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Archive for August 2013

IRS Recognizes Legal Same-Sex Marriages

{August 30th, 2013} by Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 –The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the following news release: The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the [...]

New York Life Leads Million Dollar Round Table

{August 30th, 2013} by Close Up Media

New York Life has led the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) inthe United States for the 59th consecutive year, with 2,228 qualifying New York Life agents. According to a release, MDRT granted membership to only 10,329 agents in the entire United States, making membership in this organization a distinguishing life insurance career milestone for those [...]

How to leverage Life Insurance Awareness Month

{August 30th, 2013} by Corey Dahl

there were official rankings for public knowledge of all the themed calendar dates in a year, Life Insurance Awareness Month would probably fall somewhere between National Bath Safety Month (January, in case you were wondering) and Pet Peeve Week (October). This September marks the 10th anniversary of LIAM, yet, while the event is well known [...]

Zurich Insurance To Investigate Circumstances Of Suicide

{August 30th, 2013} by JACK EWING

FRANKFURT —Zurich Insurance said Friday that its board of directors would look into whether undue pressure was put on the company’s chief financial officer before he died in an apparent suicide, an event that led to the resignation of the Zurich chairman, Josef Ackermann, and shook Switzerland’s tidy financial capital. Top managers of Zurich Insurance [...]

For Hancock Advisors, New Name & New Model

{August 29th, 2013} by Ann Marsh

The country’s 20th-largest independent broker has a new name and a new pitch to independent advisors. John Hancock Financial Network has rebranded under the name Signator Investors, as a sign to advisors of its commitment to grow the advisory side of its business. “The change in the brand was really to support the advisors’ perception [...]

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

{August 29th, 2013} by Best's News Publications & Press Releases

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   OLDWICK, N.J., AUGUST    28, 2013 A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength ratings (FSR) to B (Fair) from B+ (Good) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “bb+” from “bbb-” of the subsidiaries of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (Phoenix) [NYSE: PNX]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has downgraded the ICR and senior [...]

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Files for IPO of Up to $100 Million

{August 29th, 2013} by Ben Fox Rubin

Fidelity & Guaranty Life filed for an initial public offering for up to $100 million, which the company plans to use to pay a dividend to its owner and build up capital to support its growth. The company, currently owned by Harbinger Group Inc. (HRG), offers various types of fixed annuities and life insurance products [...]

Fidelity & Guaranty Life, a Unit of Private Equity Firm, Plans IPO of Up to $100 Million

{August 29th, 2013} by Best's News Service

BALTIMORE – Fidelity & Guaranty Life, a unit of private equity firm Harbinger Group Inc., has filed for an initial public offering of its common stock, with a proposed maximum total offering price of $100 million. In a Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Harbinger Group said its subsidiary, Fidelity & [...]

Harbinger files for $100M IPO of Fidelity & Guaranty Life

{August 29th, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa and Maria Wood

Fidelity & Guaranty Life, a leading provider of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs), is going public. Yesterday, its parent company, Harbinger Group Inc. (HGI), filed a prospectus for a $100 million IPO. Neither the share price nor the amount of stock to be sold were revealed in the SEC filing. Click here to read…

Bernanke’s largest investment holdings are two annuities

{August 29th, 2013} by Marcy Gordon

One fixed, one variable WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen, a leading contender to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman, holds a mix of big-company stocks and investment funds in a trust with her husband, fellow economist George Akerlof. They also share an interest in stamps. Yellen’s financial disclosure report for 2012, [...]

Modest Improvement In Earnings Outlook For U.S. Life Insurers

{August 29th, 2013} by BUSINESS WIRE

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Earnings headwinds associated with low interest rates and equity market volatility moderated in the first half of 2013, contributing to a modest improvement in Fitch Rating’s base case 2013 earnings outlook for U.S. life insurers. The recent run-up in interest rates and equity market valuations, if sustained in the second half, would be primary [...]

Picture yourself building a successful career working alongside other talented, highly motivated individuals

{August 28th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Project Manager/Senior Writer /Indexed Annuities – Marketing Communications Picture yourself building a successful career with Retirement Income Solutions (Formerly known as SunAmerica) working alongside other talented, highly motivated individuals committed to reaching our goal of becoming a top provider of mutual funds and retirement income solutions. We believe that our success depends on building a [...]

International group blasts U.S. insurer regs

{August 28th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal and Elizabth D. Festa

The U.S. insurance regulatory system is in a state of major disrepair, an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system said today in a new report. The so-called “peer review” of the U.S. insurance regulatory system by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) said one option the country should strongly consider [...]

Highland Capital Brokerage Announces New Ownership

{August 28th, 2013} by Ashley Cop, Media Relations

Birmingham, AL: August 26, 2013 – Highland Capital Brokerage announced today that the company has been purchased from National Financial Partners (NFP) by its managing principals, selected SVPs, and independent producers. Highland was assisted in the transaction execution by Dowling Hales. “Our independence will allow us the opportunity to re-imagine our business with the technology, [...]

Retire early, live longer

{August 27th, 2013} by Paula Aven Gladych

Encouraging people to retire early can mean a longer life. A study by the Tinbergen Institute at VU University Amsterdam found that retiring early reduced a man’s risk of dying within five years by 42.3 percent. The study looked at a policy change that went into effect in the Netherlands in 2004, where certain age [...]

How technology is changing the way producers work

{August 27th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Smartphones and tablets from technology behemoths like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung are transforming communication and information like never before. For life insurance and financial service professionals, the devices’ convenience, ease of use, technology capabilities and mind-boggling array of apps have been pivotal to realizing sales and efficiency targets, cutting overhead and enhancing advisor-client engagements. [...]

American Lives Underinsured By An Average Of $1.2 Million

{August 27th, 2013} by Close-Up Media, Inc

According to a new survey by Nationwide Financial, 98 percent of consumers who are married, partnered or have dependents, lack enough life insurance coverage to replace their income. According to a release, the average consumer surveyed will earn approximately$1.5 million before they retire and currently holds about$300,000 in life insurance coverage, leaving them about$1.2 million [...]

Sixty-six is the magic age

{August 27th, 2013} by Michael Shagrin

Underlying all the tricks of the Social Security-benefits-claiming trade is the fact that timing is everything. That’s according to Mary Beth Franklin, contributing editor at InvestmentNews and resident Social Security expert, who discussed a number of methods to maximize retirement benefits in a webcast, “Social Security Boot Camp: Claiming Strategies,” on Tuesday. Ms. Franklin warned [...]


{August 27th, 2013} by Judy Thorpe, Director, Marketing Communications, Sammons Financial Group Member Companies

WEST DES MOINES, IA – August 26, 2013 – Even with the challenge in today’s low interest rate environment and continued economic uncertainty, Midland National Life Insurance Company remains a strong performer. As evidenced by their ratings, Midland National’s S&P rating was recently affirmed as A+ (Strong), and retained its stable outlook as of July [...]

Social media as prospecting tool

{August 27th, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Potential clients are broadcasting “buy” signs through social media, and advisers need to find relevant signals through all the noise and deliver a message or experience. “It’s about listening and interacting with those in your network,” Clara Shih, co-founder of Hearsay Social, said at a LIMRA social-media conference in Boston today. “A lot of the [...]

Investors flee U.S. stocks at fastest pace since 2008

{August 26th, 2013} by Jason Kephart

Tapering talk, disbelief in rally leads big move out of equities Domestic stock funds last week suffered their worst week since before the financial crisis as investors’ fears over the Federal Reserve’s plan to cut its asset- purchasing program spread to stocks. More than $14 billion was pulled out of U.S. stock funds this week, [...]

Hot off the press! Marketing Director Opportunity

{August 26th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

  Marketing Director Summary: The Marketing Director is responsible for overseeing National Life Group’s life product marketing strategy, eLearning strategy as it relates to our life products and manages the product marketing team. This individual is responsible for identifying and implementing new marketing opportunities for our sales force, and is responsible for developing strategies to [...]

Security Benefit Boosts RIA Channel With New Hires

{August 26th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Security Benefit Life, which earlier this year announced record sales of fixed annuities, has hired three veteran executives to its registered investment advisor and broker-dealer sales distribution force. The new hires will help Security Benefit further expand its market share, said Mike Reidy, national sales manager. “With their combined experience, robust relationships and results-oriented mindset, [...]

IRS Approves Post-Death Annuity Exchange

{August 26th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

Clients who inherit an annuity may now have a few more options thanks to a recent private letter ruling from the IRS. Rather than being bound by the terms of the decedent’s contract, beneficiaries may be able to exchange inherited contracts for newer, higher paying contracts, according to PLR 201330016. Such an annuity might have [...]

Insurance Industry Corporate Governance Model Law Proposal Seeks to Avoid Duplication

{August 26th, 2013} by Thomas Harman

INDIANAPOLIS – Insurance industry representatives proposed a new corporate governance model law for consideration by a National Association of Insurance Commissioners panel designed to avoid duplication of filing information and streamline review for regulators. The proposal to the NAIC’s corporate governance working group came from various quarters of the industry, including the American Insurance Association, [...]

Battle Looming On Retirement Disclosure

{August 26th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Obfuscation is opaque by design. Who knew that disclosure could be so complicated, too? With the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) considering new rules informing retirees of how long their assets will last them in retirement, now comes the issue of mandating exactly what lifetime retirement income to disclose, and how to disclose it. On [...]

Why Estate Planning And Life Insurance Still Matter

{August 26th, 2013} by Jason R. Handal

Estate planning is about more than just estate taxes. Estate plans involve a variety of non-estate tax issues, making thoughtful estate planning a critical component of a comprehensive financial plan.  This year’s American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) serves as an important reminder of that fact. ATRA set the federal estate exemption at $5 million per [...]

ING settles with 7 states on unclaimed property

{August 26th, 2013} by Arthur D. Postal

A comprehensive examination of ING’s unclaimed property practices conducted on behalf of seven states has uncovered no wrongdoing. But the Florida Department of Insurance later clarified that the regulatory settlement agreement was entered into prior to the conclusion of any examination. “Similar such agreements have been entered with other life and annuity insurers,” said Amy [...]


Popular Competitive Intelligence Firm Rebrands to Unify Life and Annuity Services

{August 23rd, 2013} by InsuranceNewsNet

  A widely-recognized resource in the life insurance and annuity industries has recently rebranded in order to encompass the many products and services offered by the company. Wink, Inc. is now the competitive intelligence firm behind the #1 source for annuity and life insurance product information- the AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs tools. Wink is also distributing [...]

Life insurance’s global boom

{August 22nd, 2013} by Katie Kuehner-Hebert

As life insurers seek to find more buyers in the United States, sales in foreign markets are booming for some carriers, particularly in Asia as millions continue to transition into the middle class. Meanwhile, carriers are also courting specific markets within the United States, including Hispanics, gay couples, up-and-coming Gen Yers, and women — particularly [...]

Allianz Life Rolls Out Enhanced Index Allocations for Allianz Preferred Products [Professional Services Close - Up]

{August 22nd, 2013} by Proquest LLC

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, a provider of fixed index annuities (FIAs), announced the launch of two enhanced index allocations offering additional choices for retirement accumulation. According to a release, available exclusively through the Allianz Preferred platform, the index allocations include the newly created Barclays US Dynamic Balance Index as well as the [...]

Lincoln Financial customizes annuity tool for LPL Financial

{August 21st, 2013} by IFAwebnews Staff

Lincoln Financial Distributors has created a customized version of its interactive Annuity Visualizer for client LPL Financial, a large independent broker-dealer. The Annuity Visualizer is a Web-based application designed to spotlight the benefits of annuities as part of a client’s overall retirement plan as well as the various rider options available. San Diego-based LPL, which [...]


AnnuitySpecs, LifeSpecs Rebranded As Wink

{August 21st, 2013} by AnnuityNews

A widely-recognized resource in the life insurance and annuity industries has recently rebranded in order to encompass the many products and services offered by the company. Wink, Inc. is now the competitive intelligence firm behind the #1 source for annuity and life insurance product information- the AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs tools. Wink is also distributing Wink’s [...]


Second Quarter 2013 Indexed Insurance Sales

{August 21st, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 2nd Quarter 2013 shows second quarter 2013 indexed annuity sales were $9203 million, compared with sales of $8762 million for the second quarter of 2012. Second quarter indexed annuity sales were up more than 17.00% when compared to the previous quarter, and up more than 5.50% when compared [...]

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We are Wink!

{August 21st, 2013} by Jamie Johnson

We have rebranded to one name, one new dynamic website, same ownership, same people, great service, and unparalleled competitive intelligence tools- AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs. Wink, Inc. is now the competitive intelligence firm behind the AnnuitySpecs and LifeSpecs tools! Wink is also distributing Wink’s Sales & Market Report. The rebrand to Wink encompasses all of our [...]

Consumers clueless about life insurance value

{August 20th, 2013} by Dan Cook

Just about everyone who is part of some type of family unit is not, by life insurance industry standards, adequately protected by their current level of life insurance. In fact, on average, consumers are about $1.2 million short, according to Nationwide Financial. Given that life insurance has been sold for decades, this is a sobering [...]

Pushing the retirement age to 70?

{August 19th, 2013} by Dan Berman

Pick a number, any number. How about 67? Perhaps 68? Does 70 sound right? This isn’t some trick. This is all about figuring out what the official retirement age should be in present-day America. It’s a seemingly perennial parlor game that is now being played again amid a push by Republicans to reduce the deficit [...]

Annuity sales tick up in Q2

{August 19th, 2013} by Maria Wood

If just viewed on an immediate quarter-over-quarter basis, annuity sales are on an upswing. However, the results remain slightly below 2012 levels, according to LIMRA. In the second quarter, total annuity sales added up to $56.5 billion, 9 percent above the first quarter of this year, but 1 percent below the same quarter in 2012. [...]

SPARK pushes ‘state of celebration’ in determining benefits

{August 19th, 2013} by Paula Aven Gladych

The U.S. Supreme Court’s repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act has many plan sponsors worried about how to treat same-sex couples within retirement plans. That’s why the SPARK Institute has now asked the Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury for guidance about how plan sponsors should determine the status of same-sex couples. Some states [...]

Live to 120? No thanks

{August 19th, 2013} by Brian Anderson

Aging would get old, according to most Americans. A new Pew Research Center study found that 60 percent of Americans don’t want to live past 90, and perhaps more surprisingly, 30 percent don’t want to live past 80. Only 10 percent want to live past 100. Click here to read…