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Archive for July 2017

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  • Advice for Annuity Businesses Adjusting to DOL Rule: Blog

    {July 31st, 2017} by Vanessa Peng

    By now, everyone in the financial services industry knows about the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and is figuring out how to adjust and comply with the new regulations. Annuity agents and advisors have a tough road ahead of them. Here’s some advice from Shawn Sparks, the author of “The Advisor Breakthrough, Your Step-By-Step […]

    The US is losing ground when it comes to retirement security

    {July 31st, 2017} by Jessica Dickler

    The US is losing ground when it comes to retirement security  Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 | 10:40 AM ET | 00:48 All your retirement dreams can come true, just maybe not in the U.S. Among the leading nations for retirement security, the United States didn’t even crack the top 15, according to the 2017 Global Retirement […]

    Fintech sales take off after DOL fiduciary rule’s partial implementation

    {July 31st, 2017} by Liz Skinner

    Adviser demand for a technological answer to meeting new requirements of the DOL fiduciary rule has jumped in the three weeks since part of the retirement advice regulation was implemented. Technology providers said interest in their fiduciary fintech had cooled following the election of President Donald J. Trump, who some speculated would scrap the best […]

    Female Financial Advisors Find Their Way

    {July 28th, 2017} by Lou Carlozo

    U.S. Census Bureau figures for 2016 put the percentage of women slightly ahead of men, 51 to 49 percent. But the numbers certainly don’t break down like that in the working world. From recording studio engineers to Capitol Hill, some fields are overwhelming male – and not necessarily for the better. The male makeup of Congress? […]

    CNO Financial Group Inc.: CNO Financial Group Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results

    {July 28th, 2017} by CNO Financial Group

    CARMEL, Ind., July 26, 2017/PRNewswire / — CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) today announced net income for the second quarter of 2017 of $83.4 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, compared to $59.9 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016. CNO also announced second quarter of 2017 net operating income (1) of $78.6 million, […]

    DOL Rule Spurs Innovation, Alliances Among Carriers

    {July 28th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    The Department of Labor fiduciary rule is having wide-ranging impacts on life-annuity carriers. The most notable effects include a dampening of otherwise positive sales trends, the advent of new products and portals, as well as corporate alliances and acquisitions that carriers are spearheading to secure a competitive advantage. The source of these conclusions: Scott Hawkins, VP of insurance […]

    Ameriprise Sees Stability in Annuity Block

    {July 28th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Executives at Ameriprise Financial Inc.say they believe their annuity operation is recovering from the affects of uncertainty about the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. James Cracchiolo, the Minneapolis-based financial services company’s chief executive officer, said Wednesday that annuity sales fell off earlier because of financial advisors’ questions about how they ought to proceed. “Now, some of that is starting […]

    Galvin Slams SEC’s Piwowar Over Anti-Fiduciary Rule Comments

    {July 28th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Massachusetts’ top securities regulator, Commonwealth Secretary William Galvin, is slamming SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar’s recent comments opposing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and is urging Labor to “continue to staunchly defend” the rule. In this Friday letter to Labor, Galvin stated that “the horrific financial abuses associated with conflicted advice in the area of retirement rollovers […]

    Many Retirement-Age Women Lack Financial Literacy: American College

    {July 27th, 2017} by Michael S. Fischer

    A large cohort of retirement-age American women lack financial literacy, according to The American College of Financial Services’ latest RICP retirement income literacy survey. Only 18% of women could pass a basic quiz on how to make their savings last in retirement, compared with 35% of retirement-age men, yet a majority of women were still extremely confident […]

    CFP Board’s Fiduciary Standard Provides ‘More Freedom’ Than DOL’s

    {July 27th, 2017} by Emily Zulz

    The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has received more than 1,000 comments on the proposed revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct that were announced in mid-June. On Tuesday morning, the CFP Board held a public forum in New York City to review and discuss its proposal. There are five remaining public forums throughout the United […]

    NAIFA May Reduce Reliance on Local Chapters

    {July 27th, 2017} by Suzanne Tullo

    The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors might move to reduce its reliance on formal local chapters, and make other organizational changes, in September, at its annual conference in Orlando. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. The NAIFA board has included organizational change provisions in a package of proposed bylaw changes based […]

    Value of Advisors Underscored by Annuity Program Pilot

    {July 27th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Early responses to a new direct-to-consumer (D2C) annuity pilot program in Arizona reveal that buyers want to talk to someone – or something – before committing to a long-term retirement investment. The early findings in Nationwide’s Guarantees Retirement Income program raise new questions for insurance companies serious about expanding through the growing D2C channel to […]

    Insurance could become obsolete – PwC

    {July 27th, 2017} by Ryan Smith

    Could technology render the insurance industry as we know it obsolete? Insurtech like peer-to-peer coverage, artificial intelligence and on-demand insurance could make the industry unrecognisable in years to come, according to Nick Spooner, PwC digital experience centre lead partner. “For hundreds of years, the insurance industry has been inert,” Spooner said, writing in a blog […]

    5 Huge Problems Educators Face With Retirement Planning & How IUL May Help: BLOG

    {July 27th, 2017} by Blake Neben

    Let’s face it, the second quarter is gone and you’re probably thinking to yourself “what can I do to generate some more profitable sales opportunities for myself this year and not repeat the same level of production from last year. Does that sound right? If you’re like most of the insurance agents and financial planners […]

    How life insurers can sell you a policy without a doctor’s visit

    {July 27th, 2017} by Ed Leefeldt

    We’ve all seen the advertisements for life insurance policies with “no medical exam necessary” on TV and the internet. Just answer a few basic questions online, provide access to your credit report and other personal information, and – bingo – you’ve bought yourself a $500,000 life insurance policy. Such “no muss, no fuss” transactions are […]

    LAMOND JOINS WINK AS VARIABLE ANNUITY PRODUCT DIRECTOR

    {July 25th, 2017} by Press Release

     — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION — NEWS RELEASE   LAMOND JOINS WINK AS VARIABLE ANNUITY PRODUCT DIRECTOR Wink, Inc.’s Latest Initiative Aids Them in Crushing the Competition Des Moines, Iowa. July 25, 2017– Peter Lamond has been named Variable Annuity Product Director for Wink, Inc. where he is responsible for introducing and managing Variable Annuities (VAs) on […]

    Prudential to Realign Its U.S. Businesses

    {July 25th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Prudential Financial Inc. plans to put its U.S. individual life, annuity and investment advisory operations in one individual solutions unit, under the leadership of Lori Fouché. Fouché has been the chief executive officer of the Prudential Group Insurance unit. She began working for Prudential in 2013. Before that, she was president of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. She has a […]

    IUL Rate Projections Drop Slightly In Illustrations

    {July 25th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Maximum illustrated rates allowed for the most popular investment choice with an indexed universal life (IUL) policy dropped last year following the implementation of new actuarial guidelines in 2015 and early 2016, a new survey by Milliman has found. During the first nine months of last year post-guideline illustrated rates ranged from 5.02 percent to […]

    DOL fiduciary rule opponents want to push implementation back until 2019

    {July 25th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Critics of the DOL fiduciary rule are urging the Labor Department to delay its implementation until January 2019 — or possibly longer. “To provide needed certainty, reduce harm to investors and limit unnecessary ‘sunk’ costs associated with implementing requirements that the department ultimately eliminates or modifies, the department should immediately — by August 15, 2017 […]

    U.S. life and health insurance industry direct premiums expect decline for the first time in four years

    {July 25th, 2017} by S&P Global Market Intelligence

    NEW YORK, July 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. life and health insurance industry direct premiums and considerations will decline for the first time in four years in 2017 as regulatory uncertainty stymies sales of certain types of individual annuities, a new S&P Global Market Intelligence report projects. The 2017 U.S. Life and Health Insurance Market Report, which is the first […]

    Transamerica’s Cancelation of 99-Year-Old’s Policy Draws National Attention

    {July 25th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    When Gary Lebbin turns 100 this September, Transamerica could have a PR problem. When he hits the landmark birthday, a unit of the company that issued his life insurance plans to cancel two of Lebbin’s policies totaling $3.2 million in death benefits, The Wall Street Journal reports. Other life insurers may face similar tough decisions, as a growing number of […]

    Critics of DOL Fiduciary Rule Push for Long Delays

    {July 25th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Despite industry trade groups’ insistence that the Department of Labor delay the implementation date of its fiduciary rule for years, ERISA attorneys continue to recommend that advisors and broker-dealers push ahead in their compliance steps.   Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. The first deadline under a two-part request for information issued […]

    Fiduciary rule final stand: ‘Please rethink this’

    {July 25th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    The future of the fiduciary rule is up for grabs, again, and clients, advisers and firms are jumping in to make their voices heard at a crucial moment. Via a public commentary board, the Department of Labor is hearing feedback on whether it should make changes to the fiduciary rule and delay the regulation’s second stage […]

    Analysts: DOL Rule Could Be Pushed Out to 2020

    {July 25th, 2017} by John Hilton

    One possible scenario has the Department of Labor delaying the phase two effective date of its fiduciary rule by one year, and giving financial services a year beyond that to comply. That would push the effective date from Jan. 1, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2020. Bradford P. Campbell, counsel at Drinker Biddle & Reath, agreed […]

    Is It Time For Your Safety-Seeking Clients To Take Another Look At Fixed Annuities?

    {July 25th, 2017} by Chris Conklin

    One of the most important conversations you’ll have about managing a client’s finances  is what portion of their money should be used for “risky” investments to maximize growth potential and what portion should be kept “safe” to ensure preservation of capital when the markets get turbulent. This foundational conversation is about finding the right balance, […]

    Analyst Sees ‘Great Restructuring’ of Life Industry

    {July 25th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Sean Dargan, a Wells Fargo & Co. securities analyst, says European insurers are willing to give buyers reasonable prices for blocks of U.S. annuity business. The insurers have run-off blocks that could be “transacted at below book value,” Dargan writes in a preview of the upcoming earning season. “We expect to see more deals in particular within the […]

    30 Under 30, Part 1: Young Life, Health and Annuity Stars

    {July 25th, 2017} by Kristen Beckman and Allison Bell

    Here’s a three-part list to make you think: the ThinkAdvisor Life Health 30 Under 30 award winners for 2017. This is a look at young life, health and benefits professionals who have already started to make a mark. We collected nominations in January and have been reviewing and processing the entries ever since. Click HERE to view […]

    SYMETRA INTRODUCES NEW FEE-BASED FIXED INDEXED ANNUITIES—SYMETRA ADVISORY EDGE AND SYMETRA ADVISORY INCOME EDGE

    {July 25th, 2017} by Symetra

    Symetra Life Insurance Company, a leading fixed annuity provider, has introduced two new fixed indexed annuities built for fee-based planning—Symetra Advisory Edge and Symetra Advisory Income Edge. Both annuities provide retirement customers with asset protection and interest crediting opportunities through multiple index options, including the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente® 5 Index. “The addition of Advisory Edge and Advisory Income […]

    WealthVest and Thrivent Independent Kick Off Partnership

    {July 25th, 2017} by WealthVest

    BOZEMAN, MONTANA (PRWEB) JULY 24, 2017 Thrivent Independent, a division of Thrivent Financial, and WealthVest are working together to help Christians be wise with money. Thrivent Independent has entrusted WealthVest with the distribution of its Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity: Growth You Can Count On, soon to be available in banks and broker-dealers for clients seeking safety and […]

    Why Do the Pundits Hate Annuity Commissions?

    {July 25th, 2017} by Chuck Ritzke

    In this video installment, we are addressing the pundits’ primary punching bag — one seemingly more evil than tyrannical dictators, terrorists, or 1950s movie creatures from out of the lagoon. That is, of course, annuity commissions. Actually, we are told, it is not just annuity commissions that are evil, but all forms of insurance product commissions. And […]

    Insurance and improv don’t go together – try telling that to this former agent

    {July 25th, 2017} by Sam Boyer

    When it comes to things that don’t naturally mix, insurance and improv comedy would have to be right up there with oil and water. But for one Zurich business development leader in Chicago, the two activities actually complement each other nicely. Marissa Jennings, who recently completed an acting course at the famed Second City in Chicago and […]

    Symetra Introduces New Fee-based Fixed Indexed Annuities—Symetra Advisory Edge and Symetra Advisory Income Edge

    {July 24th, 2017} by Symetra Life Insurance Company

    BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra Life Insurance Company, a leading fixed annuity provider, has introduced two new fixed indexed annuities built for fee-based planning—Symetra Advisory Edge and Symetra Advisory Income Edge. Both annuities provide retirement customers with asset protection and interest crediting opportunities through multiple index options, including the JPMorgan ETF Efficiente® 5 Index. “The addition of Advisory Edge and […]

    New AIG CEO Wants to Grow the Insurer Again

    {July 24th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    New AIG CEO Brian Duperreault has a clear vision for AIG’s future. In a word: growth. The new leader of one of the world’s largest insurers shared details on his past, and AIG’s future, with The Wall Street Journal in his first extensive interview since accepting the job in May.  Click HERE to view the original story via Life Annuity Specialist.  […]

    44% of Americans Don’t Know When the Fed Last Raised Rates: WalletHub

    {July 24th, 2017} by Emily Zulz

    With two 2017 rate hikes on the books and another expected by the end of the year, how much does the American public know about Federal Reserve policy? According to a new survey from WalletHub, 44% of Americans don’t know when the Fed last raised rates. (In June, the Federal Reserve raised rates 25 basis points to […]

    Annexus Continues to Expand Capital Markets and Index Solutions Expertise

    {July 24th, 2017} by Annexus

    Strategic Addition of New SVP to Support Custom Index Design July 24, 2017 06:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Annexus, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based designer of fixed indexed annuities, life insurance and other index-based wealth management products, announced the addition of Tom Haines as Senior Vice President of Capital Markets and Index Solutions. Mr. Haines, […]

    Producers Across the Country Are Saving Valuable Selling Time

    {July 24th, 2017} by Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange

    Financial service professionals across the country are learning what it means to “Step Into the Light,” as Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange, in conjunction with Insurance Technologies, recently launched a new electronic application submittal system that is available to all producers contracted with Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange through their website portal. FireLight® is an electronic application system […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Great-West Lifeco, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {July 21st, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” of The Great-West Life Assurance Company (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and its affiliates, London Life Insurance Company (London, Ontario), The Canada Life Assurance Company (CLAC) (Toronto, Ontario), Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A) (Greenwood Village, CO) and Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of […]

    Impact of DOL Fiduciary Rule on Broker-Dealers: Recommending Annuities to IRA Investors

    {July 21st, 2017} by Fred Reish, Bruce L. Ashton, Joshua J. Waldbeser

    The focus of this alert is the prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs) — PTE 84-24 and the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) — that are available to broker-dealers when their registered representatives recommend annuities to IRA investors. The purpose is to address the factors that firms may want to consider in deciding which exemption to use […]

    House Makes Two More Whacks to DOL Rule

    {July 21st, 2017} by Joe Morris

    A House of Representatives panel has approved legislation to rescind the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, while the House Appropriations Committee separately adopted a funding bill that would prohibit enforcement of the rule, reports Ignites. The House Education and Workforce Committee voted 23-to-17 along party lines Wednesday in favor of the Affordable Retirement Advice for […]

    Ominous Signs Loom for Life Insurance Sales

    {July 21st, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    The sales environment for the life insurance industry could remain challenging, a leading indicator of industry wide sales shows. The MIB Life Index fell again in June and for the year-to-date period is down -3.2% compared to the first six months of 2016. The MIB Life Index score is determined by the number of searches […]

    Prudential Financial Reorganizes US Businesses Into Three Groups

    {July 21st, 2017} by Best's News Service

    NEWARK, N.J. – Prudential Financial Inc. said it will implement a new structure comprising three main groups for its U.S. businesses in an effort to extend customer reach as it seeks what it calls “pathways to new markets.” The new structure will become effective in the fourth quarter of 2017, Prudential said. “Our strategy, enabled […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Members of Standard Insurance Group and Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company, Ltd.

    {July 21st, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Standard Insurance Company (Portland, OR) and its affiliate, The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York (White Plains, NY), together referred to as the Standard Insurance Group (Standard Group). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of […]

    House panel passes bill to replace DOL fiduciary rule with one requiring disclosure of conflicts

    {July 20th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    In a party line vote, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would kill the Labor Department fiduciary rule and replace it with an advice standard based on disclosure. It wasn’t the only effort in the House on Wednesday to take the DOL rule off the books. Later in the […]

    Ameritas launches competitive new whole life products

    {July 20th, 2017} by Ameritas

    Lincoln, Neb. (July 20, 2017) – Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. recently introduced a suite of new whole life insurance products designed to offer more flexibility and options to help meet a wider range of consumer financial planning goals. The products were designed with field partners and their clients in mind. “The new whole life lineup […]

    San Diego insurance agent charged in $1.1 million senior investment scam

    {July 20th, 2017} by The California Department of Insurance

    News: 2017 Press Release For Release: July 20, 2017 Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566 San Diego insurance agent charged in $1.1 million senior investment scam Search for more victims underway SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Insurance agent Shawn Heffernan, 42, of San Diego, was arraigned today on multiple felony grand theft and elder fraud charges. Heffernan was arrested […]

    New DOL Rule Changes the Way Annuity Salespeople Do Business

    {July 20th, 2017} by Shawn Sparks

    It’s probably not hyperbole to say that the new U.S. Department of Labor fiduciary rule is completely changing the financial services sector. The rule, which started implementation on June 9, is altering the way many annuity salespeople do business.  Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. Unless your head has been in the sand, more […]

    3 Ways to Get Life Insurance Clients to Buy Enough Coverage

    {July 20th, 2017} by Ryan Hanley

    Everybody needs life insurance, but most people wait until they are older to purchase coverage. This leaves life insurance agents struggling to find new clients. According to Investopedia, millennials are the least likely to purchase a life insurance policy, and they overestimate coverage costs by 213%. In total, only 57% of U.S. citizens have life […]

    MassMutual hit with lawsuit over pay, desk-use charges on sales employees

    {July 20th, 2017} by Greg Ryan

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. has been hit with a class action lawsuit that claims it is improperly charging sales employees for using desks at its offices and denying them minimum wage and overtime pay. A former MassMutual sales employee, Jason Berube, leveled the allegations against the Springfield-based financial giant in Suffolk County Superior Court late last month. […]

    Nine Life Insurers Pin Hopes on Sales Potential of New Mobile App

    {July 20th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Nine life insurers have signed up to distribute term life insurance products through a phone app that offers a simplified underwriting process. The app developer’s claim to fame: the software’s ability to generate a free will and living trust — estate plan components unavailable from other insurtech companies offering streamlined underwriting. The creation of Seattle-based Tomorrow […]

    Manulife selling John Hancock would be ‘a mistake’: Shareholder

    {July 20th, 2017} by BNN.ca Staff

    Manulife Financial should hold on to John Hancock, according to one shareholder. The lifeco’s shares spiked in afternoon trading Thursday and have held the gains after The Wall Street Journal reported Manulife is exploring an initial public offering or spinoff of its John Hancock unit. But Agilith Capital Principal Patrick Horan believes either decision would […]

    Annuity Industry Must Adapt to ‘Very Challenging’ Times: Raymond James Vet

    {July 20th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

    The annuities industry is facing a very challenging environment in light of the partial implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, Scott Stolz writes in ThinkAdvisor. And how the industry adjusts to what financial advisors choose to offer their clients will determine whether it survives at all, according to Stolz.  Click HERE to read the original story via Life […]

    Do Fee-Based Annuities Have a Future?

    {July 20th, 2017} by Scott Stolz

    Commission-free annuities designed for use within fee-based accounts have been available for over a decade. However, the few major distributors trying to make fee-based annuities a significant portion of their total annuity sales have struggled. Additionally, total sales in this area have languished: In 2016, Morningstar estimates that total fee-based variable annuity sales were only […]

    Panel: DOL Rule Will ‘Most Certainly’ Be Delayed

    {July 20th, 2017} by John Hilton

    Phase two of the controversial Department of Labor fiduciary rule will almost certainly be delayed beyond Jan. 1, panel convened by The American College agreed today. However, panelists cautioned, that does not mean the fiduciary standard is going away. It does mean that smaller changes could yield big dividends for the industry. For example, the […]

    National Holdings’ acquisition of broker-dealer WFG Investments and its 200 advisers called off

    {July 20th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    National Holdings’ deal to acquire WFG Investments, an independent broker-dealer, has fallen apart. Wilson Williams, the chairman and CEO of Williams Financial Group, the parent of WFG, said in an interview on Monday that selling the firm’s assets to National wound up being too “complicated.” Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

    Thrivent Turns Away DOL’s ‘Gift Horse’ in Lawsuit

    {July 20th, 2017} by Emile Hallez

    Thrivent’s lawyers were not amused by a letter from the DOL that appeared to deliver the fund provider a win in the lawsuit the company is pursuing against the agency. The plaintiff issued a response in court Monday, asking that a letter the Department of Labor sent to the judge overseeing the case, as well as a […]

    A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s Affirm Delaware Life Insurance Company Ratings

    {July 20th, 2017} by Delaware Life

    WALTHAM, Mass., July 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Insurer ratings services A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s have affirmed their financial strength ratings for Delaware Life Insurance Company and Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York(collectively, “Delaware Life”).  A.M. Best affirmed its Delaware Life financial strength rating of “A- (Excellent)” and issuer credit rating of “a- (Excellent).” The outlook […]

    These Millennial Advisors Are Killing It With Younger Clients

    {July 19th, 2017} by Angie Herbers

    For the past year or so, I’ve been mentoring a dozen or so millennial advisors (ages 25 to 30) who have launched their own independent advisory firms. These young business owners aren’t really ready yet for business consulting — or ready to pay for it — so I work with them pro bono to build […]

    10 Items In Your Life Insurance You May Not Know About, But Should

    {July 19th, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

    Life insurance policies can often bury important items in the fine print – and insurers are betting you won’t read them. But from contestability periods to accelerated death benefits, it’s in a consumer’s best interest to completely research his life insurance policy. What’s the best way to check those items off your life insurance “to do” […]

    Income in Retirement? Consider an Annuity, but Understand the Risks

    {July 19th, 2017} by Jennifer Waters

    Are there two more precious words for retirees than “guaranteed income”? Annuities can offer that constant payment stream to last throughout your golden years, but annuities come in a variety of types and structures, and they may not be for everybody, so it’s important to do your homework. In a sense, an annuity is not […]

    How to Prove Your Compensation Is Reasonable

    {July 19th, 2017} by Louis S. Harvey

    Changes in the regulatory landscape have given great prominence to the reasonableness of compensation. Reasonable compensation is a requirement of virtually every aspect of financial services, and the attention is likely to increase with every new regulation. Compensation has also been the prime target for recent litigation. After years of certifying the reasonableness of compensation, […]

    How To Evaluate Inflation-Adjusted Annuities For Your Retirement Plan

    {July 19th, 2017} by Bob Carlson

    A lifetime stream of guaranteed income is a goal for many people. Even better is to have that income-stream increase with inflation. You can have a lifetime stream of guaranteed income that increases with inflation, but you must study the options, plan, and shop carefully. An immediate annuity is the prime way to receive guaranteed […]

    NY Regulators Call on Insurers to Reveal Data Sources

    {July 19th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Insurers operating in New York State will have to reveal by July 25 whether they rely on external data sources to underwrite life insurance coverage, according to state regulators. The request for the information was initiated by Maria T. Vullo, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services in a letter last month […]

    Retirement’s Biggest Risks Come after You Reach the Summit

    {July 19th, 2017} by JOHN CONVERY, INVESTMENT ADVISER

    I love a good metaphor. That three-legged stool of retirement planning that old-timers so often refer to? Good stuff. Sure, with pensions disappearing, Social Security getting wobblier every year and personal savings often coming up short, that stool is a bit shakier these days. Still, the image makes a point. And who can resist a […]

    DOL’s RFI and Recommendation of Annuities- Interesting Angles on DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #55

    {July 19th, 2017} by Fred Reish

    This is 55th article about interesting observations concerning the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and exemptions. These articles also cover the DOL’s FAQs interpreting the regulation and exemptions and related developments in the securities laws. Click HERE to view the original article via The National Law Review. The Department of Labor’s Request for Information (RFI) on […]

    NAFA Speaker Says Impartial Conduct Standards Have Staying Power

    {July 19th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Scott McCleskey today told financial services distributors that they should prepare for the likelihood that some form of the fiduciary standard will persist, even if the current version goes away. Policymakers in Washington may eliminate the Department of Labor’s current fiduciary rule, with its provision encouraging angry retirement investors to go to court, but the principle […]

    Remarks at the Economic Club of New York

    {July 19th, 2017} by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

    SEC Chairman Jay Clayton New York, N.Y. July 12, 2017 Thank you, Terry [Lundgren], for that kind introduction.  I am delighted to speak to you here at the Economic Club of New York.  The Club has established itself as an esteemed, non-partisan forum for economic discourse.  It is an ideal place to discuss policy of […]

    Stevan Cohen Named Lincoln’s National Sales Manager for Life Insurance Solutions Distribution BGA Channel

    {July 19th, 2017} by Lincoln Financial Group

      July 5, 2017 —RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today that Stevan Cohen has been named national sales manager for its Life Insurance Solutions Distribution BGA channel, effective immediately. Cohen brings over 30 years of industry experience to the position, including 23 years with Lincoln Financial, and will report directly to Andrew […]

    Introducing Pacific Index Foundation

    {July 18th, 2017} by Pacific Life

    News Release For Immediate Release Media Contact: June Arce +1 (949) 219-6916 June.Arce@PacificLife.com   Pacific Life’s New Fixed Indexed Annuity with Simple Interest-Crediting Options and Shorter Withdrawal Charge Schedules   Introducing Pacific Index Foundation   NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–July 17, 2017—Pacific Life Insurance Company has just launched Pacific Index FoundationSM, a fixed indexed annuity that replaces its […]

    SEC’s Jay Clayton makes fiduciary duty a priority, acknowledges issue is ‘complex’

    {July 18th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    In his first major address since taking office in May, SEC chairman Jay Clayton said a fiduciary rule is one of his priorities and that he would like to work with the Labor Department on an advice standard. “With the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule now partially in effect, it is important that the commission […]

    Nationwide Announces Its First Fee-based Fixed Indexed Annuity

    {July 18th, 2017} by Nationwide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Nationwide, a leading insurance and financial services organization, announced today a new fee-based fixed indexed annuity (FIA) option. Nationwide Summit fixed indexed annuity is the first FIA in their lineup designed to better fit the needs of Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and fee-based advisors. Nationwide Summit offers capital preservation without […]

    Colorado Insurance Commissioner Salazar Leaving Post to Direct State Regulatory Agencies

    {July 18th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    DENVER – Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar is leaving the post July 24 to become the new executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Salazar’s appointment by Gov. John Hickenlooper places her at the head of nine departments, including the Division of Insurance. Hickenlooper’s office said in an email a search for a […]

    Voya considers buying a robo adviser, says BD president

    {July 18th, 2017} by Suleman Din and Andrew Shilling

    Voya won’t be left behind in the robo race, says Tom Halloran, president of its broker-dealer. “I don’t have one yet, but I want one,” Halloran says. “It’s just a matter of how and when.” Speaking with Financial Planning, Voya Financial Advisors’ Halloran says he wants the brokerage to join its competitors in the digital advice […]

    Brighthouse Kills Surrender Charges on Revamped UL

    {July 18th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    MetLife spinoff Brighthouse Financial has announced it will eliminate surrender charges on a universal life (UL) insurance policy launched two years ago. The announcement is another sign that the industry is moving toward an assets-under-management model to compensate agents and distributors. Brighthouse begins trading on NASDAQ next month. Fee-based annuities recently announced by other companies have […]

    A.M. Best Removes From Under Review With Negative Implications, Affirms Credit Ratings of Sagicor Financial Corp. Ltd. and Subs.

    {July 18th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – JULY 18, 2017 A.M. Best has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (ICR) of “a-” of the following subsidiaries of Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited (SFC) (Bermuda): Sagicor Life Inc. (St. Michael, Barbados), Sagicor General Insurance Inc. (Bridgetown, Barbados) and Sagicor Life […]

    Nationwide Launches its First Fee-Based FIA

    {July 18th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Ohio-based investment and retirement giant Nationwide Financial, seeking to offer advisors more fixed indexed annuity (FIA) choices to sell, launched its first fee-based FIA, the company announced. Nationwide is merely the latest company to jump into the fee-based annuity pool. Many competitors have done the same over the past year with the advent of a […]

    Mixed Reviews on Wagner Bill to Scrap DOL Rule

    {July 18th, 2017} by John Hilton

    New legislation proposed by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., would create a new advisory standard somewhere between fiduciary and suitability, said Rep. David Scott, D-Ga. Scott, who has worked with Wagner on various fiduciary rule alternatives, is not on board with the congresswoman’s latest bill — unveiled today during a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing. “This […]

    Manulife Could Separate From John Hancock

    {July 18th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, based on interviews with anonymous sources, that Manulife Financial Corp., which is based in Toronto, is eager to sell or spin off the company’s Boston-based John Hancock unit. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor.  Manulife acquired John Hancock for $10.4 billion in 2004. John Hancock was a major issuers […]

    Best interest is in the eye of the beholder in debate over DOL fiduciary rule

    {July 18th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The term “best interest” is subjective it seems in the debate over the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. The phrase is used by both critics and supporters of the measure to describe what they’re trying to do for the average investor. The latest example of the fluidity of the term was seen in a July 13 hearingof […]

    House committees ready two assaults on DOL fiduciary rule this week

    {July 18th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Two House panels are poised this week to launch assaults on the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule. On Wednesday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee will vote on legislation that would repeal the regulation and replace it with an advice standard based on disclosure. Also on Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee will take up a […]

    National Holdings’ acquisition of broker-dealer WFG Investments and its 200 advisers called off

    {July 18th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    National Holdings’ deal to acquire WFG Investments, an independent broker-dealer, has fallen apart. Wilson Williams, the chairman and CEO of Williams Financial Group, the parent of WFG, said in an interview on Monday that selling the firm’s assets to National wound up being too “complicated.” Click HERE to read the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required. 

    Kentucky Attorney Charged With Defrauding Insurance Clients

    {July 18th, 2017} by The Associated Press

    PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky attorney is facing charges in federal court that he defrauded clients out of their insurance settlements for $550,000. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville says James Grant King allegedly committed aggravated identity theft and wire fraud from 2007 to this year. Prosecutors say King’s clients in western Kentucky sought […]

    How Annuities Can Help Clients Live in an Accumulation Nation

    {July 18th, 2017} by Carolyn Johnson

    We live in an accumulation nation, where most Americans want more of just about everything: more monthly data on our smartphones, more upgrades when buying a car and more vacation time to spend with family and friends. Why would our clients’ mindset be any different when planning for a secure financial future? This is where […]

    Testing the Market for Fee-Based FIAs

    {July 18th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    With new fiduciary standards taking effect, carriers have lined up new fee-based fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) for independent marketing organizations and their advisors to sell. Insurance companies said they want to be prepared for the June 9 implementation date of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is designed to steer distributors away from commission-based […]

    Is Half of Fiduciary the Last of Fiduciary?

    {July 18th, 2017} by John Hilton

    Although the controversial fiduciary rule began taking effect June 9, its final disposition remains very much in doubt. In fact, the next step is a big one and will come when the government issues its response in a Texas lawsuit. That response, due by July 3, will serve as the first extensive clues on new […]

    FUNDING UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE AT TARGET? YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT: Reprint

    {July 18th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

    The following article is a reprint, originally written July 15, 2013 by Sheryl J. Moore: Throughout the past 15 years of working with universal life (UL) products, one comment in particular has been overheard far too often: “…fund this UL at [X percent] over target.” This comment is especially popular in the indexed life market, […]

    The Ohlson Group Office Closing in Celebration of Life

    {July 18th, 2017} by The Ohlson Group

    The Ohlson Group office will be closed Wednesday, July 19 for the celebration of the life of Ann E. Ohlson. Ann passed away Friday, July 14, 2017.  She was Ray Ohlson’s wife, mother of Nick and Joe, and co-founder of the Ohlson Group. The office will re-open Thursday with normal summer business hours.   The Ohlson […]

    PRESS RELEASE: Phil Graham Named Managing Director of AXIO Group

    {July 18th, 2017} by AXIO Group

      For Immediate Release: July 12, 2017 New York City, NY – AXIO Group LLC is pleased to announce that Phil Graham has joined as a Managing Director in the firm’s AXIO Insurance Services division. “We are delighted to welcome Phil as a senior member of our insurance team,” said Marc Paley, CEO of AXIO Group. “Phil […]

    The pros and cons of annuities in a retirement portfolio

    {July 17th, 2017} by Sarah O'Brien

    When it comes to variable annuities, many financial pros offer a few words of advice: Use with caution. Indeed, as complex investments that are tricky to understand, variable annuities come with risks that sometimes can outweigh the expected rewards. “The plain-vanilla ones aren’t necessarily a bad deal if they’re used the right way,” said certified […]

    DOL Rolls Over in Thrivent Suit, Asks for Stay

    {July 17th, 2017} by Emile Hallez

    The Department of Labor took a step back from its defense late last week in a lawsuit brought by Thrivent Financial, going as far as suggesting summary judgment in the plaintiff’s favor. The development follows the DOL’s recent announcement in a similar lawsuit that it does not intend to enforce a provision in the fiduciary rule’s accompanying Best […]

    Hire Up: Large Annuity Companies Creating Distribution Leadership Positions

    {July 17th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    Annuity sales are trending down, but sales and product teams are hiring up. Some of the largest annuity manufacturers are creating new leadership positions among their product and distribution teams, hoping an evolving retirement and regulatory landscape offers prepared companies a chance to grab market share. Lincoln Financial, Prudential and Franklin Templeton have all created new or expanded annuity distribution […]

    Sales of Universal Life With Long-Term Care Riders Grow

    {July 15th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Universal life insurance policies with long-term care riders may have accounted for 24% of premiums from new U.S. UL sales in 2016, according to analysts at Milliman The percentage of UL sales premiums going to policies that offer long-term care benefits increased from 22.3% in 2015, and from 16.4% in 2013. In the market for UL policies […]

    Securian Signs Sales Deal with Major ‘Association’ Brokerage

    {July 14th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Angling for a larger share of association market, Securian Financial has inked a pact with AGIA Affinity to offer its protection products to clients of the full-service brokerage and marketing company. The deal gives Securian access to more than 100 affinity groups serving more than 30 million members. The insurance on offer from Securian includes fast, easy-to-issue products that […]

    Annual Milliman survey reveals a staged approach in implementing recent regulatory changes for UL/IUL products

    {July 14th, 2017} by Milliman, Inc.

    SEATTLE, July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Results from participants in Milliman, Inc.’s annual comprehensive study of universal life (UL) and indexed universal life (IUL) issues indicate a staggered approach in implementing recent regulatory changes. Principle-based reserves (PBR) may be implemented as early as January 1, 2017, and 27 survey participants reported they expect to implement PBR for all of […]

    ACLI Backs Wagner’s DOL Fiduciary Rule Replacement

    {July 14th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The American Council of Life Insurers is doing what it can to help Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., find support for her proposal for replacing the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee held a hearing on Wagner’s discussion draft Thursday. Click HERE to view the original story via ThinkAdvisor. Mark […]

    Break-Away Advisors Drawn to RIA Consolidators

    {July 14th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Advisors who flee the captive channel for the independent channel often end up at broker-dealers like LPL Financial and Raymond James, but it’s the fee-based consolidators of investment advisors that are scoring even bigger. Consolidators, sometimes known as aggregators, provide technology, bookkeeping, budgeting, operations, marketing and compliance services to fee-based registered investment advisors (RIAs). They […]

    Genworth and Oceanwide Provide Update on CFIUS Application and Completed Reinsurance Agreements Related to the Proposed Transaction

    {July 13th, 2017} by Genworth Financial

    RICHMOND, Va., July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. (Oceanwide) today reported that they have withdrawn and re-filed their joint voluntary notice with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States(CFIUS) a second time to provide CFIUS more time to review and discuss the proposed transaction between Genworth and […]

    Safe Money Broadcasting Acquires Independent Consumer Financial Education Website

    {July 13th, 2017} by Safe Money

    SUMMERLAND KEY, FL – July 13, 2017 – Emerging Internet and media publishing company, Safe Money Broadcasting (“SMB”) has acquired SafeMoney.com, a consumer education site on safe retirement strategies using guaranteed insurance products. SMB provides agents, financial advisors, and brokers with independent publishing and insurance marketing solutions to grow their businesses. With the acquisition, SafeMoney.com […]

    TIAA Turns 100 Amid Retirement Market Evolution

    {July 12th, 2017} by John Manganaro

    Ron Pressman is TIAA CEO for Institutional Financial Services, and he’s also a bit of an amateur historian. During a recent conversation with PLANADVISER, Pressman reflected on his organization’s upcoming 100th anniversary. As he noted, the company was originally founded in early 1918 by the well-known steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who died just a year […]

    WINK’S SUBSCRIBERS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE IN THE POST-DOL RULE ERA

    {July 12th, 2017} by Press Release

    — FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION —  NEWS RELEASE   WINK’S SUBSCRIBERS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE IN THE POST-DOL RULE ERA Wink, Inc.’s AnnuitySpecs Analysis Tool Reveals Key Enhancements   Des Moines, Iowa. July 11, 2017—  Staying true to their vital mission statement, “To provide the best darned competitive intelligence to the life insurance and annuity industries,” Wink, […]

    5 Top States for Annuity Payment Growth

    {July 11th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Overall U.S. annuity payments may have fallen in 2016, but the numbers looked better in some states than in others. Analysts at the Center for Insurance Policy and Research, an arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, give a state-by-state annuity market reckoning in their latest insurance industry snapshot report. Click HERE to view the original […]

    With fiduciary rule in place, two broker-dealers cut adviser compensation

    {July 11th, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

    Two prominent broker-dealers are cutting bonuses and payouts to advisers, in some cases because of the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule. LPL Financial is eliminating a “general securities bonus” applicable to the volume of equities and fixed income securities traded by an adviser, according to two sources who asked not to be named. Click […]

    Rep. Wagner drafts bill to kill DOL fiduciary rule, replace it with best-interest standard

    {July 11th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    Legislation written by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., would eliminate the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule and replace it with a best-interest standard for brokers giving retail investment advice. In Ms. Wagner’s bill, brokers would have to provide recommendations that “reflect reasonable diligence, care, skill and prudence,” according to the legislative text. They also would have to […]

    How DOL questions foreshadow fiduciary rule’s future

    {July 11th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

    The fate of the remaining parts of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule are foreshadowed in the types of questions the agency is asking in the request for information it recently released. The queries indicate that the agency likely will streamline the regulation — which requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Sammons Financial Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

    {July 11th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OLDWICK – JULY 06, 2017 A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of Midland National Life Insurance Company (Midland National) and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American) (both domiciled in West Des Moines, IA). […]

    Fiduciary-Rule Review Zeroes In on Industry Costs, Liabilities

    {July 11th, 2017} by Lisa Beilfuss

    The Trump administration in recent days has raised questions about the impact of the fiduciary rule’s compliance costs and legal liabilities, a sign that the rule meant to protect retirement savers from conflicted advice may survive a review without some of its primary enforcement provisions. In a legal brief this past week, the Labor Department […]

    Untangling DOL & The Fiduciary Rule

    {July 11th, 2017} by Scott McCleskey

    The debate over whether and how to extend fiduciary responsibility to those who provide investment advice to retirement savers has been a protracted one, rife with mid-course corrections, delays, and court challenges. In spite of the long and public nature of the process, many firms and advisers are unsure of their obligations or even unaware […]

    The Truth About Income Riders

    {July 11th, 2017} by Rich Lane

    Many conversations about fixed annuities now lead to talk about adding income riders. Your clients may even think of adding an income rider to an annuity as the best of both worlds. They may look forward to getting income from the income rider, along with accumulation of assets from the underlying indexed annuity, or traditional […]

    MetLife Board of Directors Approves Spin-Off of Brighthouse Financial

    {July 11th, 2017} by MetLife

    July 5, 2017 — NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced that its board of directors has approved the spin-off of Brighthouse Financial, subject to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) declaration that the Brighthouse Financial, Inc. Registration Statement on Form 10 is effective. In addition, all necessary state insurance regulatory approvals have been […]

    DeMinico to Run Independent Distribution at AXA

    {July 11th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    AXA Equitable Financial Services has hired Fred DeMinico to be the head of independent distribution for life insurance in the United States, in an effort to increase sales through banks, wirehouses and broker general agents. DeMinico has been a national accounts vice president at John Hancock Financial Services, a Boston-based vision of Manulife Financial Corp. […]

    A non-fiduciary’s guide to the DoL rule

    {July 11th, 2017} by Bob Veres

    Person A: Pssst. Hey, you. Person B: What? Where are you? A: Over here in the shadows. Come on over closer to this alley. B: Okay… What can I do for you? A: A bunch of us sales organizations are trying to figure out how to comply with these new DoL fiduciary regulations. We all […]

    SEC Clears MetLife to Complete Brighthouse Spinoff

    {July 10th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today provided the last approval MetLife Inc. needs to turn Brighthouse Financial Inc. into a separate company. MetLife plans to spin Brighthouse off by giving shares of Brighthouse common stock to MetLife shareholders. The SEC has now declared the registration statement for that Brighthouse stock distribution effective. Managers of Nasdaq […]

    How Annuity Distributors are Responding to DOL Rule

    {July 10th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

    The first phases of the long-awaited fiduciary rule have kicked in, but it remains business as usual for many annuity distributors. A review of compensation policies regarding annuities for some of the largest distributors shows that many have kept policies the same. That could be due, in part, to uncertainty about the rule’s fate. President […]

    Want to chime in? DoL seeks yet more fiduciary input; may delay final phase-in

    {July 10th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

    Got a fiduciary wish list? The Department of Labor wants to hear from you. The agency announced it is seeking public input on whether and how it should amend the fiduciary rule, including postponing implementation of the regulation’s remaining components, currently set for the Jan. 1. It’s the latest maneuver in an ongoing struggle over […]

    Zurich practicing what it preaches on gender equality

    {July 10th, 2017} by Sam Boyer

    In what has traditionally been a man’s world, some insurers are flipping the script. Zurich was, in February, named one of the 2017 Top Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives for the second-straight year. Forty-five percent of its board is female. It runs, among its employee resource groups, a Women’s […]

    National Life Group Helps Americans Be Financially Independent for Tomorrow

    {July 10th, 2017} by National Life Group

    National Life Group member company Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, introduces the Financially Independent for Tomorrow (FIT) series of single premium deferred annuities (SPDA)[1] and Guaranteed Lifetime Income Riders to help Americans build, grow and protect their retirement savings. “With Americans living longer in retirement, providing more innovative savings solutions is paramount,” commented Scott […]

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Insurance Industry Lost 2,100 Jobs in June

    {July 10th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    WASHINGTON – The insurance industry lost 2,100 jobs in June 2017 over May 2017, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released July 7. The decrease was 0.08% for June 2017 over May 2017 and runs counter to high growth figures recorded within the past year. Small insurance industry job losses of 600 and […]

    A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of AXA Insurance Company

    {July 10th, 2017} by Best's News Service

    Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” of AXA Insurance Company (AXA Insurance) (New York, NY). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. AXA Insurance is a U.S. subsidiary of AXA S.A. (AXA) [OTC:AXAHY; CS:FP]. The ratings of AXA […]

    NCOIL Meeting to Address Concerns Over How the NAIC Adopts Insurance Regulations

    {July 10th, 2017} by Thomas Harman

    MANASQUAN, N.J. – The National Conference of Insurance Legislators will continue discussions of its concerns about how the National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopts changes to insurance regulations without lawmaker involvement. The talks are part of three days of NCOIL meetings set for July 13-15 in Chicago. On July 14, the group’s NCOIL-NAIC Dialogue panel […]

    3 Big DOL Fiduciary Pain Points for Advisors

    {July 10th, 2017} by Emily Zulz

    Financial advisors see the path ahead with the Department of Labor fiduciary rule as requiring some “elbow grease.” A new report from Aite Group, DOL Fiduciary Rule: Survey on Financial Advisor Sentiment, focuses on the public debate that continues regarding the rule and on how financial advisors feel about the challenges they face as the rule […]

    SEC Moving Forward on Fiduciary Rule, Clayton Says

    {July 10th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton on Tuesday signaled that the agency is moving ahead on a coordinated fiduciary rule with the Department of Labor. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, told Clayton during the Tuesday hearing held by the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government regarding the agency’s fiscal 2018 budget that […]

    14 Reasons Millennial Women May Never Make It to Retirement

    {July 10th, 2017} by Marlene Y. Satter

    Millennial women, beware. Although your mothers and grandmothers may have made swift strides in health, well-being and economic equality compared to their predecessors, you are actually regressing. And it’s going to be a good trick if you can save your way into retirement — assuming you live long enough to retire at all, that is. […]

    Thrivent Urges Judgment on DOL Rule Anti-Arbitration Provision

    {July 10th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    The Department of Labor has been on a winning streak in litigation over its controversial fiduciary rule. But that could soon come to an end if a U.S. district court sides with Thrivent Financial in a complaint the insurer lodged against the DOL last September. Click HERE to read the original story via Life Annuity […]

    Fate of FIAs Rests With DOL Rule Retooling

    {July 8th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    Could this week’s Department of Labor’s request for information on the fiduciary rule signal an opening for the return of fixed indexed annuity (FIA) sales under a less stringent exemption? The possibility gives policy analysts like Judi Carsrud, government affairs director for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, hope that advisors will get […]

    Nationwide, Northwestern, USAA Among Top 50 Employers

    {July 8th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

    Four major life-annuity manufacturers are listed among the 50 Best Places to Work in 2017, reports a 2nd annual survey published by Indeed, a search engine for U.S. job listings. The four insurers — Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, USAA and Ameriprise Financial — merited spots in the top 50 based on reviews posted by Indeed visitors […]

    Life Insurance: Not Always About Death

    {July 7th, 2017} by South Florida Times (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

    Many Americans view life insurance policies as a key part of their financial planning. But they tend to think in terms of how the insurance will benefit their survivors after they are in the grave – not how it might benefit themselves while they are very much alive. If that’s the way they see it, […]

    DOL Standing by Fiduciary Rule in Court

    {July 7th, 2017} by Joe Morris

    The Labor Department has reaffirmed its backing of the fiduciary rule in court, filing papers defending it in the long-running challenge by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other plaintiffs.  Click HERE to view the original story via Life Annuity Specialist.  In the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals brief this week, lawyers from DOL and […]

    A.M. BestTV: Sell to Millennials in Ways They Want to Buy, Says Vantis Life CEO

    {July 6th, 2017} by AM Best

    June 20, 2017 08:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In this A.M.BestTV episode, Peter Tedone, president and chief executive officer, Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), said the company is developing new ways to reach younger customers through the distribution channels that they prefer to be reached. Click on http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=tedone617 to view the entire […]

    Wink has a new home!

    {July 6th, 2017} by Wink RockStars

    The Wink office is now located at 5 Greenwood Terrace, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Please note: The Wink team will be available intermittently Wednesday, July 12th – Friday, July 14th, 2017, while moving office locations.  We will resume regular business hours on Monday, July 17th,  2017 from 8 AM – 5 PM, Central Time. 

    MetLife seeks new delay in ‘too big to fail’ case to wait for Trump

    {July 6th, 2017} by Lisa Lambert

    MetLife Inc (MET.N) on Thursday asked for another delay in the long-running case over whether the U.S. government should have labeled it as “too big to fail,” warning that the Trump administration may want to withdraw the government’s appeal. A U.S. Appeals court in May granted a 60-day abeyance in the appeal filed by the […]

    The World’s 5 Fastest-Growing Life Insurance Markets

    {July 6th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    The people of Earth spent the equivalent of about $2.6 trillion on premiums for life insurance products, including annuities and other life-based savings products, in 2016, according to analysts at Swiss Re. World life premium spending was 2.5% higher than in 2015. Life spending accounted for about 3.5% of the world’s $75 trillion gross domestic […]

    New York Regulator Seeks Details From Life Insurers Using Algorithms to Issue Policies

    {July 6th, 2017} by Leslie Scism

    New York’s top financial regulator is investigating life insurers’ use of big data, complicating the industry’s efforts to boost sales by forgoing medical examinations in favor of algorithms for sizing up risk. In the past few years, more life insurers have been waiving requirements for blood and urine samples when selling life insurance. Instead, these firms are […]

    Who the winners are in the implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule

    {July 6th, 2017} by Michael Spellacy

    I was helping my son with his homework last week, and we were talking about the meaning behind Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” It was fascinating and honestly refreshing to hear his interpretation of the poem’s meaning — and the logic behind how he arrived there. His studies aside, I found striking similarities between […]

    Why Do Index Annuities Need Volatility Controlled Strategies?

    {July 6th, 2017} by K.C. Wingert

    The Simple answer is: They Don’t! Index annuities, by design, are volatility controlled. The worst indexed interest rate a consumer can receive is ZERO. By its’ very nature, a Fixed Index Annuity is designed so a consumer won’t lose money when the market index that their interest rate is linked to is negative. This is […]

    Zurich Offers to Buy Back Some Variable Annuities

    {July 6th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Zurich American Life Insurance Company is offering to buy back some of its annuity contracts. The offer affects holders of Farmers Variable Annuity I contracts with in-force guaranteed retirement income benefit riders, or GRIB riders. Click HERE to view the original article via ThinkAdvisor. The Schaumburg, Illinois-based unit of Zurich Insurance Group announced the offer […]

    Should I … Report elder abuse?

    {July 6th, 2017} by Ingrid Case

    Older Americans are so often victims of financial abuse that the National Council on Aging estimates it costs the elderly $36.5 billion annually. Sometimes, a financial planner is the first person to notice and they must decide whether to report the problem to the authorities. Making the call is simple when the thief isn’t related […]

    DOL: Opinion Letters Are Back!

    {July 6th, 2017} by Tammy McCutchen and Lisa A. Schreter

    On June 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it has reinstated the issuance of Opinion Letters by its Wage & Hour Division and unveiled a new website to guide employers and employees in requesting an Opinion Letter. The agency also redesigned the website housing its Opinion Letters and other sub-regulatory guidance. […]

    Voya Financial Schedules Announcement of Second Quarter 2017 Results

    {July 6th, 2017} by Voya Financial

    NEW YORK, July 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it will host a webcast and conference call on its second quarter 2017 earnings on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET). Voya will issue a press release announcing the company’s financial results for the second […]

    5 Worst States for Insurance Producer Fines

    {July 5th, 2017} by Allison Bell

    Some states hit insurance producers with a lot more fines than others, and some are more likely to impose a fine than to get a producer to pay any ill-gotten money back to the customers. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners gives a little information about trends in producer fines in volume one of its […]

    Operation Clean Up Easter Lake

    {July 5th, 2017} by Jamie Johnson

    The Wink team joined Polk County Conservation and the Easter Lake Watershed Project for a clean-up day at Easter Lake on June 23rd. Easter Lake is a man-made reservoir located within the city limits of Des Moines, Iowa. The lake was constructed in 1967 on the site of the last operating coal mine in Polk […]

    5 takeaways from women leaders in the industry

    {July 5th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

    A panel of female executives in the financial advice business on Monday discussed their unique experiences in the industry during the Women’s Forum: Focus on Leadership, co-sponsored by InvestmentNews and the Women’s Initiatives Network. Here are some of the themes that emerged during that wide-ranging discussion, which took place in New York: Embrace challenges and opportunity, […]

    Trump Administration, in U.S. Appeals Court, Rebuffs Challenge to ‘Fiduciary Rule’

    {July 5th, 2017} by Mike Scarcella, The National Law Journal

    The U.S. Labor Department late Monday urged a federal appeals court to largely uphold Obama-era regulations that confronted and sought to curtail conflicts of interest in the retirement-investment market. The government’s brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the first filing from Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta that addressed the so-called “fiduciary […]

    In Fiduciary Rule, How Do You Define ‘Reasonable’ Compensation?

    {July 5th, 2017} by Robert Bloink, and William H. Byrnes

    The Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule transition period is well underway—meaning that advisors are now bound by the rule’s impartial conduct standards. While some elements of that equation are relatively straightforward, defining the concept of “reasonable” compensation can be tricky.  Click HERE to read the original story via ThinkAdvisor. For this reason, advisors may […]

    Amy Finkelstein’s Deep Dive into Annuities & Insurance

    {July 5th, 2017} by Jane Wollman Rusoff

    If you think of academic research as initiating a circle of influence, you’ll understand the impact of Amy Finkelstein, Ph.D., on the retirement industry. The John & Jennie S. MacDonald professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an expert on the nexus of insurance markets and consumer behavior. Click HERE to read […]

    Trump’s DOL Backs Fiduciary Rule in Legal Brief

    {July 5th, 2017} by John Hilton

    Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta failed to take any kind of tough line on the controversial fiduciary rule in the DOL’s first substantive comments since he was confirmed April 27. Filed Monday in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the Department of Labor’s 135-page response almost uniformly defended the entire rulemaking process under […]

    Des Moines Spurs Insurance Tech Start-Ups

    {July 5th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    At first glance, start-up companies with names like FindBob, InsuranceMenu, ViewSpection and LifeDB would seem to have a closer connection with Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley than with Des Moines, Iowa. But that would be wrong. Each start-up owes a debt of gratitude to the Global Insurance Accelerator, or GIA, a program offering seed capital, […]

    Regulators Seek Fresh Input on Fiduciary Rule

    {July 5th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

    The financial services industry will have 15 days from tomorrow to submit comments on the extension of the applicability date of provisions of the fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor has announced in a request for information (RFI). In addition, the industry will have 30 days from tomorrow to submit comments regulators could use as […]

    Five Ways to Avoid Running Out of Money in Retirement

    {July 5th, 2017} by Lisa Brown

    One of the biggest fears many have about retirement is running out of money. Here are five tips to mitigate this fear and improve your chances of success: Consider buying long-term care insurance. A major reason most people fear running out of money in retirement is an unknown major expense, which is primarily the cost […]

    New Florida Law Affects Life Policyholders Who Want to Change Policies

    {July 5th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Monday a bill that will require life insurance companies to advise policyholders to consult with a licensed insurance agent or financial advisor before making changes to their policies. The Florida state legislature passed H.B. 1007, a bill designed to regulate how insurers help fight insurance fraud in the state, on […]

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