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Industry Articles

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Sagicor Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

{August 22nd, 2014} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of Sagicor Life Inc. and Sagicor Capital Life Insurance Company Limited (both domiciled in St. Michael, Barbados). A.M. Best has also affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICR of “a-” of […]

MassMutual whistle-blower identified

{August 22nd, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

Bill Lloyd is 56 years old and spent 22 years as an agent for MassMutual Financial Group. Lloyd was not, as many labeled as a whistleblower are, an unsatisfied, angry employee. Quite the contrary. Lloyd loved his job and — most of all — loved his clients. That’s why he made the decision to take […]

Why Fixed Annuities Are Smokin’ Hot

{August 20th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Fixed annuities were smoking in second quarter. Smoking hot, that is. According to the latest individual annuity sales estimates from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI), total fixed annuity sales hit $25.2 billion in second quarter, up 34 percent from the same period last year. For the first half, fixed sales totaled $49.1 billion, up […]

NAIC Adopts Corporate Governance Models

{August 19th, 2014} by NAIC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2014) —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted a Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act and supporting Model Regulation, which provides a means for insurance regulators to receive additional information on the corporate governance practices of U.S. insurers on an annual basis. Under the requirements of the Model Act, U.S. […]

What’s next for Robin Williams’ family?

{August 19th, 2014} by Danielle and Andy Mayoras

Although he had ‘bills to pay,’ he put his real estate in a trust and appears to have provided for his children.

Insurers blast effort to change financial rules revision deadline

{August 19th, 2014} by Allison Bell

Insurers and their software companies are joining to fight a proposal to give regulators more time to update the risk-based capital (RBC) reporting rules for a given year. Regulators use RBC figures to determine whether insurers have enough capital to support the policies they have written. Changes in RBC may increase or decrease what insurers […]

Total Annuity Sales Improve 8% In 2Q

{August 19th, 2014} by LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Annuity Research

WINDSOR, Conn., Aug. 18, 2014 — Total U.S. annuity sales reached $61.4 billion in second quarter, improving eight percent from prior year. In the first six months of 2014, total U.S. annuity sales increased 10 percent, compared with 2013. “This is only the second time we have seen quarterly sales over $60 billion since the […]

Jackson National extends variable annuity lead

{August 19th, 2014} by Bloomberg News

Jackson National Life, owned by UK-based Prudential Plc, extended its lead in U.S. variable annuity sales at its unit as rivals scaled back. Jackson sold $12.7 billion of the retirement contracts in the first six months of 2014, an increase of 24% from a year earlier, according to data released Monday by the Limra Secure […]

2014 Advisor of the Year: Jason Jenkins

{August 19th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

After earning his undergrad in business and economics, Jason Jenkins, partner and co-founder of Denver, Co.-based Jenkins Wealth Management Group, got started by selling mortgage leads before moving into the fixed annuity space. After hosting a few seminars, he says he quickly realized, “Hey, I really like this.” “You can help people in a significant […]

The SEC Doesn’t Want To See ‘Safe’ Words, Either: Opinion

{August 18th, 2014} by Linda Koco

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to be no more enamored of the word “safe” when used with insurance products than is the Colorado Insurance Division. The SEC’s director of investment management Norm Champ said the SEC has “concerns” when names of variable insurance products suggest safety or protection from loss. “We understand that […]

4 social media marketing tips for insurance agents

{August 18th, 2014} by Phil Penton

Insurance agents are tasked with a unique challenge – developing a local brand identity while delivering on the larger insurance brand’s promise and customer experience. For insurance brands, social media is most often used as a tool to get the word out about the newest services, discounts and plans, but agents have the opportunity to […]

How to market to women — and why it’s more important than ever

{August 18th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

Thirteen years ago, Rebecca True was working in New York City as a technology executive for Bank of America Securities. On September 11, 2001, many of her clients were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Because she was one of the few women in the company, she was thrust into a role […]

As MetLife rightsizes, other players grow in US annuities

{August 18th, 2014} by Thomas Mason

While MetLife Inc. has made no secret of its efforts to scale back its exposure to the U.S. annuity market, the latest statutory data available shows a particularly steep drop in business for the life insurer. MetLife ranked seventh in the first quarter of 2014, after being in the top spot for the first quarters […]

Pet insurance experiencing ‘exploding growth’

{August 18th, 2014} by Nathan Solheim

While everyone’s howling at the moon these days about health insurance, a certain voluntary benefit no longer resembles that lonely puppy with sad eyes in the pet store that gets passed over by customer after customer. The benefit is pet insurance, which continues to grow in popularity with employees — and employers — around the […]

Leonardi: NAIC Process to Find Firm to Perform In-house Corporate Governance Probe ‘Hijacked’

{August 17th, 2014} by Thomas Harman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi is again questioning corporate governance practices within the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, saying the process to select an outside consultant to examine the NAIC’s corporate governance practices was “hijacked” from the panel that started the process. Leonardi spoke to Best’s News Service at the NAIC’s Summer […]

At NAIC Meeting, Insurance Companies, Groups Call for Flexibility in Global Capital Standard

{August 17th, 2014} by Thomas Harman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Major U.S. insurance companies and trade groups want more flexibility in the development of a capital standard, with one company going so far as to propose a U.S. national standard as an alternative to proposals made by international groups. The concerns were addressed at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Summer National […]

A.M. Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of CNO Financial Group, Inc. and Its Life/Health Subsidiaries

{August 15th, 2014} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has upgraded the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “bbb+” from “bbb” with a positive outlook for the life/health subsidiaries of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO Financial) (Carmel, IN) [NYSE: CNO]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) with a revision in the outlook to positive […]

Voya offloads $100 billion of life policies, freeing capital

{August 15th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer, Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Voya Financial Inc. struck a deal to transfer life insurance policies with a face value of about $100 billion to Reinsurance Group of America Inc., freeing up funds for the former U.S. arm of ING Groep NV. The deal for about 170,000 term-life policies will create about $200 million of excess capital, New […]

Aegon Posts 43% Rise in Net Income in ‘Strong’ Second Quarter

{August 15th, 2014} by Robert O'Connor

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – In what it described as a “strong” performance, Dutch life insurer and pension provider Aegon NV reported a 43% increase in net income in the second quarter of 2014 to €343 million (US$459.3 million), from €240 million in the same period last year. The jump was mainly due to higher realized […]

CNO Financial Names Chief Actuary-Executive Vice President

{August 15th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

CARMEL, Ind. – CNO Financial Group Inc. said it named Chris Nickele chief actuary and executive vice president. Previously, Nickele served as president of the other CNO business segment and executive vice president of product management. He will continue to report to Ed Bonach, chief executive officer CNO Financial (NYSE: CNO). Nickele “was the key […]

Williams post-mortem: Answers to 9 questions in suicide cases

{August 15th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

The death of actor and comedian Robin Williams has brought to light issues focusing on life insurance policy death benefit claims in cases where the insured committed suicide within a policy’s two-year contestability period. To explore these issues, LifeHealthPro Senior Editor Warren Hersch interviewed Jerome Reisman, an attorney and partner at Reisman, Peirez Reisman & […]

Advisers still struggle to attract women, IN survey shows

{August 15th, 2014} by Trevor Hunnicutt

Women are focused on retirement issues, yet advisers don’t always get their messages across Advisers are still struggling to attract women clients because their marketing efforts sometimes fall on deaf ears and their firms don’t actively recruit female advisers, according to an InvestmentNews survey released Friday. Nearly a third of the advisers responding to the […]

Lincoln Financial Latest Carrier To Expand Survivorship Product

{August 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Financial advisors looking for wealth preservation and estate planning strategies using survivorship life insurance policies have another option with the launch of a new survivorship life insurance product by Lincoln Financial Group. Lincoln Wealth Preserve, the company’s first survivorship indexed universal life policy (SIUL), will offer a tax-efficient estate planning strategy while allowing policyholders to […]

Life Applications Increase 0.7% In July

{August 14th, 2014} by N/A

Braintree, MA. (August 14, 2014) — U.S. application activity for individually underwritten life insurance rose +0.7% in July year-over-year, all ages combined, according to the MIB Life Index. July’s increase, preceded by stable improvement in the composite Index since March, is cause for optimism against a backdrop of five consecutive quarters of losses extending from […]

Tough, Wrong Choices For Single Parents

{August 14th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

It’s a tough call — made tougher still by making the wrong decision. Single parents, so often on tight budgets, say they would rather put aside money for their child’s education before setting funds aside for their own retirement. Many financial advisors, however, say that’s exactly the wrong call. Like placing an airplane oxygen mask […]

The advisor’s role in financial underwriting

{August 14th, 2014} by Allan D. Gersten

Compared to the attention that the life insurance industry gives to medical underwriting, financial underwriting may seem less important, something like ‘the little finger on the left hand’. But what happens on the medical side goes a long way in determining whether a client’s application is accepted, rejected, or rated. With so much focus on […]

AIG’s 13-year wait gets longer as Modi rebuffed: Corporate India

{August 14th, 2014} by Anto Antony and George Smith Alexander

(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. waited 13 years in India to raise its stake in a local venture from a maximum allowed 26 percent. That wait just got longer. Opposition lawmakers, during the parliament session ending today, scuppered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempt to revive a bill proposing a higher cap of 49 percent, […]

Publication of Robin Williams’ trusts highlights privacy concerns

{August 14th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

As outdated documents related to the actor’s estate hit the tabloids, experts weigh in on how to keep confidential plans confidential One key estate and trust lessons is in store in light of the late Robin Williams’ trust documents ending up all over the Internet: Privacy is everything. News of Mr. Williams’ death at age […]

EBRI report blasts Pew, Munnell retirement studies on GenXers

{August 14th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

It’s not every day that a major research organization lambasts the conclusions of studies done by industry colleagues and competitors. But such criticism is the focus of a new report from the Employee Benefits Research Institute. In the August 2014 edition of Notes, EBRI flags as inaccurate recent studies suggesting that members of Generation X […]

9 reasons consumers need advisors more than ever

{August 14th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

Van Mueller kicked off the 2014 Advisor Network Summit in Las Vegas with a bang. In his usual rapid-fire manner, he bombarded attendees with a series of facts, figures, stories and a plethora of sales ideas. Click here for a few of the best takeaways.

Axa to Buy $450 Million Stake in U.K. Mall From Land Securities

{August 13th, 2014} by Neil Callanan

Axa SA’s property unit agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in a shopping mall and other assets in the English city of Bristol from Land Securities Group Plc (LAND) for 267.8 million pounds ($450 million). The purchase of Cabot Circus, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) west of London, also includes a stake in homes, […]

In Passing: Robin Williams (1951-2014)

{August 13th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

As I write this, social media has been overtaken by the news that actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his northern California home, apparently the victim of suicide. His publicist noted that Williams – who openly admitted to his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction – was battling severe depression recently, possibly […]

Depression Causes An Estimated 200M Lost Workdays Each Year

{August 13th, 2014} by Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald

Aug. 11–Depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 billion to $44 billion — 81 percent due to reduced performance while at work, the World Health Organization has reported. As many as 8.4 hours are lost per employee per week as a result of major […]

Roundup: MetLife re-launches retail term insurance

{August 13th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

MetLife re-launches retail term insurance MetLife announced that it is reducing rates on its Guaranteed Level Term product as part of the company’s efforts to enhance its life insurance portfolio. Guaranteed Level Term is a fully underwritten policy and clients who purchase it will have the opportunity to convert to any of MetLife’s permanent policies […]

Advisor staffs up with millennials

{August 13th, 2014} by Lynette Gil

By 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, which talks about how this means that millennials will be looking to invest and plan their financial lives and how advisors should take advantage of the opportunity to tackle this market now. Between trying to […]

Workers Experience High Levels Of Financial Stress

{August 13th, 2014} by Proquest LLC

A new survey conducted by New York Life Retirement Plan Services finds that the majority of 1,500 retirement plan participants polled have felt moderate to severe financial stress over the last six months. New York Life noted that in addition, women feel less prepared overall than their male counterparts for retirement and report higher amounts […]


An 18-year-old’s view of the insurance industry

{August 12th, 2014} by August 8, 2014

Hedge Funds. Private Equity. Investment Banking. Venture Capital. Real Estate. Consulting. Accounting. Entrepreneurship…Insurance. Click here to read…

Robin Williams’ death spotlights the growing risk of suicides among baby boomers

{August 12th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

As this article states, more than 100 Americans die from suicide every day. And the problem is not getting any better. In fact, more Americans now die from suicide than from car accidents. That’s indeed a scary thought. Though suicide rates had declined in the early 2000s, Rutgers sociologist Julie Phillips notes that the trend […]

5 boomer expectations for retirement in 2014

{August 12th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

Baby boomers are retiring in droves. Some are well prepared while others never prepared or lost much of their savings to the great recession. For the fourth year in a row, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) has issued a report detailing baby boomers’ expectations for retirement in 2014. Click here to read…


Annuities Power 2Q Earnings Season

{August 12th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Annuities delivered big in the latest round of quarterly earnings thanks to higher interest rates and fatter portfolios’ swelling fee income. Take American International Group (AIG). Its life and retirement division, which includes the life and annuities business, said index annuity revenue rose to $305 million in the quarter, compared with $55 million in the […]


Lincoln Financial Group Expands Survivorship Suite

{August 12th, 2014} by N/A

RADNOR, Pa, August 11, 2014 – Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) today announced that it has expanded its suite of Survivorship life insurance solutions with Lincoln WealthPreserve Survivorship Indexed Universal Life (SIUL), Lincoln’s first SIUL offering. Lincoln WealthPreserve SIUL enables advisors to implement wealth preservation and estate planning strategies for clients, while offering cash accumulation and […]


Fidelity & Guaranty Life Posts 3rd Quarter Fiscal 2014 Results

{August 12th, 2014} by Proquest LLC

Fidelity & Guaranty Life reported net income of $56.5 million or $0.97 per diluted common share for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 ended onJune 30. “The Company delivered strong performance for the third quarter on several fronts. Sales of our core products; fixed indexed annuity and indexed universal life product lines continue to grow […]


What do insurance executives expect from the market in 2015?

{August 12th, 2014} by Phil Gusman

Amid a changing landscape for insurers, carrier executives demonstrate an awareness of what’s to come from changing consumer demands and the progression of technology. But they seem content to slowly evolve to meet these challenges, rather than making drastic and immediate changes to their businesses. KPMG revealed the results of its 2014 Insurance Industry Outlook […]

MetLife to pay $23 million settlement over faxed pitches

{August 12th, 2014} by Emily Holbrook

MetLife gets the award for using the most antiquated of technology to sell life insurance. It also gets a $23 million judgement for doing so. The insurance giant has agreed to pay the sum to resolve class-action litigation that accused an agent of the firm of improperly blasting life insurance pitches via fax machine. Some […]

Pet Owners Make Financial Plans for Future Pet Care

{August 12th, 2014} by Business Wire

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Securian Financial Group surveyed 903 pet owners and 44 percent say they have made formal or informal plans for their pets’ future care. For one-fifth of those owners, according to the survey, “Pet heirs: Financial planning with pets in mind,” those plans are financial. Pricing a pet’s life The pet industry has […]

Is Life Insurance Going To The Dogs (And Cats)? : Opinion

{August 12th, 2014} by Susan Rupe

Hanna turns five years old this month. Since every cat we’ve owned has survived and thrived well into its second decade, it’s possible that she might actually outlive one of us. I haven’t given that possibility much thought, but a recent survey indicates that a large percentage of Americans are concerned about what will happen […]

Baby boomers caught in squeeze play

{August 12th, 2014} by Marlene Satter

There’s an old curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Baby boomers, according to a report from consulting firm Mercer, may be living in the most interesting times of all. Boomers, that generation born between 1946 and 1964, are basically the subjects of a massive social experiment.  Click here to read…

The top 10 annuity sales leaders for Q1 2014

{August 12th, 2014} by Nichole Morford

A single stat sums up the dramatic transition the annuity marketplace has seen in recent years: MetLife Inc., which ranked No. 1 in annuity sales for Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, has dropped to the No. 7 spot for the quarter ending March 31, 2014, following a 42 percent decline in sales year over year. […]

Jackson Reports Record First Half Results

{August 12th, 2014} by N/A

LANSING, Mich. – August 12, 2014 – Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®) generated a record $1.1 billion in IFRS pretax operating income during the first half of 2014, an increase of 20 percent over the first half of 2013. This overall increase was primarily driven by increased fee income on higher separate account assets […]

Why your social media posts are more popular than you think

{August 11th, 2014} by Nichole Morford

Here’s some encouraging news from Kevan Lee, writing for Buffer Social: Your audience on social media may be four times larger than you think. A joint research project by Stanford University and Facebook arrived at this number after examining the perceived vs. actual audience sizes of 220,000 Facebook users. On average, users gauged their audience […]

MetLife discloses $1 billion of Russia, Ukraine investments

{August 11th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

(Bloomberg) — MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, said it has about $1 billion in investments in Russia and Ukraine amid a conflict among the European nations. Cash and investments in Russia totaled $914 million as of June 30, New York-based MetLife said today in a quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange […]

10 reasons not to worry about millennials’ retirement

{August 11th, 2014} by Linda T. Kennedy

If you think millennials, born 1979 and later, will have a tough time achieving a financially secure retirement, think again. While many millennials began their careers during the Great Recession, with low job prospects and high student loan debt, many are considered “super savers” who are actively saving for their futures. Here are 10 facts […]

7 more retirement and annuity facts you should know

{August 11th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

How many women and Gen-Xers have calculated how much money they will need to retire? To what extent does working with a financial advisor increase individuals’ retirement confidence? What are the tax implications of boomers who are retiring later, saving more and planning better? Click here to read…

Depression is bipartisan: Opinion

{August 11th, 2014} by Denis Storey

By: Denis Storey Williams is dead. Apparently he took his own life. The early reports are that he’d battled depression most of his life. And from what it sounds like, he lost. Sure, it might not seem that big a deal to most, but I grew up with this guy. (It’s funny. As a kid […]

Profit of Allianz Life parent beats Q2 earnings estimates

{August 11th, 2014} by Oliver Suess

(Bloomberg) — Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer and the parent company of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, said second-quarter profit rose 11 percent, helped by higher earnings at the life and health insurance unit and lower natural disaster claims. Net income increased to 1.76 billion euros ($2.35 billion) from 1.59 billion euros a […]

Prudential Swings To Profit On Strength Of Fee-Based Business

{August 11th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Fee income from its annuity, asset management and retirement business, helped Prudential swing to profit in the second quarter with net income of $1 billion, or $2.22 per share, compared with a loss of $517 million, or a loss of $1.12 per share in the year-ago period, the company reported. The company also reported second […]

FINRA Fines: Dollar Amounts Surge, Disciplinary Actions Down

{August 11th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) levied fines worth $42.4 million against broker/dealers and other intermediaries in the first six months of 2014. This is an increase of 84 percent compared to the first six months of 2013, according to the international law firm Sunderland, Asbill & Brennan. Sunderland, citing FINRA’s June disciplinary report, said […]

Annuities Driving AIG Life And Retirement Unit

{August 11th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

American International Group (AIG) Life and Retirement Division, which includes its life and annuities business, delivered sales of $7.4 billion in premiums and deposits in the second quarter, an increase of 9 percent compared to the year-ago period. Index annuities sales were $305 million in the quarter, up from $55 million in year-ago period, and […]

Allianz Posts 10.5% Rise in Net Profit

{August 11th, 2014} by Robert O'Connor

MUNICH – In what it described as a “strong second quarter” performance, Allianz SE reported a 10.5% increase in net profit to €1.76 billion (US$2.35 billion) from €1.59 billion in the same period in 2013. Second-quarter revenues increased by 10% to €29.46 billion from €26.78 billion. Total revenues in the first six months of the […]

Advisors ignoring millennials

{August 11th, 2014} by Marlene Y. Satter

Financial advisors are leaving millennials out in the cold when it comes to looking for more clients. So says a new study conducted by Harris Poll for the Principal Financial Group, which revealed that only 18 percent of survey respondents target Generation Y as a source of new clients. Instead, they look for baby boomers […]

Here’s Why More Americans Are Retiring Earlier Than They Expected

{August 10th, 2014} by Dan Kadlec

More workers have retired early than late since the Great Recession, new Fed Data show. But it’s not a happy story. It seems counter intuitive: Of all Americans who retired since the Great Recession, more retired earlier than expected than later than expected, a new Fed report shows. This finding appears to be at odds […]

Prudential Financial CEO: Pension Risk-Transfers Represent Attractive Opportunity

{August 8th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

NEWARK, N.J. – Pension risk-transfers represent an “attractive opportunity” for Prudential Financial Inc., the company’s chief executive officer said as the company swung to a second-quarter profit. Net income rose to $1.04 billion compared with net loss of $517 million last year, which included $2.2 billion in pretax realized investment losses and related charges driven […]

Transamerica Rebranding Four Companies to Bolster Brand Name

{August 8th, 2014} by Best's News Service

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Transamerica said it’s aiming at increasing the visibility of its name by rebranding four of its companies. The changes are subject to state regulatory approval, but Transamerica officials expect the process to be completed by year’s end. The Iowa-based company’s decision impacts four companies: Monumental Life Insurance Co., which will change […]

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Security Benefit Life Insurance Company and Its Affiliate

{August 8th, 2014} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and the issuer credit ratings of “bbb+” of Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (Topeka, KS) and its affiliate, First Security Benefit Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (Rye Brook, NY) (collectively known as Security Benefit Life). Both companies are subsidiaries […]

Can you blame baby boomers for refusing to retire? OPINION

{August 8th, 2014} by Matthew Fleischer

The American workforce is gray and getting grayer. According to a report released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22.2% of American workers are over the age of 55, making our workforce the oldest it has ever been. Baby boomers, it seems, can’t (or won’t) retire. As much as many of us would […]