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Articles by Linda Koco

Contributing Editor

Conflicting Views On Annuities Spell Opportunity

Sometimes consumers seem to live in the Land of Oxymoron where annuities are concerned. That is, they give voice to seemingly contradictory views about annuity products...

Some FIA Agents Face Dark Pool Backlash

When financial planner Michelle Ford answered the phone one day, she heard the voice of a worried older gentleman. “Is there anything I should be worried about?” he asked Ford nervously about allocations in his fixed index annuity (FIA)...

The Hits Keep Coming To Annuity Database

During the second quarter, annuity advisors and sales desks made over 261,000 hits to an online database of income annuity products, according to a new report...

Global Atlantic Targets Life & Annuity Business

Global Atlantic Financial Group has agreed to sell Ariel Re, its Bermuda-based property-casualty reinsurance company, to BTG Pactual, a Brazilian multinational investment banking firm...

A Look At What Makes A 'Successful' Life/Annuity Carrier

Research shows that carriers rated as "successful" focus their attention on annuities. And once the carrier finds its optimal product mix for its own markets and distribution, it tends to stick with that mix...

Annuities Are The Focus Of ‘Successful’ Carriers

Research indicates that most carriers rated as "successful" received 80 percent of their premium from annuities...

Mobile Agents Don’t Always Have Internet Access. What Then?

Time was when Jim Ferrell of Colorado Springs believed that today’s mobile agents have access to the Internet just about everywhere they go, so they don’t need to stress when they go on calls at a worksite or in people’s homes...

Longevity Annuity Regs Could Spark Chain Reaction

New Treasury Department rules expanding access to longevity annuities could ignite a slow but unmistakable chain reaction in the income annuity world...

Annuity Opportunity ‘Ripe’ In Three States

Some states are ripe for growth in retail annuity sales this year. Others have such competitive markets that potential for growth may be limited. Still others are humming along with annuity sales close to valued benchmarks...

DIAs Are More Flexible Than You Think: Cloke

Thirteen annuity companies currently offer a total of 15 deferred income annuities (DIAs). At least eight more DIAs will debut this year, making for a total of 23 DIAs available for sale by year-end...

Allianz Life Is On A Tear With FIA Sales

Top-selling fixed index annuity (FIA) writer Allianz Life turned in some jaw-dropping sales numbers for first quarter. Here's a look behind the numbers...

When Good Advisors Go Bad

A psychologist probes how successful, stalwart professionals sometimes end up sliding down the slippery slope of ethical or criminal misdeeds that eventually get them in trouble with the law...

Annuities Put The Guarantee Into Retirement Planning

Clients looking for guarantees may be receptive to a discussion about annuities, a speaker at the Million Dollar Round Table's annual meeting said...

Why Life Agents Should Convene Family Meetings

By knowing the right questions to ask -- and how to ask them -- advisors can bring family members together to discuss important but sensitive financial topics...

MDRT Annual Meeting Sets Attendance Record

The attendance record comes during a year when Million Dollar Round Table membership also has reached a new high...

Mental Capacity Of Older Clients A ‘Major Issue’

Selling financial products to older clients who may have reduced mental capacity that is not recognizable is “one of the major issues facing financial advisors today,” said a speaker at the Million Dollar Round Table 2014 annual meeting...

How To Use Social Media In The Know-It-All World

A futurist said that advisors need to have a business plan "for a world where everybody knows everything."...

FIAs Produce Steep Shock Lapses

A new study indicates fixed index annuities tend to experience “steep” shock lapses following the end of their surrender charge period...

Life Insurance Words Mystify Consumers

LIMRA research on using "authentic language" in communicating with consumers will be unveiled today at the 2014 Marketing & Research Conference...

FIA Sales Off At Athene, Rock At Allianz

Athene USA tried to hold its ground in first quarter 2014 fixed index annuity sales...

Annuities With LTC Can Be The Right Fit

Annuities with long-term care riders are still relatively new, but they can be a good choice for the right customer...

N.Y. Tightens Rules On Private Equity In Insurance Deals

In a new set of regulations released last week, the New York Department of Financial Services proposed rules that would heighten transparency, disclosure, and financial standards in such deals in the state of New York...

Income Annuity Searches Double Since Last Year

By Linda Koco InsuranceNewsNet Annuity advisors, distributors a

Annuity Agents Try Out Psychographic Marketing

Identifying prospects by personal characteristics and combining that information with basic demographics can help increase your marketing return on investment...

Athene USA Grabs A Foothold In FIAs

Many eyes are on Athene's first-quarter results due soon. After its ambitious acquisition of Aviva, Athene seeks a steady transition and a new direction for fixed annuities…

FIAs as Solution For Worst-Case Scenarios

Wealth manager Michael Fein is no stranger to variable annuities. But he has decided that he likes fixed index annuities better because “you can use them for worst-case scenarios.”...

Where Do Hybrid Annuities Fit?

How to position these products with clients and explain the features...

'Super-IMO' Has Deep Pedigree

Initially, the young company is focusing on annuities — in particular, fixed index annuities — that are issued by A-rated carriers...

Annuity Sales Lagging? Look At The ZIP Codes

Data analytics can help to find where the best annuity prospects live...

More Allianz FIAs Sold By Registered Reps

Allianz is bullish on the future for the fixed index annuity business in the rep space...

Female Financial Advisors Show High Productivity

Industry leaders look at some ways to address the aging of the agent force...

Why Fixed Annuities Will Be Strong Sellers Through 2018

Prospects for income annuities and fixed index annuities remain strong over the next few years, according to a LIMRA researcher...

The Link Between Annuities And Retirement Planning

National Retirement Planning Week is here. But where is the discussion about annuities?...

Want To Innovate? Challenge Orthodoxy

It’s a myth that starting to innovate with an open canvas or white space will generate the biggest and best ideas, according to Marla Capozzi, leader of the global innovation practice at McKinsey & Co. ...

Indexed Universal Life To Be ‘The’ Fixed UL

Indexed universal life insurance is on a growth trajectory, according to Milliman consulting actuary Rob Stone...

Scary Statistic Presents Challenge For Life Insurers

A whopping 76 percent of consumers are only slightly likely or not likely at all to buy life insurance next year, according to the 2014 Insurance Barometer Study published jointly by Life Happens and LIMRA...

Why ‘Radical’ Annuity Change In U.K. Interests The U.S. Market

In a radical change to its 90-year-old retirement system, the United Kingdom plans to decouple annuities from retirement plans. Annuity professionals in the United States can glean some takeaways from the massive disassembling that is about to occur...

A PBGC Booster Shot For Annuities

A new proposal from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) includes unmistakable support for the use of annuities to secure lifetime income in retirement...

Why FIA Sales Galloped To New Records

Last year was the fifth consecutive record-setting year for fixed indexed annuity (FIA) sales...

$201 Million Policy Could Be Good Omen

The recent sale of the world's most valuable life insurance policy could be a sign that the big life case market is reviving...

Nationwide And LPL Team Up On Retirement Advice

Under the new arrangement, Nationwide has integrated LPL’s Worksite Financial Solutions platform into its 401(k) products...

‘Watch Out’ Is The Theme Of Fee Discussion

Variable annuities received a few mentions in a bulletin for investors that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published recently about “How Fees and Expenses Affect Your Investment Portfolio.” ...

A Registered Index Annuity Takes Off

An insurance company that primarily serves credit union members did the unexpected: It sold nearly $90 million in a new type of annuity during the closing months of last year...

De-Risked VAs Still Pose Risk: Moody's

The de-risked variable annuity (VA) business took it on the chin in a surprising report by Moody's Investors Service...

Annuity Survey Question Affirms Need For Advisors

Not long ago, analysts at Cerulli Associates asked older 401(k) participants a seemingly routine question about retirement income expectations. The answers received were striking for their naiveté...

SEC Wants To Beef Up RIA Exams

If registered investment advisors (RIAs) haven’t had any federal regulators knocking on their door lately, it might be because the nation’s top cops in securities regulation don’t have the means to do so...

High Court Eyes Advisor Liability

A U.S. Supreme Court decision on a Ponzi scheme lawsuit includes some new clarity for investment advisors who sell securities that are not traded on a national exchange...

It’s Not All-About-Comp Anymore: LIMRA

A common thread in insurance circles is that compensation is what it takes to get on the shelf of independent agents, but LIMRA’s Patrick Leary has data that says otherwise...

Annuity Deals Dominated M&As in 2013

The number of mergers and acquisitions in the life and health insurance sector dropped nearly 40 percent 2013, according to Deloitte LLP...

A Dip But Not A Crash In Life Applications In 2013

Life insurance companies didn’t exactly find themselves straining to keep up with a huge influx of applications for individual coverage in 2013...

Annuity Sales In 2013: Sunny With A Bit Of Haze

Let it not be said that a relatively unknown annuity product cannot make major headway in sales. The object of the lesson here is the deferred income annuity (DIA). In terms of year-over-year sales growth, this product line jumped 113 percent in 2013...

FINRA Suitability Fines Drop 74 Percent In 2013

The size of fines for suitability violations levied in 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) decreased substantially over the previous year, according to a major Washington law firm. So did the number of suitability cases...

The Time To Disrupt Life Insurance Is Now

“We can’t experiment any more. We need to disrupt!” Those words came from Mark Hug, the opening general session speaker at LIMRA’s annual distribution conference...

Want to Grow Sales? Use Leverage

Do customers come to the advisor’s office armed to the teeth with information? Do they often have their buying decision already in sight even before speaking with the advisor?...

Heard in the Hallways

Question: Affiliated agents, such as career and captive agents, numbered around 158,200 in 2013, down from the 40-year high of 256,735 in 1973, according to LIMRA. What does this decline mean for the future of life insurance and annuity distribution?

A New Role For Indexed Annuities: Inside 401(k)s

Could an indexed annuity with a guaranteed lifetime income rider become a viable retirement income option inside a 401(k) plan? And can independent agents interest employers in offering these products to employees?...

Insurance Distribution On The Move

Insurance distribution is definitely a work in progress. Take a look at these snapshots gleaned from various LIMRA reports...

Why Advisors Need To ‘Read’ Other People

Sometimes it pays to be a reader of people, according to Polly Merritt Maglio. Those times often come when a financial advisor is sitting across from a prospect or client and wondering how to make the presentation most effectively...

Proposal Could Limit Access To Death File

New proposed rules for a Death Master File (DMF) “certification program” are in the works. The federal rules will spell out who can be certified to access the Social Security Administration’s massive database of the deceased...

2 Carriers Announce Indexed Annuity Expansion

Indexed annuities have started the year with signs that the vigorous product expansion seen last year may continue into this year...

He’s On A Protection Products Crusade

Ed Friderici is on a crusade. He said many consumers are not moving into protection products as they approach retirement. These pre-retirees don’t know what products they own or where their assets are invested. He means to change that...

This Annuity Is No Alternative For A MyRA

Move over, MyRAs. Small deposit fixed annuities are here. Well, let’s rethink that...

SEC To Probe Rollover IRA Sales Practices

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is putting rollover individual retirement account (IRA) recommendations and sales practices on its radar screen, with special focus on potential conflicts of interest...

More Details Emerge On Proposed MyRAs

The White House has posted some details on the new retirement savings bond program proposed by President Barak Obama in his State Of The Union address. Highlights follow...

Obama To Create Retirement Savings Bonds

In his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama proposed creation of a MyRA, a new savings bond for working Americans to use to start their own retirement savings...

What Is A DIA Doing Inside A Variable Annuity?

The darlings of the up-and-coming annuity crowd, deferred income annuities (DIAs) are deferred immediate annuities that let the policyowner defer their retirement income start date for several years, even for 10, 20 or more years...

No More One-Size-Fits-All Living Benefits: Nationwide

“One-size-fits-all is no longer sustainable in terms of financial education and benefits communication,” according to Liz Davidson, chief executive officer of Financial Finesse of El Segundo, Calif. ...

About ‘All Those Annuity Complaints’

Reported complaint activity involving annuities is down, and not by just a hair. In 2013, it was down in the neighborhood of 20 percent compared to the year before and by even greater percentages when compared to the two years previous to that...

Eyes Open Wide In Group Annuity Market

Changes are afoot in the retirement plan market that could impact the nature and future of the group annuity business -- and annuity practitioners who work in and around that business...

Advisor Hits To Income Annuity Database Up 15%

Advisor searches for income annuity payout information galloped ahead in 2013, rising by more than 15 percent from the previous year...

AIG, ING Push The Branding Envelope

Two major insurance holding companies — American International Group (AIG) and ING U.S. — are pushing the branding envelope with new or revitalized identities...

Average IA Commissions Dip To Lowest Level Ever

Indexed annuities hit more than one quarterly record in third quarter. The record that’s been getting all the industry attention lately is the sales high of slightly over $10 billion. But commissions paid to indexed annuity agents also hit a record — a record low, that is...

Athene CEO Seeks Level Playing Field

Even though 2013 is ending, the buzz around private equity ownership of annuity companies is nowhere near over. In fact, the fireworks around private equity companies buying and operating annuity carriers, so prominent in 2013, might continue well into 2014...

Deferred Annuity Riders Grab SEC’s Attention

“Deferred annuity riders” have moved onto the radar screen of variable annuity regulators in Washington. At issue is how the features are or will be disclosed. The outcome will have impact on producers — not now, but in the future...

When Being 'All Business' Is A Turn-Off

Amy Florian was having dinner one evening at the home of a financial advisor. During the course of conversation, the advisor mentioned that he didn’t always know what to say to clients who had just suffered the loss of a loved one...

GAO Eyes Income Options — Including Annuities

One of the challenges that agents and advisors face when presenting income annuities to clients is how to help customers understand what factors impact retirement income outcomes...

Harbinger Group Makes Another Annuity Move

Harbinger Group has made still another foray into the annuity business. The publicly held company’s latest deal is an annuity reinsurance treaty closed with Bankers Life...

Fixed-Rate MVA Annuities Make A Big Splash

Fixed-rate market value adjusted (MVA) annuities made a big splash in third quarter, with sales jumping 88.1 percent over the previous quarter and 131.5 percent over third quarter last year...

Agents Have 'Skin' In The Job Growth Game

November’s improved employment numbers should be a pick-me-up for advisors, at least for those who believe they have skin in the game where job growth is concerned...

FIO Calls For Uniform Annuity Suitability Regs

Every state should “adopt and enforce” the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Suitability in Annuities Transaction Model Regulation, according to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO)...

Mixed Messages On Low Interest Rates?

The fortunes of the fixed annuity business are so closely tied to the movement of interest rates that fixed annuity professionals follow rate developments closely. Right now, some professionals might be getting cross-eyed, due to what seems to be mixed messages in this area...

Allstate And ING Shift To Fixed Annuity Allies

According to a new strategic alliance, Allstate Financial will start selling fixed annuities manufactured and underwritten by ING U.S., effective in January...

NCOIL To Examine Unclaimed Benefits

State legislators are forming a new task force to examine the various approaches that states are taking regarding unclaimed life insurance death benefits...

VA Product Changes Drop To Near Record Low In 3Q

Variable annuity changes recorded by Morningstar dropped to a near-record low of 84 in the third quarter. The record was a mere 59 changes made in first quarter 2011...

Brokers Charged With Stealing Elderly Widow’s Annuity Cash-Out

An elderly widow sold two annuities and deposited the cash-out into a bank. Thus began a chain of events in which the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) wound up charging two brokers with stealing $300,000 from the widow...

Consistency With Unclaimed Death Benefits Is ‘Long Overdue’

It’s not often that insurance industry organizations endorse regulatory proposals for inquiry into business practices, but this is an exception...

Fixed Annuities Were ‘The’ Sales Story In 3Q

What a difference a quarter makes in annuity sales results. In third quarter, total fixed sales were up 31 percent over third quarter last year, according to LIMRA’s new estimated results...

Indexed Annuities See Jaw-Dropping Sales

Perhaps the biggest jaw-dropper in the past week was Wink, Inc.’s report that indexed annuity production broke yet another record, with sales hitting $10 billion for the quarter...

How to Woo Gen X to Life Insurance: Innovate

In order for insurance to break out of the fuddy-duddy, people need to think outside the jar...

Three Reality Checks On Buying Annuities

Consumers may have an approach/avoidance conflict when it comes to annuities. They see the value of the annuity’s income stream and tax deferral but they also have excuses for not buying — excuses that advisors might counter with a reality check based on research...

Annuity Firms Eye Rising Interest Rates

The interest rate environment may no longer be the source of acute pain it once was in the annuity industry...

Death Master File Issue Is Anything But Dead

The “death master file” issue is far from dead. An influential committee of state insurance regulators recently voted to explore whether it should look into establishing a framework for handling unclaimed death benefit issues...

Congress Told: Don't Mess With Tax Deferral

Don’t mess with tax deferral in retirement savings products. Do preserve tax deferral in annuities. Don’t take tax deferral for granted, and don’t take it away...

Delaware Life Debuts Its First Annuity

The wondering is over. Delaware Life has debuted its first annuity, a multi-year guaranteed fixed annuity called Pinnacle MYGA...

More Than One Way To Fund Long-Term Care

Citing major shifts in the long-term care insurance marketplace, a big, multi-state long-term care insurance distributor says it is no longer focusing only on long-term care insurance...

Accelerated Benefit Targets Retirement Income

By Linda Koco InsuranceNewsNet American General has been explor

Indexed Annuities Grow New ‘Must Have’ Features

Guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit riders have been the dominant star of indexed annuity features, but they will soon share billing with several other product features, according to insurance and annuity executives...

What To Make Of VA Contribution Limits

Jackson National Life has once again put a year-end lid on certain types of variable annuity business that it will accept...

Why Advisors Ignore ‘Simplified Annuities’

“The term ‘simplified annuities’ normally means ‘watered down guarantees,’” according to a securities executive during a wide-ranging and unscripted panel discussion at LIMRA’s annual meeting. For that reason, many advisors aren’t interested...

Want Big Change? Use Big Data, LIMRA Chief Says

All parties involved in the life insurance process — carriers, producers and customers — will benefit from using “predictive analytics,” said Robert A. Kerzner at the opening session of LIMRA’s annual meeting...

Sales In A Holding Pattern? ‘Engage The Consumer’

What consumers do when shopping for life insurance and what the life insurance industry does to engage those consumers are not always aligned, according to Eric Sondergeld. That can derail sales...

Use Annuities As A Tax Shield: CPA

Time was, before the era of the feature festival in annuities, agents and advisors used to present annuity options based on the client’s tax needs...

Google, Amazon Might Plant Big Footprints in Insurance Distribution

Internet superstars Google and Amazon are likely to become competitors for online insurance sales, according to predictions from life insurance and property-casualty executives...

New DIA Market: Generation X

Will deferred income annuities appeal to Generation X? Some annuity watchers have been thinking “no,” but new data from the leading seller in this market suggests the answer is “yes.”...

Athene Chief: No ‘Time-Fuse’ On Aviva Deal

Now that Athene Holding Ltd. has completed its $1.55 billion purchase of Aviva USA, the company is setting its sights on being a leader in the fixed annuity business...

Could ACA Be An Opportunity For Annuity Pros?

Annuity professionals may not view health care reform as relevant to the work they typically do with clients — needs analysis, sales, service, income planning and the like. In fact, most annuity specialists don’t sell health insurance...

Agents To Employers: Need Some Help With ACA?

Even though employers caught a break with the one-year postponement on the new “pay or play” tax under health care reform, employers still have oodles of Affordable Care Act (ACA) issues and possible strategies on their plates...

A Possible Break On The Inside Buildup Threat

There is a possibility that taxing the inside buildup of life insurance products will not be included in the tax reform package being developed in Congress, according to Dana Kehoe, a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) government relations team...

NAIFA Members, Leaders Grapple Over Dues

At town hall, members push for growth in association base rather than in dues...

Half of NAIFA Health Agents to Use Exchange

By Linda Koco InsuranceNewsNet SAN ANTONIO – Many agents have long been vocal in their opposition to some or all of the country’s new health insurance law, but tha

NAIFA President Pivots From Last Year's Fight

“’Advisor 2020’could be a game changer,” said Robert O. Smith in opening remarks here at the annual meeting of National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors...

A Look Behind The New ‘Structured Annuities’

Structured variable annuities — also known as indexed variable annuities, registered indexed annuities or just structured annuities — have begun showing up on annuity dance cards, but industry practitioners aren’t quite sure what they are. Or why they are...

Quick Takes On The Annuity Scene

The past few weeks have percolated with news on living benefits, annuity flows, deferred income annuities and more. Here are some short takes on that. We’ll do some up-close looks later on...

Regulators Weigh In On Elder Financial Abuse

Financial institutions can go ahead and report suspected elder financial abuse to authorities without first following the opt-out process required by federal law...

Annuity Sales Data: A Blessing And A Curse

It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. The “It” is the host of annuity sales statistics that come out each quarter...

Advisor Headcount Still Dropping, Report Says

The incredible shrinking advisory force is not a tagline that veteran insurance and financial advisors want to see but one researcher thinks is the way things are going to be...

Private Exchanges Offer Broker Opportunity

Where might independent health agents and brokers find opportunity as in this new era of federal health care reform?...

The Variable Annuity Mystery Continues

Variable annuity carriers submitted 182 filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in second quarter 2013. This single number points to a new chapter in the continuing mystery about the future of the variable annuity business...

The Big Reveal On Quarterly Annuity Sales

Annuity professionals sure would like to know which direction annuity sales are going. Every time the quarterly annuity sales numbers come out, annuity professionals ask themselves if this a smoke signal or just yesterday’s news...

The Time for Annuity/Long-Term Care Combos Is Coming

Some industry people are dusting off their combination annuity/long-term care initiatives and wondering if this is not the time to prepare the products for action...

CDAs May Get Consumer Protection Scrutiny

State insurance regulators are proposing to put consumer protection issues clearly under the regulatory microscope where contingent deferred annuities (CDAs) are concerned...

New CDA Flap: Where’s The Protection?

The consumer-oriented Center for Economic Justice wants state insurance regulators to add a consumer protection review to their evaluation of continent deferred annuities (CDAs)...

A Glimpse Behind The LIMRA Annuity Sales Figures

The annuity business appears to be digging in and rebuilding, slowly...

Regulators OK Athene/Aviva Deal

Regulators in Iowa and New York approved the closely watched acquisition of fixed annuity insurer Aviva Life and Annuity Co. and its subsidiaries by Athene Holding...

Stock Carriers Seeking Whole Life Business

At least two stock carriers — Allstate and Phoenix Companies — have debuted whole life insurance policies in recent months...

Variable Annuities Stampeding To Alternative Subaccounts

If there is any doubt that variable annuity providers are taking the alternative subaccount movement seriously, some figures from Morningstar should set the record straight...

Interest Rates Are Up But Not In UL — Yet

Interest rates may be rising, but life insurance agents shouldn’t be looking for any interest rate bump-up in universal life policies just yet...

Advisors Jump Into Shadow Insurance Debate

New York’s recent report blasting so-called shadow insurance through captives as “financial alchemy” is the subject of push-back from some concerned advisors...

Fixed Annuity Interest Rates Ticking Up

Are fixed annuity rates heading up along with the uptick in interest rates on 5- and 10-year Treasury bonds? Why, yes they are. At least a bit. At least at some carriers...

Allstate Bowing Out Of Annuities

Allstate is bowing out of writing life insurance and annuities and selling the products through the independent agency distribution channel business...

How Sex Can Sell Annuities

Sex can make a difference in the annuity business. That is, sex in terms of the gender of the buyer...

Life Policy App Decline—A Telltale Sign Or Not?

Applications for individual life insurance have dropped 2.2 percent in the first six months compared to the first half last year, according to the MIB Life Index, which measures applications submitted to insurers on a national basis every month...

Scrutiny Of Private Equity Could Expand

The comment period closed yesterday on an eyebrow-raising memo about private equity deals with annuity and life insurance companies—an issue of growing concern for producers who represent insurers with ties to private equity and/or who compete with such insurers...

Exchanges Are Coming, Ready Or Not

Under health care reform, workers who have no health insurance but who work for firms with 50 or more employees would have been able, starting in 2014, to obtain health care coverage from their employer...

No More Guessing: Here’s the Aviva Deal

The Iowa Insurance Division has posted Apollo Global Management LLC’s application to buy the big Iowa annuity carrier on the division’s website...

Will N.Y. Block Private Equity From Insurance?

The risk that has DFS concerned, he said, is whether private equity firms are more short-term focused than long-term. Insurance, he said, is “all about the long haul.” ..

Harkin Day Has Passed, Now What?

Sunday, June 16, could have been thought of as Harkin Day, at least among indexed annuity professionals...

Concept Guides Attract Boomers To Firm

One way that James P. Ruth attracts baby boomers to his firm and the retirement services it offers is by providing a brief concept guide on immediate annuities...

How A Boy And A Toy Turned Into An Awesome Customer Experience

One day, a small boy left a favorite toy at a hotel where he had stayed with his family. That’s not an uncommon event, but what happened afterwards was an awesome event, according to marketing expert Scott Stratten...

Can Searches On Google Help Sales? Richter Says Yes

Sam Richter had a meeting with an executive at Allianz, and he wanted to be present with information that shows he is keeping up with the company and cares about how it is doing...

Heard In The Hallways: MDRT 2013

Question: Is it easier to work on life insurance solutions when the client is a personal friend or a stranger (such as a referral, seminar attendee, qualified lead, etc.) and why?...

FA Illustration Rules Take Hold In Iowa

Iowa’s new annuity disclosure regulation, complete with precedent-setting illustration regulations for fixed annuities, has been in effect since Jan. 1 but, so far, the Iowa Insurance Division has received no complaints about infractions...

Nationwide Eyes Product ‘Crossovers’

Is the day coming when insurance agents will be selling crossover life insurance and annuity products? That is the direction Nationwide Financial is heading...

Who Will Win The Next Annuity Iditarod?

Annuity carriers with first quarter sales drops don’t need to feel like the last musher on the Iditarod Trail. They have plenty of company...

Genworth Breaks Its LTCi Tie With AARP

Genworth has made it official. Effective June 1, it will cease selling AARP-branded long-term care insurance through its Genworth Life Insurance Co. and Genworth Life Insurance Co. of New York companies...

LIMRA Shows Why People Really Buy Annuities

Here is a good one for annuity buffs. What is the top reason that adults aged 40-plus buy deferred annuities? Growth potential, perhaps? Maybe tax deferral? How about tax deferral plus liquidity? What about the product guarantees?...

Will The Romance Last?

Is the consumer romance with fixed indexed annuities likely to continue next year or might it start to fizzle as consumers seek other eligible prospects?...

Biggest Social Issue Of Our Time: Saving For Retirement

Getting Americans to save more is ”the biggest social issue of our time,” maintained Stig O. Nybo at the annual Retirement Industry Conference sponsored by LIMRA, LOMA and Society of Actuaries...

Advisors Key To America’s Retirement Future: Kerzner

Today, many Americans have no incentive to save for retirement, but advisors can do something about that, according to LIMRA Chief, Robert Kerzner...

Advisors Step Up To The Retirement Planning Plate

If there is any doubt that financial advisors are stepping up their efforts to offer retirement income planning and services, LIMRA has some numbers that should put that doubt to rest...

Selling Indexed UL For Upside Potential, Downside Protection

There is a huge opportunity in the emerging growth product, indexed universal life insurance, said Bobby Samuelson in a workshop here. But when entering this market, the industry “needs to know where the landmines are,” he warned...

People Love Their Insurance Agent, Study Shows

LIMRA researchers have been noodling around with the question of how customers feel when beneficiaries undergo the experience of filing a death claim, so they decided to do a study. What they found out is not what they expected...

Five Ways To Reach The Mid-Market In Life Insurance

Carriers are using five ways to reach the mid-market for life insurance, according to new research from LIMRA and the LIFE Foundation...

The Advisor Effect: More Save For Retirement

Nearly 100 percent of baby boomers who work with an advisor do have savings for retirement, according to new research from the Insured Retirement Institute...

What To Do About Closed Block?

If the past is any indicator of what is to come, the recent burst of new annuity products and the debut of more deals between annuity carriers will be followed by closed block announcements...

Annuities + Living Benefits = Unknown Future

The possibility that the very popular guaranteed living benefit (GLB) features in annuities could one day become a so-yesterday item is difficult for today’s annuity professionals to fathom...

The American Annuity Shuffle Begins

Year-end individual annuity sales results provide plenty for annuity aficionados to ponder. There were some sorry-looking numbers, for sure, but also some intriguing surprises. Some would say the carriers were doing a dance, or at least a shuffle...

Sweet Spot For Advisors: Lump Sum Distributions

Private defined benefit plans could represent an expanding market opportunity for advisors...

The Annuity Disconnect Is Here—Now What?

Annuities are in a worse position than life insurance when it comes to consumer attitudes toward the products, according to a new study...

Private Equity Has A Yen For VA Deals

Variable annuity companies might become the apple of private equity eyes in 2013...

Non-Resident Licensing Bill Returns To Congress

Legislation to create a national agent and broker body for multi-state non-resident licensing was introduced in both houses of Congress early this week...

SEC ‘Begins’ Work On VA Summary Prospectus

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it is now working on developing a rule to allow use of variable annuity summary prospectuses, which are short documents that highlight the policy’s key features in simple English and graphical format...

Annuity Toolbox Grows As Interest Rates Stay Low

Why have producers been seeing new annuity tools and strategies popping up from carriers? Dana Pedersen thinks a lot of it has to do with the continuing low interest rate environment...

Annuity Toolbox Grows As Interest Rates Stay Low

Why have producers been seeing new annuity tools and strategies popping up from carriers? Dana Pedersen thinks a lot of it has to do with the continuing low interest rate environment...

What’s In A Word? For Annuities, Buyers

“Do annuities earn money, interest or a return?” That was among the many questions that regulators and annuity industry participants took up this week during a phone conference on a consumer document about deferred annuities...

Consumers Left Out Of NAIC Annuity Process, Activist Says

A consumer representative ticked off a long list of concerns he has about the contingent deferred annuities during a conference call with regulators this week...

NAFA Response To "States Continue Push For Annuity Commission Disclosure"

Thank you for your coverage about the Buyer’s Guide in your most recent article in Insurance News Net (INN) titled “States Continue Push for Annuity Commission Disclosure” on February 18...

States Continue Push For Annuity Commission Disclosure

A few state insurance regulators are continuing to push for increased disclosure of annuity agent commissions...

States Continue Push For Annuity Commission Disclosure

A few state insurance regulators are continuing to push for increased disclosure of annuity agent commissions...

Changes Coming To NAIC Annuity Buyer’s Guide

An updated buyer’s guide for deferred annuities appears to be close to completion. Is this a case of someone reinventing the wheel, or does the re-do have merit? ...

Making Predictions On The Dow And The Super Bowl

Financial gurus are finding it important to weigh in on whether the Dow hitting 14,000 and the Baltimore Ravens winning the 2013 Super Bowl are bellwethers for the markets (and ergo, the economy) for the next 12 months...

On The Dow, The Super Bowl And Financial Advice

Financial prognosticators have really been busy recently, and what they are doing may be muddying the waters for consumers. Advisors could come to the rescue...

RMDs Trigger Prime Time For Income Annuities

When do most advisors start talking with clients about income annuities? Quick, grab a pencil and jot your answer. Then read on...

Security Regulators Step Up Review Of Annuities

Security regulators are sending out signals that they intend to step up review of distribution of complex financial products, such as variable annuities and equity-linked instruments...

Annuity Opening Salvo For 2013: Auspicious?

The year 2013 is opening up more like business as usual than like a war zone. That could be a harbinger of a better year...

Estate Tax Law: The Meaning for Annuities

Annuities appear nowhere in the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, but the legislation does have at least three indirect implications for annuity advisors and clients...

Estate Tax Surprise: The Law is Permanent

One of the big surprises from the last-moment deal that pulled the nation back from the fiscal cliff was the permanent estate tax law, which should make estate-planning go much more smoothly for advisors and their wealthy customers. ..

Which Annuity Line Shows Most Promise In 2013?

As the New Year’s stardust settles, annuity watchers are scanning the horizon to see what lies ahead for annuities in the next 12 months. ..

Athene To Become Big In Indexed Annuities

Finally, the speculation about who will buy Aviva USA is over. Athene Holding Ltd., a Pembroke, Bermuda insurance holding company, says it has agreed to buy the big fixed indexed annuity carrier, Aviva USA...

On Guggenheim, Sun Life Financial, and Annuities

Just when the annuity industry had stopped talking about the Guggenheim Partners expansion into “the annuity space,” the Chicago- and New York-based private equity went and made another annuity-infused deal...

Is The 401(k) The Next IA Market?

A new marriage could be in the making. This is the marriage of indexed annuities with 401(k) retirement plans ..

Carriers Target RIAs With Fee-Only Variable Annuities

Variable annuities designed for sale in fee-only distribution channels have nearly doubled, putting more VAs into the hands of advisors who do not charge commissions...

Annuities Down But Not Out In 3Q

Third quarter industrywide results were downers for sure. On an overall basis, total annuity sales fell 10 percent, to $54.3 billion, from third quarter last year, according to LIMRA...

Profiling Uncovers Cases in 10 Minutes

Sales training is important, but finding the right clients by profiling is how BGAs really can help advisors make sales...

Aviva Confirms Plans to Sell Its U.S. Business

Speculation that the United Kingdom-based company might sell its U.S. unit has been circulating ever since August, when un-sourced reports surfaced that Guggenheim Partners, a private equity company, was reportedly a potential buyer...

AIG Considers Proprietary Products: Benmosche

American International Group is looking at ways to introduce proprietary insurance products to its new distribution platform, according to AIG President and CEO Robert Benmosche...

Suspended Annuities Causing A Stir

Advisors are upset because a couple of big variable annuity carriers—Prudential and Jackson National—are suspending sales of, or deposits into, certain variable annuities. Other variable annuity carriers are expected to follow, and many have already cut back...

NAIC Alert May Mislead Annuity Buyers

At issue are warnings included in the document about using annuities — in particular, deferred annuities – to help low-income wartime veterans qualify for a government pension. These warnings are in addition to cautionary notes about gifting and moving money...

Annuity Ballgame Targets Retirement Home-Runs

In the past few weeks, a number of annuity carriers have brought out new fixed and variable annuity contracts or features that are geared toward meeting the needs of retirement-minded customers...

Annuity Clients Getting Divorced? Step Carefully

A greater percentage of older couples are getting divorced and are at an age when they are more likely to have annuities. How do they split that baby?...

One Simple Diagram Has Clients Begging To Sign

Typical insurance agents can increase sales by drawing a simple one-page diagram — a diagram that Bill Whitley says so motivates clients that they actually ask to move on to the next step in the buying process...

Life With Critical Illness Riders Catch On

Brokerage general agent tells NAIFA conference that the critical illness rider makes life insurance more attractive for younger clients…

Indexed Annuities Are Changing - And Selling

The changes have come in response to the prolonged low-interest rate environment, and the pressure that has put on carriers’ ability to support product guarantees and related features, according to a wide variety of annuity watchers...

Advisors Still ‘On’ To Variable Annuities

Cogent Research has found that 72 percent of advisors surveyed in 2012 expect to continue selling variable annuities and to allocate 11 percent of their assets under management toward the products...

Global Pressure Slows U.S. Annuity Market

Advisors aren’t talking much about globalization, says Stan Haithcock, a Florida-based annuity specialist. But they should be, because the increasingly international profile of the insurance business is likely to impact the U.S. annuity market...

VAs Edging Up in Financial Advisor Offerings

By Linda Koco Annuity sales may be flattening from last year, or even dropping in some markets, but it is not from decline in advisor use of the products. In fact, more tha

Annuity Producers, Get Ready for the Retirement Market

The massive assets now held in qualified retirement plans managed by life and annuity insurers are being eyed by competitors, Conning Research and Consulting reports. So insurers need to respond to the competition...

Annuity Surprises Could Be Jump-Starters

The annuity market is never short on surprises, and the past few weeks have been no exception. Sometimes the surprises are jolts. This time, they are more like jump-starters...

Indexed Annuity as Alternative Asset Class

Several recent surveys indicate that consumer and investor confidence is wobbling. The magnitude is not dramatic, but worry is definitely in the air...

VAs Edging Up in Financial Advisor Offerings

Survey shows that financial advisors are keeping the faith in annuities...

To Use Exclusive Annuity Distribution or Not?

In the indexed annuity business, the traditional distribution model — where marketing organizations distribute annuities of multiple carriers through their advisor networks — was the only game in town for many years...

Gen-Y May Have a Growing Yen for Annuities

The most recent edition of the IRI Fact Book points out that Gen-Y ownership of one kind of annuity — the indexed annuity — has “significantly increased since 2007, when it was at 8 percent.”

The Black Box Changing Life Underwriting

In the life insurance world, the models can be faster, better and cheaper than traditional underwriting methods, but they “do not provide the type of transparency important to producers and clients when determining the risk class.”...

Annuity Plus Life Insurance Equal a Powerful Retirement Income Strategy

John W. Homer, president of Oxford Financial Group, suggests that older clients with liquid assets and a desire to reduce estate taxes may want to consider buying a guaranteed income annuity partnered up with a life insurance policy...

MDRT Speakers: Passion Makes Winners

Being passionate about life and work and finding inspiration from other people are key ingredients that make for winners, according to several speakers at on the Tuesday morning platform of Million Dollar Round Table...

MDRT Meeting, Speakers About Rich Connections

MDRT takes a novel approach to the annual meeting with The ConneXion Zone. And speakers talk about the personal and professional enrichment of making connections...

Make The Leap: Smooth Transitions From Commissions To Fees

An excerpt from MDRT 2012: "Our business model consists of three ways we are compensated, and how we use the methods depends on the circumstances of the case, the complexity or the size, and the ongoing service needs"...

Heard in the Halls: MDRT Day One

Question: What is the biggest change in life insurance production that you have noticed since joining MDRT and now?...

Forbes Publisher to MDRT Elite: Work Faster, Better and with Empathy

“Are you known as a standout in your field?” Forbes Publisher Rich Karlgaard says at MDRT opener...

Rules of Thumb Can Smother Options

Many advisors and planners have decided that they must never recommend putting 30 percent or more of a client’s liquid assets into annuities...

The Annuity Defined … Really?

That lack of understanding gets in the way of good retirement income planning. If people don’t know about, or understand, annuities, why should they consider purchasing one?...

Why Indexed Annuities Keep Charging Ahead

One answer has to do with guaranteed living benefits -- the features were a big part of fixed indexed annuity sales in the first quarter...

Annuity Carrier Exits: Tsunamis Or Small Waves?

The Aviva CEO's exit is the latest in a string of annuity industry shakeups, but should we worry?...

Information Pays as it Sways Income Annuity Buyers

Tell them and they will buy, according to a study that showed that when advisors tell pre-retirees about income annuities, at least 30 percent said they were likely to purchase one...

Targeting Middle Market Retirees? Read This

Advisors can make a living by serving the retirement income needs of the middle market,if they focus on the right segment and use the right strategies...

Advisors Shifting to Active Management of Retirement Income

Speaking at the annual Retirement Income Conference, Prudential CEO stressed that retirement entails many complexities and that industry advisors and providers need to factor those complexities into their planning and solutions...

Why Annuities Are Now Cool

Large broker-dealers and wirehouses are tuning into income annuities, to the point that they are asking for support and information about the products, according to CANNEX...

Social Media Builds Trust (and Sales) for Agents

Rather than getting excited about getting 50,000 likes on the corporate website, carriers should be focusing on getting their agents to post local content and getting people to “like” it...

In Life Insurance Sales, Prepare to Reckon with Women

Agents who still engage in the “old style” of selling, where they talk only to the husband and totally ignore the wife when both are present, may want to reconsider their approach...

LIMRA CEO: We Can’t Grow Unless…

Life industry needs to nurture green shoots of growth, LIMRA CEO Bob Kerzner tells Life Insurance Conference on Tuesday...

Dementia Risks Grow for Life Insurers as Population Ages

Insurers are starting to make cognitive impairment testing a part of the underwriting process for larger life insurance cases...

United States of Annuities

The federal endorsement will increase opportunities for advisors - but they may also come to view their annuity bedfellow with a guarded eye...

DTCC Analysis Shows Fixed Annuity Activity Uptick

According to DTCC data there was a 34 percent increase in fixed annuity inflows, when comparing March 2010 to February 2012 figures...

Advisors Face More Scrutiny in the ‘Alternative’ Zone

The guidance that FINRA has laid out for securities firms may subject advisors who recommend “alternative investment” options inside of variable annuities to greater scrutiny...

Advisors Eyeball SPIAs Valued At Over $200,000

Financial advisors ran searches on single premium income annuities valued at an average of $231,000 last year, according to a 2011 report from an income annuity database...

Regulators Call for Annuity Income Guarantee Scrutiny

NAIC group recommends a different treatment of popular annuity guarantees...

Watch Your ‘Lesser-Known’ Indexes

Regulators say that talking about some indexes in indexed annuities gets a little close to the financial advising line...

Contingent Annuities May Emerge as Income Option

What are contingent annuities? They might be an answer for some clients' guaranteed income needs...

How Annuities Could Be a Health-Care Cost Cushion

A recent report endorses the growing trend of using annuities for health-care expense planning...

More Policyholders Keeping Their Indexed Annuities

If you have been thinking the indexed annuity owners have been keeping their annuities for longer and longer periods in the past few years, you are right! But why they are keeping them, that's the surprise...

Annuity Company Ratings: Can You Count On Them?

Producers need to know if their carriers are healthy, but how reliable are the ratings agencies?...

2012 Could Be Rebuilding Year for Annuities

A review of new products shows that annuity carriers have definitely unveiled new products this year, but certain product lines got most of the attention...

Retirement Anxiety Inspires Rush of New Annuity Products

Annuity sales have suffered with the low rates – but innovations in indexed annuities help to sweeten the deal...

DIAs Mix It Up with SPIAs in Income Annuity Market

Interest grows in deferred income annuities for "bucketing" retirement income...

Carriers Build MVA Annuity Arsenal

Market Value Adjusted annuities are not going great guns right now, but carriers want them to protect against consumer flight when interest rates rise...

BGA Concern: Agents Keep the Sales Dial on Term Life

At a NAILBA roundtable, BGAs say term life is doing well but the products that make the money are not moving...

Gen Y Producers Want To Be Entrepreneurs

To attract Generation Y into life and annuity production, the insurance industry — including brokerage general agencies — will need to make some adjustments...

Panel: Low Rates Batter UL But Value Still Strong

Low-interest rates force carriers to cut some universal life value but extra spice still makes UL nice for clients, according to a NAILBA panel...

Don’t Forget, It’s SOCIAL Media

Too often, producers think they should sell on social media. The trick is to be social, first...

Brokers' Big Problem Needs Big Solution

NAILBA chairwoman, Christi M. Daughenbaugh, says the big problem is recruiting and brokerages can't just nibble around the edges...

NAILBA: Women Breaking into Brokerage

More women are reaching the top rungs of the brokerage ladder but why aren't there more? A NAILBA session seeks the answers...

Liquidity: Annuity Buyers Want It but Most Don’t Use It

Liquidity features may be the apple of the annuity buyer’s eye – but relatively few policyholders actually use them, according to advisors...

Carriers Back Away from Registered Indexed Annuities

ING Groep NV stopped selling registered indexed annuities at the end of October, and now some annuity watchers are wondering if that spells the end of the registered indexed annuity marketplace...

Companies Apply Annuity Balm for Retirement Pain

Recent annuity product rollouts are putting the spotlight on retirement income strategies just as boomers and retirees contemplate an uncertain future...

Where Are The Next-Gen Producers?

“We will need to go out there and adopt their mindset rather than think about who we are and how will they fit with us,” said Todd Tharp at LIMRA’s annual meeting...

Kerzner: This Technology Can Rock Our World

Innovations such as iPads, tablet computers and smart phones “can rock our world,” says life insurance executive Robert A. Kerzner...

Social Media Use Growing At Life Carriers

“The companies are using social media technologies primarily to help producers with lead generation and community building,” said Todd A. Silverhart during a packed break-out session at LIMRA’s annual meeting...

What If Interest Rates Keep Falling?

A falling interest rate environment will spur some customers to look for opportunities for upside potential, and that can affect the products and strategies that agents and companies take...

Annuities Vie With Mattress Money

The tough economy is causing consumers to make some tough retirement savings choices — between annuities, other retirement plans, investments and mattress money, according to an Allianz survey...

Speed-to-Market Building Steam

Annuity products are getting to the market faster today than five years ago because more states are signing onto a compact...

Can Annuities Solve The Retirement Crisis?

The 79-page document issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) says experts are recommending use of income annuities to generate retirement income, among other strategies...

VA Players Nosing into Indexed Annuity Market

Registered reps who have been selling variable annuities will soon be asked to start selling indexed annuities, too...

IRI to Super Committee: Save Annuity Tax Deferral

“We do not believe that deficit reduction should be done at the cost of individual retirement savings. We urge committee members to protect savings incentives for all American workers.”...

Insurers Delay Contingent Annuity Launches

Some insurers are delaying the launch of contingent annuity products while regulators are trying to determine whether contingent annuity products are in fact annuities...

ACLI: Annuities Not So Fuddy-Duddy

Products that provide guaranteed lifetime income have changed so much in the past six years that American Council of Life Insurers is now reminding people that “This isn’t your father’s annuity.”...

Are Contingent Annuities Really Annuities?

State regulators are planning what could become a “robust discussion” this Friday about whether so-called contingent annuities are actually annuities or perhaps financial guaranty type of product...

NFI: Federal Regulation of Annuities ‘Conceivable’

A federal regulator could eventually become the principal regulator for life and annuities or reinsurance or monoline bond carriers...

No-Lapse UL: Down but Don't Count Them Out

Despite the popularity of no-lapse UL, some carriers started exiting the market in 2009 and all eight of the top players had left by 2010. Now those exits are crimping industry-wide individual life sales...

Indexed, Income Annuities Surge in Market Share

Indexed annuities and income annuities have grown market share against all odds and all predictions...

Why Aren’t VULs Riding The VA Sales Rocket?

At first blush, the variable universal life sales increase might prompt industry professionals to think that the first half’s rising stock market made VULs catch on once again among consumers -- but not so fast...

AnnuityNews Wrap: Downgrade Begets Downgrade?

Catch the latest from Linda Koco on the annuities industry, including what the "downgrade" of S&P's head honcho really means...

NAIC Targets 'Unrealistic' Annuity Illustrations

illustrations offered with traditional fixed and indexed annuities are not subject to any regulations but use of illustrations with fixed annuities has been growing over the past five years, and some of the documents are “pretty unrealistic,” NAIC official says... .

Debt Deal Could Spur Annuity Sales

The wrangling over the debt ceiling scared consumers enough about the future to want the safe money of annuities...

Swaps Proposal Threatens Annuities’ Insurance Status

Several insurance organizations are concerned that a new government proposal regarding swaps could remove certain annuity and life insurance products from state regulation and make them subject to federal regulation...

The Harkin Amendment’s Big What-If Question

What if all 50 states do not adopt the new annuity suitability regulations developed by National Association of Insurance Commissioners by June 16, 2013 -- and what insurance agents need to know about it...

GAO Report Puts Annuities on Center Stage

Retirements are at risk and the situation cries for annuities. Even the government knows that!...

Iowa Draws Line in the Sand for Advisors

Industry professionals consider the Bulletin to be a regulatory effort to help resolve the so-called “source of funds” issue that has sprung up around the country...

More Annuity Suitability Rules Going into Effect This Summer

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires that all 50 individual states to comply with the NAIC 2010 annuity suitability model by June 16, 2013...

Millionaires Do Buy Annuities: Here’s Why

Fewer millionaires want to actively manage theirs assets, opening the door to annuity products...

Illinois Indexed Annuity Case Heads to Court

The Illinois secretary of state issued the order on May 24. It includes an indirect “proclamation” calling indexed annuities securities, according to Thomas W. Kelty, the advisors’ attorney. Kelty also filed an appeal in circuit court on June 1...

Illinois Ruling May Reopen Indexed Annuity, Securities Issue

Not only does Illinois Order 0800064 provide a “cautionary tale” about understanding and explaining policy features, “but it also strongly intimates— without saying — that Illinois considers index annuities to be securities”...

Independent B/Ds Gain Annuity Market Share

Independent broker/dealers (IBDs) are raising some eyebrows as gain some market share in the individual annuity sales, according to data starting in 2006...

2-Year Estate Tax Window Slows Big Gifts

The new $5 million gift tax exemption has triggered a lot of interest in nudging the ultra-wealthy to make large gifts between now and the end of 2012 because that’s when the high lifetime exemption limit will end. But that is not the norm among the wealthy...

Retirement Education: The More the Better

Research is finding that consumer education can and does make a difference in how people save for retirement. Simply put, the more education the better for the retirement savings account...

Customers Are Unique So Treat Them That Way: Aviva

Aviva coined a term — youmanity — to express the message that the company expresses “heartfelt humanity.” It has begun offering products, services and programs under that banner and promises more...

Money on the Move, Heading to Annuities

Money is moving and many say a good chunk of it is going into annuities...

Simplified Issue May Mean More Sales, Less Comp

Simplified issue may mean smoother and quicker transactions, which is good because you're going to need to do a lot of them to make up for the compensation cut!...

Seeking Zealots for Customer Service

Carriers, producers both have to earn their business with each transaction...

Life, Retirement Conferences Lift Off

Get ready for a week of invaluable insignts from two major industry conferences designed to help producers thrive in tomorrow's insurance and retirement markets...

Income Annuities Elbow In

Maybe it's the boomers looking for a new retirement vehicle or insurance companies wanting another sales vehicle -- or maybe both -- but there is no doubt income annuities are getting more popular...

In Quake’s Wake, Revelations About Nuclear Insurance

The pool has been around for decades but it is getting renewed attention in the wake of the nuclear reactor damage following Japan’s powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11...

10/10 Limits IA Design

Indexed annuities with 10-year surrender charges are becoming so prevalent that newly developed products are starting to look very similar, according to an indexed product researcher...

Ready for Annuities Paired With Bond Funds?

Some financial companies are designing new types of retirement income products that package features of an income annuity with features of a bond fund...

New Annuity Suitability Model Catches On

California and New York are the latest states to pass tougher suitability regs, just days after the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) endorsed annuity suitability model regulations developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)...

Gas Pump Pain Means Clients Cling to Policies

You would think it is a long way from gas pump to insurance policy, but clients are feeling poorer...

Do Fixed Annuity Rates Matter Now?

Today's low credited interest rates in fixed annuities may make the products a tough sell, but it is all a matter of perspective for clients...

Some Independent Agents Looking At WL

Whole life, long the product of mutuals and career agents, is starting nudge over universal life in the independent space...

401(k) Annuity Options: Works in Progress

More employers are contemplating offering “in-plan annuity options” to allow retired workers to convert part or all of their 401(k) account into a lifetime income stream via an annuity...

Wall Street Eyes IAs, After Long Battling Them

At least a couple of big Wall Street securities firms are already preparing to make filings for their indexed annuity products, perhaps by spring or summer...

States Ready ‘Source of Funds’ Rules

Regulators in Iowa and Minnesota are co-developing “source of funds” guidelines that will help draw the lines for advisors on making recommendations about moving money between insurance and securities sources...

SEC Study on Fiduciary Standard Sets Up Fight

A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff study published last week about fiduciary standards is already setting off a new round of skirmishing over advisor standards of care...

State of Tax Treatment Catches Eyes in Insurance

The State of the Union didn't directly address it, but insurance tax treatment lurked in the background, particularly in mention of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform...

Heads Up! Busy 2 Weeks in Regs, Reports, Bills

Prepare for a wintry blast of legislative and regulatory news of keen interest to insurance and allied professionals in the next few weeks...

Whole Life Taking on a Whole New Life

Whole life insurance might be stodgy to some but its sales are exciting and it's ready to burst into other distribution channels...

Obama: Tax Deal Good for American People

Although temporary, the estate tax would be a boon to insurance professionals who have been trying to help clients with tax planning without any clarity on the future tax structure. But the higher rate might dissuade some high-net-worth clients from aggressive estate planning and lessen the need for life insurance to cover estate taxes...

The Real Story Behind Landing the Big Case

Those in the know say that breaking into the ultra-wealthy market expertise and experience — plus connections, collaboration, business management, patience and finesse...

About The Author

Linda Koco, MBA, is a contributing editor to InsuranceNewsNet, specializing in life insurance, annuities and income planning. Linda can be reached at linda.koco@innfeedback.com.

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