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Industry Articles

Labor’s Alexander Acosta and SEC’s Jay Clayton tell lawmakers they will work together on fiduciary rule

{June 27th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton told lawmakers on Tuesday that their agencies would work together on investment advice regulation. In separate appearances before Senate panels, the two regulators stressed the cooperation that Republican legislators and opponents of the DOL fiduciary rule are demanding. Click HERE to view the […]

How the Fiduciary Rule Affects Ordinary Clients

{June 27th, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

The DOL Fiduciary Rule is at least partially now in effect, and, until now, the overarching question has focused how the new rule will impact financial advisors. But hold the phone – shouldn’t the real question be how the new rule impacts the ordinary investor? The answer to that question is a resounding “yes,” especially […]

3 Alternative Ways To Hedge Against A Market Downturn

{June 27th, 2017} by David Goodboy, StreetAuthority

What an ideal time to be in the market! Long-term stock investors are reaping the benefits of a massive, eight-year-long bull market. Driven by ultra-low interest rates, fiscal stimulus, economic growth, and a pro-business White House, equities just keep pushing higher. No one knows how long these glory days will last. Investors are scrambling to […]

Fewer Advisors Breaking Away, Report Finds

{June 27th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Investment advisor representatives, financial advisors or financial advisories who leave or break away from their captive channel to start new in the independent channel is lower than widely reported, a new analysis found. When only the “successful” advisors and brokers — those who weren’t fired but left on their own accord — are counted, the […]

Comments Frame SEC Fiduciary Debate

{June 27th, 2017} by John Hilton

Comments are pouring into the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the industry’s favorite topic: the fiduciary standard. The SEC reports 41 comments were received as of Tuesday. New chairman Jay Clayton penned a June 1 public statement staking a claim to any fiduciary standard. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 directed the SEC to produce […]

MassMutual Leads in Whole Life in 1Q 2017

{June 27th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

MassMutual Life finished as the top seller of whole life insurance in the first quarter 2017, industry tracker Wink’s Sales & Market Report said this week. MassMutual was the top whole life seller in 2016. In the first quarter, the company generated new sales of $142 million and a market share of 15 percent, said […]

Insurance Channel Sending Scores of Advisors to IBDs

{June 27th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Large percentages of financial advisors recruited to independent broker-dealers (IBD) are as likely to come from the insurance distribution channel as they are from big wirehouses, a financial industry expert said. IBDs Kestra Financial and ING Financial Partners each recruit about 30 percent of their advisors from the insurance channel, said Chip Roame, managing partner […]

Insurers Report Minor Issues From DOL Rule

{June 27th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Insurance company executives reported minor disruptions Thursday to agents and distributors two weeks into the first phase of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Sales of annuity products were still “flowing in” from agents selling annuities into retirement plans, said Ray Wasilewski, chief operating officer, Life Companies, for FBL Financial Group. FBL is a top […]

5 Ways Washington Is Choking Your Annuity Business

{June 22nd, 2017} by Allison Bell

If you sell or market annuities, you may face a frustrating problem. This should be the best market for retirement savings products ever. Employment is pretty good. More than 15,000 U.S. adults are turning 50 every weekday. At least about 3,000 of those adults probably earn enough that they should be flooding into the offices […]

Lincoln Installs New Leadership at Life Unit

{June 22nd, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Lincoln Financial Group has turned to a company veteran to lead its life insurance unit. Randal J. Freitag, the company’s CFO since 2011, assumes the helm of Lincoln’s life insurance business, providing strategic oversight at the senior management committee level. Mike Burns, head of the life unit, will continue to manage its day-to-day operations, including […]

Should You Jump on the Buffer Annuity Bandwagon?

{June 21st, 2017} by Robert Bloink, and William H. Byrnes

As the annuity marketplace evolves in reaction to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, more and more insurance carriers are jumping onto the buffer annuity bandwagon as the popular products continue to gain traction with clients.  While this is clearly the case, it’s more important than ever that advisors take a step back and evaluate […]

Survey: A Tough Year for Insurance and Annuities

{June 21st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

The focus on fees and taxes is expected to make life difficult over the next year for life and annuity products in the eyes of financial planners, a new survey on investing trends found. Usage or recommendations of fixed, variable and indexed annuities fell by several percentage points from 2016 to 2017, the survey of […]

4 Ways to Overcome Media-Driven Annuity Misconceptions

{June 17th, 2017} by Chris Conklin

How many of you have seen the national television ad where a financial advisor looks straight into the camera and says he would never sell an annuity to a client? Not only does he say he’ll never sell an annuity, but he also goes on to provide this rationale: annuities are “confusing” and could subject […]

Lincoln Financial Group Launches “Informed Advisor” Blog

{June 14th, 2017} by Lincoln Financial Group

RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today the launch of the “Informed Advisor” blog. The new content series, housed in the Industry Professional section of LincolnFinancial.com, is designed to provide advisors with a range of insights and information to help address clients’ income planning needs in light of the changing regulatory, investment, and […]

The First Time I Learned About An Annuity: BLOG

{June 14th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

The first time I discovered I had any potential connection to an annuity was about a decade ago when my father spoke to me about either taking a lump sum buyout or annuity payments from his former employer. My father was retiring. Like millions of people his age, he faced a choice: take the lump […]

What Americans Will Miss Most When They Retire

{June 14th, 2017} by Jim Poolman

One tool that may help you do a better job of meeting the needs of retirement planning prospects is understanding how they see their future selves. What do you imagine when you think of your own dream retirement? Are you sitting on a beach sipping a cool beverage, or learning a new skill like tennis? […]

More Than 500 Annuity Customers Showcase What Makes Their Lives Great

{June 14th, 2017} by Great American Insurance Group

April 19, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great American Insurance Group received more than 500 submissions during a six-month campaign that invited its annuity customers to submit photos of what makes their lives great. “Our goal isn’t to just sell annuities, but to help our customers achieve financial security, so they can do […]

Census Bureau Starts New Annuity Data Stream

{June 14th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Only 4.6% of U.S. households told census takers they had annuities or trusts in 2013, but those households had an average of $180,271 in annuity and trust assets each. The median value of trust and annuity assets was $60,000. That means that half of the households with annuities and trusts had less than $60,000 in […]

Buying mom an annuity was the right choice — even at 89

{June 14th, 2017} by Laurence Kotlikoff

 My mom is 97 and 8 months. (As with infants, every month is a big deal at her age.) Apart from the pads of her feet hurting when she walks (due to loss of fatty tissue), she’s in good shape, including mentally. I figure she’ll make it beyond 100, knock on wood.Eight years ago, when […]

An Absent Chairman Is the Least of Anbang’s Problems

{June 14th, 2017} by Nisha Gopalan

(Bloomberg Gadfly) — As a Chinese firm that came from nowhere and transformed into one of the nation’s largest insurers, Anbang Insurance Group Co.’s tumble from grace was perhaps predictable. China Inc.’s history is littered with fallen businessmen, even ones that were politically well connected. Caijing Magazine said late Tuesday that Anbang Chairman Wu Xiaohui […]

An Annuity Can Help Restore Your Confidence in Retirement

{June 14th, 2017} by Gerry Dougherty

Sometimes we forget just how fragile a nest egg can be. When the economy tanked in 2008, retirees watched in horror as U.S. markets suffered historic losses. The Dow declined by more than 50%, its biggest drop since the Great Depression of 1929. The oldest Baby Boomers, who were closing in on retirement age just […]

Annexus Partners with Highland Capital on Exclusive Life Insurance Distribution Opportunity

{June 14th, 2017} by Annexus

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Annexus, a leading designer of fixed indexed annuities and indexed universal life insurance (IUL), announced today a new distribution partnership with Highland Capital Brokerage. The partnership adds a new distribution opportunity for Balanced Growth Advantage IUL (BGA), designed by Annexus and issued by Minnesota Life Insurance Company. “The indexed crediting strategies in Annexus’ […]

Retirement Confidence with Annuities

{June 14th, 2017} by NAFA

As an industry professional, you understand the features and benefits of annuities, and are working to ensure these powerful products remain easily accessible to consumers regardless of their net worth. With so many regulatory and legislative issues on the table pertaining to annuities, it’s never been more crucial that you become active in the annuity […]

This Is the Basic Tax Rule for Annuity Payments

{June 14th, 2017} by TaxFactsOnline

The basic rule for taxing annuity payments (i.e., “amounts received as an annuity”) is designed to return the purchaser’s investment in equal tax-free amounts over the payment period (e.g., the annuitant’s life expectancy or a guaranteed certain period of time) and to tax the balance of each payment received as earnings. Each payment, therefore, is […]

A Victory for Florida Life Insurance Consumers

{June 14th, 2017} by Robin S. Weinberger and Peter N. Katz

The Florida legislature recently passed H.B. 1007, a comprehensive bill intended to combat insurance fraud. One important provision of the bill requires that insurance consumers be advised of their options before making changes to a life insurance policy. The new law now awaits the governor’s signature or, unless vetoed, automatically becomes law 15 days after […]

Retirement Seminar Alert: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (or Dinner or Brunch)

{June 14th, 2017} by Allison Bell

A team of insurance regulators might reduce bias against lunch in annuity seminar warning notices. The team could replace a warning against “‘free lunch’ seminars’” in an official sample notice with a warning against “‘free meal’ seminars.” The team — the Promoting Appropriate Sales Practices in Life Insurance and Annuities Working Group — began working on […]

Female Breadwinners in Need of Financial Advice

{June 14th, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

Data shows that a burgeoning number of U.S. women are either the primary, or co-primary, household breadwinner these days – albeit reluctantly so. A closer look at the numbers shows women have high degree of angst over taking financial responsibility. They are also unprepared to inherit wealth or pass their own wealth on to loved […]

A Fiduciary Rule For Annuities?

{June 14th, 2017} by Ben Mattlin

Annuity suitability regulations could come to mirror the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, an industry official said Tuesday. An NAIC committee is looking at whether annuity suitability rules in the states should be adjusted in light of the best interest standard—and whether that makes sense, Ted Nickel, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners […]

State Regulators Study Fiduciary Rule Standard for Annuity Sales

{June 14th, 2017} by Greg Shulas

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has formed a working group to examine the possibility of state regulators using key principles of the DOL fiduciary rule for annuity sales. That’s according to an article published Tuesday in InvestmentNews.  Click HERE to view the original story via Life Annuity Specialist. The state insurance regulators are paying […]

Americans Look to Family to Help Fund Their Retirement: Survey

{June 14th, 2017} by Michael S. Fischer

Having enough money to live in retirement is a concern of Americans across all age groups, but whom are they counting on to fill retirement savings shortfalls? New research by Natixis Global Asset Management shows that 78% of Americans think it is up to them to fund their retirement, but 77% say they are looking […]

Trust Planning with Annuities

{June 14th, 2017} by Chris Price

Despite its value to a client, trust planning is not widely understood, even by some insurance advisors. Knowing why and how to engage in trust planning can bring value to your clients and to your business.  Not only can trusts help solve clients’ wealth transfer and taxation concerns, but the implementation process can also help […]

What You Need to Know About Annuity Classes

{June 14th, 2017} by The National Underwriter Company

Classifying things into types is always a tricky business. Consider a red Chevrolet Corvette. What is it? THIS THINKADVISOR STORY IS EXCERPTED FROM: Well, that depends upon the type or types of classifications we’re using. It’s a motor vehicle. But what kind of motor vehicle? Well, it has four wheels, so that we can use […]

Annuities Offer Stability, Lump Sum Takers Say

{June 14th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Many people who opt for an annuity are happy with them, but what of people who chose the lump sum over an annuity? Do they have any regrets about choosing the lump sum? Turns out that many lump sum recipients, if not always a majority, agree that annuities provide plenty of benefits, MetLife’s Paycheck or […]

Women’s Worth

{June 14th, 2017} by Jamie Ohl

Women often find themselves assuming the role of primary caretaker for their families – ensuring the well-being of everyone else in their lives. It is important for them to also take care of themselves by prioritizing their own financial wellbeing. The good news is that women understand the importance of saving, recognizing that unexpected events […]

SEC Should Have Been The Agency To Deal With Fiduciary, Ex-Chief Says

{June 14th, 2017} by John Hilton

WASHINGTON –Former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Paul S. Atkins expressed disappointment this morning with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s initial handling of the controversial fiduciary rule. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month, Acosta announced that he would permit the fiduciary rule to take effect, which happened at 11:59 p.m. June 9. This week’s agenda […]

Jackson National Gives Pimco Total Return the Boot, Welcomes DoubleLine

{June 14th, 2017} by Janet Levaux

Jackson National Life is switching fund managers for its core $3.5 billion fixed income offering. In a regulatory filing, the variable annuity provider said Pimco’s Total Return bond strategy is out and DoubleLine Capital’s Core Fixed Income Fund is in, according to a Reuters report. Jackson’s medium-term fixed-income investment option is to be renamed JNL/DoubleLine […]

ACT II – Pulling Back the Curtain on Brokerage – Dept. of Labor Fiduciary Rule Impacts Distribution.

{June 14th, 2017} by Kim Purnell

As the industry moves forward into January 2018, it will be important to distinguish the difference between traditional Independent Marketing Organizations (IMO) and the emerging BICE Distribution Partners IMO/FMO (BDP). Remember, not every Independent Marketing Organization will be considered a Financial Institution and have BICE Exemption designation from the US Department of Labor. If your agency […]

WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ANNUITIES? Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ANNUITIES? August 18, 2015, by Sheryl J. Moore June marked the second annual commencement of National Annuity Awareness Month- a month dedicated to educating consumers about annuities, their benefits, and features.  Since I was out on maternity leave last June, this was my first opportunity to be involved in the […]

I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ANNUITIES – YOU SHOULD TOO! Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ANNUITIES – YOU SHOULD TOO May 19, 2015 by Sheryl J. Moore WHY PEOPLE NEED ANNUITIES I recall well my entrance into the life insurance market. Nearly 20 years ago, I was a single mother with three babies in diapers; wondering what career I could hold in Des Moines, Iowa […]

HAVE INDEXED ANNUITIES BECOME TOO COMPLICATED?!? Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

HAVE INDEXED ANNUITIES BECOME TOO COMPLICATED?!? December 27, 2016 by Sheryl J. Moore A recent Investment News article highlighted commentary from myself on how indexed annuities have become “unnecessarily complex.” I stand by that comment. Now, don’t get me wrong- I love indexed annuities, and I want to see the product line continue to thrive. […]

INDEXED ANNUITY GLWBS: A DECADE OF CHANGE Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

INDEXED ANNUITY GLWBS: A DECADE OF CHANGE March 29, 2016 by Sheryl J. Moore Indexed annuity Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits are nearly as old as my business! Happy birthday, IA GLWBs!   It has now been more than a decade since I developed the concept of offering Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits on fixed and indexed […]

To 1035 or not to 1035? Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

JUNE 6, 2013 To 1035 or not to 1035? Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about whether, or not, I have concerns about 1035 exchanges in the current interest rate environment. Why? Maybe you missed the memo, but you are currently selling annuities in the worst interest rate environment ever. Ever! A 1035 […]

DON’T ASSUME PROSPECTS KNOW ANNUITIES, reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

DON’T ASSUME PROSPECTS KNOW ANNUITIES April 21, 2013 by Sheryl J. Moore By Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of Moore Market Intelligence, an indexed product resource in Des Moines, IA.   I was speaking to a health insurance agent today who was looking for information on life insurance and annuities. He was genuinely interested […]

ARE ANNUITIES DOOMED IN 2017? Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

One of my most memorable years in the annuity business was 2008. So much was happening: the ‘Dateline Debacle,’ SEC’s proposed rule 151A, the market’s collapse. It was a challenging year! Many are predicting that 2017 will be just as challenging. The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) proposed fiduciary rule alone threatens to weaken the annuity […]

VALUATION OF MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

VALUATION OF MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS March 1, 2013 by Sheryl J. Moore The past four or five years have been a major struggle for distributors in the life insurance business. The collapse of our nation’s economy, while catastrophic, was only the first domino in a vast Rube Goldberg Machine of economic destruction. Capital became scarce as […]

Need an Rx for retirement? The doctor is in. (Reprint)

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

It took me a long time to get my “doctorate in lifetime income.” The journey commenced once I reviewed my retirement account statement after the dot-com bubble burst. I felt absolutely nauseous. Losing money did not sit well with my stomach. If a 401(k) had caused me to retch so violently, what retirement product could […]

CONSUMERS DEMAND INDEXED ANNUITIES Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

CONSUMERS DEMAND INDEXED ANNUITIES October 31, 2012 by Sheryl J. Moore by Sheryl J. Moore Just fifteen years ago, I was hard-pressed to find any information about indexed annuities in the public domain. Nothing was ever found in the newspaper or at the library; not even on that confounded thing they called “the internet.” It […]

INDEXED ANNUITIES: BACK TO THE BASICS Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

INDEXED ANNUITIES: BACK TO THE BASICS July 31, 2012 by Sheryl J. Moore For years, indexed annuities have provided a strong value proposition to those saving for retirement: guaranteed safety of principal while having the ability to earn limited interest based off of the performance of a stock market index. This must appeal to at […]

A SOURCE OF HEADACHES: “SOURCE OF FUNDS” Reprint

{June 14th, 2017} by Sheryl J. Moore

A SOURCE OF HEADACHES: “SOURCE OF FUNDS” July 16, 2013 by Sheryl J. Moore One of today’s most widely-miscommunicated issues is the fixed annuity market’s “Source of Funds” matter. The issue? It’s figuring out where the prospective purchaser of a fixed or indexed annuity is getting his or her money from, so they can use […]

Finra CEO Robert Cook keeps low profile — for now

{June 13th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

From the day he was named president and CEO of Finra, Robert W. Cook has spent most of his time under the radar. Now, some 10 months later, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s 3,800 member firms and 633,800 registered reps are waiting patiently for Mr. Cook to reveal exactly how he intends to make […]

Defining ‘Reasonable Comp’ Under the DOL Rule

{June 13th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

The best way for financial advisors to think about “reasonable compensation” in the fiduciary sense is to imagine a scatter graph. And the best place to be on that graph is the dot in the middle of the pack of other dots. Outliers on either side – high or low, left or right – of […]

Market Observers Optimistic Over Further Changes to DOL Rule

{June 13th, 2017} by Frank Klimko

WASHINGTON – Market observers expressed optimism the U.S. Labor Department will modify elements of the newly effective fiduciary rule before the final deadline next January, when retirement advisers must comply with all parts of the Best Interest Contract Exemption. The retirement advice industry has been buoyed with the announcement that DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta will […]

State insurance regulators look to DOL fiduciary rule as they mull changes to annuity sales standard

{June 13th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

State insurance regulators are using the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule as a benchmark as they begin to mull changes to the annuity sales standard they oversee. The DOL rule, part of which was implemented last week, requires advisers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts. Annuity sales are governed by […]

Fiduciary Rule Confusion Hangs Over S&P Conference Life Sessions

{June 13th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Policymakers need to clear up the regulatory confusion over U.S. annuity sales quickly, for the sake of the consumers who are trying to prepare for retirement, Eric Steigerwalt, president of Brighthouse Financial, said today. Steigerwalt made that plea during a panel discussion in New York, at an insurance conference organized by S&P Global Ratings. Insurers are […]

DOL Rule Implementation Leaves Advisors No More Certain

{June 13th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule went into effect Friday, but how it affects the wealth management industry will vary depending on the market participant – particularly in light of the ongoing review of the rule and the flexibility the DOL is granting the industry, the Wall Street Journal writes. The rule, which forces retirement […]

WealthVest Partners with State-Of-The-Art Platform to Address Regulatory Challenges Under the DOL Fiduciary Rule

{June 13th, 2017} by WealthVest

After months of speculation and bureaucratic jockeying, the DOL Fiduciary Rule went live at 11:59 PM on June 9th. This landmark ruling from the Department of Labor will require financial professionals to uphold a fiduciary standard when making investment recommendations on qualified retirement accounts. At its core, this means that recommendations made by a financial […]

State Farm, Prudential, Nationwide Rise in Fortune 500 List

{June 12th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

State Farm and Prudential Financial each moved up a couple of notches, while MetLife dipped two, among the top-ranking life insurance and annuity manufacturers in the 2017 Fortune 500 list. Of the top 12 carriers, five others improved their rankings relative to 2016, including (in order of ranking) Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, USAA, TIAA and Aflac. […]

Ready for the DOL Rule: AXA, Lincoln, Nationwide, Ohio Nat’l

{June 12th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Major life insurance and annuity manufacturers say they’re ready for the June 9 phase-in of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Measures they’ve instituted to prepare for the regulation’s implementation are wide-ranging, including the rollout of best practices and disclosures to help advisors comply with the rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption, technology upgrades to […]

IMOs Prep Themselves for the DOL Rule

{June 12th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

While industry manufacturers prepare for the long-awaited June 9 phase-in of DOL’s Conflict Interest Rule, key distribution players on which the brunt of the rule’s requirements will fall — independent marketing organizations — are themselves scrambling to become DOL ready. The efforts range from the overhauling of information technology systems to offering advisors DOL-compliant training […]

Advisors Can Serve As Human Security Blankets

{June 12th, 2017} by Karen DeMasters

Having a financial advisor does not make a little difference in whether a person feels financially secure—it makes a huge difference, according to a study by Northwestern Mutual, a financial services firm based in Milwaukee. According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2017 Planning and Progress study, 68 percent of people with a financial advisor feel very financially […]

Fiduciary Rule Is Now (Partially) in Effect

{June 12th, 2017} by Yuka Hayashi

WASHINGTON—When President Donald Trump took office, many in the financial industry were confident that a looming retirement-savings rule they had opposed for years would soon be dead. To their dismay, the core principle of the rule was implemented Friday. The resilience of the so-called fiduciary rule is partly attributable to delays in appointing senior officials […]

Mutual of Omaha Adds Indexed Universal Life Policy: Life Launchpad

{June 11th, 2017} by Allison Bell

United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha, is putting a second indexed universal life insurance policy on the market The Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s Life Protection Advantage Indexed Universal Life Insurance policy offers purchasers three options for adjusting the product interest rates. All of the crediting rate options are based on […]

Mutual of Omaha Boosts IUL Lineup with Protection Focused Product

{June 10th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

Mutual of Omaha has added a protection-focused indexed universal life (IUL) offering to round out its product suite in the space. Life Protection Advantage Indexed Universal Life Insurance is geared largely to younger individuals, generally between age 35 and 50, looking for lower premiums and potential lifetime coverage. “This is for [consumers] who are looking […]

LifeAnswers Launches a Simple Solution to the DOL Fiduciary Rule

{June 10th, 2017} by LifeAnswers Financial Group

BOYNTON BEACH, FL (PRWEB) JUNE 09, 2017 LifeAnswers Financial Group has launched what it believes is the simplest solution for insurance agents to comply with Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule during the Rule’s transition period that runs from June 9 through December 31, 2017. The LifeAnswers DOL Platform provides for an insurance agent to […]

Barry Ritholtz Sees DOL Fiduciary Rule as a ‘Test Run’

{June 10th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

We never like to do anything on a Friday — especially a summer Friday,” famed advisor Barry Ritholtz quipped during a Wednesday phone interview with ThinkAdvisor to discussed the Friday effective date of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. A supporter of the rule, Ritholtz — chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, a guest commentator on Bloomberg […]

Nationwide Helps Advisors Prepare for First Phase of DOL Rule –

{June 9th, 2017} by Nationwide

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — As the first phase of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule goes into effect this week, the Nationwide Retirement Institute® is providing resources and support to help advisors incorporate a best interest process with clients. “Nationwide’s goal is to break down and simplify this complex […]

Life Insurance Application Activity Continues to Disappoint

{June 9th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

Life Insurance Application activity continued to drop off in May, according to the MIB Life Index. The decline doesn’t bode well for life insurance sales this summer. The MIB Index measures life insurance application activity in the U.S., and is typically a three-to-four-month leading indicator of placed life insurance business. May’s index decline continues a […]

DOL Takes First Step to Fiduciary Rule Review

{June 9th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

The Department of Labor has started the process that could eventually revamp its fiduciary rule, which requires retirement account advisors to put clients’ interest first and goes into partial effect Friday, Reuters reports.  Click HERE to view the original story via Life Annuity Specialist.  The DOL posted a notice on the White House’s Office of […]

Fiduciary FAQ: What the latest milestone actually means

{June 9th, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

The fiduciary rule is finally here. Well, most of it. Key provisions of the rule take effect June 9, with the rest due in January 2018. By some counts, it has taken six years to arrive at this point ― and it’s not still an entirely settled matter, given that the SEC and Department of […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Delaware Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiary

{June 9th, 2017} by A.M. Best

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a-” of Delaware Life Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE) and Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York(New York, NY) (collectively referred to as Delaware Life). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. The ratings […]

DOL fiduciary rule takes effect, but more uncertainty lies ahead

{June 9th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has partially taken effect, but its future, much like its past, is shrouded in uncertainty. Two provisions of the measure, which requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts, become applicable today. One expands the definition of who is a fiduciary, and the […]

House passes bill that would kill DOL fiduciary rule

{June 9th, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

The House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that includes a provision to kill the Labor Department fiduciary rule, while House and Senate Republicans introduced separate bills to stop the regulation and establish a new investment advice standard. They all face long odds in the Senate, where Democrats have more than enough members to block legislation […]

Will DOL Fiduciary Rule Be Watered Down?

{June 8th, 2017} by Bernice Napach

Almost seven years after the Labor Department proposed a rule to limit the conflicts of interest for financial advisors working with retirement accounts, its fiduciary rule for those advisors is finally set to take effect, on Friday, June 9, following a two-month delay by the new administration. More specifically, June 9 marks the first implementation […]

Labor Secretary Acosta: Concerns with DOL fiduciary rule ‘not heard’ during original rulemaking

{June 8th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta hinted Wednesday that the Obama administration didn’t adequately consider “concerns” raised during the rulemaking process surrounding the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Mr. Acosta made the remark during congressional testimony, after Rep. Steve Womack (R-Arkansas) asked: “Is it not obvious that [the fiduciary rule] is going to limit [investors’] options? […]

House OKs Bill That Could Kill Fiduciary Rule

{June 8th, 2017} by Susan Rupe

The Republican-led House has backed legislation that would kill the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. The House passed the Financial CHOICE Act that includes provisions that would undo much of the Dodd-Frank Act and would not allow the DOL to push fiduciary regulations forward until the Securities and Exchange Commission proposes its own rule. Click […]

CreativeOne and GeoWealth Launch Insurance-Focused Offering

{June 8th, 2017} by CreativeOne and GeoWealth

CHICAGO, IL (June 8, 2017) – GeoWealth, a leading financial technology firm, is excited to leverage its proven RIA- directed, end-to-end financial services platform to bring an innovative solution to a rapidly changing insurance industry. This solution for insurance-only agents and independent marketing organizations (IMOs) enables them to document and support their recommendations as defined […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and Its Subsidiaries

{June 8th, 2017} by Best's News Service

Oldwick – A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa+” of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian Life) (headquartered in New York, NY) and its core subsidiaries, Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (Wilmington, DE) and Berkshire Life Insurance Company […]

Brokers Choice America Announces June Annuity Awareness Month

{June 8th, 2017} by Brokers Choice

Brokers Choice of America is launching a campaign to make June the annual annuity awareness month of the state of Colorado. Today, Brokers Choice of America, one of the nation’s largest Independently Owned Insurance Brokerages along with the National Association for Fixes Annuities announced they are launching a campaign to make June the annual annuity […]

Prudential Financial Execs: Regulation, Strategic Focus Keys to Growth in Changing Environment

{June 8th, 2017} by David Pilla

NEWARK, N.J. – A strategic focus on protection, retirement and asset management and a changing regulatory environment are driving forces for Prudential Financial Inc., according to the group’s top executives. The company is operating in a world where risks are being shifted from government and employers to individuals, particularly in longevity and mortality, while Prudential […]

Labor chief says he can’t snap his fingers and undo Obama rule

{June 7th, 2017} by Steve Womack

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta pushed back Wednesday when asked why his department is implementing a financial adviser rule put in place by the last administration, telling lawmakers he can’t snap his fingers and undo a regulation. Republicans on a House Appropriations subcommittee pressed Acosta on the Obama-era financial adviser rule, which he announced last week […]

U.S. Labor Department takes steps to reconsider fiduciary rule

{June 7th, 2017} by Sarah N. Lynch and Robert Iafolla

The U.S. Labor Department this week took preliminary steps toward potentially recrafting the fiduciary rule, which requires brokers who offer retirement advice to act in their customers’ best interest. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget website posted a notice by the Labor Department saying it plans to solicit information from the public and […]

How much will reasonable compensation be come June 9?

{June 7th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

Come midnight this Friday, anyone advising IRA account holders, and most of the country’s 401(k) plans, will have to operate under the fiduciary rule’s impartial conduct standards. The June 9 requirement is, of course, a far cry from compliance with the full rule, which is scheduled for January 1, 2018. The impartial conduct standards require […]

OneAmerica, Raymond James Partner to Speed Life Sales Process

{June 7th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

OneAmerica and Raymond James will share a collaborative workflow platform to speed the life insurance sales process between the carrier and Raymond James’ advisor network. Raymond James will eventually use the platform to speed annuity contract deliveries. As part of the agreement, the two companies will deploy iPipeline’s DocFast e-Delivery solution. The DocFast tool allows […]

Guardian Adds Estate-Focused Product to Whole Life Suite

{June 7th, 2017} by Jay Cooper

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is launching its first “second-to-die” whole life product. The new offering, announced Wednesday, targets consumers looking to minimize estate tax burdens or facing significant liquidity needs at the time the second policyholder passes. While most of the death benefit pays out after the second policyholder dies, Guardian Life executives […]

DOL Takes First Step Toward Fiduciary Rule Changes

{June 7th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

The Department of Labor released Wednesday morning a request for information seeking public input on potential further changes to its fiduciary rule, which takes effect Friday. The RFI was posted on the Office of Management and Budget’s website. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta told members of the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday morning that the RFI […]

When Life Insurance Isn’t a Lifetime Investment

{June 7th, 2017} by Robert Bloink, and William H. Byrnes

Even when a client purchases a “permanent” type of life insurance policy (such as a whole life policy), situations can arise in which the investment may simply no longer make sense. If this is the case, the client may consider either selling or surrendering the policy in order to free up those assets for allocation […]

How the Fiduciary Rule Will Squeeze Your Shelf

{June 6th, 2017} by Gerry Murtagh, Ben Yahr

The U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will become applicable this month, and it will have major effects on financial services delivered to the retirement market. The DOL rule expands the applicability of the existing fiduciary standard for recommending products to retail individual retirement account customers, which means advisors must always act in the best interest of […]

Q1 Annuity Sales Fell 18%: IRI

{June 6th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Low interest rates and regulatory uncertainty continued to squeeze U.S. annuity issuers in the first quarter, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. Revenue from annuity sales fell to $49 billion in the first quarter, down 18% from the total for the first quarter of 2016, IRI reported today. Click HERE to view the original story […]

SEC Fiduciary Rule Cannot Replace DOL’s: Financial Planning Coalition

{June 6th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

Financial planning groups said Friday that any fiduciary rule considered by the Securities and Exchange Commission “cannot be considered a replacement” to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The Financial Planning Coalition — comprising the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors — said in […]

Bielen to Be Protective Life CEO

{June 6th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Richard Bielen is preparing to take over as the chief executive officer of Protective Life Corp. July 1. John Johns, the current CEO, will become the company’s executive chairman, the company said last week. The Birmingham, Alabama-based insurer is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Dai-Ichi Life Holdings Inc. Dai-Ichi Life acquired the company in 2015. Click HERE to […]

LPL Revamps Product Pricing Ahead of DOL Rule

{June 6th, 2017} by Alex Padalka

By Alex Padalka June 5, 2017 Like several of its wealth management rivals, LPL Financial is changing its product line ahead of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to go into effect June 9, InvestmentNews writes. The firm is restricting the types of no-load mutual funds available in brokerage accounts, aiming to better […]

Ohio National’s new fixed indexed annuity rider offers guaranteed rising retirement income

{June 6th, 2017} by Ohio National

Cincinnati — For individuals who are currently at or nearing retirement age and looking for a way to increase their retirement income1, Ohio National Financial Services has introduced a new ONdex fixed indexed annuity (FIA) rider. The optional Income Accelerator Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) rider guarantees that as long as withdrawals never exceed the […]

SEC Jumps Back in the Fiduciary Rule Debate

{June 6th, 2017} by Joe Morris

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a call for public comment on investment advice standards, reinserting itself in the fiduciary rule debate after years of silence. In a notice released Thursday, Chair Jay Clayton said the time had come for a fresh look, given advances in technology since the SEC last considered such rules […]

FINRA, states enact new rules to fight elder abuse

{June 5th, 2017} by Kenneth Corbin

WASHINGTON — FINRA is following many states in pressing forward with a rule that aims to give advisers more tools to combat elder abuse, a large and growing problem that many financial professionals are struggling to address. FINRA has developed a rule that aims to better protect elderly clients and also give firms latitude to […]

Targeting RIAs, Ameritas Inks Deal with RetireOne

{June 5th, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Count Ameritas among life and annuity providers that are bolstering offerings to gain a competitive edge serving fee-based advisors, a burgeoning distribution channel for carriers. Ameritas has unveiled a pact with RetireOne (Aria Retirement Solutions’ marketing brand) to distribute the insurer’s fee-based variable universal life and variable annuity products through the RetireOne Fiduciary Solutions Concierge […]

Overweight Financial Planner Launches Preferred Best Project to Document Effect of Weight Loss on Life Insurance Rates

{June 4th, 2017} by TIMEPRESS

NORWALK, CT June 6, 2017 – Jim Tobin, owner of the lifeinsurancehelpdesk.com, a Connecticut-based Internet life insurance agency, is using his Preferred Best Project to document how life insurance rates improve with weight loss today. Tobin, a Certified Financial Planner who is significantly overweight, will be supplementing regular doctors visits with “do it yourself” walk-in […]

SEC reasserts itself on investment-advice standards, but it’s not clear whether it will overtake DOL fiduciary rule

{June 3rd, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

In one of his first actions as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, Jay Clayton turned the agency’s attention to investment-advice standards, a move longed for by financial industry opponents of the Labor Department’s fiduciary duty rule. But it’s not clear whether the SEC will wrest the issue away from the DOL. Click HERE to view […]

The American College Of Financial Services And GAMA International Launch New Educational Partnership

{June 3rd, 2017} by The American College of Financial Services

BRYN MAWR, Pa. and FALLS CHURCH, Va., June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American College of Financial Services and GAMA International announced today that the two organizations are entering into a distribution and development partnership to provide educational offerings to international markets. “We are impressed with the quality of GAMA International’s team and the organization’s […]

Are brokers really ready to be fiduciaries?

{June 2nd, 2017} by Bruce Kelly

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement accounts will take effect Friday, and advisers and their broker-dealers better get ready for a new wave of risk: lawsuits and legal complaints by investors who believe they have been harmed by an adviser’s recommendations or choice of investment. The Big Daddy of liability facing firms, the […]

Financial Regulation Calls for 20/20 Vision

{June 2nd, 2017} by Antonio Weiss Simon Johnson

(Bloomberg View) — One of the central pillars of financial reform, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, is under political attack and at risk of coming undone. In the past, the balkanized U.S. financial regulatory system has consistently failed to address risks that took root in its jurisdictional gaps. The FSOC was created to solve that […]

Voya Eying New Risk Reduction Opportunities

{June 2nd, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Executives with Voya Financial say they will explore new opportunities to reduce the company’s risk exposures to living benefits on a block of variable annuities. About 13,000 policyholders, about 25 percent of all policyholders who received offers, agreed to surrender variable annuity contracts, the company said. The surrender reduced the living benefit net amount of […]

One Year on the DOL Rule Beat

{June 2nd, 2017} by John Hilton

One year ago today, the first lawsuit was filed against the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. The intervening 365 days has seen just about nothing go according to expectation on this issue. As a reporter tracking the story, it’s been great. I’ve written stories on my phone while riding the District of Columbia metro during […]

UBS to Temporarily Adjust Broker Pay to Comply With Fiduciary Rule

{June 2nd, 2017} by Michael Wursthorn

UBS Group AG is temporarily revamping how it pays its U.S. brokers to comply with new retirement rules taking effect next week, a stopgap that minimizes the impact on clients as a review of the regulation plays out. The Swiss bank, which has been critical of the new rules and their impact on clients, is […]

SEC Wades Into ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Debate

{June 2nd, 2017} by Dave Michaels

By Dave Michaels Updated June 1, 2017 6:33 p.m. ET WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission will consider strengthening rules on how brokers advise retail customers, a step likely to be cheered by businesses that opposed a similar measure passed under the Obama administration that imposed stricter guidelines. The SEC said Thursday that it would wade into […]

Allianz Life Profiles Divorced Women

{June 1st, 2017} by Allison Bell

Divorce may be hitting women’s finances even harder now than it did a few years ago, according to new survey data from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. The consumer insights team at the Minneapolis-based Allianz SE unit commissioned a survey update in October. About 64% of the divorced participants said their divorce had […]

Insurers Rescue VAs With Creative Death Benefits

{June 1st, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

Variable annuity sales may be slumping but that hasn’t stopped some insurers from tweaking the death benefits that come with the variable products. The tinkering is a sign that despite slowing variable annuity sales, consumers and advisors still value the benefits that can be passed on to heirs, market experts said. After all, sales trends […]

Complex Annuities for a Complex Era

{June 1st, 2017} by Kerry Pechter

When sophisticated investors hold long positions in equities but worry about market volatility, they can create “collars” with out-of-the-money puts and calls. The options establish a floor under potential losses on the investment and a ceiling on potential gains. Indexed variable annuities are packaged products that give investors a similar way to hedge their bets. […]

Insurance, financial advisors association launches new certification program for life insurance and annuity professionals

{June 1st, 2017} by Financial Regulations News Reports

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has launched a new international certification for life and annuity professionals called the Life and Annuity Certified Professionals (LACP). “NAIFA is pleased to offer financial professionals the potential for greater exposure and authority in the financial services marketplace through LACP certification,” NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux said. […]

Millennial Investors Scarred by Financial Crisis

{June 1st, 2017} by Emily Zulz

Ten years after the financial crisis hit, it is still having a major psychological impact on investors. According to a new survey from Legg Mason Global Asset Management, millennial investors in the United States report that the financial crisis and subsequent great recession strongly influence their investment decisions, leaving them more risk-averse than any other […]

Consumers Want Transparent Life Insurance Buying Options

{June 1st, 2017} by Life Happens

Arlington, Va., and Windsor, Conn. – April 25, 2017 – American consumers expect the life insurance industry to remain innovative and continue to meet their needs and preferences, according to the 2017 Insurance Barometer Study. The study finds that 70 percent of Americans who would consider purchasing life insurance would be interested in doing so […]

Godzilla (the Fiduciary Rule) Ate the Rule of Law: OPINION

{June 1st, 2017} by Eugene Scalia

By Eugene Scalia May 31, 2017 6:18 p.m. ET Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced last week that he would let the controversial “fiduciary” rule take effect June 9. Respect for the rule of law, he explained, made further delay impossible without a new round of rule-making. Although I disagree with Mr. Acosta’s legal analysis, he […]

Advisers question Chamber report about harm from DOL rule

{May 31st, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Some financial advisers are questioning the accuracy of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report that asserts that the Labor Department fiduciary rule will harm small investors and businesses. On Tuesday, the Chamber released a report that compiles statistics from surveys and other data submitted during a recent comment period on the rule. The Chamber highlighted […]

The Future Of Annuities

{May 31st, 2017} by Ben Mattlin

In the annuities business, the last few years have left some people scratching their heads. Consider this: In 2016, sales of new variable annuities (VAs) fell more than 20% from the preceding year, according to Morningstar, to represent less than half of the overall market for the first time. Over the same period, sales of […]

Fitch Downgrades Brighthouse Financial, Inc.; Outlook Stable

{May 31st, 2017} by Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings-Chicago-31 May 2017: Fitch Ratings has downgraded the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Ratings of Brighthouse Life Insurance Company (BLIC) and New England Life Insurance Company (NELIC) to ‘A’ from ‘A+’. Fitch has also downgraded the expected Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (Brighthouse) and Brighthouse Holdings, LLC (Brighthouse Holdings) to ‘BBB+(EXP)’ from […]

13 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q1 Earnings, 2017

{May 31st, 2017} by Janet Levaux

The first quarter of 2017 was a strong one for corporate profits. According to FactSet, companies in the S&P 500 reported an average increase of close to 14% in Q1’17 vs. Q1’16. That’s the biggest gain since Q3 of 2011. Plus, equity analysts forecast a full-year boost of S&P 500 earnings of 10%. Bank of […]

FINRA Clarifies What Advisors Can (and Can’t) Do on Social Media

{May 31st, 2017} by Brian O'Connell

FINRA recently unveiled tough new directives for broker-dealers on their social media practices, with special attention on text messages and use of company materials on private advisor accounts. The entire notice is well worth reading, especially if you’re a financial services professional who uses social media, texts with clients, and shares Internet links with clients. […]

Former Advisor Charged with Taking $4.5M From Ex-NFL Player

{May 31st, 2017} by Janet Levaux

A federal court judge in Indiana has indicted an advisor for wire fraud and other charges involved with taking $4.5 million from Cory Redding, who played with the Indianapolis Colts and other professional football teams from 2003 to 2015. (The court did not identify the NFL defensive player in its documents, but the Indianapolis Star did.) On […]

Attorney Gets Prison for Insurance Fraud

{May 31st, 2017} by Robert Storace

A former Fairfield, Connecticut, attorney was sentenced in federal court Thursday to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his part in a life insurance scheme that netted him $272,000. U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson handed down the sentence to 62-year-old David Quatrella, who pleaded guilty in January to […]

Winners and Losers in a Post-Fiduciary World

{May 31st, 2017} by Daisy Maxey

By Daisy Maxey May 24, 2017 11:11 a.m. ET The Labor Department’s decision to let the fiduciary rule take effect in 2½ weeks will be a bane or a boon to a host of players from robo advisers and providers of index funds to brokerages and annuity providers. Registered investment advisers and providers of index […]

Retirement fees could rise 200% post-DOL, Chamber of Commerce warns

{May 31st, 2017} by InvestmentNews

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which lobbied against adoption of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement accounts, has published a report highlighting the negative effects the new rule will have on retirement savers. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

Next Step: Expansion

{May 31st, 2017} by BISA Portfolio

Athene USA is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of fixed indexed annuities (FIAs), but the West Des Moines, Iowa-based company has not distributed its product through banks—until now. The company, a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd. ($87 billion in total assets), will shortly be selling its products through small and regional banks, and larger […]

Fee-based Annuities: Ready for Prime Time?

{May 31st, 2017} by BISA Portfolio

Where do fee-based annuities stand in regard to the DOL rule? Fee-based annuities have been slow to catch on. Sales have hovered at around 4 percent of variable annuity (VA) sales for the last couple of years, according to Morningstar. But with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary duty rule issued in April 2016, fee-based […]

DOL May Push Back Full Compliance for Fiduciary Rule

{May 31st, 2017} by Warren S. Hersch

Full implementation of the Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Rule could be delayed beyond the Jan. 1, 2018 applicability date, according to an FAQ issued this month by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. The document states that the DOL intends to issue a Request for Information (RFI) “in the near future” seeking public […]

Women & Life Insurance

{May 30th, 2017} by Caroline McKay, JD

Women today are more highly educated and financially empowered than ever before, but evidence suggests that their financial planning needs are not being met. In fact, multiple studies indicate that women, more so than their male counterparts, are unhappy with the current level of service and engagement being provided to them by their advisors. For […]

Fee-Based VA Filings Shatter Records

{May 30th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

With the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule set to go into effect early next month, insurers and annuity companies have reported a record 26 filings for fee-based variable annuities in the six-month period that began Dec. 1. That was the word from Morningstar. New filings for fee– and commission-based variable annuities typically number about […]

U.S. Firm Agrees to Acquire Fidelity & Guaranty Life

{May 30th, 2017} by Allison Bell

CF Corp., an investment firm based in the Cayman Islands, has agreed to acquire Fidelity & Guaranty Life, a midsize issuer of life insurance and indexed annuity products, for $31.10 per share in cash. The total value of the deal could be about $1.8 billion, and CF Corp. will also assume $405 million in Fidelity & Guaranty Life […]

How mid-career women could reshape the advisory industry

{May 30th, 2017} by Tobias Salinger

Five top firms will launch tailored internships this fall under a CFP Board pilot program aimed at hiring former professionals from the financial services and other fields. It’s the latest effort to improve what can only be called dismal statistics. The proportion of women CFPs has remained stagnant at 23% for a decade and only […]

10 fiduciary facts advisers need to know now

{May 30th, 2017} by Todd Cipperman

Advisers snapped to attention when Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said in a surprise commentary in The Wall Street Journal that the Department of Labor would not further delay the first stage of the fiduciary rule’s implementation. The Labor Department did back off some of the compliance requirements for the rest of this year, however, […]

Jessica Altman May Lead Pennsylvania Insurance Department

{May 30th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Pennsylvania could soon have a new insurance commissioner. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, says he wants to nominate Teresa Miller, the current commissioner, to be the first secretary of a new state Department of Health and Human Services. Jessica Altman, Miller’s chief of staff, would become the new insurance commissioner. Click HERE to view the […]

Kitces: Fees outpace commissions — over time

{May 27th, 2017} by Michael Kitces

Since the late 1990s, the broker-dealer community has been transitioning away from traditional commission-based accounts and toward fee-based alternatives. Facilitated first by a proposed 1999 exemption under Rule 202 that would allow broker-dealers to offer fee-based accounts without being registered as investment advisers — and then transitioning fully to dual-registered or hybrid RIA arrangements after […]

DOL Fiduciary Rule: Acosta makes it clear that revisions are coming : OPINION

{May 27th, 2017} by Editorial

We​ were​ pleased to read Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s emphasis on sticking to the rule of law when it comes to deregulation in his Wall Street Journal op-ed last Monday. Though his decision not to further delay the June 9 initial implementation date of his agency’s fiduciary rule might have seemed like a blow to […]

The Fixed-Index Annuity Industry Won Battles Only To Lose the War

{May 26th, 2017} by Ryan Brown

After losing the U.S. Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections, the Obama administration faced a political pickle. How could it advance its agenda without the support of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives or a newly controlled Republican Senate? With some clever political maneuvering, the administration went to its federal executive departments, including the U.S. Department […]

Why Do the Pundits Hate Fixed Annuities? OPINION

{May 26th, 2017} by Chuck Ritzke

This is the third installment of the educational video series on why the pundits hate annuities. Of course, if you sell annuities, or have even thought of selling annuities, you know that the value of a variable annuity can go up or down with their underlying investment funds. Indexed annuities introduce some guarantees, but still participate […]

DOL Fiduciary Deadline Is Coming. Here’s a Compliance Checklist

{May 26th, 2017} by Melanie Waddell

Now that the Department of Labor has confirmed that its fiduciary rule’s compliance date will kick in on June 9, compliance firms and attorneys are busy providing checklists to broker-dealers, advisors and plan sponsors on how to prepare. “We actually think the current state of affairs makes the most sense” in that the FAQs guidance […]

Voya re-entering buffer annuity market as product popularity grows

{May 26th, 2017} by Greg Iacurci

Voya Financial is hoping to capitalize on the recent popularity of buffer annuities by launching a product around the end of this year or early next, after having exited the market less than two years ago, and joining a small group of insurers currently offering such products. Click HERE to read the full article via […]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Thrivent Life Insurance Company

{May 25th, 2017} by Thrivent Financial

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa+” of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (Appleton, WI) and its subsidiary, Thrivent Life Insurance Company(Minneapolis, MN) (together known as Thrivent Financial). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Thrivent Financial’s ratings reflect its […]

Craig Bromley Leaves Top John Hancock Post

{May 25th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Manulife Financial Corp. has announced a change at the top at John Hancock Financial Services, the company’s Boston-based U.S. division. Craig Bromley, a senior executive vice president and general manager of the U.S. division, has left the company, Manulife said today. The Toronto-based parent company did not immediately give an explanation for Bromley’s departure. Bromley could not […]

Why Dr. Phil Can Sell More Insurance Than Warren Buffett

{May 25th, 2017} by Charlie Gipple

If Dr. Phil and Warren Buffett were trying to sell you a financial product, which one of those two people would you be most likely to buy from?  This is actually rhetorical for you, the financial professional, because I already know the answer to that question. Most of us would choose Warren Buffett because of […]

Allianz Life introduces new index variable annuity products

{May 24th, 2017} by IBR Staff Writer

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has introduced two new index variable annuity (IVA) products, which will offer several ways to benefit from the balance of performance potential and level of protection. The new products, Allianz Index Advantage ADVSM Variable Annuity and Allianz Index Advantage NFSM Variable Annuity, have been modeled on the lines of […]

FIA Riders Reach Inflection Point

{May 24th, 2017} by Cyril Tuohy

With annuity sales forecast to drop across the board by up to 10 percent this year, pickings for advisors may be rather slim indeed. But an important shift away from annuities with guaranteed living benefits (GLBs) signals that advisors are focused on accumulation and away from income, a least for the time being, a market […]

Fiduciary rule’s best interest stays, but plaintiffs’ bar checkmated until first of next year

{May 24th, 2017} by Nick Thornton

In opting to not attempt another delay of the fiduciary rule’s impartial conduct standards, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta showed deference to the rule of law. That has frustrated the many opponents of the rule who had called on Acosta to delay the June 9 implementation date of the impartial conduct standards until Labor can complete […]

Prudential Aims to Improve Retirement Saving Hygiene

{May 24th, 2017} by Allison Bell

Prudential Financial Inc. is continuing to rev up its financial wellness outreach campaign this week. The Newark, New Jersey-based company is trying to persuade the media, policymakers in Washington, employers and consumers to see saving a significant amount for retirement to be something as automatic as getting a checkup every year, or brushing teeth in […]

Simple disclosure of conflicts touted by opponents of DOL fiduciary rule not effective

{May 24th, 2017} by Fred Barstein

Now that the industry knows the DOL fiduciary rule will go into effect on June 9, it’s important to step back and understand what’s at stake and who stands to benefit from — or be hurt by — potential revisions to the rule, which may happen before the end of the year. Some groups like […]

DOL fiduciary rule provides retirement savers with needed protections: OPINION

{May 24th, 2017} by Barry Rithotz

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which states that any broker or manager offering advice on retirement-savings accounts must put the clients’ interests first, looks like it will survive. It goes into effect officially on June 9. Click HERE to view […]

Gary Bhojwani Elected to Succeed Edward Bonach at CNO Financial

{May 24th, 2017} by PRNewswire

CARMEL, Ind., May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) today announced its Chief Executive Officer Edward J. Bonach, 63, will retire from that position and from the Board of Directors effective December 31, 2017. CNO’s Board of Directors has unanimously elected current President Gary Bhojwani, 49, to succeed Bonach as Chief […]

Deregulators Must Follow the Law, So Regulators Will Too

{May 23rd, 2017} by Alexander Acosta

As the Labor Department acts to revise the Fiduciary Rule and others, the process requires patience. President Trump has committed—and rightly so—to roll back unnecessary regulations that eliminate jobs, inhibit job creation, or impose costs that exceed their benefits. American workers and families deserve good, safe jobs, and unnecessary impediments to job creation are a […]

Transamerica Parent Makes U.S. Deal

{May 23rd, 2017} by Allison Bell

A company owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has agreed to reinsure large blocks of Transamerica life insurance and annuity business The reinsurer, part of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Wilton Re Ltd., could take responsibility for paying and administering a total of about $14 billion in Transamerica obligations through an administrative reinsurance agreement. Aegon N.V., Transamerica’s Dutch […]

NAFA Statement on DOL Fiduciary Rule

{May 23rd, 2017} by Chip Anderson

Disappointed in Decision not to Delay Rule Implementation Date   Washington, D.C., May 23, 2017 – NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is very disappointed that Secretary Acosta did not delay the June 9th implementation deadline of the DOL “Fiduciary Rule.”  NAFA has remained strongly opposed to the June 9th implementation date of the Fiduciary […]

Labor secretary Alexander Acosta gives DOL fiduciary rule supporters something to cheer about — at least for now

{May 23rd, 2017} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

Major parts of the Labor Department fiduciary rule will kick in June 9, but how much of the rest of it will survive remains uncertain. Click HERE to view the full story via InvestmentNews; registration required.

DoL won’t delay fiduciary rule, will go into effect June 9

{May 23rd, 2017} by Andrew Welsch

In a surprise move that caught the financial services industry off guard, the fiduciary rule will go into effect on June 9 without further delay, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta says. The Trump administration official ended weeks of speculation as to whether the Department of Labor would again delay implementation, disclosing the agency’s intentions in […]

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