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Industry Articles

Financial industry rhetoric riles DOL officials

{September 28th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Despite years of intense opposition, a Labor Department regulation that would raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts is marching toward implementation. It’s not yet clear if the financial industry’s Hail Mary pass to stop the final rule in court will be completed in the end zone. But even if it loses the war over […]

IMO makes targeted claim against DOL rulemaking procedures

{September 28th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

Oral arguments were heard last week in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on behalf of Market Synergies Group, a Topeka, Kansas-based consortium of 11 independent marketing organizations that accounted $15 billion worth of fixed indexed annuity sales in 2015 through more than 3,000 independent insurance agents. In Market Synergies Group, Inc. v. […]

Illinois Court Declares Fixed Indexed Annuities Are Not Securities

{September 27th, 2016} by Annuity Outlook Staff

NAFA Filed Amicus Curiae Brief, Pushed for Published Decision WASHINGTON D.C. (Sept. 21, 2016) — After three years of agency and court litigation, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District has ruled that, under Illinois law, fixed indexed annuities are only to be regulated as insurance products and not as securities. This comes as […]

Fiduciary rule could spur innovation

{September 27th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The DOL fiduciary rule is likely to be a disruptive force within the insurance and financial industries during the next several years. Panelists during a session Monday at the Insured Retirement Institute’s Vision annual conference in Colorado Springs explored some of the possible outcomes of the rule. While industry players are still absorbing the language […]

Dispelling The Myths and Misinformation Of Whole Life

{September 27th, 2016} by Brad Crockett

Our clients are often confronted with conflicting advice. Case in point is the myriad of varying opinions regarding whole life insurance. Many investment gurus continue to publicly discount the benefits of whole life insurance. As a result, many families have failed to realize the broad range of financial benefits whole life insurance provides. In times […]

Broker-dealers on DOL fiduciary rule: Expect advisors to walk

{September 27th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

More than half of broker-dealers (54 percent) believe some of their advisors will retire rather than sell under new business rules to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, according to a LIMRA Secure Retirement study. “Because the rule increases advisors’ liability, B-Ds also expect their advisors to stop providing advice to clients with […]

Insurers cite broker-dealer annuity requirements as ‘big issue’ under DOL fiduciary rule

{September 27th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The catering by insurance companies to specific broker-dealer requests on annuity product design has been a major change, and challenge, for the industry as implementation of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule draws closer. Insurers are trying to remain flexible as product distributors weigh the annuity specifications that make the most sense for their adviser forces […]

Advisers warming up to the DOL rule, see business opportunity: Fidelity poll

{September 27th, 2016} by Grete Suarez

Financial advisers’ views on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule have taken a surprising turn, as more are seeing the rule as having a positive impact on their business, according to a new study from Fidelity Investments. A recent poll of financial advisers at wirehouses, broker-dealers and RIAs revealed that 29% see opportunity in the […]

5 disadvantages of indexed universal life insurance

{September 27th, 2016} by STEPHAN R. LEIMBERG, ROBERT J. DOYLE, JR., KEITH A. BUCK

Policy-owners of indexed universal life bear virtually all the disadvantages they would bear if they owned regular universal life policies. Many of these disadvantages stem from or are natural consequences of the advantages that IUL offers. The following excerpt from, “The Tools & Techniques of Life Insurance Planning” (2015, The National Underwriter Company), surveys the disadvantages of […]

To the rescue: Ex-coast guard pilot pitches DOL rule revamp

{September 27th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has faced a barrage of industry condemnation since its unveiling last April. One of those giving a thumbs-down may, at first glance, seem a bit far afield: a former search and rescue helicopter pilot for the United State Coast Guard. In fact, that critic, Don Trone, founder and CEO […]

IRI study: Lifetime income providing financial security for retirees

{September 26th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

A new study by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), released today at the its annual meeting being held in Colorado Springs, found that 80 percent of retirees are receiving some income from a pension plan, and 42 percent are receiving at least half of their retirement income from a pension. But while pensions are serving […]

Judges named in MetLife SIFI case

{September 26th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — Judges appointed by President Barack Obama Monday in the federal government’s ongoing case regarding whether or not MetLife is a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) will constitute a majority on the panel that will review the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s appeal of a lower court decision earlier this year. Judge selection was viewed as a […]

‘Hit Pause’ on DOL Fiduciary Rule, Insurer’s Lawyers Urge Federal Judge

{September 23rd, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor staff

Lawyers representing insurer Market Synergy in its case against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule told a Kansas judge Wednesday that Labor failed to prove that the current state-based regulation of fixed-indexed annuities is broken, and that the judge should “hit the pause” button on including them in the rule. In arguing their case in […]

Judge Could Issue Partial Block of DOL Rule, Lawyer Says

{September 23rd, 2016} by John Hilton

Kansas judge could throw out the tougher regulation of fixed indexed annuities, while allowing the rest of the controversial fiduciary rule to stand. Judge Daniel Crabtree heard three-and-a-half hours of testimony Wednesday in the Market Synergy Group vs. Department of Labor lawsuit. MSG is taking a nuanced stand with its request for a preliminary injunction, […]

Culver City man is accused of running a Ponzi scheme targeting elderly disabled people

{September 23rd, 2016} by Joseph Serna

Culver City man has been arrested on suspicion of operating a Ponzi scheme that bilked people out of more than $2 million through fake annuities and insurance policies, authorities announced Friday. Steven Edward Branstetter, 60, was booked on 13 felony counts of elder and grand theft and is being held on $715,000 bail. If he wants […]

Principal Promotes Strable to Finance Chief, Replacing Lillis

{September 23rd, 2016} by Jordyn Holman, Katherine Chiglinsky

Principal Financial Group Inc., the seller of life insurance and retirement products with more than $500 billion of assets under management, promoted Deanna Strable-Soethout to chief financial officer, replacing Terry Lillis, who is retiring. Strable, who was named president of U.S. insurance solutions in 2015, will take the CFO post early next year and was […]

Nassau Re Rebrands Acquired Phoenix Life Subsidiary

{September 23rd, 2016} by David Pilla

HARTFORD, Conn. – Phoenix Cos. Inc. unveiled a new corporate brand it said will align the Phoenix’s logo with Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings LP, Phoenix’s new parent. The brand change introduces “a consistent brand across its enterprise,” Phoenix said in a statement. Phillip J. Gass, chief executive officer of Phoenix and Nassau Re, said in […]

Why some life insurance policies perform better than others

{September 22nd, 2016} by Andrew Gordon

Life insurance producers gravitate toward guaranteed universal life (GUL) contracts because of their simplicity. To put it bluntly, these products are a known commodity that doesn’t cause problems and are easy to explain to consumers. At the end of the day, if the client pays the premiums exactly as illustrated, that’s all it takes. There […]

Selling annuities under the DOL fiduciary rule is a whole new ballgame

{September 22nd, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will fundamentally change the way brokers can select annuities for clients. Brokers are currently able to sell annuities under a suitability standard, but fiduciary experts describe new DOL requirements as a suitability standard on steroids that will require a comprehensive client analysis similar to one performed by a traditional […]

Court Hearings on Fiduciary Litigation Offer Little Clarity

{September 22nd, 2016} by John Manganaro,l EDITORS@ASSETINTERNATIONAL.COM

ERISA specialist Erin Sweeney recently attended a key hearing in one of the five ongoing pieces of litigation filed against the DOL fiduciary rule reforms; she offers an update for PLANADVISER readers. Erin Sweeney, of counsel with Miller & Chevalier, has an impressive background when it comes to understanding complex pieces of employee benefits law […]

With eye on DOL, IRI hires Milliman to survey annuity comp

{September 22nd, 2016} by Editorial Staff

To help financial services firms and financial professionals comply with the reasonable compensation standard under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the Insured Retirement Institute will survey current compensation practices regarding sales of annuities and other investment products, IRI announced.   Milliman, Inc., the global consulting firm, will conduct the survey for IRI. Financial firms […]

A Fee-Based Annuity for the DOL Era?

{September 22nd, 2016} by WealthManagement.com Staff

Great American Life Insurance Company has introduced a new fee-based fixed indexed annuity with an optional guaranteed income rider that the firm says meets the compensation requirements of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The product, called Index Protector 7, is being distributed by Clarity 2 Prosperity and Prosperity Capital Advisors. The companies say investors […]

Allianz Life Hires Robin Holicky as Assistant Vice President, Life Underwriting

{September 22nd, 2016} by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has hired Robin Holicky as assistant vice president of Life Underwriting. In this role, she is responsible for life underwriting strategies that support automated systems, health interview processes and service-model changes to enhance the customer experience. Holicky reports to Vice President of New Business Sandy […]

Hartford said to enlist JPMorgan to sell annuity runoff business


Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to see if the insurer can find a buyer for Talcott Resolution, the unit that includes U.S. variable annuities, according to people familiar with the matter. Apollo Global Management LLC, Wilton Re Holdings Ltd., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JC Flowers & Co. are […]

Securian Introduces CareShield: A Life Insurance Policy with Built-In Living Benefits for Chronic and Terminal Illness

{September 21st, 2016} by Securian Financial Group

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securian Financial Group has launched CareShield™, a new product simplifying the combination of life insurance protection with living benefits for chronic and terminal illness. As an alternative to long-term care insurance, CareShield provides benefits to policyholders regardless of whether they need care.1 “CareShield is for aging Americans concerned about developing and needing […]

Opponents of DOL fiduciary rule hurt by Wells Fargo woes

{September 21st, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf achieved a rarity in Washington on Tuesday: bipartisan consensus. Unfortunately for him, the agreement across the aisle at a Senate Banking Committee hearing was that Wells Fargo failed to do what’s right for its retail banking customers. Although the investment advice unit of the bank has not been implicated […]

3 reasons Lemonade’s CEO wants to disrupt the insurance industry

{September 21st, 2016} by ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON

Lemonade, the startup that’s been dubbed “the Uber of insurance” for its mobile-based, peer-to-peer sales model, brought its product to market on Wednesday with the official launch of lemonade.com. The company is headquartered in New York City, and is currently focused on selling renters’ and homeowners’ insurance products there. Also pivotal to the Lemonade model […]

Fiduciary rule causes insurers to pull back on financial products

{September 20th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — State Farm Insurance says it will not be accepting liability under the Best Interest Contract (BIC) on the sale of annuities or mutual funds by the more than 12,000 of its agents throughout the U.S. who have licenses to sell securities. At the same time, Allstate, USAA and Nationwide, three other insurers with large […]

Not ready to become a DOL-compliant FI? Go partner with one

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

The handful of independent marketing organizations that, since July, have applied to become a financial institution under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has a lot of market-watchers wondering how other IMOs on the sidelines intend to do business once the rule is phased in next year. Indeed, there are more than 350 of these […]

New fiduciary registry will promote advisers who adhere to strictest guidelines

{September 20th, 2016} by Ann Marsh

A new fiduciary registry aims to counteract perceived shortcomings in the SEC and the CFP Board’s fiduciary requirements by identifying the strictest fiduciary advisers nationwide. Run by the Institute for Fiduciary Standard, and publically supported by TD Ameritrade Institutional and Pershing Advisor Solutions, the registry will promote advisers who observe its 12 best practices. The […]

IMO President: Here’s How We’ll Sell Under DOL

{September 20th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Brokers International is all-in on a Department of Labor waiver to allow the marketer to continue selling popular fixed indexed annuities. The Iowa-based marketing organization has requested the DOL grant it financial institution, or FI, status. The company partners with more than 20 insurance companies to distribute retirement and life insurance products through about 35 independent marketing […]

Clarity 2 Prosperity to Provide New, Fee-Based Fixed Indexed Annuity Product to Investment Advisory Channel

{September 20th, 2016} by Clarity 2 Prosperity

CLEVELAND, Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Sister companies, Clarity 2 Prosperity (C2P), the coaching and insurance division, and Prosperity Capital Advisors (PCA), an SEC Registered Investment Adviser, announce the distribution of a new fee-based fixed indexed annuity with optional guaranteed income rider is now available through its organization. The innovative product, the Index Protector 7 […]

Got a fiduciary question? DoL to issue FAQs soon

{September 20th, 2016} by Andrew Welsch

 BALTIMORE — Advisers perplexed by the ins and outs of the Department of Labor’s new regulation may soon get a road map, according to an agency official. The department will be issuing FAQs for advisers and wealth management firms this fall at an unspecified date, and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis, […]

Phoenix Launches New Brand as a Nassau Re Company

{September 20th, 2016} by The Phoenix Companies

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (Phoenix) introduced its new corporate brand today, aligning Phoenix’s logo to its new parent company, Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings, L.P. (Nassau Re). The change coincides with a refreshed look for Nassau Re and the introduction of a consistent brand across its enterprise. Phoenix adopted Nassau Re’s lighthouse as its […]

8 insurance sales tips especially for millennial producers

{September 20th, 2016} by KENNETH L. FIELDS, CIC, CPCU

Small-business owners (those with fewer than 500 employees) make up nearly all businesses in the United States. Less than 20 percent of those owners are under the age of 35. Here are some insights for millennial producers on how to sell to those prospects and clients of other generations. If you are a newer producer, chances […]

NAIFA ratchets up FI focus as DOL phases in fiduciary rule

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

With so much attention now focused on the U.S. Department of Labor’s plans to phase in its conflict of interest rule next year, it’s easy to lose track of one aspect that could prove critical to the insurance and finance industry: how financial institutions beholden to the new regime will interpret and implement the rule’s […]

NAIFA survey: Fiduciary rule likely to reduce retirement advice

{September 20th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

A survey by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of its members finds that many advisors believe the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule affecting retirement products and services will damage their ability to serve their clients, particularly those who are lower- or middle-income clients. According to the survey of 1,167 NAIFA members, more […]

Insurance M&A deals: rocketing to new heights

{September 20th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

Mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry rose by 176 percent between 2014 and 2015, the transactions driven by a host of factors, including a long-standing drag on the industry: continuing low interest rates. Timetric discloses this finding in its “Insight Report: M&A in the Global Insurance Industry.” The report discusses in detail the trends […]

Education, training programs crop up as DOL fiduciary rule looms

{September 20th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

With the industry at about the halfway point between release of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule and implementation of the regulation in April 2017, most firms are still trying to make heads or tails of their specific approaches to compliance. Once executives at broker-dealers and registered investment advisers make those determinations, however, there’s still the […]

Institute for Fiduciary Standard begins program to hold advisers publicly accountable

{September 20th, 2016} by Christine Idzelis

The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard has started a program for financial advisers that’s designed to demonstrate they’re adhering to best practices when engaging with investors. Advisers who participate will publicly communicate their commitment to putting clients’ interests ahead of their own at all times by agreeing to post a statement of the Institute’s best […]

DOL fiduciary rule’s unintended consequence: higher fees for investors

{September 20th, 2016} by Bruce Kelly

As broker-dealers adjust to the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule by instituting uniform commissions on a wide swath of investments, investors could be faced with higher prices on some investment products. LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, is instituting new uniform pricing rules for alternative investments such an nontraded real estate investment trusts […]

Strable-Soethout named Principal’s next CFO

{September 20th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Principal Financial Group announced today that Deanna Strable-Soethout will become chief financial officer when Principal’s current CFO, Terry Lillis, retires in February. Strable has been promoted to executive vice president of Principal, effective immediately, the company said in a release. She will retain her current position as president of United States Insurance Solutions until her […]

Why Insurers Must Pick Up Their Technology Pace

{September 20th, 2016} by Gregory Hoeg

The insurance industry is on the horns of a dilemma: how to use new technologies to improve their operations and how to insure the risks these new technologies present to their customers. The pace of technology is changing at faster rates than ever before and continues unabated despite the associated risks. New technology startups constantly […]

Additional DOL fiduciary pitfalls to avoid

{September 20th, 2016} by Ed McCarthy

Many registered investment advisors (RIAs) breathed a sigh of relief after the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its fiduciary ruling. While the new rules certainly fall less heavily on RIAs, they are not off the hook for potential compliance problems, particularly when it comes to IRA rollovers. I recently spoke at length with Jason Roberts, […]

Racing to insure: 8 questions for LIAM’s Danica Patrick

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

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors commemorated Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) at its annual meeting in Las Vegas on Sunday by featuring several “Real Life Stories,” or tales from the proverbial real world that illustrated why consumers need life insurance and other protection products in their financial plans. One person with her […]

DMI Launches New Website and Releases Exclusive New Programs

{September 19th, 2016} by Annuity Outlook Staff

Hingham, Massachusetts, September 15, 2016—With the launch of a new website, DMI is excited to announce the release of exclusive marketing programs and a suite of proprietary products. Through these new programs advisors can: Engage with thousands of active listeners in a one hour show on a weekly basis with THE DMI Radio Edge Program. […]

Top 20 life insurance firms ranked by direct premiums, market share

{September 18th, 2016} by Ellie Zhu

Life insurance companies ranked by direct premiums     Company 2015 total direct premiums ($M) Market share 1 MetLife $12,530.1 8.14% 2 Northwestern Mutual $10,089.5 6.55% 3 New York Life $8,740.2 5.68% 4 Purdential of America $8,593.8 5.58% 5 Lincoln National $6,729.6 4.37% 6 MassMutual Life $6,157.2 4.00% 7 John Hancock $4,743.6 3.08% 8 Aegon […]

DOL official downplays advisers’ lawsuit fears stemming from fiduciary rule

{September 16th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

A Labor Department official tried to ease fears a new rule to raise advice standards for retirement accounts will lead to an explosion of lawsuits. The rule, which requires that advisers act in the best interests of their clients, shouldn’t make advisers leery to work with clients with modest assets because they are worried about […]

Rolling’ DOL Fiduciary Guidance Begins in Fall: DOL’s Hauser

{September 16th, 2016} by N/A

The Department of Labor plans to start pushing out guidance this fall to address questions about its fiduciary rule, Timothy Hauser, chief operating officer of DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, said Friday. Speaking during a session at the Financial Planning Association’s national conference in Baltimore, Hauser said the guidance will come out on a “rolling […]

Voya Financial Announces Executive Committee Appointments

{September 16th, 2016} by Voya

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today several appointments and expanded leadership roles that will increase and diversify the experience and talent on the company’s Executive Committee as well as position Voya well to achieve its broader strategic and financial goals. Carolyn M. Johnson has been named chief executive officer of Insurance Solutions, […]

Life insurance in a low interest rate environment

{September 15th, 2016} by Myra Thomas

Low interest rates might be good for homebuyers, but that just isn’t the case for the average investor. Returns on vehicles like certificates of deposit (CDs) are meager at best, and they require people to lock up their money for a long time, reducing liquidity. Early withdrawal penalties make CDs an even less attractive investment. […]

The Best Bond Alternative No One Is Talking About

{September 15th, 2016} by Michael Reese, CFP® from Centennial Wealth Advisory, LLC

What is the job of a bond in your portfolio? When you think about it, bonds have two primary roles in a well-balanced portfolio. Role #1 is to provide steady income. Role #2 is to provide stability for a portion of your principal to offset some of the volatility of market positions. How are bonds […]

Lincoln Financial Group’s Heather Milligan Earns Women in Insurance Leadership Award

{September 15th, 2016} by Lincoln Financial Group

RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group is pleased to announce that Heather Milligan, senior vice president of underwriting and new business for Lincoln’s individual life insurance business , has been recognized by Insurance Networking News as one of its Women in Insurance Leadership honorees. Insurance Networking News’ Women in Insurance Leadership award measures the accomplishments of […]

Pacific Life anticipates 120 Lynchburg employees by year’s end, 300 by early 2018

{September 15th, 2016} by Margaret Carmel

Pacific Life’s expansion into Lynchburg is on schedule. The company, projected to add 300 jobs to the region, has hired 79 people so far and is on track to employ 120 by the end of the year. “We’re tracking to our project schedule to be ready to do business by the end of this year,” […]

Delaware Commissioner Stewart’s Bid for Third Term Ends in Primary Election Defeat

{September 15th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

DOVER, Del. – There will be a new insurance commissioner in Delaware after incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart’s bid for a third term was derailed Sept. 13 by opponent Trinidad Navarro in the Democrat primary election. Poised to meet Navarro in the Nov. 8 general election is insurance industry veteran Jeff Cragg, who won the Republican […]

RIA insurance sales under scrutiny

{September 15th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — Insurance sales representatives and registered representatives of broker-dealers now play a “significant role” in many registered investment adviser (RIA) firms, according to an analysis of new Securities and Exchange Commission data. The report indicates that many RIAs have decided to supplement their fee compensation with commission compensation, according to officials of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, […]

Pre-election estate and life insurance planning

{September 15th, 2016} by Ed McCarthy

With just under two months until Election Day 2016, it’s worth considering how each candidate’s proposals could affect your clients’ estate plans. Statistically, Hillary Clinton has the edge. On Sept. 12, The New York Times rated the odds of her election at 80 percent versus 20 percent for Trump, although the polls are calling it a […]

Overcoming 5 common life insurance objections

{September 15th, 2016} by Curtis Hawks

Even with a greater amount of consumer education than in previous decades, selling is still an important aspect of connecting prospects to an appropriate insurance solution. A big part of selling is dealing with objections. Here are five common life insurance objections you’ll likely face from consumers and what you can do to overcome these objections. […]

Why managing client expectations is still a top priority

{September 15th, 2016} by Andrew Welsch

BALTIMORE — Interest rates, an unprecedented presidential election, terrorist attacks – managing client expectations today can be challenging for advisers. That’s why Brian Rogers, T. Rowe Price’s chairman and chief investment officer, likes to cite his firm’s founder: “Today is always the most difficult day to invest.” Rogers said it can be easy for investors […]

Compliance support for advisors will be key with DOL fiduciary rule

{September 14th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

The U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is creating unprecedented levels of anxiety among financial advisors, suggests new data from Cogent Reports at Livonia, Michigan-based Market Strategies International. The qualitative study, published as part of Cogent Reports’ “The Advisor of Tomorrow” report, shows that by and large, investment professionals are in agreement with the spirit […]

DOL Rule May — Or May Not — Be Cause Of Drastic VA Sales Drop

{September 14th, 2016} by Ben Mattlin

In the first half of 2016, overall sales of variable annuities slumped 22 percent to $53.5 billion, the lowest total since 1998. This marks the first time VA sales have amounted to less than $30 billion in two consecutive quarters since 2002. This, in part, led LIMRA to some pessimistic projections. For all of 2016, […]

DOL fiduciary rule sparks LPL to standardize fees on mutual funds: CEO

{September 14th, 2016} by Bruce Kelly

LPL Financial is in the middle of overhauling the commissions it pays brokers when they sell bread-and-butter investment products like mutual funds and variable annuities. The move is an acknowledgement of the potential for conflicts of interest when brokers sell clients investment products. In the wake of the final fiduciary standard rule for retirement accounts, […]

Financial-advice firms see record 2015 earnings yet slowest growth since crisis, study shows

{September 13th, 2016} by Christine Idzelis

Independent financial-advice firms produced record earnings last year, but their growth rate dropped off the most since the financial crisis, according to an annual benchmarking study by InvestmentNews research. Revenue rose to a record $3.89 million while operating profit margins of 24.7% were the highest since at least 2005, according to research data tied to […]

Life insurance regulators look back on 9/11 after 15 years

{September 13th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and other facilities on Sept. 11, 2001 were “a disaster… that neither our country nor the insurance industry had dared to contemplate,” as stated by New York Insurance Superintendent Greg Serio in congressional testimony later that month. The event took its toll on Serio — his predecessor […]

One advisor lost 51 clients, then delivered 30 checks after 9/11

{September 13th, 2016} by David T. Buckwald

In the long commute to a client’s office in northern New Jersey, the traffic was humming, leaving me the freedom to organize my thoughts. As I often did before a meeting, I anticipated objections and visualized successful outcomes. A decade into my career, I had a system that worked and business was booming. Life was […]

Lawsuit seeks to shine spotlight on Iowa’s ‘shadow insurance’

{September 13th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

An Indiana university professor and insurance expert has filed a lawsuit against Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart and the Iowa Insurance Division, seeking access to financial records of Iowa insurance companies that are using “shadow insurance” financial practices he claims mask potential risks to policyholders.   Joseph Belth, an emeritus professor of insurance at Indiana […]

Nearly half of IRA rollover assets “at-risk” under DOL rule

{September 13th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

The $7.3 trillion IRA market is the largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. retirement market, but the Department of Labor’s new conflict of interest rule will impose greater scrutiny and complexity on the rollover market and potentially disrupt future flows. So concludes global analytics firm Cerulli Associates in a new survey, “U.S. Evolution of […]

AmeriLife Files for FI Status Under DOL Fiduciary Rule

{September 13th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

AmeriLife, a large insurance marketing organization (IMO) with 120,000 insurance agents, has applied to allow agents to sell fixed indexed annuities under a U.S. Department of Labor exemption. The request by the Clearwater, Fla.-based IMO, which maintains business relationships with 250 insurance companies in all 50 states, makes it eight IMOs that have applied to […]

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White says agency mulling fiduciary duty

{September 13th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Securities and Exchange Commission members are mulling a staff report on a potential rule to raise retail investment advice standards, but the agency is not any closer to taking action, SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said Monday. “My fellow commissioners have a very detailed outline of the staff’s thinking on specific recommendations,” Ms. White told […]

Why State Farm agents are getting out of the investment game

{September 13th, 2016} by Steve Daniels

A new federal rule aimed at ensuring that Americans get unbiased counsel from advisers on their retirement savings is prompting a dramatic reaction from State Farm. The Bloomington-based insurance giant confirms that it has directed 12,000 of its agents around the country who are licensed to sell securities to no longer provide their clients with […]

AIG will consider takeovers for ‘low billions’ to revive growth


(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. would weigh acquisitions to bolster high-priority businesses, even as Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock exits other units, the head of the company’s commercial insurance operation said. “We are very active in looking at any way to achieve growth, whether it’s organic or inorganic,” AIG Commercial CEO Rob Schimek said Monday […]

MetLife says volatility challenges IPO path for retail unit

{September 13th, 2016} by KATHERINE CHIGLINSKY

MetLife Inc., the insurer seeking to exit a U.S. retail unit, said the risk of large equity market swings would be one reason to favor a spinoff, rather than an initial public offering. “Had we planned this a year ago, and were scheduled for the first quarter this year, it would have been very tough […]

6 advantages of indexed universal life insurance

{September 13th, 2016} by STEPHAN R. LEIMBERG, ROBERT J. DOYLE, JR., KEITH A. BUCK

Policyowners of indexed universal life (IUL) enjoy virtually all the advantages they would enjoy if they owned regular universal life policies including (among others associated with all life insurance in general): the flexibility to vary premiums and change face amounts; the transparency and unbundling of the policy elements allowing them to easily track and compare […]

Susan Glass: A champion for women in insurance

{September 13th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Susan Glass never expected to have a career in insurance. Although her father was an insurance agent and she spent time around the industry while growing up, Glass never pictured herself following in his footsteps. “Interestingly enough, growing up I always thought there was no way I would ever do what he did, only because […]

Milevsky: Big flaw in DOL fiduciary rule; annuities take early hit

{September 13th, 2016} by JANE WOLLMAN RUSOFF

Annuity guru Moshe Milevsky contends that, concerning annuities, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule’s overriding emphasis on fees is deeply flawed. All in all, he says, the rule — which will see the first phase of implementation in April 2017 — cries out for the expertise of financial economists. In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, Milevsky, […]

A.M. Best Special Report: Variable Annuity Sales Decrease Amid Regulatory Changes

{September 13th, 2016} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Marketplace demand for variable annuities (VA) continues as individuals approaching retirement age look for savings vehicles to help manage their long-term needs, according to A.M. Best. However, the continued low interest rate environment and recent equity market volatility have pressured policyholders’ VA returns. This has also pressured insurers’ ability to manage large blocks […]

Pacific Life Names EVP of Life Insurance Division

{September 10th, 2016} by Renée Kiriluk-Hil

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Pacific Life Insurance Co. has named Dawn Trautman executive vice president of its life insurance division. Trautman, currently senior vice president, product and strategy management, succeeds Rick Schindler, the company said in a statement. In her new post, Pacific Life said Trautman will continue to focus on the division’s growth and […]

Advisor of the Year Jeff Bucher talks about the future of the industry

{September 9th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman, Emily Holbrook

Retirement always intrigued Jeff Bucher because he watched many in his family navigate their golden years. He noticed that some had no worries and some struggled financially. His great-grandfather and great-grandmother lived the retirement journey many strive for. His great-grandfather lived to the age of 101 and was active throughout. He planned his retirement wisely and was able […]

Fiduciary countdown: Firms are in ‘escalation time’

{September 9th, 2016} by Andrew Welsch

Accelerating software launches, printing educational materials and hiring new staff: These are just a few measures brokerage firms are taking — quickly — to ready themselves to implement the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. “Now we are in a real focused escalation time where we are giving advisers specific directions on what they can do […]

Pennsylvania insurance commissioner launches annuity education campaign

{September 9th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller is urging consumers, particularly seniors, to educate themselves about annuities to protect their retirement income. Miller launched the campaign Sept. 8 at Foxdale Village Retirement Community in State College, Pennsylvania. The education campaign includes a consumer guide that provides information about annuities, including the fact that money is locked up […]

A tragedy that still reverberates: Life insurer execs recall 9/11

{September 9th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

For those who lived through major tragic events in the nation’s history — Pearl Harbor, the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy’s assassination — the first thought that often comes to mind is where they were as the events unfolded. And so it was for Americans who bore witness to the seminal event […]

Pacific Life Announces New Head of Life Insurance Division

{September 8th, 2016} by Pacific Life

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Life Insurance Company today announced Dawn Trautman, senior vice president, product and strategy management, will succeed Rick Schindler as leader of the company’s Life Insurance Division, effective January 1, 2017. As executive vice president, Ms. Trautman will continue to focus on the growth and profitability of the Life Insurance Division, while […]

Press Release New Index. New Opportunity. Pacific Life Introduces Pacific Index Edge

{September 8th, 2016} by MarketWired

NEWPORT BEACH, CA–(Marketwired – September 07, 2016) – Pacific Life Insurance Company has launched Pacific Index Edge, a new deferred, fixed indexed annuity that is the first to utilize the BlackRock Endura Index-a new volatility-controlled index from a global leader in risk-management services. “Pacific Index Edge brings together a new index from BlackRock, and a […]

Maryland ‘death master file’ law for life insurers upheld

{September 8th, 2016} by IFAWebnews Staff

A Maryland state court has ruled that a Maryland insurance law requiring insurance companies to check the latest version of a death master file, or DMF, is applicable to in-force policies issued before the law became effective in 2013. Insurers United Insurance Company of America and Reliable Life Insurance sued the Maryland Insurance Administration, arguing […]

Eye on the future: Futurity First readies advisors for DOL rule

{September 7th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

As the Department of Labor phases in its new fiduciary rule, advisors operating in the retirement arena will be facing twin challenges to their practices: (1) a compression and overall reduction in commissions paid on product sales; and (2) an increase in DOL-related compliance costs. Keeping these changes to a manageable minimum may well depend […]

Publicly-traded U.S. life insurers see 19% income decline: Fitch

{September 7th, 2016} by Editorial Staff

The 15 publicly traded U.S. life insurers rated by Fitch Ratings saw their pretax operating income decline 19% in the first half of 2016, the result of “declining interest rates, volatile equity markets and unfavorable macroeconomic headwinds,” a Fitch release said. “Unfavorable mortality and competitive pricing continue to hurt individual and group life insurance segments […]

Annuities: Your go-to financial vehicle in a low-interest-rate environment

{September 7th, 2016} by Rich Lane

Today’s interest rates are a hot topic of conversation. With the 10-year treasury rate below 2 percent, many of your clients may be unsure of where or how to invest their hard-earned dollars. Some may be hesitant to lock into an investment, especially with talk of how rates may follow the lead of some foreign […]

Survey: advisors fear consequences of DOL fiduciary rule

{September 6th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

The potential for “unlimited liability” under DOL rules is generating significant levels of anxiety among advisors, worry about being found liable for investment losses due to unintentional or unforeseeable events. This is a key finding of a new survey from Market Strategies International unit Cogent Wealth Reports. Conducted in mid-June, the survey polled financial advisors […]

New study reveals too many people take unnecessary risk by not protecting their families with life insurance

{September 6th, 2016} by Foresters Financial

NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – One in three households would have immediate trouble paying living expenses if the primary wage earner died, according to the 2016 Barometer Study by Life Happens®, the nonprofit foundation, and LIMRA, an international trade association for the financial services industry. Danica Patrick, professional race car driver and Life Happens® […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Prudential Financial Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

{September 6th, 2016} by A.M. Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the domestic life/health insurance subsidiaries of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PFI) (Newark, NJ) [NYSE: PRU]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” of PFI and all existing issue ratings of the […]

One Question Advisors Should Be Asking

{September 6th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Among the millions of workers in every generation — millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers — lies a vast, simple opportunity for financial advisors: calculate a retirement savings goal by answering the question “How much?” The question is simple to ask: How much does a worker need to set aside to retire? Yet the answer […]

Why financial advisers hate Elizabeth Warren

{September 6th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

In just three and a half years in the U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Warren has become one of the most polarizing figures in Congress and among the legislators most hated by members of the financial services industry. An early proponent of creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau— even before she was elected to the Senate — […]

Demand for female advisers eventually will come from female clients

{September 6th, 2016} by Eleanor Blayney

At the dawn of the millennium, The Economist proclaimed it was time to “forget China, India and the internet. The future of the world economy lies increasingly in female hands.” This was heady stuff, especially for me as a female CFP professional in an industry where there were few women with their hands on the […]

Insurance that advisers will need to cover new fiduciary duties

{September 6th, 2016} by Daniel J. Healy

The U.S. Department of Labor recently expanded the definition of a fiduciary. The people who likely will bear the responsibilities of a fiduciary include a wide array of financial industry advisers not formerly required to take on that responsibility. Advisers who are new to this role should consider whether they have insurance coverage for new […]

Texas judge denies all but 2 briefs in DOL fiduciary hearing

{September 6th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The federal judge overseeing the case in Texas against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule on Wednesday denied considering all but two of the eight amicus briefs filed in the court, allowing only the briefs filed by the Financial Planning Coalition and the American Association for Justice. In rendering her decision, District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn stated […]

Changing the Game: How Life Insurers can Compete in a Digital Environment

{September 6th, 2016} by Joe Miranda

In today’s instant-gratification-driven digital environment, it’s hard for ANY company to stand out from the crowd. That goes double for insurance carriers trying to bring complex financial concepts to life. We’re vying for consumers’ attention against companies like Apple and Amazon, who set the bar for the customer experience. However, in establishing goals for our […]

Part-Time: Business Development Assistant

{September 6th, 2016} by Michelle DeClerck, President, Conference Event Management

Permanent, Year-Round, Part-Time Position (Approximately 20-25 hours weekly) Resumes may be submitted up through September 16, with interviews to be confirmed the week of September 19, 2016 Summary Conference Event Management (CEM), with its headquarters in its West Des Moines office in Iowa, helps companies increase their sales and or productivity by creating and implementing […]

Department of Labor Says Insurance Industry Adds 4,600 Jobs in Augus

{September 3rd, 2016} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry added 4,600 jobs in August, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Sept. 2. The seasonally adjusted 0.18% increase for July 2016 over June 2016 shows continued industry growth. The July growth rate was initially reported to be 0.16%. Updated industry data show the insurance […]

Will DOL fiduciary rule drive RIAs to — or from — BDs?

{September 2nd, 2016} by DANIELLE ANDRUS, JAMES J. GREEN

Will the passage of the DOL’s fiduciary rule drive top-producing reps away from broker-dealers? We asked the 2016 Broker-Dealers of the Year about a shift to fee-only business. Eric Schwartz, Cambridge Investment Research, Division IV: We’ve been heavily into fees for over 20 years. Forty percent of our business was fees, even 20 years ago. We’ve […]

Texas Judge Restricts Amicus Briefs in DOL ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Case

{September 2nd, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The federal judge overseeing the case in Texas against the U.S. Labor Department’s fiduciary rule on Wednesday denied considering all but two of the eight amicus briefs filed in the court, allowing only submissions from the Financial Planning Coalition and the American Association for Justice. In rendering her decision, U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn stated […]

Life Insurance: Encouraging People To ‘GoFund’ Themselves

{September 1st, 2016} by Erica Davis

I’ve run across a few industry articles recently about crowdfunding as a last resort for people who lost a loved one who did not have life insurance. My curiosity got the best of me, so I visited a popular crowdfunding website and conducted a search using the phrase “no life insurance.”  The search provided nearly […]

Happy Half Birthday, Boomers!

{September 1st, 2016} by Fidelity Investments

Sept 1, 2016 — BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This year, many boomers–those born in the first half of 1946–will reach a critical milestone: age 70 ½. Even though most probably haven’t marked their half birthday since grade school, 70 ½ is the age when the IRS generally requires individuals to begin withdrawing funds from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s or 403(b)s. […]

MassMutual Launches Customer Feedback Platform

{September 1st, 2016} by Asset International Editors

The mutual life insurance company’s new customer-experience management software will allow it to gather customer feedback and act on it in real time, MassMutual says. MassMutual has selected Medallia, a producer of Customer Experience Management (CEM) software, to build a new customer feedback and response program. Using the new platform, MassMutual employees will be able to […]

Securian’s LeeAnn Fahl, Logan Roddy Honored by LIMRA as “Rising Stars of Innovation Under 40”

{September 1st, 2016} by Securian Financial Group

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two Securian Financial Group associates are being honored as rising stars in insurance and financial services by a leading industry trade association. LIMRA, a research and development organization for the life insurance industry, has named Securian’s LeeAnn Fahl and Logan Roddy to its list of the top 25 “Rising Stars of Innovation […]

Fiduciary Rule’s Challengers Warn Judge of ‘Extraordinary Risk’ for Advice Industry

{September 1st, 2016} by C. Ryan Barber

A judge in Washington heard arguments for more than two hours Thursday on whether to block a U.S. Department of Labor rule that requires investment advisers to act in their clients’ best interests—a heightened standard designed to curb billions of dollars in fees in the retirement plans marketplace. U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss of the […]

Charitable gift annuities vs. commercial SPIAs: Opinion

{September 1st, 2016} by Gary Mettler

When clients express interest in charitable gift annuities (CGAs), the purchase decision usually begins with a charitable intent. In other words, they have a high interest in financially supporting a favorite charity that will issue a CGA and also by the way, reap some nice tax benefits along the way. However, in the mortality-based income world, […]

AXA US wins fee litigation in NJ court

{September 1st, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

After five years of litigation culminating in a 25-day trial, a New Jersey federal court yesterday granted AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management Group, LLC (FMG LLC) a significant victory in ruling that the two companies (collectively AXA US) did not receive excessive compensation for managing and administering […]

Life Insurance Customers Push Back Over Surprise Cost Increases

{September 1st, 2016} by Leslie Scism

Americans are starting to fight back against a wave of insurance-price increases on decades-old life policies. Over the past year, several major insurers have notified tens of thousands of people of higher costs to keep their policies in force, with increases ranging from midsingle-digit percentages to more than 200%, according to financial advisers. To justify […]

National Life’s Financial Strength Rating Boosted by S&P to “A+”

{September 1st, 2016} by National Life Group

MONTPELIER, VT (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 01, 2016 The financial strength rating for National Life Group’s insurance companies was boosted by Standard & Poor’s based on the company’s improved capital strength and stronger credit quality. S&P Global Ratings formally raised the rating of National Life Insurance Company and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest to “A+” from “A.” […]

How insurers are losing when it comes to variable annuities

{August 31st, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

Variable annuity sales have been on a steady decline the last several years, with market volatility, growing popularity of indexed annuities and a looming Labor Department regulation being primary contributors. But insurance companies have also shot themselves in the foot by severely limiting investment choice on annuity products bought with income guarantees following the financial […]

NAIC launches life insurance policy locator app

{August 31st, 2016} by Business Record

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has developed a new tool to help consumers in finding lost or forgotten life insurance policies. At least $1 billion in benefits from life insurance policies are unclaimed, according to Consumer Reports. “The NAIC and state insurance departments frequently receive inquiries from people about whether a deceased loved one […]

Insurance agent earns two honors

{August 31st, 2016} by Women in Insurance and Financial Services and New York Life

  Cathy K. Schmitt, Tea, received recognition from two groups for her excellence of service. She has been named to the Pearl Circle of Excellence Level by Women in Insurance and Financial Services, an organization dedicated to supporting careers of women and helping them succeed in the insurance and financial services business. In addition, Schmitt […]

American Financial Group, Inc. Announces Second Quarter Results

{August 31st, 2016} by American Financial Group, Inc.

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: AFG) today reported 2016 second quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders of $54 million ($0.62 per share) compared to $141 million ($1.57 per share) for the 2015 second quarter. Net earnings for the quarter include a charge of $65 million ($0.73 per share) related to the exit of certain […]

The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street

{August 31st, 2016} by ALEXIA FERNÁNDEZ CAMPBELL

On April, 3rd, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis. In it, he urged African Americans to put their money in black-owned banks. It wasn’t his most famous line, but the message was clear: “We’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take […]

A DOL fiduciary rule compliance checklist

{August 30th, 2016} by John Blood

Another day, another lawsuit — or that’s how it seems since the Department of Labor adopted its new fiduciary requirements for retirement plan advisors and providers. Let’s see. In the financial sector alone, we’ve seen suits against Fidelity, American Century, Franklin Templeton, Allianz, New York Life, Cetera and others, in their role as plan sponsors or, in […]

Adjustable life insurance: Pros and cons


Adjustable life insurance is a “flexible premium” “adjustable death benefit” type of permanent cash value insurance. It is essentially a hybrid combination of universal life and ordinary level premium participating life insurance. In contrast with ordinary level premium, level death benefit policies and similar to universal life, adjustable life insurance gives the policyowner the flexibility to […]

The huge, untapped audience for IUL marketing

{August 30th, 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 […]

MetLife will likely spin off unit, RBC says after CFO chat

{August 30th, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinsky

(Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc. may favor a spinoff of its Brighthouse Financial U.S. business rather than pursue an initial public offering of the unit, RBC Capital Markets analysts led by Eric Berg said after chatting with the company’s chief financial officer. “A ‘spin’ would get the majority of the highly capital-markets-sensitive, and therefore volatile, retail business […]

No. 176: Annuity Churning Leads to Federal Prison Time for an Agent

{August 30th, 2016} by Joseph M. Belth

On September 14, 2016, Gary Edward Hibbing, a former insurance agent, will report to a federal prison to begin serving a sentence for actions related to the churning of annuities. The federal charges to which he pleaded guilty are wire fraud and unlawful monetary transactions, but his insurance license had been revoked earlier for, among […]

Insurance Groups Oppose Latest Insurance Data Security Model Draft

{August 30th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

SAN DIEGO – Insurance industry officials panned the latest draft of a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ insurance data security model law, with some vowing to oppose it should it ultimately be offered as state legislation. Various industry representatives voiced their opinions to the NAIC cybersecurity task force during the NAIC Summer National Meeting. Panel […]

New Jersey Director Hartt Appointed to Represent State Regulators at FSOC

{August 30th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

SAN DIEGO – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has appointed Peter L. Hartt, director of New Jersey’s Insurance Division, to a two-year term as the state insurance commissioner representative on the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Hartt succeeds Adam Hamm, North Dakota’s insurance commissioner, who served for one term on the federal body which oversees […]

D.C. court likely to uphold fiduciary rule in NAFA case

{August 30th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will most likely deny the National Association for Fixed Annuities request for an injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, according to one legal expert. Erin Sweeney, an attorney with Miller & Chevalier Chartered, said the line of questioning from Judge Randolph Moss, a 2014 […]

Individual life insurance premium up slightly for first half of 2016

{August 29th, 2016} by LIMRA

Individual life insurance new annualized premium increased 2 percent for the first half of 2016, compared with the first six months of 2015. In the second quarter, new annualized premium was flat, according to the LIMRA U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. “A 7 percent decline in indexed universal life (IUL) stifled overallindividual life […]

Rauner signs life insurance bill

{August 27th, 2016} by Becky Yerak, Contact Reporter, Chicago Tribune

LIife insurance companies will be required to regularly check to see if their policyholders have died under legislation signed Friday by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. The Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act requires insurers to, among other things, run semiannual checks against the Social Security Administration’s “death master file,” which contains the records of deaths reported […]

IMOs can anticipate hurdles ahead under the DOL rule

{August 27th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

On August 12, LifeHealthPro chatted with Jason Smith, chief executive officer of Clarity 2 Prosperity, one of six independent marketing organizations (IMOs) seeking to become financial institutions under the best interest contract (BIC) exemption of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. In this installment, we talk with Bradford Campbell, an attorney at Drinker Biddle who […]

Judge’s questions show inclination to uphold DOL fiduciary rule

{August 27th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Federal judge Randolph Moss didn’t state his position Thursday regarding how he will rule on a lawsuit against a major Labor Department investment-advice regulation. But his questioning of plaintiffs and defense attorneys during a hearing that lasted more than three hours indicated he is probably leaning toward upholding the regulation and not granting the preliminary […]

NAFA Attorney Says Fiduciary Rule Would be ‘Catastrophic’ for Agent, Brokers

{August 27th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule will expose independent brokers and agents to potentially expensive lawsuits from dissatisfied customers if their retirement products do not perform as they expected, creating marketwide turmoil, an industry attorney said. “What we have here is a rule that could lead to rescission that would be […]

DOL Defends Fiduciary Rule Authority to Federal Judge

{August 27th, 2016} by Ryan Rainey

The Labor Department on Thursday defended its decision to place tight new fiduciary requirements in a rule aimed at preventing retirement investment advice conflicts of interest. Lawyers for the agency argued before a federal judge in one of three federal cases in which plaintiffs seek to block the rule entirely. In oral arguments before Randolph Moss, a judge […]

Tough Questioning In DOL Rule Injunction Hearing

{August 26th, 2016} by John Hilton

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The motion to delay the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has an uphill fight, judging by the challenging line of questioning leveled at the attorney asking for the injunction. Philip D. Bartz opened the industry’s legal assault on the federal fiduciary rule Thursday with 90 minutes of tough questioning from U.S. District Court for District […]

Insurers to ‘Have Their Butts Sued Off’ Under DOL Fiduciary Rule: NAFA Lawyer

{August 26th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

Lawyers representing the National Association for Fixed Annuities told a U.S. District judge Thursday that individual insurance agents would be forced to become registered investment advisors under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and that the current distribution system for fixed indexed annuities would have to be reworked. Judge Randolph Moss, U.S. District judge for […]

Use These Stats During Life Insurance Awareness Month

{August 25th, 2016} by Curtis Hawks

In last week’s Marketing Corner, we discussed the value of life insurance awareness month and how consumers greatly underestimate the cost of life insurance. This week we wanted to present interesting statistics that you can use as you discuss life insurance with your prospects. These stats give you insight on a variety of topics, including […]

NAIC, industry groups support MetLife in federal case

{August 25th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — Several industry groups, as well as state regulators, argue, in friends of the court briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, that the lower court was correct in ruling that the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) inappropriately designated MetLife as a systemically important financial institution (SIFI). Besides making their […]

Finra wants to raise the annual gift limit

{August 25th, 2016} by N/A

With any luck, brokerage reps will be able to breathe a little easier when they’re buying gift baskets for fellow professionals during the next holiday season. According to a proposed rule change from Finra earlier this month, the self-regulatory body wants to increase the total annual value of gifts that can be given to individuals […]

Debunked: Dave Ramsey’s cash value life insurance advice

{August 25th, 2016} by Michael Markey

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.” — Thomas Paine Over 200 years ago, in his pamphlet “Common Sense,” the political philosopher Thomas Paine […]

How frivolous customer disputes can be erased from Finra BrokerCheck: BLOG

{August 25th, 2016} by Doc Kennedy

Danny Sarch’s blog regarding Finra’s BrokerCheck hit the mark with his assessment of a tool that can be a double-edged sword. Designed with good intentions, BrokerCheck can oftentimes provide a sort of online early warning system for prospective clients looking to place their money with a trusted source. Alternatively, BrokerCheck can raise erroneous red flags […]

DOL’s ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Heads to Court, and Here’s What to Expect

{August 25th, 2016} by C. Ryan Barber and Melanie Waddell

In the face of a fierce lobbying campaign, the U.S. Labor Department backed down in 2010 from a sweeping proposal to change how broker-dealers and investment advisers render advice on retirement accounts. Six years later, with that rule set to take effect next April, the fight over the so-called “fiduciary rule” is heading to court. […]

Keys to attracting millennials: fiduciary model, holistic planning

{August 24th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

Young Gen X and millennial investors demand a holistic and fiduciary approach to financial planning and appreciate the benefits of merging innovative technology with guided advice, according to new research. Jefferson National unveils this finding in a new its second annual “Advisor Authority Study.” Conducted by Harris Poll, the report surveyed 1,400 RIAs, fee-based advisors […]

U.S. interest rates will rise soon — perhaps rapidly: Alan Greenspan

{August 24th, 2016} by Bloomberg News

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan forecast that interest rates will begin rising soon, perhaps rapidly. “I cannot perceive that we can maintain these levels of interest rates for very much longer,” he told former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt in a Bloomberg Radio interview to be aired this weekend and next. “They […]

‘Suitability On Steroids:’ Agent Supervision Under DOL Fiduciary Rule

{August 24th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Marketing organizations that are authorized to act as financial institutions under the Department of Labor fiduciary rule are proposing new supervision frameworks for their agents. So what does this mean for independent insurance agents who sell fixed indexed annuities? The agents can expect those new frameworks to be more rigid and require stiffer due diligence. […]

How one adviser helped an Olympian make the most of his winnings

{August 24th, 2016} by Elizabeth McCourt

Every four years we get to enjoy “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” by watching the summer Olympic games. You don’t have to be a women’s cycling fan to ache for Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten as she crashed in the last leg of the woman’s road race. Nor do you have […]

6 problems solved by life insurance

{August 23rd, 2016} by Stephan R. Leimberg, Robert J. Doyle, Jr., Keith Buck

Life insurance is the only certain way to create “instant” capital. That capital, in turn, can be used by clients to solve a multiplicity of personal and business problems. To understand how life insurance can, and should, be used (the planners’ imagination, creativity, and ethical perspectives are the only major boundaries limiting the scope of […]

Bulking up: insurers’ planned staff increases at record level

{August 23rd, 2016} by Lifehealthpro Editors

Nearly two-thirds of insurance companies, among them 60 percent of life & health insurers, intend to increase staff during the next 12 months, the highest intent in the history of a study published jointly by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group. The two companies, a part of Aon Hewitt (a business unit of Aon plc), […]

Return of Premium life insurance policies solve problems

{August 23rd, 2016} by Kim Magdalein

Return of Premium (ROP) life insurance is an easy sale, especially to millennials. But the other current generations also seem to like it including Gen X-ers and even baby boomers. Affordability is what makes term insurance so easy to sell. The only distaste would come from the fact that it’s sort of like rent-a-policy. You […]

Former Oklahoma agent gets prison for annuities fraud

{August 23rd, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

A former Oklahoma insurance agent was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for annuities-related fraud, according to the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Following an investigation, Gary Edward Hibbing, former owner of Grand Lake Investments and Insurance in Grove, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. Hibbing was […]

Slideshow IBDs with the most female reps

{August 23rd, 2016} by Michelle Zhou

Which IBDS have the most woman advisers? The percentage of female representatives in the industry has been stuck at around one-third for the past three years. But some top firms have made dramatic progress upping their game, while others have gone in the opposite direction. Triad Advisors, which took the top spot this year, was […]

Why aren’t retirement savers choosing annuities?

{August 23rd, 2016} by Marlene Y. Satter

Annuities have value beyond that recognized by workers who must depend on 401(k)s, not pensions, to get them through retirement. But because they don’t recognize that value, workers aren’t turning to annuities as a source of guaranteed lifetime income. Those are some of the findings in a brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, […]

Firms Focusing on Fiduciary Rule Compliance While Crossing Fingers on Lawsuits

{August 23rd, 2016} by Ryan Rainey, Morning Consult

With the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule slated to take effect in April, industry opponents are hinging their hopes on stalling or blocking the regulation through three separate legal challenges. But in the meantime, they’re also planning for another possibility: full implementation of the rule. “Almost every company we’ve talked to since the rule has come […]

66% of Insurers Plan Increased Hiring Over Next Year: Study

{August 22nd, 2016} by N/A

More than 66 percent of insurance companies intend to increase staff during the next 12 months, according to a new midyear labor study. That rate is the highest in the history of the study, The U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study,conducted by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group. The study has been conducted since 2009. However, […]

Judge to Hear National Association for Fixed Annuities Suit Against DOL Rule

{August 22nd, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Aug. 25 will consider a request urging him to immediately stop implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, which critics claim could initiate a cavalcade of arbitrary mandates, upending the retirement advice industry. “If the rule is allowed to go into effect, jobs will be lost, […]

DOL roundtable: Views from industry veterans

{August 20th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch and Emily Holbrook

As we look toward 2017 and the implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard rule, many questions remain. Though the UK and Australia have been operating under similar rules for several years, there is no clear indication of what such regulatory regime will do to the insurance and retirement advisory industry in the U.S. To […]