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The Hartford Transfers Pension Liabilities to Annuity

Yesterday, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced that it will purchase a group annuity contract from Prudential Financial,  transferring $1.6 billion of its $5.65 billion in U.S. pension liabilities. According to a recent Pensions & Investments article, the transfer will be effective Friday. Hartford’s 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states that the benefits of 38% of Hartford’s U.S. pension plan participants, or about 16,000 former employees, will... Read More

The Wall Street Journal Evaluates Variable Annuity Buybacks

There has been a lot of talk about variable annuity buybacks over the past year.  Basically, insurance companies are sending letters to people who own variable annuities offering to buy back their lifetime income guarantees.  There is a reason that insurers don't want these variable annuity contracts out there anymore; they are good for the consumer in most cases.  Variable annuity buybacks are one of three things that The Wall Street Journal evaluated in Anne Tergesen's article "IRAs,... Read More

Lincoln National’s Variable Annuity Sales Increase 48%

Lincoln National Corp. has seen strong variable annuity sales this year.  After the first three quarters of the year, they had more than $10 billion in variable annuity sales.  That is the highest volume they have seen in the past six years.  This information comes from Bloomberg's Zachary Tracer in his article, "Lincoln Annuity Sales Top $10 Billion as Insurers Back Away."  It's possible that one of the reasons for Lincoln National's surging variable annuity sales is that some insurance... Read More

UPDATE: Some States Exempt from Hartford’s Variable Annuity Changes

Back in May, The Hartford announced forced changes to their variable annuity contracts that have made a big splash in the annuity community.  Many variable annuity holders are being forced to change their asset allocation to a more conservative mix, or they will lose out on the guaranteed benefits in their contract.  Broker-dealers and clients have been unhappy with these forced changes.  In a few states, people will be pleased to know that the way their contracts are worded will make them... Read More

The Hartford Forces Variable Annuity Investment Changes

UPDATED July 27, 2013:  The variable annuity community has been up in arms since The Hartford announced forced variable annuity changes earlier this summer.  Many of their variable annuity contract holders are being forced to change their asset allocations to a more conservative mix by October 4 or risk losing out on their living benefits.  But due to a difference in contract wording in different states, some variable annuity holders will not be subject to this new forced change.  Darla... Read More

Changing Season for Variable Annuities

The annuity market is in a tough spot with variable annuities right now.  They are still good products and offer many investors benefits they can't get anywhere else, but low interest rates have made it hard for insurance companies to keep up the guarantees.  The living benefits have put a strain on insurance companies, so we should all be prepared for upcoming changes.  While they will  make an already complex product even more complex in some cases, changes will help the variable annuity... Read More

2013 Trends for Annuities as a Whole

This blog is, in essence, a continuation of yesterday's blog on what to expect in variable annuity trends for 2013.  But this entry deals with the annuity industry as a whole and what we think will be happening next year.  Producer's Web published a Life Health Pro article, "Annuities: 5 things to expect in 2013," where Maria Wood gives us some hints at changes to come.  Some of the changes I talked about that are likely in store for variable annuities will effect all annuities, while others... Read More

Entering Annuity Market Now With A Clean Slate

Although there have been some large insurance carriers leaving the annuity market recently, those who remain think that annuities are going to remain important vehicles for guaranteeing lifetime income.  The Financial Planning article by Katie Kuehner-Hebert asks "Is There Enough Capacity in Annuities?"  There are definitely challenges because of low interest rates, volatile markets, and capital constraints. This makes it imperative for companies selling annuities to be careful with their... Read More

Prudential & AIG Pick Up MetLife's Variable Annuity Business

As MetLife scales back on their variable annuities, other companies are picking up the market share.  According to Bloomberg Business News' "Prudential Joins AIG Taking Annuities Share From MetLife," Zachary Tracer says that Prudential and AIG are the main companies who have capitalized on MetLife's variable annuity changes.  Prudential has sold the most variable annuities this year, according to LIMRA.  Their second quarter sales were $5.35 billion, which was an 18% increase.  Their market... Read More

Variable Annuity Changes from MetLife, Prudential, Hartford

Three life insurance companies are changing their variable annuities in the wake of some tumult in the industry.  MetLife, Prudential, and the Hartford are either updating products or scaling down on variable annuity business, according to Darla Mercado of Investment News.  In her article, "VA changes at major insurers are afoot, executives say," Mercado summarized the changes we can soon expect. MetLife's net income increased by $1.07 billion from last year, to $2.26 billion.  Sales of... Read More

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