, Boyd assumes responsibility for leading the U.S. sales force to serve all customer segments and product solutions. He will report […]

    Annuities in 401(k)s Won’t Solve the Retirement Crisis. Here’s Why.

    {August 1st, 2019} by Mary Romano

    Proposed U.S. legislation would make it easier for employers to offer annuities in 401(k) retirement plans that provide retirees fixed payments for as long as they live. Does it make investing sense? First things first: The bill, known as the Secure Act, passed in the House of Representatives in May and is now awaiting a […]

    What the Heck Is a ‘Financial Instrument’: Annuity Model Commenter

    {August 1st, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Teams of state insurance regulators will be working on annuity sales standards and annuity disclosure projects in New York this weekend, at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ summer meeting. The Center for Economic Justice — an Austin, Texas-based organization that seeks to speak up for consumers’ interests in NAIC proceedings — says it continues to have concerns about […]

    Kuvare US Holdings to Acquire Lincoln Benefit Life

    {August 1st, 2019} by Kuvare

    CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kuvare US Holdings, Inc. (“Kuvare”) announced today that its affiliate, Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lincoln Benefit Life Company and its affiliates (“LBL”), all subsidiaries of RL LP (the “Transaction”). The Transaction, which Kuvare expects to close by year-end, is subject only to customary closing conditions, […]

    Prudential profit misses mark on weaker individual life, annuities units

    {August 1st, 2019} by Bharath Manjesh

    (Reuters) – U.S. life insurer Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N) fell short of analyst estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, hurt by weakness in its U.S. individual life insurance and annuities businesses. Prudential’s U.S. individual life insurance segment reported an adjusted operating loss of $135 million, compared to operating income of $43 million in the year-ago […]

    Opinion: Annuities need to be a 401(k) default

    {August 1st, 2019} by Alicia M. Munnell

    My colleagues and I are beginning to think seriously about embedding annuities in 401(k) plans. Now, 401(k) plans generally offer lump sums, which means that retirees have to decide how much to withdraw each year. They face the risk of either spending too quickly and outliving their resources or spending too conservatively and consuming too […]

    Flood of RIA sales pushes industry toward a buyer’s market

    {August 1st, 2019} by Jeff Benjamin

    The record-setting pace of consolidation among advisory firms is only going to become more competitive, said David DeVoe, managing director at the investment bank DeVoe & Co. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews. 

    Regulators Debate Need For ‘Prudence’ In Annuity Sales Standard

    {August 1st, 2019} by John Hilton

    State insurance regulators aim to tentatively finalize a standard for annuity sales by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Fall Meeting in December. Debate over whether to add “prudence” to the model law dominated another 90-minute conference call Monday by the Annuity Suitability Working Group. Chairwoman Jillian Froment warned members to expect a “heavy call […]

    Parents’ Health Care Spending Can Be a Risk to Clients’ Retirement

    {August 1st, 2019} by Fran O’Brien

    With the number of Americans age 85 and older projected to more than double by 2040 — 14.6 million from 6.4 million in 2016 — it comes as no surprise to financial advisors that more of their clients in retirement or nearing retirement are involved in caring for aging parents. Perhaps not surprising either is that the […]

    Advisors’ Advice: Are Annuities Worth It?

    {August 1st, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    As advisor clients age and retire, the need for guaranteed income grows. Social Security can provide at most a few thousand dollars per retiree per month, but beyond that there are no guarantees. If an advisor perceives a gap between the income that a client needs in retirement and what that client will collect from […]

    Many Self-Employed Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement: Transamerica

    {August 1st, 2019} by Jeff Berman

    Many freelancers and other self-employed Americans plan to continue working even after they retire — and many of them will have to because they’re not saving nearly enough to live on while retired, according to the findings of a new study recently released by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS). “The whole idea of retirement […]

    Investors Pour Money Into Bond Funds at a Record Pace

    {August 1st, 2019} by Jessica Menton

    Investors are piling into safe-haven bonds at a record pace, a sign that caution remains despite stocks pushing toward records. Click HERE to read the full article via The Wall Street Journal. 

    State Fiduciary Rules on a ‘Collision Course’ With Reg BI: Lawyers

    {August 1st, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    States contemplating their own fiduciary rules “are on a collision course with where the federal law [under the SEC’s Reg BI] is going, which is going to set up some very difficult debates and probably some litigation,” Brad Campbell, former head of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, who’s now a partner at Drinker […]

    Fed Cuts Interest Rate, First Reduction Since Financial Crisis

    {August 1st, 2019} by AM Best

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve has moved to cut interest rates on investments by 0.25% — reversing a four-year trend in which the Fed had consistently moved to increase rates. It was the first such reduction since the financial crisis in 2008. The policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, by an 8-2 vote, reduced its benchmark […]

    AM Best Places Credit Ratings of United Life Insurance Company Under Review With Negative Implications

    {August 1st, 2019} by AM Best

    Oldwick – AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of United Life Insurance Company (ULIC) (Cedar Rapids, IA). The Credit Rating (rating) actions follow the recent announcement that ULIC’s affiliate, Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company (GILIC), has entered into a […]

    AM Best Places Credit Ratings of Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company Under Review With Developing Implications

    {August 1st, 2019} by AM Best

    Oldwick – AM Best has placed under review with developing implications the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” of Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company (GILIC) (Cedar Rapids, IA). The Credit Rating (rating) actions follow the recent announcement that GILIC has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lincoln Benefit […]

    Americans are Confronted by a Looming Retirement Income Shortfall

    {August 1st, 2019} by The Alliance for Lifetime Income

    The Alliance for Lifetime Income’s landmark survey reveals significant anxieties about retirement income, as well as barriers to retirement preparedness Washington, D.C., July 31, 2019 – Eight in ten non-retired Americans (80%) express anxiety that their savings may not provide enough to live on in retirement, according to a landmark survey of 3,119 U.S. adults by the […]

    CFP Board’s effort to strengthen enforcement could sharpen teeth of fiduciary duty

    {August 1st, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The CFP Board recently delayed enforcement of the elevated advice requirement for its designation until next June. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews.

    At AIG, Solash and Scheinerman move up as Greer retires

    {July 30th, 2019} by Editorial Staff

    AIG Life & Retirement announced this week that Todd Solash, president, Individual Retirement, and Rob Scheinerman, president, AIG Retirement Services (AIG’s Group Retirement business), have been named CEOs of their respective businesses following Jana Greer’s retirement as president and CEO, Retirement. Click HERE to read the full article via Retirement Income Journal. 

    Where’s the Nuance in News about Annuities?

    {July 30th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    BlackRock will be incorporating an annuity into its institutional target date funds (TDFs) for 401(k) plans, and the $6.5 trillion asset manager has been among the financial services companies that have lobbied for the passage of the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. […]

    Envestnet’s Big Annuities Play

    {July 30th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    The new Envestnet Insurance Exchange (Envestnet Ix) now lets advisors analyze, illustrate, compare, select, purchase and integrate almost any type of annuity into a client’s financial plan without leaving the digital comfort zone of Envestnet’s wealth management platform. Click HERE to read the full article via Retirement Income Journal. 

    Pennsylvania Bill Could Affect Struggling Fraternals

    {July 30th, 2019} by Maria Wood

    The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently agreed unanimously to approve a bill to streamline takeovers of failing nonprofit fraternal benefit societies. These membership groups offer their participants a limited menu of life insurance and retirement products like annuities. Pennsylvania oversees about a dozen fraternal benefit organizations with about 493,000 members — the highest total for […]

    Penn Mutual Aims to Ramp Up Advisor Support

    {July 30th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company is working to expand support for advisors. Heather Scher, the company’s new vice president of field development, said in an interview that the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based life and annuity issuer is making more use of one-on-one support as well as group classes, and that it’s developing new support services aimed at advisors […]

    Annuity Product Update: Athene, AXA Equitable

    {July 30th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Athene USA has added the Athene Amplify annuity contract — an indexed annuity product that’s registered as a security with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Issuers often refer to SEC-registered indexed annuities as buffered annuities, or structured annuities, to distinguish them from indexed annuities that are not registered with the SEC. Athene says the new […]

    Q2 Life and Annuity Earnings Weather Looks… Fine: Analysts

    {July 30th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    For U.S. life and annuity issuers, the weather has probably been too cloudy for a beach party, but it’s been fine for someone wearing short sleeves. The idea that the life and annuity sector weather has been fine, but boring, has surfaced in a number of recent sector reviews released by credit market and securities […]

    Regulators: Hold Insurers Accountable For Annuity Sales Incentives

    {July 30th, 2019} by John Hilton

    An insurance commissioners’ working group wants to hold insurers to a greater responsibility for agent compensation standards for annuity sales. The Annuity Suitability Working Group is working through five questions in a bid to finalize an annuity sales model law that regulators have been working on for more than a year. On a Tuesday conference […]

    Exposing the Annuity Bonus Trap

    {July 30th, 2019} by Joe Elsasser

    Welcome to Hidden Value, the column where Joe Elsasser, CFP, addresses common financial planning issues with insights advisors and their clients may not have considered. For the past several years, I’ve been offering free educational annuity seminars at our local public library, and inevitably the topic of bonus annuities always comes up. The concept can […]

    AALU to Join With GAMA International

    {July 30th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) and GAMA International announced today that they plan to merge. AALU and GAMA intend to adopt a new name and begin operating as one organization by June 2020, the groups said. AALU is a Washington-based group that once focused on serving advisors who worked on complicated life- and […]

    Guggenheim defeats lawsuit claiming it siphoned annuity unit’s cash for LA Dodgers

    {July 30th, 2019} by Jonathan Stempel

    (Reuters) – Guggenheim Partners won the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming it defrauded investors in a risky annuity, and siphoned cash for purposes including to help its billionaire chief executive Mark Walter buy the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. In a decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Holly Teeter in Kansas City, Kansas, rejected racketeering […]

    CFP Board checks certificants against Finra, SEC databases in wake of WSJ analysis

    {July 30th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The CFP Board will no longer rely on mark holders to reveal their disciplinary histories but instead check regulatory databases itself, the organization said in response to a Wall Street Journal analysis of its consumer-facing website. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews.

    CFP Board omits thousands of regulatory, criminal problems of its certificants on consumer site: WSJ

    {July 30th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    A website maintained by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to help investors find a CFP fails to list regulatory and criminal misconduct and customer complaints for thousands of its credential holders, according to a Wall Street Journal article posted Monday. Click HERE to read the full article via InvestmentNews.

    Kuvare Agrees to Acquire Former Allstate Life Unit

    {July 30th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Kuvare US Holdings Inc. says it’s planning to be a much bigger player in  the U.S. life insurance market. The Chicago-based life insurance holding company announced today that one of its affiliates, Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company, has agreed to acquire Lincoln Benefit Life Company, and Lincoln Benefit Life affiliates, from RL LP, for a price […]

    DOL Puts Annuities in Association Retirement Plan Footnote

    {July 30th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Employers that join association retirement plans could, theoretically, try to discriminate against employees who look as if they’ll live a long time. But, in practice, federal officials say, lifespan-based discrimination might not be a big issue for multiple-employer association plans. Officials at the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor […]

    AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company

    {July 29th, 2019} by AM Best

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings to “a-” from “bbb+” of Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company (Knighthead Annuity) (Cayman Islands). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive. The ratings reflect Knighthead Annuity’s […]

    Pension Bill Could Add $70 Billion in Group Annuity Sales

    {July 29th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The House is preparing to vote on a measure that could rewire a major part of the U.S. retirement finance system: H.R. 397, the “Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019″ bill. The bill drafters want to provide financial assistance that the managers of the 1,400 U.S. multiemployer pension plans could use to transfer pension obligations […]

    Regulators Face Harsh Critics On Indexed Annuity Illustration Rules

    {July 29th, 2019} by John Hilton

    State regulators plan one more conference call in a last-ditch effort to tighten up regulation of indexes used in indexed annuity illustrations. But the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ working group appears further apart than when it started. The Annuity Disclosure Working Group is studying a proposal to increase the time indexes must be in […]

    Life-LTC Hybrid Sales Level Off: LIMRA

    {July 29th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A shift in how U.S. residents pay for products that combine life insurance with long-term care (LTC) benefits may have disrupted U.S. individual life-LTC sales figures in 2018. LIMRA analysts talk about the effect of the payment shift in their latest U.S. individual life-LTC market report, which is based on a survey of life-LTC policy […]