We would love to hear from you. Click on the ‘Contact Us’ link to the right and choose your favorite way to reach-out!

wscdsdc

media/speaking contact

Jamie Johnson

business contact

Victoria Peterson

Contact Us

855.ask.wink

Close [x]
pattern

Industry Articles

Florida Picks Deputy Altmaier to Be Next Insurance Commissioner

{May 3rd, 2016} by Editorial Staff

The Florida Cabinet has selected David Altmaier to be the state’s new insurance commissioner. Altmaier, 34, is currently a deputy commissioner within the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. He will replace Kevin McCarty, who is stepping down after 13 years on the job. Altmaier was one of three candidates, all OIR employees, interviewed at a […]

Principal Financial: Changes to Agent Comp in the Works

{May 3rd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Agents and advisors affiliated with Principal Financial Group selling the insurance company’s proprietary products will be seeing changes to their compensation, insurance company executives said last week. Independent agents selling products and services developed by the Des Moines-based insurance and retirement company will also see changes to the way they are paid, company executives said […]

Final DOL fiduciary rule: A bane or blessing for advisors?

{May 3rd, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Since the Department of Labor’s April 6 publication of a finalized fiduciary rule for investment professionals who advise on retirement plan accounts, industry stakeholders have begun combing through the mammoth document. Their top concern: whether the DOL made enough changes to the earlier (and widely criticized) draft proposal as to be rendered workable. The initial […]

From the desk of Ronald J. Grensteiner, CLU, ChFc, President of American Equity

{May 3rd, 2016} by Ronald J. Grensteiner

Since American Equity’s first quarter press release and earnings call, articles have appeared that are inaccurate and not complete. The company wanted to provide clarifying commentary on their interpretation of the DOL rule and how it affects all of us. Click HERE to view    Articles in question:  American Equity: DOL Rule Threatens Independent Annuity […]

The 10 highest-growth cities for annuities in 2016

{May 3rd, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

U.S. annuity market potential growth — a prospective, forward-looking measure for a product or need that has an analytical basis — stands at 3 percent. Seventy-eight of the top 100 annuity market cities in the U.S. grew at a higher rate, while 22 showed declines. As a group, the top 100 city markets grew 13.6 percent — 4.5 times […]

7 reasons the insurance agent is a dead profession walking, according to startups

{May 3rd, 2016} by Caitlin Bronson

It’s no secret that technology startups see insurance as a promising new field. Last year saw huge growth in early-stage insurance tech deal activity, and 2016 is poised to set even greater records with 24 seed or Series A deals just two months into the year. The group of startups have even founded a conference, […]

Obama administration vows to veto House resolution to kill DOL fiduciary rule

{May 3rd, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

President Barack Obama will veto a House resolution designed to kill a Labor Department rule to raise investment-advice standards for retirement accounts, the White House said Wednesday   (Bloomberg) President Barack Obama will veto a House resolution designed to kill a Labor Department rule to raise investment-advice standards for retirement accounts, the White House said […]

House votes to block DOL fiduciary rule

{May 3rd, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The House late Thursday passed H.J. Res. 88, the bill introduced by GOP lawmakers under the Congressional Review Act that would block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after the 234-183 vote in favor of the Protecting Access to Affordable Retirement Advice, that “bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. have no business getting between you and […]

One unintended consequence of DOL fiduciary rule

{May 3rd, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The Labor Department’s new rule may ultimately pave the way for millennials to secure a foothold in the financial advice business   While the Labor Department’s newly released fiduciary rule has inspired much discussion among industry stakeholders speculating how the regulation will adversely affect the advice business, there’s a potential silver lining: a younger industry. […]

The 15 most Googled life insurance phrases

{May 3rd, 2016} by Lynette Gil

Are consumers thinking about life insurance? In order to get into the consumer mindset, a good first step is to look at what they are searching online. We explored what the public-at-large wants to know when it comes to life insurance information, using Google Trends and the keyword tool on Google AdWords. The results are both […]

American Equity Reports First Quarter 2016 Results

{May 3rd, 2016} by American Equity

Company Highlights First quarter 2016 net loss of $44.8 million or $0.55 per diluted common share First quarter 2016 operating income1 of $21.0 million or $0.25 per diluted common share DAC unlocking in first quarter 2016 increased the net loss by $28.4 million or $0.35 per diluted common share and reduced operating income1 by $28.6 […]

Carriers Report Earnings Mix, DOL Rule Cited

{May 3rd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule features prominently in at least one earnings news release by a leading annuity carrier. Company executives are expected to say more about the rule in earnings conference calls Thursday morning. American Equity Reports Loss, Earnings Miss American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., a top seller of fixed and fixed […]

Global insurance symposium kicks off in Iowa

{May 3rd, 2016} by Lyle Adriano

Des Moines, Iowa played host to this year’s Global Insurance Symposium, which began Tuesday. The multi-day event brings together insurance professionals and industry experts, as well as insurance-tech startups and investors—two relatively new crowds to participate this year—so that they can discuss business. “It’s really an opportunity for the entire ecosystem to collaborate and learn,” […]

FINRA Sanctions MetLife Securities, Inc. $25 Million for Negligent Misrepresentations and Omissions in Connection With Variable Annuity Replacements

{May 3rd, 2016} by FINRA

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI) $20 million and ordered it to pay $5 million to customers for making negligent material misrepresentations and omissions on variable annuity (VA) replacement applications for tens of thousands of customers. Each misrepresentation and omission made the replacement appear […]

Mixed Blessings For Annuities

{May 3rd, 2016} by Ben Mattin

In the annuities world, the April 6 announcement from the Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez about new fiduciary regulations might appear to be a mixed bag. Early readings indicate that variable annuities and fixed-index annuities will now require a “best interest contract” to ensure that clients understand exactly what they’re getting and what they’re […]

Amica Life Launches New Website to Help Consumers Better Understand Life Insurance

{May 3rd, 2016} by Amica Mutual Insurance Co

LINCOLN, R.I. (PRWEB) MAY 02, 2016 Amica Life Insurance Company has unveiled AmicaLifeLessons.com, an educational website to help consumers better understand life insurance throughout various life stages. The site launched on April 1, and it has many helpful resources, including an easy-to-use life insurance needs calculator and content specific to the times when life insurance […]

Foresters Financial celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6

{May 3rd, 2016} by Foresters

NEW YORK, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Foresters Financial is proud to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6, 2016. This week is a time for the nation to honor and recognize the contributions teachers make in our lives. Each teacher influences students in the classroom in their own unique way. Being a teacher can be […]

American National Life Insurance Company of New York Introduces an Indexed Universal Life Policy with an Interest Rate Enhancement now available in New York – Signature Plus Indexed Universal Life Insurance

{May 3rd, 2016} by American National Life Insurance Company

GLENMONT, N.Y., May 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — American National Life Insurance Company of New York (American National) announces the Signature Plus Indexed Universal Life Insurance (IUL) is now available [May 1, 2016] in the state of New York. This innovative life insurance product offers death benefit protection, four indexed crediting strategies, a fixed account, […]

What advisors need to know about the new fiduciary rule, Part 2

{May 3rd, 2016} by Jeffrey Levine

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series on the impact of the fiduciary rule on advisors. Part one focused on the Best Interest Contract Exemption. Part 2 focuses on who and what products are subject to the fiduciary rule. Once the new fiduciary rule is in effect, many advisors who, previously, were not […]

What advisors need to know about the new fiduciary rule: Part 1

{May 3rd, 2016} by Jeffrey Levine

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series on the impact of the fiduciary rule on advisors. Part one focuses on the Best Interest Contract Exemption. Part 2, which will focus on who and what products are subject to the fiduciary rule. Section 4975 of the tax code, Tax on Prohibited Transactions, outlines […]

Analyst: Insurers ‘Behind’ on DOL Fiduciary Prep

{April 29th, 2016} by John Hilton

Insurers are “a little behind the curve” on preparations for the forthcoming Department of Labor fiduciary rules, a leading analyst said Thursday. Fred Reish, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath in Los Angeles, spokes during a webinar on the fiduciary regulations. The firms dealing with qualified retirement funds — broker-dealers, insurers, RIAs and others […]

Genworth surges most since 2010 as CEO calms Wall Street nerves

{April 29th, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinsky

(Bloomberg) — Genworth Financial Inc. climbed the most since 2010 after first-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates as Chief Executive Officer Tom McInerney works to free up capital to meet debt payments. The insurer surged 21 percent to $3.45 at 9:45 a.m. in New York trading. Richmond, Virginia-based Genworth reported Thursday that operating profit was 21 cents a […]

New York Life Ranks 25th on 2014 DiversityInc “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” List

{April 28th, 2016} by New York Life

NEW YORK, April 23, 2014—New York Life has been named one of DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” ranking 25th nationally on this prestigious list. New York Life was recognized for its talent pipeline; equitable talent development, including commitment to mentorship and philanthropy; CEO and leadership commitment; and supplier diversity. “Earning a spot on the […]

Nationwide launches new small-business site for agents

{April 28th, 2016} by Nationwide

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Nationwide just launched a new small-business site for insurance agents in light of National Small Business Week (May 1-7). The site (best viewed in Firefox or Chrome) provides information for both current agents and those who are interested in requesting a commercial contract appointment. It continues the company’s […]

Fiduciary Q&A: Must Conflicts Be Avoided or Just Disclosed?

{April 28th, 2016} by Karen Damato

Ask the Experts: Our panel tackles this question and two more about the Labor Department’s new conflict-of-interest rule   Under the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary-duty rule, will advisers working with retirement accounts have to avoid conflicts of interest or just disclose them? For answers to this question and two others, Wealth Adviser at WSJ.com […]

MetLife CEO: Adviser Network Sale, Possible US Retail Spinoff Still on Despite SIFI Victory

{April 28th, 2016} by Frank KIimko

NEW YORK – MetLife Inc. will still sell its adviser network and either spinoff, sell or seek a public offering of its U.S. retail unit as part of a strategy to increase profitability, despite earning a victory in its fight to shed its systemically important financial institution designation, Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian said in […]

Fiduciary Rule Casts Long Shadow Over 1Q Earnings

{April 28th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Life and annuity companies begin releasing first quarter earnings this week and analysts will be hunting for as much guidance as possible on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and how it will affect future company earnings. Aflac, the Columbus, Ga.-based insurer, kicked off the earnings parade Tuesday by reporting net income of $731 million, […]

American Equity posts quarterly loss despite strong sales

{April 28th, 2016} by Editorial Staff

  American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., a leading issuer of fixed index annuities based in West Des Moines, today reported a first-quarter 2016 net loss of $44.8 million, or 55 cents per common share, compared with net income of $5.9 million, or 7 cents per common share, for first-quarter 2015. Operating income for the […]

Prudential Annuities names Melissa Kivett Senior Vice President and Business Strategy Officer

{April 28th, 2016} by Business Wire

NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Melissa Kivett has been named senior vice president and Business Strategy Officer for Prudential Annuities, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU). In this newly-created role, Kivett will lead the overall development of business strategy, reporting to Lori Fouche, president of Prudential Annuities. She will join Prudential Annuities senior leadership team. “As we […]

Rule would force big banks to hold more cash

{April 27th, 2016} by Paul Davidson

Regulators on Thursday proposed a new rule that would require the nation’s largest banks to hold enough cash for a year to avoid the kinds of liquidity shortages that occurred during the 2008 financial crisis. Under the proposed measure, banks with at least $250 billion in assets would have to maintain certain levels of “stable funding” […]

25 wealthiest No. 1 NFL draft picks

{April 27th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

This week, the nation’s elite college football players are nervously waiting to find out if and where they will be drafted during the NFL’s 81st annual draft, which gets underway Thursday. The draft will include 253 picks over seven rounds. Quarterbacks Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Jared Goff of California are expected to […]

NAFA Lauds Congressional Efforts to Stop DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

{April 26th, 2016} by NAFA

NAFA Supports Congressional Efforts WASHINGTON (Apr. 26, 2016) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, announced its support for Congressional resolutions issued in both the House and the Senate last week that stand to derail the Department of Labor’s recently finalized rule on investment advice for retirement accounts. Offered under the Congressional Review Act, […]

The Next Generation of Life Insurance

{April 26th, 2016} by Frank Chechel, FSA

Whole Life or Indexed UL… Why not ask Coke or Pepsi? Whole Life or Indexed Universal Life? That is one of the first questions that comes to mind when I think about the life insurance marketplace in 2015. Let me explain why. Whole Life continues to be the top selling life insurance product by premium, […]

Lawsuits against fiduciary rule likely to cite DOL’s lack of authority

{April 26th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Based on comment letters and testimony before Congress, a court challenge will probably focus on who brokers really answer to So far, all’s quiet on the court front when it comes to the recently finalized Labor Department rule to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts. Three groups that might file a lawsuit against the […]

Confidence high in indexed annuity products

{April 26th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Confidence in indexed annuity products is strong and financial professionals are optimistic about continued growth in sales of indexed annuities, according to a survey conducted by Saybrus Partners Inc. The survey polled financial professionals at the 2016 Bank Insurance & Securities Association convention in March in Hollywood, Fla. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed expect indexed […]

McGraw-Hill to be renamed S&P Global: No more textbooks, just financial data

{April 26th, 2016} by John Waggoner

Hopes to change name to S&P Global on Wednesday   McGraw-Hill is putting away the textbooks and focusing solely on financial data that advisers use in their investments and in measuring their clients’ progress. Pending shareholder approval Wednesday, the company will re-brand itself as S&P Global, says CEO Doug Peterson. “No more textbooks,” Mr. Peterson […]

Industry Remains Divided on Impact of DOL Fiduciary Rule, According to a Pioneer Investments Survey

{April 26th, 2016} by Pioneer Investments Survey

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pioneer Investments announced today the results of a live webinar poll designed to gauge advisor sentiment on the Fiduciary Regulation issued by the Department of Labor (DOL). The webinar was attended by 861 financial advisors and featured a panel of fiduciary experts from fi360® and Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP. In April 2015, Pioneer […]

Still plenty of headaches for independent broker-dealers in the DOL fiduciary rule

{April 26th, 2016} by Liz Skinner

New business models, heavy compliance costs and figuring out ‘reasonable’ fees are among the items giving IBDs fits   Even though the Labor Department’s recent changes to how financial advisers can counsel clients on retirement assets isn’t the industry killer some had feared, independent broker-dealers will find plenty of unpleasant realities among the details of […]

Independent broker-dealers suffer worst year since credit crisis

{April 26th, 2016} by Bruce Kelly

Coming off a gloomy 2015, the forecast for 2016 year is for more of the same   For the independent broker-dealer industry, 2015 was the worst year in the last six, and 2016 promises to be just as difficult — if not more so. “If 2015 was bad, 2016 is worse,” said Joel Marks, the […]

Aging-Out Advisors Create An Experience Gap

{April 26th, 2016} by Brian O'Connell

There’s an “experience gap” brewing in the financial advisory sector, as about 33 percent of all financial advisors are expected to retire in the next decade. Meanwhile, 43 percent of all U.S.-based stockholders are 55 years old or older, according to On Wall Street. While all that should change the face of the advisory industry, […]

Dear Agents: This is Your Life Under ‘Best Interest’

{April 26th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Insurance and financial advisors will surely be relieved that “differential compensation,” or commission income, trail fees and incentives aren’t barred under the new fiduciary rule released by the Department of Labor earlier this month. But such compensation, which once came with few if any strings attached, now come with tethered by rope and heavy-gauge chains […]

NAFA Board Authorizes Action on Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule

{April 26th, 2016} by NAFA

NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, and its Board of Directors Authorizes Action WASHINGTON (Apr. 21, 2016) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, announced today that its Board of Directors authorized staff to consider all options for challenging the Department of Labor’s recently issued fiduciary rule, including efforts seeking legislative relief as well […]

4 reasons why your clients need IUL

{April 26th, 2016} by Mark Peterson

How many times have you heard that what you don’t know can’t hurt you? Actually, what you don’t know can hurt you – just ask any taxpayer who has tried to persuade the IRS not to hold them accountable for an error on their tax return because they didn’t realize it was an error. Clients who […]

PacLife in talks to buy Genworth term-life platform, office

{April 26th, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinsky

(Bloomberg) — Pacific Life Insurance Co. is considering an acquisition of Genworth Financial Inc.’s term-life platform for new policies as the firm seeks to gain technology that would help bolster its market position. Both companies are conducting due diligence, and a final decision on a deal hasn’t been reached, Newport Beach, California-based PacLife said Monday […]

Defining ‘best interest’: DOL fiduciary rule clarification?

{April 25th, 2016} by Marlene Y. Satter

Now that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been issued, the Center for Financial Responsibility at Texas Tech University is seeking to define the term “best interest.” To that end, it has launched the “Best Interest Initiative,” which is focused on answering a question faced by financial advisors as they work to understand just what acting […]

Fortune picks 7 “great” insurance, finance companies to work for

{April 25th, 2016} by ELANA ASHANTI JEFFERSON

Common threads about our contemporary work-life tend to surface each year when Fortune magazine surveys companies nationwide for its Great Place to Work® rankings. Companies that made the new 2016 list, which includes several insurance and financial service providers, have found ways to turnaround the widespread problem of disengaged, apathetic employees. These companies develop managers and policies […]

House panel moves forward with resolution to block DOL rule

{April 25th, 2016} by Nick Thornton, BenefitsPro

A resolution to block the Department of Labor from implementing its finalized fiduciary rule passed out of the House Education and the Workforce Committee on a party-line vote. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, ranking member of the Committee and one of the 14 Democrats to vote no on the resolution, said the markup session to pass the resolution […]

No, Robos Still Can’t Act as Fiduciaries, Attorney Contends

{April 25th, 2016} by Andrew Shilling

Robo advisors’ breakneck growth is being followed by a nagging question: Can they be fiduciaries? In the latest salvo in the long-running debate, Melanie L. Fein, the former senior counsel to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, says FINRA’s March guidance on robos for B-Ds actually bolsters her argument that robos do not […]

Fischer named NY watchdog of insurers with $4 trillion of assets

{April 25th, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinsky

(Bloomberg) —New York’s financial regulator promoted Scott Fischer to be the state’s top insurance watchdog, a position that involves overseeing about 1,700 companies with more than $4 trillion of assets. Fischer, 44, a former corporate attorney, was named executive deputy superintendent for insurance, reporting to Maria Vullo, the acting superintendent of the New York State […]

Prince’s death sets off estate planning quagmire

{April 25th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The death of the virtuoso music artist Prince Thursday set off a countdown until the tax man takes a bite out of the star’s estate. Relevant parties must determine just how big Uncle Sam’s bite will be. In the case of a musical superstar like Prince, though, such a task is a real challenge — […]

Attracting millennials to insurance jobs

{April 25th, 2016} by Joe Gardyasz

Insurers are focusing more attention to attracting millennials to their workforce, and the results are paying off.   Holmes Murphy & Associates, for instance, has ramped up recruitment for top insurance talent by creating The Brainery, an intensive, annual 12-week program to prepare high-potential millennials for positions within the company.   “It’s a deep dive […]

Some of the Industry’s Worst Clichés: Blog

{April 25th, 2016} by Michael J. Nathanson

          “From time to time,” we all “circle back,” “touch base,” go for “deeper dives” and, of course, get views “from 30,000 feet.” The financial industry has its own specific set of clichés, featuring such chestnuts as “buy low, sell high” and “don’t try to catch a falling knife.” Long gone […]

4 reasons why your clients should invest in IUL

{April 25th, 2016} by Mark Peterson

How many times have you heard that what you don’t know can’t hurt you? Actually, what you don’t know can hurt you – just ask any taxpayer who has tried to persuade the IRS not to hold them accountable for an error on their tax return because they didn’t realize it was an error. Clients who […]

Eileen McDonnell, Penn Mutual CEO, Named 2016 Business Leader of the Year

{April 25th, 2016} by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

Drexel’s annual award a 62 year tradition Horsham, Pa. – April 25, 2016 – Eileen McDonnell, chairman and chief executive officer of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual), was named the 2016 Business Leader of the Year by Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. A luncheon was held Apr. 5 at the Hyatt at […]

John Hancock Offers Life Insurance To Those With HIV

{April 23rd, 2016} by John Hancock Financial

Part of Manulife’s North American Effort Apr 22, 2016, 08:00 ET from John Hancock Financial   BOSTON, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock Insurance, in keeping with its progressive approach and commitment to its customers, now is offering term and permanent life insurance coverage to applicants living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) if they […]

House committee approves resolution to kill DOL fiduciary rule on party-line vote

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

Senate expected to follow suit, but Obama is almost certain to veto it     A House committee Thursday approved along party lines a resolution that would kill the Labor Department’s recently finalized rule to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts. The vote, 22-14, in the House Education and the Workforce Committee illustrates the […]

Integrity Life enhances popular Indextra indexed annuity

{April 21st, 2016} by Editorial Staff

Integrity Life Insurance Co. has enhanced Indextra, a single-premium fixed indexed annuity, according to W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc., wholesale distributor of annuities and life insurance from companies in Western & Southern Financial Group. Indextra owners can now use one- and two-year point-to-point allocation options associated with the Goldman Sachs’ GS Momentum Builder Multi-Asset Class (GSMAC) […]

Advisors: Get Ready for DOL-Related Technology

{April 21st, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Agents and advisors can expect life insurance carriers to begin to tweak and adjust technology systems to comply with the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule by the end of the summer or early in the fall, a consultant said. The DOL’s Conflict of Interest rule, which is designed to hold agents and advisors managing […]

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Announces Sponsorship of The Rugby Business Network

{April 20th, 2016} by Business Wire

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) announced its sponsorship of The Rugby Business Network (RBN), a not-for-profit organization for senior business leaders with a passion for rugby. This is Penn Mutual’s latest connection with the fastest growing sport in America, after establishing a relationship when it became the title sponsor of The Penn […]

DOL Rule Requires Securities License?: Opinion

{April 20th, 2016} by Andrew Unkefer

“Under the New Department of Labor (DOL) Rule, You Will Need a Securities License in Order to Comply…” We have seen a shocking number of scared insurance agents calling our office to verify if the above statement is true.  If you are an insurance only licensed agent and you sell fixed and indexed annuities, here […]

Will the Fiduciary Rule be a Lifeline for Robos?

{April 20th, 2016} by Suleman Din

Witnessing the immediate success of digital offerings from industry giants Vanguard and Schwab in the past year, many observers had concluded that the independent robo model would be extinguished. But the pending Department of Labor fiduciary rule has spurred a reassessment among some, suggesting that even smaller platforms still have a chance to survive and […]

DOL fiduciary rule: Great for lawyers, but what about advisors?

{April 20th, 2016} by Caroline Marwitz

NASHVILLE – As he opened the NAPA 401(k) Summit Sunday afternoon, NAPA executive director and American Retirement Association CEO Brian Graff started with a then-and-now comparison: “At the first 401(k) Summit, I said ‘Now we have to recognize that the 401(k) is America’s retirement plan.’” Now, at the 15th annual 401(k) Summit, Graff said, “We […]

Regulatory changes abroad hint at the DOL fiduciary rule’s potential impact

{April 19th, 2016} by Evan Cooper

U.K., Australia both both passed fiduciary rules, though their versions weren’t limited to retirement advice. How have they fared? As the advice business digests the Labor Department’s new adviser fiduciary requirements for retirement accounts, it’s too early to know whether the rule’s advocates or its critics will be vindicated. Long-time proponents say the new standards […]

Understanding PTE 84-24 and Potential Changes Under the DOL Proposed Rule

{April 19th, 2016} by NAFA Staff

NAFA’s Government Relations Committee (GRC) worked diligently to develop a document summarizing Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 84-24 and its current application. Given that the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary duty rule would amend and partially revoke PTE 84-24, it’s critical that NAFA members understand this exemption, how it would change under the proposed rule and […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Aegon N.V.’s U.S. Subsidiaries

{April 19th, 2016} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the U.S. life/health subsidiaries of Aegon N.V. (Aegon) (Netherlands) [NYSE: AEG]. Aegon’s U.S. life/health companies are collectively referred to as Aegon USA Group (Aegon USA). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR […]

The Tax Advantages Of Life Insurance And Annuities

{April 19th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Income tax returns need to be postmarked by Monday, April 18, unless advisors file for an extension. This year’s tax tips come courtesy of Prudential, whose website contains pages of tax-related strategies. Material relevant to life insurance and annuities has been condensed in the paragraphs that follow. Life Insurance Life insurance can provide beneficiaries with […]

Financial Literacy Advocate Launches “Saving is Sexy” Campaign

{April 19th, 2016} by PRweb

CHICAGO, IL (PRWEB) APRIL 19, 2016 Financial literacy advocate Alice Wood, president, The Wealth Watchers Foundation, and former estate-planning attorney is on a mission to teach new generations of young women the importance of personal finance and how to achieve financial independence with the launch of her “Saving is Sexy” campaign. Derived from the title […]

Robo-advisors: The coming wave in the financial industry

{April 19th, 2016} by Caroline Marwitz

NASHVILLE — Never turn your back on the ocean, even metaphorically. At the NAPA 401(k) Summit this week, advisors are here to see what’s brewing in the choppy financial industry seas. One wave to watch is that of the robo-advisor trend. Robo-advising is not as futuristic-made-for-movies as it sounds. It’s simply an online software advisory solution that uses […]

Group: Define ‘Best Interest’ Before A Judge Does

{April 19th, 2016} by John Hilton

The financial services industry is best served defining the Department of Labor’s “best interest” standard for advisors before the courts do it, according to a financial planning expert. “No one has defined ‘best interest,’” said John Gilliam, a former life insurance agent and current professor at Texas Tech University. “The Department of Labor rule uses […]

Three GOP senators co-sponsor resolution to kill DOL fiduciary rule

{April 19th, 2016} by Christine Idzelis

Seen largely as a symbolic gesture, as President Obama would surely veto the measure if it does pass Three Republican senators have banded together to kill the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule that requires financial advisers to put their clients’ best interests ahead of their own when helping with retirement accounts. Senators Johnny Isakson of Georgia, […]

Ameritas Life Closes on Acquisitions of Security Life and Health Companies

{April 18th, 2016} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

LINCOLN, Neb. – Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. has closed on its acquisition of the Security Life and Security Health Insurance Cos. of America. The insurer plans to “maintain the Security Life small group focus while introducing Ameritas’ vast dental, vision, hearing care and LASIK products to this distribution,” said Karen Gustin, group division executive vice […]

MoneyGuidePro updates new version in line with DOL fiduciary rule requirements

{April 18th, 2016} by Alessandra Malito

Updates for the latest version include features on client goals, life expectancy, household risk tolerance, health care and social security  MoneyGuidePro, PIEtech’s financial planning program for advisers, has released the fourth generation of its software, the company’s attempt for its users to be right in line with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which requires […]

Patrick Amaya Joins Partners Advantage as General Counse

{April 18th, 2016} by Partners Advantage Press Release

–For Immediate Release–   Riverside, CA (April 18, 2016) – Partners Advantage President James Wong announced the appointment of Patrick Amaya as General Counsel. In this position, Amaya will serve as the company’s in-house legal counsel and will direct its compliance and suitability office.  His office will also provide regulatory and compliance educational programs for […]

The 10 largest annuities markets for 2016

{April 18th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

How many annuity buyers are there in your city this year? Historical, aggregated data has generated big numbers on the billions in annuity sales nationwide as well as sales by carrier and product. It’s relatively simple to determine the number of prospects who should be in the market for annuities given their age and level of […]

Indexed annuities run afoul of DOL fiduciary rule: BLOG

{April 18th, 2016} by William H. Brynes

Co-written by Robert Bloink The final version of the recently released Department of Labor fiduciary rulescontained some changes to the rules governing fixed annuity products that may have surprised some advisors who deal in these products. Certain types of fixed annuities will now be subject to the heightened — and potentially costly — fiduciary standards that […]

5 to be inducted into Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame

{April 18th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Five distinguished Iowa insurance professionals will be honored on May 19 as the newest members of the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame. The 20th annual induction ceremony will be held at the Prairie Meadows Convention Center. To be eligible for consideration, nominees must have an Iowa connection, serve as a role model for young people […]

LGBT companies are beating the stock market

{April 17th, 2016} by Jon Marino

Companies that have boards with more female or LGBT senior staff outperform those that do not, according to a Credit Suisse report. The stocks of companies that have women as board directors or lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender employees in senior roles outperform the ones that do not, according to a recent report. It’s the […]

Market & Competitive Intelligence Consultant

{April 17th, 2016} by Sammons Financial Group

Market & Competitive Intelligence Consultant (17161)     JOB SUMMARY Serve as the competitive and product positioning expert being the liaison between the companies’ sales team, marketing and product development teams.   Educate the sales team on the companies’ products with focus on product positioning and competiveness verses other carriers.  Work directly with distributors to promote […]

Harnessing Women’s Strengths As Financial Professionals

{April 15th, 2016} by Andie Frazier

As a young woman starting out as a financial advisor in Northwest Georgia more than 20 years ago, I faced my fair share of challenges. I began my career in a very small town bereft of many professional women, let alone young women in financial services. This environment forced me to learn quickly. When clients […]

An original critic, Finra’s Ketchum praises improvements in final DOL fiduciary rul

{April 15th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

The CEO highlights modifications in the way the rule treats existing clients, clarifications regarding variable compensation and the elimination of the list of allowable investments Finra chairman and chief executive Richard G. Ketchum, one of the sharpest critics of the proposed Labor Department rule to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts, said Friday the […]

Symetra’s new indexed annuity offers rising lifetime payout rates

{April 15th, 2016} by Editorial Staff

Symetra Life Insurance Company has introduced Symetra Income Edge, a single premium fixed indexed annuity with a lifetime withdrawal benefit rider that offers growth potential during the accumulation and distribution periods.  Instead of offering a “roll up” or increase in a notional “benefit base” each year, Income Edge increases the contract owner’s maximum withdrawal rate […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company and Its Subsidiaries

{April 15th, 2016} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company (AEILIC) and its subsidiaries, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York (Lake Success, NY) and Eagle Life Insurance Company, collectively referred to as AEL. Concurrently, […]

What is ‘reasonable’ cost under DOL’s fiduciary rule? Well, it depends

{April 15th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

Inherent to acting in a client’s best interest is ensuring costs are reasonable, an ERISA concept brokers need to understand   What is “reasonable” compensation? It’s a question brokers may not have considered prior to the Labor Department’s recent push to regulate investment advice in retirement accounts. However, brokers need to start paying attention, because […]

Axa Files for Dismissal in COI Dispute

{April 15th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Axa Equitable Life Insurance has asked a court to dismiss a class-action claim filed in the wake of the insurance company’s move last year to increase cost-of-insurance (COI) rates on a block of universal life policies. Citing contractual language within the policy allowing the company to raise rates, and the approval from New York regulators, […]

Planners: We’ll Comply With DOL

{April 15th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Planners say their “core mission” of delivering advice to investors large and small will not be affected by the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, key elements of which take effect in a year. Many of the new rule’s requirements will entail procedural changes. That will mean new costs for advisory practices around the country, […]

The Practical Impacts of the DOL Fiduciary Standard Rule Change

{April 15th, 2016} by Harry Stout

Industry Commentary & Opinions by Harry Stout Much has been written about the major potential impacts of the proposed fiduciary standard rule change but little has been discussed about the practical impacts on running an insurance business on a day-to-day basis. My belief is that with regard to the rule change the devil will be […]

Hall of Fame – Fall of Shame

{April 14th, 2016} by John Hilton

  You know how the movie “The Hangover” revolves around a tiger that turned out to be Mike Tyson’s pet? Well, in real life the former heavyweight champion didn’t have a pet tiger. He had three. The rare, white Bengal tigers cost him $140,000 and then about $40,000 to feed them each year and $125,000 […]

For annuity compensation, finalized DOL rule may not be final

{April 14th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

Come April 2017, when advisors to 401(k) sponsors and IRA accounts recommend fixed indexed and variable annuities to retirement savers, they’ll do so under the Best Interest Contract Exemption, the provision of the Department of Labor’s finalized fiduciary rule that will make those advisors legally beholden to do what is in savers’ best interests. In subjecting FIAs […]

Fiduciary Rule Roils Sales Channels

{April 14th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Advisors still have a year before they must follow the code of fiduciary conduct for retirement accounts required by the last week’s Department of Labor’s rule. But there’s no doubt that changes in the regulations governing compensation will affect how and what distributors decide to sell. And don’t forget that the Conflict of Interest rule […]

Fitch: FIA Inclusion in DOL Ruling to Affect US Annuity Sales

{April 14th, 2016} by Fitch Credit Ratings

NEW YORK & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The US Department of Labor’s (DOL) finalized ruling, which now includes fixed index annuities (FIAs) along with variable annuities (VAs) under the new best interest standards, will mostly affect FIA writers, according to Fitch Ratings. The DOL Wednesday issued its Conflict of Interest Rule, also referred to as the fiduciary rule. […]

Industry associations respond to DOL fiduciary rule

{April 13th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Several industry associations reacted to the official release of the Department of Labor’s final fiduciary rule. LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute said it is developing resources to help financial services companies adapt to the rule. “The Institute was established to offer relevant and insightful retirement research and education for every sector of the retirement market. We […]

Indexed Annuity Leadership Council Releases Statement on New DOL Regulations

{April 12th, 2016} by IALC

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council (IALC) today reacted to the release of new regulations by the Department of Labor (DOL) that will significantly expand the reach of the pension law’s fiduciary obligations. The new rules will impose a high legal standard on almost anyone offering a financial product or advice […]

Final fiduciary rule: the benefits and burdens for indexed annuities

{April 12th, 2016} by ROBERT BLOINK, WILLIAM H. BYRNES

The final version of the recently released Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rules contained some changes to the rules governing fixed annuity products that may have surprised some advisors who deal in these products. Certain types of fixed annuities will now be subject to the heightened — and potentially costly — fiduciary standards that many expected to impact only […]

How will the DOL enforce its fiduciary rule?

{April 12th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

Changes will be felt most markedly in the retail market, where investors will serve as their own enforcement agents     The Labor Department released the final version of its fiduciary rule last week, bringing about major structural changes for how investment advice is delivered in retirement accounts. Yet arguably the most important and challenging […]

Symetra Introduces Symetra Income Edge Fixed Indexed Annuity with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit

{April 12th, 2016} by Symetra

Latest addition to Symetra’s growing suite of market-leading fixed indexed annuities seeks to combine upside potential, transparency and flexibility April 12, 2016 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Life Insurance Company announced the introduction of Symetra Income Edge, a single premium fixed indexed annuity that includes a lifetime withdrawal benefit that offers withdrawals […]

The ABCs of the DOL fiduciary rule

{April 12th, 2016} by Janet Levaux

The Department of Labor released its final rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The DOL first shared copies of the new rule with the Federal Register.  According to Labor Secretary Tom Perez, some 300,000 comments came in on the proposed rule, and many adjustments were made to […]

CNO Names Former Allianz Executive as New President

{April 12th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski

CARMEL, Ind. – CNO Financial Group has named a former Allianz senior executive as its new president, and promoted a company veteran to the position of chief financial officer. Appointed president was Gary Bhojwani, previously a member of the board of management at Allianz SE, chairman of Allianz of America, Allianz Life Insurance Co., and […]

National Association for Fixed Annuities Responds to DOL Fiduciary Rule

{April 12th, 2016} by NAFA

NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, and Executive Director Chip Anderson released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s issuance of its fiduciary duty rule WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) APRIL 08, 2016 On April 6, the U.S. Department of Labor formally released its fiduciary rule which will have wide-spread impact on […]

Individual Life Applications Rise in March, Closes ‘Strongest Quarter Yet,’ MIB Reports

{April 12th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski

BRAINTREE, Mass. – Applications for individual life insurance policies in the United States rose 4.9% in March, compared with a year ago, according to market research from MIB Group. The month also concluded the “strongest quarter yet of the current expansion,” the group said in its monthly MIB Life Index, and outshone last year’s first […]

Trouble Ahead! Baby Boomers’ Retirement Outlook on the Decline

{April 12th, 2016} by IRI

Study: Few boomers are confident in attaining financial security in retirement; Many not Saving or planning WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released a new research report that found less than a quarter of Baby Boomers, 24 percent, are confident they will have enough savings to last throughout their retirement years. This is the […]

Sammons Retirement Solutions Inc. Announces Record Company Growth

{April 11th, 2016} by MarketWire

WEST DES MOINES, IA –(Marketwired – April 11, 2016) – Sammons Retirement Solutions® Inc., creator of the innovative LiveWell® Annuity Series and LiveWell® Mutual Fund IRA Series, announced record-breaking company growth in 2015. The company, which was created in 2011 and began actively selling in 2012, works exclusively through independent financial professionals and their broker/dealers. […]

Pacific Life Introduces Interest Enhanced Death Benefit

{April 11th, 2016} by Pacific Life

A New Optional Death Benefit Provides Growth During Times of Market Volatility NEWPORT BEACH, CA–(Marketwired – April 11, 2016) – Financial professionals who want to help clients enhance the legacies they leave to loved ones have a new strategic tool — Interest Enhanced Death Benefit from Pacific Life. Available as an option with all Pacific […]

Athene USA Launches New and Redesigned Annuity Suite of Products

{April 11th, 2016} by Athene

West Des Moines, IA (April 11, 2016) – Athene USA, a leading provider of products in the retirement savings market, today announced the launch of an ambitious initiative, centered around a dynamic suite of both new and enhanced products focused on helping customers achieve their financial goals. Athene Performance Elite®, already one of the industry’s […]

FIA sales spotlighted in DOL rule

{April 11th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

Fixed index annuities appear to be the product most affected by the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary standard regulation, according to analysts. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts called the decision to reclassify FIAs as eligible for sale under federal regulation instead of state regulation “a notable negative” of the final rule. Standard & Poor’s estimated […]

DOL rule: Expect changes to products, distribution & compensation

{April 11th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

With the Department of Labor’s much anticipated conflict-of-interest or fiduciary standards now finalized, industry stakeholders are offering varying assessments on the regulatory impact. Among the prognosticators: Fitch Ratings. The international credit ratings agency stated in a comment letter issued shortly before publication of the finalized regulations that it expects changes to product offerings, distribution strategies […]

RIAs expect to make some changes to comply with DOL fiduciary rule

{April 11th, 2016} by Liz Skinner

They will need to marginally modify their policies and procedures, adjust client agreements and other documents, as well as provide additional client disclosures Brokers aren’t the only ones who will have to make changes as a result of the “best interest” rules on retirement advice that the Department of Labor issued last week. Changes are […]

The Fiduciary Rule Impact on Compensation Explained

{April 11th, 2016} by John Hilton

Now that the Department of Labor has finally published its fiduciary rule, it is time for advisors and firms to consider how their lives will change. Take compensation, for example. Plenty of accusations and hypothetical situations were bandied about during the past year since the DOL released its tentative fiduciary rule. Now that the rule […]

New Retirement Rules: Winners and Losers

{April 9th, 2016} by Ben Levison

Last week, the Labor Department issued a new set of rules mandating that stockbrokers, insurance agents, and financial advisors must choose investments with their clients’ best interests in mind. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? It should be, and for registered investment advisors, who have long been held to a higher standard, it is. But brokers […]

Fiduciary Opponents to DOL: See You in Court?

{April 8th, 2016} by John Hilton

Opponents and analysts of the Department of Labor’s controversial fiduciary rule long predicted litigation would greet its publication. Now that the final rule is out, insiders are even more convinced that lawsuits are on the way. “While the Department of Labor addressed many of the concerns expressed during the comment period, the final regulation still […]

New DOL rule will force insurers to adapt

{April 8th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

(Washington) — The Department of Labor’s new market conduct rule will have a long-term impact on insurers and agents in the life insurance business, according to a new report by Standard & Poor’s. It specifically eyed variable and fixed index annuities, which S&P analysts project is a $190 billion annual business for insurers, because the new […]

Being a woman will cost you $430,480 over your working lifetime

{April 8th, 2016} by SARAH MCGREGOR

What’s the individual damage from gender inequality in the workplace? For the average U.S. woman it’s more than $430,000 over the course of her career, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center, a non-profit advocacy group. The gender pay-gap issue has come to the fore following criticism from President Barack Obama that women […]

Annuities’ alphabet soup: choosing the best option

{April 8th, 2016} by Scott Stolz

Despite the fact that annuities are uniquely designed to provide guaranteed income for life, over the last 30 years, they have been used mostly as a means to provide tax-deferred accumulation. The commonly held belief has been that as the baby boomers continue to age, much of the $3 trillion-plus in estimated annuity assets will eventually […]

Insurance Industry Seeks Major Edits to NAIC Cybersecurity Model Draft

{April 8th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

NEW ORLEANS – Insurance groups are asking a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ cybersecurity task force if they could meet to re-write or discuss significant portions of its draft cybersecurity model law, but North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm, the panel chairman, said he would only be willing to hold private talks. Discussions on the […]

Historical timeline of fiduciary duty for financial advice

{April 8th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Breaking down the long road a ‘best-interests’ standard has followed, dating back to 1934  1934 Securities and Exchange Act The law codifies governance of the securities exchanges and broker-dealers and leads to the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more 1940 Investment Advisers Act The measure, whose genesis was a 1935 SEC report […]

Social Media Hot Takes on Final DOL Fiduciary Rule

{April 8th, 2016} by WealthManagement Staff

Everyone from legislators to individual financial advisors to concerned investors weighed in on the final Department of Labor fiduciary rule, which was released today.  The rule, which requires advisors overseeing retirement accounts to act under a fiduciary standard to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own, took six years to formalize. It elicited more than 400,000 public […]

Lawyer: Why FIA Sellers Can Challenge the DOL on Fiduciary

{April 8th, 2016} by John Hilton

The Department of Labor did what everyone expected with its fiduciary rule: came out swinging, took in comments and criticism with a smile, then backed off in the final rule. It’s classic, tried-and-true policymaking. So how does that explain the DOL’s curious decision to take an opposite tack with fixed indexed annuities? While the department’s […]

For Broker/Dealers, a Massive Shift in Thinking

{April 8th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Broker/dealers will find themselves challenged in the wake of the Department of Labor’s “conflict of interest” rule — although perhaps not so much for the reasons that have grabbed the headlines over the past 12 months. The biggest change facing broker/dealers is that their registered representatives must start thinking more like financial planners. This is […]

New Fiduciary Standard Hardly a Pox on Advisors

{April 7th, 2016} by John Kimelman

The Obama administration unveiled the final version of its long- anticipated “fiduciary rule” that will govern the way advisors help their customers invest for retirement. By most press accounts, it’s pretty clear that advisors from Wall Street to Walla Walla, Wash., can breathe a collective sigh of relief. “All things considered, and in comparison with […]

DOL acting before SEC on fiduciary rule is ‘failure in public policy’

{April 7th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The SEC had a mandate to set a fiduciary standard, but failed to do so before the DOL The Department of Labor’s move to set a uniform fiduciary standard on investment advice before the Securities and Exchange Commission represents a policy breakdown on the part of the U.S. government, according to an official with the […]

MetLife judge found fault with FSOC ‘too big to fail’ review

{April 7th, 2016} by ANDREW HARRIS, KATHERINE CHIGLINSKY

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. government panel that decided MetLife Inc. was too big to fail erred by not evaluating the insurer’s vulnerability to financial distress, according to the federal judge who rescinded that designation last week. That finding was one of several underpinning U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer’s March 30 legal opinion which was unsealed […]

Post DOL Fiduciary Standard, Robo-Advisors Versus Real Advisors

{April 7th, 2016} by Charlie Gipple, CLU,®ChFC® - Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, Partners Advantage

This is an excerpt to the full whitepaper by Charlie Gipple:“What Robo-Advisors CanNOT Do That You Can An Introduction to Behavioral Finance” Whether we are talking about life insurance sales, annuity sales or investment sales, one thing is indisputable, MONEY IS EMOTIONAL. I believe financial professionals can never be replaced, because “robo-advisors” cannot adequately help […]

CHART ILLUSTRATING CHANGES FROM DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S 2015 CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROPOSAL TO FINAL

{April 7th, 2016} by United States Department of Labor

The changes in the retirement landscape over the last 40 years have increased the importance of sound investment advice for workers and their families. The Department’s conflict of interest final rule and related exemptions will protect investors by requiring all who provide retirement investment advice to plans and IRAs to abide by a “fiduciary” standard—putting […]

Iowa Insurance Division receives national education recognition

{April 7th, 2016} by Business Record

The Iowa Insurance Division was honored yesterday at the second annual Innovation in Financial Education Awards presented by Nasdaq and EverFi. The award recognizes the Iowa Insurance Division’s significant efforts to improve the financial capability of Americans through unique digital learning initiatives. Since the beginning of the 2015 school year, the Iowa Insurance Division has […]

10 compliance challenges annuity providers will face in 2016

{April 7th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

As if the finalized Department of Labor fiduciary rule is not enough of a challenge for the annuities market to tackle, several other regulatory and compliance issues are still important for carriers, producers and independent marketing organizations to focus on this year. Kevin Mechtley, consultant with First Consulting and Administration, outlined compliance issues likely to […]

Industry Mobilizes Over DOL Fiduciary Ruling

{April 7th, 2016} by Editorial Staff

LIMRA /LOMA Secure Retirement Institute creates Resources for members; NAIFA President Gaudreau responds WINDSOR, Conn., April 7, 2016—In response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final fiduciary rule published today, LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute is developing a number of resources to help financial services companies adapt to the new fiduciary rule. “The Institute was […]

NAIC RESPONDS TO METLIFE COURT DECISION

{April 7th, 2016} by NAIC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 07, 2016) — The U.S. District Court’s opinion released today confirms what members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have long argued: the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) designation of Metlife as a systemically important financial institution is flawed. “State insurance regulators are directly involved in national and international efforts […]

The Final DOL Move Shocked the Indexed Annuity Industry

{April 7th, 2016} by Rachel Summt

We’ve been anticipating the finalized DOL fiduciary rule for months now and it has finally been revealed. The Department of Labor’s final ruling was released yesterday and it contained some surprises for the fixed indexed annuity industry in particular. This information comes from the Investment News article, “Variable and fixed-indexed annuities feel sting of DOL […]

Perez expresses confidence final DOL rule will survive opposition

{April 7th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Labor secretary says the regulation that would increase investment advice standards for retirement accounts will withstand challenges from those looking to kill it    Labor Secretary Thomas Perez expressed full confidence that a regulation that would increase investment advice standards for retirement accounts would withstand fierce opposition that continues to dog the measure. The […]

Royal Neighbors Stands Up for Women’s Rights… Again

{April 7th, 2016} by Royal Neighbors

Waiver of premium rider allows for focus on healing (Mesa, AZ) Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurers, has once again taken a stand to support women. In 2015, the 120-year-old organization made headlines when it launched the initial stage of a patent-pending process including a Cancer Waiver rider designed […]

Fiduciary rule may be long-run “negative” for life insurers: Fitch

{April 7th, 2016} by Editorial Staff

The new regulations could have a “negative impact on the sale of certain annuity products, drive changes in product offerings, distribution strategies and compensation structures and lead to increased operational costs,” a Fitch release said. The US Department of Labor (DOL) proposal promoting new “best interest” standards that provide protections primarily to individual and small […]

Compliance in U.S. Department of Labor world: Much ado about nothing?: Opinion

{April 6th, 2016} by John Sarich

With the Department of Labor’s finalized amendment regarding the regulations on fiduciary responsibility for retirement products — including annuities,life insurance and other life products — it’s timely to take a look at the compliance implications for carriers, distributors, agents and advisors. Over the past 18 months, the retirement industry has been attempting to gain a […]

10 changes to the finalized DOL fiduciary rule

{April 6th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

Final fiduciary rule version attempts to address industry comments and concerns Photo: Getty With what Labor Secretary Thomas Perez called a “keen ear and healthy dose of humility,” the Department of Labor has finalized a fiduciary rule after making what he called substantial changes to the proposed version. Never a fan of the suitability standard […]

How stricter rules for brokers will affect retirement savers

{April 6th, 2016} by Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — High fees. Conflicts of interest. Inappropriate investments. The Obama administration is going after a host of perceived rip-offs with the new rules it’s unveiling Wednesday for brokers who recommend investments for retirement savers. No longer will brokers who sell stocks, bonds, annuities and other products be required just to recommend investments that […]

How the final DOL fiduciary rule will impact advisors

{April 6th, 2016} by Jamie Johnson

With the ink still fresh on the Department of Labor’s finalized fiduciary standard for investment professionals who advise on retirement plan accounts, an industry-wide debate has begun as to whether the DOL made enough changes to its earlier draft to mollify industry concerns. The initial assessment: The DOL proved responsive on the margins, streamlining, clarifying […]

DOL Final Rule Change Could Hurt FIA Sales

{April 6th, 2016} by John Hilton

While the final fiduciary rule contains plenty of concessions by the Department of Labor, one significant change is expected to hurt fixed indexed annuity sales. The DOL opted to toughen the rule by adding FIAs to the Best Interest Contract Exemption, along with variable annuities. ‘While this had been discussed at various times, we most […]

John Hancock Rewards Consumers For Healthy Eating

{April 6th, 2016} by PRNewswire

BOSTON, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock Insurance today announced an expansion of its game-changing John Hancock Vitality solution with the addition of the HealthyFood program. Now, John Hancock Vitality policyholders can earn rewards for the healthy food choices they make every day with real-time discounts and/or cash-back up to $600 a year on […]

A look at the future of life insurance policy illustrations

{April 6th, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

(Las Vegas) The topic of illustrations for life insurance product sales and marketing purposes has become a hot button issue among consumers, regulatory groups and life insurance companies.  Speaking on the topic at the 2016 LIMRA Life Insurance Conference in Las Vegas were: Michael Lovendusky, vice president and associate gerneral counsel, American Council of Life […]

A Commission Ban Is Not the Answer

{April 6th, 2016} by Marketwired

New Canadian academic research identifies a negative impact on wealth accumulation, economy We’ll look across our borders from time to time to analyze trends in the financial services industry that may have implications for our markets here. Her, the topic of compensation is always front-of-mind for advisors. TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – April 04, 2016) – A […]

Donelon: Proposal for Two-Year Cooling-Off Period for CEO Hire Is to Prevent Appearance of Conflict of Interest

{April 6th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said he’s making a proposal to ban any commissioner with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners from becoming chief executive officer until after leaving the group for two years. Donelon made the proposal during the NAIC’s April 4 executive committee held during the NAIC’s 2016 Spring National […]

DOL Fiduciary Rule

{April 6th, 2016} by DOL

Final Rule: Read the final rule and associated documents FAQs: Conflicts of Interest Rulemaking Fact Sheet: Final rule to protect retirement savings Chart: Compare the proposed and final rules Final Rule: Read the final rule and associated documents

Adviser fears abound for fiduciary rule fallout

{April 6th, 2016} by Liz Skinner

InvestmentNews survey finds all corners of the advice business are expecting to face challenges, but stark differences about the degree of pain are evident among the channels     Every corner of the advice business is expecting to incur extra burdens from the Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule, which requires that advisers to retirement accounts […]

From Hillary Clinton to Charles Schwab, top quotes on the DOL fiduciary rule

{April 6th, 2016} by Alessandra Malito

Politicians, custodians, broker-dealers, wirehouses, advisers and more shared their perspective on the landmark legislation       The financial services industry can finally let go of its collective breath now that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which requires all advisers to work in their clients’ best interest on retirement accounts, was released on Wednesday. […]

DOL Did Some Scaling Back On Final Rule

{April 6th, 2016} by Julie Anderson

As expected by some people close to the process, DOL scaled back its final fiduciary rule based on extensive consultation with financial services industry groups, consumer advocates and the public. Under the new regulation, a fiduciary is defined as any person who receives compensation for providing investment recommendations that are “individualized or specifically directed” to […]

Frequently asked questions about the DOL fiduciary rule

{April 6th, 2016} by Elizabeth MacBride

Answers to common sources of confusion or misunderstanding about the new regulation Q:What are the significant changes under the new rule? A:Under current rules, some advisers in the retirement industry operate under a standard that requires advice to be suitable for a client, but not necessarily in the client’s best interests. Some retirement investment advice […]

Rules for Indexed Annuities Face an Unexpected Tightening

{April 6th, 2016} by ANNA PRIOR and LESLIE SCISM

Move comes as indexed-annuity sales jumped to $54.5 billion last year Just days ago, it appeared that new U.S. rules on retirement-savings advice might inadvertently boost sales of an insurance-company product that has drawn criticism for its complexity and high compensation to sellers. Instead, the final rule issued by the Labor Department on Wednesday toughens standards for […]

Critics say DOL fiduciary rule makes too many industry concessions

{April 6th, 2016} by Jeff Benjamin and Liz Skinner

The rule the Department of Labor published Wednesday raising investment advice standards for retirement accounts is so watered down in response to industry concerns that investors may not be any better off, critics say. Even though the new regulation would boost the advice bar for brokers, the final rule clarifies that there is no bias […]

‘Fiduci-what?’ Most clients don’t know what the fiduciary duty really means

{April 6th, 2016} by Carl Richards

The more we do to help clients understand conflicts of interest, the better we can serve their interests      Earlier in my career, I switched firms. The change meant I left a position where I couldn’t legally call myself a fiduciary. But at the new firm, I was required to be one. I was […]

Inside the Pros and Cons of a New Fiduciary Rule

{April 6th, 2016} by Bloomberg

SIFMA President and CEO Ken Bentsen discusses the pros and cons of a new fiduciary rule. He speaks on “Bloomberg Markets.” Click HERE for video  “We just think the way the department went about it, at least in their proposal, was very problematic and has negative, unintended consequences” – Bentsen, SIFMA President and CEO

How SEC Lost the Race to Regulate Retirement Advice

{April 6th, 2016} by YUKA HAYASHI, DAVE MICHAELS

A partisan divide among commissioners slowed SEC down   WASHINGTON—If there is one big mystery about the tough new rule for stockbrokers who give retirement advice, it is this: Why on earth is it coming out of the Labor Department? That sort of financial service is typically regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But […]

How much time will be needed to comply with DOL fiduciary rule?

{April 6th, 2016} by Emily Zulz

The Department of Labor is on the verge of implementing its rule redefining fiduciary on retirement accounts — are advisors and firms prepared for this new ERISA rule? While there are many outstanding questions about what the final rule will actually say, a big concern seems to be the amount of time given for advisors […]

currency