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Blog + Articles

Legacy Marketing Group® Joins Forces With Two New Carriers— Ameritas and American Equity

{January 18th, 2017} by Legacy Marketing Group

Petaluma, CA, January 18, 2017—Legacy Marketing Group® announced today two new strategic alliances that will significantly broaden its product offerings and bring more benefits to consumers looking for innovative ways to reach their retirement goals. The move will give independent marketing organizations (IMOs) associated with Legacy and their Producers access to an even wider variety […]

US annuities redesigned to allow for fee-based compensation

{January 17th, 2017} by Andrew Rickard

Last year, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) introduced a new fiduciary rule which imposes a higher standard of care on those who offer retirement planning advice. Recent research from LIMRA shows that the new regulations are prompting insurers to change they way they design annuity products. In a study released last week, The […]

DOL fiduciary rule could be halted ‘within days’ of inauguration

{January 17th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule could be delayed “within days” of the new administration through action taken by Labor, instructions from the White House, or pending court cases, David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said Wednesday. “There’s no one mechanism to achieve delay” in […]

Can You Teach Financial and Emotional Confidence?

{January 17th, 2017} by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

NEW YORK, N.Y., January 12, 2017 – What does it take to go from stressed and struggling to confident and assertive? A new study by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian) explores the link between financial confidence and life satisfaction and identifies the specific behaviors that lead to success in these areas. According […]

Database allows Maryland residents to search for lost life insurance policies

{January 17th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

The Maryland Insurance Administration and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners announced an online database that allows state residents to find lost life insurance policies and annuities. “There are many people who do not know where to begin when searching for a lost life insurance policy or annuity,” said Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. […]

RightCapital Launches Enterprise Tool to Ease DOL Rule Compliance

{January 17th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

Financial planning software provider RightCapital announced on Tuesday that it has enhanced its platform to make it easier for advisors to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, as well as address clients’ retirement income, annuities, Social Security optimization and tax-efficient drawdown planning needs. RightCapital was founded in 2015 by Shuang Chen and his […]

DOL Releases Two Batches of Fiduciary-Rule FAQs

{January 17th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

The U.S. Labor Department has issued back-to-back guidance, in the form of frequently asked questions, for advisors, investors and workers regarding the agency’s fiduciary rule, which takes effect on April 10. The Labor Department on Friday released a 17-page FAQ that included 35 questions and answers related mainly to advisors, covering the various provisions of […]

Prudential Names Mullery To New Annuities Leadership Position

{January 17th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Asset management veteran James Mullery has been hired to spearhead sales and distribution for Prudential Financial’s annuities business. This was announced as the company diversifies away from variable annuities and into the defined income space. Mullery is a former managing director at Black Rock Asset Management and former manager with Security Benefit and AXA Equitable. […]

Athene USA to host Vet2Work Day workshop on Jan. 18

{January 17th, 2017} by Business Record

Athene USA, in partnership with IowaWORKS, will host its first Vet2Work Day workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at its West Des Moines headquarters, 7700 Mills Civic Parkway. The event, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., will assist veterans and military spouses who are working to secure employment with sessions on interview preparation, resume building, […]

Life insurers reconfiguring distribution to deal direct with Millennials

{January 17th, 2017} by Donna Glasgow

Neil Skelding, president and CEO of RBC Insurance, says the industry is presently in the midst of a game-changing moment driven by tech savvy Millennials who prefer to have a direct relationship with their life insurers. “There’s a sea change going on in the marketplace and it’s powered by consumers making choices…We, as an industry, […]

DOL Rule Will Create Decline In Annuity Market, LIMRA Says

{January 16th, 2017} by Karen Demasters

Annuity sales will decrease this year, in part because of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement accounts that goes into effect in April, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute predicts. Annuity sales will see a 10 percent to 15 percent decline in sales, the institute says. However, the annuity market will stabilize during 2018. […]

Ameritas Hit By Finra For Indexed Sales

{January 16th, 2017} by Dan Jamieson

Ameritas Investment Corp. has agreed to pay a $145,000 Finra fine for failing to supervise sales of indexed annuities. The firm began treating the sale of indexed annuities (IAs) as an outside business activity in October 2013 as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established that the products were not securities. But AIC failed […]

DOL releases fresh fiduciary rule FAQ for investors

{January 16th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

The Department of Labor on Friday released the second batch of frequently-asked-questions with guidance on its fiduciary rule. In releasing the 16-page FAQ, which includes 30 questions and answers, Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, noted that the information is “meant especially for workers and retirement investors.” EBSA was deploying […]

Update: Life insurance startup Ladder launches in California

{January 16th, 2017} by Jonathan Shieber

Ladder, the new life insurance startup looking to bring policy enrollment as easy as picking up a mobile phone, has launched in its first market — California. That’s right, citizens of the “Eureka” state are now able to select a life insurance policy right on their phones or their computers. Ladder was born out of […]

Titles advisers use to play a bigger role in fiduciary regulation

{January 16th, 2017} by Blaine F. Aikin

Traditionally, regulation has focused on the functional definition of fiduciary.   Please click HERE to view the full article  via InvestmentNews. This article is regarding opponents of the DOL rule whom appear to be zeroing in on titles that cause confusion with the investing public.

DOL encourages investors to ask advisers if they are fiduciaries

{January 16th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Investors should press their financial advisers about whether the advisers are fiduciaries, how much they charge and whether they get paid more based on the investments they recommend, the Labor Department said Friday. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required     Wink’s Note: the above article references DOL documents; free […]

Former ND Insurance Commissioner Hamm Takes Managing Director Post With Consultancy

{January 12th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

CHICAGO – Former North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm has taken a job as a managing director for Protiviti, a global consulting firm. Hamm started his new job in Protiviti’s risk and compliance practice in the firm’s Chicago offices on Jan. 3, serving the firm’s financial services industry clients, Protiviti Public Relations Director Kathy Keller […]

AIG Rebrands SunAmerica Mutual Funds as AIG Funds

{January 12th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski

NEW YORK – Keeping with its goal of becoming a “leaner, more profitable and focused insurer,” American International Group Inc. is rebranding its retail mutual fund family, according to the chief executive officer of AIG’s consumer insurance. Effective Feb. 28, SunAmerica Mutual Funds will become AIG Funds and carry the AIG brand. The company will […]

Golleher appointed to NAIFA board

{January 11th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

Connie Golleher, president of The Golleher Group, LLC, of McLean, Va., has been elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA), a federation representing the interests of life insurance agents and financial advisors. NAIFA’s Board of Trustees appointed Golleher during the association’s political involvement training […]

DOL fiduciary rule hastening death of L-share variable annuities

{January 11th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

The specter of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is accelerating the demise of L-share variable annuities. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

Don’t Just Watch Your Annuity Income Rider!

{January 11th, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

Most variable or fixed index annuities are sold with attached benefit income riders that guarantee a lifetime income stream starting at a future date. Too many annuity owners never take advantage of that risk transfer benefit that income riders provide and simply track the rising income rider value on their statements as a false sense […]

Office of Management and Budget reviewing proposed exemption under DOL fiduciary rule for some indexed annuity distributors

{January 11th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

The Labor Department has submitted for review a proposal that would seemingly ease the compliance process for some distributors selling fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule.   Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; regisration required

The benefit of joint and survivor annuities over trusts: Opinion

{January 11th, 2017} by Gary Mettler

A recent Forbes post explored the idea of establishing a “conduit trust” for a non-spousal IRA beneficiary, usually an adult child. In the article, an attorney recommended such a trust from a creditor protection standpoint relative to the IRA beneficiary.  In June of 2014, the Supreme Court ruled a non-spousal inheritance of an IRA isn’t protected as “retirement funds” […]

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company Mourns the Death of Board Member Harley A. Whitfield, Sr.

{January 11th, 2017} by American Equity

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE: AEL), a leading issuer of fixed index annuities, is sad to announce that Harley A. Whitfield, Sr., a long-serving and respected independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors, passed away on January 9, 2017 after a brief illness. Mr. Whitfield had served as […]

AXA promotes Kevin Kennedy to Head Individual Annuities

{January 11th, 2017} by AXA

Media Contacts: John Cline (212) 314-5142 john.cline@axa.us.com Jennifer Recine (212) 314-2009 jennifer.recine@axa.us.com January 4, 2017 NEW YORK – AXA, a leading financial protection company, has promoted Kevin Kennedy to head Individual Annuities for AXA in the US and he will report to Brian Winikoff, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of US Life, Retirement and […]

IMO Exemption Rule Out Next Week, OMB Says

{January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

The Office of Management and Budget hopes to publish a crucial exemption that would permit independent marketing organizations to sell under the new fiduciary rule by the end of next week. OMB wants the exemption enabling IMOs to serve as financial institutions published by the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, said an attorney close […]

From the Desk of Van A. Lumbard

{January 11th, 2017} by Van Lumbard

“It is with mixed feelings I formally announce to our valued producers that I will officially retire as President of Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange as of December 31, 2016 after 25 years in that role and over 47 years in the industry.” Please click HERE to view Van’s retirement letter.

FINRA’s Top 5 Exam Priorities for 2017

{January 11th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

Advisors and broker-dealers have just received a “cheat sheet” of sorts from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Right after the start of the new year, FINRA shares its Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which highlights areas the regulator will focus on in its 2017 exams. As in previous years, the 2017 letter emphasizes “core […]

Allianz Life Appoints Walther to Oversee B/D Relationships

{January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Fixed indexed annuity (FIA) market leader Allianz Life has announced the appointment of sales veteran Corey Walther to lead the company’s broker-/dealer distribution channel sales growth. Walther, who joined Allianz Life nearly 20 years ago, assumes the title of head of Distribution Relationship Management. He will report to Tom Burns, CEO of Allianz Life Financial […]

Forethought Life Broadens Platform, Launches First SPIA

{January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Forethought Life Insurance launched the company’s first single premium immediate annuity (SPIA), the “missing piece” to the company’s annuity platform of fixed, fixed index and variable annuities, the company said. The SPIA, marketed under the brand ForeCertain, is available in 49 states and the District of Columbia, said Global Atlantic Financial Group, Forethought’s parent, in a […]

Traditional Fixed Annuities are Latest Addition to North American Product Portfolio

{January 11th, 2017} by Marketwired

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – January 10, 2017) – The brand new NAC FoundationChoice℠ annuity from North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® has a three-year initial interest rate guarantee with annual rate declarations thereafter. The NAC FoundationChoice℠ Plus annuity features an annual fixed interest rate declaration and offers two Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit options. These […]

DOL Sends IMO Fiduciary Rule Exemption To OMB

{January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

An exemption granting independent marketing organizations financial institution status under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review. OMB has 90 days from Dec. 29 to review the details, though the review isn’t expected to take that long, an OMB official confirmed Wednesday. Any changes […]

The top 5 insurance tech trends for 2017

{January 10th, 2017} by John Howard

A few years ago, insurance experts began foreshadowing the impending digital disruption that would leave a wake of innovation in its path. With the rise of InsurTech and non-traditional players entering the space, it’s clear that “disruption” is here. However, if traditional players learn from their new counterparts, and continue to foster a culture of […]

Proposed DOL fiduciary rule exemption could impact IMOs

{January 10th, 2017} by Kristen Beckman

The U.S. Department of Labor sent a proposed exemption to the Office of Management and Budget last week related to the classification of IMOs as financial institutions under the department’s fiduciary rule. Michael Trupo, a spokesman for the Labor Department confirmed the proposed exemption is under review, although the content is not yet finalized. Before […]

Industry Changes in 2017 and beyond

{January 10th, 2017} by Mike McGlothlin

If you ask most people what the biggest change the financial services industry is facing, they will likely say regulation.  The DOL’s fiduciary standard and conflicts of interest rule has certainly captivated everyone’s attention for more than a year.  Regardless of implementation date, firms across America are already changing how they conduct business.  But, regulation […]

MassMutual: When Will You Be Ready to Retire?

{January 10th, 2017} by MassMutual

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – With two in five American workers saying they are unsure if they are on target to retire comfortably1, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) is sharpening an online tool to give retirement plan savers clearer information and help them make better decisions. MassMutual upgraded its RetireSMARTSM Ready tool available on the RetireSMART […]

Why do the pundits hate annuities? OPINION

{January 10th, 2017} by Chuck Ritzke

Some of the most popular articles on LifeHealthPro (as measured by the vigorous comments that they engender) are those that take shots at (or sing the praises of) one type of financial or insurance product versus another. In my opinion, these debates often display serious misconceptions about how insurance products work — and these misconceptions […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Pacific LifeCorp and Its Subsidiaries

{January 10th, 2017} by AM Best

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Pacific Life Insurance Company (Omaha, NE) and Pacific Life & Annuity Company (Phoenix, AZ) (collectively referred to as Pacific Life Group (Pacific Life). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term […]

An Alternative to Annuities in a Fiduciary World

{January 10th, 2017} by Horizon Investments

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has given pause to some financial advisors considering the use of variable annuities with their clients. Will the costs and commissions traditionally associated with VAs put advisors who use them at risk of being seen as not serving their clients’ best interests? Advisors who worry about the possible liabilities […]

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Delay Fiduciary Rule

{January 7th, 2017} by John Hilton

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced a bill today that would delay the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule effective date by two years. Wilson’s Protecting American Families’ Retirement Advice Act calls the DOL rule “one of the most costly, burdensome regulations to come from the Obama Administration. Rather than making retirement advice and financial stability more accessible for American […]

Kitces: When a life insurance policy sends out an S.O.S.

{January 7th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

As some clients may have realized, loans against cash-value life insurance policies can be made at relatively favorable interest rates. However, those clients run the risk of a substantial tax liability if the loan compounds out of control. This can happen whether the loan was a proactive “bank on yourself” borrowing strategy or just a loan […]

Prudential names SVP to lead distribution and sales

{January 7th, 2017} by Emily Bader

Prudential Annuities, a business of Prudential Financial Inc., announced Thursday that it has named James Mullery to senior vice president and head of distribution and sales. He will develop and drive distribution and sales strategies for the Newark-based company. He will report directly to Lori Fouché, president of Prudential Annuities, and join her senior leadership […]

New Single Premium Deferred Index Annuity Provides Clients with an Innovative Interest-Crediting Strategy

{January 6th, 2017} by The Standard

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new single premium deferred index annuity with returns based upon the performance of the J.P. Morgan U.S. Sector Rotator 5 Index (Annuity Series) is now available from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). Strategic Choice Annuity 7 combines the strength of an annuity contract with the ability to receive interest based on increases […]

Former Iowa Insurance Commissioner to Join FBL Financial Group as Chief Administrative Officer

{January 6th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart will join FBL Financial Group Inc. as the company’s chief administrative officer, the company announced. Gerhart resigned as insurance commissioner Dec. 23 after taking the job in February 2013. Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen, a former Missouri insurance commissioner, became the interim commissioner (Best’s News […]

Conn. attorney guilty in life insurance scam

{January 6th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

A Connecticut attorney, licensed to practice in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud in connection with a life insurance scheme, officials announced. David Quatrella, 61, of Trumbull, Conn., became involved in the scheme starting in 2008, according to a statement released by the U.S. District Attorney of Connecticut. “(He) and […]

AIG 2016 Review: How did the life & retirement insurance division perform?

{January 6th, 2017} by Trefis Team, Trefis

AIG ( AIG ) provides life insurance in the U.S. and also has property & casualty operations in some of the larger markets around the world. In our analysis of the company, the life and retirement division is further divided into two sub-parts based on the two key revenue streams- investment income, and premiums and […]

Sail through insurance industry flux by focusing on consumers

{January 5th, 2017} by John Deremo

This year, the financial services industry faces the prospect of significant regulatory change and potential impacts to the life insurance sector. In a time of flux, carriers are challenged to render their businesses more scalable, efficient and consumer-friendly, while supporting the bottom-line goals of distribution partners. Financial professionals, too, are challenged to consider how they […]

Annuities and Roth IRAs: A Dynamic Duo

{January 5th, 2017} by Rachel Summit

For some investors, the capital commitment, tax treatment and complexity are enough to keep them from looking into purchasing an annuity. And or some, it isn’t a wise option, especially as a standalone product. But when combined with a Roth investing strategy, an annuity investing strategy can make a lot of sense. A recent article […]

Orion launches fee analyzer for DOL fiduciary rule

{January 5th, 2017} by Liz Skinner

Advisers looking for help proving they’re charging a “reasonable” fee once the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule for retirement advice kicks in next year have a new source for comparison.   Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required

“Alexa, what’s an annuity?” Insurance company Aviva is using Amazon Echo (in the U.K.)

{January 5th, 2017} by Lynsey Barber

“Alexa, what’s an annuity?” Now your Amazon Echo can tell you the answer to burning questions about insurance and guide you through the unfamiliar jargon of the industry. The Insurance giant Aviva has developed a so-called skill (like an app for smartphones) for the voice activated speaker which proved a big hit for Amazon over […]

Accept the challenges

{January 5th, 2017} by Wink's RockStars

General George Smith Patton Jr. said,  “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” This past year was a challenging year for most with a lot of uncertainty; can you say, DOL Fiduciary Rule?! We shared over 366 unique articles regarding the DOL rule in 2016 and news circling the ruling […]

SEC ups disclosure requirements for advisor social media accounts

{January 4th, 2017} by National Ethics Association

The use of social media as a financial-services marketing strategy has come a long way. Less than ten years ago, only a minority of advisors used platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to help promote their businesses. Even that was an uphill battle, with compliance departments and financial regulators placing roadblocks in their path.  Today, […]

​What’s next for annuities

{January 4th, 2017} by Bryce Sanders

Annuities serve an important function in many investors’ portfolios. They can get bad press because of the fees associated with some features. Now the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its ruling requiring financial advisors to act as fiduciaries when working with a client and their retirement assets. If high fees make annuities a target, […]

ACLI ‘Fact Book’ reflects consumer reliance on life insurance industry

{January 3rd, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

Data from the American Council of Life Insurers’ (ACLI) 2016 Life Insurers Fact Book shows that consumers continue to turn to the life insurance industry for their financial and retirement security needs. “The data within ACLI’s Life Insurers Fact Book tells the story of an industry that is helping families financially after the loss of […]

Looking Ahead To 2017: Fixed Income Strategies And Tax Rules

{January 3rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

With 2017 around the corner, advisors will want to dig into their tool bag to hammer away at two of the biggest changes to financial planning likely in the coming year. Those changes are fine-tuning approaches to fixed income investing and mulling over income and estate tax strategies. Changes to fixed income allocations are due […]

The Year In Politics: All About The DOL Rule

{January 3rd, 2017} by John Hilton

The year in political stories was dominated by one issue – the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. While President-elect Donald J. Trump has not rendered an opinion on the rule, he was virtually the only one to ignore it. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the rule “hurts Americans saving for retirement.” President Barack Obama said […]

Industry Groups Encouraged by Latest Draft of New York Cybersecurity Rule

{January 3rd, 2017} by Thomas Harman

ALBANY, N.Y. – Insurance industry groups voiced encouragement over the new update to cybersecurity regulation proposed by the New York Department of Financial Services. The proposed regulation is expected to take effect March 1, 2017, and will require banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions under DFS regulation to create and maintain a cybersecurity […]

BestWeek: Asia, Life Insurers Are Big Gainers Among Top 25 Largest Insurers

{January 3rd, 2017} by Caroline Saucer

OLDWICK, N.J. – Insurers in Japan and China were among the biggest gainers in terms of premiums while life and multiple-line insurers led gains by assets, according to A.M. Best’s list of the world’s largest 25 insurers featured in this week’s BestWeek. A.M. Best’s annual rankings found stability at the top, as the top five […]

15 of the best insurance and finance websites for the New Year

{January 3rd, 2017} by Van Mueller

This is the final part of a series where I have been providing tools and resources that agents can depend on to enhance the services they provide. Part one focused on www.irs.gov, and part two focused on the debt clock, www.usdebtclock.org. Please keep in mind that you do not want to overwhelm prospects and clients […]

Here’s How to Best Time Interest Rates When Purchasing an Annuity

{January 3rd, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

Is there a way to perfectly time an annuity purchase when interest rates are rising?  With the Federal Reserve recently raising rates, the continuing conundrum of trying to time an annuity purchase is once again the center of most annuity buying decisions and agent sales pitches. Like most financial decisions, there are no perfect answers. […]

8 more Dave Ramsey myths debunked

{January 3rd, 2017} by Michael Markey

Dave Ramsey, underneath the scrutiny of financial regulation, has knowingly or intentionally unknowingly altered, tainted or ignored math to support his beliefs and claims. Like Lance “I use other people’s blood” Armstrong, Ramsey has misled the American public about his work. I know this sounds harsh. It is. I want it to be. The holidays […]

3 significant challenges for annuity advisors in 2017

{January 3rd, 2017} by BEN YAHR, GERRY MURTAGH

We expect to see significant changes in the annuity industry during 2017. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will become applicable in April 2017 and have major impacts on financial services delivered to the retirement market. The DOL rule will affect companies’ strategies and operations, the products they offer, the advice they provide and the […]

Advanced tax time planning: 15 life insurance considerations

{January 3rd, 2017} by Stephan R. Leimberg

Life insurance can be a superb savings asset, but it does carry distinct tax issues. All conventional saving vehicles serve the same purpose, but the unique feature of life insurance is that it assures the desired accumulation at a specific, but uncertain time; namely at the time of the insured’s death. No other savings or […]

Outlook for life insurers is ‘credit negative’ thru mid-2018

{January 3rd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Continuing low interest will put a damper on life insurers’ investment yields and guaranteed rates of return in 2017, depressing their earnings, solvency position and credit outlook, which dipped from “stable” to negative during the year past. The carriers’ credit and investment outlook may not improve until at least the second half of 2018. So […]

Top 10 Annuity Stories of 2016

{December 29th, 2016} by John Hilton

Annuities had an up-and-down 2016. The wild ride was reflected in our top 10 annuity stories for the year. Of course, the Department of Labor fiduciary rule was the most significant influencer on annuities. Firms and advisors alike scrambled to figure out what the rule meant for their business. That propelled many of the stories […]

What The Millennials Are Hearing About Life Insurance

{December 29th, 2016} by Alexa Hoffman

  As you’ve probably heard is common of my generation, I get my news on my Apple devices. Yes, I’m a millennial; no, I’m not referring only to social media. News apps make it easy to scroll through articles and updates from various reputable publications all in one place. As a millennial who happens to […]

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HAVE Indexed Annuities Become Too Complicated?!?

{December 27th, 2016} by Sheryl J. Moore

A recent Investment News article highlighted commentary from myself on how indexed annuities have become “unnecessarily complex.” I stand by that comment. Now, don’t get me wrong- I love indexed annuities, and I want to see the product line continue to thrive. Further, I am always for product innovation and competition when it comes to […]

Life Insurers Say Forthcoming Accounting Changes Demanding

{December 27th, 2016} by Denise Lugo

From Accounting Policy and Practice Report The Accounting Policy & Practice Report ® provides financial accounting policy makers, advisors, and practitioners with the latest news, expert insights, and guidance on emerging, evolving, and complex accounting issues. Expert News & Commentary. By Denise Lugo Potential FASB rule changes for life insurance and annuities contracts would be […]

3 significant challenges for annuity advisors in 2017

{December 27th, 2016} by BEN YAHR, GERRY MURTAGH

We expect to see significant changes in the annuity industry during 2017. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will become applicable in April 2017 and have major impacts on financial services delivered to the retirement market. The DOL rule will affect companies’ strategies and operations, the products they offer, the advice they provide and the […]

9 reasons retirement may go extinct

{December 27th, 2016} by Marlene Y. Satter

Retirement as we know it may be set to disappear, as younger people look for ways to finance surviving into old age. But extinction? Surely not. However, according to the Merrill Edge Report 2016, that might just be in the offing, as workers change how they plan and save for retirement and how they intend […]

The Big Chill For Annuities In 2017

{December 27th, 2016} by Ben Mattlin

With the Department of Labor’s 1,000-page fiduciary regulations due to take effect in April 2017, and a new anti-regulatory administration about to take office in Washington, insurance carriers are facing a double whammy of uncertainty. “Going forward, there just won’t be as many developments of new financial products simply because the insurance companies aren’t sure […]

Three Passive Income Ideas to Consider for Retirement

{December 27th, 2016} by Larry Alton

(Newswire.net — December 24, 2016) — Once you enter your 40s and 50s, retirement is definitely something you should be taking seriously. Many people begin to tire out and dream about finally enjoying some of the money they’ve spent the past few decades earning. But if you aren’t prepared to make money during retirement, you’re […]

Top Tales Of Annuity Advisors Gone Wrong

{December 27th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

As we wind down 2016, we take a look back at annuity advisors who did no favors for their clients and found themselves in trouble with the law. Churning Up Trouble A practice known as “churning” led to a 10-year state prison sentence for Joseph Anthony Mele, 31, of Ventura, Calif. Mele pleaded no contest […]

A New Platform Provides A Different Approach For Annuities

{December 27th, 2016} by Ben Mattlin

In mid-December, Global Atlantic Financial Group, a provider of a broad spectrum of insurance, annuities, and other retirement products, announced it would enter 2017 with what it dubbed an industry first: a truly unified distribution organization. “This is the first unified distribution built solely around helping advisors meet their clients’ retirement needs with annuities,” says […]

Ponzi Schemes And Movie Deals: Tales Of Advisors Behaving Badly

{December 24th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

From Ponzi schemes to wacky real estate deals and movie ventures to managerial inertia, 2016 was another year filled with rogue advisors and brokers, at least in the eyes of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a review of financial advisors behaving badly, we highlight brokers and advisors who preferred — either by design or […]

Great American’s Incoming CEO Wants Insurer Looking for 2026’s Disruptors Today

{December 23rd, 2016} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

CINCINNATI – Disruption is a given and insurers who want to remain relevant need to keep one step ahead of it, according to incoming Great American Insurance Group President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Gruber. “What I want our units to do is look out over the next five to 10 years. What are you […]

Asia, Life Insurers Are Big Gainers Among Top 25 Largest Insurers

{December 23rd, 2016} by David Pilla

OLDWICK, N.J. – Insurers in Japan and China were among the biggest gainers in terms of premiums while life and multiple-line insurers led gains by assets as A.M. Best released its list of the world’s largest 25 insurers based on 2015 data. A.M. Best’s annual rankings found stability at the top, as the top five […]

New Fixed Annuity Product from AIG

{December 23rd, 2016} by Rachel Summit

After a stellar 2016, American International Group (AIG) has just introduced a new seven-year fixed annuity with a lifetime income rider. According to a recent Retirement Income Journal article, Assured Edge Income Builder is issued by American General Life Insurance Company and is currently available in over 20 banks and broker-dealers, with more distribution coming […]

AIG offers fixed-rate annuity with an income rider

{December 23rd, 2016} by Editorial Staff

American International Group, which sold $13.6 billion worth of annuities in the first three quarters of 2016—second to Jackson National’s $14 billion—has introduced a new seven-year fixed annuity with a lifetime income rider. Issued by American General Life Insurance Company, Assured Edge Income Builder is available in over 20 banks and broker-dealers with “broadening of […]

5 reasons why you shouldn’t use Yelp to find an advisor

{December 22nd, 2016} by Michael Chamberlain, manager at Chamberlain Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Yelp is a very popular online site where consumers post ratings based on their personal experience of retail stores, restaurants and service providers. The simplicity of the site is that if you see that 200 people had been to a particular restaurant and each had a very good experience, there’s a good chance that you […]

The Insurance Renaissance: 6 Minutes of 2016 History: Blog

{December 22nd, 2016} by Majesco Blog: Ashwin Rodrigues

Click HERE for original blog by Majesco: December 23, 2016 — We knew that 2016 would be big. To capture the flavor of the pace and magnitude of change, I wrote a series of blogs where I likened the dramatic shifts in insurance technology to what happened during the original Italian Renaissance when education, money, art […]

GOVERNOR-ELECT SCOTT REAPPOINTS MICHAEL PIECIAK AS COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL REGULATION

{December 21st, 2016} by Office of the Governor-Elect.

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor-elect Phil Scott today announced he would reappoint Michael Pieciak as commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation. The department will also retain the deputy commissioners for each of its four divisions, which include Cynthia Stuart for Banking, Kaj Samsom for Insurance, William Carrigan for Securities, and David Provost for Captive Insurance.  […]

Dave Wilken to Lead Life Business at Global Atlantic

{December 21st, 2016} by Global Atlantic Financial Group

DES MOINES, IOWA, December 20, 2016 — Global Atlantic Financial Group, a leading U.S.-focused retirement, life insurance and reinsurance company, recently announced the hiring of Dave Wilken as President of their Des Moines-based life insurance business. Wilken joins Global Atlantic from Voya, where he served more than 20 years in various leadership roles, most recently […]

The Roth Annuity: A Bright Star in Annuity Investing

{December 21st, 2016} by Professors Bloink and Byrnes

For many clients, the potential downsides of annuity investing can overshadow the valuable security that these products can offer with respect to providing a guaranteed income stream for life — and often for good reason. The tax treatment of a standalone annuity, when combined with the required capital commitment, simply might not make sense for […]

Where insurance meets innovation

{December 21st, 2016} by JOE GARDYASZ, Senior Staff Writer

From hackathons and in-house innovation labs to collaboration with the Global Insurance Accelerator, Iowa-based insurance companies are finding new ways to quickly advance new technologies as they strive to keep ahead of ever-increasing customer expectations.  We interviewed executives with four insurance companies that operate in different sectors of the insurance market to get a pulse […]

Independent advisors want Trump to repeal DOL fiduciary rule: Survey

{December 21st, 2016} by IFAWebNews Staff

The following content has been reprinted in whole or part from a press release, issued statement, or other reports or sources. So-called “main street” independent financial advisors overwhelmingly believe that President-Elect Donald J. Trump should seek to repeal the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, according to a survey conducted by the Financial Services Institute […]

DALBAR Announces the 2016 Annuity Service Award Winners

{December 21st, 2016} by DALBAR

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:13 PM UTC   Boston, Dec. 20, 2016 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Dalbar Announces the 2016 Annuity Service Award Winners (Boston, MA. December 20, 2016) Dalbar identifies the top annuity providers when […]

Trump admin has to signal soon if it intends to undo fiduciary rule

{December 21st, 2016} by Nick Thornton

For stakeholders holding out hope the Trump administration will intervene on the fiduciary rule, time is running out. This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce added to the welter of speculation over the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule’s fate. Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue said the organization is urging the incoming Trump administration’s transition team to […]

Insurance Industry Says More Workforce Training Needed

{December 21st, 2016} by Hartford Courant

Dec. 20–With thousands of employees due to retire over the next decade, the state should consider funding workforce development programs at local colleges, insurance lobbyists told a legislative forum Monday. “By next year, 25 percent of the industry is going to be 5 to 10 years away from retirement,” said Hugh Barrett, who works in […]

DOL rule will force consolidation of broker-dealers, Cerulli report says

{December 21st, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The Department of Labor’s new conflict-of-interest rule will have a huge effect on advisors and asset managers. And among those to be most severely hit are boutique broker-dealers. So concludes Cerulli Associates, a Boston-based research and consulting company, in a new report, “U.S. Broker/Dealer Marketplace 2016: Retooling for a New Competitive Landscape. Examining broker-dealers with […]

4 reasons why women need life insurance

{December 20th, 2016} by Brian Greenberg

Now more than ever, women are redefining their roles at work and at home. Women have more options than ever, from full-time careers outside the home to careers as full-time homemakers with stops nearly everywhere in between. But while women are achieving unprecedented work-life balance and financial independence and solvency, there seems to be one […]

Could complying with the DOL rule give insurers a competitive advantage?

{December 20th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Among the industry’s many gripes about the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule, one that rises to the top is cost. Industry estimates peg the cash outlay needed to align company operations with the rule to be in the billions — $11 billion for brokerages alone if a recent estimate by consulting firm A.T. Kearney […]

NAFA vows to continue DOL rule fight

{December 20th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

On the same day the D.C. circuit court declined its request to block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the National Association for Fixed Annuities vowed to continue its fight against the regulation. “We are still working hard to defeat rule and make sure everyone understands our position on that,” said Chip Anderson, NAFA’s executive […]

Federal Appeals Court Rejects NAFA Request to Halt Fiduciary Rule

{December 20th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has denied a request by the National Association for Fixed Annuities for a preliminary injunction to stop implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, upholding a lower court ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to immediately halt the rule, […]

Have Indexed Annuities Jumped the Shark?

{December 20th, 2016} by Barron's

Indexed annuities’ design has grown unnecessarily complex, and that’s not good for advisors or clients, InvestmentNews reports. The publication points to “the uptick in new, ‘exotic’ indices used by insurers, as well as a broad number of mechanisms used to determine the interest credited to an investor.” The exotic “hybrid” indexes behind the new crop […]

Global Atlantic Financial unifies annuity distribution

{December 20th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Global Atlantic Financial Group, the Bermuda-based retirement, life insurance and reinsurance company, said it will launch a unified distribution organization on Jan. 1. The organization calls for product-specific teams to come together to offer advisors simplified access to the company’s annuity platform with options designed to address the individual needs of their clients. Global Atlantic’s […]

A.M. Best Revises Outlooks to Positive for Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited and Its Subsidiaries

{December 20th, 2016} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(Business Wire)–A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” of Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company (Southborough, MA), its subsidiaries, First Allmerica Financial Life Insurance Company (Southborough, MA), Forethought Life Insurance Company (Indianapolis, […]

Merry Christmas!

{December 20th, 2016} by Wink RockStars

The Wink office will be closed Friday, December 23rd and Monday, December 26th to spend the joyous holiday with our families.     

Preparing for a New Year: NAFA Continues to Be Your Voice

{December 20th, 2016} by Chip Anderson

MESSAGE FROM NAFA The 2016 presidential election is over and the biggest question for NAFA members is how the Trump victory will impact the status of the DOL fiduciary rule. Different sources in the Trump camp have commented that a Trump administration will repeal the fiduciary rule. Trump himself has been very vocal on overturning […]

Coming in 2017: More pot-smoking life insurance policyholders

{December 19th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Marijuana smoking has been on the rise in recent years. In the wake of the November 2016 elections, the number of users — already 25 million-strong — is likely to increase, and perhaps substantially. Of 9 state ballot initiatives, voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved marijuana use for recreational purposes; their counterparts in Arkansas, Florida […]

Security Benefit Launches New FIA to Help Meet Immediate Retirement Income Needs or Long-Term Legacy Planning Goals

{December 19th, 2016} by Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

Select Benefit Annuity offers financial representatives and their clients the flexibility to plan for a wide variety of retirement goals TOPEKA, Kan., Dec. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (Security Benefit) today announced the launch of its new Select Benefit Annuity, a fixed index annuity (FIA) which offers contract-holders the unique […]

Have indexed annuities become too complicated?

{December 19th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

Fixed indexed annuities are becoming more complex.   Click HERE to view the full article via InvestmentNews; registration required     “They are complex, unnecessarily so, if you ask me,” said Sheryl Moore, president and CEO of Moore Market Intelligence, who tracks indexed annuity products.  

MetLife CEO: Markets Responding to Trump’s Promises of Regulatory Relief

{December 19th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

NEW YORK – The insurance industry and the financial markets are responding positively to promises of regulatory relief and tax reform from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, said Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife Inc. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The incoming Trump administration has sent positive signals about pro-growth tax reform, increased infrastructure spending […]

Update: Insurers Welcome Fed Interest Rate Hike; MetLife Forecasts Earnings Growth

{December 19th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – (Corrects information in second paragraph.) Insurers reacted positively to news the Federal Reserve increased interest rates on investments by 0.25% — the second such rate increase in a year — and signaled it was open to more rates hikes in 2017. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors unanimously voted to raise the benchmark […]

Fed hike a positive for rate-sensitive insurance products

{December 19th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The Federal Reserve’s increase in short-term interest rates should benefit life insurers and their policyholders, according to a new report. Moody’s Investors Service arrives at this conclusion in a Dec. 14 “Sector Comment” report. The research examines the effect of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike on U.S. financial institutions, including banks, life insurers and asset […]

Prudential Investigates Wells Fargo-Sold Policies

{December 17th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Prudential Financial sold a relatively small amount of term life insurance products through Wells Fargo’s retail banking outlets, a senior Prudential executive said Thursday. The Newark, N.J.-based insurer announced Monday it would suspend sales of its MyTerm life insurance policies through the scandal-tainted Wells Fargo. The bank admitted sales reps had opened thousands of bogus bank accounts […]

Lost Life Insurance? New State Tool Helps Find Lost Policies and Annuities

{December 17th, 2016} by William Bornhoft (Patch Staff)

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that Minnesotans now have access to a new online service they can use to help locate lost life insurance policies or annuity contracts that belonged to a deceased family member. Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the free Life Insurance Policy Locator allows individuals who believe […]

Capturing the millennial middle market with smart analytics

{December 16th, 2016} by Elliott Wallace

The middle market remains a largely untapped opportunity for life insurance carriers, worth approximately $20 billion of potential revenue, according to a McKinsey & Company study. But carriers intent on capturing the middle market will need to both rethink who they sell to and break the mold of how they sell.   The approximately 40 […]

D.C. Circuit Court refuses to block DOL fiduciary rule

{December 16th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell, Mike Scarcella

A federal appeals court on Thursday refused to block Obama administration regulations that were adopted to minimize conflicts of interest in the retirement-investment industry, a significant setback for financial planners, insurance agents and other advisers who said the rule will disrupt the marketplace. The National Association for Fixed Annuities in November urged the Washington court to freeze […]

Voya: From Orange to Origami

{December 15th, 2016} by Kerry Petcher

Almost four years after its IPO, Voya (formerly ING-US) has rebranded, retooled itself as a fixed indexed annuity shop and launched an ad campaign featuring origami rodents that talk. But it is still searching for the right mix of products, personnel and organizational structure. So, what’s up at Voya Financial? Like its fellow life insurers, […]

How Apollo Global’s Crisis-Era Bet On Boring Annuities Turned Into A $72 Billion Business

{December 15th, 2016} by Antoine Gara

Athene is big and Athene is complicated, but the $87 billion in assets fixed annuities giant created by Apollo Global in 2009 is now one of the smartest bets the PE firm made during the dark days of the crisis. On Friday, Athene listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $1.1. billion […]

NAFA Elects 2017 Board of Directors, Treasurer for Executive Operating Committee

{December 15th, 2016} by NAFA

Membership Affirms New Leaders at Its Annual Meeting WASHINGTON D.C. (December 8, 2016) — The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, approved recommendations for its newly elected 2017 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in Phoenix, Ariz. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates […]

Partners Advantage Launches LifeAnswers Financial Group to Create New Opportunities for Experienced and New Insurance Agents

{December 15th, 2016} by Mark Stone

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Partners Advantage Launches LifeAnswers Financial Group to Create New Opportunities for Experienced and New Insurance Agents Riverside, CA (December 15, 2016) – Partners Advantage Insurance Services announced the launch of LifeAnswers Financial Group. LifeAnswers is a direct to the agent marketing and life insurance sales opportunity that combines a next generation technology […]

Mercer Bullard: Think DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Is Too Strict? Blame SEC

{December 15th, 2016} by Think Advisor

Had Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White succeeded in passing a fiduciary standard rule, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would likely be less stringent. So says Mercer Bullard, law professor at the University of Mississippi Law School. In a candid interview with ThinkAdvisor, the investor watchdog provided a withering assessment of Chair […]

New York Takes Aim At Annuity Replacement Practices

{December 15th, 2016} by N/A

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo today announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued guidance to remind life insurers, producers and distributors of their obligations under New York Insurance Law and regulations to perform an adequate suitability review when recommending the sale or replacement of an annuity.  Suitability review requires sellers to […]

OFR: Financial System More Stable, but Life Insurers Continue to Pose Risks

{December 15th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Life insurers still represent significant risks to the U.S. economy because carriers continue to struggle with the low interest rate environment and a decline in equity values that could increase their vulnerability to collapse, according to a new government report. The latest assessment was made in the U.S. Office of Financial Research’s 2016 […]

Prudential suspends distribution of MyTerm policies through Wells Fargo

{December 15th, 2016} by Business Wire

NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) announced today that it will suspend the distribution of MyTerm policies through all Wells Fargo bank branches and website, pending the results of Prudential’s review of how the product is sold by Wells Fargo. Launched in 2007, MyTerm is a simplified issue term insurance product that was created […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

{December 15th, 2016} by Best's News

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa-” of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, Companion Life Insurance Company (Hauppauge, NY) and United World Life Insurance Company. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term […]

Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry

{December 15th, 2016} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J., December 19, 2016 — A.M. Best has revised its outlook to negative from stable for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry, citing increased volatility across economic and regulatory fronts, which includes continuing interest rate pressures. The Best’s Briefing, titled, “Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry,” states that L/A insurers […]

Annuity Sales to Plunge Under DOL Fiduciary Rule: Cerulli

{December 15th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

U.S. variable annuity and fixed indexed annuity sales are expected to decline by at least 10% through 2018 as the industry struggles to adapt to upcoming regulations put forth by the Department of Labor, according to Cerulli Associates. The Boston-based global research and consulting firm states in its research that while insurers are trying to […]

Prudential fraud case grows, whistleblower attorneys speak out

{December 14th, 2016} by C. Ryan Barber

For three months, Wells Fargo has reeled from scandal, hit by the revelation the bank’s employees created thousands of unauthorized accounts for unknowing customers. It now appears the scheme may run deeper, and impact some customers who purchased life insurance policies through those same employees. A fresh lawsuit alleges that bank employees signed up customers up […]

Fiduciary Rule Drives Reconsideration of Fee-Based Annuities

{December 14th, 2016} by John Manganaro

U.S. variable annuity (VA) and fixed-index annuity (FIA) sales are expected to decline by at least 10% through 2018 as the industry struggles to adapt to upcoming fiduciary reform regulations put forth by the Department of Labor (DOL), according to data shared by Cerulli Associates. There can be little doubt that annuity providers, many of them […]

An insurance executive’s guide to navigating industry shifts

{December 14th, 2016} by Doug French

The coming year will be one of continued disruption for the US life-annuity insurance market. The industry will remain in flux thanks to ongoing trends, as well as new uncertainty. Customer demand will continue to evolve, digital technology will keep advancing and InsurTech innovations will gain further momentum. Today’s low interest rate environment and slow […]

Have trouble comparing VA, FIA riders? Test drive this tool

{December 13th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

With so many annuities on the market, each offering a myriad of riders and moving parts, it can be difficult to compare products and riders. Product evaluation tools are available for this purpose, but demonstrating their economic benefit, notably in respect to variable or fixed indexed annuities, can be challenging.   Among the reasons…CLICK HERE […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Lincoln National Corporation and Its Key Subsidiaries

{December 13th, 2016} by AM Best

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – DECEMBER 13, 2016 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (LNL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York (LLANY) (Syracuse, NY), which […]

Annuity Sales in Sharp Decline, Report Finds

{December 13th, 2016} by Beacon Research

Annuity sales in the third quarter of 2016 totaled $51.3 billion, an 8.2 percent decline from sales of $55.9 billion during the second quarter of 2016, according to data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar. The sales figures represented a 12.3 percent decline from $58.5 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Click HERE to view the […]

Trump said to pick DOL head: Andrew Puzder

{December 13th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary today, according to CNBC. A former attorney, Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns several nationwide fast food chains. Puzder has been an outspoken critic of what he says is overregulation’s crushing impact on the restaurant industry and the overall economy. […]

Athene to Deepen Bank, B/D Relationships

{December 13th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Athene USA, a major seller of fixed annuities in the U.S., will seek to expand retail annuity distribution through banks and broker-dealers, CEO Grant Kvalheim said Friday. The company, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, is a subsidiary of Athene Holding, which raised $1.1 billion in an initial public offering. Athene Holding shares began trading […]

Michael Consedine to lead NAIC

{December 13th, 2016} by Allison Bell

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has hired Michael Consedine, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, to be its next chief executive officer. The Kansas City, Missouri-based insurance regulator group says Consedine will take over as CEO in early 2017. He will work in the NAIC’s Washington office. Consedine is on track to succeed Andy Beal, the […]

N.Y. regulator issues suitability review reminder to life insurers, producers

{December 13th, 2016} by IFAWebnews Staff

GOVT PRESS RELEASE: The following content has been reprinted in whole or part from a government-supplied press release or statement. Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo announced that New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued guidance to remind life insurers, producers and distributors of their obligations under New York Insurance Law and regulations […]

Balance of productivity and Wink-awesomeness

{December 13th, 2016} by Wink's RockStars

Sheryl, Wink’s CEO and Tori, VP of Operations are the founding and guiding forces of Wink. To be the best of the best, we often find ourselves in uncharted waters; navigating the business requires the forecasting, inspiration, and commitment of Sheryl along with Tori’s communication and sharp thinking to clear the path to our success.  We […]

U.S. Chamber ‘Already Working’ With Trump to Kill the Fiduciary Rule

{December 13th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is “already working” with Trump administration transition officials to “undo” the U.S. Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, Thomas Donohue, the president and chief executive of the business group, said Monday. In a blog post on Monday, Donohue said the Chamber is “urging immediate action to undo” the fiduciary rule, because “if enacted, it […]

Athene USA parent company raises $1.1B in IPO

{December 12th, 2016} by JOE GARDYASZ

Shareholders of Athene Holding Ltd., the parent company of Athene USA, have raised $1.1 billion in their initial public offering of common stock, which began trading today on the New York Stock Exchange.   Athene’s class A common stock began trading this morning at $43.56 per share; the company had anticipated a price range of $38 […]

Prudential to Suspend Sale of Insurance Policy Through Wells Fargo

{December 12th, 2016} by LESLIE SCISM and EMILY GLAZER

Prudential Financial Inc. on Monday said it would suspend distributing insurance policies through Wells Fargo & Co., following the sales practices scandal that hit the San Francisco bank. Prudential’s decision comes as Wells Fargo continues to deal with the fallout from the sales tactics scandal this fall. Federal regulators and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s […]

Prudential Hit With Class Action Lawsuit in Wells Fargo Fallout

{December 12th, 2016} by Tara Jeffries

Prudential Financial Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit in the latest legal action linking the insurer to Wells Fargo & Co.’s high-profile consumer fraud scandal. The lawsuit, filed Monday by a trio of law firms in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, says Prudential worked with Wells Fargo to sign up low-income customers for […]

Today is the Day: BLOG

{December 12th, 2016} by Nick Gerhart

I wrote this and published this on another blog in May.  Some of you likely read it then, but I wanted to publish it here after a colleague encouraged me to do so.  Cheers to you all! Today is the Day So much is written about juggling professional life and family life that I quit […]

Athene CEO: IPO timing couldn’t have been better

{December 12th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

When annuity provider Athene Holdings launched its initial public offering last week, it was fulfilling a long-term mission. “We’ve always had this focus from the very beginning that we were going to be a public company,” said Grant Kvalheim, chief executive officer of Athene USA. “That helped us because it spoke to how we had […]

Whistleblowers allege Prudential link to Wells Fargo fraud

{December 12th, 2016} by STEVEN A. MEYEROWITZ, ESQ., DIRECTOR, FC&S LEGAL

Three former supervisors in the corporate investigations division (“CID”) of the legal department of The Prudential Insurance Company of America have filed a lawsuit in a state court in New Jersey against Prudential along with Deborah Bello, the insurer’s chief regulatory officer, alleging that a life insurance program called “MyTerm,” created in 2014 by Prudential […]

Allianz Life Named a 2017 Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality

{December 8th, 2016} by Allianz

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Earning this score designates Allianz Life as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality according to the HRC. The CEI is a […]

A.M. Best Briefing: Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry

{December 8th, 2016} by Best's News

Oldwick – A.M. Best has revised its outlook to negative from stable for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry, citing increased volatility across economic and regulatory fronts, which includes continuing interest rate pressures. The Best’s Briefing, titled, “Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry,” states that L/A insurers have done a commendable job navigating the […]

Betterment CEO to Trump: DOL fiduciary rule worth your time

{December 7th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

  New York-based Betterment, the country’s largest independent robo–advisory that now oversees more than $6 billion in assets, placed full-page ads in Sunday’s New York Times and Monday’s Wall Street Journal imploring readers, investors, and President-elect Donald Trump to get behind the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The Time’s ad, featured in the paper’s business section, […]

Insurance Commissioner Gerhart stepping down

{December 7th, 2016} by Tony Leys

Iowa’s outspoken insurance commissioner is stepping down. Nick Gerhart has resigned effective Dec. 23, the governor’s office announced Monday. Gerhart was appointed to the four-year post on Feb. 1, 2013. He said in an interview Monday that he decided not to seek another term. His wife, Jessica, is expecting their fourth child in early January, which […]

18 reasons for making indexed UL part of your portfolio

{December 7th, 2016} by GREGORY E. SCHWABE

If your prospecting is mainly with the age 55-80 group, you know it’s not what it was even a few years ago. “Almost tapped out” is the way some advisors are describing it. If your practice is feeling that pain, there’s a way to reach a broader, motivated, and largely untapped audience—consumers age 36-55.  You can do it with indexed universal life’s (IUL). What grabs […]

Accenture’s Life Insurance & Annuity Platform Receives Highest Product Scores for Three Use Cases in Gartner’s 2016 Critical Capabilities Report

{December 7th, 2016} by Accenture

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has received the highest scores for three use cases in Gartner’s September 2016, Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America. Out of 15 vendor systems evaluated, the Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) scored the highest in the New Product Development/Launch, New Application/Automated Underwriting and Reporting and […]

When it comes to annuities, why words matter

{December 7th, 2016} by N/A

Annuities continue to be misunderstood, oversold, and actually needed by the demographic tidal wave of baby boomers wanting contractually guaranteed solutions. Using just the word “annuity” to describe a category of many unique products is a semantic travesty. The professor knows Bo Knows according to Nike. John Knows when it comes to annuities. I am […]

Global Atlantic names new president for life insurance business

{December 7th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd. has hired Dave Wilken as president of its Des Moines-based life insurance subsidiary, which does business as Accordia Life and Annuity Co. Most recently, Wilken was president of Individual Life for Voya Financial, where he worked for more than 20 years in various leadership roles. Wilken succeeds Mike Miller, who […]

Accelerating change through innovation

{December 7th, 2016} by DOUG FRENCH, MICHAEL HUGHES, CHRISTOPHER RAHAM, VIKAS SHARAN

With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future. Low engagement with current customers, limited penetration among currently underserved segments (including the middle market and millennials), outdated technology infrastructure and inefficient processes are among the many issues forcing life insurers to re-evaluate how, where and with whom they […]

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announces resignation; Branstad names Doug Ommen Interim Insurance Commissioner

{December 7th, 2016} by Office of the Governor of Iowa Terry Branstad

Today, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds applauded the work of Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart upon learning of his resignation effective Dec. 23, 2016.  Branstad also announced that he is appointing Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen of Ankeny as Interim Insurance Commissioner.    “I want to thank Nick Gerhart for his service as Insurance […]

NAFA seeks emergency injunction to stay DOL rule

{December 7th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The National Association for Fixed Annuities filed an emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The motion asks for a delay of 10 months at a minimum but says a two-year delay is warranted. The association is appealing an order and memorandum opinion of […]

Gerhart to resign as insurance commissioner; Ommen will be interim

{December 6th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart on Monday announced he will resign from that position, effective Dec. 23. Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen will be the interim insurance commissioner.   Nick Gerhart “I’m honored to have had the chance to serve Iowans by leading the Iowa Insurance Division,” Gerhart said in a statement. “However both myself and […]

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