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Archive for April 2011

CEO Blog: It’s Time to Stop One-Sided Retirement Planning

{April 29th, 2011} by Wendy Waugaman

Published: Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 | 3:27 PM ET By: Wendy Waugaman CEO & President, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company Americans have lost more than $2 trillion in retirement savings in the last three and a half years. A recent AP poll says 42% of Baby Boomers surveyed said they’d delayed retirement due to [...]

CEO Blog: It’s Time to Stop One-Sided Retirement Planning

{April 29th, 2011} by Wendy Waugaman

Published: Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 | 3:27 PM ET By: Wendy Waugaman CEO & President, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company Americans have lost more than $2 trillion in retirement savings in the last three and a half years. A recent AP poll says 42% of Baby Boomers surveyed said they’d delayed retirement due to [...]

SCOR to Acquire Transamerica Re

{April 26th, 2011} by Allison Bell

By ALLISON BELL Published 4/26/2011  AEGON N.V. says it plans to sell Transamerica Reinsurance to SCOR S.E. for a total of about $1.4 billion. Transamerica Re, Charlotte, N.C., generated $102 million in net income in 2010 on $2.2 billion in gross written premiums, and SCOR, Paris, says acquiring it should make it the second biggest life [...]

Schapiro on Shutdown

{April 26th, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

Can our markets really afford to lose the SEC if the federal government shuts down?  By ARTHUR D. POSTAL Published 4/18/2011  The Securities and Exchange Comission will be out of business if there is a government shutdown, agency chairman Mary Schapiro warned recently. She also warned that efforts to reduce agency funding through various proposals by [...]

CNO Seeks Lower Rates

{April 26th, 2011} by Allison Bell

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 4/25/2011  CNO Financial Group Inc. is trying to persuade the providers of a senior secured credit facility to reduce the interest rate. CNO, Carmel, Ind. (NYSE:CNO), says it is doing well and expects to report more than $49 million in net income for the first quarter, up from $34 million [...]

Annuity Holders Receive Settlement Payments

{April 26th, 2011} by Allison Bell

By ALLISON BELL Published 4/25/2011  A life insurer has paid about $17 million in connection with an annuity class-action lawsuit settlement, according to officials at the California Department of Insurance.National Western Life Insurance Company, Austin, Texas (NASDAQ:NWLI), paid the money to 3,274 senior citizens who bought annuities from the company, according to California Insurance Commissioner David [...]

New insurance alliances spawn annuity innovations

{April 25th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Smaller carriers cede manufacturing to marketing groups By Darla Mercado April 24, 2011 Smaller life insurers — battered by the recession but ready to get back into the annuity business — have begun to outsource the manufacturing of fixed indexed annuities to marketing groups. The arrangements bring cost savings, built-in distribution and compliance assistance. While the [...]

The Phoenix Companies Inc. Has Stabilized, Although New Sales Have Dropped Off

{April 25th, 2011} by Matthew Sturdevant

By MATTHEW STURDEVANT, msturdevant@courant.com The Hartford Courant 6:06 PM EDT, April 22, 2011 After years of losing more customers than it could add, The Phoenix Companies Inc. started having serious troubles with its investments in 2008 as the markets suffered the worst recession since the 1930s. By early 2009, financial analysts and ratings agencies were [...]

Insurance commissioner announces settlement with National Western

{April 25th, 2011} by N/A

Sacramento Business Journal Date: Friday, April 22, 2011, 2:59pm PDT Senior citizens who purchased National Western annuities may have money coming to them as the result of a class action lawsuit. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced in a statement Friday that more than $17 million was to be distributed to 3,274 who purchased annuities [...]

Response: Equity-indexed annuities: investor-friendly?

{April 23rd, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

PDF for Setting it Straight with The Mutual Fund Store ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: Equity-indexed annuities: investor friendly? The following email was sent to the owners of The Mutual Fund Store, in response to the article below: Dear Principals of The Mutual Fund Store, I am an independent market research analyst who specializes [...]

Allianz Life Promotes Brian Muench to Vice President, Investments

{April 22nd, 2011} by Laurie Bauer

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) today named Brian Muench as the new vice president, Investments. In this role, Muench will be responsible for investment and portfolio management for Allianz Life’s variable annuity investment option platform and will serve as president of Allianz Investment Management LLC, a registered investment adviser [...]

A.G. Edwards pays $755,000 to end annuities probe.

{April 22nd, 2011} by Jim Gallagher

BY JIM GALLAGHER > jgallagher@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8390 STLtoday.com | Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:28 pm  A.G. Edwards & Sons, now a part of Wells Fargo & Co, will pay $756,000 to settle allegations that it sold variable annuities to elderly customers without proper documentation. In an agreement with Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the [...]

Annuity Menu Includes Commodities Index

{April 22nd, 2011} by Allison Bell

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 4/21/2011  A life insurer is appealing to consumers who like hard assets with an indexed annuity that includes a commodities index option. Symetra Life Insurance Company, a unit of Symetra Financial Corp., Bellevue, Wash. (NYSE:SYA), has included the commodities option in a new, single-premium indexed annuity, the company says. Annuity [...]

I Need Policyholder Annual Statements: HELP!

{April 21st, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

Do you have clients that own indexed annuities? Have you ever seen an unbelievable one-year gain on one of their policyholder annual statements? If so, I need your help! I am collecting indexed annuity policyholder annual statements showing awesome one-year gains. If you have a specimen that you would be willing to share, there’s something in [...]

Allianz Life Contributes $100,000 to Meet Local Transportation Needs for Seniors

{April 21st, 2011} by N/A

Allianz Life Contributes $100,000 to Meet Local Transportation Needs for Seniors MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) has awarded Golden Valley-based PRISM (People Responding in Social Ministry) a $100,000 grant to help meet increased transportation demand from local seniors. The funding has allowed PRISM to acquire a new van and [...]

Response: Considering an annuity? There’s always a catch

{April 20th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

PDF for Setting it Straight with Terry Savage ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: Considering an annuity? There’s always a catch Ms. Savage, 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 [...]

NAIC Bulletin on Stranger-Originated Annuities May Lead to New Penalties

{April 20th, 2011} by Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M. and William H. Byrnes, Esq.

Protect your practice by learning how to identify and avoid improper stranger-originated annuity schemes Advisor One | April 19, 2011 | By Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M., William H. Byrnes, Esq. State insurance regulators are cracking down on stranger-originated annuity (STOA) transactions, and it could affect your annuities business. You will see stricter compliance procedures and [...]

LIMRA: Seniors Fear Public Policy Changes

{April 20th, 2011} by Warren S. Hersch

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 4/19/2011 About half of retirees ages 55 to 79 expect tax increases and changes in Medicare and Medicaid to affect their ability to cover retirement costs. LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., has published that finding in a summary of a recent consumer survey. LIMRA researchers found that about 75% of retirees collect [...]

MWA: 2010 Bank Holding Company Annuity Income Drifts Lower

{April 20th, 2011} by Allison Bell

By NU ONLINE NEWS SERVICE Published 4/19/2011  Annuity sales at U.S. bank holding companies brought in a total of about $2.6 billion in commissions and fees in 2010, down 1.8% from the 2009 total, according to Michael White Associates.  MWA, Radnor, Pa., compiles the report for the American Bankers Insurance Association, Washington, using data reported by 911 [...]

Annuity exam overload could prompt product pruning

{April 18th, 2011} by Darla Mercado

Extra training burden for advisers may limit customer choice and hit smaller insurers hardest By Darla Mercado April 17, 2011 Facing a battery of new, more stringent state-required annuity exams and courses that could pile on hours of additional training for each product they sell, financial advisers could prune the number of carriers they work with [...]

Bank-Sold Annuities Hit Fifteen Month High

{April 18th, 2011} by Scott Stathis

Windsor, CT, April 15, 2011-  Total annuity sales through banks registered a 27 percent increase in February of 2011 to hit a high not seen since October of 2009. According to the Kehrer-LIMRA Monthly Bank Annuity Sales Survey, both fixed and variable annuities registered double-digit growth, a feat not achieved since last August. Financial institutions [...]

Lincoln Financial Group Enhances Lincoln LifeGuarantee® Survivorship Universal Life Policy, a Powerful Tool for Estate Planning

{April 18th, 2011} by N/A

Copyright:  unknown Source:  unknown Wordcount:  unknown PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today announced a total value upgrade to its Lincoln LifeGuarantee® Survivorship Universal Life insurance policy (SUL), issued by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN. This guaranteed universal life insurance policy for two lives offers a [...]

Why Now is the Time to Sell Annuities

{April 18th, 2011} by Seth Kravitz

By Seth Kravitz AnnuityNews.com April 15, 2011 – Now more than ever, consumers recognize the need for retirement planning. They are less tolerant of risk. And they want trusting relationships with their financial advisors. In other words, the stars in the marketing skies are aligned in support of annuity sales. The MDRT 2010 “Generational Financial [...]

Nationwide Turns to Strategy to Encourage Fee-Based Sales for Annuities

{April 16th, 2011} by Fran Matso Lysiak

Copyright:  (c) 2011 A.M. Best Company, Inc. Source:  A.M. Best Company, Inc. Wordcount:  556 Nationwide Financial Services is using some innovative ways to encourage financial professionals to sell its annuities. With the decline of employer-provided defined benefit pension plans and ongoing uncertainty over Social Security, Americans are having to take responsibility for their own retirement, [...]

National Life Group names new chief financial officer

{April 15th, 2011} by N/A

5:07 AM, Apr. 12, 2011| National Life Group, based in Montpelier, named Bob Cotton Monday as chief financial officer and senior vice president. Cotton, who joined National Life in 1993, will manage all financial operations of the company, which has $29 billion in assets under management. Cotton will also work with President and Chief Executive [...]

Symetra Financial CEO: Capital Ratios for Life Insurers Up Amid Low Interest Rate

{April 15th, 2011} by Fran Matso Lysiak

Copyright:  (c) 2011 A.M. Best Company, Inc. Source:  A.M. Best Company, Inc. Wordcount:  958 Capital ratios for many U.S. life insurance companies are up significantly, but the current threat is the low interest rate environment, according to the chief executive officer of Symetra Financial Corp. Companies have been recapitalizing and now it’s time to put [...]

Michigan insurance commissioner Ken Ross to leave job early

{April 15th, 2011} by N/A

BY PATRICIA ANSTETT DETROIT FREE PRESS MEDICAL WRITER Apr 13, 2011| Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation Commissioner Ken Ross announced Tuesday that he will leave his position Friday, almost a year before his term was to end. Ross has been Michigan’s insurance and financial commissioner since February 2008, an appointed position with a [...]

Indexed Annuity Complaints Drop in Half

{April 13th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

For anyone who thinks that indexed annuity complaints are a problem, I’ve got news for you…THEY ARE INFINITESIMAL! I am very pleased to report that indexed annuity complaints were down yet again for 2010; by nearly 50%. See data below from the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Closed Complaint Database: TOTAL INDEXED ANNUITY COMPLAINTS FOR [...]

Understanding IA GLWB Features

{April 13th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

It has only been a little over two years since Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits (GLWBs) burst into the scene in the index annuity market. Since June of 2006 we have seen carrier after carrier hop into this raging market. In fact, new product development has never been so low, but rider product development is at [...]

CUNA Mutual to Work with Transamerica on Four Variable Annuities for Members

{April 13th, 2011} by N/A

Posted: 2011-04-12 00:00:00 NEWS RELEASE:                         From CUNA Mutual Group Public Relations                   www.cunamutual.com For more information:     Michelle Larson 608.231.8310 michelle.m.larson@cunamutual.com Rick Uhlmann 608.231.8940 rick.uhlmann@cunamutual.com MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group and Transamerica Life Insurance Company (Transamerica) will work together to offer four variable annuities to credit union [...]

Symetra Names Mike Tinsley Senior Vice President, Life Product Development and Client Solutions

{April 12th, 2011} by Diana McSweeney

Symetra Names Mike Tinsley Senior Vice President, Life Product Development and Client Solutions BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Symetra Life Insurance Company today announced that Mike Tinsley has been named senior vice president, Life Product Development and Client Solutions, effective April 18, 2011. His appointment underscores the company’s commitment to growing and diversifying its life insurance business. [...]

Aviva Announces Intention to Sell Part of Its Shareholding in Delta Lloyd

{April 12th, 2011} by N/A

Aviva Announces Intention to Sell Part of Its Shareholding in Delta Lloyd Disposal of approximately 15% of Delta Lloyd’s issued ordinary share capital, would result in Aviva’s ordinary shareholding reducing from 58% to approximately 43% Consistent with Aviva’s strategy of focusing on twelve markets where it has strength and scale Cash proceeds would enhance liquidity [...]

Tax Reform Gives Premium Financing The "Pilates" Treatment

{April 11th, 2011} by Chris Layeux & Peter L. McCarthy

Chris Layeux & Peter L. McCarthy April 2011 Issue Pilates sessions are famous for increasing physical strength and flexibility. The gift tax provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (TRA 2010) have this effect on life insurance premium financing. As a result, premium financing cases have the potential [...]

Tax Reform Gives Premium Financing The “Pilates” Treatment

{April 11th, 2011} by Chris Layeux & Peter L. McCarthy

Chris Layeux & Peter L. McCarthy April 2011 Issue Pilates sessions are famous for increasing physical strength and flexibility. The gift tax provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (TRA 2010) have this effect on life insurance premium financing. As a result, premium financing cases have the potential [...]

Using Leverage To Solve The Retirement Challenge

{April 11th, 2011} by Alan M. Harrington

Alan M. Harrington April 2011 Issue Consider this case: A husband and wife team has spent the last 15 years building a multi-million dollar real estate business. Through hard work, smart thinking and overcoming a few setbacks along the way, they built and manage a couple dozen medical office buildings around a Southeastern U.S. metropolis. [...]

Response: Too much confusion about annuities and fixed index annuities

{April 11th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

PDF for Setting it Straight with Bill Robbins ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: Too much confusion about annuities and fixed index annuities  Mr. Bill Robbins, 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 [...]

Response: How Do Equity Indexed Annuities Stack Up?

{April 10th, 2011} by Sheryl J. Moore

PDF for Setting it Straight with Lon Jeffries ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT: How Do Equity Indexed Annuities Stack Up? Mr. Jeffries, I am an independent market research analyst who specializes in the indexed annuity and life markets. I have tracked the companies, products, marketing, and sales of these products for over a decade. [...]

New York Insurance Dept. Tightens Standards

{April 8th, 2011} by Arthur D. Postal

By ARTHUR D. POSTAL Published 4/7/2011  Suitability and senior designation standards for the sale of investment products have been tightened by the New York Insurance Department under new regulations finalized last month. According to Marc Tract, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, the regulations first became effective on an emergency basis on Dec. 30, 2010, [...]

The Annuity Imperative

{April 7th, 2011} by Bob Seawright

As retirement nears, return of capital must trump return on capital. Research Magazine | April 1, 2011 | By Bob Seawright Retirees and near-retirees often wonder whether they should purchase an annuity to provide sustainable lifetime income — in effect, a guaranteed retirement paycheck — that they cannot outlive. Most do not. That’s often a [...]

Retirement Investing With Annuities–How Consumers Find More Security For Their Retirement Income And Expenses

{April 6th, 2011} by Randell Jenkins

04/06/2011 By Randell Jenkins Retirement investing options through annuities have been one of the ways which consumers have found more security when it comes to investing in a way that will allow them to avoid outliving their income, but there are different options for investing in an annuity which individuals must consider for their particular [...]

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