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Industry Articles

Social media ownership: business account vs. personal account

{April 17th, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

You wouldn’t let a former employee walk out of your office with the TV from your lobby, the refrigerator from the break room, or the computer off of your desk. Don’t let them sneak away with your digital property, either, because losing a social profile, its followers and the resources invested in growing those networks [...]

More Allianz FIAs Sold By Registered Reps

{April 17th, 2014} by Linda Koco

Today, close to 70 percent of fixed index annuity production at Allianz Life is coming from registered representatives, according to Tom P. Burns. That’s up from less than 30 percent eight years ago, said the company’s chief distribution officer for annuities. Allianz has been the top seller of fixed index annuities (FIAs) for 14 of [...]

How much is the American Dream for Gen Y? [infographic]

{April 17th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Most millennial workers identify saving for retirement as their top financial priority, according to new research. The Principal Knowledge Center, a unit of Principal Financial Group, discloses this finding a survey of Generation Y workers. The research reveals that saving for retirement is the top financial priority of 63 percent of millennial workers surveyed.  Click [...]

What if Google or Amazon sold insurance?

{April 17th, 2014} by John Sarich

The great economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term and the concept creative destruction, which is the idea that business is in a constant state of innovation and change, and companies that can’t adapt will lose customers, market share and ultimately go out of business. With the ever-increasing dominance of companies like Google and Amazon, could [...]

In California, all annuity producers are crooks

{April 17th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

Anybody who is in the annuities business knows that the business has a bit of a reputation problem. Despite the fact that annuities are a tremendous product for anybody who is serious about their own retirement planning, the market has had perhaps more than its fair share of embarassing regulatory moments, wherein shady operators mostly [...]

Zurich CFO’s Widow Rejects Insurer’s Report on Suicide; Zurich Defends Probe

{April 16th, 2014} by Alice Baghdjian, Katharina Bart and Paul Arnold; Editing by Noah Barkin and Jane Merriman

The widow of Zurich Insurance’s late finance chief on Wednesday rejected a report into his suicide, telling the Swiss company’s annual shareholder meeting she could not accept the findings of an investigation into his death. Zurich Insurance defended the report into Pierre Wauthier’s suicide, deflecting criticism by the CFO’s widow and his family members, who [...]

Americans Lack Understanding Of Retirement Tax Impact

{April 16th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

CHICAGO, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A majority of our country’s middle-income Boomers and retirees have significant gaps in their understanding of how federal taxes will impact their retirement finances, according to a new study released by the http://www.centerforasecureretirement.com/ ® (CSR). In fact, today, more Americans have an accurate understanding of how lottery winnings are [...]

Pacific Life Announces Sales Manager Changes

{April 16th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Pacific Life has announced three personnel changes affecting sales in the company’s Retirement Solutions Division (RSD) as the unit broadens its sales strategy beyond variable annuities. The latest changes come in the wake of wide-ranging management moves announced last month. “Providing our distribution partners with exceptional products, sales support and service is our number one [...]

Iowa Regulators To Hold Forums On Investment Scams

{April 16th, 2014} by The Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) —Iowa’s insurance commissioner has scheduled forums inCedar Rapids andDavenport to educate the public on how to avoid investment and insurance scams. Insurance CommissionerNick Gerhart said aMay 1 forum and panel discussion at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center would be limited to the first 210 respondents. A similar event is scheduledJune 5 [...]

Why it’s critical to monitor life insurance policy performance

{April 15th, 2014} by Henry Montag, E. Randolph Whitelaw

Have you ever discovered a bank entry error in your checking account register, resulting in $100 or $1,000 less than what it should be? Imagine how much worse it would be if your client’s $1,000,000 life insurance policy’s death benefit was suddenly unavailable to a spouse or child due to a technicality. Unfortunately, as a [...]

Axa Said to Seek Sale of U.S. Annuity Reinsurer

{April 15th, 2014} by Matthew Monks

Axa SA (CS) is exploring the sale of a U.S. subsidiary that shoulders risks tied to variable annuities, as Europe’s second-largest insurer narrows its focus in North America, according to people familiar with the matter. The insurer is working with Morgan Stanley (MS) to evaluate options for Jersey City, New Jersey-based Axa Corporate Solutions Life [...]

John Hancock Launches #WeRunTogether Digital Mosaic

{April 15th, 2014} by PR Newswire Association LLC

BOSTON, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – John Hancock today is launching the #WeRunTogether digital mosaic to bring the extended Boston Marathon community together in the weeks leading up to the race on April 21. The company is inviting all individuals connected to the city of Boston or the Boston Marathon – runners, volunteers, civic leaders, pro [...]

Misperception of millennials skews advisors’ strategies

{April 15th, 2014} by Michael S. Fischer

Courting millennial investors is a key challenge confronting the financial services sector. Industry professionals on Thursday discussed what these young investors want from their financial services firms during a panel discussion at SIFMA’s private wealth conference in New York. Michael Liersch, director of behavioral finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, noted that a strong [...]

Many Advisors Rich In Assets, Lacking In Vision

{April 15th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

The 2013 Fidelity Advisor Insights Study by Fidelity Investments finds that 95 percent of advisors grew their books of business last year when the stock market turned in stellar gains and interest rates were on the rise. Even with a strong year during which the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose by 30 percent, many [...]

Financial Readiness Can Be A Challenge For Soldiers

{April 15th, 2014} by John Ewoldt, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

April 12–When Mechel Glass left the Army to return home at age 21, everything was different for her. She was unemployed, her friends had left and she was nearly homeless. “The Army paid for my food, lodging and nearly everything else,” she said. “I should have had a big nest egg, but I had nothing [...]

More parents saving for retirement than college

{April 15th, 2014} by Lisa Barron

Fully 55 percent of parents with kids under age 18 are saving for retirement, compared with 51 percent of families who are saving money for their children’s college education, according to a survey by student loan giant Sallie Mae. Those not putting away tuition money are worried about having enough money for their own retirement, [...]

MassMutual Posts Net Loss on Accounting Impact of Hartford Retirement Plans Acquisition

{April 14th, 2014} by Fran Matso Lysiak

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – MassMutual Financial Group posted a net loss in 2013, partly on its acquisition of Hartford Financial Services’ retirement plans business. For 2013, MassMutual reported a net loss of $113 million on a consolidated statutory basis, compared with net income of $872 million in 2012, according to its 2013 annual report. The accounting [...]

Bank-Owned Broker/Dealers Decline

{April 14th, 2014} by Margarida Correia

Banks are heaving their in-house broker-dealer operations. During the past year, four banks phased out their units and outsourced the business to third-party broker-dealers, according to management consulting firm Kehrer Saltzman & Associates. That leaves only 40 banks that have their own brokerage units, a mere 2% of the 1,809 banks that offer investment services. [...]

LIBRs and GLWBs: What agents need to know now

{April 14th, 2014} by Paul Cross

Ten thousand baby boomers are retiring daily with corporate pension plans in demise, state and federal pension plans under water, Social Security $16.8 trillion in the red, and a nation that is drowning in a sea of debt. Seventy-seven million boomers, who are preparing for the golden years of retirement in search of safe, secure [...]

IRS: Only one IRA rollover per year

{April 13th, 2014} by Ed Slott

Last month, I wrote about the case involving the so-called once-per-year IRA rollover rule (Alvan L. Bobrow, et ux., v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2014-21, Docket No. 7022-11). The Tax Court ruled that once per year means exactly that. The rollover rule doesn’t apply separately to each of a person’s individual retirement accounts but to all [...]

IRS targeting IRA rollovers after Tax Court ruling

{April 13th, 2014} by Darla Mercado

Advisers who are salivating over big IRA rollovers from new clients: Watch out. The IRS has a bull’s-eye on those dollars. Starting Jan. 1, the Internal Revenue Service will begin enforcing a rule permitting only one 60-day IRA-to-IRA rollover every 365 days, regardless of how many IRAs a taxpayer owns. The finding runs contrary to [...]

Grow up and buy some life insurance, already

{April 12th, 2014} by Bill Coffin

There is a Thai advertisement for life insurance that is going viral on the internet right now that is fairly typical of most Thai life insurance ads. It is a deeply emotional little story of a regular guy who everyday performs little acts of random kindness. While walking to work, he moves a potted tree [...]

Female Financial Advisors Show High Productivity

{April 11th, 2014} by Linda Koco

CHICAGO – Female advisors are showing “amazing productivity,” according to a retirement industry executive. In fact, their productivity is “even better than the male advisors.” The comment came in response to a discussion here about how companies are attempting to address the aging of insurance and financial advisors and their expected retirement within the next [...]

Penn Mutual Reaches $100B In Force

{April 11th, 2014} by N/A

Horsham, Pa. – April 10, 2014 – The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a more than 167-year-old company, is pleased to announce that it has achieved an important milestone: $100 billion of life insurance in force. As a mutual life insurance company, Penn Mutual puts the interests of its policyholders front and center. Since its [...]

Allstate Plans Sales Force Expansion in US Midwest, West

{April 11th, 2014} by Michael Buck

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Allstate Corp. wants to expand its agency force in several Midwestern and Western U.S. states, building on the company’s trend of growing its sales footprint after years of shrinking. The company wants to add 67 agencies in seven states, it said in statements. Those new agencies have the potential to create about [...]

NAIC Native American Panel Taking First Steps Toward Outreach on State-Based Regulation to Nations

{April 11th, 2014} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – A National Association of Insurance Commissioners panel is moving to identify tribal insurance participants as part of its initial work to provide information to more than 500 sovereign nations about state-based insurance regulation. The NAIC’s American Indian and Alaska Native Liaison Committee was formed in August 2013 and has met twice (Best’s [...]

Hartford CEO McGee’s Pay Up 58% to $17.7 Million As Stock Surges

{April 11th, 2014} by Zachary Tracer

Liam McGee Hartford Financial   Liam McGee, the chief executive officer of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., had his compensation increase 58 percent last year as he presided over a stock surge and sold assets to narrow the company’s focus. His package climbed to $17.7 million in 2013 from $11.2 million a year earlier, the [...]

LIMRA: Innovative approaches to financial literacy

{April 11th, 2014} by Paul Wilson

Increasing financial literacy is a hot topic for the retirement industry these days, and with good reason, according to a group of panelists at the 2014 Retirement Industry Conference in Chicago, IL. The roundtable discussion, titled “Innovative Approaches to Financial Literacy,” offered a range of perspectives on how the industry is currently addressing financial wellness. [...]

Impact of product allocation

{April 11th, 2014} by Mike McGlothlin

The financial services industry always discusses the impact of asset allocation, but it rarely mentions product allocation. How we use products can greatly enhance a client’s solutions and can also reduce risk—much like asset allocation. Using annuities in a portfolio can help reduce the pressure of withdrawals from a securities-based account. Let’s look at a [...]

LIMRA: Improve trust to maximize annuity business

{April 11th, 2014} by Daniel Williams

In a numbers-laden discussion on the future of annuities, held today in Chicago at the Retirement Industry Conference, an old school idea emerged as a key to expanding the “safe retirement” business—the idea of building trust. Speaking onstage with LIMRA researchers Joseph Montminy and Jafor Iqbal, Christopher Raham, a principal in the Insurance Advisory Services [...]

NJ Department of Banking and Insurance Provides Tips to Consumers on Annuity Shopping

{April 10th, 2014} by Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064

TRENTON – As part of National Financial Literacy Month and National Retirement Planning Week, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski today offered tips to consumers for buying annuities. An annuity is a contract in which an insurance company agrees to make a series of payments in return for a premium (or [...]

U.S. Warns Businesses on Major Web Technology Bug ‘Heartbleed’

{April 10th, 2014} by Jim Finkle; additional reporting by Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco

A newly discovered bug in widely used Web encryption technology has made data on many of the world’s major websites vulnerable to theft by hackers in what experts say is one of the most serious security flaws uncovered in recent years. The finding of the so-called “Heartbleed” vulnerability, by researchers with Google Inc. and a [...]

What the New SEC Social Media Guidance Update Means for Advisors

{April 10th, 2014} by Amy McIlwain

Because current social media platforms continue to evolve and new platforms are constantly emerging, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to stay on their toes to keep up. In an effort to address the changing social media landscape, the SEC released a long-awaited social media guidance update last week.   What Changed The biggest [...]

Income From Bank-Sold Annuities Up 9 Percent

{April 10th, 2014} by Cyril Tuohy

Income earned from the sale of annuities at bank holding companies (BHCs) reached a record $3.43 billion last year, up 9 percent from 2012, with bank annuity fee income setting records in each of the four quarters, according to the bank consulting firm Michael White Associates (MWA). The top bank holding company in annuity fee [...]

Voya Financial Taps Protective Life Exec as New President of Annuities

{April 10th, 2014} by Marie Suszynski

WINDSOR, Conn. – Voya Financial Inc., the new brand for ING U.S. Inc., said it has hired Carolyn M. Johnson as president of its annuities business segment, effective April 7. Johnson is responsible for product, distribution, financial management and operational performance in the annuities segment, which is an integral part of Voya’s retirement solutions operations. [...]

BOLI assets reached nearly $144B in 2013

{April 10th, 2014} by Warren S. Hersch

Bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) assets reached nearly $143.84 billion in 2013, reflecting a 4.3 percent increase from $138 billion in BOLI assets held in 2012 by commercial banks, savings banks and savings associations, according to the 2014 edition of the Equias Alliance/Michael White Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) Holdings Report. BOLI is used to recover costs [...]

What makes baby boomers tick?

{April 10th, 2014} by Vanessa De La Rosa

You’ve heard it a million times: 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day for the next 15 years. They are living longer and aiming to retire earlier. They also control a large portion of the nation’s wealth. This means there is an enormous and steady influx of prospects nearing and entering retirement on a [...]

‘Heartbleed’ cybersecurity threat looms over advisers and clients

{April 10th, 2014} by Joyce Hanson

Advisers and financial services firms are scrambling this week to avert any potential damage from the “Heartbleed” cybersecurity bug that has recently come to light and threatens millions of web users. Encrypted channels for online communication that were thought to be secure have now been identified as being at risk due to a flaw in [...]

Products baby boomers need most, even if they don’t know it

{April 9th, 2014} by David Port

 baby boomer himself, Jon Ten Haagen, CFP, RPC, acknowledges that the retirement picture for many of the 77.3 million members of his generation isn’t pretty. “Too many baby boomers don’t pay attention to how much they have saved for retirement,” observes Haagen, founder of Ten Haagen Financial Group in Huntington, N.Y. Perhaps they’re not paying [...]

Genworth Financial Revives IPO of Australian Insurance Unit

{April 9th, 2014} by Ernesto Calucag

MELBOURNE, Australia – Genworth Financial Inc. has revived plans to sell up to 40% of its Australian insurance business through an initial public offering during the first half of the year. In a U.S. regulatory filing, Genworth said the move is “a strategic priority for 2014″ but is still subject to market conditions and valuation [...]