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Industry Articles

DOL Moves to Consolidate Three Cases Challenging the Fiduciary Rule

{June 24th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor filed a motion seeking to consolidate the three federal lawsuits challenging the updated fiduciary rule into one single case. The plaintiffs said they are not opposed to the move, but a final order is pending. The request was made to U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, chief judge […]

FSOC: Regulators Making Progress Toward Financial Stability; Dangers Loom

{June 23rd, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Regulators have made significant progress in improving financial resiliency and reducing economically risky business practices that led to the U.S. financial meltdown eight years ago, according to a new report by the Financial Stability Oversight Council. “Financial regulatory reforms and a strengthening of market discipline since the global financial crisis have made the […]

Ohio Insurance Agent’s License Revoked after $800K in Client Losses

{June 23rd, 2016} by Ohio Department of Insurance

Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor has revoked the license of insurance agent Brian Willms, of Dublin, for misrepresenting life insurance policies as an investment. The misrepresentations contributed to two clients losing a combined $800,000. The Ohio Department of Insurance found Willms, from 2011 to 2013, led clients to believe that the complex Life Economic Acceleration Process […]

Rediscovering Whole Life

{June 23rd, 2016} by Lewis W. Merrow

There are safer ways to guide your clients through today’s financial minefields by Lewis W. Merrow, MBA, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, FLMI, CEBS Mr. Merrow, a third-generation life insurance salesman, is Regional Vice President for Mutual Trust Life insurance Company, a Pan-American Life Insurance Group Stock Company. Connect with him by telephone at 800-486-8887, or […]

Millennials: The debt-averse, insurance-buying generation

{June 23rd, 2016} by AFLAC

By 2017, millennials will have the most buying power of any generation. Still, with all that power, there are some things they won’t spring for— things such as pay television, cars and mass-market beer. One thing millennials will buy, however, is insurance products. According to the 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report, those born between 1980 and […]

Financial advisers push boundaries of social media

{June 23rd, 2016} by Christine Idzelis

RIAs, wirehouses exploring new ways of connecting with clients online Jun 20, 2016 @ 1:40 pm   One day on Facebook, Tina Powell discovered a client’s son was in the hospital because of epilepsy. Ms. Powell, a partner at registered investment advisory firm Beacon Wealth Management, said she picked up the phone to see if […]

Eight ways to comply with DOL fiduciary rule: Blog

{June 23rd, 2016} by Manisha Kimmel

Labor Department’s principles-based rule raising investment advice standards for retirement accounts gives firms flexibility in how to meet compliance Jun 17, 2016 @ 11:58 am   What makes the DOL’s fiduciary rule so transformational is that while most regulations impose significant costs, this rule also will have a material impact on revenue, especially related to […]

FSOC 2016: Brokers and insurers show little growth

{June 23rd, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

Life insurers reported a slight decrease in premiums along with greater use of reinsurance in 2014, according to the latest report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), citing the slow growth as a product of the current consistent low interest rate environment. But, lower reserve increases than in 2014 allowed for an increase in […]

Lincoln Financial Group Named among the Top 100 Call Centers in America for Life Insurance and Annuity Customer Service Excellence

{June 23rd, 2016} by Business Wire

Latest Recognition from BenchmarkPortal Marks the Fifth Consecutive Year for the Life Insurance Team and Third Consecutive Year for the Annuity Team June 22, 2016 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) announced today that its life insurance and annuity Customer Contact Centers have both been named Top 100 Call Centers […]

Annuity Insurers Boost Agent Portal Experience

{June 22nd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Agent portal improvement mean more features, fewer ordering mistakes and faster transaction capabilities in the individual annuity space, which in turn, have allowed companies to retain more agents and advisors, a new report finds. Agent portals are Internet entry points through which agents do business with annuity companies. Portals play a vital role in helping agents […]

Independent broker-dealer business model is an endangered species

{June 22nd, 2016} by Bruce Kelly

In the new DOL fiduciary landscape, B-Ds can no longer be dependent on commissions May 29, 2016 @ 6:00 am      The current business model of many independent broker-dealers, which depends on selling high-commission products, such as variable annuities and nontraded real estate investment trusts, is an endangered species. That’s the blunt assessment of […]

Some Life Insurance Sales Covered by DOL Rule

{June 21st, 2016} by John Hilton

Life insurance is the forgotten transaction in ongoing debate over the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The impact on variable and fixed indexed annuities is dominating news coverage. The stories usually note the impact on IRAs, 401(k)s, investment education, mutual funds and many other aspects of the industry. But life insurance sales are affected as well. Some life insurance […]

Perspectives on Annuity Awareness

{June 21st, 2016} by NAFA Staff

NAFA Annuity Outlook magazine reached out to industry leaders to ask for their take on where we are and where we need to head to have an impact on the annuity awareness front lines. We posed this question: What is your view on where we stand on annuity awareness in our country? Charles R. “Chip” […]

DOL files to consolidate 3 fiduciary suits

{June 21st, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The Department of Labor filed a motion Friday requesting that the three lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging DOL’s fiduciary rule be consolidated. The plaintiffs agreed to consolidation in a Monday response, but insisted that each of the cases be allowed to “retain their separate identities” and […]


{June 21st, 2016} by ANDREA L. BEN-YOSEF

Even though the fiduciary rule was released in April, opponents are still continuing their attack, this time through the courts. In early June, five different lawsuits were filed against the Department of Labor. They make some allegations that are similar and some that are different. The complaints pull in several federal statutes and the U.S. […]

DOL’s Perez Vows to Fight Mounting Fiduciary Lawsuits

{June 21st, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

Five lawsuits filed in federal courts in June; former DOL solicitor Scalia asks court for quick action to vacate the rule Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has vowed to “vigorously” defend the department’s rule amending the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice against the mounting lawsuits that were lobbed against the rule in June. A total […]

DOL 101: The fiduciary rule’s impact on annuity carriers

{June 21st, 2016} by KEVIN W. MECHTLEY, J.D.

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is the most significant industry game-changing development we have seen since the tax reform to annuities in the early 1980s. As an annuity compliance expert with a leading consulting company, the biggest question I receive these days is: “How do I comply?” Even though I’d like to have a […]

The DOL Rule: As Expected – More Questions Than Answers

{June 21st, 2016} by Chip Anderson

MESSAGE FROM NAFA One year after the proposed DOL rule came out in April of 2015, the final DOL rule was officially released on April 8, 2016. This was after thousands of comment letters from different organizations and hundreds of thousands of emails. There were letters and phone calls from consumers, agents and registered representatives […]

Don’t take retirement advice from John Oliver

{June 21st, 2016} by John Oliver

Suppose you bought a travel guide to help you plan your next trip. The first chapter describes the best, low-cost option to get to your destination. But the subsequent chapters are blank, offering no ideas on what to do when you arrive. That’s essentially the quality of the retirement advice coming from several market experts […]

What John Oliver got right (and wrong) about the DOL fiduciary rule (Opinion)

{June 21st, 2016} by Carley Meiners

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been a battle for our industry for about six years now, and consumers rarely know about or understand the potential changes. But last week, the rule took on a new audience: the viewers of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Here’s the thing, I spend almost every day reading something […]

Millennials favor income stream over lump sum life insurance benefits

{June 21st, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

A new LIMRA study shows consumers under age 40 would prefer to receive life insurance benefits as a monthly income rather than a lump sum payment. In a study on life insurance product designs, 4 in 10 consumers under age 40 prefer a monthly income benefit while approximately 30 percent favor a lump sum payment. “People […]

A Brief History of Life Insurance

{June 20th, 2016} by Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing

From comical legalities and a mix of ethics & math, a bedrock industry emerged by Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing are the authors of Investment: A History [www.investmentahistory.com] (Columbia Business School Publishing, February 2016). – Mr. Reamer is the former chief investment officer and CEO of Putnam Investments. He founded and […]

Cost-of-living: rising costs and available options to save life insurance

{June 20th, 2016} by Michael Krasnerman

Unexpected cost-of-living increases affect people of all walks of life. Even the best laid plans are not foolproof. There are unforeseen circumstances that cannot be avoided. Unanticipated costs can burden even the largest budget. The Wall Street Journal recently reported a number of life insurance companies are increasing the cost of insurance, which is proving […]

MassMutual Launches ValoraLife, a Simple, Quick Way to Buy Affordable Life Insurance Online

{June 19th, 2016} by MassMutual

HOUSTON, June 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — ValoraLife.com, an innovative and simple way to buy life insurance online, launched today in Houston to meet the need for an affordable financial safety net for families. Coverage is possible in about 30 minutes on the ValoraLife.com site, which is available now in English and in Spanish in mid-July. […]

Government Seeks to Reinstate SIFI Designation for MetLife

{June 17th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Government attorneys have asked a federal appeals court to reinstate the systemically important financial institution designation for MetLife Inc., saying the company remains a possible threat to the nation’s economy and needs prudential supervision beyond what it receives by state regulators. Attorneys for the Financial Stability Oversight Council filed the appeals brief in […]

3 exciting unintended consequences of the DOL rule (Opinion)

{June 16th, 2016} by Michael Markey

In November 2015, the Obama administration eliminated and phased out Social Security claiming strategies, calling them unintended loopholes. After Mr. Obama fixed Social Security, our savior of social injustice, along with his administration, he decided to fix the financial industry. The result was the Department of Labor conflict-of-interest rule. This rule created its own unintended […]

Security Benefit offers floating-rate fixed annuity

{June 16th, 2016} by RIJ Editorial Staff

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company has launched what it calls the fixed annuity industry’s first floating-rate product, designed to fit a world where interest rates seem to have only one direction in which to go.    Called RateTrack, the single premium deferred fixed annuity allows clients to participate “automatically” at the beginning of each contract […]

Texas agent nabbed in annuity scam

{June 16th, 2016} by Caitlin Bronson

Law enforcement officials have arrested a Lubbock, Texas-area insurance agent they say was involved in an annuity scam targeting elderly clients. The Texas Department of Insurance reported that Joseph Allen Gaines has been charged with defrauding customers by keeping their money, which was meant to be used toward the purchase of annuities. Instead, Gaines kept […]

The DOL fiduciary rule: heralding the end of commissions (Opinion)

{June 16th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Once the Department of Laborfiduciary rule starts to take effect in April of 2017, it’s a fair bet that industry costs will go up significantly, and not just in terms of compliance: Embedded into the rule is a provision that leaves advisors and insurers vulnerable to a class action lawsuit. That legal exposure could prompt […]

Voya Financial Expands Popular Cash Value Life Insurance Offering to New York State Consumers

{June 16th, 2016} by Voya

MINNEAPOLIS, June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that its Individual Life business will now offer a popular cash value life insurance product to New York consumers. Voya Indexed Universal Life–Global Choice NY (Voya IUL–Global Choice NY)* gives individuals and families the opportunity to protect the financial future of their […]

Life/annuity insurer stocks under pressure

{June 16th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The stock prices of publicly traded life and annuity insurers in the United States logged a 6.4 percent decline during the first quarter after showing a moderate increase of 2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a new report by credit-rating firm A.M. Best. The report, “Pressures Remain for Publicly Traded Life/Annuity Insurers,” […]

Insurers mark significant regulatory shift

{June 16th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

WASHINGTON — The reserve requirements for universal life insurance with secondary guarantees and term life insurance products will shift to a more flexible evaluation system under a recent decision made by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The new, so-called “principles-based reserving system” marks the most significant change in regulating life insurers since before World […]

AM Best Affirms Ratings of Knighthead Annuity

{June 16th, 2016} by Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AM Best Affirms Ratings of Knighthead Annuity   George Town – Cayman Islands – June 15, 2016 – Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company™ announced today that A.M. Best, the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source, affirmed its financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and issuer […]

Guardian Offers Path to Affordable Whole Life Policy Ownership

{June 15th, 2016} by Guardian

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 15, 2016 — The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers, today announced two new enhancements to its whole life insurance offerings. Guardian’s Lifetime Protection Builder and Enhanced Whole Life Policy Loan Options provide policyholders choice around how their protection is structured and how […]

Robert Cook, former SEC exec, named new FINRA chief

{June 15th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced Monday that Robert Cook, former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading & Markets, has been named by FINRA’s Board as the self-regulator’s new president and CEO, replacing Richard Ketchum. Cook, who will join FINRA next month, hails from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he […]

Tony Robbins joins an advisory firm, defends fiduciary standard

{June 15th, 2016} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

About 18 months ago, life coach and business strategy guru Tony Robbins insisted that he wasn’t planning to enter the retail financial services industry. Why should he? This is the man who counsels the likes of Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. He already collects many millions of dollars a year in coaching fees. […]

7 technology priorities for the individual annuities market

{June 15th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in insurers’ ability to attract, retain and profitably serve clients, especially in the highly competitive individual annuity market. New research from Boston-based Novarica found that individual annuity carriers are focusing on modernization of policy administration systems as well as improving agent portal functionality, business intelligence and risk management […]

New York Life Appoints Dylan Huang as Senior Managing Director and Head of Retail Annuities

{June 15th, 2016} by New York Life

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New York Life, the largest mutual life insurance company in the U.S. and the market leader in income annuities, has named Dylan Huang senior managing director and head of its retail annuities business. With $80 billion in assets under management and sales of $12 billion in 2015, retail annuities is New York Life’s […]

Eric Taylor Joins AIG as Senior Vice President, Independent Annuity and A & H Distribution

{June 15th, 2016} by American International Group (AIG)

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) today announced that it has named Eric Taylor Senior Vice President, Independent Annuity and A & H Distribution. Mr. Taylor is responsible for providing strategic and tactical leadership for annuity sales through brokerage general agencies and independent marketing organizations for AIG Financial Distributors, the sales distribution arm for […]

The Next Big Thing? Annuitant-Driven Annuities

{June 15th, 2016} by Tax Facts Online

While annuity products are often primarily purchased with an eye toward securing retirement income, unexpected issues that can arise when a contract owner or annuitant dies can create postmortem tax problems that can now actually be addressed when the contract is purchased.  In particular, issues that can arise when the contract is annuitant-driven (rather than […]

QUIZ: 10 benefits of life insurance

{June 14th, 2016} by Elana Ashanti Jefferson

You may think you already grasp all of the reasons why whole life insurance is such a clear winner when it comes to estate planning. But even longtime producers who know a lot about life insurance may sometimes have trouble communicating its benefits to clients. So go ahead: Try your hand at explaining the common benefits of life […]

5 things to know about selling annuities under the DOL fiduciary rule

{June 14th, 2016} by MARCIA S. WAGNER, J.D.

Now that the Labor Department’s final fiduciary rule has been released, what does it mean for companies selling annuities and how will they comply? Following are five questions and answers that shed light on some of the most pressings questions about how annuities sales will work under the rule, including how proprietary products will be […]

NAIC to kick-start principle-based reserving in 2017

{June 14th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted a recommendation today that will activate principle-based reserving (PBR) starting on Jan. 1, 2017. The NAIC recommendation from the PBR Implementation Task Force follows an extensive analysis of amended Standard Valuation Laws passed by 45 states, representing nearly 80 percent of the U.S life insurance market.  “This is an […]

A.M. Best Special Report: Pressures Remain for Publicly Traded Life/Annuity Insurers

{June 14th, 2016} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–After a moderate increase of 2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2015, the stock prices of publicly traded U.S. life/annuity (L/A) insurers covered in a new A.M. Best report saw their stock prices decline 6.4% in the first quarter of 2016. According to the Best Special Report, titled, “Pressures Remain for Publicly Traded […]

Tensions between Sen. Warren and SEC’s White boil over at hearing

{June 14th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Lawmakers express disappointment in Chairwoman Mary Jo White’s tenure as they grill her on issues like corporate disclosures and a universal fiduciary rule Tensions between Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White mounted Tuesday. In an exchange during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on SEC oversight, Ms. Warren questioned […]

Dad’s ‘Salary’ Drops for the First Time in Six Years

{June 14th, 2016} by Insure.com

Insure.com’s annual survey finds Dad would earn a ‘salary’ of $24,738 for the jobs he does around the house: But Dad says he doesn’t want anything… except maybe some time to relax (Foster City, Calif.) June 14, 2016 – The value of dad’s jobs fell 3.8 percent down to $24,738, according to Insure.com’s annual Father’s […]

Life Happens Honors Insurance Agents for Outstanding Client Service

{June 14th, 2016} by Life Happens

2016 Real Life Stories Recipients Showcase Invaluable Role of Insurance Professionals in Protecting Families against Financial Hardship ARLINGTON, Va., June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the importance of life insurance, today announced the recipients of its Real Life Stories Client Recognition Program. This annual program celebrates […]

Expert: DOL Rule To Force Agents To Consider E&O Coverage

{June 14th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Sweeping changes affecting financial advice for retirement accounts will force thousands of agents and financial advisors to consider errors and omissions coverage or leave the business, a former Department of Labor investigator said Wednesday. Errors and omissions coverage wasn’t necessary for wealth managers, broker/dealers, commission-based advisors and independent agents because they were considered nonfiduciary advisors. […]

Voya Financial Adds New Series of Fixed Indexed Annuities to its Broad Suite of Retirement Solutions

{June 14th, 2016} by Voya

MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2016 WINDSOR, Conn., June 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) announced today it has expanded its suite of fixed index annuity products by introducing a new family of solutions aimed at helping individuals grow and protect their savings — while generating guaranteed retirement income. The new Voya Quest series […]

Insurance Marketing Organizations Feel The DOL’s Freezer Burn

{June 14th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

U.S. Department of Labor regulators earlier this spring hit life and annuity wholesalers with a double whammy. First, regulators made it harder for retail agents to sell fixed indexed annuity products, the shining star of the fixed annuity world. Then regulators froze out the wholesalers, sometimes known as insurance or independent marketing organizations (IMOs), or […]

Lawsuit Filed to Challenge New Department of Labor Rule That Restricts Americans’ Retirement Choices

{June 14th, 2016} by IALC

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council (IALC) today filed a legal challenge to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. While the IALC agrees that financial professionals should act in their clients best interest when providing retirement advice to individuals, this legal challenge is necessary because the rule creates an […]

How more regulation can help the insurance industry

{June 13th, 2016} by Lynette Gil

The one thing I would change is adding more regulation to the insurance industry, specifically pertaining to the sale of index life or index annuity products,” says Brenden Barkate, senior vice president of Exclusive Insurance Brokerage. Why would anyone want more regulation? For starters, it could improve the industry’s reputation and public image. According to […]

Eric Taylor Joins AIG as Senior Vice President, Independent Annuity and A & H Distribution

{June 13th, 2016} by Business Wire

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American International Group, Inc. (AIG) today announced that it has named Eric Taylor Senior Vice President, Independent Annuity and A & H Distribution. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160613005733/en/ Mr. Taylor is responsible for providing strategic and tactical leadership for annuity sales through brokerage general agencies and independent […]

John Oliver lambasts U.S. retirement savings system, supports DOL fiduciary rule

{June 13th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

The star of a late-night HBO comedy show had some biting words for non-fiduciary brokers, high 401(k) fees and active fund management   Comedian John Oliver criticized the American retirement savings system and expressed bona fide support for the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule on his HBO show Sunday night, calling out non-fiduciary brokers, high 401(k) […]

401(K) Advisors, Check Your Anti-Annuity Bias

{June 13th, 2016} by John Sullivan

Too many 401(k) advisors, and financial advisors in general, treat annuities as a four-letter word, but they might want to rethink their stance—especially in employer-sponsored retirement plans. A new white paper from Principal Financial Group, titled The Retirement Income Dilemma: An In-Plan Solution, walks through how in-plan deferred income annuities offered within a retirement plan help […]

Million Dollar Round Table gets a multilingual makeover

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

The Million Dollar Round Table, an annual meeting of top-producing life insurance and financial services professionals, regularly draws thousands of attendees from across the globe. But leaders of the now 90-year-old organization weren’t quite expecting this year’s outsize turnout. The convention and hotel spaces set aside for the event being held in Vancouver, Canada, June […]

NAIC Set to Implement Principle-Based Reserving Methodology for Life Insurers in January 2017

{June 11th, 2016} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – Principle-based reserving for life insurers will be activated on Jan. 1, 2017, after the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Executive Committee adopted a recommendation to do so from a reserving task force. The vote brings to a close a decade of debate over the use of the methodology, designed to help life insurers […]

Market Synergy Group Files Fifth DOL Lawsuit

{June 10th, 2016} by John Hilton

Insurance agency Market Synergy Group filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. It seeks an injunction to stop the DOL’s controversial fiduciary rule. The complaint calls the rule “arbitrary” and “capricious,” as do previous lawsuits. As in other suits, Market Synergy claims the DOL has no authority to enact the […]

Fight over U.S. retirement investment advice rule moves to courts

{June 10th, 2016} by Lisa Lambert

The fight over a new federal regulation on advice on investing for retirement is moving from Capitol Hill to the U.S. court system, as the number of lawsuits attempting to stop the rule grows. Wall Street-affiliated groups, including the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, last week filed a legal challenge in a U.S. District Court in […]

Expert: DOL Rule To Force Agents To Consider E&O Coverage

{June 10th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Sweeping changes affecting financial advice for retirement accounts will force thousands of agents and financial advisors to consider errors and omissions coverage or leave the business, a former Department of Labor investigator said Wednesday. Errors and omissions coverage wasn’t necessary for wealth managers, broker/dealers, commission-based advisors and independent agents because they were considered nonfiduciary advisors. […]

Details Of NAIFA, ACLI Complaint Against DOL Outlined

{June 10th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Eight groups led by the American Council of Life Insurers and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors filed suit on Wednesday to overturn the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. ACLI and NAIFA, along with six separate NAIFA local associations based in Texas, named the DOL and Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez in […]

Annuity Providers Fight New Investment Rule

{June 9th, 2016} by David Lee

DALLAS (CN) – The Labor Department’s rule change that imposes fiduciary duties on financial advisors is arbitrary and unconstitutionally infringes on “protected commercial speech,” according to several insurance groups that sell annuities.      Lead plaintiff American Council of Life Insurers sued the government in Federal Court on Wednesday, arguing the April rule change is “arbitrary and […]

Insurance groups sue Labor Department over fiduciary rule’s impact on annuities

{June 9th, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr

Insurance groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a U.S. Labor Department rule that would raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts, arguing that the regulation would stifle annuity sales. The American Council of Life Insurers, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and six NAIFA chapters in Texas brought the claim in the U.S. […]

3 in 10 Americans would likely share tracker data with insurers

{June 9th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

Thirty percent of consumers are very or extremely likely to consider sharing the data from an activity tracker (Fitbit, Jawbone, etc.) with a life insurance company if they received financial incentives in return for healthy behaviors, according to LIMRA’s 2016 Insurance Barometer. Among those who already use a device, willingness to share more than doubles to […]

DOL’s best interest standard may be tougher than it looks: BLOG

{June 9th, 2016} by Bob Clark

There were a number of excellent comments to my last blog, “For IRA Investors, a Warning on DOL’s Fiduciary Rule,” including a tome-like tutorial by Ron Rhoades on “best interest” and “sole interest” standards as they apply to the new DOL rules, which I highly recommend that you read in its entirety if you haven’t […]

Two more industry groups file lawsuits against the DOL fiduciary rule

{June 9th, 2016} by Tanvi Achayra

Today’s complaints against the Labor Department regulation raising retirement advice standards, bringing the total to five, say it will make it harder for Americans to purchase fixed annuities The list of lawsuits against the Labor Department got longer Thursday, as two more industry groups joined three others in taking aim at the fiduciary rule in […]

How will Muhammad Ali’s estate play out?

{June 9th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

Will boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s estate plan float like a butterfly or sting like a bee? While details of Mr. Ali’s will haven’t yet surfaced following his death Friday, there are particulars of his life, business affairs and family dynamics that could have interesting implications for his estate. Mr. Ali, a three-time world heavyweight boxing […]

7 biggest areas for insurance industry job growth


A few sectors within the insurance industry experienced consistent job creation in recent years, while others saw fewer people doing more work, according to a new report from the New York City-based Insurance Information Institute. The III’s presentation is based on year-over-year employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That data dates back to […]

Protective Life subsidiary acquires Pennsylvania-based brokerage agency

{June 8th, 2016} by Michael Seale

First Protective Insurance Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Protective Life Corporation, has purchased of the assets of the MacNamee Group, a West Chester, Pennsylvania-based brokerage agency. The MacNamee Group was founded in 1982 and specializes in life insurance, long term care and annuities. Steve MacNamee, president of the MacNamee Group, said the company conducted an […]

Insurance groups ACLI and NAIFA sue DOL over fiduciary rule’s impact on annuities

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

Insurance groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a Labor Department rule that would raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts, arguing that the regulation would stifle annuity sales. The American Council of Life Insurers, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and six NAIFA chapters in Texas brought the claim in the U.S. District […]

What Insurance Industry Can Learn from Amazon About Customer Satisfaction

{June 8th, 2016} by Gregory Hoeg

Amazon.com scored its sixth annual victory in the 24/7 Wall Street Customer Service Hall of Fame last year, with 59 percent of customers reporting that they received excellent customer service from the e-commerce giant.  That score surpassed the number two company on the list, Chick-fil-A, by 12 percentage points. Why should that matter to the […]

Wall Street Groups Sue to Block ‘Unworkable’ Fiduciary Rule

{June 7th, 2016} by Katherine Chiglinsky and Elizabeth Dexheimer

Industry organizations file lawsuit in federal court in Dallas Groups say Labor Department encroached on SEC’s duties Wall Street and business lobbying groups have teamed up to fight the Obama administration’s new rules for U.S. brokers managing retirement accounts, saying the regulations include a “deliberately unworkable” fiduciary standard.   The U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined […]

Ex-DOL Head: Reasonable Compensation Not A Concern

{June 7th, 2016} by John Hilton

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Obama appointee reassured industry observers on the fiduciary rule and the future of doing business this morning at the Insured Retirement Institute Government, Legal and Regulatory Conference. For starters, Seth Harris, former acting Secretary of Labor, said he is unconcerned about how “reasonable compensation” is defined in the rule. Harris […]

We Love (Some) Annuities, Says Treasury Deputy

{June 7th, 2016} by John Hilton

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A top Department of Treasury official told industry officials this morning that the Obama administration is working on regulation tweaks to encourage greater investment in annuities. Speaking during the IRI Government, Legal and Regulatory Conference 2016, J. Mark Iwry, deputy assistant secretary for retirement and health policy, mentioned several areas the Treasury […]

DOL Defends Fiduciary Rulemaking

{June 7th, 2016} by John Hilton

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez defended the DOL fiduciary rule today in a response to a lawsuit filed by opponents. The response from the Department of Labor: “People saving for retirement have a legal right and a compelling economic need to receive retirement investment advice that is in their best interest. Today, a handful of industry […]

Observers Say DOL Litigation Could Slow Regulatory Guidance

{June 7th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Industry observers worry that recently filed litigation to vacate the U.S. Labor Department’s fiduciary rule update could have the unintended consequence of holding up agency guidance that is supposed to help companies comply with the new mandates. “There is the possibility that the litigation could slow down the guidance,” said Stephen Saxon, chairman, […]


{June 7th, 2016} by NAIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NAIC LAUNCHES RETIREMENT SECURITY INITIATIVE Insurance regulators highlight importance of planning for later years WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 7, 2016) —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) today announced a new Insure U microsite bringing attention to the importance of retirement security. The new site underscores the importance of planning for retirement, including […]

Prepare Forcefields Against DOL Lawsuits, Lawyers Say

{June 7th, 2016} by John Hilton

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawsuits will be inevitable under the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule but the insurance and securities industries will be able to set the stage to withstand them, according to panelists at the Insured Retirement Institute’s Government, Legal and Regulatory Conference on Monday. The DOL rule places new regulatory burdens on the […]

Athene Eyes Further Expansion, Preps For IPO

{June 7th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Athene Holding, a top seller of fixed indexed annuities, has spent seven years cobbling together life insurance companies in the U.S. and abroad. Now company officials say the time is right for Athene to do some serious expansion in the retirement services marketplace The company filed for an initial public offering last month. The nation’s […]

Suit: Agents, IMOs Can’t Satisfy BIC

{June 7th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Independent insurance agents working through independent marketing organizations, or IMOs, to sell fixed indexed annuities can’t satisfy exemptions afforded them under the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, according to a legal challenge to the rule. Working under the exemption is seen as critical if independent agents are going to continue earning a commission on the sale […]

NAFA Seeks Preliminary Injunction against DOL Fiduciary Rule

{June 7th, 2016} by Chip Anderson, Executive Director of NAFA

Association Files Suit Alleging ‘Irreparable Harm’ to Members   WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2016) — NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, announced today that it has filed a federal lawsuit in the D.C. District Court challenging the Department of Labor’s new “fiduciary” rule.  The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to stay the rule, which […]

Lincoln Financial Launches Next-Generation Insurance Product with iPipeline’s Enhanced iGO Drop Ticket and DocFast e-Delivery

{June 7th, 2016} by Lincoln Financial

New Product Simplifies the Buying Experience, Offers Streamlined Underwriting Opportunities, and Leverages e-Delivery June 07, 2016 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time EXTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–iPipeline® – a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance industry– today announced that Lincoln Financial Group’s new fully-electronic Term insurance product, Lincoln TermAccel® Level Term, incorporates iPipeline’s enhanced […]

Fiduciary rule tops agenda at NAFA Annuity Leadership conference

{June 6th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Members of the National Association for Fixed Annuities will gather this week in Washington, D.C., at the association’s annual Annuities Leadership Forum and Hill Walk to discuss issues and regulation affecting the fixed annuity market. Topping the list of forum topics will be the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which NAFA has publically criticized. The […]

Inside broker and insurance groups’ move to block the DOL fiduciary rule

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

Professional groups representing the brokerage and insurance industries last week finally broke their silence on the Labor Department’s regulation to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts by filing a lawsuit that could put the rule in limbo. “We will ask the court to proceed quickly in the case given how burdensome and disruptive the […]

Danica patrick to Serve as National Spokesperson for LIAM 2016

{June 6th, 2016} by Life Happens

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) Race car Driver Shares Personal Reasons to Buy Life Insurance and Helps Educate Americans on Importance of Financial Protection Arlington, Va. – June 6, 2016 – Professional race car driver Danica Patrick hopes she can motivate people to take a fresh look at their life insurance needs this […]

Fixed Indexed Annuities Will Survive, Experts Say

{June 6th, 2016} by John Hilton

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nationwide stands ready to adapt its annuity products to whatever the market demands in the post-DOL fiduciary rule world, said Mike Morrone. “We will go where the distributor want us to go from a product design perspective. I think some distributors will want it simple and we will have some products that […]

Fed proposes change to capital reserve rules for insurance companies

{June 3rd, 2016} by Kristen Beckman and Jesse Hamilton

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors today released details of a proposal that would affect insurance company regulatory capital frameworks. The proposal includes two approaches to regulatory capital requirements for supervised insurance institutions that would fulfill compliance needs under the Dodd-Frank Act. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) applies to nonbank financial companies significantly engaged […]

BLS: Insurance Industry Gained 3,300 Jobs in May

{June 3rd, 2016} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry added 3,300 jobs in May, according to data released June 6 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seasonally adjusted 0.12% increase for May 2016 over April 2016 shows a continuation in the trend toward industry growth. The May adjusted growth rate is even with the April adjusted growth […]

Multiparty lawsuit alleges DOL overstepped authority with rule

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

Several organizations have joined together to file a legal challenge to the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule, alleging that DOL overstepped its authority in crafting a uniform fiduciary standard of care for brokers and registered investment advisors. Chief executive officers of the five national association co-plaintiffs participated this morning in a media conference to […]

LIMRA: Individual life insurance premium increases in Q1 2016

{June 3rd, 2016} by LifeHealthPr editors

  Individual life insurance new annualized premium increased 4 percent in first quarter 2016 compared with first quarter 2015. This marks the seventh consecutive quarter of positive growth, according to the LIMRA U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. “Individual life insurance sales had a good start to the year with growth across all major […]

Mutual of Omaha Taps Former Prudential Exec as CIO

{June 3rd, 2016} by Marie Suszynski

OMAHA, Neb. – Mutual of Omaha has tapped Richard Hrabchak to be executive vice president and chief investment officer. Hrabchak joins Mutual of Omaha from Prudential Financial, where he spent 29 years and was most recently chief investment officer for the company’s U.S. retirement business, Mutual of Omaha said in a statement. In his new […]

Plaintiffs Say DOL Lawsuit Unavoidable

{June 2nd, 2016} by John Hilton

High profile defense attorney Eugene Scalia said the Department of Labor failed on several counts in crafting its fiduciary rule. “The Labor Department erred by having over-defined fiduciary, exceeding its powers and authority in a number of other ways,” Scalia explained. “For example, the U.S. Labor Department does not have regulatory enforcement authority over IRAs. That […]

Nine groups file lawsuit to strike down ‘capricious’ DOL fiduciary rule

{June 2nd, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

A group of opponents to the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has filed a lawsuit in a Texas district court seeking to strike down the regulation and sticking broadly to familiar arguments levied against the rule. A total of nine organizations filed the suit late Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of […]

How one company is studying the brain to better market to consumers

{June 2nd, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

(Orlando) — What can the human brain tell insurance companies about what to say — and what not to say — in their marketing messages? More than you would imagine. At the LIMRA Marketing & Research Conference being held now in Orlando, representatives from Prudential Financial delved deep into the world of understanding the brain of the buying […]

The DOL Lawsuit Explained

{June 2nd, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor seeks to overturn new rules requiring advisors to exert a fiduciary standard of care in dealing with retirement accounts. Click HERE for the eight counts that form the basis for the complaint, which asks the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to […]

Lawsuit against DOL fiduciary rule could delay implementation indefinitely

{June 2nd, 2016} by Peter Chepucavage

The lawsuit may push the rule to the next presidential administration, which could ultimately kill the rule   The lawsuit designed to stop the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will delay implementation and, depending on the winner of the Presidential election, could equal a death of the rule. This is particularly interesting given the Supreme […]

Are you selling the wrong type of insurance?

{June 2nd, 2016} by Brent Kelly

The person who gives answers before understanding the problems is very foolish.” — John C. Maxwell Have you ever felt like you delivered a powerful and effective sales presentation only to realize that it did not connect with the prospect? This has happened to me on several occasions. I came into a prospect meeting ready, energetic and […]

Ash Brokerage Opens New Headquarters in Ash Skyline Plaza

{June 2nd, 2016} by Ash Brokerage

Calling Fort Wayne ‘home’ FORT WAYNE, INDIANA – Ash Brokerage made its downtown move official Wednesday, June 1, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside its hallmark three-story atrium. Invited guests and media were on hand for the occasion, which happened to mark the four-year anniversary of the date CEO Tim Ash originally shared his vision for […]

Man charged with $7.5 million life insurance fraud in Pennsylvania

{June 2nd, 2016} by IFAwebnews Staff

A Florida man who operated insurance brokerages in Pennsylvania was charged with crimes related to $7.5 million in life insurance policies. Samuel Mangel, 53, of Boca Raton, Fla., was charged by indictment in an insurance fraud scheme in a Philadelphia suburb, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Mangel is charged with wire fraud relating […]

Former N.J. life insurance agent sentenced for $1.1 million scam

{June 2nd, 2016} by IFAwebnews Staff

A former Essex County, N.J., insurance agent has been sentenced to six years in prison for submitting hundreds of fraudulent life insurance applications to reap more than $1 million in commission and bonuses from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). The sentence was announced by New Jersey’s Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy and the Office […]

Lawsuit bid to overturn DOL Fiduciary Rule

{June 2nd, 2016} by Jamie Johnson

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce led nine groups in an lawsuit bid to stop the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule on Wednesday June, 1st. John Hilton of InsuranceNewsNet reports in “Lawsuit Filed to Overturn DOL Fiduciary Rule”  that the lawsuit asked for the court to immediate vacate and set aside the rule. “The Rule and PTEs […]

Lawsuit could force delay to DOL fiduciary rule implementation

{June 1st, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Experts weigh plaintiffs’ likely arguments versus Labor Department’s legal standing and odds in court   A pending lawsuit against the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule creates uncertainty for the measure, even though the agency has expressed confidence it will hold up. Four financial advice trade associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plan to file the […]

Is the DOL fiduciary rule yet another Dodd-Frank?

{June 1st, 2016} by Christopher Carosa

When Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (aka “Dodd-Frank”) in the summer of 2010, it neither reformed Wall Street nor protected consumers. Indeed, it did worse. It institutionalized “too big to fail,” thus, removing all accountability from large Wall Street firms by protecting them, not their customers. It has since become […]

2016 Global Insurance Symposium Success

{June 1st, 2016} by Nick Gerhart

2016 Global Insurance Symposium Success The 2016 Global Insurance Symposium was a smashing success. I’m proud of this event, proud of Iowa, proud of Des Moines and I’m glad others are too! I’d like to thank all of those that had a hand in it. Everyone – the partners that helped plan the Global Insurance […]

Annuities in the Post-DOL World

{June 1st, 2016} by Steven Morelli

LIMRA’s recent Retirement Industry Conference, speculation abounded on how the fiduciary rule would restrict access to the very products that can help Americans best prepare for retirement: annuities. Frustration mounted as session after session included survey and study data predicting the negative impact on annuity sales. From manufacturers to distributors to agents on the ground, […]

Anbang withdraws application for NY review of insurance merger

{June 1st, 2016} by Kevin McCoy

The Chinese insurance firm that in April scrapped a $13.9 billion plan to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts has now withdrawn an application for regulatory approval of its $1.57 billion merger deal with U.S. insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life, amid requests for more financial information. The decision by Anbang Insurance Group signaled new questions about the company as the Beijing-based company seeks to expand and become one […]

Lawsuit challenging DOL fiduciary rule to be filed Thursday: source

{June 1st, 2016} by Mark Schoeff Jr. and Tanvi Acharya

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, SIFMA, FSI, IRI and the Financial Services Roundtable could file a suit as early as Thursday  Several financial advice industry groups, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are ready to go to court to challenge the highly disputed fiduciary rule finalized in April by the Department of Labor, according to […]

14 questions (and answers) about the DOL fiduciary rule

{June 1st, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The DOL fiduciary rule was a hot topic at LIMRA’s retirement industry conference earlier this month in Boston. The association presented a panel about the rule during one of its general sessions hosted by Bob Kerzner, LIMRA’s CEO. Kerzner opened the session by predicting the rule will create seismic change throughout the industry. “In my […]

Lincoln Financial Group Launches LincXpressSM Making the Life Insurance Process Easier and Faster from Policy Application to Issue

{May 31st, 2016} by Business Wire

RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) has announced LincXpressSM, a series of streamlined processes designed to make life insurance underwriting and new business transactions easier and more efficient for advisors and their clients. LincXpress features a telephone application (Tele-App) process, the opportunity for “lab-free” underwriting and expanded electronic policy delivery options. “LincXpress represents Lincoln’s continuous […]

Millennials Will Change how Life Insurance is Bought

{May 31st, 2016} by Life Ant

Survey: 70 Percent will seek to buy online instead of through an advisor  NEW YORK, May 31, 2016 —Gathering every revealing bank statement and financial document to your name, sitting down at a table with a guy in a suit, smiling politely while he talks about stuff you don’t understand and tells you how to […]

Life Insurance Sales Growth a Priority with Most Banks and Credit Unions Surveyed

{May 31st, 2016} by LIMRA

Though concerted efforts to penetrate markets have seen slow development; false starts In a new LIMRA study, 78 percent of banks and credit unions with established life insurance programs said growing life insurance sales is an important priority for their institution. The 2016 Bank and Credit Union Life Insurance Study looked at best practices in […]

Former Zurich CEO Senn Commits Suicide

{May 31st, 2016} by David Pilla

ZURICH – Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. has been shocked by the second suicide of a high-profile executive in three years, as the group announced the May 27 death of former Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn. “It is with great shock and sadness that we must inform you of the sudden death of Martin Senn,” Zurich […]

The 10 biggest global life insurance markets

{May 31st, 2016} by Emily Holbrook

Outside of the United States, the insurance industry is divided into life and nonlife, or general insurance, rather than life/health and property/casualty. In total,world insurance premiums rose 3.7 percent in 2014, adjusted for inflation, after stagnating in 2013, according to Swiss Re’s latest study of world insurance. Nonlife premiums rose 2.9 percent in 2014, adjusted […]

Former Zurich CEO’s Friday suicide “a huge loss” to industry

{May 31st, 2016} by Jan-Henrik Forster and Jan Schwalbe

Martin Senn, the Zurich Insurance Group AG chief executive officer who stepped down in a December reshuffle, has committed suicide, the company said in a statement on Monday. He was 59. The family informed Zurich Insurance that Senn had taken his own life on Friday, according to the statement. “We are profoundly shocked by the […]

Former Zurich CEO’s sudden death at 59

{May 31st, 2016} by Jan-Henrik Förster and Jan Schwalbe

(Bloomberg) — Martin Senn, the Zurich Insurance Group AG chief executive officer who stepped down in a December shakeup, is dead after committing suicide, the company said in a statement last night. “We are profoundly shocked by the news of the sudden death,” the company said. The family informed Zurich Insurance that Senn had taken […]

Ohio National: Breaking the mold among mutual insurers

{May 31st, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Not every mutual insurance company can boast increases in life insurance sales for 26 consecutive years, dividend payouts to participating policyholders for 92 years, a growing Latin American market, independent distribution channels and the distinction as a top workplace for six years running. That enviable description belongs to Ohio National Financial Services, a Cincinnati-based carrier […]

DOL 101: The fiduciary rule’s impact on insurance-only agents: Opinion

{May 31st, 2016} by KEVIN W. MECHTLEY, J.D.

The Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is the most significant industry game-changing development we have seen since the tax reform to annuities in the early 1980s. As a compliance expert with a leading consulting company, the biggest question I receive these days is: “How do I comply?” Even though I’d like to have a […]

The new life insurance sales process

{May 31st, 2016} by Herbert K. Daroff

Why don’t advisors sell more life insurance? It’s the process, not the product.   Which weighs more, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers? They both weigh the same: one pound. But, which process is harder? Each brick weighs more than a feather. So, which job is easier, gathering a pound of bricks or gathering […]

Annuities for retirement income

{May 27th, 2016} by ED MCCARTHY, CFP, RICP

Annuities are valued for their tax-deferred accumulation benefit, but they also provide an essential source of retirement income for many retirees. Matt Drinkwater, assistant vice president, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute in Windsor, Connecticut, reports the institute has conducted an ongoing study of variable annuity owners who purchased contracts in 2007. In 2013, 88 percent of owners […]

Two sides of the DOL fiduciary rule’s ‘Best Interest Contract Exemption’ advisers must understand

{May 27th, 2016} by Greg Iacurci

There are two different versions in the exemption, each with respective limitations and benefits that advisers and their institutions must master The Best Interest Contract Exemption is one of the main pillars of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. Without it, many brokers and advisers wouldn’t be able to continue doing business in retirement accounts under […]

Axa to Sell Sunlife, Other Businesses to Phoenix Group in Deal Worth About £632 million

{May 27th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski

NEW YORK – Axa S.A. said it plans to sell its non-platform investment and pensions business and its Sunlife direct protection business in the United Kingdom to Jersey-based Phoenix Group Holdings, a closed life fund consolidator. These deals in total would amount to about £632 million (US$928.6 million) and generate a net loss of about […]

Crump Life Services Names President

{May 27th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

ROSELAND, N.J. – Crump Life Insurance Services said Rob Carney will be promoted to president, succeeding Brian Winikoff who will be leaving the company. The move will be effective July 1. Winikoff will be joining Axa to succeed Nick Lane as head of U.S. life, retirement and wealth management, Axa said in a statement. Carney […]

Affluent Americans trust older white men most for financial advice: Spectrem

{May 27th, 2016} by Liz Skinner

Line up a cross-section of Americans, and wealthy individuals are most likely to pick out the older white male as their choice for a financial adviser, a new report finds. About a third of those who have between $100,000 and $5 million to invest chose the older white male to be their adviser when asked […]

Senate Throws a Block on Fiduciary Rule

{May 26th, 2016} by John Hilton

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution Tuesday evening that would block the Obama administration’s controversial fiduciary rule. While likely a ceremonial vote (the White House has said Obama will veto the bill), fiduciary rule opponents say it keeps the momentum going against the rule. “Americans for Annuity Protection is pleased that we now have a […]

DOL fiduciary rule may affect advisor recruitment compensation

{May 26th, 2016} by Marlene Y. Satter

Small advisory firms and large wirehouses, banks, and broker-dealers may find that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will affect how advisors are currently recruited—through sizeable bonuses that woo them to leave their current firms and move where the grass is greener. One of the concerns specifically addressed within the pages of the fiduciary rule […]

MassMutual Appoints Chief Financial Officer

{May 26th, 2016} by Dennis Gorski

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s current chief enterprise officer/chief actuary has been promoted to chief financial officer. Elizabeth “Betsy” Ward, who joined subsidiary Babson Capital Management in 2001, will succeed Michael Rollings, effective June 1, according to a statement from MassMutual’s parent, MassMutual Financial Group. Rollings has been named CFO of the […]

Insurance Agent Sentenced to 20 Years for $3 Million Annuity Scam

{May 26th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

HOUSTON – An insurance agent was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to running an annuity scam in which she admitted to stealing more than $3 million from about a dozen of her older clients, prosecutors said. Celia Castillo was convicted after the Texas Department of Insurance discovered she operated an annuity […]

Senate moves to reject new DOL fiduciary rule

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

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday joined the House in supporting a resolution that would end the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary standard rule. The vote was 56-41. However, the resolution was generally seen as an exercise in political gymnastics as it lacks the 60 votes needed in the Senate to overcome what President Obama said […]

Allianz Life Adds Convertible Term Rider, Interest Bonus to Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy

{May 24th, 2016} by Allianz Life

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced new innovative enhancements to the Allianz Life Pro+® Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance (FIUL) Policy. In addition to helping agents provide income-tax-free death benefit protection for beneficiaries, Allianz Life Pro+ now offers a Convertible Term Rider that helps clients add additional coverage that […]

A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Positive for Members of the Athene Group

{May 24th, 2016} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of the members of Athene Group. (See below for a detailed listing of Athene Group’s members and ratings.) Athene Group is the consolidating rating unit […]

Fixed Annuity Industry Gathers on Capitol Hill for Leadership

{May 24th, 2016} by Joy Pritchard

NAFA Presents Annuity Leadership Forum Washington, D.C. (May 24, 2016) — The National Association for Fixed Annuities is presenting the Annuity Leadership Forum in Washington D.C., June 8-10 at the Grand Hyatt Washington. This industry forum will assemble fixed annuity experts, insurance company executives, compliance and marketing officers, brokerage organizations and financial professionals from throughout […]

Millennial consumers, mobile use and insurance sales

{May 24th, 2016} by Lynette Gil

You’ve seen them on their smartphones at the dinner table, during work, at parties, even in the movie theaters while “watching” a movie. Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 2000, have not only taken over the workplace. They are now your biggest market and opportunity. A recent survey commissioned by AXA Lab, the digital arm […]

6 DOL fiduciary tasks to tackle before first deadline

{May 24th, 2016} by Bernice Napach

Financial advisory firms have a lot to do between now and April 10, 2017, when the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule becomes “applicable,” in the nomenclature of the agency. Full compliance is not required until Jan. 1, 2018, allowing firms a transition period to set up policies and processes that conform to the new rule, […]

4 threats to the insurance industry: tax reform (and 3 others)

{May 24th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Levies on the “inside buildup” of permanent life insurance, non-qualified deferred compensation and corporate-owned life insurance remain the principal threats to the life insurance industry as the House Ways and Means Committee draws up a “blueprint” for tax reform in advance of the Republican National Convention in July. So warned participants at a widely attended […]

14 questions (and answers) about the DOL fiduciary rule

{May 24th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The DOL fiduciary rule was a hot topic at LIMRA’s retirement industry conference earlier this month in Boston. The association presented a panel about the rule during one of its general sessions hosted by Bob Kerzner, LIMRA’s CEO. Kerzner opened the session by predicting the rule will create seismic change throughout the industry. “In my […]

How to fix the insurance industry’s reputation: Opinion

{May 24th, 2016} by Lynette Gil

Editor’s Note: This article originally published in September 2015. Dates and other data points have remained unchanged from the original piece. Brian Willet was not one of those kids that go to their parents and say they want to work in the insurance industry when they grow up — it might be that there are very few […]

Fact versus fiction: Debunking 4 myths about annuities

{May 24th, 2016} by Tim Walsh

Last year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on the state of retirement security in American households. According to the GAO, about half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings. Many are relying on Social Security for income in retirement. In fact, for those age 65 and older, Social Security […]

Analysts respond to the Fed’s proposed rules for insurers

{May 24th, 2016} by Arthur D. Postal

Daniel K. Tarullo has outlined the Fed’s forthcoming capital requirements for insurers. WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Board said Friday that it will soon propose two-tier capital requirements for the insurers it oversees: one for insurers deemed systemically risky, and another for insurers it oversees because they operate thrift holding companies. Washington Analysis, which interprets federal […]

DOL fiduciary rule compliance a worry for fee-only financial planners

{May 24th, 2016} by Liz Skinner

Additional hoops to jump through to show regulators they are fiduciaries have fee-only advisers fretting   Fee-only advisers already follow the spirit of the Labor Department’s new best-interest rule on retirement advice, but they are worried about additional compliance hoops they’ll need to jump through to show regulators they are fiduciaries. A couple of hundred […]

Customized Income Solutions Helps Fix the 4% Rule for Retirement Income

{May 24th, 2016} by Legacy Marketing Group

Petaluma, CA, May 24, 2016—Legacy Marketing Group® announces the launch of Customized Income Solutions, a comprehensive sales package that helps insurance professionals craft a customized retirement income plan for their clients. At the heart of Customized Income Solutions is an interactive calculator that creates hypothetical withdrawal scenarios uniquely tailored for an individual’s retirement goals, providing […]

Securian and Annexus Launch New Indexed Universal Life Insurance Policy

{May 23rd, 2016} by Business Wire

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(Business Wire)–Securian Financial Group, one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, and Annexus, a leader in indexed product design and distribution, have formed an alliance and launched Balanced Growth Advantage—a new indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policy with uncapped interest crediting potential. “Balanced Growth Advantage IUL is for clients who want permanent […]

6 reasons to convert that term life insurance policy

{May 23rd, 2016} by Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Despite the fact that many financial advisors consider whole life insurance to be a superior long-term planning tool than term life insurance, many consumers still opt to purchase term life policies. Term life insurance is often sold as a relative bargain compared to permanent life insurance products. Other times, a consumer sees a term life […]

New fixed indexed annuities hit the market

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

Two new fixed indexed annuities are on the market, this time from Nationwide. The new FIAs, Nationwide Summit and Nationwide Peak, are designed to help advisors with risk-averse clients approaching retirement provide an option for some growth potential with the comfort of a principal guarantee. The new FIAs allow advisors and clients to choose their […]

DoL will be prepared for fiduciary enforcement, Perez says

{May 23rd, 2016} by Scott Wenger

WASHINGTON – As the requirements of the new fiduciary rule begin to take effect next April, and then more fully in 2018, the Department of Labor will rely on its staff lawyers and investigators to carry out enforcement, Labor Secretary Tom Perez says. The agency plans to evaluate broker-dealers’ policies and procedures on retirement advice, […]

Will the DOL’s new overtime rule hurt the insurance industry?

{May 23rd, 2016} by Caitlin Bronson

Insurance industry officials are concerned that a new Department of Labor rule relating to overtime will have negative consequences for employers. The rule, which was issued last Tuesday and will take effect in December, raises the salary threshold below which most salaried workers are entitled overtime to $913 per week, or $47,476 annually for full-time […]

Industry responds to new Dodd-Frank provisions

{May 23rd, 2016} by Lyle Adriano

In response to the Federal Reserve’s proposal of group capital rules for insurers that it prudentially supervises, the American Insurance Association (AIA) voiced its approval Friday for the planned regulations. Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo announced Friday outlines on how the Fed would regulate insurers, particularly in relation to their capital. A twin approach […]

Two Sides of the Robo Divide

{May 23rd, 2016} by Mitchell H. Caplan

As the DOL fiduciary ruling heightens the demand to serve your clients with greater transparency and greater value, it comes down to this fundamental question: How can you use technology broadly, and robos specifically, to create more value for your practice, while helping to serve your client’s best interest and maintain a fiduciary standard? Labor […]

Top 10 annuity sales leaders

{May 23rd, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The top 10 annuity carriers accounted for 54 percent of all annuity sales during the first quarter of 2016, according to new rankings from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. Annuity sales across the industry totaled nearly $59 billion during the quarter. Total variable annuity sales were $26.6 billion, and total fixed annuity sales were $32.3 billion. There was one […]

Eyeing Fiduciary Rule Needs, Protective Names Senior Execs to Sales Supervision, Compliance Roles

{May 23rd, 2016} by Dennis Gorski

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Protective Life Corp. has brought aboard two senior executives for its independent broker/dealer unit to supervise sales and compliance according to the new federal fiduciary standards. ProEquities Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Protective Life, has named Blaine Miller as chief supervision officer and Steve Youhn as chief compliance officer, a company […]

Insurance Industry Groups React Positively to Fed Reserve Plans for Domestic Capital Standard

{May 23rd, 2016} by Thomas Harman

WASHINGTON – Insurance industry groups are reacting positively to the Federal Reserve Board’s announcement it is set to offer a domestic capital standard for insurers that rejects a host of European and international proposals. Daniel Tarullo, member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, previewed the Fed’s plans during a May 20 speech at the National […]