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Archive for April 2015

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  • Record number bump up 401(k) contributions

    {April 30th, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    A record 23 percent of participants in Fidelity-provided 401(k) plans increased their contribution rates in the first quarter of 2015, according to the company’s Quarterly Retirement Snapshot. The good news for the 13.5 million participants in Fidelity plans did not stop there. The average account balance was $91,800, up 3.6 percent from a year ago, […]

    Insurance Sales Jobs Difficult To Fill

    {April 30th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    The insurance industry needs more sales professionals, but most companies are having a very hard time finding great candidates with or without experience, according to a new study. In fact, 80 percent of insurance employers surveyed told researchers that they are having difficulty finding qualified talent to fill many open positions, indicated GreatInsuranceJobs.com. This is […]

    Pacific Life Releases Guides To Social Selling

    {April 29th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Pacific Life, mindful of the growing value that social media networks bring to the sales process, has launched a series of resources and white papers to help financial advisors capture and master the power of social networks. The resources are aimed at beginners as well as financial professional who consider themselves expert at using social […]

    Wells Fargo: How to Stop Elder Abuse

    {April 29th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Wells Fargo Advisors is training every employee on financial abuse of elders, according to a company executive who spoke at a wide-ranging forum on aging this week. The computerized training is followed by a 10-question test, and those who don’t pass it must then take a 45-minute online training course on financial abuse, said Ron […]

    DOL Not Budging on Fiduciary Rule Comment Period

    {April 29th, 2015} by ThinkAdvisor

    Industry groups want more time, but Perez says at The Atlantic Economic Summit that stated timeline is ‘a long time’ Labor Secretary Thomas Perez indicated Thursday that his department will not extend further the 75-day comment period for its redraft to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. When asked […]

    Black Financial Advisors Network launched at Raymond James

    {April 29th, 2015} by James J. Green

    During the annual conference of its independent contractor advisors in Las Vegas last week, Raymond James announced the formation of the Black Financial Advisors Network. Founded by three advisors within the Raymond James network — Tony Barrett, Joel Burstein and Kaon Nelson — the BFAN has the support of Raymond James’ top leadership, including CEO […]

    The last two converts to income annuities? OPINION

    {April 29th, 2015} by Kevin Startt

    One of my favorite Yogi Berraisms is the insightful: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” One of the chiefs of the financial planning industry, Harold Evensky, recently changed his opinion on annuities, admitting that they make sense as a lifetime retirement income source. I also recently read an interview conducted with the dean […]

    2014 equity performance of U.S. insurance industry sectors, global reinsurance mixed

    {April 29th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    The stock performance of U.S. property/casualty, life/annuity, health and global reinsurance companies was mixed during 2014 for the four major insurance industry sectors, according to a recent Special Report from A.M. Best. The report covers fourth quarter and full-year results. U.S. property/casualty stocks performed well in 2014, but further upside appears limited Of the property/casualty […]

    April Showers bring May…

    {April 28th, 2015} by Wink's RockStars

    Stay tuned for more details! Check out Wink’s updates all month on social media at: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Pinterest Twitter

    U.S. Life Insurers Began 2015 With Strong Balance Sheets

    {April 28th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – U.S. life insurers reported that they began the year well-capitalized with strong balance sheets resulting from favorable equity and credit markets throughout 2014. That’s according to the latest Goldman Sachs Asset Management annual survey of the insurance industry. Insurers based in the Americas believe they are over-capitalized and have to increase credit and […]

    Carriers Report Challenging Environment In 1Q

    {April 28th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    The volatile investment environment and lower interest rates made for a challenging business environment in the first quarter of 2015, according to top executives with four companies who reported earnings this week. Symetra Financial reported first quarter net income of $38.8 million, a 51 percent drop from $79.3 million in the year-ago period due to […]

    Baltimore violence pushes financial professionals to remote locations

    {April 28th, 2015} by Liz Skinner

    The rioting and fires that broke out in the streets of West Baltimore Monday have mostly been extinguished, but many of the city’s advisers and financial professionals are working remotely. At Adams Funds, chief executive Mark Stoeckle put the firm’s continuity plan into motion after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and […]

    Fed Promises to Keep Light Hand on Insurance

    {April 28th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve sought to reassure skeptical members of the Senate Banking Committee and concerned state regulators today that it will not unilaterally impose international capital standards on domestic insurers. But the insurers might be subjecting themselves to international standards as they delve into other markets, said Mark Van Der Weide, deputy director […]

    DOL not budging on fiduciary rule comment period

    {April 28th, 2015} by Melanie Waddell

    Labor Secretary Thomas Perez indicated Thursday that his department will not extend further the 75-day comment period for its redraft to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. When asked after his remarks at The Atlantic’s Summit on the Economy held Thursday in Washington if DOL would honor the Tuesday […]

    Mobile Devices Make Further Inroads Among Advisors

    {April 28th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    More financial advisors are using mobile devices than ever before to communicate with mutual funds, insurance carriers, broker/dealers and other financial service distributors. That’s according to a new report by Practical Perspectives, a consultancy based in Boxford, Mass. But the study also found that while most advisors rely on websites from financial service product providers […]

    Life insurance: Your clients’ most important financial asset

    {April 28th, 2015} by Van Mueller

    Cash value life insurance is the most important financial asset available, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. This is because it has the unique ability to combine safety, tax benefits, and leverage and longevity credits. Cash value life insurance is far more valuable than most people realize because it will help them […]

    Helping An Annuity Beneficiary Understand Distribution Options

    {April 28th, 2015} by Thomas H. Duncan, JD, CLU, ChFC Director, Nationwide Advanced Consulting Group

    When the owner of a nonqualified deferred annuity dies and leaves the money to a nonspouse individual beneficiary, that beneficiary has several different distribution options: • Five-year Rule • Nonqualified Stretch • Annuitization Five-year Rule The five-year rule requires that the entire balance of the annuity be distributed within five years of the owner’s death. […]

    A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Athene USA Group’s Members

    {April 28th, 2015} by Business Wire

    April 21, 2015 05:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a-” from “bbb+” of the members of Athene USA Group (AUSAG). The outlook for all ratings has been revised to stable from positive. (See […]

    Inflationary Effects On Seniors

    {April 28th, 2015} by Mark Miller

    There’s been no sign that inflation is heating up along with the economy, and that may tempt financial planners to be complacent about the inflation risk facing their retired clients. But the inflation rate experienced by seniors is higher than that of the overall economy. From 1985 to 2014, the Consumer Price Index ran 5.1 […]

    John Hancock Goes For The Consumer Wellness Data

    {April 28th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    John Hancock earlier this month released with great fanfare a “whole new approach to life insurance” that lowers premiums for customers who live healthier lives by agreeing to submit data to a wellness company. In a news release, John Hancock touted the development as “reinventing the consumer life insurance experience.” While that may or may […]

    Judge Seems Skeptical Of Government’s AIG Bailout Terms

    {April 28th, 2015} by Paul Davidson, USA TODAY

    WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday appeared openly skeptical toward the government’s claim that it had the authority to take a majority stake in American International Group(AIG) in exchange for a bailout at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. Judge Thomas Wheeler repeatedly challenged a government lawyer’s argument that the Federal Reserve’s decision […]

    IRI responds to Sen. Warren’s investigation into industry’s annuity sales practices

    {April 28th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    Annuities are an important option for many consumers as part of their holistic retirement plans, according to IRI.The annuity industry’s day got off to a bang with Sen. Elizabeth Warren sending letters to 15 carriers, asking for information about rewards and incentives geared towards annuity advisors. In the letters, Sen. Warren wrote, “I am concerned […]

    US Senator Warren probes perks offered to annuities brokers

    {April 28th, 2015} by Sarah N. Lynch and editing by Emily Stephenson

    (Reuters) – A high-profile U.S. senator said on Tuesday she launched an investigation into 15 major annuity providers amid concerns about the perks they offer to brokers who peddle the products to retirees. Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren said she is concerned about potential conflicts of interest. She asked companies including American International Group, Prudential Annuities […]

    Elizabeth Warren Targets Cruises, iPads in Probe of Finance Perks

    {April 28th, 2015} by Silla Brush

    U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has a new target: the biggest sellers of annuities and the diamond-encrusted rings, iPads, stock options and cruises she says they’re using to entice brokers to sell their investments. Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and prominent critic of Wall Street, sent letters Tuesday to the U.S.’s 15 largest annuity providers, her office […]

    Are Longevity Annuities Ready For Prime Time?

    {April 28th, 2015} by Donald Jay Korn

    After getting a boost from a federal rule change last year, deferred income annuities have been gaining sharply in both assets and interest. Advisors should now understand what these products can do for clients — and what challenges they carry. The products are best understood in contrast with traditional immediate annuities, in which consumers give […]

    Labor Chief Rejects Call to Extend Fiduciary Comment Time

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

    WASHINGTON – The Labor Department has refused a request by 16 trade associations to lengthen the 75-day comment period for the agency’s proposal to revise its fiduciary standard. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez reiterated DOL’s previously stated comment guidelines last week, saying it was more than adequate. The comment period is 75 days, followed by […]

    Judson Announced as Massachusetts’ New Insurance Commissioner

    {April 27th, 2015} by N/A

    Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) announced Monday that Daniel R. Judson has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker as the state’s new insurance commissioner. The appointment is effective immediately, according to EOHED. Judson succeeds Joseph Murphy who stepped down from the post in December to join Coverys, a Boston-based provider of […]

    Annuities/LTC Combos More Than Double Sales

    {April 27th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    Annuities with long-term care (LTC) insurance benefit features sold nearly $320 million in total first year premium in 2013, according to new research conducted by Milliman and published by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). That is based on six such plans offered by five carriers. The $320 million total might seem like a drop in […]

    Insurance company moving 1,500 employees

    {April 27th, 2015} by Anthony Salamone, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

    April 27–An insurance company ranked among the Top 20 employers in the Lehigh Valley will consolidate three offices to move into a three-story corporate regional office in Northampton County. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America said Monday construction has begun on a new building on more than 30 acres off Route 512 in Hanover Township. […]

    Do you know these 13 life insurance terms?

    {April 27th, 2015} by Nichole Morford, Stephan R. Leimberg, Keith Buck, Bob Doyle

    lf you’ve been selling life insurance for any time at all, you know that it’s an industry filled with jargon and acronyms. To be part of the insider’s club, you have to speak the language. Harder still, you have to be able to translate that language for clients who barely know what an annuity is, […]

    AIG could fall 3.5% if Greenberg wins, Credit Suisse says

    {April 27th, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc. (AIG) could fall as much as 3.5 percent if former Chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg wins a lawsuit against the U.S. tied to the insurer’s 2008 bailout, Credit Suisse Group AG said. The estimate is based on Greenberg’s Starr International Co. having a 30 percent chance of winning a case […]

    Symetra Reports First Quarter 2015 Results

    {April 27th, 2015} by Business Wire

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) today reported first quarter 2015 adjusted operating income1 of $42.7 million, or $0.37 per diluted share,1 compared with $65.7 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2014. For the first quarter of 2015, net income was $38.8 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, […]

    Symetra Financial CEO: Interest Rates ‘Moved Against Us’ in First Quarter

    {April 27th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    BELLEVUE, Wash. – Symetra Financial Corp.’s first-quarter profit fell 51% as the company’s chief executive officer said “interest rates moved against us in the first quarter and remained stubbornly low.” Net income declined to $38.8 million. Symetra experienced net realized losses of $6.2 million, compared with net gains of $20.7 million the same period a […]

    You thought the taper tantrum was bad? Wait till Fed lifts rates

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Simon Kennedy

    (Bloomberg) — No amount of reassuring rhetoric by Janet Yellen and her colleagues at the Federal Reserve can prevent markets’ overreaction when benchmark interest rates start heading higher. That’s the conclusion of Deutsche Bank AG economists Joseph LaVorgna and Brett Ryan after studying turns in Fed policy in the past two decades. Take 1994, the […]

    Genworth Financial Releases Statement in Response to Final PMIERs

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Proquest LLC

    Genworth Financial responded to the final Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs), which were published by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in conjunction with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. PMIERs will be used by the GSEs to approve private mortgage insurers that provide mortgage insurance on loans acquired by them. […]

    Goldman to buy Pac Life unit, adding $18 billion in assets

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Michael J. Moore

    (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to buy a unit of Pacific Life Insurance Co. that helps manage funds for pension clients as the bank bolsters its asset-management operation. The Pacific Global Advisors unit had $18 billion in assets under supervision as of March 31, according to a statement Thursday from New York-based Goldman Sachs that didn’t disclose […]

    Advisors can talk, but will boomers listen?

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    Do advisors talk to clients about the retirement crisis? Maybe I should back up and ask: Is there a retirement crisis? Earlier this year, the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRI) released a report on that topic. Click HERE to read…

    Survey: Americans are overconfident about financial future

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Doug Gross

    Americans say they feel good about their finances, but many aren’t actually doing what they should to make sure their financial future is bright. Those are findings based on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s (NFCC) 2015 Financial Literacy Survey. The survey, conducted by the Harris Poll, was released this week by NerdWallet and the […]

    What does that Harbinger LTCI deal mean?

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Allison Bell

    HC2 Holdings Inc. has revived strategic hopes in the stand-alone long-term care insurance (LTCI) market by announcing plans to buy a big run-off LTCI business from American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:AFG). HC2, a unit of Harbinger Financial (NYSE:HRG), agreed to buy United Teacher Associates Insurance Company and Continental General Insurance Company from American Financial for […]

    Insurers Take On More Risk In Search Of Returns, Study Says

    {April 23rd, 2015} by ALEXANDRA STEVENSON

    Insurance companies just get can’t enough for their money these days. Interest rates are at all-time lows and even the United States stock markets haven’t mustered much steam. Flush with trillions of dollars, these once staid institutions are taking on bigger, flashier and riskier investments. Consider the latest billion-dollar deal: Among the players behind the […]

    Horace Mann Educators First-Quarter Profit Up 20.8% on Property/Casualty Business

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Horace Mann Educators Corp.’s first-quarter 2015 profit increased 20.8%, led by its property/casualty insurance business. Net income rose to $34.3 million. “Led by improvement in property and casualty segment earnings, Horace Mann produced a strong start to 2015,” said Marita Zuraitis, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. The property/casualty combined […]

    Fitch Affirms Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ IFS Rating at ‘AA’; Outlook Positive

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Business Wire

    CHICAGO, Apr 21, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘AA’ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (Thrivent Financial) and its subsidiary, Thrivent Life Insurance Company (Thrivent Life), collectively referred to as Thrivent. The Rating Outlook is Positive. A complete list of rating actions follows at the end of […]

    Many older Americans die with little

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    A large percentage of people dying lately have had few to no assets to their names when they passed. So says research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which also found that the younger people were when they died, the more likely they were to die broke. “Households which lost family members at relatively younger […]

    Selling FIAs For ‘The Safe Side’ Of The Retirement Portfolio

    {April 23rd, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    The time has long gone when financial advisors would leave the room if fixed annuities were part of the presentation, according to an executive at Raymond James Insurance Group. Today, advisors not only stay and listen but they are also selling index annuities, said Johnna Chewning during a panel discussion at the annual Retirement Industry […]

    Regulators question suitability of some advice

    {April 22nd, 2015} by Nick Thornton

    A joint initiative between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority found that 34 percent of broker-dealer firms made one or more potentially unsuitable recommendations of variable annuities to senior investors. Data from the coordinated examinations of 44 broker-dealers in 2013 was published as the Department of Labor released its proposed […]

    Ameriprise 1Q profit falls on insurance unit expenses

    {April 22nd, 2015} by Staff

    Ameriprise Financial Inc.’s first-quarter profit fell 2 percent because of rising expenses in the company’s insurance division. The Minneapolis-based firm posted a $393 million profit on $3.05 billion in revenue. Earnings per share, adjusted for nonrecurring costs, were $2.18 per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. That’s partly because of a $32 million increase […]

    SEC says phony adviser is ripping off members of the military

    {April 22nd, 2015} by Bruce Kelly

    Phony financial advisers are always extremely dangerous. For investors, they pose tremendous risk, due to their creation of potentially fraudulent schemes that will destroy clients’ savings and wealth. For financial advisers, a fraudster in their town can damage the reputations and standings of industry professionals — and also potentially harm neighbors and clients. In the […]

    Earth Day Trash Bash 2015

    {April 21st, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    On Friday, April 24th the Wink Rockstars will be joining The Bash! The Earth Day Trash Bash that is, with over 1200 volunteers in the Des Moines area to pick-up litter, clear out invasive species, clean up our creeks, plant trees and native species and more.  Wink Rockstars will be rolling up their sleeves to […]

    As indexed universal life sales climb, be sure to mind the risks

    {April 21st, 2015} by Darla Mercado

    Indexed universal life insurance has been pretty hot as of late, but how much do you know about how it works and when to use it? Annual indexed universal life insurance premiums hit $1.56 billion at the end of 2014, reflecting a 14% increase from $1.356 billion in 2013 according to Wink’s Sales and Market […]

    How annuity ‘doublers’ can help with long-term care

    {April 21st, 2015} by RetireMentors

    Worried about the cost of winding up in a nursing home or requiring professional at-home care during your golden years? Long-term-care insurance has become increasingly more expensive, driving many seniors out of the market. The good news is that annuities with “nursing home doublers” are now available that can help close the insurance gap. Depending […]

    Will Income Be The Main Reason For Buying Annuities?

    {April 21st, 2015} by N/A

    Question: Is the day coming when annuities will be sold primarily for their income features, and only secondarily for build-up, tax-deferral, spend-thrift issues and other purposes? Why? “On an absolute basis, the answer is no. Only a small percentage of annuity owners elect to annuitize their policies, for instance. I wish that most people would […]

    Life insurance adds diversity and underappreciated benefits to retirement planning

    {April 21st, 2015} by AIG

    Planning for retirement can be a struggle at any income level. For many, the challenge is simply to ensure that the money won’t run out, so that they can enjoy their “golden years” without worrying constantly whether they have enough funds to cover expected living and medical expenses, and still be able to leave something […]

    Connecticut Senate Confirms Wade as New Insurance Commissioner

    {April 21st, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    HARTFORD, Conn. – Katharine Wade, a former Cigna Corp. executive, has been unanimously confirmed as Connecticut’s new insurance commissioner by the state Senate. Wade has been working at the post since March 24, but needed confirmation by either the Senate or the House. Wade had worked with Cigna in 1992, ultimately becoming the corporation’s vice […]

    FINRA Eyes Simpler Rules

    {April 21st, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) wants to simplify its communication with the public by eliminating certain filing requirements that its board decided “present a low risk for investors.” These include the filing requirements for generic investment company material and investment company shareholder reports. The FINRA board also decided to make other changes […]

    Prudential exec issues 6-point call for industry transformation

    {April 21st, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    Buffeted by economic, social and demographic changes of recent decades, life insurers and their agents and brokers are being challenged as never before. If the industry is to surmount competitive threats, then it will have to thoroughly revamp long-standing business practices. Do you imagine the source of this call for change to be an independent […]

    Why Dave Ramsey is wrong about permanent life insurance

    {April 21st, 2015} by Michael Markey

    It’s absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably, inexplicably clear Dave Ramsey does NOT believe in permanent insurance. He believes there’s no need for life insurance when you have no mortgage, no debts, and have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars earning 12 percent “average” annual returns. Dave tells his followers to be intentional with their money. Click HERE […]

    Governor signs bill cutting taxes for insurance companies

    {April 21st, 2015} by Ryan Van Velzer

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is set to reduce taxes for insurance companies under a new bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Monday. The tax cut is expected to mean the loss of more than $44 million to state’s general fund over the next 10 years. The proposal comes at a time when Arizona Republicans […]

    New York Life weighs move to Goldman Sachs Jersey City tower

    {April 21st, 2015} by David M. Levitt, Doni Bloomfield

    (Bloomberg) — New York Life Insurance Co. is in talks to lease three floors at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s office tower on the New Jersey waterfront, a deal that would bring the once-underused building to full occupancy. New York Life would move at least 325 employees into the Jersey City tower starting in early 2016, […]

    Counting The Cost Of America’s Insurance Fraud Epidemic

    {April 21st, 2015} by Christopher Tidball

    For those who work in the insurance industry, there are so many tales relating to insurance fraud. From slip and falls to arson and murder for life insurance policies, there is no end to the creativity of fraudsters who cost American consumers upwards of $80 billion dollars per year. After narcotics trafficking, insurance fraud is […]

    7 life and health insurance marketing agency logos we love

    {April 21st, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Oh yes, we went there. We decided to round up some of the best logos for life and health insurance marketing agencies. Though we have no formal design training, we dared to pick a few of our favorites. Click HERE to read article

    Top 10 dumbest states for financial literacy: 2015

    {April 21st, 2015} by Dan Berman

    Last week, we looked at WalletHub.com’s ranking of the 10 smartest states for financial literacy. Now we look at the states with the lowest financial IQ, whose citizens are more likely to have credit card debt, less likely to have formulated a household budget and more prone to spending more than they earn. WalletHub noted that […]

    Investing: Why converting 401(k)s to annuities requires new mind-set

    {April 21st, 2015} by Janet Kidd Stewart

    Are we hard-wired to shun certain retirement investments? Some new research suggests so, and that has implications as the government gives the green light to annuities in 401(k)s and IRAs. In a research brief for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Prof. Jeffrey Brown of the University of Illinois notes that more than […]

    How to help the Sandwich Generation find a financial balance [infographic]

    {April 21st, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    How many people have parents or grandparents that are over 90 years old? Add to that their own children, who might be going to college or just graduating, and welcome to the 21 century family and the sandwich generation. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, this generation is trying to figure out what […]

    NJ awards New York Life $34 million in tax credits to move offices, workers

    {April 21st, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority has awarded New York Life Insurance a 10-year, $33.9 million tax credit to move some of its operations from Parsippany to Jersey City. The move would mean New York Life would move 325 jobs from Parsippany, and add an additional 300 new workers in Jersey City. The credit would be […]

    Generations of clueless consumers

    {April 21st, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    No matter what generation consumers fall into, they struggle to know how much they need to save for retirement, according to a LIMRA study released today at The Retirement Conference, being held in Arlington, VA.  Millennials are the most clueless demographic with only 30 percent of them knowing how much they should be saving. Boomers and […]

    Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley Takes On New Role To Help Families Make Smart Insurance Decisions

    {April 21st, 2015} by PR Newswire Association LLC

    KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) today announced a new partnership with actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley as part of its Insure U consumer education campaign. The partnership highlights Williams-Paisley’s experiences coping with her mother’s battle with primary progressive aphasia, a form a dementia with no treatment or cure. […]

    10 takeaways from the 2015 Retirement Conference

    {April 21st, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    LIMRA’s 2015 Retirement Conference, April 15-17 in Arlington, Virginia, was a great opportunity to pick up new ideas and learn key information about retirement and the most pressing retirement issues. Click HERE for ten key takeaways from the conference.

    Top SEC Regulator To Join Jackson

    {April 20th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Andrew J. Bowden, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance and Inspections and Examinations, is expected to join Jackson National Life as senior vice president and general counsel at the end of the month. Bowden, the top regulator in charge of advisor examination, joined the SEC in 2011 and was named director […]

    Allianz Life Studies Elder Abuse Prevention

    {April 20th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Despite Significant Financial Impact, Many Elders Face the Problem Alone MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– With an average loss to victims of about $30,000,i elder financial abuse* is a significant threat facing today’s seniors. Yet, according to the Safeguarding Our Seniors** study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life ®), only 8% of elders (ages […]

    Half of retirees wish they had quit earlier

    {April 20th, 2015} by Danielle Andrus, ThinkAdvisor

    If they could have retired with the same amount of money, current retirees wish they had stopped working about four years earlier than they did, a survey by New York Life found. The survey found 46 percent of current retirees wish they had retired sooner. Among those who were 60 or older when they stopped […]

    Universal Life Building’s Beacon To Shine Again

    {April 18th, 2015} by Wayne Risher, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

    April 18–Universal Life Insurance Co. was a business incubator, proving ground for young executives and source of middle class jobs for black Memphians when segregation barred most doors to opportunity. When the company’s headquarters went vacant in 2001, many feared the imposing Egyptian Revival building at Danny Thomas and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard […]

    Make Room For The Bionic Advisor

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

    ARLINGTON, Va. – Robo advisors are much in the news, but the trend to watch is bionic advisors, according to a software executive who will speak here today at the annual Retirement Industry Conference sponsored by LIMRA, LOMA and Society of Actuaries. Robo advisors generally are thought of as online services that create personalized investment […]

    SEC Member Calls FIAs Dangerous, Wants Fed Scrutiny

    {April 17th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – A Securities and Exchange Commission member is calling on all securities regulators to focus more attention to the sale of complex securities, including what he called “equity indexed” annuities, or what the industry calls, “fixed index” annuities, to retail investors. “The protection of retail investors is paramount and demands immediate attention,” SEC Commissioner […]

    Feds Take Aim At VA Purchases By Seniors

    {April 17th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The purchase of variable annuities (VAs) by senior investors is the most common area in which noncompliance and nonsuitability issues were found, according to a new report by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The report highlights recent industry trends in the investment decisions of senior […]

    AIG To Invest In Investigations Firm

    {April 17th, 2015} by MICHAEL J. de la MERCED

    In 1993, the Kroll family, one of the most prominent practitioners of corporate intelligence, reached out to the American International Group, the insurance giant, about investing in its firm. Nearly a quarter-century later, the Krolls and A.I.G. are doing it again. A.I.G. plans to announce on Thursday that it has made an investment in K2 […]

    Fiduciary Rule Would Allow Commissions

    {April 17th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The proposed new fiduciary standard allays concerns that agents and advisors can still charge commissions on sale of products into retirement accounts, according to officials at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, as well as an industry lawyer. The proposal being introduced this week by the Department of Labor (DOL) also […]

    A.M. Best Special Reports: 2014 Equity Performance of Major U.S. Insurance Industry Sectors, Global Reinsurance Industry Mixed

    {April 17th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has released four special equity reports that focus on the stock performance of U.S. property/casualty, life/annuity, health and global reinsurance companies. These Best Special Reports cover fourth quarter and full-year 2014 and show mixed results among the major insurance industry sectors. •U.S. P/C Stocks Performed Well in 2014, But Further Upside […]

    Manulife Closes on New York Life Deal, Growing Retirement Plan Assets 60%

    {April 17th, 2015} by Marie Suszynski, Best's News Service correspondent

    TORONTO – Manulife Financial Corp.’s U.S. division, John Hancock Financial, has completed its acquisition of New York Life’s retirement plan services business. The transaction, along with Manulife’s buy of Standard Life’s Canadian operations, significantly increases John Hancock’s retirement plan assets under administration. “Manulife is a major player in the pensions business in Canada, the United […]

    Jared Weiss Makes The Connection Between Social Security And Annuity Sales

    {April 17th, 2015} by N/A

    Social Security and Retirement Income Planning Insider Jared Weiss, former Regional Marketing Director for American Equity, makes the connection between Social Security and annuity sales. Plainville, MA – April 15, 2015 – Jared Weiss is a former Regional Marketing Director and independent annuity advisor who is now Vice President for The Corporation for Social Security […]

    10 of the hardest working cities in America

    {April 17th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Someone recently said to me that people today don’t work as hard as people from past decades. However, it seems that our workday has remained pretty much unchanged for the last three decades. If anything, people outside the U.S., for example, in Europe, work less than eight hours a day. Click HERE to read article.

    Income Annuities, Non-GLBs Are Today’s Rising Annuity Stars

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

    ARLINGTON, Va. – The way the individual annuity market is shaping up this year, the rising stars are variable annuities without guaranteed living benefits (GLB), and fixed income annuities. That’s according to figures from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI) to be aired here Thursday at the annual Retirement Industry Conference sponsored by LIMRA, LOMA […]

    Less Than Half Of Americans Know How Much They Should Save For Retirement

    {April 16th, 2015} by N/A

    ARLINGTON, Va., April 16, 2015—A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research study finds that only 4 in 10 Boomers and Gen X workers, and only 3 in 10 Millennials know how much money they should be saving in retirement. “Not surprisingly, our study found that the majority of Americans — no matter their generation — […]

    Dear Future Me: Please listen!

    {April 15th, 2015} by Bob Seawright

    Bob Dylan hit on a universal truth when he sang about his son and the attraction of remaining young. May your hands always be busy May your feet always be swift May you have a strong foundation When the winds of changes shift May your heart always be joyful May your song always be sung […]

    U.S. Labor Department unveils retirement brokers rule

    {April 15th, 2015} by Sarah N. Lynch and Suzanne Barlyn

    (Reuters) – The U.S. Labor Department proposed sweeping changes on Tuesday that would require brokers who offer retirement advice to enter into “best interest” contracts with investors, in an effort to ensure customers are not steered into high-fee products. Labor Secretary Tom Perez unveiled the long-awaited plan, saying new rules are needed to protect consumers […]

    Wells Fargo Reports $5.8 Billion in Net Income

    {April 15th, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    Diluted EPS of $1.04, Revenue Up 3 Percent from Prior Year Wells Fargo & Company April 14, 2015  SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Wells Fargo & Company (WFC): Strong financial results: Net income of $5.8 billion, compared with $5.9 billion in first quarter 2014 Diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.04, compared with $1.05 Revenue of $21.3 […]

    New Fiduciary Rule Could Cover Insurance Agents

    {April 15th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The Labor Department’s proposed rule would impose the fiduciary standard on anyone getting paid for advice related to a retirement investment decision, including insurance agents, according to a version vetted by the Office of Management and Budget. “The fiduciary can be a broker, registered investment advisor, insurance agent, or other type of advisor […]

    Annuities: More Choice Equals Less Simplicity

    {April 15th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Financial advisor Carrie Turcotte wants to share a lesson with her peers: never confuse choice with simplicity. It’s a lesson that Turcotte, president and senior financial consultant with Crest Financial Strategies in Chattanooga, Tenn., has learned in recent years as the annuity industry expands its arsenal of guaranteed income products. Turcotte admits to being overwhelmed […]

    CFP Board Loses Second Chairman In 3 Years

    {April 15th, 2015} by Ann Marsh

    The CFP Board has lost another top official. Back in August, the CFP Board trumpetedJoe Votava as its 2016 chairman (and 2015 chair-elect) with a press release highlighting his leadership experience and dedication to the planning industry. Eight months later, in a lengthy email Monday covering more than a dozen topics, the board said that […]

    AimcoR Group Launches Enterprise Insurance Group (EIG)

    {April 15th, 2015} by AimcoR Group, LLC

    March 23, 2015 – Pflugerville, TX – National insurance marketing organization, AimcoR Group, LLC, announced the official launch of a new distribution initiative, AimcoR Enterprise Insurance Group (EIG). AimcoR EIG will focus on marketing and collaborating with institutional B2B relationships across the country. 18 of the 43 AimcoR member firms have collaborated to form EIG […]

    Few In Finance Are Happy In Their Jobs, Survey Finds

    {April 15th, 2015} by Dean Starkman, Los Angeles Times

    April 13–At least half of those working in finance are unhappy in their job, and half even at the highest levels said either their pay didn’t meet their expectations or they weren’t paid fairly, a new survey found. The survey and follow-up interviews by the Options Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm, […]

    Wheeler to step down as head of MetLife’s Americas unit

    {April 15th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    William Wheeler, president of the Americas at MetLife Inc., will step down as leader of the life insurance company’s largest unit in August. Many thought the 53-year-old former chief financial officer who has led the Americas unit since 2011, would be MetLife’s next chief executive officer. Wheeler said in a statement issued by MetLife that […]

    Tony Robbins’ 4 pieces of advice for financial advisers

    {April 15th, 2015} by Steve Sanduski

    Shortly into my one-hour podcast conversation with Tony Robbins last week it was clear: this man is connected! Mr. Robbins mentioned he spoke to Ray Dalio, head of the world’s largest hedge fund, just hours before my conversation. A few days earlier, he interviewed John Paulson, the hedgie best known for making $4 billion in […]

    Barometer survey points to growing impact of Internet in life insurance sales

    {April 15th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    A growing number of Americans are turning to the Internet to research and buy life insurance products. And the online shoppers aren’t just millennials. This is one of the key findings of the 2015 Insurance Barometer study, a report produced annually by Life Happens and LIMRA. Highlights from the research were outlined by executives from […]

    Bruce Ferris named chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute Board of Directors

    {April 15th, 2015} by Prudential

    NEWARK, N.J., April 10, 2015 – Prudential Annuities, the domestic annuity business for Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) announced today that Bruce Ferris, president of Prudential Annuities Distributors, has been named Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute’s (IRI) Board of Directors. Ferris currently serves as Board Vice Chairman, and has been a member of the IRI […]

    National Retirement Plan Week® 2015: April 13-17

    {April 14th, 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 […]

    Study finds Americans overestimate cost of life insurance

    {April 14th, 2015} by IFAwebnews Staff

    Cost is the reason most Americans give for not owning life insurance, according to the 2015 Insurance Barometer Study, released by LIMRA and non-profit Life Happens. Yet, 80% of consumers misjudge the price for term life insurance, with Millennials overestimating the cost by 213%, and Gen Xers overestimating the cost by 119%. The study found […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary

    {April 14th, 2015} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual Life) (Horsham, PA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Penn Insurance and Annuity Company (PIA) (Wilmington, DE) (together referred to as Penn Mutual). A.M. Best has also affirmed […]

    Genworth Eyeing Sale Of Life And Annuity Unit

    {April 14th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Genworth Financial is signaling that it is seeking buyers for its life and annuity unit as a means of shoring up its troubled long-term care insurance (LTCi) unit. According to the latest Sourcebook of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, Genworth is the largest factor in the individual LTCi market, with a […]

    Fidelity & Guaranty Could Face ‘Potential Sale’

    {April 14th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    The future ownership of Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL) is a bit less certain as a result of Monday’s announcement from the carrier’s top stockholder, HRG Group. According to that statement, HRG is now “exploring strategic alternatives” that include “potential sale” of the company, or of “all or part of HRG’s interest in FGL.” HRG, […]

    AIG and Primerica Team Up to Offer Retirement Income Solutions to Main Street Families

    {April 14th, 2015} by Business Wire

    HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) is pleased to announce the recent partnering of its subsidiary American General Life Insurance Company (AGL) with Primerica, the largest independent financial services marketing organization in North America, to introduce the Power Series of Index Annuities®. The Power Advantage 7℠ and Power Advantage 10℠ Index Annuities, tailored exclusively […]

    MetLife’s President Of The Americas To Retire In August

    {April 14th, 2015} by Katherine Peralta, The Charlotte Observer

    April 14–New York-based insurer MetLife said Bill Wheeler, president of the Americas since 2011, will retire in August to pursue “other interests.” Wheeler has held the position of president since 2011 and has been with MetLife for 17 years. In a statement released Tuesday, the company didn’t name a successor. “Bill made a significant contribution […]

    5 Class Action Suits Target ‘Shadow Insurance’

    {April 14th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – The use of captives as part of the capital underlying life insurance and variable annuity (VA) policies is the subject of five class action lawsuits filed against insurers. This is another sign that the spotlight on insurance capital issues continues to intensify. Two lawsuits have been filed against MetLife, two against AXA Equitable […]

    SEC Panel Looks At Advisor Background Database

    {April 14th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advisory group is considering the creation of a tool to make it easier for investors to obtain background information on financial professionals. The SEC’s Investment Advisory Committee has decided to continue its efforts to establish a unified database detailing the background information on financial professionals. The advisory […]

    Manulife wraps up buy of NY Life’s retirement business

    {April 14th, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Manulife Financial Corp. announced Tuesday it has completed its acquisition of New York Life’s retirement business. The acquisition, which was previously announced, will be combined with John Hancock Retirement Plan Services. The added business boosts the retirement plan assets under administration by the firm by approximately 60 percent, to $135 billion. The combined business will […]

    What a spreadsheet won’t tell you about selling life insurance

    {April 14th, 2015} by Gregory E. Schwabe

    Spreadsheets are one of an advisor’s most useful tools. They make it easy and quick to compare life insurance products, and are also an effective way to present options to a client. Moreover, spreadsheets convey a sense of objectivity that build’s client confidence. At the same time, spreadsheets have limitations.  Click HERE to read…

    Retirees Wish They’d Left The Workforce Sooner

    {April 14th, 2015} by Business Wire

    If They Could Do It Again – 46% of Retirees Would Retire Earlier Retirees Report Desire to Have Started Retirement Four Years Earlier Pre-Retirees Encouraged To Get Educated and Plan for the Retirement They Want During National Retirement Planning Week NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Retirees report a desire to have started retirement earlier – based on […]

    NAFA tabs Chip Anderson as executive director

    {April 14th, 2015} by Daniel Williams

    Chip Anderson will take the helm of NAFA on May 1, 2015. An industry veteran with extensive experience on the annuity side of the business, Anderson will fill the role opened when Kim O’Brien stepped down earlier this year. Anderson earned the position due to his “prominence in the industry and his reputation as a […]

    NAFA Selects Industry Veteran, Charles R. “Chip” Anderson, as New Executive Director

    {April 14th, 2015} by Scott Hinds

    Washington, D.C. – Following a widespread and in-depth search across multiple industries, the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) is proud to announce that respected insurance industry veteran, Charles R. “Chip” Anderson, will assume the role of Executive Director effective May 1, 2015. S. Christopher Johnson, Chairman of the NAFA Board of Directors, noted, “Chip’s […]

    Udell Named President of LIDMA

    {April 13th, 2015} by LIDMA

    ATLANTA, GA – April 7, 2015 — Byron Udell, CEO & President of AccuQuote has been named the new President of The Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA). With more than 25 years of industry knowledge, Udell is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s foremost life insurance experts. In addition to a law degree, […]

    Tug-of-war between lawyers and financial advisors escalates: Opinion

    {April 13th, 2015} by Mike Anthony, JD, CMP™

    There’s always been a tug-of-war between legal providers and financial services. But lately, it seems that both sides are adding muscle to the fight. Recent rulings in Pennsylvania and Florida push these issues to the extreme. There are lawyers who do financial planning and provide financial services. Most state bar associations allow this, with certain […]

    Americans Overly Confident About Finances, Survey Says

    {April 13th, 2015} by PR Web

    Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 07, 2015 The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) and NerdWallet, a personal finance website, released the results of the 2015 Financial Literacy Survey conducted online on their behalf in March by Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18-plus. In its ninth year, the survey provides a look […]

    SEC panel calls for a single database to run background checks on all financial professionals

    {April 13th, 2015} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission should develop a database that compiles information about securities law violations and is easy to use for investors, especially the elderly, an advisory group said Thursday. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required

    Securian’s Retirement GPS program helps keep dreams on track

    {April 13th, 2015} by Securian Financial Group

    Time to stop guessing and start mapping a journey ST. PAUL, Minn – April 08, 2015 – For baby boomers, millennials and everyone in between, developing a clear vision of retirement is an important component of building a financially-secure future. Forty-five percent of people simply guess how much they’ll need in retirement, according to a […]

    Carrier Ties Life Insurance Premiums To Lifestyle Habits

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

    WASHINGTON – Will policyholders be willing to let their life insurance company keep tabs on their lifestyle habits and health information in return for discounted premiums? That is what John Hancock is betting on as it offers new products that will allow policyholders to reduce their premium costs in return for providing the company with […]

    New York Life Hits Record Highs In Earnings, Hiring

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

    WASHINGTON – New York Life earnings hit $2 billion for the first time in its history, marking the fifth consecutive year in which the company’s earnings reached record highs. In releasing its 2014 earnings, New York Life reported a 14.7 percent increase in operating earnings for the year despite the low interest rate environment that […]

    Wealthy millennials don’t see retirement as end of work

    {April 13th, 2015} by Danielle Andrus

    If high-net-worth Americans plan to retire at an average age of 56 and more than half plan to keep working in retirement, as a recent study by BMO Private Bank found, what exactly does retirement mean to today’s affluent clients? Jack Ablin, executive vice president and chief investment officer for BMO, said the influence of […]

    Risky Moves In The Game Of Life Insurance

    {April 12th, 2015} by MARY WILLIAMS WALSH

    In July 2013, the smart money was saying the company that runs the Caesars and Harrah’s casinos would go bankrupt, when a big investor, Apollo Global Management, offered a lifeline: It was willing to pump millions of dollars into the parent of the struggling casino company. And where would Apollo get the money? Not a […]

    Time to jog: John Hancock offers life insurance discount for good behavior

    {April 10th, 2015} by Doni Bloomfield

    It’s not just your spouse who thinks you really should be jogging more. Now it’s your life insurer, too. Manulife Financial Corp.’s John Hancock Life Insurance will discount premiums by as much as 15 percent for policy holders who track and perform well on metrics such as daily exercise, annual health screenings and flu shots, […]

    Insurers Tracking Fitness: Too Accurate for Comfort?

    {April 10th, 2015} by Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View

    Someday soon, Big Brother may be watching you. Only his name will be “John Hancock.” The insurer is rolling out a program in the U.S. similar to ones already deployed in other parts of the world, where your life insurer tracks your fitness levels, then gives you rebates depending on how active you are. Folks […]

    More financial services companies implement social media training

    {April 10th, 2015} by LIMRA

    New LIMRA research has revealed that six in 10 financial services companies have programs in place to assist their financial advisors and representatives with social media. “We already know that almost all financial services companies are using social media,” said Norah Denley, senior research analyst, Distribution and Technology Research, LIMRA, and the report’s author. “That’s […]

    AIG Subsidiary Expands Its Index Annuities Distribution

    {April 10th, 2015} by Business Wire

    HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) is pleased to announce the recent partnering of its subsidiary American General Life Insurance Company (AGL) with Primerica, the largest independent financial services marketing organization in North America, to introduce the Power Series of Index Annuities®. The Power Advantage 7 and Power Advantage 10 Index Annuities, tailored […]

    Survey: Top IT expense at insurers is internal staff

    {April 10th, 2015} by Warren S. Hersch, whersch@SummitProNets.com

    New hardware and software for insurance companies can come with big price tags. But new research shows that the companies spend nearly twice as much on existing IT equipment than on new solutions. Novarica, a research and advisory firm specializing in insurance technology strategy, unveils this finding in a 2015 benchmarking report. Based on 69 […]

    New York Life’s 2014 Net Income Jumps 23% as CEO Notes Low Life Insurance Growth Nationally

    {April 9th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    NEW YORK – New York Life Insurance Co.’s full-year 2014 profit increased amid low growth in the life insurance industry nationally, according to its chief executive officer. Consolidated GAAP net income for New York Life jumped 23% to $2.22 billion, driven by higher net investments gains and management fees, a spokesperson said. The company recorded […]

    National Western Life’s Shareholders to Vote in June on Reorganization Proposal

    {April 9th, 2015} by Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: fran.lysiak@ambest.com

    AUSTIN, Texas – At its annual shareholders’ meeting in June, National Western Life Insurance Co. said its shareholders will be asked to vote on a proposal to approve a reorganization under which the current company would become a subsidiary of a holding company, National Western Life Group Inc., a newly formed Delaware corporation. Pending approval, […]

    SEC’s ability to deliver true fiduciary standard in doubt: Report

    {April 8th, 2015} by Melanie Waddell

    Backers of a tough fiduciary standard for brokers remain skeptical that the Securities and Exchange Commission can deliver such a rule, as comments made by former and current SEC officials appear to signal a forthcoming watered-down disclosure-based standard that tolerates conflicts. Knut Rostad, president of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, cites statements made by […]

    Total Overall Indexed Universal Sales and Top Selling Indexed ULs of All Time

    {April 7th, 2015} by Jamie Johnson

    At Wink, we have been tracking indexed universal life sales by insurance carrier each year since 1998 in our quarterly Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Last year we compiled all the results to see which companies are the top ten for overall sales. We are continuing our analysis this year by updating the “Total Overall […]

    Genworth Said to Seek Buyers for GLAIC Life, Annuity Unit

    {April 7th, 2015} by Matthew Monks and Doni Bloomfield

    Genworth Financial Inc., the insurer weighing a breakup after steep losses on policies covering long-term medical care, is seeking buyers for a life and annuity unit, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a sale of Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Co., or GLAIC, said […]

    Annuity Carriers Cautious About Digital Signatures

    {April 7th, 2015} by Linda Koco, linda.koco@innfeedback.com

    In the annuity sector, many advisors and carriers are dipping a toe in the water of digital signatures rather than diving in head first. This may come as a bit of a shock to those who work at some of the nation’s largest carriers. After all, some big annuity companies and distributors are already completely […]

    How (and why) indexed universal life really works

    {April 7th, 2015} by Tom Martin

    We are often asked by our clients, “How can the insurance company afford such generous caps and floors in their indexed universal life policies?” Many insurance producers themselves may ponder the same question. We may even take it a step further and wonder, if the insurance company can do this in a life insurance policy, […]

    The 16 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week

    {April 7th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    Click HERE for the paradigm shift news roundup: Royal Neighbors of America, Promise Plus, Laser App, PIMA, Benefitfocus, Agent Review, CallidusCloud, DoubleNet Pay, Renaissance Dental, Allianz, IRI, GMC, Columbus Life, Forethought, MassMutual, OneAmerica

    New York Life Hits Earnings Milestone

    {April 7th, 2015} by Business Wire

    New Milestones Reached for the First Time: Policyholder Benefits and Dividends Paid Exceeded $9 Billion; Operating Earnings Surpassed $2 Billion; AUM Exceeded $500 Billion Operating earnings achieved a new record high of $2.02 billion, an increase of 14.7 percent over 2013, marking the fifth consecutive year of record earnings Surplus and asset valuation reserve grew […]

    AIG Introduces New Blended Index in the Power Series of Index Annuities®

    {April 7th, 2015} by Business Wire

    The ML Strategic Balanced Index™ seeks to provide a stable return in changing market environments by dynamically blending equity and fixed income indices HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) is pleased to announce the recent launch of a new index for use in select contracts in the Power Series of Index Annuities®. These […]

    Busted: 7 life insurance myths

    {April 7th, 2015} by Lynette Gil

    One common myth is that buttered toast always falls butter-side down. Another is that if you pick up that toast faster than the Flash, or in less than five seconds, you can eat it. (Dirt and bacteria surely need more than five seconds to adhere to tasty, buttery goodness, right?) Click HERE to read…

    Voya Financial Launches New Retirement Income Solution with Voya Wealth Builder Plus Annuity

    {April 7th, 2015} by Voya Financial, Inc.

    WINDSOR, Conn., April 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced that it has expanded its fixed index annuity offerings with a new option for investors seeking to grow and protect their wealth, while generating retirement income that lasts a lifetime. The new Voya Wealth Builder Plus Annuity is designed to deliver features […]

    Majority Of Companies Helping Advisors With Social Media

    {April 7th, 2015} by N/A

    WINDSOR, Conn., April 7, 2015—New LIMRA research has revealed that six in 10 financial services companies have programs in place to assist their financial advisors and representatives with social media. “We already know that almost all financial services companies are using social media,” said Norah Denley, senior research analyst, Distribution and Technology Research, LIMRA, and […]

    Lack Of Retirement Savings Regretted By Many

    {April 7th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    A new study by Genworth has found that 53 percent of U.S. adults have not started to make financial arrangements for retirement. Furthermore, 40 percent of respondents said their biggest financial regret is not having saved enough for retirement. In another survey, about one-third of American adults don’t have any emergency savings according to the […]

    AIG’s Hancock expects more asset sales after insurer shrank

    {April 6th, 2015} by Sonali Basak

    (Bloomberg) — 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, […]

    Insurers A Growing Target Of Class Action Suits

    {April 6th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – Insurance companies have emerged as a significant target for class action lawsuits, according to an annual survey by a law firm that represents management. Data privacy is another issue that touches insurance companies, as well as advisors. The survey said data privacy emerged as the subject of a “significant volume” of class action […]

    OneAmerica Reaches All-Time High In Sales, Benefits Paid

    {April 6th, 2015} by OneAmerica

    INDIANAPOLIS (April 1, 2015) – The companies of OneAmerica announced another record-breaking year in 2014 with all–time highs in sales, benefits paid, assets, premiums and capital. The financial services enterprise grew sales by 9 percent to $2.6 billion and paid a record $2.8 billion of benefits to customers in 2014—marking five consecutive years of record […]

    These are the world’s 20 insurance billionaires

    {April 6th, 2015} by Melissa Hillebrand

    The rich keep getting richer. For its 29th annual guide that ranks the world’s wealthiest individuals, Forbes totaled 1,826 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion — an increase from $6.4 trillion last year. Of the top 10 overall, seven are from the United States, and one of whom has ties to the […]

    Taking RMDs early in the year: the case for and against

    {April 6th, 2015} by Jeffrey Levine

    Assume your clients are over 70 ½ and are subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) on an IRA. You know they need to take that distribution in a timely manner, but that leaves a fairly wide window. Should you encourage them to take their RMD now, early in the year?  Click HERE to read…

    Why the Motley Fool needs to be schooled on retirement income

    {April 6th, 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 […]

    Insurance Industry Adds 5,900 Jobs in March; Wages Jump in Most Sectors

    {April 6th, 2015} by Thomas Harman, associate editor, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. insurance industry added 5,900 jobs in March, according to figures released April 3 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seasonally adjusted 0.23% increase for mid-March continued the industry’s growth during the past year and was higher than the adjusted growth of 0.15% shown for mid-February 2015. Updated figures released by […]

    PIMCO Sues AIG Regarding Credit Default Swaps

    {April 6th, 2015} by Arthur D. Postal, arthur.postal@innfeedback.com

    WASHINGTON – PIMCO asset management company has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from American International Group (AIG) relating to what PIMCO termed AIG’s “colossal” bet on credit default swaps. The suit is a bitter reminder of the problems caused by the financial meltdown in 2008, including the need for the federal government to become […]

    Americans clueless about 401(k)s

    {April 6th, 2015} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Americans like to think of themselves as financially astute, but 90 percent of those under 50 have no idea how much money they’re allowed to add to their 401(k)s. This and other disturbing findings were the result of a survey from Fifth Third Bank, which also discovered that 44 percent live paycheck-to-paycheck and that they’re […]

    Allianz Completes Sale of Fireman’s Fund Personal Lines to ACE

    {April 6th, 2015} by N/A

    Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) said it has completed the sale of the U.S. personal lines business of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. (FFIC) to ACE Ltd. The sale, which closed on schedule as previously announced, is valued at $365 million and includes the renewal rights and reinsurance of existing liabilities. The FFIC business is […]

    Spotlight On Annuities ‘Lifts All Boats’

    {April 6th, 2015} by Cyril Tuohy, cyril.tuohy@innfeedback.com

    Legislative experts said the recent attention lawmakers have been lavishing on annuities should be seen as a good sign for the financial services industry as a whole, not simply a win at the expense of the mutual fund industry. In a polarized environment that defines so much of the political process, some people have come […]

    Pacific Life Offers A QLAC

    {April 6th, 2015} by Pacific Life

    Newport Beach, CA (April 1, 2015) – Pacific Life Insurance Company has launched a new solution for IRA owners who are looking to save on taxes earlier in retirement and would like to increase their guaranteed lifetime income payments at a later time. The solution is called a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC) and was […]

    S&P Affirms Allianz Life’s AA Rating with Stable Outlook

    {April 6th, 2015} by Business Wire

    Financial Strength Recognized with “Very Strong” Rating MINNEAPOLIS, Apr 02, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) today announced that the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) affirmed the company’s rating as AA (very strong) and maintained the company’s stable outlook. S&P’s AA rating is the third highest […]

    Advisors Favor Wholesalers Who Work as a Team

    {April 6th, 2015} by N/A

    Study seeks to better understanding the sales relationship A recent LIMRA study found that many financial advisors stated they prefer to do business with internal and external wholesalers who work together as a team. The purpose of the study was to better understand the advisor-wholesaler relationship and the value both internal and external wholesalers bring […]

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