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Archive for February 2012

Sagicor Life to Acquire Pemco Mutual's Life Insurance Business

{February 29th, 2012} by Fran Matso Lysiak

Best’s News Service – February 27, 2012 03:42 PM AUSTIN, Texas – Sagicor Life Insurance Co. said it has agreed to acquire the outstanding shares of Pemco Life Insurance Co. from the Washington State-based Pemco Mutual Insurance Co. If approved, Sagicor Life would gain about 10,000 term and whole life policies and 7,500 new customers. [...]

Florida Becomes 20th State to Impose Annuity Suitability Standards

{February 29th, 2012} by N/A

From the Washington Bureau February 27, 2012 • Florida is moving to become the 20th state to impose suitability standards of sales of annuities. In legislation that recently passed the Florida House, the state is enacting an NAIC model law originally designed to protect seniors when they purchase or exchange annuity products. The model law [...]

An Unattractive Proposition

{February 29th, 2012} by Dan Moisand

February 28, 2012 In my column last month, “Economists Love ’Em, Clients Hate ‘Em,” I outlined some of the reasons economists are largely fans of immediate annuities. But most clients don’t buy them, and the biggest deterrent may not be what you think it is. By Dan Moisand In my column last month, “Economists Love [...]

Sammons Retirement Solutions, Inc.(SM) Bucks the Trend

{February 29th, 2012} by N/A

press release Feb. 27, 2012, 5:44 p.m. EST Sammons Retirement Solutions, Inc.(SM) Bucks the Trend WEST DES MOINES, IA, Feb 27, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — According to many financial experts, the time to enter into any market may just be when the rest of the world is getting out. That would appear to be [...]

Advisor Faces 4 Years in Prison for 1 Annuity

{February 29th, 2012} by Steven A. Morelli

By Steven A. Morelli InsuranceNewsNet Editor’s Note: This is a sneak peek at the March 2012 issue of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine. For photos and a timeline, view the article here. Glenn A. Neasham was sure the state didn’t have a strong case against him as he watched the jury file into the courtroom with his verdict. [...]

Longevity insurance may be for you

{February 27th, 2012} by J. Brendan Ryan

5:33 PM, Feb. 24, 2012 | There are a lot of risks for retirees to worry about. There is inflation risk, market risk, interest-rate risk, and many more. But there is another risk that is just recently being talked about: longevity risk. This is the risk that one will live longer than the finances were [...]

Expiring surrender charges force clients to make tough choices

{February 27th, 2012} by Jason Kephart

Expiring surrender charges force clients to make tough choices By Jason Kephart February 26, 2012 6:01 am ET Mitchell Kauffman is getting ready to go annuity shopping. Mr. Kauffman, managing director of Kauffman Wealth Services Inc., has several clients whose annuities, which were purchased around 2005, have surrender charges that are about to expire. “The [...]

Annuity Inflows Down 20% in Jan. to $6.2B

{February 27th, 2012} by Bari Trontz

Business   Wire, Inc. NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) Insurance & Retirement Services (I&RS) released today January information on activity in the market for annuity products from its award-winning Analytic Reporting for Annuities online information service, which leverages data from the transactions that DTCC processes for the industry. Analytic Reporting [...]

Does the Public Need Lessons in Annuities?

{February 27th, 2012} by Maria Wood

A Conversation with Pru’s Bruce Ferris By Maria Wood February 23, 2012 • Reprints   Bruce Ferris, (below right) head of sales and distribution for Prudential Annuities, doesn’t worry so much about low interest rates, although he concedes that has an effect on the business. What’s he’s more concerned about is making the public more [...]

Allianz Life's Operating Profit Dips 9% in 2011

{February 27th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch February 23, 2012 • Reprints   Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, posted an operating profit of $428 million for its 2011 financial year. The result is a decline of 9% from the $472 million in operating profit the company reported for all of 2010. However, Allianz Life says [...]

Allianz Blames Greek Debt in 46% Profit Plunge

{February 27th, 2012} by David Pilla

David   Pilla Allianz SE said impairments related to Greek sovereign debt were the main factor in a 46% fall in 2011 net income. The multiple-line insurer’s net income for the year fell to 2.8 billion euros (US$3.71 billion) from 5.2 billion euros a year earlier. Allianz reported 1.9 billion euros in “very conservative” nonoperating [...]

Appointments: Allianz, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, NAFA, Transamerica, US SIF

{February 26th, 2012} by Warren S. Hersch

By Warren S. Hersch February 21, 2012 • Reprints Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, has named Jasmine Jirele as senior vice president of Enterprise Operations. In this role, Jirele will be responsible for leading operational and service processes, including new business, in-force, operations controls, contact center, and related supporting functions. Allianz says [...]

Callout to Obama: Protect Tax-Deferred Annuities

{February 26th, 2012} by Daniel Williams

By Daniel Williams February 17, 2012 • Reprints   Lost in the bliss of Valentine’s Day, I missed an email that hit my desk last week. In the wake of President Obama’s 2013 budget, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) states “that while the proposed budget does not explicitly call for changes in the tax status [...]

We Need a Life Insurance Support Group

{February 26th, 2012} by Corey Dahl

By Corey Dahl February 21, 2012 • Reprints   We’re just a little over 50 days into 2012, and I’ve already forgotten my New Year’s resolutions. I wrote them down, but that scrap of paper is now buried somewhere in a giant pile in my home office. “Get organized” is likely scrawled on it — [...]

A.M. Best Special Report: U.S. Life/Annuity Insurers Shifting Gears In Volatile Economic Environment

{February 26th, 2012} by Andrew Edelsberg

press release Feb. 22, 2012, 10:52 a.m. EST OLDWICK, N.J., Feb 22, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The U.S. life/annuity industry battled continuing macroeconomic challenges in 2011, emerging relatively unscathed with modest investment impairments and a return to fairly large unrealized gains in their fixed-income portfolios. As indicated in A.M. Best Co.’s “Life/Annuity Review & Preview [...]

Pacific Life Launches New Deferred, Fixed Indexed Annuity

{February 26th, 2012} by June Arce

Business Wire, Inc. Pacific Index ChoiceSM is the latest addition to Pacific Life’s annuity product line NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The lessons of today’s unpredictable markets have led many retirees and pre-retirees to seek sources of income they can feel confident in, where principal is safe and where there’s an option of a guaranteed lifetime [...]

Regulators Call for Annuity Income Guarantee Scrutiny

{February 26th, 2012} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco Contributing Editor, AnnuityNews A group of state regulators has recommended that annuity products that provide guaranteed income benefits in innovative ways be classified as hybrids. This development should be of strong interest to producers and distributors as well as carriers, because one of the affected products is a top seller — the [...]

Indexed Annuities: The Next Big Thing?

{February 25th, 2012} by Maria Wood

By Maria Wood February 24, 2012 • Reprints  Low interest rates and stress-inducing market upheavals can make any investor, especially those nearing retirement, a bit shell–shocked. But there may be a cure. According to report from Conning Research & Consulting, indexed annuities are positioned for growth‑if carriers meet certain headwinds. Scott Hawkins, (below right) vice [...]

Insurance Insight Group Names Harry N. Stout Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

{February 22nd, 2012} by N/A

February 21, 2012 Park City, UT – February 21, 2012 – Insurance Insight Group, LLC, the leading marketing communications, training and strategic consulting firm serving the U.S. life insurance industry has announced that Harry N. Stout has joined as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Stout is an acknowledged senior leader in the global financial [...]

Can Fixed Annuities Survive in an Era of Low Interest Rates?

{February 22nd, 2012} by Kenneth L. Brown

By Kenneth L. Brown February 21, 2012 • Reprints   Much as New Year’s Day prompts Americans to commit to achieving healthier lifestyles, the federal tax deadline is a perennial call to action to get their financial lives in order. As a consequence, many producers see an increase in client interest to get serious about [...]

Allianz Life Promotes Jasmine Jirele to Senior Vice President, Enterprise Operations

{February 22nd, 2012} by N/A

press release Feb. 21, 2012, 11:08 a.m. EST MINNEAPOLIS, Feb 21, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) named Jasmine Jirele as the new senior vice president, Enterprise Operations. In this role, Jirele will be responsible for leading operational and service processes, including new business, in-force, operations controls, contact [...]

Richard Aneser Named Chief Marketing Officer of Lincoln Financial Distributors

{February 22nd, 2012} by N/A

press release Feb. 21, 2012, 9:40 a.m. EST PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD), the wholesale distribution subsidiary of Lincoln Financial Group /quotes/zigman/232274/quotes/nls/lnc LNC -2.95% , today announced that Richard Aneser has joined the organization as Chief Marketing Officer, effective immediately. In this newly-created position, Aneser will play a [...]

Industry Groups Struggle to Provide Data for Fiduciary Standard

{February 22nd, 2012} by Arthur D. Postal

From the Washington Bureau By Arthur D. Postal February 17, 2012 • Reprints Insurance industry trade groups are having difficulty providing the basic data the Department of Labor says it needs to prepare an economic impact study that must be included in its new proposal for a revised definition of fiduciary in sale of retirement [...]

Stand-Alone Living Benefits: Guaranteeing Lifetime Income Without an Annuity

{February 22nd, 2012} by William H. Byrnes, Esq., Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M.

By William H. Byrnes, Esq., Robert Bloink, Esq., LL.M. February 14, 2012 • Reprints   Delaware resident Susan Martin, right, seen with her mother, Betty Gresick, is retired but has no retirement fund. AP Photo: Bradley C. Bower. Guaranteed lifetime income is increasingly important for retirees in a post-pension world. But the primary vehicle for [...]

Contingent Annuity Creates Controversy

{February 20th, 2012} by Brian Bertsch

Business   Wire, Inc. NEW YORK & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Fitch notes the latest product offering aimed at the longevity risk protection market, the contingent annuity (CA), is generating controversy. From a ratings perspective, we are concerned with the ultimate risk profile of any CA products, pricing adequacy, questions of transparency, and how the product will [...]

LIMRA: Strong 1H Propels 2011 Annuities to $240B

{February 20th, 2012} by Catherine Theroux

LIMRA: Strong Sales in the First Half of 2011 Propel Total Annuity Sales to Reach $240 Billion in 2011 WINDSOR, Conn., Feb. 16, 2012 — Total annuity sales increased eight percent in 2011, compared to 2010, to reach $240.3 billion, according to LIMRA’s fourth quarter 2011 U.S. Individual Annuities Sales survey, which represents data from [...]

The Skinny on Fat Annuity Fees

{February 16th, 2012} by Sheryl J. Moore

By Sheryl J. Moore February 15, 2012 One major complaint that naysayers have with annuities are the fees. They say annuities are “expensive.” Well, let’s talk about those fees. We’ll begin our discussion with the most fee-laden variety, the variable annuity (VA). The typical VA has average annual charges near 4.5 percent, all-in. Here’s the [...]

Lesar and Schriml Promoted to Divisional Vice Presidents at Great American Financial Resources

{February 16th, 2012} by Diane P. Weidner

CINCINNATI, Feb 15, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Great American Financial Resources is pleased to announce that Mike Lesar and Rebecca Schriml have been promoted to Divisional Vice Presidents in its Finance operations. Mr. Lesar has been with the Company since 1997 and is currently responsible for managing Actuarial Financial Reporting for fixed and indexed annuities [...]

The Worst (and Best) of Times for Annuity Providers

{February 15th, 2012} by Maria Wood

A product the public wants and needs. By Maria Wood February 10, 2012 Cheer up, annuity providers. In every down market, there is an upside. That’s the way Sam Freidman (below right), insurance leader, Deloitte Research, sees it. The New York City-based executive recently spoke to LifeHealthPro.com about the current and future state of the [...]

ING Groep Profit Up on Asset Sales

{February 15th, 2012} by Toby Sterling

By Toby Sterling February 9, 2012 AP Photo/Peter Dejong AMSTERDAM (AP)—ING Groep NV is struggling with how to repay €3 billion ($4 billion) it still owes the Dutch state from bailouts following the 2008 financial crisis but is unlikely to spin off its insurance business until sometime in 2013. The remarks from chief executive Jan [...]

Watch What You Say About ‘Lesser-Known’ Indexes

{February 15th, 2012} by Linda Koco

By Linda Koco Contributing Editor, AnnuityNews Iowa regulators are taking a serious look at the disclosure practices that insurance producers and carriers use when talking about financial indices with their indexed annuity and indexed life clients. Last week, the state’s Insurance Division and Department of Commerce hosted a meeting to discuss this informally with 30 [...]

A Perfect Storm for Indexed Annuities

{February 14th, 2012} by Mike Miller

By Mike Miller February 13, 2012 The focus for retirement investors has shifted in recent years from the return on principal to a return of principal. During the economic boom of the early 2000s, investors were all about maximizing returns to build a bigger retirement nest egg. But then the financial crisis hit, depleting the [...]

Anatomy of a Successful Advisor

{February 14th, 2012} by Todd Greider

By Todd Greider February 13, 2012 It’s no secret that building a successful business is challenging. So why do some advisors succeed at building a business where others fail? Are they simply more talented? Do they have more resources, a better location or perhaps a better marketing system? The answer is “none of the above.” [...]

The Hartford’s Biggest Stakeholder Wants to Split Up the Firm

{February 14th, 2012} by Young Ha

The Hartford Financial Services Group’s biggest stakeholder is not happy with its stock price and wants The Hartford CEO Liam McGee to do “something drastic,” including splitting up the company’s life insurance and P/C businesses. Speaking at the company’s earnings call last week, John Paulson, the billionaire hedge fund manager who controls the largest stake [...]

Minnesota Life, a Securian subsidiary, adds 2 index options for Eclipse Life products

{February 13th, 2012} by Maggie Jensen

St. Paul, MN, February 13, 2011 – Two index options added  by Minnesota Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group,  to its Eclipse Indexed Universal Life Insurance products offer more account  options and potential for higher interest crediting for indexed life insurance  clients. The new options are: ·        S&P 500® with three year [...]

Feds' Proposals Support Annuities

{February 13th, 2012} by Eileen Ambrose

By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Feb. 07–Until recently, retirement planning focused mostly on helping workers accumulate savings. Now, the Treasury Department is tackling another aspect: making sure retirees don’t run out of money. The department last week proposed two regulations to make it easier for workers to get annuities through their [...]

Addressing the Appeal of Indexed Annuities

{February 11th, 2012} by Ron Panko

Click here to listen to an audio with A.M. Best’s Ron Panko and American Equity Investment Life’s Ron Grensteiner.

What Happens if Your Insurance Company Fails?

{February 11th, 2012} by Steve Vernon

GREAT article from CBS MoneyWatch regarding the safety of insurance companies; check it out!  

NAIC Names 2012 Committee Leadership

{February 10th, 2012} by N/A

Targeted News Service WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners issued the following news release: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has named its 2012 committee chairs and vice chairs, and assigned members to the organization’s standing committees. “This year’s committee leadership reflects the broad experience and expertise of our membership,” [...]

Purchasing Power Principle

{February 8th, 2012} by Jacob Stern

February 01, 2012 By Jacob Stern InsuranceNewsNetMagazine, February 2012 Most producers who offer indexed annuities understand the many benefits of the product: annual reset, protection of principal, ability to participate in a variety of markets and tax deferral. But one important aspect that is often overlooked is how these products can help protect our clients’ [...]

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