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Archive for March 2015

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  • Total Overall Indexed Annuity Sales and Best-Selling Indexed Annuities of All Time

    {March 31st, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    At Wink, we have been tracking indexed annuity sales by insurance carrier each year since 1998 in our quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Last year we thought it would be interesting to compile the year-end sales to see which carriers would be in the top ten for total overall indexed annuity sales from 1998-2013.  […]

    IUL Illustration Rules Could Be Phased In Starting In Sept.

    {March 31st, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has moved a step closer to adopting new rules governing the illustrations to be used in selling indexed universal life insurance (IUL). According to the agreement by the NAIC’s Life Actuarial (A) Task Force (LATF), the new rule could be approved as early as April 16 […]

    NAIC Panel Close to Passing Universal Index Life Insurance Illustration Guidelines

    {March 31st, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    PHOENIX – A National Association of Insurance Commissioners panel is poised to approve a draft document to create a standard format for marketing indexed universal life insurance products. The NAIC’s life actuarial task force has been working on a format for universal life illustrations that would limit existing differences among insurers, particularly the interest calculation […]

    Annuities Are Part Of The Retirement Readiness Playbook

    {March 31st, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Some retirement readiness data released this week by Voya Financial reads almost like a playbook on what Americans can do to increase their retirement readiness. That includes owning annuities, life and long-term care insurance, as well as building up savings and investments. For example, 83 percent of retirees who scored high on Voya’s Retire Ready […]

    Industry Leaders Question Reality Of Fiduciary Proposal

    {March 31st, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Legislative experts said Thursday that details surrounding the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary standard proposal for advisors handling retirement accounts are expected in the next few weeks. The industry is waiting to see how Congressional Democrats react to the proposal. Cathy Weatherford, president and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), which this week held […]

    Surge of fixed indexed annuity sales at independent broker-dealers in 2014

    {March 31st, 2015} by Editorial Staff

    Industry-wide annuity sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 reached $56.6 billion, a 0.5% decrease from $56.9 billion in the previous quarter and a 4.6% dip from $59.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar Inc. and released by the Insured Retirement Institute. Despite the slight […]

    What Happens When an Annuity Goes Bad?

    {March 31st, 2015} by Kiplinger

    Many retirees buy annuities to protect themselves from an economic downturn and to provide guaranteed income for the rest of their lives. But what happens if the insurer you’re counting on to provide those lifetime guarantees ends up in financial trouble itself? State guaranty associations provide a safety net to protect money in insurance policies […]

    The good news about the retirement crisis that every prospect needs to hear

    {March 31st, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    America’s retirement challenges are “eminently solvable” as workers are reporting more confidence in both the economy and their sense of job security, according to findings from the Lifetime Income Score report released by Empower Retirement, the retirement provider arm of Great-West Financial. Though more confident, respondents’ median lifetime income score dipped slightly from last year. […]

    Phoenix Cos. reports 4Q loss

    {March 31st, 2015} by Associated Press

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Phoenix Cos. (PNX) on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $140.3 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the Hartford, Connecticut-based company said it had a loss of $24.40. Losses, adjusted to account for discontinued operations, were $24.05 per share. The life […]

    AIG CEO Hancock Aims to Sell Off More Assets

    {March 31st, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    American International Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock, who took over the top job in September, said he plans to sell more businesses that don’t align with the insurer’s biggest moneymakers. “Floating or selling businesses that lack current or realizable potential synergy with our core operations” remains a key initiative, Hancock, 56, said Monday […]

    Nearly Half of Americans Saving Virtually Nothing

    {March 30th, 2015} by Bankrate, Inc.

    NEW YORK, March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — About half of Americans are saving no more than 5% of their incomes, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report. Roughly one in five (18%) are saving nothing at all, plus 28% who are saving something, but not more than 5%. America’s best savers are the middle […]

    US Insurance Groups Frustrated Over Lack of Access to ICS Talks, IAIS Response to Input

    {March 30th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    PHOENIX – U.S. insurers can voice their opinions to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors about its international capital standards proposal, but they appear to be frustrated over the issue of access to IAIS talks and a lack of response to suggestions. Questions about access and quality of discussions with stakeholders came up during the […]

    Life insurers increasing exposure to Triple-B corporate credit

    {March 30th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    Cash and corporate bonds continue to account for an overwhelming percentage of U.S. life insurers’ investable assets, according to new research. Market research firm Conning discloses this finding in a new report on investing trends at U.S. life insurers. Conducted with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the study highlights the concerns of 50 […]

    NAIC’s Urias on Finalization of International Capital Standards: ‘What Is the Urgency?’

    {March 30th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    PHOENIX – Christina Urias, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ international insurance regulatory affairs managing director, said the time lines for international capital standards for internationally active insurance groups are very ambitious and said the NAIC will move forward with its approach to evaluate the proposal while it awaits a response on the standards from […]

    NAIC Set to Approve Small Life Company Exemption From Principles-Based Reserving Requirements

    {March 30th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    PHOENIX – Two National Association of Insurance Commissioners panels have cleared a path for several hundred small life insurance companies to receive exemptions from principles-based reserving requirements. NAIC’s Executive Committee conceptually approved the plan, and the group’s life insurance and annuities committee approved the details of the plan during the NAIC’s Spring National Meeting on […]

    SEC charges private equity queen Lynn Tilton with fraud

    {March 30th, 2015} by Bloomberg News

    Regulator says self-proclaimed billionaire misled investors about the value of risky pools of corporate loans Lynn Tilton’s three-decade Wall Street career was dealt a blow by U.S. regulators, who accused the self-proclaimed billionaire of fraud for misleading investors about the value of risky pools of corporate loans. Ms. Tilton and her firm Patriarch Partners reported […]

    2014 Sales of Variable Annuities the Lowest Since 2009

    {March 30th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – As total U.S. sales of variable annuities fell last year to their lowest level annually since 2009, some traditional buyers of variable annuities may be choosing another lifetime income strategy such as an indexed annuity, according to a vice president of research for the Insured Retirement Institute. According to Morningstar Inc., which partners […]

    Iowa, Maine, Missouri Sign IAIS Information-Sharing Agreement

    {March 30th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    BASEL, Switzerland – Iowa, Maine and Missouri have become the latest states whose insurance regulators have joined an international cooperation and information exchange agreement framework established by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. All applicants are subject to review and approval by an independent team of IAIS members, but membership allows supervisors to exchange relevant […]

    Higher Yields Await Carriers That Invest In Alternatives

    {March 30th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Insurance carriers can enhance risk-adjusted returns by diversifying portfolios into nontraditional and alternative asset classes, according to Conning research. Since the financial crisis, yield spreads on many sectors of the bond market, including corporate bonds, have narrowed dramatically. But carriers that manage to squeeze higher yields from their fixed income portfolios have the potential to […]

    Why cash value life insurance may be the estate planning tool your clients need

    {March 30th, 2015} by Brett W. Berg

    Even with the stock market reaching new highs recently, some investors are still reeling from the memory of the economic downturn of the previous decade and its aftershocks. As a result, there is a segment of investors who are risk-averse and have turned to low-yielding assets such as certificate of deposits (CD), money markets and […]

    Abaris launches direct-to-consumer online platform for annuities

    {March 30th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Abaris Financial, Inc., a Philadelphia-based firm, has launched what is says is the first direct-to-consumer online platform for deferred income annuities. According to Abaris, the platform eases the process of annuity education, quoting, comparison and purchasing. The market for Deferred Income Annuities grew last year by over 20% to $2.7 billion in sales, according to […]

    AIG Chairman Miller to Exit in July: WSJ

    {March 30th, 2015} by Reporting by Avik Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian

    American International Group Inc. Chairman Robert “Steve” Miller intends to step down in July after five years in the role, the Wall Street Journal reported. The insurer’s directors have not yet decided on a replacement, but the next outside chairman is expected to be a current board member, the Journal said, citing a person familiar […]

    IRI: VA summary prospectus rule from SEC may finally be coming

    {March 27th, 2015} by Melanie Waddell

    The Securities and Exchange Commission may issue a long-awaited variable annuity summary prospectus rule this year, while the Department of Labor’s redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary on retirement accounts could be released in the first two weeks of April. Lee Covington, senior vice president and general counsel for the Insured […]

    Millennials and Life Insurance: Why the Industry Needs to Evolve

    {March 27th, 2015} by John Latona

    Millennials are constantly looking for the latest and greatest tools for managing their lives – whether it’s paying and organizing their finances with Venmo, or tracking their daily fitness routines with FitBit. It’s all about staying innovative, finding easy ways to multitask and seeing immediate benefits. Unfortunately, when it comes to thinking about the long […]

    Fiduciary Proposal Won’t Outlaw Commission Payment

    {March 27th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor proposal dealing with a new fiduciary standard will not outlaw payment of commissions. In addition, the proposal will contain detailed language dealing with proposed prohibited transaction exemptions (PTE), Secretary Thomas E. Perez said. Indeed, the “prohibited transactions scheme is a key to making this work,” Perez said in comments […]

    Ameriprise agrees to $27.5m 401(k) settlement

    {March 27th, 2015} by Janet Levaux

    Ameriprise Financial (AMP) has agreed to pay $27.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged it broke its fiduciary duty to about 24,000 current and former participants in its own retirement plan. The suit was instigated against the firm in 2011 by Jerome Schlichter of St. Louis, the same lawyer that has brought similar […]

    Taking advantage of trends in whole life insurance

    {March 27th, 2015} by Karl Kreunen

    Life insurance sales have always hinged on the idea of love. Most individuals want to provide for those who are financially dependent upon them. The additional benefits are the living benefits for the policyholder. But for some prospects, especially those without devoted family ties, it can be very challenging to part with substantial sums of […]

    IRI Recognizes Marketing Innovators in the Retirement Income Industry

    {March 27th, 2015} by IRI

    Voya Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors, Legg Mason, and AIG’s Liz Altman Honored with IRI Marketing Innovation Awards WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today recognized Voya Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors, Legg Mason, and AIG’s Liz Altman as the 2015 recipients of the IRI Marketing Innovation Award. The awards, which were presented during a […]

    Are brokers being branded with a scarlet ‘S’?

    {March 27th, 2015} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Given the direction the debate is heading over whether to raise investment-advice standards for brokers, it could end up being solved by requiring them to wear a scarlet “S” for suitability. As the Department of Labor moves toward re-proposing a rule that would require brokers handling retirement accounts to act in the best interest of […]

    The First Financial Surprise of Retirement: Your Client’s Net Retirement Paycheck

    {March 27th, 2015} by Harry Stout

    When we started working, we got one of the biggest surprises of our young financial lives – the difference between our gross and net pay! We were introduced to the world of federal income tax withholding, FICA or Social Security withholding taxes, along with other deductions from our hard-earned pay for health insurance, union dues, […]

    Why New York Life Put A GLWB On A Fixed Deferred Annuity

    {March 26th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    In today’s market, guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) features are commonplace in variable annuities and in fixed index annuities, but much less so in fixed deferred annuities. That may start to change, however. This month, New York Life debuted its Clear Income Fixed Annuity, a fixed deferred annuity with a built-in GLWB rider. The design […]

    Jackson Boosts Reserves To Make Up For Falling Interest Rates

    {March 26th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Jackson National Life, the top seller of variable annuities in the U.S., reported net income of $379.2 million in 2014. This was a 48 percent drop from $730.2 million in 2013 as the company was forced to boost reserves to make up for falling interest rates. Jackson also reported record pretax operating income of $2.3 […]

    MassMutual Study Finds Hispanics Optimistic About Financial Future

    {March 26th, 2015} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Hispanics are feeling positive about their financial situation, according to new research commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), despite the slow growth in wages and still rebounding economy. The study examined the perceptions Hispanics have of their finances today as compared to the past, and how […]

    Here’s why annuities will be the most important investment vehicle of the next decade

    {March 26th, 2015} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    The perennial Rodney Dangerfield of investments is on the cusp of getting a slew of respect: Annuities are poised to become the most important investment vehicle of the next decade. That’s what the “father of financial planning,” advisor Harold Evensky, told LifeHealthPro sister site ThinkAdvisor in an interview. Chairman of Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial, the […]

    9 In 10 Young Advisors Satisfied With Their Careers

    {March 26th, 2015} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 24, 2015— A new LIMRA study of young financial professionals reveals 91 percent said they are satisfied with their careers. The Young Advisor Snapshot is the first report in a comprehensive LIMRA study that covers the experiences of young advisors from recruitment to the support they need for future success. “Young advisors […]

    Fixed Annuities Post Highest Sales Since 2009

    {March 26th, 2015} by IRI

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today announced final fourth-quarter and year-end 2014 sales results for the U.S. annuity industry, based on data reported by Beacon Research and Morningstar, Inc. Industry-wide annuity sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 reached $56.6 billion, a 0.5 percent decrease from $56.9 billion in the previous quarter […]

    Annexus Celebrates 20 Years of the Fixed Indexed Annuity with the Team That Started It All

    {March 26th, 2015} by Business Wire

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Twenty years ago this February, Genesis Financial helped debut the first fixed indexed annuity when evolving financial technologies intersected with market volatility. Today, Genesis Financial continues to drive the evolution of the popular retirement product through their partnership with Scottsdale, Arizona-based Annexus®. In February 1995, Keyport Life, with the help of Genesis Financial, […]

    Brokers International Expands Leadership, Adds New Division

    {March 26th, 2015} by PRWeb

    Panora, Iowa (PRWEB) March 18, 2015 As the result of company growth and dedication to serving independent financial professionals nationwide, Brokers International has formed a new relationship manager division that will elevate four senior associates to the level of Vice President of Sales. The announced expansion was prompted by Brokers International’s dramatic growth in recent […]

    Advisors Still Not Warming Up To Annuities In DC Plans

    {March 26th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Annuities did get some votes in a new survey of consultants and advisors about favored retirement income products in defined contribution (DC) retirement savings plans. However, annuities did not outshine two retirement options that plan consultants favor more. The relatively low profile for annuities comes despite the greater focus that government and retirement professionals have […]

    AIG wins court approval of $970.5M settlement with investors

    {March 26th, 2015} by Patricia Hurtado

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. won court approval of a $970.5 million settlement with investors who accused the insurer at the onset of the financial crisis of misleading them about risks tied to subprime mortgages. The investors, urging a federal judge to approve the accord, called it one of the largest securities class action […]

    Northwestern Mutual Life to settle annuities suit for $84 million

    {March 26th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay $84 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit over changes the company made to annuities it sold before 1985. About 4,000 current and 29,000 former owners of the product will be eligible to share in the settlement of a case that could have carried a […]

    Northwestern Mutual Scoops Up LearnVest

    {March 26th, 2015} by Ben Steverman

    (Bloomberg) — Northwestern Mutual, the nation’s second-largest life insurance company, is buying LearnVest, the online financial planning start-up founded in 2009. LearnVest is one of several financial start-ups competing to offer advice or investment products through the web more cheaply than at established firms. Unlike robo advisors like WealthFront and Betterment, which primarily focus on […]

    New York City Official Jumps Into The Fiduciary Fray

    {March 26th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer is calling for a state law that would require financial advisors to disclose in plain language whether they abide by the fiduciary standard. The reasoning behind this is that prospective clients would know of potential conflicts of interest and to what party their advisors hold their ultimate allegiance, […]

    LifeMark Partners President Bill Shelow Named CEO

    {March 26th, 2015} by LifeMark Partners

    BALTIMORE – March 18, 2015 – LifeMark Partners, one of the nation’s largest independent national life insurance marketing organizations, today named William J. Shelow chief executive officer (CEO). Shelow, who has served as president of LifeMark since September of 2011, will retain both titles. “As LifeMark Partners president for more than three years, Bill developed […]

    iPipeline Recognizes Insurance Industry Leaders at Connections 2015 Conference

    {March 26th, 2015} by iPipeline

    Industry Leadership and Visionary Awards Honor Carriers, Distributors, and Financial Institutions Exton, PA – March 24th, 2015 – iPipeline® – a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance industry – today announced 9 industry leaders were honored at iPipeline’s Connections 2015 User Meeting & Conference for their exceptional contributions to simplifying and […]

    Greenberg fires last shots in AIG fight as trial end nears

    {March 26th, 2015} by Phil Milford, Andrew Zajac

    (Bloomberg) — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr International Co. got in some last shots over the terms of the government’s $85 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. before final arguments in the challenge set for next month. Starr’s lawyer, David Boies, told a federal judge AIG stockholders were cheated by the loan’s onerous terms, including […]

    13 insurance/financial services companies make list of “World’s Most Ethical Companies”

    {March 26th, 2015} by Brian Anderson

    Insurance agents can control their own ethics, but by themselves have little influence on the ethical behaviors of the carrier community. But you can choose to partner with companies that are proven to place a strong emphasis on ethical business practices – with more than just lip service. A baker’s dozen of insurance and financial […]

    Longer CEO lives spur pay growth as companies cushion pensions

    {March 26th, 2015} by Madeline McMahon

    (Bloomberg) — Pensions are helping to fuel a jump in average chief executive officer pay — and the reason is largely out of companies’ control. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies that have filed proxy statements for fiscal 2014 contributed an average $1.5 million to their CEOs’ pensions, compared to an average of about $550,000 […]

    Retirement assets rise to $24.7 trillion

    {March 26th, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Retirement assets rose to $24.7 trillion as of the end of December, up 1.7 percent from the end of the third quarter and up 6 percent from the end of 2013.  According to the Investment Company Institute, retirement assets totaled 36 percent of all household financial assets in the U.S. at the end of 2014.  […]

    MetLife Warns Low Interest Rates Threaten Profits

    {March 26th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – MetLife is warning shareholders that if low interest rates persist, it will not likely sustain its 2014 profitability, even after derisking and then expanding its variable annuity business. But it is not all bad because the rest of the life insurance business is enduring the same difficulty, MetLife CEO Steven A. Kandarian said […]

    High-Income Earners Are Drawn To IUL

    {March 25th, 2015} by Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    March 24–High-income earners shopping for permanent life insurance are being drawn to indexed universal life insurance, a relatively new type of policy that has a defined death benefit, yet also allows its cash value to reap the rewards of the growth in the S&P 500. “Most people who buy this product look to do a […]

    Insurance policy raises questions in Convergent suicide

    {March 25th, 2015} by Mason Braswell

    An approximately $10 million life insurance policy taken out by former Convergent chief executive David Zier, who committed suicide last October, has added a new twist to the mystery surrounding his death and what happened to the millions he was managing in a privately held fund. In 2012 as his fund, Zier Asset Management, suffered […]

    Wink CEO: Interest From Nontraditional Distribution Boosts 2014 Sales of Indexed Annuities

    {March 24th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Continued interest in indexed annuities from “nontraditional” distribution is helping to boost sales while new companies continue to enter the space, said the president and chief executive officer of Wink Inc. Total 2014 U.S. sales of these retirement savings and income products rose to $46.8 billion, up 21.3% from the same […]

    Wink CEO: Both Sides Nearing Compromise on Illustrated Rates for Indexed Life Insurance as 2014 Sales Jump 15%

    {March 24th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – As the regulatory debate on illustrated rates continues, full-year 2014 sales of indexed universal life insurance jumped 15% to $1.5 billion. But the chief executive officer of Wink Inc. says she’s “encouraged” that both sides — including some whole life companies — are nearing a compromise. Capturing first place in total […]

    What’s Behind Allianz’s Huge Lead In FIA Sales?

    {March 24th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Allianz Life made head-spinning gains in its fixed index annuity (FIA) sales in 2014, according to figures recently published by Wink, Inc. Allianz’s sales totaled over $12.7 billion, more than double its $6 billion total in 2013, for a market share of 27 percent. The results put Allianz in first place among the 52 companies […]

    Treading Carefully In An Uncapped FIA World

    {March 24th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Surely, annuity sales channels have heard of uncapped fixed index annuities (FIAs). It is a phrase filled with upside promise. At Nationwide, the company’s New Heights FIA promises to position investors for growth. Symetra Financial touts its Edge Plus and Edge Premier FIAs pegged to the JP Morgan ETF Efficiente 5 Index. Because this particular […]

    In pursuit of finance, actuarial, or related degree? Gain experience with Wink!

    {March 24th, 2015} by Victoria Peterson

    Wink, Inc. Job Title: Market Analyst Department: Service Reports To: Vice President, Operations Position Type: Full-time, Exempt Travel Required: 0 – 10% Date Revised: February, 2015 SUMMARY: The Market Analyst supports the administrative unit by taking ownership of the creation, distribution, compilation, and reporting of data, projects, and various surveys. The qualified candidate will serve […]

    Deal Reached On Proposed IUL Illustrations

    {March 24th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Differing sectors of the industry have embraced new rules governing the illustrations to be used in selling indexed universal life insurance (IUL). The compromise is based on the proposal exposed for public comment by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Life Actuarial (A) Task Force (LATF) on Feb. 19, and suggests only […]

    Interest in indexed life insurance spikes

    {March 24th, 2015} by Tim Grant: tgrant@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1591.

    High-income earners shopping for permanent life insurance are being drawn to indexed universal life insurance, a relatively new type of policy that has a defined death benefit, yet also allows its cash value to reap the rewards of the growth in the S&P 500. “Most people who buy this product look to do a couple […]

    These are the 5 most expensive medical conditions for life insurance shoppers

    {March 24th, 2015} by Amy Danise

    It’s common knowledge that health problems result in a higher life insurance premiums. But what are the most expensive medical conditions? Any medical problem that reduces life expectancy will result in higher life insurance quotes, so the most “expensive” conditions are those that have the greatest impact on how long you’ll live.  Click HERE to […]

    New Rules Proposed On 401(k) Plan Fee Disclosures

    {March 24th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Administrators of 401(k) and similar plans will be allowed up to 14 months to disclose investment fees and other information to plan beneficiaries. That’s according to a new rule published by the agency within the Department of Labor (DOL) that oversees such plans. The new rule is effective June 17, although the DOL […]

    Voya Financial Expands Retirement Solutions Offerings with New Voya PotentialPLUS Annuity

    {March 24th, 2015} by Voya

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), has added a flexible premium deferred index-linked variable annuity to its suite of retail retirement solutions. Voya PotentialPLUS offers customers the potential for investment growth tied to the performance of up to four major market indexes, while also providing a level of protection […]

    Stronghold takes wraps off robo matchmaker

    {March 24th, 2015} by Alessandra Malito

    Firm with ties to self-help guru Tony Robbins unveils PortfolioCheckup Stronghold Financial, the advisory firm that found itself at the center of controversy last fall because of its ties to self-help guru Tony Robbins, believes its robo-matchmaking service is ready for prime time. The San Diego-based firm announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Jemstep, […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of American Financial Group, Inc.’s Key Annuity Subsidiaries

    {March 24th, 2015} 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 Great American Life Insurance Company (GALIC) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Annuity Investors Life Insurance Company (AILIC), the key life/health annuity subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG) [NYSE: AFG]. The outlook […]

    What Americans really think about IRAs (in 5 charts)

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    What most motivates Americans to save for the future? According to a new report, it isn’t building up a nest egg for retirement, but rather things that offer more immediate gratification: money for vacation, buying household appliances and the other big-ticket items. So reports TIAA-CREF in a 4th annual survey on individual retirement accounts and […]

    6 tax questions on deferred annuities you need answered

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Tax Facts Online

    Part 1 of a two-part look at six important tax questions about Deferred Annuities: Click HERE to read.

    Two great Dave Ramsey myths, debunked: Opinion

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Michael Markey

    Last month, I wrote about the seven steps Dave Ramsey followers really need to thrive financially. I was astonished with the amount of interest and debate the piece sparked. To the many who support our voyage, thank you and I’m excited to walk with you down this path, holding America’s Favorite Finance Coach accountable for […]

    Insurers are using rap videos to make being an actuary look hip

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Noah Buhayar

    (Bloomberg Business)–At his high school in Louisville, Jonny Blount was a football star wooed by college coaches. Then, going into his senior year, he tore a ligament in his knee and started to think more about his future. He’s now majoring in risk management and insurance at Eastern Kentucky University. Click HERE to read…

    New areas for 401(k) lawsuits emerge

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Darla Mercado

    If litigation in the 401(k) arena isn’t keeping retirement plan advisers up at night, it ought to be. A panel of experts at the National Association of Plan Advisors 401(k) Summit in San Diego discussed on Sunday developing legal risks that await unwary retirement plans and their advisers. New areas ripe for suits include failure […]

    5 things the fastest-growing insurance agencies have in common

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Stuart Gains

    Insurance agencies are like snowflakes, no two are alike. However, after spending lots of time with agency owners in hyper-growth mode, I learned that there are several traits they have in common. Click HERE for five that stand out, and duplicating these tips can help your firm become a high-performing agency.

    NAPA’s deep reservations about DOL’s broker rules

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Allen Greenberg

    SAN DIEGO – The National Association of Plan Advisors made something really clear Sunday: it has always embraced and will continue to support any government regulation that puts plan participants’ best interests first. Period. That, however, doesn’t mean NAPA is whole-heartedly supporting the Department of Labor’s efforts to push forward with plans to impose the […]

    A.M. Best Briefing: Insurance Industry Should Take Heed of Timeline for International Capital Standards

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – Given the potential wide-reaching impacts on pricing, products, investment strategies and the cost of capital, A.M. Best is maintaining a cautious view of the ambitious timeline for developing and implementing international capital standards by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). A new Best’s Briefing, titled, “A.M. Best Comments on the Development of […]

    Pacific Life, Guardian Life to Pay Combined $4.45 Million to States in Death Master File Settlement

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Guardian Life and Pacific Life will pay states $4.45 million and agree to reform business practices after reaching settlement agreements following an investigation by states over the companies’ use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File database. The market investigations begun in 2009 targeted 40 companies and investigations on 20 of […]

    What empty nesters don’t know about saving for retirement

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Victoria Stilwell

    You might think Americans’ ability to retire rests on the health of the economy or on government policy. Wrong. It depends on whether or not parents spend less money and save more when their kids are on their own. Click here to read…

    The 7 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Paradigm shift news roundup: AgentLink, Guardian, Nationwide, PlanSource, BISA and Forethought, MassMutual, New York Life — Click HERE to read…

    Annuities: Choosing the right tool for the job

    {March 23rd, 2015} by Matt Parke

    I’m not the handiest person around, so it’s no surprise I don’t enjoy fixing things around the house. When I do tackle a project however, the experience is completely different when I have the right tool instead of using something that just gets the job done. The right size socket, as opposed to an adjustable […]

    Insurance policy raises questions in Convergent suicide

    {March 20th, 2015} by Mason Braswell

    An approximately $10 million life insurance policy taken out by former Convergent chief executive David Zier, who committed suicide last October, has added a new twist to the mystery surrounding his death and what happened to the millions he was managing in a privately held fund. In 2012 as his fund, Zier Asset Management, suffered […]

    MassMutual Posts 27% Earnings Jump

    {March 20th, 2015} by Jim Kinney

    MassssMutual Financial Group announced year-end results for 2014 on Thursday. Net gain from operations before policyowner dividends and taxes – the company’s primary earnings measure as a mutual company – was up 27 percent to $2.2 billion, MassMutual said in a news release. In 2013, this primary earnings measure was $1.8 billion, down from $2.1 […]

    Update: MetLife to Move all New York City Offices to 200 Park Avenue Landmark Building by 2017

    {March 20th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    NEW YORK – (This corrects information in the third paragraph). MetLife Inc. plans to make the MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue its only employee location in New York City. As a result, the largest U.S. life insurer will be moving from 1095 Avenue of the Americas, 277 Park Avenue and Long Island City to […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Its Key Operating Subsidiaries

    {March 20th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of the four participating property/casualty pool members and 31 reinsured affiliates of Nationwide Group (Nationwide). A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of B+ (Good) and the ICR of “bbb-” of Nationwide Indemnity […]

    Whoops! Why you shouldn’t use your personal social media accounts for business

    {March 20th, 2015} by Kelly Moser

    As social media use by financial professionals continues to grow, it’s not uncommon for an agent or financial advisor to begin by using their personal social media accounts for business-related activity. While this practice already raises red flags for compliance issues (always check with FINRA!), I want to tell you a cautionary tale that might […]

    Fixed index annuities reach 20-year milestone

    {March 20th, 2015} by Ed McCarthy, CFP

    As of February 15, fixed index annuities (FIA) have been on the market for 20 years, according to a press release from the Index Annuity Leadership Council (IALC). The release notes, “Fixed indexed annuities offer the opportunity for growth through a steady, guaranteed lifetime income stream, all while protecting the principal from the uncertainty of […]

    Some Annuity Carriers Jousted For Position In 2014

    {March 20th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    The 2014 individual annuity company ranking list is out from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI). That’s a big deal for annuity professionals, even if it’s “just data.” The reason is that the data reveal telltale signs of trends that impact everyday business. For instance, while carriers experienced moderate changes in rankings overall, they all […]

    Become a National Annuity Awareness Month Official Sponsor!

    {March 20th, 2015} by NAFA

    June 2015 marks the second annual National Annuity Awareness Month. NAFA is looking for your support to make it an even bigger and better celebration than the last! When it comes time to register for NAFA’s Annuity Leadership Forum (being held June 17-19 on Capitol Hill), you’ll have the opportunity to make a donation in […]

    These are the 10 most tax-friendly states for retirees

    {March 19th, 2015} by Robert Bloink, William H. Byrnes

    Every client’s goals are different when it comes to choosing where to retire, but from a tax perspective, there are some clear winners that can allow a client to maximize the value of accumulated retirement savings. While the client’s lifestyle choices — a desire for an expensive home vs. spending on consumer products, for example […]

    Fewer Than 1 In 5 Contribute To Traditional IRAs

    {March 19th, 2015} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn. March 19, 2014—A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study finds that only 17 percent of American workers currently contribute to a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) – and only 28 percent contribute to any kind of IRA (i.e., traditional, Roth, or SEP/SIMPLE). While the most cited reason that people give for not contributing […]

    MetLife Circles Back to Landmark NYC Tower It Mostly Left

    {March 19th, 2015} by David M. Levitt

    It took almost a decade and a half for MetLife Inc. to determine that Manhattan’s MetLife Building was where it belonged. The biggest U.S. life insurer said Wednesday it will consolidate its New York operations into 200 Park Ave., which gained fame in the 1960s as the Pan Am Building before Pan American World Airways […]

    Industry Groups Expect Talks on International Issues, Accreditation, Cybersecurity at NAIC Spring Meeting

    {March 19th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – Insurance industry groups will be watching discussions on international issues, the Own Risk Solvency Assessment, captive reinsurer accreditation and cybersecurity during the upcoming National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Spring National Meeting March 26-March 31 in Phoenix. It will be the first meeting for the NAIC since the International Association of Insurance Supervisors proposed […]

    MIB Life Index: U.S. Life Insurance Activity Up 2.3% In Feb.

    {March 18th, 2015} by N/A

    Braintree, MA. (March 13, 2015) — Application activity for individually underwritten life insurance increased +2.3% in February, year-over-year, all ages combined, according to the MIB Life Index. This is the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year growth in the plus 2 to 5% range, firmly establishing a trend of increased application activity that started with soft […]

    Annuities and sports: What I learned from Coach Bob Knight

    {March 18th, 2015} by Mike McGlothlin CFP®, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, Ash Brokerage

    I had the great honor of sitting at the end of the bench as a student manager for Indiana University’s 1987 NCAA Championship basketball team. There are so many great memories associated with the basketball program and my time at IU. I typically use the basketball season to reflect on things that I learned from […]

    Penn Mutual Hires Talent Acquisition Executive

    {March 18th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Penn Mutual has announced the appointment of Jessica Choi as assistant vice president of talent acquisition and diversity, responsible for creating a strategy around the company’s field talent acquisition for Career Agency Distribution. Choi, a former executive with the pharmaceutical distributor AmerisoureBergen, will be responsible for helping the 167-year-old insurance carrier diversify its career agency […]

    Thrivent Exec: QLACS Make A Ton Of Sense

    {March 18th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Thrivent Financial is one of the early providers of the new qualifying longevity annuity contract (QLAC) products allowed under Department of the Treasury regulations published last year. The fraternal organization rolled out its QLAC two months ago and already has had some sales, according to Wendy McCullough, vice president-solution design and development. QLACs are fixed-rate […]

    SEC Takes Aim At Cybersecurity For Investment Advisors

    {March 18th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – A majority of broker/dealers and advisors told a federal agency that they have experienced cyber-attacks directly or through one or more of their vendors. More than half of the broker/dealer firms, but only 21 percent of the investment advisors reported that they maintain insurance to cover losses and expenses related to cybersecurity incidents. […]

    SEC Chair To Push For Uniform Fiduciary Standard

    {March 18th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Securities and Exchange Commission should implement a uniform fiduciary duty for broker/dealers and investment advisors “where the standard is to act in the best interest of the investor,” SEC chairman Mary Jo White said today. White’s comments at a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) investment conference in Phoenix will reawaken […]

    Annuity opportunities in today’s environment: BLOG

    {March 18th, 2015} by Ryan McGee, Ash Brokerage

    Your success is not contingent on a product or a rate. Sometimes as advisors, we can become discouraged by market conditions, especially when our livelihoods could be disrupted by things out of our control. As we continue to see a significant number of pricing decreases from carriers, along with the pressures of our current rate […]

    The psychology of retirement income planning

    {March 18th, 2015} by Adam Cufr

    I am a sucker for a good retirement income planning study. Whether it’s an analysis of various safe withdrawal rate strategies, bucketing, or essential versus discretionary, I enjoy the process of aligning the income puzzle pieces to fit in such a way that income planning success is optimized. Maybe you share in my joy; maybe […]

    Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2014 Indexed Sales Results

    {March 17th, 2015} by Wink, Inc.

      — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE INDEXED ANNUITY SALES BREAK PREVIOUS RECORD BY 21%! Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2014 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 13, 2015- Forty-nine indexed annuity carriers participated in the 70th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales […]

    Indexed annuity sales break previous record by 21%

    {March 17th, 2015} by Wink, Inc.

    Forty-nine indexed annuity carriers participated in the 70th edition of Wink’s Sales & Market Report, representing 99.8 percent of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $11.9 billion. Fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were up 4.0 percent when compared to the previous quarter, and up 3.5 percent when compared with the same period last […]

    FIA Complaints Rise Unexpectedly

    {March 17th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    The number of closed complaints involving fixed index annuities (FIAs) rose 68 percent in 2014 compared with the previous year, according to a report from Index Compendium. That’s a decided departure from the past several years, when complaints had been falling, and the researcher who has been analyzing this sudden turn said he is mystified. […]

    Des Moines annuity firms see 2014 sales growth

    {March 17th, 2015} by Matthew Patane, mpatane@dmreg.com

    Insurance companies with operations in the Des Moines metro saw their annuity sales grow in 2014, a new report shows. The indexed annuities industry had $46.9 billion in sales for all of last year, according to the Wink’s Sales & Market Report. That’s up from $38.7 billion in 2013, said Wink, a Pleasant Hill insurance […]

    Big Victory: President Obama Signs “NARAB II” into Law

    {March 17th, 2015} by Pam Heinrich

    Wide smiles and victory gestures have been shared throughout the insurance industry since one of the most significant legislative successes for independent producers was hailed earlier this year. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) of 2015 – H.R. 26 – was signed into law by President Obama on January 12, 2015. TRIA includes the National […]

    National Retirement Plan Week® 2015: April 13-17

    {March 17th, 2015} by Cathy Weatherford

    It’s no secret: too many Americans are under-saved and under-prepared for retirement. But while many Americans have not saved enough – or at all – for their retirement years, the challenges of preparing the next generation of retirees for a financially secure retirement go beyond just dollars and cents. Even for those who have been […]

    Life insurers broadening portfolios to reach the affluent

    {March 17th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    Ownership of cash value life insurance is on a downward trajectory among the affluent. And a key reason why is the declining need for life insurance to pay for estate taxes. This is a key finding of a new Conning report, “High Industry Affluent and High Net Worth Strategies: Focus on Investments, not Protection.”  Click […]

    Insurer Sues Owners of Iowa Building Ravaged by Fire

    {March 17th, 2015} by The Associated Press

    An insurance company that owns structures next to a downtown Younkers, Iowa, building ravaged by a massive fire last year has a filed a lawsuit against the building’s owners and the companies responsible for its renovation. In the lawsuit, EMC Insurance alleges Johnston-based Hansen Co., Madison, Wisconsin-based Alexander Co. and the owners of the 115-year-old […]

    Finra’s BrokerCheck gets a facelift

    {March 17th, 2015} by Mason Braswell

    As more investors use Finra’s BrokerCheck database, the regulator has made its first major change in years to make it easier for investors to find out certain background information about their broker. The new online layout includes all the old information about the broker’s registration history and any customer complaints or disclosure events, but also […]

    Northwestern Mutual agrees to settle annuities suit for $84 million: report

    {March 17th, 2015} by Srividya Kalyanaraman

    About 30,000 current and former annuity owners claim company failed to pay proper dividends on contracts sold 30 years ago Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co is paying $84 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the firm illegally reduced payouts on annuities it sold 30 years ago. The lawsuit covered about 4,000 current […]

    4 ways to establish trust in social media

    {March 17th, 2015} by Bruce Milne

    The verdict is in: Social media is good for business. Countless anecdotes and case studies have been published showing significant branding and sales results achieved by professionals in industries across the board, once they begin engaging with clients and prospects through social networks. In fact, according to Accenture, 55 percent of insurance customers say they […]

    Athene Ascent Helps Prepare Boomers for Retirement

    {March 17th, 2015} by Business Wire

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With an estimated 75 million baby boomers on the verge of retirement in the next 10 to 15 years, Athene USA is providing financial options to prepare them for their future glory days. According to a recent study by Athene with Nielsen Opinion Quest, 39% of future retirees are insecure that […]

    SEC’s Mary Jo White says agency will develop fiduciary rule for brokers

    {March 17th, 2015} by Bloombery News

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White said the agency will develop stricter rules for brokers, wading into a battle between Wall Street and the White House, which says biased financial advice is costing investors billions of dollars. Ms. White’s remarks follow a Labor Department move to make brokers put the interests of retirement […]

    New York Life raises the living benefit stakes — on a fixed annuity

    {March 16th, 2015} by Darla Mercado

    Can the new product compete against its variable and indexed annuity cousins? Here’s something you don’t see every day: a fixed deferred annuity with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit. And it might be a good competitor against a number of existing variable and indexed annuities. New York Life Insurance Co.’s Clear Income acts like a […]

    A New Retirement Association Debuts

    {March 16th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    A new retirement association has debuted. Called the American Retirement Association, it represents 22,000 members serving retirement plans ranging from traditional defined benefit pension plans to 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans. Home base is Arlington, Va. Some members are advisors who serve the retirement plan market, most of whom are dual licensed for insurance and […]

    Investing in You: Strategies when a spouse dies

    {March 16th, 2015} by Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist, earvedlund@phillynews.com

    Becoming widowed: It could bring some of the most important financial changes in our lives. How do we prepare for – or pick up the pieces after – losing a spouse? First off, consider a “family playbook” with names of important contacts, account and policy numbers, locations of the wills, and other key documents. (Details […]

    AIG Buys Controlling Interest in Program Manager NSM Group

    {March 16th, 2015} by N/A

    American International Group Inc. has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in NSM Insurance Group, a managing general agent and insurance program administrator, from ABRY Partners and NSM management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days. NSM Insurance Group administers insurance programs. It has […]

    Nationwide Releases YourLife IUL Suite

    {March 16th, 2015} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today, Nationwide released the YourLife® Indexed Universal Life (IUL) suite, adding two new IUL products to its existing portfolio of financial solutions to help advisors meet the specific needs of their clients. The Nationwide YourLife Indexed UL Accumulator (IUL Accumulator) offers permanent coverage and the potential for cash value growth to supplement […]

    10 most influential advisors and investors on social media 2015

    {March 16th, 2015} by Emily Zulz

    In a time when 74 percent of online adults are using a social networking site, it has become paramount for a financial advisor to have a social media presence. BrightScope recognizes the top advisors with significant online influence with its list of Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors. First introduced in 2014, an updated list […]

    LIMRA: Individual Life Sales Experience Strong 4Q Growth

    {March 16th, 2015} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., March 16, 2015—Individual life insurance new annualized premium grew 11 percent in the fourth quarter 2014; resulting in a 2 percent increase for the year, according to LIMRA’s Retail Individual Life Insurance Survey. Policy count for every product line improved in the fourth quarter, resulting in an increase of 2 percent overall for […]

    Congressman Hopes DOL Not ‘Paying Lip Service’ In Fiduciary Issue

    {March 16th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Republican members of a House committee are requesting information about initiatives to revise the current standards of care in the sale of investment products Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Phil Roe, R-Tenn., sent a letter to the Secretary of Labor, asking for copies of communications related to the Labor Department’s consultation with the […]

    Trademark Application for “PHOENIX SIMPLICITY INDEX LIFE” Filed by Phoenix Life Insurance Company

    {March 16th, 2015} by NewsRx

    By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Weekly News — According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a trademark application has been made for “PHOENIX SIMPLICITY INDEX LIFE” by John H Beers, representing Phoenix Life Insurance Company. This application was made available to the public on February 27, 2015. The […]

    10 Key Insights for Landing the Annuity Sale

    {March 15th, 2015} by Rod Mims

    An important part of your job as a financial professional is educating the public on the value of annuities and the ways they can contribute to a financially secure retirement. I feel that once you start that initial conversation, you’ll find that most people are receptive and ready to hear more. Here are ten insights […]

    2 social networking errors to avoid

    {March 15th, 2015} by Joanne Black

    Aren’t you afraid clients won’t need you?” A colleague asked me this question when I told him I was including my entire referral process in my first book No More Cold Calling. Yes, I was giving everything away—my content, my best ideas, a process that took years to perfect. Click HERE to read…

    How to sell FIAs in a low interest rate environment: BLOG

    {March 13th, 2015} by Matt Tarkenton

    We recently had a great turnout to hear Denny Southern speak in a webinar about how to sell fixed index annuities (FIAs) in a low interest rate environment. Denny touched on the history of the 10-year treasury, which drives FIA pricing and is at an all-time low (around 1.75 percent). While we don’t know if […]

    Finding the next generation of brokers

    {March 13th, 2015} by Mike Richardson

    This fact will not surprise anybody: None of us are getting any younger. In fact, today’s insurance professional, according to LIMRA, is aging at a somewhat alarming rate: More than half of established career agents and nearly seven in 10 independent agents are 50 years old or older. But what may surprise you are the […]

    Happy Pi Day! Here Are 10 Irrational Insurance Numbers

    {March 13th, 2015} by N/A

    Known as the “Math Geek Mardi Gras”, Pi Day is a growing international event that underscores the wonder of numbers, by celebrating everyone’s favorite irrational number: Pi. So says the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). And there is no better time than Pi Day to recognize that the insurance world is a treasure trove of facts […]

    Banks Scale Back The Brick And Mortar

    {March 13th, 2015} by Patricia Sabatini, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    March 13–Big banks have been scaling back their massive branch networks in recent years — closing offices and designing smaller ones — as more customers have fewer reasons to do their banking any way but electronically. At least one industry player believes it won’t be long before traditional brick-and-mortar branches completely disappear. Think about what […]

    Insurance Industry-Backed Bills Advance In Oklahoma

    {March 13th, 2015} by Rick Green, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

    March 13–The Oklahoma Senate passed an insurance industry-backed bill on Thursday that Treasurer Ken Miller said would hinder his ability to link people to unclaimed life insurance benefits. Senate Bill 298 was approved by the Oklahoma Senate, 32-12, and was sent to the House of Representatives. “It is frustrating to see out-of-state corporate interests prevail […]

    SEC Must Prioritize Investor Protection, Consumer Groups Say

    {March 13th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Eight consumer groups are demanding that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prioritize its investor protection mission, including implementation of a uniform fiduciary standard on sale of investment products. The request was contained in a strong letter sent to the SEC by eight consumer groups this week. The letter charged that the SEC […]

    Michael Herron Accepts New Role at Highland Capital Brokerage as Sr. Vice President, Independent Broker Dealer Distribution

    {March 13th, 2015} by Highland Capital Media Contact: Wilma Turner

    Birmingham, AL: March 13 2015 – Highland Capital Brokerage, Inc. (HCB), a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc (LTS), announced today that Michael Herron, CLU, ChFC, has accepted a new position in the company as Sr. Vice President, Independent Broker Dealer Distribution. In this position, Herron will be responsible for the synergy initiatives between […]

    Morningstar: 4Q VA Sales Drop 6.1%

    {March 13th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Fourth-quarter new sales of variable annuities (VAs) dropped 6.1 percent to $33.06 billion from $35.2 billion in the year-ago period. Jackson National retained the top spot, according to data by Morningstar. The Morningstar data track sales of the top 35 VA sellers nationwide. Jackson National led the pack with $4.65 billion in fourth-quarter new sales, […]

    Top 10 financial and insurance companies to work for in 2015

    {March 12th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    It’s that time of the year again, when companies feel extra special for having made the list of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” And while it’s great to have lists like these because it fosters improvement, it’s also great to see what these companies are doing and how advisors, agents, brokers, business […]

    Consumer groups accuse SEC of ignoring investors

    {March 12th, 2015} by http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20150312/FREE/150319959/consumer-groups-accuse-sec-of-ignoring-investors?NLID=daily&NL_issueDate=20150312&utm_source=Daily-20150312&utm_medium=in-newsletter&utm_campaign=investmentnews&utm_term=text&CSReferrer=accessControl-investmentnews

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is not fulfilling its duty to protect retail investors, particularly in how it regulates financial advisers, a number of consumer groups asserted in a letter to the agency. The eight-page letter dated March 10 outlines several areas that the groups say the SEC “can no longer afford to relegate … […]

    What Really Led To LPL Exec’s Exit

    {March 12th, 2015} by Charles Paikert

    When LPL Financial’s presumed heir apparent, President Robert Moore, left the company last week, the move appeared abrupt. But in truth, tension had been building in the executive suite, insiders say. And Moore’s departure, they add, seemed to be the result of an internal rivalry with the man who replaced Moore as president: Dan Arnold, […]

    11 tips to avoid joining the $2 trillion in consumer debt

    {March 12th, 2015} by Dr. Stanley Riggs

    April is National Financial Literacy Month, an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. With reports revealing that Americans carry more than $2 trillion in consumer debt and 30 percent of consumers report having no extra cash, it’s time to discuss key issues […]

    The results are in: top 20 fixed and variable annuity sellers

    {March 12th, 2015} by LIMRA

    The top ten variable annuity companies accounted for almost three fourths of total variable annuity sales in 2014, according to new data. The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute annuity sales survey reveals that the top ten fixed annuity companies accounted for just over half of total fixed annuity sales in 2014. Jackson National led in total […]

    3 ways annuities help beat the interest rate blues: Opinion

    {March 12th, 2015} by David Cruz

    One question I get all the time when I talk with financial advisors is, “How do I tackle the low interest rate environment?” The perception is that all fixed products, including fixed deferred and income annuities (“fixed annuities”), are less attractive when rates are low. But what many advisors don’t know – and what they’re […]

    Fourth Quarter 2014 Indexed Insurance Sales

    {March 11th, 2015} by Sheryl J. Moore

    Indexed Annuity Wink’s Sales & Market Report, 4th Quarter 2014 shows fourth quarter 2014 indexed annuity sales were $11,954 million, compared with sales of $10,544 million for the fourth quarter of 2013. Total 4Q2014 indexed annuity sales were $11,954,168,116. Total 2014 indexed annuity sales were $46,896,350,200. The top ten indexed annuity carriers for the fourth […]

    Why the Motley Fool needs to be schooled on retirement income

    {March 11th, 2015} by Kevin Startt

    As a Motley Fool subscriber and part-time admirer, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed at their recent hosing of Tony Robbin’s new book, “Money: Master the Game.” Robbin’s first book effort in nearly 20 years shows why we are both getting old. We will never be tried by a jury of […]

    Boost sales by offering clients an insurance portfolio tune-up

    {March 11th, 2015} by Tony Steuer

    Imagine taking your car in for a tune-up and the mechanic only checks the oil and oil filter. That would be troubling if the car has issues with other components that need checking, such as the air filter and tire pressure. Now think about how you conduct a review of your client’s insurance portfolio.  Click […]

    Index Product Sales Surge In 2014

    {March 11th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Sales of fixed index insurance products surged in 2014 with annual production reaching into the double-digits, according to figures just out from Wink Inc. Both product lines hit new records too, according to the index product research firm. For FIAs, the 2014 sales totaled nearly $46.9 billion, surpassing the 2013 record of more than $38.6 […]

    MetLife Experiments With Faster Application Procedures

    {March 11th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    MetLife has introduced a program that shortens application and underwriting procedures for its Whole Life Select 10 life insurance product. This is a move designed to appeal to applicants as well as advisors looking to sell more policies. The program, introduced in January, is known as “Enhanced Rate Plus” (ERP). Smokers are not eligible for […]

    No takers yet in 401(k) annuity business

    {March 11th, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    New York Life is staying out. Prudential isn’t ready to jump in, and may never be. MetLife’s interested but is still working things out. Click HERE to read…

    Mutual of Omaha CEO’s retirement takes effect on April 1

    {March 11th, 2015} by Steve Jordan, World-Herald Staff Writer, steve.jordon@owh.com

    Dan Neary will retire April 1 as CEO of Mutual of Omaha, the company said Tuesday. James Blackledge will succeed him, part of a plan announced in November. Neary joined Mutual as an actuary in 1975 and, except for a brief time at a New York insurance company, spent his career at Mutual, becoming president […]

    Baby Boomers Reshape The Life Insurance Industry

    {March 11th, 2015} by Angelo John Lewis

    America’s latest retirement wave thinks differently than previous generations. In many respects, the evolution of Genworth Financial’s approach to the life insurance market reflects the industry’s evolutionary response to how baby boomer consumers are thinking about aging and living longer. For many of this group, now roughly between the ages of 50 and 68, the […]

    Insurers Have A Big Problem With Millennials

    {March 11th, 2015} by Daniela Yu and Chris Portera

    Synopsis: Millennials are significantly less likely than all other generations to be engaged with their primary insurer. When it comes to engaging their millennial customers, insurance companies have their work cut out for them. Of all the generations, millennials (born in 1980 to 1996) are the least likely to be fully engaged — and the […]

    Big Data Offers Opportunities, But Has Limitations

    {March 11th, 2015} by Kevin Sheetz

    Big data and analytics are fundamentally transforming business decision-making. Insurance agents and financial planners can now harness massive stores of structured data to better target potential clients, verify income and even improve customer retention. Big data equips them with knowledge that makes the entire process more efficient and effective. But that’s true only if the […]

    Record sales of annuities may reflect larger retirement savings trend

    {March 11th, 2015} by LIMRA

    When LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute released its 2014 annuity sales figures, income annuities — fixed immediate and deferred income — both achieved record sales despite a decrease in interest rates during the year. Declining rates usually hold down sales of interest-sensitive products such as income annuities, so record-high sales defies typical market behavior. LIMRA Secure […]

    How Google Compare Could Rock The Boat

    {March 11th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Insurance professionals looking for the next disruptor in the life, health and annuity business may have found a likely candidate in the form of Google Compare. That’s an online auto insurance website that Google debuted in California last week. The site focuses only on auto insurance comparisons and operates only in California, so it may […]

    Live Long and Prosper? Insurance Might Help

    {March 11th, 2015} by John F. Wasik

    For those heading deep into retirement with relatively stable health, “rage against the dying of the light” often translates into a fear of outliving their nest egg. As a relatively new product, longevity insurance addresses that concern, although it’s a complicated product full of pitfalls that need to be considered. Longevity policies, also known as […]

    NAFA DOL Fiduciary Duty Proposal Response

    {March 10th, 2015} by NAFA

    On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, NAFA issued an email alert regarding news from the White House that the Department of Labor (DOL) plans to move forward with a revised fiduciary rule proposal. Below is NAFA’s official response to these events: “NAFA strongly urges caution as the Department of Labor moves forward with its proposed rule […]

    Top 5 regulatory issues for insurers in 2015

    {March 10th, 2015} by Emily Holbrook

    2014 was a challenging and uncertain year for insurance regulation. From unethical annuity sales tactics to stress tests and SIFIs to pension law to health care reform, it was a year of increased scrutiny of the industry and ongoing examinations of current regulations. And it seems this year is not much different. Click HERE to […]

    Symetra Expands Fixed Indexed Annuity Suite with Symetra Edge Plus and Symetra Edge Premier

    {March 10th, 2015} by Business Wire

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Life Insurance Company announced the introduction of two new fixed indexed annuity (FIA) products — Symetra Edge PlusSM and Symetra Edge PremierSM. Available in both FIAs is the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5 Index, providing interest crediting opportunities based on the performance of an industry-leading multi-asset class index that seeks to generate returns […]

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