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Leading Annuity Provider Updates Products

According to a recent press release, leading financial services company, AXA Equitable Life has just released an enhanced version of Retirement Cornerstone®, its multi-stage variable annuity. Updates to its market-leading structured annuity, Structured Capital Strategies®, were also announced. Both were developed to help clients build wealth and create protected lifetime income, all while mitigating risk and keeping pace with inflation.  “With these new enhancements we are providing a... Read More

Taxes and Your Inherited Annuity

One of the perks of purchasing an annuity is the ability to pass it down to heirs when the time comes. But with this feature comes significant tax implications that your beneficiary must deal with. The potential tax liability could climb as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a recent article from Financial Planning magazine. If a beneficiary elects for a lump-sum distribution when inheriting a non-qualified deferred annuity, they could pay full income taxes on any earnings... Read More

Criticism of Buffer Annuities: Is it Justified?

Have you heard of "buffer annuities?” They're described as sort of a cross between variable and indexed annuities. Through exposure to structured products like options contracts, they boast a protection to the downside in exchange for a cap to the upside. Several industry players have reported an increase in complaints against these products, but according to a recent article from Investment News, the criticism may not be warranted. One such critic of buffer annuities is Andrew Stoltmann,... Read More

The Decline of the Variable Annuity

Last week, we wrote about the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute sales results showing the strength of fixed annuities. Higher fixed annuity sales last year and to start this year came at the expense of variable annuity sales. Investment News' Greg Iacurci wrote about the decline of the variable annuity in the article "Variable annuity sales drop to lowest level in 15 years: LIMRA." There were two main contributors to this variable annuity decline, volatile markets and the impending DOL... Read More

Variable Annuity Decline Shuffles Annuity Sales Leaders

The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute just published their quarterly annuity sales report detailing the "Top 10 annuity sales leaders" from the first quarter. In an article for LifeHealthPro, Kristen Beckman listed the top sellers and discussed the big power shift between fixed and variable annuities. Their data includes information from 64 companies who make up 96% of all annuity sales. Total annuity sales were $59 billion in the first quarter. Fixed annuity sales of $32.3 billion were higher... Read More

Jackson National, AIG Led Second Quarter Annuity Sales

The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute recently collected annuity sales data for their quarterly U.S. Individual Annuities Sales Survey. This information came from Investment News's article "Top 10 annuity sellers in the second quarter." Here is a summary of the second quarter sales figures before third quarter results are announced. Annuity sales increased between the first and second quarters of this year. During the second quarter, total annuity sales were $60.2 billion. This was 10% higher... Read More

3 Notable SEC Variable Annuity Filings

Every spring insurance companies release variable annuity product updates and introduce new products to the market.  The filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission give us a preview of what's to come in the variable annuity market.  This year was a slow spring for variable annuities, but there were three notable product changes from three big insurers.  Low interest rates have kept variable annuity innovation at a lower level over the past few quarters and the beginning of this... Read More

Top Annuity Sellers for the 3rd Quarter

Third quarter annuity sales results were released last month.  LIMRA has released multiple reports detailing the annuity sales totals and the companies selling the most annuity products.  During the third quarter of 2014, annuity sales totaled $58.2 billion.  This total was a 2% decline from the first quarter of 2013.  The total for the first three quarters of this year was $177.7 billion, which is 6% higher than annuity sales during the first nine months of last year.  The variable... Read More

Should Structured Product Annuities Be Classified as Variable or Fixed?

Voya Financial is now the fifth company to start offering structured product annuities.  AXA Equitable, Allianz Life, CUNA Mutual and MetLife already offer these so-called hybrid or buffered annuity products.  Structured product annuities are so new and unique that regulators are having a difficult time classifying them.  Investment News' Darla Mercado talks about the struggle for regulators in the article "Structured product annuities pose challenges for regulators."  Structured annuities... Read More

VA Living Benefit Riders Are Making A Comeback

A lot of the changes made to variable annuity products in the last year were negative.  But the most recent changes show that the variable annuity market looks to be on an upswing.  One of the most notable changes is that some life insurance companies are bringing back living benefit riders or offering better ones.  In addition to that, we are still seeing more investment focused variable annuities and some companies are still offering exchanges.  In Darla Mercado's Investment News article,... Read More

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