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  • Rolling Stones concert goers to get schooled on lifetime income

    {June 18th, 2019} by Lorie Konish

    If you’re attending a Rolling Stones concert this summer, you might notice something different. And no, it’s not Mick Jagger’s new moves. The tour has what some might consider to be an unlikely sole sponsor: the Alliance for Lifetime Income, a nonprofit organization formed by financial services firms to raise awareness around the need to […]

    iPipeline and Atidot Partner to Mine In-Force Data for Life and Annuity Sales

    {June 18th, 2019} by Business Wire

    EXTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–iPipeline® – a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry – today announced an exclusive partnership with Atidot, a Gartner “Cool Vendor” insurtech company empowering the life insurance industry with big data and predictive analytics. The InsureSight® In-Force Service powered by Atidot® will enable Insurers in North America to […]

    Optimizing Annuity Income Benefits—A Case Study

    {June 18th, 2019} by Eva L. Levine

    Countless surveys and studies have established that many Americans are concerned about running out of money in retirement because people are living longer, and that there is growing recognition that annuities are a critical part of retirement income planning because of their lifetime income characteristic, which can serve as an insurance against longevity. Yet there […]

    FIDx Opens Annuity Supermarket

    {June 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Fiduciary Exchange LLC — FIDx — has started to open up the Envestnet Insurance Exchange for Envestnet Inc. Exchange organizers are predicting the new exchange will help financial advisors do a better job of helping clients with retirement and income planning, by plugging an easy-to-use sales tool into the same systems many advisors already use to sell […]

    Securities Broker Jealousy Fuels Attacks on Annuities: Ohio Lawmaker

    {June 18th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A key state insurance legislator has suggested that big broker dealers may be partly to blame for some of the hostility aimed at variable annuities in recent years. Ohio state Sen. Bob Hackett, R-London, Ohio, talked about that possibility in March, in Nashville, Tennessee, at a meeting of the National Council of Insurance Legislators’ Life Insurance & […]

    Symetra Celebrates the Power of Community Volunteerism During 11th Annual Week of Service

    {June 18th, 2019} by Symetra

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra CEO Margaret Meister joined hundreds of company employees yesterday who turned out to volunteer at community projects across Symetra’s Puget Sound hometown region and around the country as the national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance kicked off its 11th annual Symetra Week of Service. From June 10-14, nearly 800 Symetra employee-volunteers […]

    Is now the time to flip the script on annuities?

    {June 18th, 2019} by Maddy Perkins

    PHOENIX — What can advisors glean from the recent popularity spike of the perennially disparaged variable annuity? Though their origins can be traced back to the Roman Empire, annuities have been historically underutilized by advisors. But that could be changing, panelists told attendees at Pershing’s annual Insite conference. Annuities’ bad rap in the wealth management […]

    National Western Life names Chad Tope as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

    {June 18th, 2019} by National Western Life Group, Inc.

    AUSTIN, Texas, June 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Ross R. Moody, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Group, Inc. (NWLGI) announced the hiring of Chad J. Tope as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWLIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of NWLGI, effective immediately. “National Western Life […]

    Iowa Proposes NAIC Annuity Standard That Eclipses Suitability

    {June 18th, 2019} by John Hilton

    Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen is attempting to cross a seemingly unbridgeable divide with a new “best interest” annuity sales rule that erases references to “suitability.” The proposal will be presented and discussed next week when a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ working group meets in Columbus, Ohio, for an all-day meeting. The Annuity Suitability […]

    Wescom Financial Services and Simplicity Life Partner for Insurance Services

    {June 18th, 2019} by Wescom Financial Services & Simplicity Life

    Wescom Financial Services and Simplicity Life have formed a strategic partnership to enhance, expand, and provide more insurance sales support for Wescom Financial Services Advisors and Member Services Representatives. Wescom Financial Services went through an extensive RFP and search process in the latter half of 2018 to determine which industry partner would best support their […]

    SEC Commissioner Study Links ‘Clients First’ Language to Less-Conflicted Advice

    {June 17th, 2019} by Mindy Diamond

    On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its final rules on industry standards of conduct, including an interpretation of an investment advisor’s fiduciary duty under the Advisers Act. One major change the SEC made from the original proposal is that it removed language from the original proposal requiring investment advisors to “put clients’ interests first.” Yet, […]

    Odds Increase for a Fed Rate Cut Next Week

    {June 17th, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    Odds are increasing that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates for the first time in almost ten years when its policymakers meet next week. A cut “is possible next week,” says Vanguard senior economist Andrew Patterson. It would be a “bit of shock and awe” and could help ease concerns of an inverted yield […]

    Annuities Get No Respect: New Study Confronts Misconception

    {June 17th, 2019} by Adolph Pajkos, Eagle Life Insurance Company and Kenneth Kehrer, Kehrer Bielan and Consulting

    Fixed-rate and index annuities provided the lion’s share of revenue as banks and credit unions launched their investment services offerings in the 1980s and 1990s, yet as the bank insurance and securities community has matured, annuities get no respect. They are looked down upon as an investment product on training wheels, an inefficient way to […]

    NAIC Panel May Update the Tax Guide for Failed Insurers

    {June 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    State insurance regulators are preparing to update their tax guide for regulators who are overseeing failed insurance companies. The Receivership & Insolvency Task Force, part of the Financial Stability Task Force at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), is asking for comments on the chapters in the Receivers’ Handbook for Insurance Company Insolvencies that deal with […]

    Rose Conneely Named COO of SBLI

    {June 17th, 2019} by SBLI

    WOBURN, Mass. – The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts (SBLI) announces that Rose Conneely has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the company at its headquarters in Woburn. Ms. Conneely joined SBLI in 1999 as Senior Vice President of Underwriting and Customer Service. In her new position, she will assume management of […]

    Financial Planning For Financial Planners

    {June 17th, 2019} by Joseph Conroy

    Everyone is familiar with the adage about the cobbler’s children who had no shoes. It is ironic, but common, that financial planners provide quality advice to clients but often don’t think enough about their own finances. After spending 40, 50 or more hours every week advocating for clients, it’s tough to carve out time to […]

    Part II: Allianz Life’s Marketing and Distribution Strategy

    {June 17th, 2019} by Kerry Pechter

    One challenge for FIAs back in 1997 was that insurance agents knew nothing about them. It would take higher-than-usual commissions and other incentives to motivate agents to start selling them. Click HERE to read the full story via Retirement Income Journal.

    4 strategies for Roth conversions

    {June 17th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    The time is ripe to convert traditional, pretax retirement accounts to Roth-style accounts. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    New Final HRA Regs Could Help Brokers Reach Employees

    {June 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    New final health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) regulations could encourage U.S. employers of all sizes to give workers cash the workers could use to buy their own health coverage. The final regulations could also encourage employers offer workers access to health insurance brokers, and to private health insurance exchange programs, to help workers understand their health […]

    Forget the SEC advice rule — broker-dealers more concerned with CFP Board expanded fiduciary standard ​

    {June 17th, 2019} by Bruce Kelly

    Lawyers across the brokerage industry are busily reading and digesting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investment advice reforms approved this week. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    IRA trusts could become an estate planning disaster

    {June 17th, 2019} by Ed Slott

    The new SECURE Act that was passed overwhelmingly by the House in a 417-3 vote on May 23 contains a provision to eliminate the stretch IRA and replace it with a 10-year payout for most non-spouse beneficiaries, including trusts. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    SEC ‘guts’ RIA industry with a footnote, degrading fiduciary duty

    {June 17th, 2019} by Ann Marsh

    A single word change has upended wealth management. By substituting an “and” for an “or” in a footnote last week, the SEC watered down the meaning of investment advisors’ fiduciary duty to clients. The change prompted sharp criticism from multiple quarters, including the commission’s own investor advocate, and left industry insiders bewildered. “It guts the […]

    Galvin Proposes Fiduciary Rule in Massachusetts

    {June 17th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Dissatisfied with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s just-finalized Regulation Best Interest, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, introduced Friday a fiduciary rule proposal. The Massachusetts Securities Division’s regulation would apply a fiduciary conduct standard on broker-dealers, agents, investment advisors and investment advisor representatives when dealing with their customers and clients. “We are […]

    3 Important Details in the New Individual Coverage HRA Regs

    {June 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Take Health Command has had a front-row seat on federal agency efforts to draft and complete the new individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement (ICHRA) regulations. The Dallas-based startup already provides compliance services, employee enrollment services and other support services for the new ICHRA’s older sibling: the qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA). The firm’s basic package of QSEHRA services […]

    Kemp Appoints New Acting Insurance Commissioner, Replacing Indicted Jim Beck

    {June 17th, 2019} by Emma Hurt

    Gov. Brian Kemp has named a new acting insurance commissioner: John King, chief of Doraville police is filling the shoes of Jim Beck, who was indicted last month for embezzling more than $2 million from a former employer, the Georgia Underwriting Association. Beck was indicted by a federal grand jury on 38 charges of money laundering, […]

    Trade Groups Press New Jersey to Embrace SEC’s Reg BI, Drop Fiduciary Plan

    {June 17th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    With a final Regulation Best Interest in hand, trade groups are urging the New Jersey Bureau of Securities to embrace the Securities and Exchange Commission’s federal standard, so as not to create a patchwork of state rules. New Jersey stops taking comments on its uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisors Friday. On April 15, the state proposed its rule, […]

    The Good, Bad and Ugly of SEC’s Reg BI and Advice-Standards Package

    {June 17th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    While folks are busy sizing up the “good, bad and ugly” of Reg BI, advisors registered with the SEC need to focus on the new Form CRS requirements, advises GJ King, president of RIA in a Box, calling the new form “the first new significant regulatory filing requirement to impact RIA firms in a decade.” King […]

    Senate Working to Pass Secure Act Retirement Bill: Grassley

    {June 17th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday that the Senate is now working to pass the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act of 2019, “as the House passed it,” but the timeline on passage is uncertain. At an event held by the National Association for Fixed Annuities at The Watergate […]

    Life Activity Rises: MIB

    {June 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    U.S. life insurance application activity continued to improve in May, mainly because consumers ages 45 to 59 were much more likely to apply for coverage, according to new activity data from MIB Group Inc. In May, MIB says, overall activity rose 1.1%. That’s up from an increase of just 0.1% in April. Application activity for […]

    The Warning Sign That Predicted Nearly Every Modern Financial Crisis: Richard Vague

    {June 17th, 2019} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    The predictor of virtually every major financial crisis during the last 200 years has been runaway private debt fueled by lending institutions and their leaders’ fierce ambition, according to Richard Vague, founder and managing partner of the venture capital firm Gabriel Investments. In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, the former banker discusses his years-long research into […]

    Retirement Is Forced Upon Roughly 1 in 4 Americans: Fed

    {June 17th, 2019} by Alex Tanzi

    Most Americans aren’t financially prepared for retirement. About 44% of Americans said their retirement savings are not on track versus 36% of Americans who said it is on track, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s sixth annual survey of household economics. The rest of Americans aren’t sure whether their plan is on track or not. […]

    New Jersey Supreme Court Voids Stranger-Originated Life Policies

    {June 17th, 2019} by Steven A. Meyerowitz

    This story is reprinted with permission from the Insurance Coverage Law Center, the industry’s only comprehensive digital resource designed for insurance coverage law professionals. Visit the website to subscribe. The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) policies are against public policy and are void ab initio. The court also ruled in the […]

    Pennsylvania law requires multiple record keepers for 403(b), 457 plans

    {June 17th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    A new law in Pennsylvania will require school districts sponsoring certain retirement plans to use at least four service providers, which advisers say runs counter to best practices and will perpetuate an environment of higher record-keeping and investment-management fees. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    RIA makes fiduciary duty its calling card

    {June 17th, 2019} by Jeff Benjamin

    When the founders of AGW Capital Advisors launching a financial advisory firm in April 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis and at the stock market’s low point, they decided to embrace the elephant in the room. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    Texas suspends one adviser, orders second to repay commissions

    {June 17th, 2019} by InvestmentNews

    The Texas Securities Commissioner has sanctioned two Dallas-area investment adviser representatives for selling unsuitable investments to clients. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    RIA with $15 billion in AUM appoints first female president

    {June 17th, 2019} by Jeff Benjamin

    Wendy Hartman has become the latest example of women making inroads into the C-suites of the financial services industry with her promotion to president of Buckingham Strategic Wealth, an RIA with $15 billion in assets. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    Helicopter Hits Former AXA Equitable Headquarters in New York City

    {June 17th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    A helicopter crashed into the roof of the AXA Equitable Center building in New York City around 1:45 p.m. today, according to officials at the New York City Fire Department. The crash killed the pilot of the helicopter and caused a fire, officials said around 2:45 p.m. Officials reported that firefighters had extinguished the fire […]

    Love It Or Hate It, Reg BI Is Here

    {June 17th, 2019} by Cassie Miller

    Just one year since the Department of Labor fiduciary rule was vacated, the financial services industry is again reeling or rejoicing after the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of Regulation Best Interest and its subsequent rulings. Here’s just some of what the industry has had to say: Insured Retirement Institute IRI made several observations about […]

    The Case For Insuring Parents And Loved Ones

    {June 17th, 2019} by Tomas McFie

    The cost of care provided to parents by their adult children is now estimated to be well over $375 billion a year, twice as much as what is actually being spent on home health care or nursing home services combined), according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. It is crucial that these adult children should be […]

    Which IBDs are leading the shift to fee-based revenue?

    {June 17th, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    Some of the smaller firms in the independent broker-dealer sector are helping fuel its giant shift to fee-based business. Advisory revenue from the top 50 IBDs participating in Financial Planning’s IBD Elite study outpaced commission business for the first time ever in 2017. Last year, the difference between the two business lines became even more pronounced. The 50 largest […]

    Father Knows Best: Lincoln Financial Study Finds Dads Have a Better Understanding of Personal Finance Than the General Population

    {June 12th, 2019} by Lincoln Financial

    RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It turns out there is a reason why Dad is never shy in handing out financial advice. According to Lincoln Financial Group’s (NYSE: LNC) Love and Responsibility Survey, dads have a better understanding of personal finance than the general population. The research also showed 88% percent of dads prioritize talking to their children about […]

    Does the SEC’s new interpretation of the investment adviser standard diminish it? Depends who you ask

    {June 12th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    One of the most controversial parts of the advice reform package the Securities and Exchange Commission approved last week is its interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    10 Key Regulation Best Interest Points, for Agents

    {June 12th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has tested life and annuity policy specialists’ speed reading skills by posting a final version of its Regulation Best Interest (Regulation BI) regulations. The regulation packet — which includes the introduction to the regulation, federal regulators’ economic impact assessments, and the actual text — takes up 771 PDF file […]

    Selling Annuities Is the Right Thing to Do: Life CEOs

    {June 12th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Two life insurance company leaders told an audience full of money managers that the world needs annuities, and that the life industry needs to do better job of explaining how important and necessary annuities are. Mark Mullin, the chief executive officer of Transamerica Corp., and Mark Pearson, the CEO of AXA Equitable Holdings Inc., talked about […]

    American Equity No Longer in Discussions Regarding a Potential Transaction

    {June 12th, 2019} by American Equity Investment Life Holding Company

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL) (“American Equity”) announced today that its Board of Directors (the “Board”) is no longer in discussions regarding a potential transaction. Consistent with its fiduciary duties, the Board, with the assistance of financial and legal advisors, assessed the indications of interest it received from […]

    New protection, flexibility enhancements introduced for two Ohio National lifetime pay products

    {June 12th, 2019} by Ohio National Financial Services

    CINCINNATI, June 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clients looking for secure lifetime protection and excellent value for death benefit protection have two new options with Ohio National’s enhanced lifetime pay whole life products. “Prestige Value IV and Prestige 100 II provide an excellent foundation of long-term protection,” said Christopher Calabro, CLU, ChFC, Ohio National senior […]

    MDRT Power Sellers Charge Into Miami Beach

    {June 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) is continuing to get bigger — by continuing to go global. One thing MDRT leaders are doing at their group’s annual meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, this week is promoting the group’s next major, in-person event: a global conference in Sydney, in Australia. The MDRT plans to start that four-day event, […]

    4 Reasons Small BDs Are Under Pressure

    {June 11th, 2019} by ThinkAdvisor

    Higher interest rates are enabling money market accounts, sweep accounts and margin accounts to contribute noticeable profit increases to the bottom lines of some broker-dealers. But though we’ve seen a bump up in profitability for BDs in general, we also see some worrisome trends unique to smaller organizations, which will work against their future survival. […]

    Insurance platforms have to simplify before moving towards the shiny new future

    {June 11th, 2019} by Alicja Grzadkowska

    Divesting, or the selling off of distressed assets and businesses, has picked up steam since the 2008 financial crisis, though a recent report shows the drivers pushing companies to divest are no longer mandatory state aid regulations. Instead, companies need to strategically divest in order to remain competitive. The insurance sector in particular is seeing […]

    AIG Promotes David McElroy to Lead North America General Insurance Operations

    {June 11th, 2019} by Business Wire

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) today announced that David McElroy, President and CEO of Lexington, has been promoted to President and CEO of the North America operations of General Insurance. Mr. McElroy will continue to report to Peter Zaffino, CEO General Insurance and Global Chief Operating Officer, AIG, and continue to serve as […]

    Kirt Walker Set to Become Nationwide CEO

    {June 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Kirt Walker will be taking over from Steve Rasmussen as chief executive officer of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Oct. 1, the company announced today. Rasmussen — who has been Nationwide’s CEO sinc 2009 — is retiring. Rasmussen began working for Nationwide since 1998, after the company acquired his previous employer, Allied Insurance Company of America. Kirt […]

    3 Hot Sources of Life and Annuity Sector Terror

    {June 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    S&P Global Ratings analysts kept assuring attendees at the firm’s latest insurance conference Wednesday that life insurer capital levels, investment portfolios and ratings look fine. S&P analysts have concluded that, even though the average rating of the life insurers it rates is an A+, those insurers have 10% more total capital than they would need […]

    Life and Annuity Groups Give SEC’s Final Best-Interest Standard Mixed Reviews

    {June 11th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-1 Wednesday to approve the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct (Regulation BI). The SEC has posted a 771-page regulation packet for Regulation BI, which is set to have a compliance date of June 30, 2020. The SEC also agreed to update its […]

    iPipeline and Atidot Partner to Mine In-Force Data for Life and Annuity Sales

    {June 11th, 2019} by iPipeline

    EXTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–iPipeline® – a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry – today announced an exclusive partnership with Atidot, a Gartner “Cool Vendor” insurtech company empowering the life insurance industry with big data and predictive analytics. The InsureSight® In-Force Service powered by Atidot® will enable Insurers in North America to […]

    FTSE Russell Reconstitutes US Equity Indexes

    {June 11th, 2019} by Bernice Napach

    FTSE Russell has announced its annual reconstitution of the Russell 3000 index, which tracks the performance of the 3,000 largest U.S. traded stocks, and the Russell Microcap, comprised of over 1,500 of the smallest U.S.-based stocks. Both indexes are market-cap weighted. In total, close to 170 stocks will be added and about 160 stocks will […]

    American Equity’s Mysterious Suitor

    {June 11th, 2019} by Michael Jay Markey Jr.

    In case you’ve missed it, there’s been a Hollywoodesque legal drama swirling around in the insurance world between two private equity (private equity) firms, Caldera Holdings Ltd., Apollo Global Management LLC, and one publicly traded insurance company. Until now, the company has been unnamed, but, in my opinion, a recent court filing, and a persistent […]

    Reg BI limits brokers’ use of title ‘adviser’ or ‘advisor

    {June 11th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Brokers who are only brokers will have to be less cavalier in describing themselves as financial advisers, thanks to an advice reform package approved last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    LIMRA, LOMA Offer Online ‘Best Interest’ Training for NY Reg 187

    {June 11th, 2019} by Elizabeth Festa

    Industry trade associations LIMRA and LOMA announced Monday they are offering training for New York’s best interest and suitability regulation, which takes hold Aug. 1. LOMA’s and LIMRA’s combined online training program, announced Monday, is designed to help both sales agents and producers as well as home office employees understand and comply with the new rule […]

    Optimizing Annuity Income Benefits—A Case Study

    {June 11th, 2019} by Eva L. Levine

    Countless surveys and studies have established that many Americans are concerned about running out of money in retirement because people are living longer, and that there is growing recognition that annuities are a critical part of retirement income planning because of their lifetime income characteristic, which can serve as an insurance against longevity. Yet there […]

    SEC passes Regulation Best Interest, but fiduciary rules could make a comeback

    {June 10th, 2019} by Andrew Welsch

    Advisors and brokers will soon be faced with new SEC disclosure and compliance requirements, but the changes disappoint consumer advocates — and suggest more state regulatory action on fiduciary rules is likely. The commissioners voted 3-1 on four items: Regulation Best Interest, Form CRS (a relationship summary form for clients), an interpretation of standards of […]

    New Life and Annuity Deals May Be Complicated

    {June 10th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    U.S. life insurance and annuity players could make more complicated deals in the next year or so, and many of those deals could be structured as reinsurance arrangements. Philip Salem, co-head of the Americas insurance sector in the investment banking division at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., made that case today in New York, during a […]

    AM Best Revises Outlooks to Positive for ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity

    {June 10th, 2019} by Business Wire

    AM Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bb+” of ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity (ELCO) (Lake Bluff, IL). The ratings reflect ELCO’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as weak, as well as its […]

    SEC Passes Regulation Best Interest by 3-1 Vote

    {June 10th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission passed by a 3-1 vote Wednesday its controversial Regulation Best Interest, which SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said would “substantially enhance the broker-dealer standard of conduct beyond existing suitability obligations.” The agency also passed by a 3-1 vote the three other prongs of the advice-standards package — the Form CRS Relationship […]

    Retirement bill would allow tax-free financial planning

    {June 10th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Recently introduced legislation includes tax incentives for financial planning related to retirement. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    SEC reforms impose new requirements on brokers and advisers, but some argue not enough

    {June 10th, 2019} by Jeff Benjamin

    The Securities and Exchange Commission’s long-awaited investment advice reforms, which were approved Wednesday in a 3-1 vote, are virtually unchanged from an original proposal. Click HERE to read the full story via Investment News.

    Bells and Whistles Skirmishes Pop Up at S&P Conference

    {June 10th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Several speakers have suggested here in New York this week, at S&P Global Ratings’ latest insurance conference, that excessive product complexity might be one reason that life insurers have had sales problems, and regulatory headaches. Mark Mullin, the chief executive officer of Transamerica Corp., made that point today during a life insurance CEO discussion, in a […]

    Regulators, Industry Reps Tangle Over Indexed Annuity Illustrations

    {June 10th, 2019} by John Hilton

    An industry attempt to beat back a tougher indexed annuity illustration regulation appeared to fail Wednesday after a consumer advocate blasted the effort. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ working group is studying a proposal to double the time indexes must be in existence to be used in annuity illustrations from 10 to 20 years. […]

    Will Reg BI Be Hammered by Lawsuits?

    {June 10th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Industry officials anticipate a little-changed Regulation Best Interest as well as potential lawsuits after the Securities and Exchange Commission approves on Wednesday its controversial Reg BI for brokers, part of the agency’s four-pronged advice standards package. “Litigation is certainly possible after the final rules are adopted,” said David Tittsworth, former president and CEO of the […]

    Supreme Court to Hear Case on Retirement Plan Losses

    {June 10th, 2019} by Greg Stohr

    The U.S. Supreme Court will use a case involving International Business Machines Corp. to consider making it harder for workers to sue when their retirement plans lose money because the employer’s stock price falls. The justices said they will scrutinize a lawsuit that claims IBM plan managers didn’t do enough to protect employees from stock […]

    Learning how life insurance can help charity

    {June 10th, 2019} by Gaston Gazette

    The Gaston Community Foundation hosted a continuing education event on May 7 for professional advisors at Gaston Country Club. The foundation offers a lunch and one hour of free continuing education annually to attorneys, CPAs and financial advisors. “Professional advisors are a key resource for our community in communicating giving vehicles and structuring planned gifts,” said Ernest Sumner, president, in […]

    SEC Adopts Rules and Interpretations to Enhance Protections and Preserve Choice for Retail Investors in Their Relationships With Financial Professionals

    {June 9th, 2019} by The Securities and Exchange Commission

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2019-89 Washington D.C., June 5, 2019 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to adopt a package of rulemakings and interpretations designed to enhance the quality and transparency of retail investors’ relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers, bringing the legal requirements and mandated disclosures in line with reasonable investor expectations, while […]

    Legacy Marketing Group® Introduces New FUSION Strategy, Fusing Together Annual Crediting and Multi-Year Upside

    {June 6th, 2019} by Legacy Marketing Group

    PETALUMA, CA, June 5, 2019—Legacy Marketing Group® is excited to announce the availability of a new, game-changing interest crediting strategy on its exclusive line of fixed indexed annuities from “A” rated* Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company. The new strategy—the FUSION StrategySM**—fuses the best parts of an annual point-to-point strategy and a multi-year strategy. […]

    SEC moving to require brokers to reveal conflicts for advice

    {June 5th, 2019} by Marcy Gordon

    By Marcy Gordon | AP June 5 at 3:08 AM WASHINGTON — Federal regulators are moving to require that brokers provide their customers with detailed disclosures of their potential conflicts of interest when dispensing advice for retirement planning and other investments. But critics say the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new measure, supported by the financial industry, doesn’t go […]

    SEC To Vote On Reg BI

    {June 5th, 2019} by Cassie Miller

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is voting June 5 on a three-part rulemaking package containing regulation best interest. While it is unknown what the final rule being voted on will look like, the proposed rules attempt to fill in holes left by the vacated Department of Labor fiduciary rule and issue a firm federal ruling in the […]

    Investors Heritage Names Robert Hardy Chief Executive Officer; Raymond Carr, John Frye to Serve as Co-Presidents

    {June 4th, 2019} by Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company

    FRANKFORT, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company (“Investors Heritage”) today announced that Executive Vice President and General Counsel Robert Hardy has been named Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Harry Lee Waterfield II, who will become Vice Chairman, effective June 1. “It has been one of the great honors of my life to work beside the fine […]

    13 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q1 Earnings, 2019

    {June 4th, 2019} by Janet Levaux

    While analysts were cautious about financial companies’ prospects for strong earnings in the first quarter of 2019, most broker-dealers reported robust results. “We consider first-quarter earnings season a success based on the upside surprise and resilience of estimates for the rest of this year,” said John Lynch, chief investment strategist for LPL Financial, in a recent […]

    Allianz’s El-Erian to Head College at Cambridge University

    {June 4th, 2019} by Lucy Meakin

    Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz SE, has been named president of Cambridge University’s Queens’ College. The son of an Egyptian diplomat, El-Erian was an undergraduate at Cambridge in the late 1970s, where he studied economics. He also holds a doctorate from Oxford University. El-Erian worked at the International Monetary Fund for 15 years, […]

    Do Annuities And 401(k) Plans Mix?

    {June 4th, 2019} by Ben Mattlin

    Once upon a time, retirees received pensions through defined benefit plans. Nowadays, instead, most employees have defined contribution plans—largely in the form of 401(k)s. Lately, a growing number of 401(k) plans are offering annuities as an investment choice. Congress has even made overtures toward helping this trend along. Nevertheless, despite compelling arguments in favor of […]

    Great-West Lifeco completes sale of U.S. individual life insurance and annuity business

    {June 4th, 2019} by Great-West Lifeco Inc.

    All figures are expressed in Canadian dollars, except as noted. WINNIPEG, June 3, 2019 /CNW/ – Great-West Lifeco Inc. (Great-West Lifeco) today announced its Colorado-based subsidiary, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A), has completed the previously-announced sale, through reinsurance, of substantially all of its individual life insurance and annuity business to Protective Life Insurance Company, the primary […]

    BNY Mellon’s Pershing Debuts Enhanced Subscribe Annuity Platform; Announces Plans to Integrate Subscribe into Its Managed Accounts Offering

    {June 4th, 2019} by BNY Mellon

    JERSEY CITY, N.J., June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — BNY Mellon’s Pershing (“Pershing”) today announced a series of enhancements to its Subscribe® annuity platform, which helps advisors streamline how they process, service and maintain annuities. Among the key updates is eSignature capability, which will set a new standard for the industry and change the way advisors purchase annuities. The enhancements […]

    Jackson Announces Distribution Relationship with TD Ameritrade

    {June 4th, 2019} by Jackson National Life Insurance Company

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (“Jackson®”) announced that it is teaming up with TD Ameritrade Institutional to bring the carrier’s most popular advisory annuity product – Perspective Advisory IISM – to the independent RIA channel. Since its launch in 2017, Jackson’s Perspective Advisory II has been one of the leading advisory variable annuities. The product’s many rider […]

    The Latest Must-Have Wedding Registry Item? Life Insurance

    {June 4th, 2019} by Brian Madgett

    Ah, “wedding season.” It’s a time when couples across the country prepare to open a new chapter of their lives together, surrounded by family and friends (and sometimes by people they don’t even know that well). Amid the flurry of invitations, fittings, flowers and all that often comes along with saying, “I do,” there’s one […]

    Pacific Life Undertakes Dramatic Digital Transformation

    {June 4th, 2019} by Staff Reports

    Pacific Life is partnering with Salesforce on a sweeping CRM platform upgrade across its entire U.S. retail businesses. Previously, Pacific Life’s employees across regions and departments did not have a single platform to view and manage every customer relationship and interaction. To address this challenge, Pacific Life partnered with Salesforce on a new initiative it […]

    No. 314: Indexed Universal Life Policies—The Views of Two Prominent Professionals About the Risks for Buyers

    {June 4th, 2019} by Joseph M. Belth

    During the years of The Insurance Forum, and more recently on my blog, I have never written an article about indexed universal life (IUL) policies. I have been asked by many readers to write on the subject, but have not done so. The reason is simple. I have obtained and looked closely at samples of IUL […]

    Retirees, Ladder Annuities to Hedge Your Bets

    {June 4th, 2019} by Mary Kane

    Handing over a large lump sum to an insurance company in exchange for a stream of guaranteed payments is a hard pill to swallow for many investors. Add in uncertainty about interest rates, which affect annuity payouts, and the decision to buy an immediate annuity becomes more challenging. A laddering strategy could help ease that decision […]

    Some insurance agents breaking law with 401(k) rollovers

    {June 4th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    Rolling money out of a 401(k) plan to fund an insurance product, like an annuity or life insurance policy, can be a difficult, tense decision for retirees. After all, seniors are earmarking a large chunk of their nest egg. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNewsNet.            Wink’s Note: “Source […]

    What Is a Medicaid Annuity?

    {June 4th, 2019} by Geoff Williams

    IT’S A PRECARIOUS situation that many elderly people find themselves in: They need long-term nursing home or assisted living care, but they don’t have enough money to pay for it. So they consider applying for Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that offers health coverage to eligible low-income seniors. But because they have a little too much […]

    Envestnet’s latest trick? Offering annuities

    {June 4th, 2019} by Sean Allocca

    Envestnet, the turnkey asset management platform used by hundreds of RIAs, will now carry annuities, adding both fee-based and commission insurance products to the advisor arsenal. The firm’s Insurance Exchange offers products from six carriers, including Allianz Life, Nationwide and Prudential, and gives advisors on the platform access to variable, structured, fixed and indexed annuities, according […]

    Which independent broker-dealers produce the most revenue?

    {June 4th, 2019} by Tobias Salinger

    Small and midsize firms read on at your own risk: The giants of the independent broker-dealer sector are growing rapidly. Not one of the top 25 firms in annual revenue took a step back in 2018, according to Financial Planning’s annual IBD Elite survey of the largest IBDs. On the contrary, 15 of them generated double-digit increases […]

    MassMutual Breaks Ground on 310-Square-Foot Boston Building

    {June 4th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company today broke ground for a 17-story, 310,000-square-foot building at 10 Fan Pier Boulevard in Boston, on the Boston waterfront. The Springfield, Massachusetts-based insurer says it will be keeping its headquarters in Springfield, but that it plans to consolidate some facilities in other parts of the country. The realignment could lead […]

    Former Nebraska Senator to Lead Life Agency

    {June 4th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Insurance Care Direct, a life and health agency, has hired one of the best-known figures in the insurance industry to be its new chief executive officer. The Deerfield Beach, Florida-based agency’s new CEO is Ben Nelson. Ben Nelson was the governor of Nebraska from 1991 to 1999; a U.S. senator from 2001 through 2013; and the CEO […]

    Great American Life Collaborates with Raymond James to Develop First-Of-Its-Kind Annuity

    {June 4th, 2019} by Great American Life

    CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American Life® is pleased to announce the launch of a new variable-indexed annuity developed in collaboration with Raymond James. The Index Summit 6℠, which will be offered through financial institutions, banks and independent broker dealers, is the only annuity on the market to offer crediting strategies with both upside and downside participation rates. The […]

    Look to IUL in Planning for Longevity

    {June 4th, 2019} by Mark Peterson

    Longevity can be a double-edged sword: the longer people live, the longer their resources in retirement must last. According to new research1 from AIG, more than half of Americans (53 percent) say their goal is to live to 100 years old. But, even with this optimism for aging, over half of Americans (51 percent) aren’t sure […]

    What you need to know about professional fiduciaries

    {June 4th, 2019} by Blaine F. Aikin

    Typically, individuals engage professional fiduciaries directly and voluntarily, but that isn’t always the case.   Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    SEC solicits comment on conduct standards for advisers and brokers

    {June 4th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday that it is again seeking public comment on investment-advice standards, restarting its consideration of a fiduciary duty regulation while a similar measure promulgated by the Labor Department is undergoing a reassessment. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    Historical timeline of the SEC advice rule

    {June 4th, 2019} by Christina Nelson and Ellie Zhu

    Here are the major milestones on the journey toward the agency’s final advice reform package.   Click HERE to view the timeline via InvestmentNews.

    What to look for in the final SEC advice rule

    {June 4th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission will meet Wednesday to vote on a final investment advice reform package of rules. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    Retirement plan provider sticks with embattled celeb Tony Robbins

    {June 4th, 2019} by Jeff Benjamin

    Self-help guru Tony Robbins, whose business relationship with $38 billion RIA Creative Planning ended last week following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations, is maintaining his affiliation with $1 billion retirement plan provider America’s Best 401(k) Company. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    What the new DOL fiduciary rule will probably look like

    {June 4th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    The form and substance of the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, set to be unveiled by the end of the year, is anybody’s guess.   Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    How to battle sequence-of-returns risk

    {June 4th, 2019} by Mary Beth Franklin

    There were two recurring themes at the annual InvestmentNews​ Retirement Income Summit in Chicago earlier this month: the economic impact of increased longevity and the need for guaranteed income in retirement. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    How to replicate a stretch IRA

    {June 4th, 2019} by Greg Iacurci

    The end of the stretch IRA is nigh, and that’s bad news for clients of financial advisers. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    Announcing the Launch of InsurTechExpress.com, ‘A One Stop Life Insurance Resource’

    {June 4th, 2019} by The InsurTech Express

    RALEIGH, N.C., May 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The InsurTech Express website has launched at www.insurtechexpress.com. InsurTech Express is the principal resource that brings the Life Insurance and Annuity communities together in one easy-to-access, secure online location for information on Insurtech. It is a network with active participation in industry organizations like ACORD, LBTC, and LIDMA; conferences like InsureTech Connect […]

    A Timeline of the Contentious Fiduciary Rules

    {June 4th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell, Chris Nicholls and Janet Levaux

    The SEC’s Regulation Best Interest was born out of a years-long struggle to regulate brokers as fiduciaries. ThinkAdvisor provides a timeline of the contentious fiduciary rules. Click HERE to view the timeline. 

    Voices: Why we changed the name of our IBD rankings

    {June 4th, 2019} by Chelsea Emery

    It’s been a time of stunning change for independent broker-dealers. Widespread consolidation has shrunk their numbers and RIAs have encroached on their business models. The firms left standing? They are the Elite IBDs. It’s for this reason (among a few others) we changed the name of our annual, exclusive IBD ranking from FP50. While the latter […]

    Industry Officials Forecast DOL Fiduciary Rule’s Future

    {June 1st, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta confirmed in early May that the Department of Labor would indeed issue its own fiduciary-related rules. Exactly what form they’ll take remains unclear, but industry officials’ educated guesses surmise that a full-blown fiduciary rule like the one vacated by an appeals court last year is not in the works. During his […]

    New Upcoming Pension And IRA Tax Law Changes: Here Come The Annuity Sales!

    {June 1st, 2019} by Alan Gassman

    The new 401k/IRA modification rules that have passed the House of Representatives and are now being taken up by the Senate will provide a number of improvements and simplification for high net worth taxpayers, while also taking away the ability to “stretch out” distributions from an IRA that would go to a child or other […]

    AXA Files for Annuity Exchange Offer

    {June 1st, 2019} by Rebecca Moore

    In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. has announced an offer for certain participants in the AXA Retirement 360 Defined Contribution Program to be able to exchange some or all of their EQUI-VEST variable annuity holdings for one of the program’s mutual fund options without imposing a withdrawal charge. […]

    Life Guide Partners Introduce New Life Expectancy Calculator: How Long Will Your Retirement Funds Last?

    {May 30th, 2019} by LifeGuide Partners

    ATLANTA, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Over the 30 years he’s worked with people who are trying to squeeze all of the juice out of their retirement savings, Scott Page says he’s been surprised that most of them leave a key element out of the equation. His solution was to create a life expectancy calculator that makes it easy and fun to […]

    Annuity sales hit record levels as boomers look for safety and lifetime income

    {May 30th, 2019} by Tim Grant

    Baby boomers craving financial certainty and shunning stock market risk were practically standing in line to buy annuities early this year, according to an insurance research organization which reported sales reached the highest level in a decade. “Annuity sales in the first quarter are definitely a reflection of a flight to safety,” said Teodor Panaitisor, […]

    SEC to tackle thorny topic: How much advice brokers can give without being an adviser

    {May 29th, 2019} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    When it votes on a final investment advice reform package next week, the Securities and Exchange Commission will revisit an explosive issue: The extent to which brokers can provide advice without having to register as investment advisers. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews. 

    SEC sets date for Reg BI, but will it mollify critics’ concerns?

    {May 29th, 2019} by Andrew Welsch

    The SEC and Department of Labor are moving closer to resetting the rules governing how advisors and brokers serve their clients. The commission will vote June 5 on its proposed Regulation Best Interest, according to a regulatory notice issued by the SEC. It’ll be an opportunity to see whether the SEC, which has received a lot […]

    Opinion: This one investment move can give you lifetime yearly income in retirement

    {May 29th, 2019} by Michael Edesess

    The investment business is full of theories and recommendations about how to accumulate wealth. But the field has very little to say about the best ways to decumulate, or spend down wealth. This is an astonishing oversight, considering that the period over which wealth decumulation occurs is often as long as that of accumulation. If […]

    Why Annuities Are Popular

    {May 29th, 2019} by The Alliance for Lifetime Income

    To the Editor: Re “The Way to Stop Predatory Lending” (editorial, May 23): We take issue with your criticism of fixed indexed annuities. These products, and indeed all annuities, can provide a guaranteed monthly income for the rest of a policyholder’s life, acting much like a personal pension plan or Social Security In an era […]

    Lincoln National (LNC) Extends Tie-Up With Valmark Advisers

    {May 29th, 2019} by Zacks Equity Research

    Lincoln National Corporation LNC recently expanded its collaboration with Valmark Advisers, Inc, a leading provider of Exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolio management. With this deal, Lincoln’s Variable Universal Life (VUL) and Variable Annuity (VA) products will be accessible to TOPS ETF Portfolios, managed by Valmark Advisers. It is believed that Lincoln’s advanced range of VUL and VA […]

    Valmark Financial Group Strengthens Partnership With Lincoln Financial Group to Offer a Robust ETF Portfolio Solution Within Variable Universal Life and Variable Annuity Products

    {May 29th, 2019} by Valmark Financial Group

    AKRON, Ohio, May 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Valmark Advisers, Inc, a leading provider of ETF-based portfolio management, is pleased to announce a deepened partnership with Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) to offer TOPS® ETF Portfolios, managed by Valmark Advisers, within Variable Universal Life (VUL) and Variable Annuity (VA) products offered by Lincoln. “TOPS is a leading independent manager of ETF-based […]

    National Life calls 2018 its most successful year ever

    {May 29th, 2019} by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine

    National Life has released its 2018 Annual Report, which highlights a record-setting year on the company’s 170th anniversary, as life insurance sales have more than tripled over the last decade and its renowned foundation budget has reached $2 million. Revenues in 2018 were $1.9 billion compared to $2.3 billion in 2017. Net income was $150.1 million […]

    SEC To Vote June 5 On Regulation Best Interest

    {May 29th, 2019} by Cassie Miller

    The Securities and Exchange Commission scheduled a June 5 vote on its Regulation Best Interest rulemaking package. The vote will include four items: Regulation Best Interest – Standard of Conduct for Broker-Dealers, Form CRS, Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers and an item not included in the three-part rulemaking package called Interpretation of “Solely Incidental.” The […]

    ‘Juicing’ Or ‘Innovative’? IUL Illustrations In The Crossfire

    {May 29th, 2019} by John Hilton

    Re-opening the contentious life insurance illustrations model regulation is on the table, state insurance regulators said today, but the group is starting with a narrow look at issues with AG 49. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ subgroup held an at-times contentious conference call to set an agenda for its work. Fred Anderson, acting deputy […]

    AmeriLife Direct and One Resource Group Partner to Provide Medicare Advice and Products

    {May 29th, 2019} by AmeriLife

    CLEARWATER, Fla., May 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”), a national leader in developing, marketing and distributing annuity, life and health insurance solutions, today announced an expanded partnership with One Resource Group (“ORG”) that will enable ORG’s 10,000 agents and advisors to refer their clients with confidence to AmeriLife Direct’s Medicare experts and full-service platform. […]

    Great American Life Expands Registered Investment Advisor Support with Customer Relationship Management Integration and Electronic Delivery

    {May 29th, 2019} by Great American Insurance Group

    CINCINNATI — May 15, 2019 — Great American Life®’s commitment to make annuities easily accessible to registered investment advisors (RIAs) remains strong with the launch of two new technology solutions. The latest solutions include Client Relationship Management (CRM) integration and the electronic delivery of contracts. The new CRM capabilities allow advisors to import client information […]

    The Power of Loss

    {May 29th, 2019} by Emily Holbrook

    The original version of this article ran Oct. 20, 2016. We believe the advice Myra Palmer gave is still highly relevant. (Chicago) — It’s quite possible that I’ve never heard a more touching and persuasive personal story about the importance of life insurance than the one Myra Palmer gave today at the Women in Insurance & Financial […]

    Fact or Fiction? 5 RIA Business Myths, Investigated

    {May 29th, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    During BNY Melon Pershing’s RIA Symposium in Chicago, Gabriel Garcia, managing director, Advisor Solutions for the firm presented some of the myths floating around the business, and whether they are true or not. The implications for these myths, false or not, are that firms need to prepare in the good times, like now, for the bad […]

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Release Set for December

    {May 29th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    The Labor Department will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding a new fiduciary rule in December, according to the department’s spring regulatory flexibility agenda. Dates set out in reg flex agendas are traditionally placeholders, and may not reflect the actual date that a fiduciary plan would be released. An earlier unveiling of a Labor […]

    Honoring Advisors Who Serve(d): Memorial Day, 2019

    {May 29th, 2019} by Ronald Pechtimaldjian

    This is ThinkAdvisor’s eighth version of the Advisors Who Serve(d) compilation, and this year we highlight the stories, told in their own words, of 11 veterans in the advisory world. Advisors Who Serve(d) is just that: Financial advisors who have served or are serving in the military. Each of our compilations have debuted over Memorial […]

    Alliance Adds Advisor Version of Retirement Readiness Assessment Tool

    {May 29th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    The Alliance for Lifetime Income is now offering financial advisors an advisor-oriented version of its Retirement Income Security Evaluation tool, or RISE Score tool. The alliance — a group for annuity providers and other organizations with an interest in income planning arrangements — says the tool provides a quick, standardized assessment of how prepared users are for retirement. The […]

    How to Sell Fixed Annuities to Skeptical Retirees

    {May 29th, 2019} by Craig D. Simms

    More often than not, fixed annuities make a lot of sense as a financial tool for retirees. However, they are frequently encumbered by a bad rap that causes skepticism among potential investors. How do agents overcome this resistance and create a win-win situation for all involved? The way I see it, it’s best to anticipate […]

    Tony Robbins loses role with RIA amid charges of sexual misconduct

    {May 29th, 2019} by Jeff Benjamin

    Self-help guru Tony Robbins is quickly becoming persona non grata across the financial planning industry following recently reported accusations by nine women of sexual misconduct over several decades. Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews.

    MassMutual Closes on OppenheimerFunds Sale

    {May 29th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has completed selling OppenheimerFunds to Invesco Ltd., a money manager, for about $5.7 billion in Invesco stock. MassMutual has emerged from the deal with a 15.7% stake in Invesco. The companies announced the deal in October. Invesco is now managing $1.2 trillion in assets. MassMutual bought OppenheimerFunds in 1990, from British […]

    House Passes Secure Act Retirement Bill

    {May 29th, 2019} by Melanie Waddell

    The full House passed Thursday morning the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act of 2019, which would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans and raises the required minimum distribution age to 72 from 70 1/2. The bill, which passed by a 417-3 vote, also paves the way for […]

    Fidelity Measures the CD-Annuity Literacy Gap

    {May 29th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Fidelity Investments recently conducted a consumer knowledge survey using a non-random sample of Americans that was designed to give annuities the edge. Even though Fidelity did its best to put its statistical thumb on the annuity side of the scale, the company found that the survey participants knew a lot more about bank certificates of […]

    If South Park Characters Applied for Life Insurance Policies…

    {May 29th, 2019} by Phil Murphy

    South Park is coming to the end of its 23-season run, with the series finale scheduled for later this year. (It may come as a shocker to many, including myself, that it’s still going strong). Since 1997, we’ve watched the characters in the South Park universe reflect human nature, which means they face the same […]

    Making Annuities Friendlier, With Insurtech

    {May 29th, 2019} by Thiru Sivasubramanian

    Robo advisors and chatbots can definitely provide value to advisors. Though they can’t yet replace these financial professionals and the value they bring to the table – a unique combination of relationships, trust and personalized service – today’s advisors do need to effectively engage through digital channels with their customers, whether digital natives or members […]

    Life and Annuity Groups Celebrate House Passage of Secure Act Bill

    {May 29th, 2019} by Allison Bell

    Life and annuity groups are celebrating the possibility that they might be able to get H.R. 1994 — a modest package of retirement savings changes — all the way through Congress, and onto the desk of President Donald Trump. Partisanship slowed progress early Thursday. Some Republicans tried to keep the current version of the Setting Every Community […]

    Memories of 9/11 Still Reverberate

    {May 29th, 2019} by Warren S. Hersch

    The original version of this article ran Sept. 9, 2016. For those who lived through major tragic events in the nation’s history — Pearl Harbor, the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy’s assassination — the first thought that often comes to mind is where they were as the events unfolded. And so it […]

    The House passed a bill that would allow more annuities in 401(k) plans — is that actually a good thing?

    {May 29th, 2019} by Alessandra Malito

    The SECURE Act is one step closer to becoming law, and with it, Americans would see a few tweaks to the way the retirement system works. As part of the SECURE Act, which the House of Representatives passed last week, individual retirement accounts’ age cap would be lifted, small businesses would have more avenues to […]

    Unrealistic IUL Illustrations Are Unnecessary

    {May 25th, 2019} by Bruce Carlton, CLU

    Many agents are motivated to show IUL illustrations that have the highest cash value and income compared to other carriers. Typically, with very little in the sales funnel the agent is anxious to make a sale and is naive in thinking the numbers are real. Carriers also anxious to increase sales make it easy for […]

    Securities America Recruits Three Groups with Approximately $245 Million in Total Client Assets

    {May 25th, 2019} by Securities America

    LA VISTA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securities America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE American: LTS, LTSL, LTS PrA, LTSF, LTSK), announced today that it has successfully recruited three advisory practices with client assets totaling approximately $245 million. The three groups are: Miller & Hurt Wealth Advisors, a two-advisor practice in Rockledge, Fla., […]

    TIAA commends House passage of SECURE Act, calls on Senate to take up retirement security

    {May 25th, 2019} by TIAA

    WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of TIAA, released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives’ passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act: “TIAA applauds the House of Representatives for bipartisan passage of the SECURE Act, a significant step toward advancing much-needed modernization of the American retirement system. […]

    8 Major Ways The SECURE Act Could Impact Your Retirement Plan

    {May 25th, 2019} by Jamie Hopkins

    From the outset, 2019 looked like it might be “The Year Of Retirement Reform” for Congress. Last year closed out with a number of retirement bills making real headway through DC, committees, think tanks and lobbyists, and we’ve been poised for major legislation to emerge. And now we have the first real movement of the […]

    Empower Retirement lauds House approval of the SECURE Act of 2019

    {May 24th, 2019} by Empower Retirement

    GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today the U.S. House of Representatives sent a message with its approval of a bill that reforms retirement policy affecting working Americans. “Congress has done a great service to American retirement savers by voting for the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. Empower Retirement applauds lawmakers for […]

    How advisors handle their most difficult conversations

    {May 24th, 2019} by Graison Dangor

    As both an advisor and therapist, Susan Zimmerman thinks a lot about handling tough conversations with clients — and how to dissuade their fear of the unknown. Many clients walk in the door with minimal financial literacy, says Zimmerman, co-founder of the firm Mindful Asset Planning. It’s an advisor’s job to help steer them in […]

    Senate Could Vote Friday On Bill Expanding Annuity Options In Plans

    {May 24th, 2019} by John Hilton

    A source says Senate leaders want to quickly vote on a bill to expand access and options for retirement plans, which passed the House this morning. Under the maneuver, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act would be voted on under unanimous consent. That means that the Senate could quickly pass the bill Friday, […]

    LPL expanding platform to include employee brokers

    {May 23rd, 2019} by Bruce Kelly

    LPL Financial, which has grown into one of the largest brokerage firms in the country by hiring advisers who act as independent contractors, is creating new a new model which would employ brokers working directly for the firm. Click HERE to read the full article.

    Ladenburg Rolling Out New Tax App for Indie Advisors

    {May 23rd, 2019} by Ginger Szala

    Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services discovered a new tool for its independent advisors last year: a web app that basically does the “busy work” of calculating payroll taxes, withholding them for the account and providing quarterly reminders and annual tax filings. The firm decided invest in it and just announced plans to roll out Track Technologies’ […]

    Americans Believe Risky Careers are Considered the Most Heroic, According to Vantis Life

    {May 23rd, 2019} by Vantis Life

    WINDSOR, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new study released by leading life insurance provider Vantis Life has highlighted just how valued heroic jobs are in American society. The research polled 2,000 U.S. residents, asking respondents to rank 22 common professions based on how heroic, important and trusted they are, and how they should be compensated accordingly. Vantis Life undertook the survey […]

    Only 55% of AIG Shareholders OK $21 Million Compensation for CEO Duperreault

    {May 23rd, 2019} by Suzanne Barlyn and Ross Kerber

    American International Group Inc. said shareholders approved a $21 million pay package for Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault by only a narrow margin during the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday. A non-binding resolution to endorse the firm’s executive compensation received support from just 55% of votes cast, according to a securities filing by the company […]

    Best’s Commentary: Life/Health Insurers Daunted by Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Long-Duration Contract Changes

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

    OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Changes to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) requirements for insurance companies to report GAAP financials for long-duration contracts could become costly for companies transitioning to the new accounting standards and could create earnings and reserving volatility, according to a new AM Best commentary. The Best’s Commentary, titled, “Life/Health Insurers Daunted by FASB Long Duration Contract Changes,” […]

    ‘Zombie’ Fiduciary Rule Must Stay Dead, Industry Expert Says

    {May 22nd, 2019} by John Hilton

    While there is plenty of regulatory rumblings on several fronts, the Department of Labor is not reviving the dreaded fiduciary rule, a National Association for Fixed Annuities’ spokeswoman said today. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testified May 1 before the House Education and Labor Committee. He described department rulemaking vis-a-vis the late fiduciary rule, which was […]

    TIAA Survey Finds Level of Financial Confidence among Adult Children May Stem from Their Parents’ Approach to Retirement Planning

    {May 22nd, 2019} by TIAA

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new survey from TIAA finds Americans who lack confidence in their parents’ financial security in retirement (27 percent) are twice as likely to lack confidence in their own retirement as those who are confident in their parents’ (72 percent versus 36 percent). More than half of respondents (57 percent) also indicate that […]

    Allianz Life Announces New Enhancements to Fixed Index Annuity Portfolio

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

    MINNEAPOLIS – May 21, 2019 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced it has added new benefit features to several of its fixed index annuities (FIAs), with the goal of helping provide clients with more flexibility, choice, and control. The new benefits are: New ADL qualifications on the Allianz Income Multiplier […]

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