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Industry Articles

Ameritas Hit By Finra For Indexed Sales

{January 16th, 2017} by Dan Jamieson

Ameritas Investment Corp. has agreed to pay a $145,000 Finra fine for failing to supervise sales of indexed annuities. The firm began treating the sale of indexed annuities (IAs) as an outside business activity in October 2013 as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established that the products were not securities. But AIC failed […]

DOL releases fresh fiduciary rule FAQ for investors

{January 16th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

The Department of Labor on Friday released the second batch of frequently-asked-questions with guidance on its fiduciary rule. In releasing the 16-page FAQ, which includes 30 questions and answers, Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, noted that the information is “meant especially for workers and retirement investors.” EBSA was deploying […]

Update: Life insurance startup Ladder launches in California

{January 16th, 2017} by Jonathan Shieber

Ladder, the new life insurance startup looking to bring policy enrollment as easy as picking up a mobile phone, has launched in its first market — California. That’s right, citizens of the “Eureka” state are now able to select a life insurance policy right on their phones or their computers. Ladder was born out of […]

Titles advisers use to play a bigger role in fiduciary regulation

{January 16th, 2017} by Blaine F. Aikin

Traditionally, regulation has focused on the functional definition of fiduciary.   Please click HERE to view the full article  via InvestmentNews. This article is regarding opponents of the DOL rule whom appear to be zeroing in on titles that cause confusion with the investing public.

DOL encourages investors to ask advisers if they are fiduciaries

{January 16th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Investors should press their financial advisers about whether the advisers are fiduciaries, how much they charge and whether they get paid more based on the investments they recommend, the Labor Department said Friday. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required     Wink’s Note: the above article references DOL documents; free […]

Former ND Insurance Commissioner Hamm Takes Managing Director Post With Consultancy

{January 12th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

CHICAGO – Former North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm has taken a job as a managing director for Protiviti, a global consulting firm. Hamm started his new job in Protiviti’s risk and compliance practice in the firm’s Chicago offices on Jan. 3, serving the firm’s financial services industry clients, Protiviti Public Relations Director Kathy Keller […]

AIG Rebrands SunAmerica Mutual Funds as AIG Funds

{January 12th, 2017} by Marie Suszynski

NEW YORK – Keeping with its goal of becoming a “leaner, more profitable and focused insurer,” American International Group Inc. is rebranding its retail mutual fund family, according to the chief executive officer of AIG’s consumer insurance. Effective Feb. 28, SunAmerica Mutual Funds will become AIG Funds and carry the AIG brand. The company will […]

FINRA’s Top 5 Exam Priorities for 2017

{January 11th, 2017} by ThinkAdvisor

Advisors and broker-dealers have just received a “cheat sheet” of sorts from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Right after the start of the new year, FINRA shares its Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which highlights areas the regulator will focus on in its 2017 exams. As in previous years, the 2017 letter emphasizes “core […]

Forethought Life Broadens Platform, Launches First SPIA

{January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Forethought Life Insurance launched the company’s first single premium immediate annuity (SPIA), the “missing piece” to the company’s annuity platform of fixed, fixed index and variable annuities, the company said. The SPIA, marketed under the brand ForeCertain, is available in 49 states and the District of Columbia, said Global Atlantic Financial Group, Forethought’s parent, in a […]

Traditional Fixed Annuities are Latest Addition to North American Product Portfolio

{January 11th, 2017} by Marketwired

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – January 10, 2017) – The brand new NAC FoundationChoice℠ annuity from North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® has a three-year initial interest rate guarantee with annual rate declarations thereafter. The NAC FoundationChoice℠ Plus annuity features an annual fixed interest rate declaration and offers two Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit options. These […]

DOL Sends IMO Fiduciary Rule Exemption To OMB

{January 11th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

An exemption granting independent marketing organizations financial institution status under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review. OMB has 90 days from Dec. 29 to review the details, though the review isn’t expected to take that long, an OMB official confirmed Wednesday. Any changes […]

The top 5 insurance tech trends for 2017

{January 10th, 2017} by John Howard

A few years ago, insurance experts began foreshadowing the impending digital disruption that would leave a wake of innovation in its path. With the rise of InsurTech and non-traditional players entering the space, it’s clear that “disruption” is here. However, if traditional players learn from their new counterparts, and continue to foster a culture of […]

Proposed DOL fiduciary rule exemption could impact IMOs

{January 10th, 2017} by Kristen Beckman

The U.S. Department of Labor sent a proposed exemption to the Office of Management and Budget last week related to the classification of IMOs as financial institutions under the department’s fiduciary rule. Michael Trupo, a spokesman for the Labor Department confirmed the proposed exemption is under review, although the content is not yet finalized. Before […]

Industry Changes in 2017 and beyond

{January 10th, 2017} by Mike McGlothlin

If you ask most people what the biggest change the financial services industry is facing, they will likely say regulation.  The DOL’s fiduciary standard and conflicts of interest rule has certainly captivated everyone’s attention for more than a year.  Regardless of implementation date, firms across America are already changing how they conduct business.  But, regulation […]

MassMutual: When Will You Be Ready to Retire?

{January 10th, 2017} by MassMutual

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – With two in five American workers saying they are unsure if they are on target to retire comfortably1, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) is sharpening an online tool to give retirement plan savers clearer information and help them make better decisions. MassMutual upgraded its RetireSMARTSM Ready tool available on the RetireSMART […]

Why do the pundits hate annuities? OPINION

{January 10th, 2017} by Chuck Ritzke

Some of the most popular articles on LifeHealthPro (as measured by the vigorous comments that they engender) are those that take shots at (or sing the praises of) one type of financial or insurance product versus another. In my opinion, these debates often display serious misconceptions about how insurance products work — and these misconceptions […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Pacific LifeCorp and Its Subsidiaries

{January 10th, 2017} by AM Best

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Pacific Life Insurance Company (Omaha, NE) and Pacific Life & Annuity Company (Phoenix, AZ) (collectively referred to as Pacific Life Group (Pacific Life). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term […]

An Alternative to Annuities in a Fiduciary World

{January 10th, 2017} by Horizon Investments

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has given pause to some financial advisors considering the use of variable annuities with their clients. Will the costs and commissions traditionally associated with VAs put advisors who use them at risk of being seen as not serving their clients’ best interests? Advisors who worry about the possible liabilities […]

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Delay Fiduciary Rule

{January 7th, 2017} by John Hilton

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced a bill today that would delay the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule effective date by two years. Wilson’s Protecting American Families’ Retirement Advice Act calls the DOL rule “one of the most costly, burdensome regulations to come from the Obama Administration. Rather than making retirement advice and financial stability more accessible for American […]

Kitces: When a life insurance policy sends out an S.O.S.

{January 7th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

As some clients may have realized, loans against cash-value life insurance policies can be made at relatively favorable interest rates. However, those clients run the risk of a substantial tax liability if the loan compounds out of control. This can happen whether the loan was a proactive “bank on yourself” borrowing strategy or just a loan […]

Prudential names SVP to lead distribution and sales

{January 7th, 2017} by Emily Bader

Prudential Annuities, a business of Prudential Financial Inc., announced Thursday that it has named James Mullery to senior vice president and head of distribution and sales. He will develop and drive distribution and sales strategies for the Newark-based company. He will report directly to Lori Fouché, president of Prudential Annuities, and join her senior leadership […]

New Single Premium Deferred Index Annuity Provides Clients with an Innovative Interest-Crediting Strategy

{January 6th, 2017} by The Standard

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new single premium deferred index annuity with returns based upon the performance of the J.P. Morgan U.S. Sector Rotator 5 Index (Annuity Series) is now available from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). Strategic Choice Annuity 7 combines the strength of an annuity contract with the ability to receive interest based on increases […]

Former Iowa Insurance Commissioner to Join FBL Financial Group as Chief Administrative Officer

{January 6th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart will join FBL Financial Group Inc. as the company’s chief administrative officer, the company announced. Gerhart resigned as insurance commissioner Dec. 23 after taking the job in February 2013. Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen, a former Missouri insurance commissioner, became the interim commissioner (Best’s News […]

Conn. attorney guilty in life insurance scam

{January 6th, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

A Connecticut attorney, licensed to practice in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud in connection with a life insurance scheme, officials announced. David Quatrella, 61, of Trumbull, Conn., became involved in the scheme starting in 2008, according to a statement released by the U.S. District Attorney of Connecticut. “(He) and […]

AIG 2016 Review: How did the life & retirement insurance division perform?

{January 6th, 2017} by Trefis Team, Trefis

AIG ( AIG ) provides life insurance in the U.S. and also has property & casualty operations in some of the larger markets around the world. In our analysis of the company, the life and retirement division is further divided into two sub-parts based on the two key revenue streams- investment income, and premiums and […]

Sail through insurance industry flux by focusing on consumers

{January 5th, 2017} by John Deremo

This year, the financial services industry faces the prospect of significant regulatory change and potential impacts to the life insurance sector. In a time of flux, carriers are challenged to render their businesses more scalable, efficient and consumer-friendly, while supporting the bottom-line goals of distribution partners. Financial professionals, too, are challenged to consider how they […]

Annuities and Roth IRAs: A Dynamic Duo

{January 5th, 2017} by Rachel Summit

For some investors, the capital commitment, tax treatment and complexity are enough to keep them from looking into purchasing an annuity. And or some, it isn’t a wise option, especially as a standalone product. But when combined with a Roth investing strategy, an annuity investing strategy can make a lot of sense. A recent article […]

“Alexa, what’s an annuity?” Insurance company Aviva is using Amazon Echo (in the U.K.)

{January 5th, 2017} by Lynsey Barber

“Alexa, what’s an annuity?” Now your Amazon Echo can tell you the answer to burning questions about insurance and guide you through the unfamiliar jargon of the industry. The Insurance giant Aviva has developed a so-called skill (like an app for smartphones) for the voice activated speaker which proved a big hit for Amazon over […]

SEC ups disclosure requirements for advisor social media accounts

{January 4th, 2017} by National Ethics Association

The use of social media as a financial-services marketing strategy has come a long way. Less than ten years ago, only a minority of advisors used platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to help promote their businesses. Even that was an uphill battle, with compliance departments and financial regulators placing roadblocks in their path.  Today, […]

​What’s next for annuities

{January 4th, 2017} by Bryce Sanders

Annuities serve an important function in many investors’ portfolios. They can get bad press because of the fees associated with some features. Now the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its ruling requiring financial advisors to act as fiduciaries when working with a client and their retirement assets. If high fees make annuities a target, […]

ACLI ‘Fact Book’ reflects consumer reliance on life insurance industry

{January 3rd, 2017} by IFAwebnews Staff

Data from the American Council of Life Insurers’ (ACLI) 2016 Life Insurers Fact Book shows that consumers continue to turn to the life insurance industry for their financial and retirement security needs. “The data within ACLI’s Life Insurers Fact Book tells the story of an industry that is helping families financially after the loss of […]

Looking Ahead To 2017: Fixed Income Strategies And Tax Rules

{January 3rd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

With 2017 around the corner, advisors will want to dig into their tool bag to hammer away at two of the biggest changes to financial planning likely in the coming year. Those changes are fine-tuning approaches to fixed income investing and mulling over income and estate tax strategies. Changes to fixed income allocations are due […]

The Year In Politics: All About The DOL Rule

{January 3rd, 2017} by John Hilton

The year in political stories was dominated by one issue – the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. While President-elect Donald J. Trump has not rendered an opinion on the rule, he was virtually the only one to ignore it. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the rule “hurts Americans saving for retirement.” President Barack Obama said […]

Industry Groups Encouraged by Latest Draft of New York Cybersecurity Rule

{January 3rd, 2017} by Thomas Harman

ALBANY, N.Y. – Insurance industry groups voiced encouragement over the new update to cybersecurity regulation proposed by the New York Department of Financial Services. The proposed regulation is expected to take effect March 1, 2017, and will require banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions under DFS regulation to create and maintain a cybersecurity […]

BestWeek: Asia, Life Insurers Are Big Gainers Among Top 25 Largest Insurers

{January 3rd, 2017} by Caroline Saucer

OLDWICK, N.J. – Insurers in Japan and China were among the biggest gainers in terms of premiums while life and multiple-line insurers led gains by assets, according to A.M. Best’s list of the world’s largest 25 insurers featured in this week’s BestWeek. A.M. Best’s annual rankings found stability at the top, as the top five […]

15 of the best insurance and finance websites for the New Year

{January 3rd, 2017} by Van Mueller

This is the final part of a series where I have been providing tools and resources that agents can depend on to enhance the services they provide. Part one focused on www.irs.gov, and part two focused on the debt clock, www.usdebtclock.org. Please keep in mind that you do not want to overwhelm prospects and clients […]

Here’s How to Best Time Interest Rates When Purchasing an Annuity

{January 3rd, 2017} by Stan Haithcock

Is there a way to perfectly time an annuity purchase when interest rates are rising?  With the Federal Reserve recently raising rates, the continuing conundrum of trying to time an annuity purchase is once again the center of most annuity buying decisions and agent sales pitches. Like most financial decisions, there are no perfect answers. […]

8 more Dave Ramsey myths debunked

{January 3rd, 2017} by Michael Markey

Dave Ramsey, underneath the scrutiny of financial regulation, has knowingly or intentionally unknowingly altered, tainted or ignored math to support his beliefs and claims. Like Lance “I use other people’s blood” Armstrong, Ramsey has misled the American public about his work. I know this sounds harsh. It is. I want it to be. The holidays […]

3 significant challenges for annuity advisors in 2017

{January 3rd, 2017} by BEN YAHR, GERRY MURTAGH

We expect to see significant changes in the annuity industry during 2017. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will become applicable in April 2017 and have major impacts on financial services delivered to the retirement market. The DOL rule will affect companies’ strategies and operations, the products they offer, the advice they provide and the […]

Advanced tax time planning: 15 life insurance considerations

{January 3rd, 2017} by Stephan R. Leimberg

Life insurance can be a superb savings asset, but it does carry distinct tax issues. All conventional saving vehicles serve the same purpose, but the unique feature of life insurance is that it assures the desired accumulation at a specific, but uncertain time; namely at the time of the insured’s death. No other savings or […]

Outlook for life insurers is ‘credit negative’ thru mid-2018

{January 3rd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Continuing low interest will put a damper on life insurers’ investment yields and guaranteed rates of return in 2017, depressing their earnings, solvency position and credit outlook, which dipped from “stable” to negative during the year past. The carriers’ credit and investment outlook may not improve until at least the second half of 2018. So […]

What The Millennials Are Hearing About Life Insurance

{December 29th, 2016} by Alexa Hoffman

  As you’ve probably heard is common of my generation, I get my news on my Apple devices. Yes, I’m a millennial; no, I’m not referring only to social media. News apps make it easy to scroll through articles and updates from various reputable publications all in one place. As a millennial who happens to […]

Life Insurers Say Forthcoming Accounting Changes Demanding

{December 27th, 2016} by Denise Lugo

From Accounting Policy and Practice Report The Accounting Policy & Practice Report ® provides financial accounting policy makers, advisors, and practitioners with the latest news, expert insights, and guidance on emerging, evolving, and complex accounting issues. Expert News & Commentary. By Denise Lugo Potential FASB rule changes for life insurance and annuities contracts would be […]

3 significant challenges for annuity advisors in 2017

{December 27th, 2016} by BEN YAHR, GERRY MURTAGH

We expect to see significant changes in the annuity industry during 2017. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will become applicable in April 2017 and have major impacts on financial services delivered to the retirement market. The DOL rule will affect companies’ strategies and operations, the products they offer, the advice they provide and the […]

9 reasons retirement may go extinct

{December 27th, 2016} by Marlene Y. Satter

Retirement as we know it may be set to disappear, as younger people look for ways to finance surviving into old age. But extinction? Surely not. However, according to the Merrill Edge Report 2016, that might just be in the offing, as workers change how they plan and save for retirement and how they intend […]

The Big Chill For Annuities In 2017

{December 27th, 2016} by Ben Mattlin

With the Department of Labor’s 1,000-page fiduciary regulations due to take effect in April 2017, and a new anti-regulatory administration about to take office in Washington, insurance carriers are facing a double whammy of uncertainty. “Going forward, there just won’t be as many developments of new financial products simply because the insurance companies aren’t sure […]

Three Passive Income Ideas to Consider for Retirement

{December 27th, 2016} by Larry Alton

(Newswire.net — December 24, 2016) — Once you enter your 40s and 50s, retirement is definitely something you should be taking seriously. Many people begin to tire out and dream about finally enjoying some of the money they’ve spent the past few decades earning. But if you aren’t prepared to make money during retirement, you’re […]

Top Tales Of Annuity Advisors Gone Wrong

{December 27th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

As we wind down 2016, we take a look back at annuity advisors who did no favors for their clients and found themselves in trouble with the law. Churning Up Trouble A practice known as “churning” led to a 10-year state prison sentence for Joseph Anthony Mele, 31, of Ventura, Calif. Mele pleaded no contest […]

A New Platform Provides A Different Approach For Annuities

{December 27th, 2016} by Ben Mattlin

In mid-December, Global Atlantic Financial Group, a provider of a broad spectrum of insurance, annuities, and other retirement products, announced it would enter 2017 with what it dubbed an industry first: a truly unified distribution organization. “This is the first unified distribution built solely around helping advisors meet their clients’ retirement needs with annuities,” says […]

Ponzi Schemes And Movie Deals: Tales Of Advisors Behaving Badly

{December 24th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

From Ponzi schemes to wacky real estate deals and movie ventures to managerial inertia, 2016 was another year filled with rogue advisors and brokers, at least in the eyes of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a review of financial advisors behaving badly, we highlight brokers and advisors who preferred — either by design or […]

Great American’s Incoming CEO Wants Insurer Looking for 2026’s Disruptors Today

{December 23rd, 2016} by Renée Kiriluk-Hill

CINCINNATI – Disruption is a given and insurers who want to remain relevant need to keep one step ahead of it, according to incoming Great American Insurance Group President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Gruber. “What I want our units to do is look out over the next five to 10 years. What are you […]

Asia, Life Insurers Are Big Gainers Among Top 25 Largest Insurers

{December 23rd, 2016} by David Pilla

OLDWICK, N.J. – Insurers in Japan and China were among the biggest gainers in terms of premiums while life and multiple-line insurers led gains by assets as A.M. Best released its list of the world’s largest 25 insurers based on 2015 data. A.M. Best’s annual rankings found stability at the top, as the top five […]

New Fixed Annuity Product from AIG

{December 23rd, 2016} by Rachel Summit

After a stellar 2016, American International Group (AIG) has just introduced a new seven-year fixed annuity with a lifetime income rider. According to a recent Retirement Income Journal article, Assured Edge Income Builder is issued by American General Life Insurance Company and is currently available in over 20 banks and broker-dealers, with more distribution coming […]

AIG offers fixed-rate annuity with an income rider

{December 23rd, 2016} by Editorial Staff

American International Group, which sold $13.6 billion worth of annuities in the first three quarters of 2016—second to Jackson National’s $14 billion—has introduced a new seven-year fixed annuity with a lifetime income rider. Issued by American General Life Insurance Company, Assured Edge Income Builder is available in over 20 banks and broker-dealers with “broadening of […]

5 reasons why you shouldn’t use Yelp to find an advisor

{December 22nd, 2016} by Michael Chamberlain, manager at Chamberlain Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Yelp is a very popular online site where consumers post ratings based on their personal experience of retail stores, restaurants and service providers. The simplicity of the site is that if you see that 200 people had been to a particular restaurant and each had a very good experience, there’s a good chance that you […]

The Insurance Renaissance: 6 Minutes of 2016 History: Blog

{December 22nd, 2016} by Majesco Blog: Ashwin Rodrigues

Click HERE for original blog by Majesco: December 23, 2016 — We knew that 2016 would be big. To capture the flavor of the pace and magnitude of change, I wrote a series of blogs where I likened the dramatic shifts in insurance technology to what happened during the original Italian Renaissance when education, money, art […]

GOVERNOR-ELECT SCOTT REAPPOINTS MICHAEL PIECIAK AS COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL REGULATION

{December 21st, 2016} by Office of the Governor-Elect.

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor-elect Phil Scott today announced he would reappoint Michael Pieciak as commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation. The department will also retain the deputy commissioners for each of its four divisions, which include Cynthia Stuart for Banking, Kaj Samsom for Insurance, William Carrigan for Securities, and David Provost for Captive Insurance.  […]

Dave Wilken to Lead Life Business at Global Atlantic

{December 21st, 2016} by Global Atlantic Financial Group

DES MOINES, IOWA, December 20, 2016 — Global Atlantic Financial Group, a leading U.S.-focused retirement, life insurance and reinsurance company, recently announced the hiring of Dave Wilken as President of their Des Moines-based life insurance business. Wilken joins Global Atlantic from Voya, where he served more than 20 years in various leadership roles, most recently […]

The Roth Annuity: A Bright Star in Annuity Investing

{December 21st, 2016} by Professors Bloink and Byrnes

For many clients, the potential downsides of annuity investing can overshadow the valuable security that these products can offer with respect to providing a guaranteed income stream for life — and often for good reason. The tax treatment of a standalone annuity, when combined with the required capital commitment, simply might not make sense for […]

Where insurance meets innovation

{December 21st, 2016} by JOE GARDYASZ, Senior Staff Writer

From hackathons and in-house innovation labs to collaboration with the Global Insurance Accelerator, Iowa-based insurance companies are finding new ways to quickly advance new technologies as they strive to keep ahead of ever-increasing customer expectations.  We interviewed executives with four insurance companies that operate in different sectors of the insurance market to get a pulse […]

Independent advisors want Trump to repeal DOL fiduciary rule: Survey

{December 21st, 2016} by IFAWebNews Staff

The following content has been reprinted in whole or part from a press release, issued statement, or other reports or sources. So-called “main street” independent financial advisors overwhelmingly believe that President-Elect Donald J. Trump should seek to repeal the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, according to a survey conducted by the Financial Services Institute […]

DALBAR Announces the 2016 Annuity Service Award Winners

{December 21st, 2016} by DALBAR

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:13 PM UTC   Boston, Dec. 20, 2016 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Dalbar Announces the 2016 Annuity Service Award Winners (Boston, MA. December 20, 2016) Dalbar identifies the top annuity providers when […]

Trump admin has to signal soon if it intends to undo fiduciary rule

{December 21st, 2016} by Nick Thornton

For stakeholders holding out hope the Trump administration will intervene on the fiduciary rule, time is running out. This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce added to the welter of speculation over the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule’s fate. Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue said the organization is urging the incoming Trump administration’s transition team to […]

Insurance Industry Says More Workforce Training Needed

{December 21st, 2016} by Hartford Courant

Dec. 20–With thousands of employees due to retire over the next decade, the state should consider funding workforce development programs at local colleges, insurance lobbyists told a legislative forum Monday. “By next year, 25 percent of the industry is going to be 5 to 10 years away from retirement,” said Hugh Barrett, who works in […]

DOL rule will force consolidation of broker-dealers, Cerulli report says

{December 21st, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The Department of Labor’s new conflict-of-interest rule will have a huge effect on advisors and asset managers. And among those to be most severely hit are boutique broker-dealers. So concludes Cerulli Associates, a Boston-based research and consulting company, in a new report, “U.S. Broker/Dealer Marketplace 2016: Retooling for a New Competitive Landscape. Examining broker-dealers with […]

4 reasons why women need life insurance

{December 20th, 2016} by Brian Greenberg

Now more than ever, women are redefining their roles at work and at home. Women have more options than ever, from full-time careers outside the home to careers as full-time homemakers with stops nearly everywhere in between. But while women are achieving unprecedented work-life balance and financial independence and solvency, there seems to be one […]

Could complying with the DOL rule give insurers a competitive advantage?

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

Among the industry’s many gripes about the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule, one that rises to the top is cost. Industry estimates peg the cash outlay needed to align company operations with the rule to be in the billions — $11 billion for brokerages alone if a recent estimate by consulting firm A.T. Kearney […]

NAFA vows to continue DOL rule fight

{December 20th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

On the same day the D.C. circuit court declined its request to block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the National Association for Fixed Annuities vowed to continue its fight against the regulation. “We are still working hard to defeat rule and make sure everyone understands our position on that,” said Chip Anderson, NAFA’s executive […]

Federal Appeals Court Rejects NAFA Request to Halt Fiduciary Rule

{December 20th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has denied a request by the National Association for Fixed Annuities for a preliminary injunction to stop implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, upholding a lower court ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to immediately halt the rule, […]

Global Atlantic Financial unifies annuity distribution

{December 20th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Global Atlantic Financial Group, the Bermuda-based retirement, life insurance and reinsurance company, said it will launch a unified distribution organization on Jan. 1. The organization calls for product-specific teams to come together to offer advisors simplified access to the company’s annuity platform with options designed to address the individual needs of their clients. Global Atlantic’s […]

A.M. Best Revises Outlooks to Positive for Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited and Its Subsidiaries

{December 20th, 2016} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(Business Wire)–A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” of Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company (Southborough, MA), its subsidiaries, First Allmerica Financial Life Insurance Company (Southborough, MA), Forethought Life Insurance Company (Indianapolis, […]

Preparing for a New Year: NAFA Continues to Be Your Voice

{December 20th, 2016} by Chip Anderson

MESSAGE FROM NAFA The 2016 presidential election is over and the biggest question for NAFA members is how the Trump victory will impact the status of the DOL fiduciary rule. Different sources in the Trump camp have commented that a Trump administration will repeal the fiduciary rule. Trump himself has been very vocal on overturning […]

Coming in 2017: More pot-smoking life insurance policyholders

{December 19th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

Marijuana smoking has been on the rise in recent years. In the wake of the November 2016 elections, the number of users — already 25 million-strong — is likely to increase, and perhaps substantially. Of 9 state ballot initiatives, voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved marijuana use for recreational purposes; their counterparts in Arkansas, Florida […]

Security Benefit Launches New FIA to Help Meet Immediate Retirement Income Needs or Long-Term Legacy Planning Goals

{December 19th, 2016} by Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

Select Benefit Annuity offers financial representatives and their clients the flexibility to plan for a wide variety of retirement goals TOPEKA, Kan., Dec. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (Security Benefit) today announced the launch of its new Select Benefit Annuity, a fixed index annuity (FIA) which offers contract-holders the unique […]

MetLife CEO: Markets Responding to Trump’s Promises of Regulatory Relief

{December 19th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

NEW YORK – The insurance industry and the financial markets are responding positively to promises of regulatory relief and tax reform from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, said Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife Inc. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The incoming Trump administration has sent positive signals about pro-growth tax reform, increased infrastructure spending […]

Update: Insurers Welcome Fed Interest Rate Hike; MetLife Forecasts Earnings Growth

{December 19th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – (Corrects information in second paragraph.) Insurers reacted positively to news the Federal Reserve increased interest rates on investments by 0.25% — the second such rate increase in a year — and signaled it was open to more rates hikes in 2017. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors unanimously voted to raise the benchmark […]

Fed hike a positive for rate-sensitive insurance products

{December 19th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

The Federal Reserve’s increase in short-term interest rates should benefit life insurers and their policyholders, according to a new report. Moody’s Investors Service arrives at this conclusion in a Dec. 14 “Sector Comment” report. The research examines the effect of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike on U.S. financial institutions, including banks, life insurers and asset […]

Prudential Investigates Wells Fargo-Sold Policies

{December 17th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Prudential Financial sold a relatively small amount of term life insurance products through Wells Fargo’s retail banking outlets, a senior Prudential executive said Thursday. The Newark, N.J.-based insurer announced Monday it would suspend sales of its MyTerm life insurance policies through the scandal-tainted Wells Fargo. The bank admitted sales reps had opened thousands of bogus bank accounts […]

Lost Life Insurance? New State Tool Helps Find Lost Policies and Annuities

{December 17th, 2016} by William Bornhoft (Patch Staff)

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that Minnesotans now have access to a new online service they can use to help locate lost life insurance policies or annuity contracts that belonged to a deceased family member. Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the free Life Insurance Policy Locator allows individuals who believe […]

Capturing the millennial middle market with smart analytics

{December 16th, 2016} by Elliott Wallace

The middle market remains a largely untapped opportunity for life insurance carriers, worth approximately $20 billion of potential revenue, according to a McKinsey & Company study. But carriers intent on capturing the middle market will need to both rethink who they sell to and break the mold of how they sell.   The approximately 40 […]

D.C. Circuit Court refuses to block DOL fiduciary rule

{December 16th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell, Mike Scarcella

A federal appeals court on Thursday refused to block Obama administration regulations that were adopted to minimize conflicts of interest in the retirement-investment industry, a significant setback for financial planners, insurance agents and other advisers who said the rule will disrupt the marketplace. The National Association for Fixed Annuities in November urged the Washington court to freeze […]

How Apollo Global’s Crisis-Era Bet On Boring Annuities Turned Into A $72 Billion Business

{December 15th, 2016} by Antoine Gara

Athene is big and Athene is complicated, but the $87 billion in assets fixed annuities giant created by Apollo Global in 2009 is now one of the smartest bets the PE firm made during the dark days of the crisis. On Friday, Athene listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $1.1. billion […]

NAFA Elects 2017 Board of Directors, Treasurer for Executive Operating Committee

{December 15th, 2016} by NAFA

Membership Affirms New Leaders at Its Annual Meeting WASHINGTON D.C. (December 8, 2016) — The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, approved recommendations for its newly elected 2017 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in Phoenix, Ariz. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates […]

Partners Advantage Launches LifeAnswers Financial Group to Create New Opportunities for Experienced and New Insurance Agents

{December 15th, 2016} by Mark Stone

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Partners Advantage Launches LifeAnswers Financial Group to Create New Opportunities for Experienced and New Insurance Agents Riverside, CA (December 15, 2016) – Partners Advantage Insurance Services announced the launch of LifeAnswers Financial Group. LifeAnswers is a direct to the agent marketing and life insurance sales opportunity that combines a next generation technology […]

Mercer Bullard: Think DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Is Too Strict? Blame SEC

{December 15th, 2016} by Think Advisor

Had Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White succeeded in passing a fiduciary standard rule, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would likely be less stringent. So says Mercer Bullard, law professor at the University of Mississippi Law School. In a candid interview with ThinkAdvisor, the investor watchdog provided a withering assessment of Chair […]

New York Takes Aim At Annuity Replacement Practices

{December 15th, 2016} by N/A

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo today announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued guidance to remind life insurers, producers and distributors of their obligations under New York Insurance Law and regulations to perform an adequate suitability review when recommending the sale or replacement of an annuity.  Suitability review requires sellers to […]

OFR: Financial System More Stable, but Life Insurers Continue to Pose Risks

{December 15th, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Life insurers still represent significant risks to the U.S. economy because carriers continue to struggle with the low interest rate environment and a decline in equity values that could increase their vulnerability to collapse, according to a new government report. The latest assessment was made in the U.S. Office of Financial Research’s 2016 […]

Prudential suspends distribution of MyTerm policies through Wells Fargo

{December 15th, 2016} by Business Wire

NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) announced today that it will suspend the distribution of MyTerm policies through all Wells Fargo bank branches and website, pending the results of Prudential’s review of how the product is sold by Wells Fargo. Launched in 2007, MyTerm is a simplified issue term insurance product that was created […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

{December 15th, 2016} by Best's News

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa-” of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, Companion Life Insurance Company (Hauppauge, NY) and United World Life Insurance Company. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term […]

Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry

{December 15th, 2016} by AM Best

OLDWICK, N.J., December 19, 2016 — A.M. Best has revised its outlook to negative from stable for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry, citing increased volatility across economic and regulatory fronts, which includes continuing interest rate pressures. The Best’s Briefing, titled, “Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry,” states that L/A insurers […]

Annuity Sales to Plunge Under DOL Fiduciary Rule: Cerulli

{December 15th, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

U.S. variable annuity and fixed indexed annuity sales are expected to decline by at least 10% through 2018 as the industry struggles to adapt to upcoming regulations put forth by the Department of Labor, according to Cerulli Associates. The Boston-based global research and consulting firm states in its research that while insurers are trying to […]

Prudential fraud case grows, whistleblower attorneys speak out

{December 14th, 2016} by C. Ryan Barber

For three months, Wells Fargo has reeled from scandal, hit by the revelation the bank’s employees created thousands of unauthorized accounts for unknowing customers. It now appears the scheme may run deeper, and impact some customers who purchased life insurance policies through those same employees. A fresh lawsuit alleges that bank employees signed up customers up […]

Fiduciary Rule Drives Reconsideration of Fee-Based Annuities

{December 14th, 2016} by John Manganaro

U.S. variable annuity (VA) and fixed-index annuity (FIA) sales are expected to decline by at least 10% through 2018 as the industry struggles to adapt to upcoming fiduciary reform regulations put forth by the Department of Labor (DOL), according to data shared by Cerulli Associates. There can be little doubt that annuity providers, many of them […]

An insurance executive’s guide to navigating industry shifts

{December 14th, 2016} by Doug French

The coming year will be one of continued disruption for the US life-annuity insurance market. The industry will remain in flux thanks to ongoing trends, as well as new uncertainty. Customer demand will continue to evolve, digital technology will keep advancing and InsurTech innovations will gain further momentum. Today’s low interest rate environment and slow […]

Have trouble comparing VA, FIA riders? Test drive this tool

{December 13th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

With so many annuities on the market, each offering a myriad of riders and moving parts, it can be difficult to compare products and riders. Product evaluation tools are available for this purpose, but demonstrating their economic benefit, notably in respect to variable or fixed indexed annuities, can be challenging.   Among the reasons…CLICK HERE […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Lincoln National Corporation and Its Key Subsidiaries

{December 13th, 2016} by AM Best

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – DECEMBER 13, 2016 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (LNL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York (LLANY) (Syracuse, NY), which […]

Annuity Sales in Sharp Decline, Report Finds

{December 13th, 2016} by Beacon Research

Annuity sales in the third quarter of 2016 totaled $51.3 billion, an 8.2 percent decline from sales of $55.9 billion during the second quarter of 2016, according to data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar. The sales figures represented a 12.3 percent decline from $58.5 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Click HERE to view the […]

Trump said to pick DOL head: Andrew Puzder

{December 13th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary today, according to CNBC. A former attorney, Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns several nationwide fast food chains. Puzder has been an outspoken critic of what he says is overregulation’s crushing impact on the restaurant industry and the overall economy. […]

Michael Consedine to lead NAIC

{December 13th, 2016} by Allison Bell

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has hired Michael Consedine, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, to be its next chief executive officer. The Kansas City, Missouri-based insurance regulator group says Consedine will take over as CEO in early 2017. He will work in the NAIC’s Washington office. Consedine is on track to succeed Andy Beal, the […]

N.Y. regulator issues suitability review reminder to life insurers, producers

{December 13th, 2016} by IFAWebnews Staff

GOVT PRESS RELEASE: The following content has been reprinted in whole or part from a government-supplied press release or statement. Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo announced that New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued guidance to remind life insurers, producers and distributors of their obligations under New York Insurance Law and regulations […]

U.S. Chamber ‘Already Working’ With Trump to Kill the Fiduciary Rule

{December 13th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is “already working” with Trump administration transition officials to “undo” the U.S. Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, Thomas Donohue, the president and chief executive of the business group, said Monday. In a blog post on Monday, Donohue said the Chamber is “urging immediate action to undo” the fiduciary rule, because “if enacted, it […]

Athene USA parent company raises $1.1B in IPO

{December 12th, 2016} by JOE GARDYASZ

Shareholders of Athene Holding Ltd., the parent company of Athene USA, have raised $1.1 billion in their initial public offering of common stock, which began trading today on the New York Stock Exchange.   Athene’s class A common stock began trading this morning at $43.56 per share; the company had anticipated a price range of $38 […]

Prudential to Suspend Sale of Insurance Policy Through Wells Fargo

{December 12th, 2016} by LESLIE SCISM and EMILY GLAZER

Prudential Financial Inc. on Monday said it would suspend distributing insurance policies through Wells Fargo & Co., following the sales practices scandal that hit the San Francisco bank. Prudential’s decision comes as Wells Fargo continues to deal with the fallout from the sales tactics scandal this fall. Federal regulators and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s […]

Prudential Hit With Class Action Lawsuit in Wells Fargo Fallout

{December 12th, 2016} by Tara Jeffries

Prudential Financial Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit in the latest legal action linking the insurer to Wells Fargo & Co.’s high-profile consumer fraud scandal. The lawsuit, filed Monday by a trio of law firms in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, says Prudential worked with Wells Fargo to sign up low-income customers for […]

Today is the Day: BLOG

{December 12th, 2016} by Nick Gerhart

I wrote this and published this on another blog in May.  Some of you likely read it then, but I wanted to publish it here after a colleague encouraged me to do so.  Cheers to you all! Today is the Day So much is written about juggling professional life and family life that I quit […]

Athene CEO: IPO timing couldn’t have been better

{December 12th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

When annuity provider Athene Holdings launched its initial public offering last week, it was fulfilling a long-term mission. “We’ve always had this focus from the very beginning that we were going to be a public company,” said Grant Kvalheim, chief executive officer of Athene USA. “That helped us because it spoke to how we had […]

Whistleblowers allege Prudential link to Wells Fargo fraud

{December 12th, 2016} by STEVEN A. MEYEROWITZ, ESQ., DIRECTOR, FC&S LEGAL

Three former supervisors in the corporate investigations division (“CID”) of the legal department of The Prudential Insurance Company of America have filed a lawsuit in a state court in New Jersey against Prudential along with Deborah Bello, the insurer’s chief regulatory officer, alleging that a life insurance program called “MyTerm,” created in 2014 by Prudential […]

Allianz Life Named a 2017 Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality

{December 8th, 2016} by Allianz

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Earning this score designates Allianz Life as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality according to the HRC. The CEI is a […]

A.M. Best Briefing: Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry

{December 8th, 2016} by Best's News

Oldwick – A.M. Best has revised its outlook to negative from stable for the U.S. life/annuity (L/A) industry, citing increased volatility across economic and regulatory fronts, which includes continuing interest rate pressures. The Best’s Briefing, titled, “Increased Market Volatility Drives Rating Outlook Negative for U.S. Life/Annuity Industry,” states that L/A insurers have done a commendable job navigating the […]

Betterment CEO to Trump: DOL fiduciary rule worth your time

{December 7th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

  New York-based Betterment, the country’s largest independent robo–advisory that now oversees more than $6 billion in assets, placed full-page ads in Sunday’s New York Times and Monday’s Wall Street Journal imploring readers, investors, and President-elect Donald Trump to get behind the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The Time’s ad, featured in the paper’s business section, […]

Insurance Commissioner Gerhart stepping down

{December 7th, 2016} by Tony Leys

Iowa’s outspoken insurance commissioner is stepping down. Nick Gerhart has resigned effective Dec. 23, the governor’s office announced Monday. Gerhart was appointed to the four-year post on Feb. 1, 2013. He said in an interview Monday that he decided not to seek another term. His wife, Jessica, is expecting their fourth child in early January, which […]

18 reasons for making indexed UL part of your portfolio

{December 7th, 2016} by GREGORY E. SCHWABE

If your prospecting is mainly with the age 55-80 group, you know it’s not what it was even a few years ago. “Almost tapped out” is the way some advisors are describing it. If your practice is feeling that pain, there’s a way to reach a broader, motivated, and largely untapped audience—consumers age 36-55.  You can do it with indexed universal life’s (IUL). What grabs […]

Accenture’s Life Insurance & Annuity Platform Receives Highest Product Scores for Three Use Cases in Gartner’s 2016 Critical Capabilities Report

{December 7th, 2016} by Accenture

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has received the highest scores for three use cases in Gartner’s September 2016, Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America. Out of 15 vendor systems evaluated, the Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) scored the highest in the New Product Development/Launch, New Application/Automated Underwriting and Reporting and […]

When it comes to annuities, why words matter

{December 7th, 2016} by N/A

Annuities continue to be misunderstood, oversold, and actually needed by the demographic tidal wave of baby boomers wanting contractually guaranteed solutions. Using just the word “annuity” to describe a category of many unique products is a semantic travesty. The professor knows Bo Knows according to Nike. John Knows when it comes to annuities. I am […]

Global Atlantic names new president for life insurance business

{December 7th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd. has hired Dave Wilken as president of its Des Moines-based life insurance subsidiary, which does business as Accordia Life and Annuity Co. Most recently, Wilken was president of Individual Life for Voya Financial, where he worked for more than 20 years in various leadership roles. Wilken succeeds Mike Miller, who […]

Accelerating change through innovation

{December 7th, 2016} by DOUG FRENCH, MICHAEL HUGHES, CHRISTOPHER RAHAM, VIKAS SHARAN

With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future. Low engagement with current customers, limited penetration among currently underserved segments (including the middle market and millennials), outdated technology infrastructure and inefficient processes are among the many issues forcing life insurers to re-evaluate how, where and with whom they […]

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announces resignation; Branstad names Doug Ommen Interim Insurance Commissioner

{December 7th, 2016} by Office of the Governor of Iowa Terry Branstad

Today, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds applauded the work of Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart upon learning of his resignation effective Dec. 23, 2016.  Branstad also announced that he is appointing Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen of Ankeny as Interim Insurance Commissioner.    “I want to thank Nick Gerhart for his service as Insurance […]

NAFA seeks emergency injunction to stay DOL rule

{December 7th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

The National Association for Fixed Annuities filed an emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The motion asks for a delay of 10 months at a minimum but says a two-year delay is warranted. The association is appealing an order and memorandum opinion of […]

Gerhart to resign as insurance commissioner; Ommen will be interim

{December 6th, 2016} by Business Record Staff

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart on Monday announced he will resign from that position, effective Dec. 23. Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen will be the interim insurance commissioner.   Nick Gerhart “I’m honored to have had the chance to serve Iowans by leading the Iowa Insurance Division,” Gerhart said in a statement. “However both myself and […]

A.M. Best Revises Outlooks to Stable for Security Benefit Life Insurance Company and First Security Benefit Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York

{December 6th, 2016} by Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to stable from positive and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term 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 (New York, NY). The […]

Time to revisit cash value life insurance

{December 6th, 2016} by Brett W. Berg

For many years, especially when the estate tax exemption was low, the focus of estate planning strategies with life insurance often shifted to how the minimum premium can be leveraged for maximum death benefit. With the 2016 estate tax exemption at $5.45M for individuals and $10.9M for married couples, and at $5.49M and $10.98M respectively […]

Compliance expert answers 7 looming fiduciary rule questions

{December 6th, 2016} by Warren S. Hersch

With the April 10, 2017 deadline to meet impartial conduct standards of the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest (fiduciary) rule just 5 months away, industry stakeholders are ratcheting up their compliance efforts. For a high-level view of issues they can expect along the way, LifeHealthPro interviewed Ben Yahr, a senior manager of EY’s financial […]

Call for nominations: 30 under 30

{December 6th, 2016} by Kristen Beckman

Do you know an outstanding individual working in the life or health insurance or retirement planning industry under the age of 30 years old? If so, LifeHealthPro.com wants to hear from you! In January, LifeHealthPro.com will feature its list of 30 outstanding individuals under the age of 30. We’re looking for millennials (or those younger […]

Small Independent B/Ds Stand To Lose A Lot Under DOL Rule

{December 6th, 2016} by Cyril Tuohy

Small independent broker/dealers (IBDs) want nothing more than to see the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule repealed, and from their perspective, it’s not hard to see why. IBDs stand to lose an estimated $4 billion in revenue over the next four years because of the rule. That’s according to Peter Chiang, a principal at the […]

Two questions help clients avoid annuity surrender charges

{December 6th, 2016} by Chris Conklin

There is no such thing as a perfect financial product. Every product has its strengths and weaknesses. That’s why there is such a great variety of products available, as providers put together offerings to appeal to clients with varying preferences.  A fixed annuity is a great option for a client who is looking for a […]

Transamerica to lay off 120 in Cedar Rapids

{December 6th, 2016} by Chelsea Keenan

Transamerica announced Thursday that it will lay off about 120 of its 3,000 employees in its Cedar Rapids locations — part of the life insurance company’s “strategic plan to increase returns.” In addition to the Cedar Rapids cuts, the company plans to close its offices in Los Angeles and Folsom, Calif., and West Chester, Ohio, […]

Insurance Industry News Roundup: Week of Dec. 5, 2016

{December 5th, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Staff

New York Life honors women’s history New York Life has announced a grant of $500,000 toward the creation of Central Park’s first statues of real women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.  New York Life is the only corporate sponsor of The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund.  These statues will […]

Advisors Wary Of Fiduciary Rule’s Annuity Exemption

{December 5th, 2016} by Juliette Fairley

The Department of Labor is expected to make it easier for insurance agents to continue selling fixed-index annuities, but many financial advisors say allowing such an exemption defeats the purpose of the looming fiduciary rule. “It allows for what I believe is one of the biggest problems in the industry, which is people holding themselves […]

Voya Financial Recognized as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for 12th Consecutive Year

{December 5th, 2016} by Voya Financial

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2016 NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) — a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace […]

The DOL fiduciary rule’s future remains murky

{December 5th, 2016} by Melanie Waddell

The head of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently told Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to halt implementing the Department of Labor’s “burdensome” fiduciary rule because it will likely be “undone” by the incoming Trump administration. In a Nov. 22 letter to Perez, Sen. Ron Johnson, R.-Wis., chairman of the committee, told Perez that like […]

3Q Individual Life Premium Rises 2%, LIMRA Reports

{December 5th, 2016} by LIMRA

WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 5, 2016—Third quarter individual new annualized premium rose two percent, compared with prior year, according to the LIMRA U.S. Retail Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. In the first nine months of 2016, total new annualized premium increased two percent. “Whole life sales, which have experienced 10 consecutive years of positive growth, played […]

BLS: Insurance Industry Lost 1,300 Jobs in November

{December 3rd, 2016} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry lost 1,300 jobs in November, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on Dec. 2. The seasonally adjusted 0.05% decrease for October 2016 through November 2016 is a reversal for the industry, which had experienced 10 consecutive months of growth this year. Updated industry data […]

NAFA’s Press Release Regarding the Motion Filing

{December 2nd, 2016} by Annuity Outlook Staff

NAFA’s Press Release Regarding the Motion Filing WASHINGTON D.C. (December 1, 2016) — On Nov. 29, 2016, NAFA filed an emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That request is now pending before the circuit court. This comes on the heels of District […]

Non-GLB variable annuities appeal to buyers of all ages

{December 2nd, 2016} by LIMRA

Recent LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute studies show interesting differences in buyers of variable annuities with a guaranteed living benefit (GLB) rider than without the guaranteed living benefit. The average age of those who purchased a variable annuity contract without the guaranteed living benefit is five years younger than the average age of the buyers who choose to […]

Ninth Circuit Court Rules Fixed Income Annuity Is Not Security Under Corporate Securities Law

{December 1st, 2016} by The National Law Review

Because annuity contracts involve the payment of money in the expectation of future payments, one might conclude that they are securities within the meaning of the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968. Evidently, that is what Mr. Abbit or at least his lawyer believed when they filed a class action lawsuit against an insurer alleging, among […]

Mass. regulator charges adviser, LPL Financial for sales to retirees

{December 1st, 2016} by Svea Herbst-Bayliss

Massachusetts’ top financial regulator on Thursday charged a Boston-based investment adviser and his employer, LPL Financial LLC, with fraudulently selling annuities to retirees. Roger Zullo defrauded his clients, lied to his supervisors and fabricated client financial suitability profiles to enrich himself and his employer by selling identical, illiquid, and high-commission variable annuities, the state said […]

National Underwriter’s 2016 Rogues Gallery

{December 1st, 2016} by LifeHealthPro Editors

Each year, the insurance industry finds itself up against one bastion of evil or another. Whether its strict regulations, bad seeds in the business or reputation damage, the sector is in a constant state of “fight to live.” And that it does. As your trusted source of news and analysis within the industry, it is […]

Allianz Life Names Brandriet as New President of Allianz Life Financial Services LLC

{December 1st, 2016} by Allianz Life

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) announced today that it has named Mike Brandriet as president of its wholly owned subsidiary, Allianz Life Financial Services LLC effective January 1, 2017. He will report to Allianz Life Chief Distribution Officer and Allianz Life Financial Services LLC CEO Tom Burns. Brandriet will be […]

NAFA Files For Emergency Injunction Against DOL Rule

{December 1st, 2016} by Steve Morelli

The National Association for Fixed Annuities is asking an appellate court for an emergency injunction to suspend the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule after a lower court refused NAFA’s request for a preliminary injunction. The appeal filed Tuesday claims that NAFA members, which are marketing organizations and their advisors, will be “forced to accelerate irreversible, […]

Are you missing benefits from a life insurance policy? Look here.

{December 1st, 2016} by Audrey Dutton

A new tool will help people claim benefits from the life insurance policies and annuities of dead loved ones. The Idaho Department of Insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners announced the tool this week. The Life Insurance Policy Locator is meant to connect people with unclaimed benefits. There are $1 billion in unclaimed […]

Annuities Group, Fearing ‘Chaos,’ Urges DC Circuit to Freeze Fiduciary Rule

{December 1st, 2016} by Mike Scarcella

A financial industry trade association that lost its challenge to Obama administration regulations that confront conflicts of interest in the retirement advice market is renewing its push to stop the rules from taking effect next April. The National Association for Fixed Annuities on Tuesday urged a Washington federal appeals court to freeze the U.S. Labor […]

Senator Tells DOL to Stop Implementing Fiduciary Rule as It Will Be ‘Undone’

{December 1st, 2016} by ThinkAdvisor

The head of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently told Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to halt implementing the Department of Labor’s “burdensome” fiduciary rule because it will likely be “undone” by the incoming Trump administration. In a Nov. 22 letter to Perez, Sen. Ron Johnson, R.-Wis., chairman of the committee, told Perez […]

New online tool to search for life insurance benefits launches

{November 30th, 2016} by California Department of Insurance

News: 2016 Press Release For Release: November 22, 2016 Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566 New online tool to search for life insurance benefits launches Consumers able to search nationwide for life policies and annuities SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new online tool, the Life Insurance Policy Locator, is available to help consumers search for possible life insurance […]

NAFA asks D.C. Circuit to delay DOL rule deadline

{November 30th, 2016} by Nick Thornton

In the latest legal gambit in what is becoming an uphill battle for opponents of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the National Association of Fixed Annuitiesis asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to delay implementation of the fiduciary rule by at least 10 months. The first so-called applicability […]

4 DOL fiduciary rule compliance considerations

{November 30th, 2016} by BEN YAHR, JILL PECKINGHAM, JUSTIN SINGER, ERIC WOLFE

Effective April 10, 2017, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will impose a “best interest” standard on advisors and firms making investment recommendations to qualified retirement accounts in the United States. The DOL rule aligns the definition of best interest to that of a fiduciary under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The rule […]

Apollo-backed Athene to be valued up to $7.8 billion in IPO

{November 30th, 2016} by Sonali Basak

Athene Holding Ltd., the annuity provider tied to Apollo Global Management LLC, filed for a sale of 23.8 million shares at $38 to $42 apiece in one of the biggest initial public offerings this year in the U.S. At the high end of that range, the IPO would raise $997.5 million for selling holders and value […]

Annuities Industry Fiduciary Challenge Dwelt Blow In Federal Court

{November 30th, 2016} by John Manganaro

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a motion for preliminary injunction filed by annuity firm Market Synergy in a case focused on whether fixed-index annuity providers will be able to use the so-called “84-24 prohibited transaction exemption [PTE],” rather than the “best-interest contract exemption [BIC],” when bringing sales and compliance procedures into alignment with […]

United States: ACLI Says Life Insurance Activities Pose No Systemic Risk

{November 29th, 2016} by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

In response to the latest designations of globally systemic important insurers (“G-SIIs”) by the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”), American Council of Life Insurers (“ACLI”) President and CEO Dirk Kempthorne asserted that the “core activities” of the life insurance industry (i.e., providing financial protection and retirement security to customers) do not pose a systemic risk. On November […]

DC Judge Rejects NAFA Request to Delay DOL Rule

{November 29th, 2016} by John Hilton

A District of Columbia federal judge rejected plaintiffs’ request last week to set aside the fiduciary rule applicability date until its appeal is heard. Judge Randolph D. Moss denied the request by the National Association for Fixed Annuities. On Nov. 4, Moss denied NAFA’s motion for a preliminary injunction and granted a summary judgment to […]

Does The Fiduciary Rule Violate Free Speech?

{November 29th, 2016} by Elizabeth Dilts

A group of lawyers representing insurance and securities brokerages have made a curious argument for why a federal court should kill a rule aimed at protecting retirement savers: It restricts Wall Street’s First Amendment rights. In front of a packed federal courtroom in Dallas last week, plaintiffs attorneys fighting the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule said […]

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