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Articles by Cyril Tuohy

Indexed Universal Life And Chronic Illness Riders Popular With Life Insurers

Index universal life (IUL) sales made up 31 percent of all universal life (UL) sales in the first nine months of 2013, compared to only 14 percent of UL sales for all of 2010, according to a new study published by the actuarial firm Milliman...

Nonspousal Inherited IRA Assets Protected In 7 States

Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas are the only states where nonspousal inherited individual retirement accounts are safe from trustees seeking assets in the settlement of bankruptcy cases...

Life And Annuity Disclosure Bill Signed Into Law

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill requiring new disclosure language for immediate annuities commonly sold to seniors, language that is already required in the sale of deferred annuities, state officials said...

Women, Low Earners Least Likely To Embrace Employer Savings Match

Why these groups are the most likely to pass up "free" money for retirement...

Enhanced Disclosure Requirements Favored For Target Date Funds

What the Securities and Exchange Commission says about its concerns...

Average IRA Contributions Climb To All-Time High

The average contribution to an individual retirement account (IRA) reached a record $4,150 in the 2013 tax year, an increase of 5.7 percent from the previous year, according to an analysis of over 7 million IRAs by Fidelity Investments...

Court Decision Has Implications For Estate Planning

A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that assets contained in an inherited individual retirement account (IRA) don’t qualify as retirement funds for the purposes of bankruptcy exemption, has turned the estate planning community on its head...

Employee Satisfaction With Benefits Lowest In Six Years

The correlation between the satisfaction of the benefits package and the employer remains strong, but employee ratings of their workplaces and benefits offerings are at their lowest levels since 2008, new research by Unum has found...

Advisor Offers Advice To The 'Sandwich' Generation

Whether we like it or not, millions of Americans in their 40s and 50s will at some point have to deal with three generations living in their household: their own, their children and their parents...

Genworth Introduces New LTCi Coverage

Genworth, looking to revamp its long-term care insurance (LTCi) product line, has introduced Privileged Choice Flex 3, which the company said would offer more pricing and coverage flexibility for policyholders...

The 'Sandwich' Generation Is Squeezed

For insurance advisors who wonder why more American families don’t reach out to them or buy insurance, testimony about how difficult it is for members of the “sandwich generation” helps to put the lives of millions of Americans into perspective...

NY Life Promotes Two Execs for Annuities

New York Life has announced that Matthew Grove has been promoted to chief administrative officer (CAO) in the company’s Insurance and Agency Group, and that David Cruz has been named to Grove’s former post...

Stories, Not Stats Sell Disability Insurance

By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet Insurance agents and financial advisors in th

Insurers Add New Agents with Diversity

Five years after the end of the Great Recession, life and annuity companies are hiring again but show a preference for seasoned advisors, especially those who can penetrate cultural and generational markets, according to the consulting firm Conning...

Women Need Advisors To Take A Straightforward Approach

Insurance agents and financial advisors looking to reach women should simplify the buying process, reduce jargon, spend more time looking after the customer’s interest and maintain high ethical standards, according to a new report...

Catastrophic Health Claims Increase Tenfold

Individual health claims of $1 million or more have increased tenfold over the past four years due to new medical technologies, advanced drug therapy and more Americans insured under health care reform...

School District First To Report Violation Under SEC Leniency Program

A California school district is the first to report a municipal securities violation under a program designed to encourage municipal bond issuers to come forward instead of waiting for regulators to take action...

Life, Annuity And Health Software Deal Volume Up 21% In 2013

Deal volume among life, annuity and health insurance carriers, and technology vendors was up 21 percent last year compared to 2012...

Advisors Weigh In On Midterm Elections

A new poll of 2,300 independent financial advisors by the Financial Services Institute (FSI) has found that 66 percent believe the Republican Party will win the U.S. Senate in November...

AIG Financial Distributors Appoints Talent Development Veteran

AIG Financial Distributors, the sales and distribution arm of American International Group’s life and retirement business, has announced the appointment of John D. Stout to head sales training and development...

Advisors Split Into Equal Social Security Segments

Financial advisors are splitting into three broad segments — all roughly equal in size — when it comes to advising clients about drawing on Social Security support...

Companies Should Not Ignore Advisor Succession Planning

Last year’s roaring stock market could skew financial advisor satisfaction levels, and that could come back to haunt company executives who need to start now to groom the next generation of leaders...

Report Identifies Ingredients For Successful Life Insurers

Ingredients that have made life insurance companies successful over the past six years relate to with product mix, consistency, shorter bond maturities and expense control, according to a new report by Conning & Co...

Advisors Need More In-Depth Knowledge Of Social Security Strategies

Financial advisors, many of whom describe their knowledge of Social Security claiming strategies as “modest,” rely on commercially available software and subscriber-based applications and tools for support, a new in-depth report has found...

The ‘Unbanked’ Deal With Higher Interest Rates, Payday Lenders

Tens of millions of consumers – the unbanked or the underbanked – pay billions of dollars annually in fees and outrageous interest...

HSA Administrators Adding Tools For Accountholders

Asset growth within health savings accounts (HSAs) is starting to add up. With about $2.3 billion in the investment portion of the more than 10 million HSAs around the country, institutions see a need to offer accountholders a helping hand...

National Life Group Announces New Promotions

Tom Hirschmann, a former senior manager for Legg Mason, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Sentinel Financial Services Co., Sentinel’s parent National Life Group has announced...

Americans Tap Retirement Savings And Regret It

Against the better advice of advisors who say it’s best not to dip into retirement savings, 29 percent of Americans who participate in a retirement plan say they have taken out a loan from the savings in their plan, according to a new survey...

Insurance: A Part Of The American Business Fabric

Insurance is “an American product sold to American citizens by American companies.”...

Website Aggregates HSAs For Advisors

A new website, www.hsasearch.com, aimed at consumers and advisors in the market for a health savings account (HSA), allows buyers to do some comparison shopping among more than a hundred institutions offering HSAs...

Voya Financial Expands Social Media Program

ING Financial Partners, Voya Financial’s registered broker/dealer, announced it has expanded its social media program for affiliated financial advisors and registered representatives to help them communicate with prospects and clients...

Life Settlement Market Turns Corner

Face values of life insurance policies sold in the life settlement market reached $2.57 billion in 2013, up from $2.13 billion in 2012, according to a newsletter that tracks industry trends...

Americans Clueless about LTC Expense

It’s easy to blame inertia in Washington and partisan politics for the lack of action regarding long-term care, but as it turns out many Americans have their own reasons for postponing action about long-term care...

Investor Advocate Reiterates Call For Advisor Examinations

“A more frequent examination cycle would allow SEC staff to identify intentional and unintentional violations sooner, which would minimize harm to investors.”...

HSAs Give Employees Incentives To Adopt Financially Healthier Behaviors

Financial advisors scheduling appointments for midyear check ups with clients might want to have them consider a health savings account (HSA) over the health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)...

Aflac Introduces Rider For Accident, Disability And Hospital Plans

Seeing opportunity in the growing voluntary benefits market, Aflac announced it has introduced a rider to enhance coverage on new or existing voluntary accident, hospital or disability plan coverage...

Family Dynamics + Wealth = Complication

“Families today come in all shapes and sizes, and the wealthy are not immune to the ripple effect of extenuating circumstances on overall family financial well-being,”...

Municipal Advisor Rules Kick In July 1

Municipal advisors looking to conduct business in the $3.7 trillion municipal securities market have until Tuesday, July 1, to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...

Tips For Advisors Seeking To Target Ethnic Markets

African-Americans are less confident than other ethnic segments in their ability to plan for the future, and are therefore willing to credit their advisor for their successes...

Advisors May Be Missing Opportunities With Gen Y Clients

Remember, the No. 1 regret cited by retirees in one recent survey was that they didn’t put away enough money early enough...

Ohio National Expands Into Brazil

Ohio National Financial Services has bought a 50 percent stake in the Brazilian life insurance company Centauro Vida e Previdencia...

Keep Things Straightforward With Gen X Women, Advisor Recommends

The more advisors throw at their clients in terms of financial planning or investments, the more they risk turning off Gen X women...

Examiner Funding Denied, Fiduciary Rule Delayed

For advocates of raising the standards of conduct for financial advisors, spring has been a cruel season indeed, but for opponents of the blanket fiduciary standards the delays this year feel very much like last year...

Lincoln Financial Launches New VA

Lincoln Financial Group, which has rapidly ascended the variable annuity (VA) league tables, has announced the launch of a new VA offering traditional and alternative asset investment classes...

Allianz Life Extends Contract With Barclays

Allianz Life has announced that it has extended its agreement with the global investment company Barclays to use a Barclays-branded index that reflects the performance of an allocation strategy across stock and bond asset classes...

Advisors Score With Older Investors

Research has found that in the 401(k) market, financial advisors lag only the 401(k) provider as a source of investment advice. But advisors rise to the No. 1 spot as the investor gets older...

Simplicity Elusive In Retirement Planning

It seems as if financial advisors and retirement plan sponsors or employers still have some work to do to bridge the gap between what employers expect from their retirement plans and how financial advisors measure an effective retirement plan...

Rising Rates To Benefit New Annuity Market Entrants

Noninsurers that have recently entered the annuity market are likely to stick around as they benefit from rising rates and apply their well-honed asset management skills, according to an analysis...

Retirement Income, Simplicity Top Of Mind For Plan Sponsors

Two values particularly mark this year’s 2014 MetLife Qualified Retirement Plan Barometer (QRPB) survey of Fortune 1000 retirement plan sponsors: income and simplicity...

Retirees: Not Enough Advisors Discuss Tax Planning

Taxes hit retirees harder than they think, and one reason may be that not enough advisors are really paying attention, according to a new survey...

Latest Disability Claims Data Uncovers Opposing Trends

An analysis of disability claims found that more employers offered long-term disability (LTD) insurance benefit plans last year as compared with 2012, but that fewer employees were insured by such plans last year as compared with 2012...

Bank Channel Diversifies Product Mix

In a world where financial advisors routinely hear the praises of specialization — either by developing a tax specialty, digging deep into estate planning minutiae or developing a long-term care planning shop — it’s easy to overlook the advantages of diversification...

VAs Lose Ground In The Bank Channel

For variable annuities (VAs) sold through the bank channel, it has been a tough few quarters as insurance carriers cut back on VAs and as interest rate spreads favored fixed annuities over bank certificates of deposits...

Nontraditional Families Represent Huge Opportunity For Advisors

Nontraditional families are more likely than traditional families to talk to their children about personal financial issues, yet nontraditional households are also less likely to rely on professional help to build a financial plan, a new Allianz survey shows...

Poll Finds Advisor Optimism Rises Over Last Year

A poll of financial advisors reveals that 76 percent believe U.S. economic growth this year will be between zero and 10 percent, and an additional 17 percent think growth will come in at between 11 percent and 20 percent...

MetLife Directs Its Attention To The Middle Market

Expansion into the middle market represents an important change for MetLife, which has traditionally been the go-to supplier of insurance and benefits products for many of the nation’s largest companies...

Industry Devotes June To Annuity Awareness

The Society for Annuity Facts & Education (SAFE), a nonprofit with the aim of educating consumers about annuities, has joined with an industry coalition to declare June as Annuity Awareness Month...

Plan Sponsors, Advisors, Not On Same Page Regarding Retirement Plan Success

The different approaches are highlighted in a new survey of 283 sponsors of 401(k) plans...

Takeover Sales Reach Seven Year High

The increase in takeover sales was due to more group insurance carriers selling voluntary products and benefit brokers being responsible for a higher percentage of voluntary product sales...

Prudential Broadens Its Distribution And Product Mix

With a distribution force of 125,000 brokers and advisors, more than 25,000 institutional clients and 30 million individual customers, how Prudential chooses to sell life and annuities yields clues about market trends...

Municipal Advisors Spar With Bond Dealers Over Draft Rule

The National Association of Independent Public Finance Advisors (NAIPFA) is feuding against the Bond Dealers of America (BDA) over new rules proposed earlier this year by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB)...

Communication Adaptation Is Key To Advisor Success

The most successful advisors adapt the quickest to communicating with clients through an array of channels, according to a new study...

Life Insurance Coverage Gap Widens Again

The coverage gap in 2013 was measured at $320,000, an increase of $30,622 compared to the gap that existed in 2008...

Bank Annuity Sales Up 31% In 1Q

Higher bank-sold fixed annuity sales were due to a more diversified product mix, with indexed annuities a particular favorite of the bank channel...

Municipal Advisors Balk At Costs Of Rules Proposed By MSRB

The new rules, proposed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), are part of a regulatory framework designed to bring more order and structure to a traditionally opaque and unregulated part of the securities market...

MSRB To Survey Municipal Advisors

The confidential electronic survey will assess the business activities of municipal advisory professionals...

Go It Alone? Get Slammed Twice

A survey revealed that 82 percent of retirees working with an advisor are more likely to say they are able to do the things they want in retirement...

Agency Develops Team Dedicated To The South Asian Market

A New Jersey-based general agency has developed a team of Indian financial advisors geared to serving the South Asian market in the greater New York City suburbs. Their distribution model could serve as a model to reach the nation’s growing ethnic markets...

Nationwide Offers Advisor Tools For Social Security

The tools available via Social Security 360 are designed to give advisors and their clients “a clear understanding of their options to identify a filing strategy” for the program...

Families Shoulder More Long-Term Care Responsibilities

Fewer seniors are living in nursing homes, even as the senior population increases. So who is handling all the long-term care needs?...

Survey Finds 7% Of Employers Resorting To Exchanges

An Aflac survey is one of the first to offer a glimpse of employer uptake in the wake of the Affordable Care Act...

New Poll Finds Roboadvisors Here To Stay – And Welcome

A poll found that 74 percent of broker/dealer and registered investment advisor (RIA) company executives see the development of virtual channels as a trend that will benefit the industry...

More Staff Needed To Police Markets, Advisors, SEC Chair Says

More thorough and more frequent examination of advisors would “better protect investors and our markets,” Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White told a congressional panel...

Time For Advisors To Dive Down Market

Future opportunities for the bulk of the industry’s financial advisors lies with the third and fourth income quintiles...

Symetra Financial CIO To Leave Next Month

George N. McKinnon, senior vice president and chief information officer of Symetra Financial, will leave the company June 30, the company has announced in a government filing...

Most Households Are Satisfied With Their Financial Advisors

A survey of retirees and preretirees indicated most of those who use a financial advisor are happy with the advice they receive...

Life Insurers, Expert Favor Capital Standards Clarification

The Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014 would not require the Fed, when establishing risk-based capital standards, to include assets and liabilities of companies offering insurance operating under state-based capital requirements...

Advisors Must Serve Three Generations With Different Approaches To Investing

A new report outlines the differences between baby boomers, Generation X and millennials when it comes to retirement planning...

Boomers Lost In Transition Offer An Opportunity For Financial Advisors

Most baby boomers have enough assets but it’s how they position those assets that can make the difference between a comfortable or a more strained retirement...

List Names Top 100 On Social Media

BrightScope has published its first-ever listing of the 100 financial advisors who are using social media to the fullest...

Asset Allocation And Rising Interest Rates Top List Of Advisor Concerns

Issues surrounding portfolio management and what to do if interest rates rise have become top issues keeping financial advisors awake at night, according to a new survey...

LISA Celebrates 20th Anniversary Amidst A Vibrant Market

Of the more than 40 million Americans age 75 or older, 20 percent hold life insurance policies that are eligible for settlement, which means the settlement market is now worth more than $100 billion...

Midterm Elections Could Bring Changes To LTC

If and when lawmakers decide they are going to take up issues surrounding long-term care, it will be in the wake of the 2014 midterm elections on Nov. 4...

DIY Approach May Lead To Inaction In Retirement Investing

Fidelity analyzed 13 million 401(k) investors living in major metropolitan areas and found that 63 percent of them are taking a do-it-yourself approach to 401(k) investing...

Growth Rate Of Roth IRA Balances Double That Of Traditional IRAs

A new study shows growth rates of Roth IRAs outpacing the rate of traditional IRAs over the past two years...

Industry Looks At 'Feminine Famine'

A study calls for making women more visible through the industry and within their own employers...

Voluntary Benefits Catching Fire With Consumers

With life insurance sales generally flat, selling life through the voluntary benefits channel is an idea worth mulling over...

Industry Executives Positive About LTCi Future

Executive representing the long-term care insurance industry said that the industry is in a unique place in terms of its history because so many people will need some form of long-term care coverage...

Target Date Funds Popular With Women And Gen Y Workers

MassMutual data show that women and young investors like target date funds and other allocation strategies in their employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans...

NAIFA Gears Up For Tax Tussle

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors holds its Congressional Conference this week...

Insurers Ride The Wave Of Critical, Chronic Illness

Insurance carriers see the critical illness and chronic care riders as a major opportunity to sell more life and long-term care coverage at a time when life insurance sales are flat and low interest rates exert a damper on insurance products...

Symetra Execs Anticipate Uptick In Medical Stop-Loss Premiums

The Affordable Care Act is expected to bring more new business opportunities with regard to employer self-funding of coverage...

Life Extends Lead In Voluntary Sales

Life insurance sales in the voluntary benefits market were $1.88 billion in 2013, an increase of 22 percent compared to 2012. Life insurance holds a 28 percent share of all voluntary sales...

Lincoln Tweaks Indexed Universal Life Offerings

The changes allow for more diversification, better crediting methodologies and lower volatility as a way to boost the policy's income and growth potential...

Survey Finds New Mothers Under 30 Least Likely To Own Life Insurance

Less than 20 percent of new mothers under the age of 30 have life insurance, a survey found...

Agents And Brokers See Solid Growth In First Quarter

A new survey found median organic profit growth rates were up in the first quarter...

4Q FIA Sales Skyrocket As Investors Seek More Control Over Volatility

Fixed index annuities represented four of the five top-selling fixed annuity products and seven of the 10 top-selling fixed annuity products in fourth quarter 2013...

Survey Reveals Younger Investors Less Satisfied With Their Advisors

The older the investors, the more likely they will be satisfied with their full-service investment company, according to a survey...

MetLife Broadens Middle Market Reach With Final Expense Whole Life

MetLife's latest life insurance product launches are a continuation of the company's push into the consumer market, announced back in 2009...

Advisors To PE Funds Routinely Break The Law, SEC Says

The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking a closer look at institutional advisors...

Consumers Are More Satisfied With Retirement Than Health Care Benefits

In a nationwide survey, 67 percent of employees said they were satisfied with their employer-sponsored retirement plans, while only 59 percent were happy with their health care benefits...

IRA Rollovers Increase; Survey Predicts Continued Growth

Over the next four years, assets held in individual retirement accounts will make up 35.4 percent of all retirement market assets, an increase from the estimated 32.1 percent in retirement market assets in 2014, according to a report...

Voluntary Benefits Post Solid Gains

Two studies show that 2013 sales of voluntary benefits in the workplace are up about 10 percent over 2012...

MetLife Remains Committed To Annuities

Bill Wheeler, MetLife’s president of the Americas, said the company would pursue a strategy of selling a broader array of variable annuities...

Ameriprise: Advisor Quality Trumps Quantity Amid Solid Overall Growth

The number of financial advisors — employee advisors and franchisee advisors — representing Ameriprise stands at 9,704, down by 73 advisors compared to the same period last year...

Nationwide Adds Three Subaccounts To VA Product

The NVIT Flexible Strategy Funds, a suite of actively managed funds, are designed to streamline the investment process for advisors and offer clients wealth accumulation potential in a variable annuity...

Tech Can Be The Make-Or-Break Issue

More than one-third of investors said they would switch if advisors were not using technology to enhance their services, according to a survey...

Penn Mutual Launches VA Inflation Protection Rider

Andrew Martin, assistant vice president of product management for Penn Mutual, said the inflation rider is available to the company’s three Smart Foundation VA products...

Advisors And The 'Halo Effect'

A survey underscores how much opportunity there is for financial advisors who want to pursue the small-plan market...

Jackson Furthers Educational Events For Advisors

EALive! includes webinars, in-person events, a virtual conference, teleconferences, presentations and keynote addresses from industry experts...

Consider A Job Candidate’s Technology Skills

A candidate's ability to handle new technology is an important hiring consideration...

Product Flexibility In Voluntary Dental Market Increases

A new study looks at the details of 14 voluntary dental products...

LPL Targets Advisor Growth Opportunities

Banks and other financial institutions within LPL’s registered investment advisor (RIA) channel have enough demand to add more than 400 advisors over the next few years, said Mark Casady, LPL Financial chairman and chief executive officer...

HighTower Snags Three Advisors

Kelly Wealth Management's three new advisors will bring $384 million in assets to the firm and increase the practice’s total assets under advisement to about $1.2 billion...

Advisors Account For Big Satisfaction Gap Among Small Business Retirement Plans

A survey found that 61 percent of small plan sponsors that work with a financial advisor are “very satisfied” with their 401(k) plan overall...

For MGAs, A Seller’s Market

Property/casualty carriers in the hunt for new premium dollars welcome the profitability that comes with the specialty underwriting skills that managing general agents (MGAs) bring, a report concludes...

Puritan Financial Names Veteran To Lead Brokerage Services And Advisor Division

Sandy McDonald was named president of Puritan Financial's brokerage and advisory affiliates...

Channels Trade Market Share

The largest market share gains in the sales of fixed annuities last year were recorded by the large, regional broker/dealers, according to Beacon Research...

LIMRA: Voluntary Benefits Sales Up 9%

Voluntary health product sales increased 13 percent to $2.6 billion last year. Meanwhile, accident, critical illness and vision coverage also grew for the third straight year, according to LIMRA’s 2013 U.S. Worksite Sales Survey...

New Advisor Headcount Drops At LPL Financial

Investor demand for financial and retirement advice has meant LPL’s advisors have been able to expand their practices and manage more assets, a company official said...

First Command CEO: “Personal Relationships Are The Key”

First Command Financial Services chief executive officer J. Scott Spiker discusses the need for financial advice among members of the armed services...

March Of Roboadvisors Raises Issues About Their Future Role

Some companies are catering to a new class of investors: those who are perfectly happy to let investment algorithms do the work...

Integrating Tech Can Lead To More AUM

Companies using disparate systems manage less and deliver lower profits than advisories using deeply integrated computer platforms. Over time, those differences mean millions of dollars in assets under management...

Employers Gravitate Toward DC Health And Benefits Model

A survey found that 47 percent of employers report having moved to a defined contribution model or are implementing such a model for health and benefits...

Group Calls For Uniform Standard

The Securities and Exchange Commission has collected testimony from various interest groups over the past 18 months in support of and against applying a uniform fiduciary standard...

53% Say Supp Policies Important Benefit

Supplemental insurance is important as employees fill gaps in their employer-sponsored coverage...

Two Surveys Find Kindred Spirits In Gen Y And Financial Planning

Members of Generation Y are quite familiar with financial planning, and they may be more familiar with planning than many people give them credit for...

401(k) Participants Pleased With TDFs

By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet A new survey by Voya Financial finds that defined contribut

SEC Issues Guidance On Testimonial Rule

In the past the “testimonial rule,” rule 206(4) of the Advisers Act, had been subject to abuse as advisors posted or published reviews and testimonials in advisors’ advertisements that could be construed as fraudulent and misleading, a violation of rule 206(4), the SEC said...

MetLife’s New Retiree Life Product Offers Voluntary Market A New Option

With millions of baby boomers expected to retire over the next 15 years, demand from people looking for ways to extend term life coverage into retirement will grow...

Study Takes Aim At 401(k) Fees

Researchers say that fees are main regulatory issue in improving the outcomes of retirement plans...

Bank-Sold Annuities No Slam Dunk

As the annuity industry improves, so do the fortunes of the sales channels. But despite the torrent of fee income to banks in 2013 from bank-sold annuities, selling annuity products is no slam dunk for banking institutions...

Nationwide Optimizes Website For Mobile Devices

The mobile-optimized website offers new education and client engagement materials and income planning resources to help advisors grow and manage their business...

Pacific Life Announces Sales Manager Changes

Pacific Life's Retirement Solutions Division (RSD) is broadening its sales strategy beyond variable annuities...

Many Rich In Assets, Lacking In Vision

Many advisors appear to lack foresight about how to capture a new generation of younger investors, according to a study...

Developing A 360-Degree View

How analytics gives carriers and advisors "eyes in the back of their heads"...

Great-West In Deal With JP Morgan

A deal with JP Morgan makes Great-West the second-largest retirement services provider in the U.S. ...

Whale Tales Of The First Quarter: Leading Advisors Change Firms

The first quarter was marked by some small advisory shops leaving one broker/dealer for another. Here's a rundown of some of the most notable moves...

Income From Bank-Sold Annuities Up 9 Percent

The top bank holding company in annuity fee income last year was Wells Fargo, with $837 million, up 10.28 percent from 2012...

Longevity Named As Greatest Risk

Douglas Dubitsky, vice president of product management for Guardian Retirement Solutions, calls longevity – outliving assets in retirement – one of the greatest risks facing the U.S. today...

LifeSecure Appoints Tiffany Albert As CEO

Albert said the company would expand further into the long-term care market, and develop “new and innovative products.”...

Southern Conn. Most Expensive LTC Market

Craig DeSanto, senior vice president of New York Life, called the cost of nursing home care “staggering.”...

Investors Confused Over Annuity Choices

Despite recent record sales numbers for fixed and variable annuities, there remains a lot of confusion about what annuities are, what they do and why people need them...

First Investors Life Introduces VUL Product

The product offers a death benefit and accumulates cash value against which policyholders can borrow to pay for expenses...

SEC Chair Aims At Investor Protection

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White says her agency's role is to educate investors, enforce laws designed to protect investors, and come up with new rules governing financial advisor duties and behavior...

Fixed Annuities Enjoyed Banner 2013

Fourth quarter sales reached $23.5 billion, up 4.7 percent from the third quarter, and up 45.2 percent from the year-ago period, Beacon Research said...

AIG Launches IUL Policy

The new IUL policy, issued by American General Life and sold through advisors, offers a death benefit and a no-lapse guarantee for 20 years or until age 80, whichever comes first...

HNW Investors Turn To Advisors For Alternative Investment Guidance

A survey confirms what advisors have always known: that it’s important to talk and to get thoughts out into the open, no matter how far-fetched or wacky they may sound...

VA Market Sees Reshuffling In 2013

Among the nation’s top 10 annuity carriers, it was a year of realignment...

Four Tax Tip Reminders For Advisors To Help Their Clients

Four relatively painless strategies to help your clients save at tax time...

Agents Lead New York Life To Record Operating Earnings

Ted Mathas, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company had “never been stronger,” and he used the good news to remind policyholders that the company has paid policyholder dividends for 160 consecutive years...

Consumers Describe The Ideal Advisor

In response to the question “What do you look for in a financial advisor?” answers varied but they stuck to a consistent theme around the idea of finding the right fit...

Survey Reveals Mismatched Trade-Offs Among Millennials

Millennials are making prudent spending decisions with regard to discretionary expenses but many are still taking on too much debt...

Investors Like Fee Disclosures, But Remain Unlikely To Change Accounts

A leading expert says that there has been no boost in the number of investors paying attention to disclosure statements...

Genworth Chief Calls For Expansion Of Long-Term Care Coverage

Thomas J. McInerney appealed to the industry to find new business models and a more efficient regulatory framework to prevent more long-term care insurance carriers from exiting the market...

New VA Sales Down But Beat Forecast

Morningstar reported new variable annuity (VA) sales for 2013 were $141.2 billion, down 1.5 percent from 2012. The company forecast a 2 to 3 percent drop in new VA sales for 2013...

LUTCF Advisory Group Formed

A 10-member advisory panel will oversee the re-launch of the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation...

New York Life Extends Benefits Of Universal Life Product

Asset Preserver, a single-premium universal life insurance product and a mainstay of New York Life’s insurance portfolio, has been broadened to help pay for expenses associated with long-term care...

Many RIAs Merely 'Accommodating' Retirement Plans Business

A recent survey found that 91 percent of advisors offering retirement plans are only “accommodating” the retirement business as part of their broader wealth management practices..

Experts Split Over Retirement System

The subject of Americans’ retirement preparedness has become a hot topic among lawmakers, as the financial crisis brought to light the precarious financial positions of tens of millions of Americans who saw their holdings vanish...

Lifetime Income Estimates Helpful, But Not Habit-Changing

An analysis finds that employees are unlikely to make big changes to their retirement savings habits even when they know how much retirement income they are likely to receive...

NAILBA Switches E&O Carrier After 10 Years

After a decade with American International Group (AIG), the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) has switched professional liability carriers to Everest Indemnity Insurance, for errors and omissions (E&O) coverage...

Experts Square Off On Capital Standards For Insurers

Bank-centric capital standards would be unsuitable for the nation’s insurers and create an unnecessary regulatory universe for insurers that operate on a very different business model than banks, experts told Congress...

U.S. Ranks 19th On Retirement System

A new survey provides some idea of where the United States ranks relative to other nations with regard to meeting retirement needs through its retirement system...

Advisors Must Slow Down To Tell Consumers About IRA Importance

Advisor Dan Keady’s favorite four-letter word is “slow,” as in “slow down.” Financial advisors, he said, need to downshift when talking about individual retirement accounts (IRAs)...

Fidelity Releases App For Smartwatch

Fidelity Labs says it has just released its new “watchapp” for Pebble. Fidelity calls the app its first “investment information app for smartwatch.”...

Captive Distribution Channels Key To Reducing VA Risk Exposure

As the nation’s most powerful annuities carriers continue to reduce their exposures to the variable annuity (VA) market, how those annuities are sold is almost as important as tweaking product features...

MetLife Study Suggests Advantages For Voluntary Benefits And Private Exchange Models

More than three out of four employees say they want more variety of benefits to choose from and more than one in two is willing to bear more of the cost to secure those choices to meet their needs, a new survey finds...

Carriers Showcase Women’s Initiatives

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, insurance carriers are showcasing their efforts to promote women and offer networking platforms for them in an industry that remains male dominated, even among the advisor ranks...

SEC Encourages Municipal Issuers To Come Clean Now

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), strapped for financial examiners and enforcement personnel, wants municipal bond issuers and underwriters to report violations before its examiners find out about them...

Public Is Unrealistic On Annuity Income

Advisors have some work to do when it comes to explaining how much retirement income an annuity can provide as the vast majority of households have unrealistic expectations about how much in lump-sum premium is required to generate $500 a month...

New Version Of MoneyGuard More Flexible But Stingier With Vesting

MoneyGuard II, a universal life insurance with a long-term care rider introduced by Lincoln Financial this month, increased benefits and the flexibility with which buyers can pay their premiums in exchange for a stricter vesting schedule...

Fidelity Introduces Retirement Tools To Measure Workplace Savings Plan Success

Fidelity Investments has announced the first phase of a rollout of new software tools to help employers measure the effectiveness of workplace savings plans and employees to track their retirement goals...

City Securities Promotes Eight At One Time

City Securities, an Indianapolis-based municipal broker/dealer and wealth manager, announced it has promoted eight advisors to the vice president level or higher...

Voluntary Benefits Confidence Index Hits Record

An index measuring the confidence of insurance carriers, brokers and advisors serving the voluntary benefits industry hit a record of 102.9 at the end of last year, up 3.9 points from year-end 2012, a new survey found...

Advisors Prepare Soldiers For Cuts From Service

With the Pentagon wielding the budget ax, thousands of men and women won’t be wearing fatigues much longer. As they shed their government-issued overalls, they’ll be walking away from generous government insurance programs as well...

Some Advisors Have Trouble Going With The Flow

Advisors looking to spruce up their businesses with an eye toward selling the business in the next few years may want to examine their workflow procedures and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, according to a report...

Lawmakers Take Aim At Senior Poverty

Set aside for a minute the partisan disputes over tax reform, details surrounding advisor examination and registration rules, skirmishes between multibillion-dollar insurers and trillion-dollar mutual funds over lifetime income disclosures...

Support For Employer-Provided Health Plans Starts To Erode

The rumblings of employees dissatisfied with the value of employer-sponsored health benefits are getting louder...

Banks To Target Wealth Management For Fee Income

A majority of bank executives expect revenues from their wealth management practices to grow 25 percent or more in the next five years as banks look to deepen their penetration into sources of fee income, according to a new study...

RiverSource Boosts Universal Life With LTC Rider

RiverSource Life has introduced a universal life insurance policy with an accelerated benefit rider for long-term care to help pay for covered long-term care expenses, the company said in a government filing...

The Tighter The Bond, The Better The Results

The closer the relationship between financial advisor and retirement plan participant, the higher the retirement plan balance and the greater the chances of better investment outcomes for the participant years down the road...

Advisors, Consultants Early Winners In Private Exchanges

Benefits advisors and consultants that play a critical role in helping companies navigate the private health and benefits exchanges appear to be early winners in the rapidly changing landscape of health care reform...

Success Stories Of The Self-Insured

A small pharmaceutical company in Connecticut cuts its health care costs by $400,000 in four years. A labeling company in Ohio slashes its benefits costs by 29 percent over the same period...

Advisors May Help Cure Doctors’ Retirement Income Shortfall

Financial advisors prospecting for new clients might want to check with their doctor. Even physicians, some of the highest paid salaried professionals in the U.S., could use help when it comes to retirement savings projections, a new Fidelity Investments study finds...

Sides Clash On Stop-Loss Regulation

On one side, the Obama administration and proponents of regulation are calling for stricter rules governing stop-loss insurance, coverage purchased by self-insured employers who prefer setting aside their own funds to pay for catastrophic medical claims...

Employees Find Employer-Issued Financial Information Most Trustworthy

Employees trust their employers by overwhelming margins when it comes to financial advice, according to a survey released by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)...

FINRA Issues Rollover IRA Regulatory Notice

For advisors, helping clients move money into individual retirement accounts (IRAs) from a defined contribution plan is fraught with important tax decisions, potential conflicts of interest and suitability considerations...

Employees Ease Off On Using Advisors

The use of advisors to dispense retirement-related advice dipped slightly in 2013 for the first time since 2007 as the stock market performed well and volatility eased, according to the Mercer Workplace Survey...

VALIC Introduces Income Option For Retirement Plan Participants

Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co. (VALIC) announced it has launched a deferred income fixed annuity for 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) deferred compensation plans...

Big Changes Coming To Workplace Benefits

All of a sudden, the benefits world is changing at breakneck speed...

College For Financial Planning Brings Underwriter Training Program Back From The Brink

Five months after The American College of Financial Services said it would drop the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation, the College for Financial Planning (CFFP) announced it would teach the courses...

Insurers’ Net Income Soars 56% In 4Q

Moody’s Investors Services said net income at 19 of the life insurers tracked by the ratings service hit $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of 56 percent compared with the year-ago period...

Aflac Beefs Up, Axa Launches Life Products

Aflac announced it has raised face amounts for its whole and term life policies, and has included a guaranteed-issue option for term life with a face amount of up to $25,000...

Private Exchange Use Expected To Jump

A new survey by Aon Hewitt finds that demand for private benefits exchanges will soar in the next three to five years as employees use the exchanges, or benefits stores, to buy everything from health care to life and disability coverage to supplemental insurance...

Life Carriers Look At Bundling To Boost Sales

Life insurance sales are flat, so what’s a life carrier to do? Why not bundle other products onto the life platform?...

Wanted: Advisors Who Combine Value With Values

The new wealthy – those up-and-coming Generation Y entrepreneurs who are building tomorrow’s billion-dollar companies – are constantly searching for advisors who can combine value with values, a new study finds...

Retirement Units On Management Hiring Binge

If you were a manager with expertise in selling retirement plans, the past 14 months have been very good. So good, in fact, that it was hard to keep up with all the midlevel executive moves within the retirement units of the largest life and annuity carriers...

MetLife Releases App For Whole Life Product

MetLife has announced the release of a tablet-based app for iPads and iPad minis to help agents and advisors explain the benefits of whole life coverage...

Military Families Who Work With Advisors Put Aside More Funds Than Those Who Don't

A new survey by First Command Financial Services finds that members of the nation’s armed services who work with a financial advisor put away as much as $2,000 more per month than those who don’t...

Electronic Signatures Assume Wider Usage With John Hancock Announcement

John Hancock announced it has signed off on electronic signatures for life insurance customers, as another major life insurer moves to meet the demand of advisors and customers to automate core products and services...

Pair Of Senate Bills Target Employer-Based Retirement Savings

A pair of competing bills designed to boost retirement savings for workers at small businesses have been introduced in the Senate as Democrat and Republican lawmakers scramble to show they are doing all they can to help workers plan for the future...

Insurance Industry Embarks On Another Round Of Debate On Regulation

If consumers ever wondered why the insurance industry seems so antiquated at times, all they had to do was step inside Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building earlier this month and listen to a tapestry of testimony delivered before a House panel...

Investors Give Defined Contribution Plans A Vote Of Confidence

Despite last year’s hard-hitting news headlines about the shortcomings of the defined contribution system, investors say they are committed to retirement savings through the employer-based plans as a way to prepare for retirement...

What Can Insurers Learn From The Olympics?

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, holds a lesson about the importance of insurance advisors embracing the consumer...

IAs: Reaching New Heights Of Potential?

You can’t fault insurance carries for wanting to promote their products by using a little branding hyperbole...

Expanded Advisor Network, Sales Training Seen As Key To CNO Growth

CNO Financial Group, the parent company for three middle-market insurance companies and an investment advisor group, said its plans for 2014 include growing the financial advisor program, advance life sales training, branch office expansion and sales force automation...

LifeSecure Updates Long-Term Care Product

Specialty insurer LifeSecure Insurance has announced an update to its long-term care insurance (LTCi) policy that includes a shared care benefit rider for couples...

Looking For Love? Control Your Debt!

If you’re out on a date for Valentine’s Day, you are better off talking about life insurance than you are bringing up the subject of debt...

Snapshot Compares Top-Performing RIAs To Peers

High-performing registered investment advisor (RIA) firms, which typically deliver between one and two times the growth, profitability and productivity of other firms, use technology to help them deliver the big numbers, according to the 2013 Fidelity RIA Benchmarking Study...

Nationwide Financial Launches Indexed Annuity

Nationwide, looking to capitalize on the recent demand for indexed annuity products, announced it has launched an indexed annuity branded as New Heights...

Advisors Favor B/D, Custodian Websites

For the amount of time and the size of investment dollars many mutual funds and insurers spend making their websites easy and friendly for advisors, satisfaction levels among advisors are still surprisingly low, according to a new report...

Jackson National To Expand Alternatives Educational Campaign

Jackson National, a top seller of annuities, said it will extend its alternative investment educational campaign for advisors into 2014 after reaching more than 10,000 advisors last year through seminars and training programs...

Securian Offers Term Life Enrollment Through Mobile Devices

Minnesota Life, the life insurance unit of Securian Financial Services, announced it has joined the list of life insurers making it possible for policyholders to enroll for term life using their mobile devices...

Big Moves In Senior Management At ING U.S.

For ING U.S, it’s a new year and a new brand. Now, a bevy of new faces and young managers step into senior positions to guide the company as a stand-alone insurance carrier freed of its Dutch parent in the wake of last year’s initial public offering...

Last Advisor Standing: The One Who Understands De-Accumulation

For senior managers at the peak of their earning powers, relying on two or more financial advisors isn’t unusual, and high net worth investors often lean on a cadre of advisors to help them with complex asset transfers and estate planning...

Guardian Tops Recruiting Goal For Women Advisors

Guardian Life, which ended the year with a strong push to recruit women financial advisors, announced it hired 892 new financial representatives in 2013...

Fidelity Introduces New Fixed-Income Tool For Advisors

Fidelity Financial Advisors Solutions has introduced a new tool for financial advisors looking to model fixed-income portfolios as interest rates rise with the scaling back of the Federal Reserve bond-buying program...

SEC Document Seeks More Transparency

Demand for alternative investments by financial advisors in search of higher returns has caused the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a “risk alert” regarding advisor due diligence in accordance with the Advisers Act...

Symetra To Expand Distribution For Annuities, UL In 2014

Tom Marra, president and chief executive officer of Symetra Financial, said the company would push even harder to sell fixed, indexed and single-premium annuities through banks and broker/dealers in 2014 to take advantage of rising interest rates...

Blizzard Of Activity Around Retirement Savings

A blizzard of activity around retirement legislation swept through the nation, heating up the debate about long-term savings, current spending and guaranteed income after the working years. Just what is going on?..

Survey Reveals Gap In Attitudes Toward Retirement Income Options

Americans say they want their retirement plans to generate guaranteed monthly income, but many plan participants either do not have a lifetime income option or are unsure of whether their plans even offer one, a recent study finds...

529 College Plans Stall, but Tuition Needs Grow

Heralded not long ago as an answer to the galloping cost of college tuition, 529 plans got off to a fast start, but the economy pulled back the reins...

Repositioning The 529 College Savings Plan For Growth

Heralded not long ago as an answer to the galloping cost of college tuition, 529 plans got off to a fast start, and it seemed as if the investments would catch fire along the lines of defined contribution plans like 401(k)s...

Two Major Carriers Announce Big Hiring Initiatives

With the economy on the mend, the approaching shortage of financial advisors and large segments of the population underinsured or lacking coverage outright, two nationwide insurance carriers have announced major hiring initiatives...

Iowa Senator Introduces New Retirement Savings Program

A day after President Obama announced a new type of retirement account, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced new legislation to “tackle the retirement crisis” by automatically enrolling workers into a new pension system...

Older And Younger Advisors Prepare For The Great Transition Decade

Industry experts say the time has come for financial advisors to prepare for a wave of change about to hit the insurance and retirement distribution channel as tens of thousands of advisors prepare for retirement over the next few years...

For Gen Y, Family And Friends Trump Advisors For Advice

Generation Y, young adults from 21 to 36 years old, turn to their spouses, parents and friends first for financial advice, and these young adults put a premium on saving instead of investing, according to a new report...

Women The Fulcrum Of The Hispanic Household

It has often been said that the way to a woman’s heart is through her children. For financial advisors, the way to the heart of the Hispanic market lies through women, the household’s de facto gatekeepers...

LPL Financial Improves Mobile App, Email Improvements Foreseen

LPL Financial, a large independent broker/dealer and custodian for registered investment advisors (RIAs) has improved its widely used app, making it easier for advisors to communicate with clients and stay abreast of market events, the company said...

Life Insurance Carriers Release Competing Hispanic Market Surveys

Behind the glittering facades of life insurance companies ensconced in corporate offices lies a wickedly competitive industry, with carriers jockeying for media attention in a way that might even make a grizzled Hollywood press agent proud...

John Hancock, Guardian Expand Alternative Investment Choices

John Hancock Investments has announced the launch of two new mutual funds which the company said target “lower-volatility equity strategies” to provide investors with a return that is acceptable given the amount of risk...

Aging Advisor Force Brings Challenges, Opportunities

Here’s a sobering fact for the future of financial advisors: the average age of all financial advisors is 50.9 years...

Hispanic Prospects Are Driven By Trust

The more consistent and patient advisors are when dealing with Latino clients, the more likely they will find success in a market that is ready for advice, according to experts and a new survey of Latino buying trends...

New York Life Adds Whole Life Chronic Care Rider

Looking to make its whole life policies more flexible and attractive to consumers, New York Life announced it has introduced a level premium chronic care rider to newly issued standard and custom whole life insurance policies...

AIG Financial Distributors Names Liza Tyler To Senior Annuities Distribution Post

Veteran sales executive of life insurance and annuities products Liza Tyler has been appointed senior vice president, annuity distribution, for AIG Financial Distributors...

Where Have All The Millionaires Gone?

Many financial advisors hunger to serve the mass affluent. A 2013 survey of where the nation’s millionaires are located yields clues to where the mass affluent live...

Virtual Conferences, Live Streaming Enter The Insurance World

The virtual conference world is beginning to turn up as an option for financial advisors serving the specialty segments of the life insurance industry. This is courtesy of faster Internet connections and higher bandwidth streaming into homes...

Genworth Latest Carrier To Settle With States In Death Master File Dispute

Illinois regulators announced a $1.9 million settlement with subsidiaries of Genworth Financial over payouts to life insurance and annuity beneficiaries. This is part of a larger settlement with states regarding the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File...

Using Text To Enroll In Retirement Plan

Mobile technologies made further inroads into defined contribution retirement plans this month with Principal Financial Group’s announcement of new capabilities allowing employees to enroll in 401(k) plans using the texting functions...

Delaware Life Appoints President

Daniel J. Towriss, former chief actuary, chief risk officer and secretary of Guggenheim Life and Annuity, has been appointed president of newly formed Delaware Life Holdings, the company has announced...

Multi-Generational Households A Challenge For Life Insurers

When it comes to selling life insurance, multiple generations living under the same roof present as many challenges as opportunities...

AIG Hones Its Network Amid A Pullback

The announcement that American General was rebranding its 1,400-strong distribution arm to American International Group Financial Network (AIG) and expanding the network’s scope will likely raise eyebrows in the corporate suites of Prudential, MetLife and Northwestern Mutual...

LTCi Premiums Rise For Single Women, Drop For Men

New premium numbers released by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) show that the average annual cost of $164,000 worth of long-term care insurance for a healthy 55-year-old single woman is $1,225...

Nationwide Introduces Suite Of Living Benefits Riders

Nationwide has announced the release of a suite of living benefit riders for its Destination Series 2.0 variable annuity, a move that will offer advisors more flexibility with regard to the company’s Destination-branded variable annuity...

Boomerangs, Extended Families Complicate Retirement Income Planning

Multigenerational scenarios are playing out more frequently in the U.S. than they used to, according to the Pew Research Center, due to declining employment, underemployment, rising college enrollment and declining marriage rates...

The Tarnish On Record Annuity Sales

Annuities, proponents maintain, offer a stable income vehicle to supplement their pensions and Social Security — which itself is the largest annuity program in the country. But if that’s the case, why aren’t annuities selling much faster than they are?...

SEC Pushes Back Registration Date

Municipal advisors have until July 1 to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That extends the registration deadline about seven months from Jan. 13...

Employers To Provide Easier Access To Financial Advice, Survey Finds

Large employers, many of whom have established the concept of wellness as a way to lower medical expenses, are extending the idea to the financial and retirement well-being of employees with the help of tools, information and access to advisors in 2014...

Voluntary Carriers Push Into Self-Serve Functions

Voluntary benefits carriers, pushing further into the self-service model, will offer online information to customers by enhancing email, chat functionality and mobile apps as the Internet penetrates deeper into the life and benefits industry...

Carriers Eye Simpler Products In 2014

Financial advisors can anticipate that life and annuity carriers in 2014 will develop simpler products for consumers, and will develop new products targeting underpenetrated market segments like Generation X, according to a new report...

Genworth, Prudential Launch New UL Products

Pruco Life Insurance and Genworth Financial have announced new universal life (UL) insurance products which include no-lapse guarantees and choices among crediting options...

Oil And Gas Companies Are Tops For 401(k) Generosity

By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet A widely followed survey of corporate defined contribution plans with more than $1 billion in

A New Way To Fund Long-Term Care?

New trends in the life settlements market, particularly around policies with lower face amounts, has opened the door for advisors to discuss the financing of nursing home care, assisted living and home health care through cash values stored in universal and whole life contracts...

Pacific Life Modifies Annuity Offerings, Tax Analyzer Tool

Pacific Life, looking to tweak its annuity offerings to consumers in search of income to fund retirement expenses, has introduced a fixed annuity that features a 6 percent credit for every year the annuitant defers the income...

Advisors May Play A Larger Role In Families’ LTC Planning

Even if long-term care insurance is out of reach for most Americans because it is too expensive, advisors can help clients think about how best to organize their lives knowing they may one day have to care for parents, siblings and even children...

Status Of Pension Funding Reaches Seven-Year High

A new analysis by the consulting firm Towers Watson has found that big stock market gains and rising interest rates powered Fortune 1,000 aggregate pension plan funding levels to their best levels since 2007...

Private LTCi: A Narrower Or Broader Future?

The long-term care insurance (LTCi) industry, which has suffered recently with carriers leaving, scaling back coverage and raising premiums, is at a “critical crossroad” regarding its role in the future of the nation’s long-term care policy...

FINRA Outlines 2014 Regulatory Priorities

Rising interest rates and the popularity of alternative investment products are causing the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to take a closer look at the suitability of long-duration bonds sold by retail brokers and advisors, the agency said...

Advisor Exam Bill Wins Endorsement, Lacks GOP Backing

A bill authorizing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to increase the number and frequency of exams administered to investment advisors, and to charge advisors a fee to take the tests, received an important endorsement earlier this month but appears to lack support from one key constituency: House Republicans...

403(b) Plans A Major Selling Point To Replenish Nonprofit Ranks

The 403(b) retirement plan will play a leading role in attracting the next generation of talent to run nonprofit institutions, colleges and universities, all of which will see their employee ranks depleted due to a wave of retirements, according to a new survey...

Digital or Analog? Life Insurers Have to Do Both

Producers and carriers have to learn to speak digital with younger prospects, but still invest in the face-to-face that closes deals...

Protective To Adjust Its Sales Strategy In 2014

Protective Life, one of the few life insurers with a consistent track record of successful acquisitions, is honing its life product portfolio to attract more of the mass affluent category of customers...

MassMutual Scores High With Advisors

Retirement plan advisors give MassMutual Financial Group above average marks for helping workers with retirement readiness, and appreciate the company’s wholesaler expertise, a study by the Boston Research Group has found...

MetLife Targets Malaysia In Distribution Agreement

MetLife has agreed to seek approval for majority and minority stakes in two life insurance subsidiaries of a Malaysia bank holding company as part of an agreement that includes a long-term distribution deal to sell life insurance through hundreds of banks...

Target Date Funds Attract More 401(k) Participants, Assets

Target date funds, mutual funds that are automatically rebalanced to coincide with the approximate date an employee retires from the workforce, were held by 41 percent of 401(k) participants, a 2 percentage point increase from 2011...

Top IA Sellers Share Traits

Advisors may not be doing enough to sell indexed annuities but for those who are, there are some common best-practices traits these advisors share...

Advisors List Their Resolutions For 2014

Advisors’ top resolutions for 2014 include increasing referrals from current clients (85 percent), boosting their office efficiency (67 percent), integrating technology (59 percent), meeting influential industry experts (59 percent) and being more selective about taking on new clients (48 percent), according to a poll...

New Year’s Reminders For Pension Plan Advisors

With employers’ attention turned toward the Affordable Care Act and how health reform will affect their employee populations, retirement plan advisors might want to think about defined contribution and defined benefit strategies for 2014, so that their clients don’t have to...

2014: the Year to Build Analytic Sales Muscles

In the C-suites of the nation’s largest wealth managers, chief information officers and their information technology departments are planning the future of what they want their retail financial advisors to see on their tablets and desktops...

Resolution For Advisors In 2014: Think About Your Business Model

With a new year around the corner, financial advisors may want to think about tweaking their business models. Could $250 be the new $2,500? Maybe, according to one consumer financial trends expert. At the very least, the idea is worth exploring...

Advisors As Mediators: Helping Couples Settle Financial Disagreements

Financial advisors are paid to plan a family’s long-term future, but when couples disagree about their plans – for example, what to leave to or withhold from heirs, how to divide assets in a marital split -- what then?...

Hybrid Annuities Gain Traction With Key Senator

By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet The combination annuity and long-term care policy that has been mentioned as part of the solu

Plenty Of Upside For Advisors Among Retirement Plans

A new survey by the U.S. tax and consulting company McGladrey finds there’s still plenty of growth potential for advisors serving the retirement plan market, particularly around clarifying retirement plan costs...

Financial Discussions Are The ‘Elephant In The Room’ For Families

Longer lifespans and complicated relationships contribute to your clients’ reluctance to talk about finances with family members...

FIO Calls For Uniform Capital Requirements, More Transparency For Captives

States should develop and adopt “uniform and robust” transparency standards for liabilities insurance companies reinsure through their captives, as well as the assets used to back those very same captives, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) said...

In The Voluntary Market, Advisors’ Role Forever Changed By ACA

A look-see into the future direction of the voluntary market reveals that financial advisors and brokers had best prepare to become facilitators and consultants as more voluntary benefits products are sold through the exchanges...

ING U.S. Renews Mich. Retirement Plans, Moves Captive To Arizona

ING U.S., on the eve of a major rebranding effort to Voya Financial, has announced that its retirement solutions business has renewed its 401(k) and 457 retirement plan contracts with the state of Michigan...

Retirement Income Disclosure A Key Issue For Employees

In case the industry hadn’t noticed, there’s a big change afoot among workers in terms of what they want to know about their investments...

Companies And Workers Uncertain About The Impact Of ACA

If there is one gift employees and employers say they want this year, it’s better understanding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s a gift they are likely to get, but not this year...

Survey Finds Advice Has Biggest Impact On Gen Y

Members of Generation Y have fewer assets than those who belong to Generation X and the baby boom generation, but Gen Y is more likely to heed advisors and alter their savings habits...

FIO Expresses Deep Reservations About Reserving

States considering the implementation of principle-based reserving (PBR) should exercise “substantial caution,” as few regulators are likely to have the technical expertise to be able to evaluate the internal capital models used by insurers, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) said...

Changing Retirement Plan Landscape Creates New Challenges For Advisors

Financial advisors and insurance carriers operating in the defined contribution (DC) retirement plan market should anticipate tougher competition and more pricing pressure as giant mutual funds move “down market” and offer their services to small and midsize companies, the traditional clientele of insurers...

Life 2014 Revenue Growth Outlook Projected At 2.9%

Financial analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods project estimated median operating revenue growth for a group of 14 life carriers at 2.9 percent for 2014 due to stock market performance, rising interest rates, and higher sales of fixed annuities and basic life insurance...

MetLife Predicts 40% Increase In Voluntary And Worksite Sales

In an early indication of how one of the nation’s largest life insurers plans to accelerate sales growth in the voluntary benefits space, MetLife said that it will sell voluntary and worksite products on 10 private health care exchanges next year...

Great-West Offers More Control, Raises Fees On VA

Great-West Financial, seeking to offer retirement investors guaranteed income, has launched a new “low cost” variable annuity (VA) that doesn’t charge clients until they start shifting funds to the income segment of the annuity...

RIA Growth A Bright Spot In Stagnant Advisor Market

The number of registered investment advisors (RIAs) grew at an annualized rate of 8 percent between 2004 and 2012, the only channel among six separate advisor channels to record growth in the period, a new analysis reveals...

Lincoln Expands Intermediary Sales Force

Wholesale financial services distributor Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD) has hired three new regional sales directors to expand its intermediary retirement plan sales force and offer more service to retirement plan advisors, the company said...

Monument Advisor Adds 23 New Options

Monument Advisor, the flat-fee variable annuity offered by Jefferson National Life, has added 23 new investment options to its fund lineup to help advisors manage risk and volatility...

Protective Life Exec Criticizes Industry’s Commoditization

The chief executive officer of one of the nation’s most respected life insurance companies decried the state of the industry...

Principal Holds Firm On Strategy Despite Downgrade

Top executives with The Principal Financial Group held firm in their long-term acquisition strategy in foreign markets despite a November ratings downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service citing capital constraints...

Clarity On Private Equity; Low Interest Rates To Spur Deals

Excess capital among annuity insurers, low organic growth and financing rates, louder activist shareholders and the narrowing of bid-ask spreads means it’s likely the market will see more private equity deals, an expert said...

American General Offers Critical Illness Rider To UL Policy

American General has added a rider to its guaranteed universal life (GUL) policy that allows policyholders diagnosed with chronic illness to access the policy’s death benefit while they are still alive...

Employers Altering Investment Approaches

A new survey released by Aon Hewitt finds that employers are boosting returns on retirement savings at very little extra cost through lower fees, and by offering non-mutual fund alternatives and adding passive management strategies to the investment mix...

Analyst Calls Detroit Pensions Ruling A 'Watershed' Event

A U.S. bankruptcy judge’s ruling that pensions can be cut to reduce the city of Detroit’s $18 billion long-term liabilities is a “watershed” event in the history of municipal bankruptcies, according to a credit analyst...

Twists And Turns In Public Pension Reform

Within hours of a U.S. bankruptcy judge clearing the way for cuts to current and future pension benefits to rid a bankrupt Detroit of its $18 billion liability, the Illinois General Assembly on approved an overhaul of the government worker pension system to remove a $100 billion pension debt in that state...

National Plan Holdings Posts Sales, Revenue Increases

National Plan Holdings, a holding company for four separate broker-dealers with a total of 3,545 registered reps, posted third quarter revenue of $247 million, an increase of 14.8 percent compared with the year-ago period, the company said...

Rebounds In Stock, Housing Barely Improve Retirement Security

Call it the big disconnect. Roaring stock prices and the solid rebound in the housing market have only led to a “modest” improvement in the prospects of Americans’ retirement security, new research published by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College shows...

Moody’s: Life Giants Power Industry To Big 3Q Net Income Gains

Third quarter net income for U.S. life insurers rocketed to $6.4 billion, an increase of 188 percent over $2.2 billion in the year-ago period, thanks to big gains by AIG, MetLife and Prudential, Moody’s Investors Service reported...

Women Place Greater Emphasis On Trust

Women are more likely than men to trust a financial advisor, and are also more open to changing their savings and spending habits after receiving advice than men are, according to the pension fund giant Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)...

Defined Contribution Amounts To Plateau In 2014

Employees who set aside retirement funds through their 401(k) are not planning to increase their contributions in 2014 compared to this year, a sign that many workers are not benefiting financially from an improving economy, Mercer said...

Are Regulations Too Onerous For Advisors To Stay In Business?

Whether it’s responding to urgent phone calls over Thanksgiving, or flying six hours cross-country to be with clients who have lost a spouse, there are few things a dedicated advisor would not do for a long-time customer. The extra hours cement strong relationships...

Study Reveals “Dichotomy” Among Advisors In The 403(b) Market

Four years after an IRS ruling regarding 403(b) plan sponsors and their responsibility for selecting and monitoring investment options, a “dichotomy” has opened among colleges and universities using financial advisors, according to Transamerica Retirement Services...

Giving Thanks To The Financial Advisor

With all the criticism surrounding 401(k) plan retirement fees and regulators looking more closely at licensing requirements, it hasn’t been the easiest of years for financial advisors. So the time has come to show them a little love...

Families Avoid Talking About Financial Topics

A major new study by Merrill Lynch finds the majority of Americans age 50 or older unprepared for big family events, a situation made worse by family members’ reluctance to discuss financial topics...

Where's The Holiday For Life Insurance?

The nation has emerged from the traditional long Thanksgiving weekend, the eight days of Hanukkah are winding to a close and Christmas decorations are going up. But all life insurance policies get is the equivalent of a big, fat “no, thanks.”...

Consumers Weigh Risks, Other Factors Affecting The Cost Of Annuities

With 2014 shaping up to be an active year in corporate pension risk transfer, institutional advisors may want to think about the factors affecting the cost for annuities that are used to guarantee pension obligations...

Colleges Consolidate 403(b) Retirement Plans

Colleges and universities are streamlining their 403(b) and Roth 403(b) retirement plans, and higher education institutions are about evenly split between institutions using a single retirement plan provider and those using multiple providers...

Retirement Plan Advisors Face Era Of Consolidation

A new report by Transamerica Retirement Solutions finds that over the next four years, retirement plan advisors will face an era of consolidation...

Two Florida Advisors Charged In $4M Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced fraud charges against two Tampa, Fla.-area retail financial advisors who reaped more than $4 million by investing the assets of retirees and self-directed individual retirement account (IRA) holders with risky offshore hedge funds...

Carriers Look To Social Networks To Boost Sales

If financial advisors look at Las Vegas-based insurance agent Kent Larson’s Facebook page with a hint of envy, it’s easy to see why. His page resembles that of a socially connected 20-something...

Advisors Dealing With A Daily Juggling Act

A survey of financial advisors by Natixis Global Asset Management finds that, in many cases, clients are pulling them in opposite directions. Advisors also say they spend twice as much time on administrative tasks as they do looking for new or younger clients...

Company Pushes For Innovative Way To Reach The Middle Market

Securian Financial Group’s recent announcement to sell individual whole life insurance through the college savings service Upromise represents a new channel through which Securian hopes to sell simple-issue protection products to the middle market...

Sales Of Fixed-Rate Annuities Soar In 3Q

Sales of fixed annuities reached $23.5 billion in the third quarter, a 31 percent increase over the year-ago period, as interest rates edged up over the summer and fixed annuities gained broader acceptance in the market, according to LIMRA...

Many Advisors Neglect Their Own Succession Planning

Financial advisors who worry that investors pay too much attention to the accumulation phase of wealth creation to the detriment of the payout phase, ought to consider their own shortcomings when it comes time for professional “drawdown.”...

Pair Of Minnesota-Based Giants Refresh, Launch New Products

Call it the battle of the Minnesota-based life insurance giants...

Flat-Fee VA Spurs Savings For Advisors

Registered investment advisors (RIAs) and fee-based advisors and investors have saved more than $60 million in insurance and transaction fees since the launching of the industry’s first flat-fee variable annuity (VA) in 2005, according to Jefferson National Life...

Separate Accounts See Strong Growth In Assets

All assets of U.S. life insurers held in separate accounts ballooned to $2.06 trillion, an 11.9 percent increase over 2011, due partly to last year’s robust stock market and to the popularity of equity-based products as a way to compensate for low interest rates...

SEC Case Highlights The Sensitivity Of Public Workers Serving As Financial Advisors

It was only a matter of time before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against a public body for allegedly misleading investors about public financing...

Guardian Tacks On Loan Protection Rider To Disability Policy

With graduate students sometimes carrying school debt loads well into the six figures, Guardian Life announced it has introduced a loan protection rider to its disability income protection policy...

Jackson Surpasses $20 Billion Mark

Jackson National, the top seller of annuities in the U.S., booked $20.7 billion in total sales and deposits in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 5.4 percent over last year, the company reported...

Top Advisors Share Secrets Of Successful Client Relationships

If there’s one goal that binds many financial advisors, it’s that they want to do well by their clients. This is not only because it assures the advisors’ financial and professional success, but also because it leads to their customers’ happiness...

LPL Sees Strong Growth As Consumers Seek More Independent Advice

There are two ways to check the pulse of how well the nation’s independent broker-dealers are doing: The first is to ask them. The second is to take a peek at the latest goings-on at LPL Financial, the nation’s fourth largest broker-dealer...

Pacific Life Kicks Off Social Media Pilot To Connect Advisors

Looking to strengthen advisors’ social media network to generate prospects, retain customers and sell more, the Retirement Solutions Division of Pacific Life has announced the launch of a pilot program using technology from Hearsay Social...

Group Life Policies Augmented With Grief Counseling Services

Two major insurance carriers have added grief counseling programs to their group term life policies starting Jan. 1, a sign that the industry is taking seriously the treatment of mental health...

Financial Firms Looking At Hiring Veterans

Edward Jones, the Missouri-based financial services firm, has announced the hiring of 336 military veterans so far this year as part of its FORCES hiring initiative. The new hires add to the company’s 1,500 veterans already employed as advisors...

Life Carriers Reporting Strong 3Q Net Income

Major life insurers are delivering windfalls in the third quarter as companies rejiggered their product lineup and capitalized on the sale of fee-income products...

GAO Recommends More Consistency In Pension Plan Disclosures

Despite the headlong rush to deliver documents electronically, a key U.S. government agency isn’t quite ready to recommend that private pension plans abandon pen and paper when communicating pension-related disclosures...

Discount Trading Platforms Transform Into Comprehensive Advice Providers

Direct-to-investor assets have nearly doubled in the four-year period ending in 2012. The growth rate has outpaced advisor-intermediated investing as discount trading platforms popular with do-it-yourself investors move into the advisory space, a new report finds...

Pre-Retirees Yearn For Advice

A new survey by Jackson National Life of pre-retirees ages 45 to 65 years old reveals the need for custom retirement strategies. That kind of demand is likely to require the expertise of an advisor...

Many Unsure About Long-Term Care, Even As They Provide It

A new study by Northwestern Mutual found that while many Americans don’t have a plan for long-term care, people who think about funding their own long-term care needs are getting younger as more families deal with aging parents or friends...

Longer Lifespans Fuel Insurers' Concerns

Big changes are afoot in the life insurance industry even if the tectonic shifts are not immediately apparent to U.S. policyholders or advisors who sell to them...

Securian Introduces New VUL Product, Distribution Deal

Securian Financial Group has introduced a new variable universal life (VUL) policy with subaccounts that allow policyholders to invest in stocks. The policy also offers to pay death benefits in installments, and provides a guaranteed lifetime benefit...

Advisors To Increase Portfolio Allocations To Alternative Investments

A Jefferson National Life survey of Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and fee-based advisors has found that nearly two thirds (64 percent) have increased their use of alternative investments over the past five years...

Widening Array Of Products And Services Generate Income For Retirees

The explosion of retirees will expand the retirement product line-up and add features to individual retirement offerings for the foreseeable future...

Retirement Plans Favor Fee-Only Advisors, Consultants Over Broker-Dealers

A new study by Transamerica Retirement Solutions (TRS) finds that independent fee-only advisors and consultants gained market share at the expense of broker-dealers as the favored intermediary among retirement plans...

North Dakota Leads U.S. In Life And Annuity Premium Growth

Advisors looking to grow their life and annuity books of business might want to consider North Dakota. It is the only state to make the top five on two separate lists tracking premium growth over the past four years...

Aon Hewitt Survey Finds 75% Of Plans Offer Access To Outside Advisors

Three out of four retirement plan sponsors offered employees access to outside investment advisors to help them plan for retirement, a 2013 survey by the benefits consulting firm Aon Hewitt has found...

Lawmakers Launch Disability Income Protection Caucus

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress has announced the launch of the Congressional Income Protection Caucus to raise awareness about disability risk and the importance of protecting lost income stemming from a disability...

Advisors Sound Off On Investors’ Preparedness

Financial advisors and retirement plan sponsors have taken their lumps this year as media and lawmakers have questioned the high fees that middlemen receive to advise and manage plans that lag the indexes...

Financial Planning Can Be Scary For Investors

Advisors say that many people are paralyzed when it comes to financial planning. But are people scared because they don’t have a financial plan? Or do they not bother making plans because they are scared?...

30-Somethings Most Likely To Have Written Retirement Plans

Advisors prospecting for a new generation of clients may first want to approach middle class Americans in their 30s. They are the mostly likely among all age groups to have a written retirement plan, a new survey finds...

SEC Charges Three Advisory Firms With Custody Rule Violations

Three financial advisors and their firms registered in New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota face censure, disciplinary action and financial penalties for violating the “custody rule,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced...

Allianz Launches New Indexed Annuity

Allianz Life has announced the launch of the Allianz Core Income 7 Annuity with a Core Income Benefit rider as the company takes advantage of surging interest in indexed annuities...

Two Reports Take Financial Advisors To Task

Financial advisors were in for some harsh scrutiny in two recent reports...

Sound Alt Investment Strategies Can Lead To Improved Portfolio Performance

Financial advisors who want to boost yields on bond portfolios may consider a range of alternative investment strategies. These strategies can improve the performance of fixed-income portfolios...

Transamerica Hires Two Retirement Plan Experts

Transamerica Retirement Solutions (TRS) has announced the hiring of two industry veterans, one with expertise in the defined contribution retirement plan business, and the other with deep knowledge of defined benefit retirement plan structure...

Liquid Alternative Assets Could Double By 2018

Assets in alternative or “alt” mutual fund investments could double in the next five years to $490 billion by 2018, particularly if advisors and investors become more comfortable with such funds, according to an analysis by a mutual fund analytics firm...

Industry Analysts Expect Single-Digit Profits In Third Quarter

With many of the nation’s largest life insurers preparing to announce third quarter results over the next two to three weeks, analysts are looking for the industry to deliver earnings growth in the “low single-digit range,” according to Moody’s Investors Services...

Expert Urges Companies To Scrutinize Their Stop-Loss Coverage

Financial and benefits advisors in the midst of the fall renewal reason for self-funded health plans beginning Jan. 1, 2014, take note: Stop-loss insurance has entered a new era, courtesy of the Affordable Care Act...

Great-West Continues Its Surge Into Retirement Plan Market

Great-West Financial has announced its entry into the small and midsize nonprofit retirement market with the launch of its Premier and Custom Key 403(b) products...

Defined Contribution Rates Rise, Survey Finds

The 56th Annual Profit Sharing and 401(k) Survey reveals that companies are contributing more to their sponsored retirement plans and adding more features, and that participants are saving at higher rates compared to the previous year...

Advisors Who Specialize Manage More Assets

A new report finds that specialist advisors manage twice as many assets per advisor compared to their generalist peers. The study also finds that while specialization narrows an advisor’s market, it improves that advisor’s success in developing business by articulating a tailored service...

Life And Annuity Carriers Sign Off On Electronic Signatures

For annuity carriers, the era of electronic signatures is at hand. Agents and carriers have come around to the advantages of signing on the dotted line in electronic form, particularly when it comes to new business...

Small Business Demand For Guidance Offers Advisor Opportunity

When it comes to their financial advisor, small business owners seem to be of two minds. They say that over the next two years they are going to need every bit of help they can get from their advisors. But for the moment, they also aren’t all that impressed with the help they can get or the cost of it...

‘Fear Of Planning’ Strikes Potential Investors

More than one in four potential investors – 26 percent – do not have a financial plan, and of those who don’t have a plan - about 38 percent - say they have no intention of ever creating one, according to an investor sentiment survey...

FINRA Report Looks At Conflicts Of Interest

Although financial services companies have done much to address conflict-of-interest issues since the financial crisis, companies can do more to strengthen their internal watchdog frameworks, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc (FINRA)...

Guardian Life Introduces Stop-Loss Coverage

Guardian Life has introduced medical stop-loss coverage for self-funded employers to help companies cope with catastrophic medical claims, the company has announced...

Demand For Retirement Advice Soars

A new poll by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) finds that the number of Americans seeking financial advice in the areas of medical expense planning during retirement, making retirement savings last and saving for retirement has increased markedly over the past year...

Lincoln Financial Snags Managed Accounts Leader From Merrill

Lincoln Financial Network has announced the appointment of Gene Mulligan, an industry “pioneer” in separately managed accounts (SMA), to the position of senior vice president for investment products and platform...

House Committee Considers Ideas To Boost Participation In Retirement Plans

Simplifying the employer-sponsored retirement system would give small business owners more incentive to sponsor a retirement plan, and educating workers about the tax breaks of saving and investing would motivate more workers to sign up, experts said at a House committee hearing last week...

TIAA-CREF To Grow Advisor Ranks By 45%

The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) will increase the size of its Individual Advisory Services (IAS) group by adding more than 200 advisors – a 45 percent increase – by the end of next year...

More Employers See Increasing Income As Goal Of Retirement Plans

A new survey by Transamerica Retirement Solutions finds that employers and advisors see retirement plans as a tool to help employees prepare for retirement rather than a way for employers to recruit new workers or retain their existing workforces...

New Certification For Life Insurance Agents Reflects Changing Needs

You’ve had a great run, Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). Now step aside, there’s a new designation in town: the Financial Services Certified Professional (FSCP)...

Brokers Most Optimistic On Near-Term Future Of Voluntary Market

Agents and brokers are bullish on the voluntary market as health care reform and the popularly of high deductible health plans cause employees to look at purchasing benefits on a voluntary basis while taking advantage of group rates offered by their employers...

Pacific Life Goes On The Road With Keystone Retirement Plan

Financial advisors, Pacific Life’s Keystone 401(k) Program is coming to a city near you this fall...

Hedge Fund Head Banned From Control Of N.Y. Insurance Firms

New York state regulators have banned Philip A. Falcone, head of Harbinger Capital Partners and a director at Fidelity & Guaranty Life (F&GL), from exercising “direct or indirect control” over any New York-licensed insurer for seven years...

SEC Takes Aim At Municipal Advisors

A new “registration regime” recently adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate who is qualified to give advice and under what circumstances appears to have more exemptions than the tax code...

Colonial Alters Whole Life 1000 Plans

Colonial Life & Accident has tweaked its Whole Life 1000 insurance product by raising the plan’s cash value to comply with changing interest rate regulations beginning 2014, and has also amended some benefits to the plan, the company announced...

Carriers Seek To Limit Variable Annuity Risk

Carriers dialing back on the risk of their variable annuity (VA) contracts are doing so in two ways, experts said. Either they are buying out contract holders or buying back the benefit, or they are asking contract holders to redirect their investments...

Pension Fund Survey Finds Uncertainty About Financial Advice

A recent survey finds that Americans aren’t really sure whom to trust when it comes to financial advice, and that they are generally uncomfortable speaking about money...

New Stop-Loss Approach Could Be Expanded If Successful

A pair of Sun Life Financial executives said they intend to closely track a new approach linking stop-loss coverage for employers to voluntary critical illness coverage for employees...

MassMutual Survey Reveals Genders’ Social Media Preferences

A new survey by MassMutual Retirement Services finds that when it comes to communicating with American workers, gender matters. Women prefer Facebook while men gravitate to LinkedIn...

Best Advertising To RIAs Emphasizes Trust And Service

Five years after the financial crisis, ad campaigns targeting registered investment advisors (RIAs) are stressing the importance of an institution’s trust and the ability of advisors to help investors make their own decisions, two marketing experts said...

Market Volatility Fear Drives Investment Decisions

A survey by Allianz Life finds that most Americans say they prefer financial products that limit potential loss over products that offer unlimited potential growth but may also result in unlimited loss...

LPL Worksite Platform Gains With New York Life Endorsement

LPL Financial Retirement Partners has scored a “significant win” for advisors by offering the Worksite Financial Solutions (WFS) retirement platform to 401(k) plan customers of New York Life Retirement Plan Services, an LPL executive said...

Powerful Regulator And Industry Spar Over Reserving Requirements

A move by New York’s top financial services regulator to pull out of principal-based reserving (PBR) regulations has life insurers irate at the prospect of having to increase their reserves by billions of dollars to pay claims on life insurance products...

Is Good Advice On Retirement Plans Too Costly?

Americans are falling short of their financial retirement goals. This by now has become a truism among financial planners, but what if Americans don’t have enough in retirement assets to make it worthwhile for financial planners to bother?...

Sun Life Launches Stop-Loss Cancer Rider For Self-Insured Employers

Sun Life Financial has announced the launch of a stop-loss rider to protect U.S. self-insured employers against the cost of paying for catastrophically expensive cancer-related illness claims, the company has announced...

Colonial Life Launches New Voluntary Group Product

Colonial Life & Accident, seeking to capitalize on the growth in the voluntary market, has announced the launch of a new voluntary group short-term disability insurance plan to help employees protect their income...

Private Insurance For LTC Languishes In A Time Warp

The private sector by itself will never be able to fund long-term care services and supports (LTSS), but private health insurers will remain a small part of the eventual solution should lawmakers ever agree to one...

SEC Establishes Permanent Registration Regime For Muni Advisors

For the first time, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted a permanent “registration regime” for municipal advisors who operate in and around the lucrative $3.7 trillion municipal debt marketplace...

Value Of DI Evidenced By Separate Surveys

Two separate surveys by top health and disability insurers reiterate the value of employer-based group disability insurance as an income-protection strategy for their employees...

Advisors Bullish About Remainder Of 2013

A new poll by the SEI Advisor Network finds that three out of four financial advisors say business profits will increase this year over last year...

Investment Consultants Move Into Retail Wealth Management

A new report by leading investment researchers Cerulli Associates found that the demand for alternative investment products, such as alternative mutual funds, has created new distribution opportunities for investment consultants over the past decade...

A Challenge To Performance Standards

A pair of respected financial advisory consultancies has proposed new performance-reporting standards tailored to retail advisors, raising questions about the long-standing metrics used by the CFA Institute...

Keys To Snapping Up Top Agents

Insurance agencies stand a much better chance of snagging that future Million Dollar Round Table inductee if they offer sales training, career advancement potential, retirement savings plans, employer-provided sales leads and employer-provided health insurance benefits — in that order — according to a new survey...

A New Option Among Variable Annuities

With insurance carriers charging more and offering fewer features on their traditional variable annuities (VAs), a new chapter has started in the variable annuity story: indexed variable annuities (IVAs)...

Life And Annuity IT Dollars To Flow Into Customer Portals

The largest information technology (IT) enhancements in 2014 in the life and annuity sector are likely to come from small and midsize carriers as they seek to replace core policy administration, distribution management and commission-management systems, according to spending projections...

A Broader Approach To Reach Generation X

For advisors, the bad news about selling life insurance to Generation X is that this generation, already underinsured, is falling even further behind in terms of coverage. The good news is that Gen X is keenly aware of it...

Labor Dept. Again Delays Proposal On Fiduciary Rule

New rules surrounding fiduciary standards will have to wait, and wait, and wait some more as financial advisors last week learned that the U.S. Department of Labor has pushed back yet again its proposals to amend the definition of a fiduciary...

Wisconsin Pension Plan Tops In Funding, Illinois Worst

Two contiguous states could hardly be more different when it comes to the funding level of their respective state pension plans: Wisconsin has the best-funded pension plan in the nation, while Illinois has the worst...

LTC Commission To Deliver Final Report To Congress

Three months after the federal Commission on Long-Term Care opened hearings on long-term care reform, the bipartisan panel will release its final report to Congress Sept. 18 on how best to improve the delivery of long-term care services...

Allianz Launches Indexed Variable Annuity

Allianz Life has launched a new indexed variable annuity (IVA) branded as Allianz Index Advantage for investors willing to trade gains in market growth for a level of protection when markets fall...

Advisors Can Shift Conversation To Worker Security

Financial advisors are paid to help clients meet long-term financial goals and improve the retirement prospects of millions of working families. If that’s the case, why then are so many Americans concerned about having enough for their golden years?...

Carriers Use The Web To Steer Buyers Into Distribution Chain

A decade ago, you couldn’t walk into an insurance trade show without overhearing the whispers of “disintermediation” among distributors and financial advisors, and how the Internet was going to fundamentally alter the way life insurance products were sold...

Northwestern Mutual Looks At Recruiting Military Veterans

Looking to boost its ambitious goals for recruiting financial advisors, Northwestern Mutual said it would specifically target military veterans by increasing the company’s presence at career fairs and beefing up its online resources...

Life Insurance Gap Widens Among Gen Xers

Among Generation X households, the life insurance coverage gap — that is, the amount by which a breadwinner is underinsured for life insurance — rose by 24 percent to $448,996 over the five-year period ending in 2013, according to a pair of surveys...

Nationwide Introduces Small-Plan 401(k) For Advisors

A new, small-plan 401(k) retirement product that incorporates fiduciary services will make it easier for advisors to sell 401(k)s to small business owners who often don’t offer the plans because they are too expensive and complicated, according to Nationwide Financial...

Advisor Sounds Cautionary Note On Bank-Sold Annuities

At first blush, the higher second-quarter numbers of fixed and indexed annuities sold through banking institutions would appear to be a good sign: consumers are looking to take advantage of recent stock market gains but ultimately want to protect themselves from a sudden loss...

Women Advisors Break Through The Barriers

Last month, when Guardian Life named financial advisor Michele Lee Fine as the first female top producer in its 153-year history, the company recognized what women have known all along: they are ideally suited to advising people in their financial affairs...

DB Plans Offer “Immense” Potential

Insurance carriers looking to reinvent themselves in other business lines have a major opportunity to do so through pension buyouts and pension buy-ins as plan sponsors look to shore up plan assets, according to a new report from Cerulli Associates...

Advisors Play Critical Role In Motivating Consumers

More than one third (35 percent) of consumers worked with an insurance agent or financial advisor to figure out how much life insurance coverage they need, and many consumers are willing to spend more to adequately replace lost income, according to a new survey...

Keys To Entering The Hispanic Market

Financial advisors looking to sell life insurance to Hispanic consumers need to know two facts about this growing demographic: the Hispanic population is growing fast and Hispanic Americans, many of whom come from or live with large families, place a premium on protection...

Beyond The Booth At Annual Advisor Conference

As retirement plan professionals gather for the 2013 PLANADVISER National Conference on Monday, Sept. 9, in Orlando, Fla., advisors can expect hours of expert one-on-one discussion and small group conversations around all things retirement...

'Hybrid' Advisor Model Wins Buzz, Deserved Or Not

There’s a new kind of advisor in town — the hybrid advisor. And, yes, most advisors working today have probably heard of the term. But what does it mean?...

Symetra’s Edge Pro Annuities Cross $1B Mark As Interest Rates Rise

The Edge Pro-branded family of fixed indexed annuities marketed by Symetra Life Insurance and sold through banks and broker-dealers has crossed the $1 billion sales mark two and a half years after it was introduced in April 2011, the company said...

NAIFA Launches ACA Microsite

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has launched a new microsite to answer members' questions related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)...

Lincoln Jumps Into The DIA Marketplace

Lincoln Financial Group has launched its first deferred income annuity (DIA) as the life and annuities giant seeks to take advantage of the growth prospects surrounding the product...

DIA Appetite Increases As Product Features, Distribution Channels Broaden

Deferred income annuities (DIA), just a blip on the annuity landscape a year ago, are starting to move beyond their infancy with the help of more distribution channels through which they can be sold, experts said...

Navigating The Two-Way Street Of Trust

Advisors know the feeling: A client comes to them with a request to manage assets, and the conversation eventually turns to personal issues. After two or three visits, out spill more details: the pending divorce, the loan to a deadbeat son...

Colonial Life Appoints 3 New Managers For Southeast

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co., a major player in the disability, critical illness, life, long-term care and voluntary benefits marketplace, has appointed three new territory managers in the Southeast...

RFP Tool Helps Advisors Get A Foot In The Door

Financial advisors back to prospecting for retirement plan sponsors following the Labor Day weekend might want to download Principal Financial Group’s most recent guide for how to approach and structure a request for proposal (RFP) for retirement plan sponsors...

Pressure Mounts On Aging Pension Technology Systems

The technological infrastructure behind New York State’s $160-billion Common Retirement Fund is on the verge of obsolescence, inviting a serious security breach on the accounts of tens of thousands of state and local civil service pensioners, according to a recent report...

Communications Gap An Opportunity For Advisors

With nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) workers saying their employer has yet to inform them of changes to their benefits package, advisors and brokers have a golden opportunity to help companies step up their education efforts...

Experts Propose Expanding The Long-Term Care Market In The U.S.

With the last of four scheduled public hearings now behind it, the U.S. Commission on Long-Term Care now faces the question of the best way to expand the availability and affordability of private long-term care to help pay for its exploding costs...

Texas, Florida, Calif. Lead New Voluntary Sales

Texas, Florida and California led the way for new voluntary sales in 2012, with Kentucky and South Carolina joining the top 15 states, according to data on the voluntary benefits market tracked by Eastbridge Consulting Group...

SEC Accuses Advisor Of Faking Currency Platform

Holding advisors to a fiduciary duty standard may sound like a simple mandate, at least on paper. When it comes to the real world, though, the boundaries of an advisor’s responsibilities and the conflicting allegiances shift like the ebb and flow of the North Carolina tide...

401(k) Plans Offer Advisors An Entrée Into Vast Market

Younger generations of retirement investors may not have big account balances for advisors to manage, but these new investors have something advisors crave: they all want investment advice and personalized attention...

NAIFA Launches ACA Microsite

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has launched a new microsite to answer members' questions related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)...

No Barriers, Says Guardian's First Female Top Producer

Guardian Life has named financial advisor Michele Lee Fine as the company’s top producer in “total financial planning,” the first time a woman has won the honor in the company’s 153-year history...

No Barriers, Says Guardian's First Female Top Producer

Guardian Life has named financial advisor Michele Lee Fine as the company’s top producer in “total financial planning,” the first time a woman has won the honor in the company’s 153-year history...

New Study Digs Into Simplified Issue Policy Details

New research by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman provides a “sharper perspective” into the details of mortality and lapse information surrounding simplified issue insurance products, which have been growing in recent years...

Battle Looming On Retirement Disclosure

With the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) considering new rules informing retirees of how long their assets will last them in retirement, now comes the issue of mandating exactly what lifetime retirement income to disclose, and how to disclose it...

Raymond James Beefs Up Its Advisor Platform, Retention Strategy

Recent enhancements to Raymond James Financial’s investment advisor platform are an example of an agency keeping its talent under the corporate financial tent by giving them the latitude to be independent, according to experts...

Retirement Plan Participants Thirst For Advice

As many as 61 percent of workers participating in 401(k) plans want personalized investment advice to help them allocate their savings...

Big Changes In Store For Corporate Health Benefits

Big changes are in store for corporate health benefits delivery models, beginning in 2016, as companies start looking to private health exchanges in search of more flexibility and cheaper health insurance for their employees...

UMAs Double Market Share In Four Years

Unified managed accounts (UMAs) grew 7.7 percent in 2012, doubling their market share since 2008, as new companies entered the category and as existing companies converted platforms to a UMA model...

Security Benefit Boosts RIA Channel With New Hires

Security Benefit Life, which earlier this year announced record sales of fixed annuities, has hired three veteran executives to its registered investment advisor and broker-dealer sales distribution force...

The 'Bengen Rule' Comes Into Question

In 1994, financial advisor William P. Bengen published data on what he deemed the “safe withdrawal” amount that would ensure investors had enough money to last them until they died...

Voluntary Benefits Provide Opening For Advisors

There’s a big opportunity opening up for financial advisors as employers turn to voluntary benefits and services, and as younger generations of employees gravitate toward customized benefits packages, a new study finds...

Independents And Boutique Advisors Make Gains

Although still expected to remain dominant, the largest financial advisor firms will continuing losing out in the wealth management segment to independent and boutique registered investment advisor (RIA) firms, according to new research..

Farm Bureau Seeds A Retention Revamp Of Its Agency Force

Farm Bureau Financial Services, a long-time provider of insurance and financial services to agricultural and rural markets, is revamping its exclusive agency distribution network to focus on agent retention and training, the company said...

Carriers Get Creative With Term Life

Life insurance carriers are providing more choices for buyers of voluntary term life products as the industry seeks to deepen their penetration of the most popular product bought at the worksite, according to a new report...

NAIFA Honors Gabe Smith As Young Advisor Of The Year

Gabe Smith, a 38-year-old financial advisor with Ohio National Financial Services, has some advice for all the young advisors following in his footsteps: step up, get involved in any way you can, and don’t look back...

Lincoln Updates SVUL Offerings

Lincoln Financial Group has updated its survivorship variable universal life (SVUL) insurance product line to offer more competitive pricing for single insured pay premiums, as well as an estate protection rider, the company has announced...

NAIFA Again Backs Pension Benefits Statements

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has come out in favor of a proposal to list information about lifetime income in retirement statements to help workers link the contribution and distribution phases of their retirement saving...

Lincoln Chief Predicts Bull Market For Annuities

Here come the good times for life and annuity insurers. After years of declining interest rates, market forces are moving into alignment with equities roaring ahead and interest rates rising...

Northwestern Ramps Up Recruiting For 'Unique' Model

For Northwestern Mutual, the venerable life and retirement giant, the era of the hard sell is out. This is the era of holistic planning, in which the client relationship trumps the bewildering array of features and a phalanx of products...

Financial Crisis Widens The Consensus Gap

Twice as many families with more than $5 million in investable assets say they make financial decisions more democratically than do less-well-off families in the mass affluent segment, in the wake of the financial crisis, according to new research...

Clients Less Comfortable With Referrals Than Advisors Think

Clients take an average of 4.8 years with a financial advisor before they feel comfortable recommending the advisor to someone else. This is more than twice as long as advisors seem to think it takes, according to new research...

Finding Hot Prospects With Social Media

Prospecting is the lifeblood of financial advisors and there’s no more talked-about Internet tool for turning leads into hot prospects right now than social media...

Long-Term Care Policies Ditch Solo Role For Supporting Act

The stand-alone long-term care insurance market may be dormant as buyers shy away from high premiums and the relative inefficiency of long-term care coverage, but the combination insurance product market is hot...

Advisors Confident For Now But Long-Term Picture Is Gloomy

Financial advisors’ overall optimism about the current and future state of the U.S. economy and the stock market rose in July, according to a benchmark confidence index survey...

Advisors Lag In Social Media Adoption

Financial advisors lag behind the general population in adopting social media for business purposes, despite there being no “overwhelming reason” preventing advisors from adopting the exploding channel, a new survey finds...

LTC Claims Expected To Quadruple In 20 Years

Private long-term care insurers are expected to pay $34 billion in long-term care claims in 2032. This is an increase of 415 percent from the $6.6 billion in long-term care claims made last year...

Heated Competition For Branded Retirement Apps

The retirement space is getting crowded. No, we’re not talking about retired baby boomers hogging the coffee lines at Starbucks or the discount window at the local movie theater. We’re talking about the latest retirement apps for download on mobile devices...

Critical Illness, a Fate Worse than Death

Out-of-pocket medical costs for critical illness, which average as much as $7,500, weigh so heavily on workers that they fear the financial impact of an illness even more than dying from one, according to a new report...

FBL Income Jumps 45% In 2Q As Distribution Reforms Take Hold

FBL Financial Group, the Iowa-based farm bureau life insurer with an exclusive sales force, attributed its 45 percent increase in net income growth to reforms in its distribution system...

2Q Net Income Jumps 40 Percent At Protective Life

Protective Life announced that second quarter net income rose 40 percent to $103.2 million, or $1.27 per share diluted, from $76.2 million, or 91 cents a share diluted compared to the year-ago period...

GAO: Financial Crisis Had Limited Effect On Policyholders

The effects of the 2008 financial crisis on insurers and policyholders were “generally limited,” but life insurers with variable annuities that include guaranteed living benefits and mortgage guaranty insurers were affected more than others...

Are Insurers Doing Enough To Pay Claims?

Settlements between state regulators and the insurance industry are calling into question whether life insurers are doing enough to make sure they pay unclaimed death benefits and whether they follow the “best practice” doctrines corporations so often preach...

Genworth Financial Net Income Jumps 85%

Genworth Financial's boost due to a rebound in the housing market and price increases in the long-term care market...

For Advisors, It’s 'Critical' To Sell Illness Coverage Through The Worksite

The market for this specialized insurance is growing: the number of new CII policies rose to 634,074 from 422,029 two years earlier, according to the 2011 Critical Illness Insurance Survey...

Principal Financial Net Income Soars In Second Quarter

Principal Financial Group reported that second quarter net income increased by 33 percent to $222.3 million, or 75 cents per share, from $167.6 million, or 56 cents per share, in the same period last year...

Financial Advisors Could Use Help Planning Their Succession

For all the time spent advising their clients about the future, it seems advisors could use a little help planning their own successions...

Boomers: 1 Generation, 2 Different Models

From the perspective of a financial advisor talking to clients about retirement, the baby boom generation is the most bifurcated market with which they have ever dealt. There was no market quite like it before, and there will be none like it again...

Life Insurers Slowly Ramp Up Mobile App Offerings

The number of top-100 life insurers with agent- or producer-focused mobile apps has more than doubled in two years to 27, and that number is expected to rise as more carriers add new tools and features, according to a new report...

FIAs Power Symetra To Positive Quarter

Net income at Symetra Financial, the Bellevue, Wash., life, annuities and benefits carrier, rose to $45 million, or 34 cents per share, from $43.8 million, or 32 cents a share, in the same period last year on the strength of fixed indexed and deferred annuities...

How Insurance Sellers Are Approaching Private Exchanges

Sellers of health insurance plans are joining private health care exchanges where they can offer group buyers the most local expertise and “density,” said Joe Swedish, chief executive officer of health insurer WellPoint...

Has Accountable Care's Time Finally Come?

UnitedHealthcare Group’s decision to double the value of its contracts with accountable care organizations (ACOs) over the next five years is a big private-payer endorsement of the latest value-based health care delivery model...

Long-Term Care Delivery Hobbled By 'Outrageous' Deficiencies

Initial reports about the state of long-term care delivery in the U.S. paint a picture of a fractured, overlapping hodgepodge of services unevenly administered by states through federal insurance programs...

Mobile Apps Help Workers Plan A Sunny Retirement

Transamerica Retirement Solutions has released a mobile app to help workers forecast their retirement savings and track their investment progress...

Advisors Worried Over Clients, Regulation

Financial advisors, particularly those working for large broker-dealers, appear to be a content lot when it comes to their financial and physical well-being, and to the financial health of their businesses, according to a new survey...

Big Declines In Small Group Market

Business owners and financial advisors, take note: Proposed premiums in the small group market are estimated to be, on average, 18 percent lower under the Affordable Care Act than health premiums small employers currently pay...

Lincoln Financial Appoints Two Senior Managers

Steven Budzynski has joined Lincoln Financial Group as senior vice president and head of procurement, and Patrick McAllister has been named vice president and managing director of investment strategy and analytics...

Health Insurance Brokers Wracked By Self-Doubt

What’s eating at health insurance brokers? With all the coming changes in health reform and companies needing guidance in a complicated benefits world, you’d think benefits brokers would see a bright future ahead...

What Makes Smaller Carriers Successful?

Traits that make small and midsize individual life and annuity insurers successful range from geographic concentration, to product mix, to low exposure to low-grade bonds and higher productivity among distributors, according to a new study by Conning...

Prudential Dives Into Critical Illness Coverage

Prudential Group Insurance has announced that it will offer critical illness insurance coverage through the workplace, a sign that the life and retirement insurance giant sees a need for the coverage and is keen to take advantage of recent growth in the voluntary benefits space...

War Of The Advisor Groups Heats Up

With the comment period for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to request information on uniform fiduciary standards now over, the “closing arguments” on behalf of financial advisor lobbies shows just how much is at stake for intermediaries on either side of the fiduciary standards divide...

The Drip Of Leaking Retirement Plans

One of the dirty little secrets of retirement plans is that, in many cases, the savings are not being used for retirement at all...

Regulating Municipal Advisors In The Cards?

Financial advisors arguing over whether retail clients are better off with advice that meets a “suitability” as opposed to a “fiduciary” standard of care have it easy...

Uniform Standard Would Hike Costs, Cut Choices

A uniform fiduciary standard on broker-dealers and financial advisors would hike the cost of doing business and trim the number of choices for retail investors, according to a new survey of financial advisors...

De-Risking Pensions Could Mean $100B In Annuity Sales

Financial engineering and alternative investment approaches are out of favor compared with basic, sound fixed-income and “plain vanilla” risk transfer strategies as senior executives and pension managers move to shore up their pension plans...

UnitedHealthcare Seeks To Double Payments To ACOs

Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is planning to more than double the value of its contracts with accountable care organizations (ACOs) over the next five years across its employer-sponsored Medicare and Medicaid health benefit businesses...

Time, Resource Management Keys To Helping Advisors In The Small-Plan Market

Give financial professionals the resources to help them manage small- and micro-business retirement plans, and advisors are likely to solicit that business, according to a series of seminars with professionals and advisors...

Investors And Executives Signal Rising Economic Sentiment

With a robust finish to equity markets and solid gains in real estate prices, investors and chief financial officers are optimistic about the economy’s near-term prospects as it moves into the second half of the year, according to a pair of economic sentiment surveys...

Same-Sex Marriage Complicating Retirement

Corporate benefits managers and their advisors who thought they deserved a break over the holiday before ramping up for health care reform under the Affordable Care Act got no such respite, courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court and its decision to strike down a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)...

Multiemployer Pension Plans Crawl Back

For multiemployer pension plans making up lost ground in the wake of a brutal recession, the clouds of the recent past are starting to lift, but have yet to clear...

Does Income Disclosure Law Signal Industry Pushback?

After dying in the last session of Congress, the Lifetime Income Disclosure Act was quickly resurrected in the spring with bipartisan backing in the House and Senate...

Pacific Life Launches Marketing Campaign Targeted At Advisors

Pacific Life has launched a nationwide marketing campaign targeted at financial advisors about the importance of diversifying their clients’ portfolios of fixed income investments, the company said...

A Historical Perspective On Indexed Life And Annuities Products

How is it that indexed products — universal life and indexed annuities — have muscled their way into the market and shot to the top of the sales charts? After all, these were offerings that barely existed little more than 15 years ago...

Aflac Pushes Further Into The Voluntary Market

Aflac adds cancer care coverage to enhance value of disability coverage...

Pru Of Japan Shows How to Retain Agents

Prudential shows profitability by recruiting young agents and keeping them loyal…

Disability Awareness Divide Opens Opportunity

More than four in five employees (83 percent) agreed with the statement that a disability can happen to anyone at any time, but less than one in two (44 percent) human resource professionals thought employees would agree with that same statement...

10 Meds Take 45% of Medicare Part B Drug $

Part B expenditures for Epogen/Procrit used to fight anemia in end-stage renal disease patients came to $2 billion. Part B also spent $1.3 billion on Rituxan, used to combat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, the report found...

Securian Targets Agencies For Recruiting

St. Paul-based financial services provider Securian Financial Group takes a more focused approach to talent recruitment...

Industry Looking At Likely Megatrends

A total of 47 percent of respondents said that new laws and capital management would have the most impact on their companies, according to the survey published by Towers Watson...

Life Insurance And Philosophy: The Good Of A Life Secured

As its name implies, life insurance is connected to life, but also to what the Greek philosopher Aristotle called “the Good.”...

Carriers Increase Spending On Automating The Sales Process

If financial advisors feel as if they are facing a raft of new software platforms and applications, if they feel as if their agency management systems are working a little differently than they are used to, it’s not an illusion...

Genworth Launches Virtual Learning Community Of Indexed Products

Genworth Financial, the mortgage, life insurance and long-term care insurance giant, has launched The Index Institute, a virtual learning community for agents, brokers and financial advisors, the company announced...

Hybrids As Public Pension Solution

Public pension reform should consider elements of defined contribution plans, changing lifestyles and workforce patterns, short-term fiscal challenges and long-term human resource trends, according to a new report...

Great-West Renews Contracts, Expands Territories, Appoints Managers

A series of news announcements by Great-West Financial finds the company making important gains in the retirement services marketplace, from renewing contracts with three large public markets to establishing new sales territories in the Mid-Atlantic states...

MassMutual Tweaks DI Products For Minority Group

MassMutual has tweaked the rate structure of its Radius disability income product line and has added the option of buying life insurance without the need for medical tests...

Fiduciary Standards Debate Continues

Organizations in favor of fiduciary standards for a broader swath of distributors of financial products and services say it can only benefit the end client. Opponents say that while this may be true in the abstract, a lower standard is suitable, particularly if it comes at much lower cost...

Employers Look At ACA Wellness Incentives

With the final Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations on wellness incentives and excise taxes published in the June issue of the Federal Register, it’s time for advisors and managers to dig into the details to make sure employers stay on the right side of the law...

Life Insurance Ownership Linked To Feelings Of Security

Owners of life insurance products are more likely to feel secure about their lives than owners who own no life insurance, according to an analysis...

Long-Term Disability Coverage Increases In 2012

The number of employees covered under long-term disability (LTD) insurance rose by 1 percent to 32.3 million last year, reversing decreases that had dominated the industry since 2008, according to the latest report from the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA)...

Retirement Product Pages Make Their Own Splash

The 401(k) is, after all, a special provision in the U.S. tax code. Shouldn’t it deserve special treatment, like having its own Web platform? ...

Mixed Messages Regarding Benefits

Talk about mixed messages. Pick up the latest LIMRA survey on the dearth of small businesses offering workplace insurance benefits, and it’s like hearing a broken record...

Gen X Stretched Thinnest, Most Likely To Dip Into Savings

More than one third of Generation X employees are likely to dip into their retirement savings to pay for non-retirement expenses, a sign that these adults are under enormous financial pressure, according to a recent survey...

Prudential Hires Industry Veteran

Lori Dickerson Fouché, a former executive with Chubb and Fireman’s Fund Insurance, has joined Prudential Financial as president and chief operating officer of Prudential’s group insurance business...

FBL Appoints Two Senior Executives

FBL Financial Group, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based holding company, has hired agency veteran D. Scott Stice as its chief marketing officer and John D. Currier Jr. as its chief actuary...

NAILBA Changes Reflect Changing Membership

Looking to stay current with the changing business models of its membership, the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) has broadened the definition of who qualifies as a member, the association announced...

After NARAB II, Broker Groups Prep For Fiduciary Standards Battle

Fresh off the producer-licensing win in Washington this month, insurance broker groups are gearing for their next big legislative battle around fiduciary standards and the responsibilities of financial advisors toward their clients...

Men, Women Playing Financial Catch-Up

When it comes to financial matters and preparing for the future, both men and women admit they have a lot of lost ground to make up...

Voluntary Market Twinkles With Growth

With annuity sales down in the first quarter, low interest rates and health care reform injecting more than its fair share of uncertainty into the marketplace, the industry is looking to those niches in which to eke out consistent sales growth and steady profits...

Producer Licensing Reform Passes Key Senate Committee

It’s off to the U.S. Senate — finally — for the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform (NARAB) Act of 2013, which cleared a key committee...

Labor Dept. Sues To Restore Funds In 2 Pension Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has sued six trustees and financial advisors in connection with the misappropriation of $4.9 million from two defined benefit plans belonging to an Iowa foundry and a Michigan manufacturer...

SEC Charges Investment Advisors With Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged several investment advisors with two counts of stealing $3.1 million from the Detroit police and firefighters pension fund to pay for a failed real estate venture, and then colluding to keep the theft private...

CDHPs Lead To Fewer Physician Visits

Consumer-directed health plans (DCHPs), which make employees pay a higher percentage of their health expenses, have led to fewer physician visits and lower uses of prescription drugs, according to a comparative study...

Intuitive, Stable Technology Platforms Trump Social Media

While a majority of financial advisors (56 percent) do not use social media as part of their business strategies, the vast majority also indicate a preference for doing business with companies that have stable, easy-to-use technology...

Allianz Life Tops First Quarter Fixed Annuity Sales

Allianz Life, marketer of the Dominator Plus-branded fixed annuity and the 222, 360, 365i, Endurance, MasterDex and Pro V1-branded indexed annuities, was the top seller of fixed annuities in the first quarter with $1.16 billion in sales, according to Beacon Research...

Des Moines Becoming Indexed Annuities Hub

What does Des Moines have on Hartford and London? Indexed annuities, that’s what. In fact, Des Moines, already a worthy contender for the nation’s top life and health insurance hub, is in a league of its own when it comes to indexed annuities...

A ‘Quantum Leap’ Into Retirement Research

Robert A. Kerzner, president and chief executive officer of LIMRA/LOMA, said the organizations would take a “quantum leap” into retirement research and data analysis...

Fixed Annuity Sales Take A Hit In 1Q

Total U.S. annuity sales for the first quarter were $49.6 billion, down 2 percent from the fourth quarter in 2012, and down 6.6 percent from the first quarter in 2012 as fixed annuities took the biggest hit due to low interest rates...

Takeover Sales Of Voluntary Benefits Rise

Takeover sales, where one insurance carrier’s voluntary benefits plan is replaced with a similar plan by another carrier, accounted for 45 percent of new voluntary benefit sales premiums last year, up from 42 percent in 2011...

Medicare Depletion Date Moved Back By Two Years

The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) trust funds will be depleted in 2033, and the Medicare Trust Fund is expected to be empty by 2026, two years later than projected last year...

Looking At 403(b) Coverage Gaps

For financial advisors seeking to gain a foothold in the 403(b) nonprofit retirement plan market, the most fertile opportunities lie with the higher education segment and with the small plan category, according to an analysis of the most recent benchmark survey...

Survey Ranks States By Health For Seniors

The five healthiest states for older adults are Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Iowa, while the least healthy states for seniors are Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia and Arkansas, according to a new report...

New Analytical Techniques Focus On Policyholder Behavior

One of the nation’s largest life insurance carriers is joining forces with two global consulting firms to apply new modeling techniques to study the behavior of annuities policyholders, Lincoln Financial Group has announced...

Mining The Annuity Distribution Opportunity

For Lincoln Financial Group, growth in 2013 will come from strengthening its relationship with distributors who sell the company’s life and annuities products, according to the company’s chief executive...

FINRA Study Underscores Disparities In Financial Capabilities

The most “financially capable” U.S. citizens live in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey, while the least financially capable live in Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky, according to a new survey...

Traditional IRAs Hold Highest Account Balances

The total average individual retirement account (IRA) balance in 2011 was $70,915 and the average IRA individual balance – all accounts attributed to the same person – was $87,668...

Doubling-Down On The TPA Sales Channel

Some big insurance carriers are beefing up their management ranks in the third-party administrator (TPA) channel as firms compete to lower costs and raise revenue for retirement and pension services...

NAPFA Appoints New CEO Geoffrey Brown

Geoffrey Brown, an expert in managing nonprofit groups and trade associations, has been appointed chief executive officer of National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), effective July 1...

Social Security And The Lump Sum Option

Substituting a lump sum payment for delayed Social Security annuity payments provides an incentive for workers to voluntarily defer retirement with little or no reduction in lifetime welfare, according to a new research paper...

Carriers Warm To The Cloud

Over the past 12 to 18 months, two major life and annuity carriers have adopted cloud-based e-mail systems, a sign that the Internet cloud finally has begun its slow penetration of mammoth legacy systems...

The Shifting State Of Stable Value

With defined contribution (DC) plans serving as the de facto pillar of retirement financing for many private sector workers, the question for many plan sponsors and advisors is how to stretch these plans to provide for workers in their ever-lengthening retirements...

WellPoint Scores In The Diversity Arena

Health insurer WellPoint has been named one of the 2013 “Best Companies for Multicultural Women” by Working Mother magazine, and recently was featured in the 2013 Diversity Inc. Top 50 Companies for Diversity list...

New Genworth Chief Outlines Plan For 2013 At Annual Meeting

Future growth opportunities for Genworth Financial, the life, mortgage and long-term care insurer, lie in selling life insurance to the middle market, long-term care insurance and the recovery of the housing market...

Mass. Math Underscores Importance Of Tax Exclusions For Health Coverage

The “Massachusetts experiment” in health care reform shows the importance and value of federal tax breaks in providing incentives for businesses to offer employees coverage, according to health care policy experts...

A New Plan, Or A Twist On The Multiple Employer Plan?

Earlier this month, Transamerica Retirement Solutions announced what it called a “retirement exchange,” aimed at small employers. The question for the retirement plan industry is whether the exchange is a twist on the Multiple Employer Plan (MEP)...

Great-West Strengthens TPA Channel With 2 New Directors

Great-West Financial has appointed two new directors of third-party administrator (TPA) relationships to serve its TPA channel, which is becoming a more important part of the company’s distribution mix...

ING U.S. Appoints Key Executive In Wake Of IPO

Dave Wilken has been appointed head of individual life distribution for the Insurance Solutions division of ING U.S...

April Pension Funding Dips On Lower Interest Rates

The funded status of the nation’s largest corporate pension plans dipped in April, reversing months of improving trends, according to a pair of pension index reports...

Medicare Reform: Fix Depends On The Pain

There’s no easy fix in slowing the spending growth of Medicare, only how much pain Americans are willing to bear, according to a new analysis on the sustainability of the nation’s most far-reaching and expensive health insurance program...

Execs Sound Warning On Medicare Advantage Cutbacks

Cutbacks in the government’s Medicare Advantage program could slow the growth in health insurers’ earnings later this year and into 2014, according to several executives at the nation’s largest health insurance companies...

Pacific Life Launches New Variable Annuity

Pacific Life has introduced a new variable annuity giving investors and advisors the ability to select features and fees...

Humana Looking To Hire 500 Associates And Managers Nationwide

Humana is looking to meet the demand for the annual Medicare open enrollment period in the fall, so it is adding an estimated 500 telesales specialists and leadership jobs nationally to its full-time Direct Marketing Services (DMS) telesales workforce...

Helping Retirees Prepare To Dodge ‘Curve Balls’

Financial advisors need to help pre-retirees and retirees secure peace of mind by preparing them for the “curve balls” that life after work is likely to throw their way, according to a trio of retirement and wealth management experts...

'Robust' Opportunities In Voluntary Benefits

Senior insurance executives report strong demand and firm pricing in the voluntary benefits (VB) category as more Americans have access to major medical coverage due to health reform and look to VB coverage to fill in the gaps...

Female Advisors Key To Growth For Industry

With only three in 10 financial advisors being female and 70 percent of women preferring to work with a female advisor, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) has launched an initiative to identify new strategies to recruit women into the field...

SEC Promotes Compliance Veteran To Lead Exam Programs

Andrew J. Bowden, a legal, compliance and examination expert with significant oversight of financial advisors and broker-dealers, has been promoted to director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations...

Blizzard Of Designations Leaves Seniors Certifiably Confused

Judging by all the certified expert financial advisors working today, retirees would seem to have nothing to worry about, even those without quite enough put away to last them until the day they die...

Demand For Financial Advisors Expected To Grow By 32%

It’s a great time to be a personal financial advisor, according to the latest occupational outlook statistics published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...

Certain Occupations Underinsured For Income Protection

Employees in manufacturing, health care and education are underinsured for disability insurance and income protection, an analysis by Colonial Life & Accident reveals...

Record Premium Growth For Asset-Based LTCi Product

First-year premium income for Asset-Care, a life insurance product with long-term care benefits, rose 28 percent in 2012 over the previous year, according to State Life Insurance Co...

401(k) Experience A Cautionary Tale For Health Care?

When it comes to consumers making personal health care choices, is there a cautionary tale with their experience managing 401(k) plans?...

Multiple Carriers Tweak VA Product Lines

On the same day, three sellers of variable annuities -- Prudential Annuities, Jackson National and Jefferson National -- said they would expand their portfolios of variable annuity investment choices and add new fund managers to their roster...

Transamerica Launches A Retirement Exchange

Following in the footsteps of health insurance exchanges being set up by health and benefits brokers around the country, Transamerica Retirement Solutions has launched a retirement exchange to help small businesses...

Jackson Expands Elite Access Variable Annuity Offerings

By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet Jackson National, a provider of retirement products and services for consumers and professionals, is addin

Social Security To Face Staffing Shortages

The increase in the number of Social Security Administration (SSA) employees who are expected to retire over the next decade is going to pose long-term challenges for the agency...

Fissures In Disability Insurance Coverage Detected

With all the attention paid to health insurance reform, the coming retirement income squeeze and astronomical costs associated with long-term care, securing income protection through disability coverage barely registers...

Two Sides Square Off Over New Fiduciary Standards

The question before financial advisors is: Which threshold will the government require when it comes to advising retirement plan participants?...

Securian Enhances Products With Coverage For Emergency Transport

Securian Financial Group has launched two new accident-related insurance policies targeted at financial institutions and their customers, the company announced...

Industry Hits Back At "Frontline"

Two powerful industry groups representing life insurers and corporate retirement plan sponsors have hit back against PBS’ show “Frontline” for Tuesday night’s airing of “The Retirement Gamble,” which took the industry to task over retirement plan fees...

'Immediate Society' Trumps Long-Term Planning

As a society, we suffer from distracted driving — indeed some of us have died from it. Nor is there a Gen Xer or Gen Yer who hasn’t suffered the brunt of distracted socializing — even if they haven’t called it that yet. So why not distracted financial planning?...

Study Finds Women’s Needs Often Ignored By Financial Advisors

If women don’t believe that financial advisors are meeting their needs, perhaps there’s a good reason. Most financial advisors are men, and men often find themselves — either by accident or by design — talking to other men...

Auto Enrollment, Design Changes Lead To Better Retirement Plan Outcomes

Retirement plans for academic faculties and staffs working at higher education institutions outperform the corporate sector due to automatic enrollments, default contribution rates and plan changes in plan design, according to a new study...

Richard A. Koob Earns Insurance Industry's Highest Honor

Richard A. Koob, a Waukesha, Wis.-based senior financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, is the recipient of the 72nd annual John Newtown Russell Memorial Award...

Health Advisors Give Consumers An Edge

Consumers who work with specially trained health care advisors to help them navigate the health care system may be better off...

New Deferred Income Annuity Products Flow Into The Marketplace

The recent spate of deferred income annuities (DIAs) has swept into the market like a straight-line cluster of summertime derecho storms...

Prudential Employs Marketing To Rise To The Longevity Challenge

Although Prudential’s widely recognized branding campaign featuring those near retirement age has impressed its financial services contemporaries, one may be surprised to learn that the campaign is not trying to sell life insurance at all...

Genworth Launches LTCi With Gender-Based Pricing

In an effort to better align pricing and risk, Genworth Financial has launched Privileged Choice Flex 2, an updated version of its Privileged Choice Flex long-term care insurance product...

Guaranteed Income Options Of Interest To Older Participants

A majority of people aged 50 or older (65 percent) are interested in having a guaranteed income option in their defined contribution plan, yet are also far more evenly divided as to whether they would actually invest in one...

IT Modernization On The Group Life To-Do List For 2013

New agent- and customer-facing portal technologies and core policy administration systems are the hot investment areas for life insurance companies in 2013, as health insurers compete with life carriers in the group market, insurance technology experts say...

Nearly 20% Willing To Purchase Life Insurance From A Retail Outlet

Purchasing life insurance from a financial professional remains the preferred way to buy, but even so nearly one in five consumers (17 percent) would be willing to purchase life insurance coverage directly from a retail outlet...

American United Life Introduces Living Benefit For Whole Life Policies

Whole life insurance policyholders will be able to access the death benefit of their policies during life to help cover the costs of chronic or terminal illness, American United Life (AUL) said...

Guardian Launches Absence Management And Disability Product

Seeking to deepen its relationship with agents, brokers and employers while helping them to navigate the rapidly-evolving employee benefits landscape, Guardian Life has launched a new absence management program...

Customer Contact Critical To Retaining Rollover Assets

When it comes to keeping defined contribution assets from rolling over to another plan provider, a simple phone call at the right time might just be worth $1,000, or $10,000 or even $100,000...

Industry Adds RICP Designation

Add another professional designation to the long list issued by the life and health insurance industry: Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP)...

Pacific Life Earns Top IUL Ranking For Third Straight Year

Pacific Life finished 2012 as the number one seller of indexed universal life insurance (IUL) and the number three seller for variable universal life insurance (VUL)...

Industry Groups Launch Retirement Planning Awareness Campaign

In the wake of studies showing Americans worried about their ability to finance retirement, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) and the National Retirement Planning Coalition have launched a campaign to increase consumer understanding of important retirement planning...

Brokers Seen As Key To Helping Employers Sift Through Private Exchange Models

Health benefit brokers have their job cut out for them as they help employers navigate through a myriad of private health exchanges popping up around the country, according to experts in the area of health care distribution...

For Now, A Wait-And-See Approach To Further Oversight On Financial Advisors

There are bad apples everywhere, and the world of financial advisors is no exception. It, too, has its fair share of worms occasionally spreading rot from the inside out...

Insurance Marketing Veteran Joins Lincoln Financial Distribution Team

Lincoln Financial Group Distribution, the wholesale and retail distribution subsidiary of Lincoln Financial Group, has hired former AXA Equitable marketing vice president Kathy Kavanaugh as vice president of strategic solutions and partner marketing...

NAIFA Members Lobby Congress On Tax Reform

About 1,000 members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby congressional leaders not to change the favorable tax treatment of many life insurance products...

MassMutual Beefs Up TPA Sales Channel

Echo Robinson, a MassMutual veteran with more than 13 years of experience in the retirement plans industry, has joined MassMutual Retirement Services’ third-party administrator (TPA) sales team...

Using Online Calculators, Advisors Raise Workers’ Retirement Confidence Levels

Employees who use online calculators and retirement advisors are more likely to exhibit higher levels of retirement confidence, according to new research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)...

Retirement Outlook Hinges On Professional Advice

Employees who use advisory services offered to them in their 401(k) plan have a more positive outlook about their future retirement compared with employees who ignore such services..

Genworth Opens Door To Gender-Based LTCi Pricing

For women seeking long-term care insurance, April 2013 marks the beginning of higher premiums based on their gender...

Cost-Sharing Burden Continues To Rise For Employees

The average cost for health care per active employee working for large employers is expected to reach $12,136 in 2013. This is a 5.1 percent increase from 2012 as companies manage health care costs and work to make employees more accountable...

Social Media Use Widespread Among Advisors, But Perception Gap Persists

Nearly one in two financial advisors (48 percent) interact daily with clients through social media, a sign that advisors view social media as a critical tool to help them grow their business and stay in touch with clients...

Time For Financial Advisors To Face Online Facts

For financial advisors, it’s time to face facts. Sales strategies developed around face-to-face interactions with older, higher-net-worth customers may not translate well to changes taking place in the consumer landscape and among contemporary families...

The Long-Term Care Paradox: Many Want, Few Buy

Long-term care insurance (LTCi) is affected by a peculiar paradox. It’s the kind of insurance millions of Americans say they want, yet LTCi is also a product that for many is out of reach...

U.S. Corporate Pension Plan Deficits Balloon To $388.8 Billion

The difference between assets and expected liabilities of the 100 largest U.S. corporate pension plans ballooned by $61.1 billion to $388.8 billion last year due to record low interest rates, according to a new study...

NAIC Testifies In Support Of Streamlined Producer Licensing Legislation

Monica J. Lindeen, vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), has testified in support of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act, known as NARAB II...

Furor Over Canadian Frauds May Lead To Big Changes For Advisors

As the calls to codify the financial advisor profession grow louder in the wake of multimillion-dollar frauds, Canadian insurance carriers are rethinking their mix of captive and independent agents to distribute products and services...

De-Risking DB Pensions Moves Into Higher Gear

Paying out a one-time lump-sum to retirees to trim the risk of defined benefit pension plans – a move known as “de-risking” -- is growing in favor in 2013 as companies look to shrink liabilities...

Great-West's Bank Sales A Signal To Agents

Great-West Financial posted nearly $465 million in life insurance sales through banks in 2012, a 9 percent increase over the previous industry record of $426 million set in 2011...

Prudential Retirement Hires Pension Risk Transfer Expert

Rohit Mathur, an expert in structuring capital and risk transfer, has joined Prudential Retirement’s pension risk transfer (PRT) team in the newly created role of senior vice president, global product and market solutions...

Health Insurance Exchanges Splinter Into Two Camps

The creation of health care exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act is splintering into two distinct camps...

Advisors Maintain Tenuous Hold On Workers, Retirees

By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet Fee- and commission-based financial advisors have a tenuous hold on workers and retirees when it comes to

Licensing Requirements Seen As Redundant, Costly

Maintaining state insurance licenses across multiple jurisdictions is a regulatory obstacle, a burden to financial advisors and may impede the sale of retirement income products, according to new research findings...

Variable Annuity Sales In U.K. Post Record

U.K. variable annuity sales rose to a record £1.42 billion ($2.30 billion) in premium in 2012, an increase of 30 percent over 2011...

Wells Fargo: HSA Accounts Hit Record Numbers

Assets in Wells Fargo’s Health Savings Accounts program grew to more than $809 million in 2012, an increase of 31 percent,...

Direct-To-Consumer Is Future Of Health Agent Business

With state-based health insurance exchanges slated to go into effect next year, the big story for the health insurance distribution network is going to be the evolution of the retail, direct-to-consumer model as adapted to insurance plans, according to experts...

New, Younger Investors Wary Of Advisors

The financial crisis of 2008 and the explosion of social media as a way to tap into sources of investment advice have given rise to a new and very different kind of young investor, one with a fair amount of skepticism about financial advisors...

Aetna Cuts Prescription Waste And Abuse By 15%

Aetna programs designed to reduce the use, abuse and waste of prescription drugs slashed usage among its 4.3 million members by 15 percent over a two-year period...

Higher Taxes Dampen Savings Incentives Among Boomers

Middle-income baby boomers would be less likely to save for retirement if taxes are increased or if tax incentives for retirement savings are reduced or eliminated, a new study has found...

The Changing U.S. Family: What Does It Mean For Advisors?

Morphing cultural diversity across the U.S., changing family structures, growing swaths of underinsured Americans and the delaying of what the industry calls “life events,” will influence the demand for life and retirement product buying patterns...

Replacing Mommy Would Cost 'A Small Fortune'

As many as 43 percent of adult women have no life insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute, citing a nationwide poll by wholesaleinsurance.net, an industry news and information resource...

Life Insurers Boost IT Budgets To Increase Distribution

Information technology budgets of North American life and annuity insurers are expected to increase by an average of 2 percent in 2013 over last year, according to a recent survey...

About The Author

Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at Cyril.Tuohy@innfeedback.com

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