No More Annuities from The Hartford

Big news came from The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. yesterday.  While it had previously been announced that they were looking to sell their annuities and life insurance businesses, a deal has been made to sell The Hartford’s annuity business.  Forethought Financial Group Inc. is purchasing The Hartford’s annuity marketing and management units, according to “Hartford selling facilities for new annuity sales” on CBS MoneyWatch.  The terms of the deal are private, but it does not include the annuity policies that Hartford is already in charge of.  They will continue to manage existing annuity accounts, but will not sell any new policies as of today.

Hartford is still looking to sell its Woodbury Financial Services brokerage firm, which includes individual life insurance and retirement plans.  Selling their annuities and life insurance businesses will allow The Hartford to focus on group benefits, property and casualty insurance, and also mutual funds.  Low interest rates have made it difficult for Hartford to keep up with the guarantees they have given to annuity and life insurance holders who have higher interest rates.  They hope to take a $15-$20 million charge during the second quarter because of the fact that they no longer sell annuities.  Hartford leaving the annuities market will be an interesting change since they were a big player for quite a long time.

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