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NAFA 2012: Increase in Death Benefit Annuity, GLWBs, & Regulation

The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) recently had their summit to forecast what is ahead in 2012.  This information comes from Insurance News Net’s article “2012: Industry Views from the 2011 NAFA Summit,” by Rob Billingham.  He gives a summary of six expert opinions in the industry.

Altisure Group’s Niju Viswani believes that annuities will stay strong in 2012, but they will need continuing innovation to keep up with the switch from being accumulation focused to insurance focused.  You will see more death benefit annuity products and annuities with GLWBs.  Also, insurers will have to get creative to deal with the 10/10 regulation, annuities cannot have a surrender charge greater than 10% and it cannot last longer than 10 years.

Fidelity’s Cindy McGarity thinks that 2012 will see a large focus on regulation and suitability requirements.  She believes that companies will be focused on training and carrier consolidation and says that indexed annuities should continue a steady increase.  Brian Mann of Partners Advantage says you need to move past the low interest rates and volatile markets and focus on the guaranteed lifetime income that retirees seek.  Fixed equity indexed annuities with GLWBs offer the peace of mind that many retirees want; they aren’t as worried about the interest rates.

Consultant Harry Stout says that technological advancements and strong capital management will be important focuses for insurers in 2012.  He points out that many variable annuity carriers have started selling indexed annuities as the products have developed to include death benefits and GLWBs.  Mary Ann Lacey of Underwriters Marketing Service says that while she sees an increase in annuity sales, it will be for those who adapt to changing market conditions like tying annuities to long term care insurance.  Asset Marketing Systems’ Joe Anzelone sees increased fixed annuity sales and challenges related to increased regulation.  The experts agree on most of the 2012 annuity forecast.

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