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Archive for January 2010

The Unloved Annuity Gets a Hug From Obama

{January 29th, 2010} by Ron Lieber

January 30, 2010 Your Money The Unloved Annuity Gets a Hug From Obama Annuities: The official retirement vehicle of the Obama administration. As slogans go, it’s hardly “Keep Hope Alive,” or even “Change We Can Believe In.” But there were annuities, in a report from the administration’s Middle Class Task Force that came out this […]

Seize The 2010 Opportunity

{January 28th, 2010} by Michael S. Pinkans

By MICHAEL S. PINKANS Published 1/14/2010  As 2010 begins, many producers are happy to leave 2009 behind.  Industry sales of life insurance were down significantly last year, and fixed annuity sales cooled dramatically in the last quarter as interest rates declined. But for 2010, sales should increase as the economy and consumer sentiment recovers. The question […]

Flexible Income Options No Longer ‘One Size Fits All’

{January 28th, 2010} by Del Campbell and Kris Kattman

By DEL CAMPBELL AND KRIS KATTMANN Published 1/14/2010  In today’s economic environment, consumers have an overwhelming need for flexible annuity solutions. Many people are concerned with the market impact on their retirement savings and what that will mean to their overall retirement plans. People are not looking just for annuity solutions but income solutions that provide […]

The Combo Annuity/LTC Driver

{January 28th, 2010} by Cary Lakenbach

By CARY LAKENBACH Published 1/14/2010  Americans have just survived a devastating period of asset depletion and shrinkage. For many retirees and near-retirees, the ability to pay for the costs of long term care and other retirement costs has been severely compromised. What options are available for them? Are the costs affordable? For many retirees and near-retirees, […]

Annuitize And Invest The Difference

{January 28th, 2010} by Matthew Greenwald

By MATHEW GREENWALD Published 1/14/2010  A new rule of thumb seems in order for this time of financial stress for many retirees: “Annuitize and invest the difference.” This is not to suggest that retirees should put all, or even most, of their money into a life annuity. But for most retirees, putting 10% to 25% of […]

Obama To Highlight Annuities

{January 27th, 2010} by Trevor Thomas

By TREVOR THOMAS Published 1/26/2010  The Obama administration will promote use of annuities to generate retirement income when it releases proposals for helping stressed middle-income families. The administration’s plans include a proposal to encourage the use of annuities and similar products to transform savings into guaranteed future income, thereby reducing the chance of retirees’ outliving their […]

2010 Annuity Market Outlook

{January 26th, 2010} by Kim O'Brien

Click here for article.

SEC Plans to Reissue Rule 151A but Offers 2-Year Delay

{January 26th, 2010} by N/A

Click here for the article.

Regulators Target 'Source of Funds' in Annuity Sales

{January 26th, 2010} by Darrell Delamaide

Click here for the article.

Regulators Target ‘Source of Funds’ in Annuity Sales

{January 26th, 2010} by Darrell Delamaide

Click here for the article.

Interactive profiles of independent broker-dealers

{January 26th, 2010} by N/A

See how the major players stack up against one another –in anyway you like– with interactive profiles that allow you to compare the financial performance, production and rep counts of the largest broker-dealers. Click here to view the interactive data.

"Now Do We Have Your Attention?"

{January 25th, 2010} by Raymond J. Ohlson

READ BELOW FOR A SPECIAL MESSAGE BY RAY OHLSON OF THE OHLSON GROUP: Well it was quite a week. The senate seat once held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy was taken from the Democrats when the newly elected Senator Brown scored an upset victory in Massachusetts. Both sides of the aisle are now explaining […]

“Now Do We Have Your Attention?”

{January 25th, 2010} by Raymond J. Ohlson

READ BELOW FOR A SPECIAL MESSAGE BY RAY OHLSON OF THE OHLSON GROUP: Well it was quite a week. The senate seat once held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy was taken from the Democrats when the newly elected Senator Brown scored an upset victory in Massachusetts. Both sides of the aisle are now explaining […]

Former Americo Life Employee Sentenced to Prison for Taking Agents' Commissions

{January 25th, 2010} by Chad Hemenway

DALLAS January 22 (BestWire) — A Texas man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for defrauding his employer, Americo Life Insurance Co., of more than $900,000 for about a year starting in early 2003. Mark Camacho recruited eight other people to serve as recipients of deposits he transferred from insurance agents’ commission accounts within Americo’s system from […]

Former Americo Life Employee Sentenced to Prison for Taking Agents’ Commissions

{January 25th, 2010} by Chad Hemenway

DALLAS January 22 (BestWire) — A Texas man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for defrauding his employer, Americo Life Insurance Co., of more than $900,000 for about a year starting in early 2003. Mark Camacho recruited eight other people to serve as recipients of deposits he transferred from insurance agents’ commission accounts within Americo’s system from […]

Personnel Changes: CIGNA, Allianz, Transamerica, Others

{January 25th, 2010} by NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 1/22/2010  CIGNA HealthCare has hired David Guilmette to be president of the national segment. Guilmette previously was a managing director in the global health and welfare practice at Towers Watson Inc., New York, according to CIGNA HealthCare, Bloomfield, Conn., a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, (NYSE:CI) Guilmette has a bachelor’s […]

GREAT statistics to help you with your sales of indexed life and indexed annuities….

{January 22nd, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

According to a recent Gallup, Inc. poll: 55% of American shareholders believe that the stock market will be higher a year from now. Only 11% believe that it will be lower in a year. How does that translate to IA and IUL? The power of the annual reset is magnificent! Although the market may be […]

Ruark: GMWB Use Below Expectations

{January 22nd, 2010} by N/A

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 1/21/2010  Use of the guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit option offered with variable annuities has been lower than originally expected. Consultants at Ruark Consulting L.L.C., Simsbury, Conn., an actuarial consulting firm, come to that conclusion in a new study. Ruark consultants analyzed 3 million policy years of experience data from 7 […]

Michael White: BHC Annuity Income Rises

{January 22nd, 2010} by N/A

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 1/21/2010  Bank holding companies had better luck with income from annuity sales during the first 3 quarters of 2009 than banks did.U.S. BHC annuity commission income rose to $2 billion for the first 3 quarters, up 2.5% from $1.95 billion for the comparable period in 2008, according to Michael White […]

Looking For Certainty On Contingent Annuities

{January 22nd, 2010} by Joan E. Boros

By JOAN E. BOROS Published 1/19/2010  Who could have predicted that the time would come when people would worry about the uncertainty of the “when” of death, about living too long, and that a federal taxing authority, the Internal Revenue Service, would act “kindly” on tax treatment?  But contingent annuities have given rise to that anomaly. […]

Ambulance Chasers and a Lack of Responsibility

{January 20th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

Ambulance Chasers and  a Lack of Responsibility BY SHERYL MOORE Ask anyone who has been in the insurance business for more than a decade about class-action lawsuits and you’ll likely hear that they’ve had experience with at least one (be it “vanishing premiums,” underfunded UL, or annuities). These lawsuits have been around for a long […]

A tale of new retirement products

{January 18th, 2010} by Joan Boros

Believe it or not, literary lions may provide best insights into achieving a stable retirement

By Joan E. Boros
January 17, 2010

For a look at the retirement products advisers can expect in 2010, the insights of some literary greats — Charles Dickens, Voltaire, Lord Byron and Jane Austen.

No big love in Utah

{January 18th, 2010} by Jessica Toonkel Marquez

Barred advisers sue state for $358 million, accusing securities regulator of witch hunt By Jessica Toonkel Marquez January 17, 2010, 6:01 AM EST           Two former financial advisers who were barred from the securities industry have sued Utah for $357.6 million, accusing state regulators of targeting them without proof of wrongdoing […]

Records say accused embezzler has multiple personality disorder

{January 13th, 2010} by Tom Witosky

Accused embezzler Phyllis Stevens was treated for six years for multiple personality disorder, and her lawyer wants to explore whether that can be a defense in her criminal case. The Des Moines woman’s lawyer, William Kutmus, disclosed the diagnosis in a motion filed Tuesday in federal court. Kutmus asked for a delay in her trial, […]

A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

{January 13th, 2010} by N/A

January 13, 2010 OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to B+ (Good) from B++ (Good) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “bbb-” from “bbb+” of the core life insurance entities of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (Phoenix) [NYSE: PNX], which includes Phoenix Life Insurance Company (Phoenix Life) (East Greenbush, […]

Law Firm Organizes Suit Against Annuity Issuer

{January 12th, 2010} by Warren Hersch

By WARREN S. HERSCH Published 1/11/2010  The plaintiffs in a suit filed in a federal court in Phoenix are accusing an insurer of misrepresenting the tax benefits of buying deferred variable annuity contracts. Hagens Berman Sobel Shapiro L.L.P., Phoenix, has filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on behalf of […]

Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU Highlighted in Ball State University Fall 2009 Business College Magazine

{January 11th, 2010} by N/A

January 06, 2010    Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU was featured in Ball State University’s Miller College of Business Fall 2009 Magazine.   January 6, 2010 Raymond J. Ohlson, BS radio and television 1972, has been elected president of the Central Indiana Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.  He is the founder and CEO […]

Davis Life Brokerage Celebrates 30 Years of Growth

{January 11th, 2010} by N/A

Des Moines  – January 11, 2010 – After a very turbulent year for the United States economy and especially small businesses, a business in Iowa’s capital is not only surviving but thriving. Davis Life Brokerage, founded by Ronald Davis, CLU, in January 1980, has seen a lot of other similar businesses come and go. Meanwhile, […]

US Life Insurer Phoenix Cos. to Sell Ultra High-Net-Worth Private-Placement Business

{January 11th, 2010} by Frank Matso Lysiak

January 11, 2010 U.S. life insurer Phoenix Cos. Inc. said Tiptree Financial Partners plans to acquire its private-placement insurance business, PFG Holdings Inc. The deal, which also includes PFG’s subsidiaries — Philadelphia Financial Group Inc. and AGL Life Assurance Co. — is expected to close in the second quarter, Phoenix (NYSE: PNX) said. Terms of […]

Is Allianz about to make a move for Swiss Life?

{January 11th, 2010} by N/A

By Associated Press January 11, 2010, 11:45 AM EST   Shares in insurer Swiss Life Holding jumped Monday on reports that German rival Allianz SE is planning to make a takeover bid.Swiss Life shares were up 7 percent to 154.80 Swiss francs ($152.25) in afternoon trading on the Zurich exchange. French business Web site WanSquare, […]

A season of change awaits

{January 10th, 2010} by Andy Stonehouse

BY Andy Stonehouse Published 12/1/2008    From the December 2008 Issue of Senior Market Advisor Magazine In this special section, we’ll examine the development and the repercussions of the SEC’s divisive proposal, Rule 151A, and speak with those on both sides of the issue. We will also offer you some concrete steps to make sure your voice […]

Keep an eye on SB 1372

{January 10th, 2010} by Daniel Williams

BY Daniel Williams Published 3/26/2009  While most of us in the industry have kept our eye firmly on SEC 151A, Sheryl J. Moore, president and CEO of Lifespecs.com and AnnuitySpecs.com, says we should be keeping an eye on Florida Senate Bill 1372 as well. [Editor’s note: Moore sent the following information to Senior Market Advisor regarding […]

Back to the drawing board?

{January 10th, 2010} by Andy Stonehouse

BY Andy Stonehouse Published 9/1/2009 In this special section, part of a Senior Market Advisor series on the developments and legal response to SEC Rule 151A, we break down the flurry of headlines from this summer. Does a federal ruling calling for a major retooling of 151A spell the end of the line for the controversial […]

Annuities sales up compared to 2008

{January 10th, 2010} by Daniel Williams

BY Daniel Williams Published 11/24/2009  Well, if you were looking for some good news, you might have found it in a recent annuities report.The forty-ninth installment of the Advantage Index Sales & Market Report showed that total third quarter sales of indexed annuities reached $7.5 billion, an 11.3 percent jump from the same period last year. […]

Index Products Saw Another Record Year In 2005

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 3/5/2006  At $27.3 billion, index annuity sales in 2005 set a record for the 11th consecutive year. Index universal life (IUL) premiums increased, as well—to $186 million, nearly double the volume two years ago. In the fourth quarter 2005, however, sales were uneven. Index annuity sales for the quarter were $6.5 billion, […]

Indexed Universal Life: A Primer And A Forecast

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 7/2/2006  It’s been nearly 30 years since consumers were first offered the benefits of universal life insurance. With UL came flexibility in premium payments, death benefit options, coverage amounts and all sorts of other things that they never dreamed of. Now, fast forward to 1997 when the first indexed UL was introduced. […]

Why Index Annuities Are Adding Living Benefits

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 10/15/2006  Like other annuities, index annuities attempt to differentiate themselves from one another in various ways. For instance, from offering 3 basic interest crediting methods in the mid-1990s, the products expanded to offering over 40 variations by 1999. Index annuity carriers have also played with offering different indices, trailing commissions, and even […]

What’s Limiting Innovation In The World Of Index Annuities

{January 9th, 2010} by November 13, 2006

By SHERYL MOORE Published 11/12/2006  The business environment usually drives change. In the life insurance world, for instance, years of rising interest rates that negatively affected cash value life sales drove insurers to create universal life products. The millennium bear market resulted in an explosion of variable annuities offering risk reduction riders. And, the fixed annuity […]

3Q Index Annuity Sales Inch Ahead, Index Life Sales Grow Apace

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 12/3/2006  Index annuity sales for the 3rd quarter of 2006 were $6.5 billion—a bit higher than 2nd quarter sales, which in turn were up slightly from 1st quarter sales. The sales leader was Allianz Life, reporting nearly $1.7 billion in total sales, followed by AmerUs Annuity Group at $637 million. The market […]

The Ingredients For Success With Index UL

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 3/18/2007  This is an opportune time to launch index universal life (IUL) insurance. Of course, compared to total universal life sales, IUL is still just a baby, having been in existence for only a decade and with sales at less than 10% of total UL sales industrywide. By comparison, traditional UL has […]

Are Fixed Annuity GLWBs Needed?

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 5/27/2007  One year ago, no fixed annuity offered guaranteed lifetime withdrawal (GLWB) benefits. Today, over half of the top-selling fixed indexed rate carriers and a couple of the fixed stated rate carriers offer the benefit on at least some of their annuities, and most of the carriers we consult with will be […]

Top 10 Index Annuity Misconceptions

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 8/19/2007  Imagine a neighbor knocks on your door, complaining he is “tired of your kids misbehaving and acting out of control.” Claiming he’d be a better parent than you, he picks up your kids and takes them home. Wild imagination? Not if we’re talking index annuities. Last month, the Securities and Exchange […]

Hitting A ‘Home Run’ With Indexed Universal Life

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 8/19/2007  When my son first started playing baseball, he was so nervous that he wouldn’t even swing. This went on for several games. Then came the day when he actually connected with the ball. He finally understood what to do, and after that, there was no stopping him from swinging and knocking […]

Regulators Need Index Product Training

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL J. MOORE Published 12/16/2007  Recently, the Iowa Insurance Division adopted rules 191-15.80-87. These require all producers who wish to sell indexed life or indexed annuity products in Iowa starting Jan. 1, 2008 to complete a 4-credit training course on the products. The state is in a supreme position to lead the way with this […]

Iowa Department Joins Project On Fixed And Index Annuity Disclosure

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

Published 2/10/2008  Iowa insurance regulators are joining with several industry trade groups in a pilot project designed to help consumers wade through the complexities of the fixed and index annuities they are buying. The Iowa Insurance Division said last week it is joining the American Council of Life Insurers and the National Association of Fixed Annuities […]

Quiz question: Criteria for index annuities

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 2/20/2008  The question was: Which of the following criteria apply in determining whether an index annuity qualifies as insurance? a) The annuity is issued by an insurance company, subject to the supervision of the insurance commissioner or any state or territory of the U.S. or District of Columbia b) The insurer must […]

Keeping Index Life Out Of Hot Water

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 1/20/2008  The index annuity market has some lessons for insurance companies and advisors who are now expanding into sale of index life insurance. Those lessons are rooted in the many challenges that index annuities have faced from their early years on to today. It’s no secret that index annuities have had their […]

Index Annuity Sales Were Flat In ’07—But Still ‘Amazing’

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 3/9/2008  Given the pounding that fixed index annuities have taken from regulators over the past 2 years, some observers have been predicting that FIA sales would plummet. But they haven’t plummeted, according to the year-end sales report from AnnuitySpecs.com, Des Moines, Iowa. Sales for the 4th quarter were down slightly—less than 1%—compared […]

Index Annuities Get Sexy

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 4/20/2008  There are two words we don’t see in the same sentence every day: “annuities” and “sexy.” Yet, the latest trend in the index annuity market aims to change that. This is a new type of crediting strategy, commonly referred to as a “rainbow method,” and it is turning heads. Initially only […]

1Q 2008 Index Product Sales Decline From 2007’s 4Q

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 6/15/2008  Sales of index annuities and index life insurance fell in the 1st quarter of 2008 compared to the previous quarter, according to figures from AnnuitySpecs.com, Des Moines, Iowa. IA sales dropped by 10%, while IL sales fell by nearly 25%, says Sheryl Moore, president of AnnuitySpecs. “But when compared to the […]

Fixed Index Annuity Sales Jumped 20% in 2nd Quarter

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 9/7/2008  Index annuity sales in the 2nd quarter 2008 jumped 20% over the 1st quarter and 5.55% over the 2nd quarter 2007, according to the Advantage Index Sales & Market Report. Sales of the fixed version of the product—fixed index annuities—totaled nearly $7 billion for the quarter, according to AnnuitySpecs.com, Pleasant Hill, […]

Understanding Index Annuity GLWBs

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 11/2/2008  It has only been a little over 2 years since guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) burst into the scene in the index annuity market. Since June 2006, carrier after carrier has hopped into this raging market. In fact, while new product development has never been so low, GLWB rider product development […]

Selling Indexed Life In A Down Economy

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 11/16/2008  Right now, a lot of people are “freaking out” in the financial services sector. Why? One of the largest insurance companies in the world has accepted a loan from the U.S. government as part of a bailout plan. Two other European insurance companies have accepted capital infusions from the Dutch government. […]

12 Months In The Life Of The Index Product Market

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 12/14/2008 A look back at 2008 provides a stunning view of how far the index product industry has come in the past 12 months. One of the first items to affect the index annuity (IA) market this year was the Joint Annuity Disclosure Pilot Project of American Council of Life Insurers and […]

In The IA Crystal Ball For 2009

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL J. MOORE Published 1/5/2009  What does 2009 hold for the index annuity industry? Here are some likely possibilities. Regulatory changes. From a sales and marketing perspective, such changes are in the IA industry’s best interests. For instance, I just reviewed a policy filing with a 25% bonus on the benefit base of the guaranteed […]

Buckle Up For A Fast Product Ride In 2008

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 2/24/2009  Fasten your seatbelts. The year 2008 promises to be a fast one where insurance and allied financial products are concerned. Following are the trends as seen by industry experts around the country. Retirement is the Big Kahuna, since the oldest baby boomers will turn age 62 in 2008, thus qualifying for […]

2008 FIA Sales Seen Rising 6.2%

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 2/25/2009  Fixed indexed annuity sales in 2008 rose nearly 6.2% over 2007 results, according to preliminary statistics released by AnnuitySpecs.com, a data service of Advantage Group Associates, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa. Total 2008 sales for the industry are projected at over $26.7 billion, the company says. The top 10 companies produced over […]

NAFA: Change Fla. Annuity Bill

{January 9th, 2010} by Trevor Thomas

By TREVOR THOMAS Published 3/20/2009  The National Association for Fixed Annuities is joining with the National Association of Independent Financial Advisors to respond to a Florida bill that would regulate annuity sales to seniors. NAFA, Milwaukee, says it also is working with carriers to respond to the bill, S.B. 1372, the Safeguard our Seniors Act. One […]

More Companies Are Signing Up Advisors

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 5/4/2009  Insurance companies and marketing organizations typically reduce their sales ranks until a recession subsides. But in recent months, some are going the other direction. They’ve started ramping up the sales force, not the other way around. We’ll explore the reasons why, but first some examples: • Combined Insurance, Chicago, says sales […]

IA Sales Rise 23%

{January 9th, 2010} by Linda Koco

By LINDA KOCO Published 5/19/2009  Indexed annuity sales were about 23% higher in the first quarter of 2009 than they were in the first quarter of 2008, although they were slightly lower than in the previous quarter, according to AnnuitySpecs.com. First-quarter 2009 sales totaled $7.1 billion, down 2.1% from about $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter […]

Why An Uptick Is Coming For Indexed UL Sales

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 7/6/2009  Index universal life sales in 2008 were a record-breaking $539 million. Never have the environment and market conditions been so favorable for this product. Millions of Americans are leaving the equities markets, where values are being depleted, in favor of the safety and stability of products with guarantees. These drivers, coupled […]

A Firestorm Is Brewing For Indexed UL

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By SHERYL MOORE Published 7/16/2009  If you ask me, indexed universal life insurance is the perfect life insurance product. It’s permanent, it can never lose value as a result of market declines, and it has the potential to earn greater interest than traditional UL products. However, some alarming trends are occurring in this market that needs […]

Indexed Annuity Benefits: What You Might Not Know

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

Published 8/1/2006   As an indexed product industry analyst, I frequently am asked, “Which crediting method is best?” I believe producers should be more concerned about the contractual provisions I call the “base product.” One such feature that is less emphasized but so important is the death benefit — what the beneficiary will receive in the event […]

All Allianz EIAs have withdrawal options

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

I am the head of a consulting firm that tracks every individual [equity index annuity] and life product, the carriers that issue them and their coinciding sales in the United States. The bulk of my business comes in through a website, annuityspecs .com, which provides product specifications and rates for every equity index annuity on […]

EIA insurers weigh FMO ties

{January 9th, 2010} by Gary Mogel

By Gary S. Mogel October 23, 2006, 6:01 AM EST     NEW YORK – Life insurers that use field marketing organizations to distribute equity index annuities eventually may follow the industry leader and start dealing directly with more broker-dealers, according to industry observers. However, most insurers – at least for now – are sticking […]

SEC to hear more on index annuity regulation

{January 9th, 2010} by Darla Mercado

By Darla Mercado October 13, 2008, 3:47 PM EST       The Securities and Exchange Commission has reopened the comment period for its proposed rule on federal regulation of index annuities. The Washington-based regulator made the announcement on Friday, giving the public thirty days from the publication of the extension in the Federal Register. […]

Index annuity sales for first quarter up from a year ago

{January 9th, 2010} by Darla Mercado

First-quarter sales of index annuities hit $7 billion — down 2.1% from the fourth quarter but up 22.8% from a year earlier, according to research from AnnuitySpecs.com. The Pleasant Hill, Iowa-based research firm surveyed 50 carriers, making up 99% of index annuity production. Aviva USA continued to hold on to its position as the top […]

Finra suitability proposal raises hackles of those in the fixed-annuities industry

{January 9th, 2010} by Darla Mercado

The regulator seeks comments, but some critics are already saying it is overstepping its bounds By Darla Mercado June 14, 2009, 6:01 AM EST         The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s proposal to widen its purview to include non-securities products has left some in the fixed-annuities industry gnashing their teeth. Finra is […]

Finra chief lacks knowledge of fixed-annuity regulation

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

In the article “Finra chief: Proposed oversight commission could cause cracks in system,” which appeared on InvestmentNews.com on June 8, Richard Ketchum, chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. of New York and Washington, made some false statements about the fixed-annuity industry. Specifically, he implied in the article that the annuities sector doesn’t […]

Index annuity sales surged in 2Q on demand for stable retirement income

{January 9th, 2010} by Darla Mercado

Boost occurred despite carriers’ pulling back on sales, research group found Index annuity sales rose during the second quarter, hitting $8.3 billion, according to data from Advantage Group Associates Inc. That’s an increase of 21.2% from the year-ago period and a gain of 18.3% from the first quarter’s results of $7 billion, according to the […]

Indexed-annuity crusader

{January 9th, 2010} by Darla Mercado

By Darla Mercado September 13, 2009, 6:01 AM EST         Sheryl J. Moore is mad as hell at the media, and she’s not going to take it anymore. Frustration with the coverage of indexed annuities has spurred Ms. Moore, president and chief executive of Advantage Group Associates Inc., an indexed-annuities research firm, […]

Split Decision In Allianz Life Annuity Lawsuit

{January 9th, 2010} by Chris Serres

October 14, 2009 A split decision in Allianz Life annuity lawsuit: Some experts wonder if verdict gives companies a license to deceive. [Star Tribune, Minneapolis] By Chris Serres, Star Tribune, MinneapolisOct. 14–A four-year legal saga, which pitted hundreds of thousands of older Americans against an insurance giant from Golden Valley, has come to a quiet […]

SEC Presses for 151A But Offers 2-Year Stay

{January 9th, 2010} by Steve Morelli

By Steven A. Morelli Senior Editor, InsuranceNewsNet Published: Dec. 9, 2009 The Securities & Exchange Commission plans to reissue Rule 151A but it has offered a two-year stay from the time the rule would be published, according to a court filing. The SEC is asking a federal appeals court not to strike down the rule […]

A Maze of Misinformation

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

http://www.insurancenewsnetmagazine.com/october08/

Fixed Indexed Annuity Sales for 3Q 2008 Reach $6.7 billion

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=9833&pre=1&p=27

The Value of Zero

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=9833&pre=1&p=27

Rule 151A: A Coup by the SEC

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=11890&pre=1&1&p=27

The Rise & Fall of the Two-Tiered Annuity

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=21765&pre=1&p=39

The Rise & Fall of the Two-Tiered Annuity

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=21765&pre=1&p=39

New Products

{January 9th, 2010} by Ron Panko

Source: Best’s Review (May 2006 Issue) Spotlight Indexed Products Equity-indexed life insurance sales last year totaled $185.7 million, a 50% increase over 2004 and double the sales of 2003, according to Sheryl Moore, president of Advantage Group Associates. At year-end, 20 carriers offered the product, up from only 12 early last year. Among companies new […]

Sales of Fixed Annuities Up 10% in 2Q; Big Indexed Writers Gain Ground on Market Rally

{January 9th, 2010} by Fran Matso Lysiak

August 31, 2009 Monday 04:10 PM EST 647 words Sales of Fixed Annuities Up 10% in 2Q; Big Indexed Writers Gain Ground on Market Rally Fran Lysiak EVANSTON, Ill. Second-quarter sales of fixed annuities in the United States, including equity-indexed annuities, rose 10% from the same period a year ago, to an estimated $27.8 billion, […]

On the Verge: Equity Indexed Life Movers and Shakers

{January 9th, 2010} by Ron Panko

Source: Best’s Review (August 2005 Issue)  If potential is in the eye of the beholder, then Mike Pinkans and the National Life Insurance Co. of Montpelier, Vt., should win a prize for their optimism about equity indexed universal life insurance. National Life is committing resources to the fledgling product line, and Pinkans and his staff […]

A Small Bright Star: Indexed universal life insurance was the fastest-growing product line in the individual life insurance galaxy last year, and specialists expect fast growth to continue.

{January 9th, 2010} by Ron Panko

Source: Best’s Review (July 2007 Issue)  The newest star in the life insurance universe–based on sales growth, at least–is indexed universal life insurance. According to Advantage Compendium, the St. Louis-based research and consulting firm, sales in 2006 rose to $352 million, up by 89% over those in 2005. The big gain came after years of […]

Quite the Contrary: Investors who bought indexed annuities a year ago are sleeping much better than owners of variable annuities or mutual funds.

{January 9th, 2010} by Ron Panko

Source: Best’s Review (February 2009 Issue) As the stock market melted down last fall, financial advisers were busy urging clients to not panic, to be patient and to stick with their long-term investment plans. But some advisers received thank-you notes, a good number of which probably came from clients who had purchased indexed annuities, a hybrid […]

How to Sell the Right Index Annuities

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl Moore Published 2/1/2007    Even if you’ve never sold an index annuity, you’ve most certainly heard of fixed index annuities (FIAs). These increasingly popular products line the advertisements of financial services Web sites. Daily newswire services tout the hottest new FIA product to hit the street. If you are affiliated with an independent marketing organization […]

2007 Annuity Market Study

{January 9th, 2010} by Christina Pellett

By Christina Pellett Published 11/9/2009    Agent Media/NAFA study shows annuity producers optimistic about marketplace despite lingering challenges The first annuity was offered in 1759 by a Pennsylvania company to Presbyterian ministers and their families. Since then, annuities have been used as a way to help people deal with the uncertainty of how long they will live. […]

Letter to the Editor: Some Sources Not Reliable

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl Moore Published 5/1/2007  Thank you for your recent Variable and Index Product Selling Guide (Agent’s Sales Journal, February 2007), which provided a forum to focus on the growing index life and index annuity markets. I was surprised to read the Perspectives column at the beginning of this issue, where readers are warned to “Tread […]

A Peek at 2008 – Experts’ Predictions on Market Performance in the New Year

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore and others

By Staff Writer Published 1/1/2008    If you’ve been in the insurance business for practically any length of time, you’ve likely experienced several sweeping changes. New products and markets — such as consumer-driven health plans and life settlements — have gained speed in the past few years as consumer awareness campaigns run by carriers and organizations continue […]

The Coming of Age of Index Universal Life

{January 9th, 2010} by Frank Howell

By Frank Howell Published 2/1/2008    This year, index universal life (IUL) celebrates its 10th year on the market. First introduced in 1997, this product has become more and more common, with more than 20 companies offering it, and advisors and the public are increasingly taking notice. What is IUL? IUL is universal life insurance with death […]

Variable and Index Products: A Market of Growth

{January 9th, 2010} by Christina Pellett

By Christina Pellett Published 2/1/2008  In today’s insurance industry, agents may often offer clients and prospects products that are nearly identical to their competitors’. In the wake of this situation, industry players have begun to focus on products that offer guarantees and add-ons that lend more value to products consumers cannot find just anywhere. That’s where […]

The 2009 Industry Outlook: Experts’ Predictions on Market Performance in the New Year

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore and others

By Staff Writer Published 1/1/2009    Annuities Kim O’Brien » Executive director, National Association for Fixed Annuities In times of economic uncertainty and economic downturn, Americans typically turn to protection and security. They seek to insure their money and protect their savings. During these times, fixed insured annuity sales (including declared rate and indexed) traditionally go up […]

Offering Indexed Products in a Down Market

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl Moore Published 2/1/2009  So, the market is continually tanking, and you’re having problems making appointments. Every sale seems to be a tough one as your clients hold on to every last penny they have, in perpetual fear of a prolonged recession. Indexed products — both annuities and life insurance — can be used to […]

SEC Votes 4-1 to Approve Rule 151A

{January 9th, 2010} by Christina Pellett

By Christina Pellett Published 1/1/2009    Under rule, indexed annuities will be subject to securities regulation Despite more than 4,800 comments maintaining that indexed annuities are most certainly insurance products and that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be overstepping their boundaries in declaring them securities, the SEC has done just that. In a Dec. 17 […]

FL Proposes Surrender-Charge Period Limit for Annuities

{January 9th, 2010} by Heather Strickland

By Heather Strickland Published 4/1/2009     Florida officials and insurance professionals have been butting heads over the “Safeguard Our Seniors Act,” a bill that limits the surrender-charge period for certain annuities, and caps the surrender charges at 5 percent of the annuity’s premiums. The bill, S.B. 1372, would limit to five years the surrender-charge period for an […]

IUL’s Recent Challenges — And Why It’s Still Worth Another Look

{January 9th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl Moore Published 8/1/2009      You may not know it from looking at the most recent sales statistics, but now is a terrific time to be selling indexed universal life (IUL). While several challenges have recently hampered the sales of the up-and-coming product, IUL is positioned to increase sales more than any other interest-sensitive product […]

Get Your Butt Out of Your Chair and Contact Your Legislators!

{January 8th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

I am happy to report that we have 69 co-sponsors in the House now and 12 in the Senate. But, do you know how many Congress persons it takes to get a bill passed? There are 535 people in Congress. THAT MEANS WE ONLY HAVE 15% OF CONGRESS CO-SPONSORING THE BILLS THAT WILL SAVE THE […]

US Insurance Industry Sees Jobs Gain in December

{January 8th, 2010} by Jesse Hamilton

Copyright: A.M. Best Company, Inc. Source: BestWire Services Wordcount: unknown   After a long period of decline, the U.S. insurance industry saw an uptick in employment in December jobs numbers, with a gain of 2,700 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted data released Jan. 8 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate […]

FBL Financial Group Names Russell J. Wiltgen Chief Actuary

{January 8th, 2010} by N/A

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: FFG) announced today that Russell J. Wiltgen will join the company as Chief Actuary. In this new role, Wiltgen will be a member of the organization’s Management Team and have overall responsibility for actuarial matters and enterprise risk management. He will report directly to Chief Executive […]

Allianz Life Promotes Dulka to Vice President of IT

{January 7th, 2010} by N/A

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance, has promoted Andy Dulka to vice president of IT Infrastructure and Application Maintenance. In this role, Dulka will be responsible for leadership and oversight of all elements of the company’s technology infrastructure and the application maintenance activities. […]

Lincoln National Corporation Enters into $550 Million 10-Year Letter of Credit Facility

{January 7th, 2010} by N/A

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE: LNC) today announced that it and certain of its subsidiaries have entered into a $550 million, 10-year letter of credit transaction with Credit Suisse AG to support regulatory capital requirements for its life insurance business. The transaction is expected to provide approximately $400 million of initial […]

L/H Investments Show Mixed Signals

{January 7th, 2010} by N/A

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A.M. Best Co. has issued a special report outlining its views on the investment environment for U.S. life/health insurers titled, “Mixed Signals: Has the Economy Begun Its Recovery?” A.M. Best believes that, despite signs of economic recovery, financial institutions’ loan portfolios have yet to generate the full measure of expected losses, and […]

Guarantees, ‘De-Risking’ Were Top Product Trends In 2009

{January 7th, 2010} by Linda Koco

The Great Recession continued in 2009 and so did its impact on insurance products. Once again, guarantees were a major part of the product story—in terms of sales and product features. But another trend reared its head too—de-risking. That is, carriers sought to better manage risk exposure as part of their efforts to strengthen capital […]

Index UL Facing A Big Year

{January 7th, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

The new year is going to be big for index universal life. Since the decline in the equities markets at the close of 2008, sales of indexed insurance products have been on the rise. Index life insurance sales are up over third quarter 2008 and index annuity sales set record sales in 2009. But sales […]

Annuities Face Uncertain Future If Rule 151A Goes Through

{January 7th, 2010} by Kevin Cloud

It is ironic that an insurance product valued for its certainty faces a very uncertain future. Yet, that is the situation for fixed indexed annuities.  The Securities and Exchange Commission’s attempt to annex FIA supervision via Rule 151A is mired in legal and political limbo, with no resolution in sight. Recent developments make supervision practical […]

Phoenix To Sell PFG Unit

{January 7th, 2010} by Trevor Thomas

Tiptree Financial Partners L.P. has agreed to buy the private placement insurance arm of Phoenix Companies Inc., Phoenix says. The deal for the unit, PFG Holdings Inc., includes 2 PFG subsidiaries: Philadelphia Financial Group Inc. and AGL Life Assurance Company. Phoenix, Hartford, (NYSE:PNX) and Tiptree, New York, an investment company that invests in credit-related assets, […]

The real “Deal or No Deal”

{January 6th, 2010} by Jack Marrion

Often an investment risks a dollar to maybe make a dime, and that’s no deal.   BY Jack Marrion Published 1/1/2010    The popular game show “Deal or No Deal” has the contestant select one box out of 26 containing anywhere from a penny to a million dollars, and if still held at the end of the […]

Securian Financial Names New Head of Group Life Unit

{January 6th, 2010} by Fran Matso Lysiak

ST. PAUL, Minn. January 05 (BestWire) — Von Peterson has been tapped to lead the group life insurance unit of Securian Financial Group. He will succeed retiring executive vice president Jim Johnson, a 45-year company veteran who led the group life division. Peterson, who also was promoted from vice president to senior vice president, joined Securian Financial in 1996 […]

Allianz Life Signs Stricker

{January 6th, 2010} by NU Online News Service

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has added one of the top professional golfers to its golfer sponsorship roster. Allianz Life, Golden Valley, Minn., a unit of Allianz S.E., Munich, Germany, has signed Steve Stricker to a sponsorship agreement that starts this year. Stricker is one of the top 3 male professional golfers. Allianz […]

Hohmann Takes “Interim” Out Of FBL Title

{January 6th, 2010} by NU Online News Service

James Hohmann is now the official chief executive officer of FBL Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:FBL) Hohmann, 54, took over from James Noyce as interim CEO of FBL, West Des Moines, Iowa, back in April 2009, when Noyce left the company. Hohmann previously was president of Allstate Financial, a unit of Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill. Hohmann […]

Aviva Investors buys Kentucky company

{January 5th, 2010} by Karen Mracek

Aviva Investors announced today the purchase of a Kentucky-based asset management company, giving Aviva access to equity investment expertise and strong institutional relationships in the U.S., executives say. River Road Asset Management, in Louisville, Ky., had approximately $3.6 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 30. It will become part of Aviva Investors North […]

Fort Dearborn Life Rebrands

{January 5th, 2010} by N/A

A benefits player is trying to raise its profile. Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company, Chicago, a unit of Health Care Service Service Corp., Chicago, will be marketing the products it and its affiliates sell under the Dearborn National brand name. Health Care Service is the parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and […]

Lincoln Financial Group Announces Completion of the Sale of Delaware Investments

{January 5th, 2010} by N/A

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today announced that Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) has completed its acquisition of Delaware Management Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries (Delaware Investments) for $451.8 million in cash, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. Delaware Investments was a wholly owned subsidiary of Lincoln Financial, focused on asset management. […]

The Top 5 Government Moves of 2009: A Look Back

{January 5th, 2010} by Heather Trese

A new president in the White House. A more liberal Congress. A collapsing economy. Last year, our country saw them all, and the government made some big moves in order to address the changes that our nation witnessed. Now, ASJ is taking a look at the most important of those regulatory decisions to see how […]

Former La. Secretary of State Returns to Job as Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner

{January 4th, 2010} by Jesse Hamilton

BATON ROUGE, La. December 31 (BestWire) — Longtime Louisiana politician and former Secretary of State Al Ater has returned again to public life, taking his old job as chief deputy commissioner of the state’s Department of Insurance. He’ll serve under Commissioner Jim Donelon. “I share his commitment to making insurance in Louisiana accessible and affordable,” Ater said in an […]

Response: Benelli: SEC chickens out on annuity rule

{January 3rd, 2010} by Al Benelli

PDF for Setting It Straight with Al Benelli ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: Benelli: SEC chickens out on annuity rule Dear Mr. Benelli: I am an independent market research analyst who specializes exclusively in the indexed annuity and indexed life markets. I have tracked the companies, products, marketing, and sales of these products for over […]

Response: For Now, SEC Shifts Gaze From Indexed Annuities

{January 3rd, 2010} by Sarah Morgan

PDF for Setting It Straight with SmartMoney ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: For Now, SEC Shifts Gaze From Indexed Annuities Dear Ms. Morgan: I am an independent market research analyst who specializes exclusively in the indexed annuity and indexed life markets. I have tracked the companies, products, marketing, and sales of these products for over […]

Response: Are annuities a good investment?

{January 3rd, 2010} by Bill Stanley

PDF for Setting It Straight with Bill Stanley ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: Are annuities a good investment?  Dear Mr. Stanley: I am an independent market research analyst who specializes exclusively in the indexed annuity (IA) and indexed life markets. I have tracked the companies, products, marketing, and sales of these products for over a […]

The Economic Impact of Rule 151A

{January 3rd, 2010} by Sheryl J. Moore

Even if you HATE indexed annuities, Rule 151A is something you need to be concerned about.

This rule, which effectively redefines indexed annuities as securities, is how the SEC is opening the door to federal regulation of life insurance. The Securities and Exchange Commission has a mission to be the preeminent financial services regulator; regulating insurance, banks, securities, and more. If you don’t believe me, just do a Yahoo! search on any of the following:

  • SEC wants to regulate hedge funds
  • SEC wants to regulate insurance
  • SEC wants to regulate financial markets
  • SEC wants to regulate [you fill in the blank]
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