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Annuities and Amazon Echo: Insurers With ‘Skills’

One of the most popular tech gifts this holiday season was the Echo line of smart speakers from Amazon. With the ability to control smart features in your home, like thermostats and lights, in addition to playing music, setting timers, reading the news, and buying products (from Amazon of course), all with voice activation alone, it’s no wonder why they have become so popular. And it’s not just basic everyday tasks that Echo can help you with either. According to a recent City A.M. article,... Read More

DOL Fights Back Against Claims That FIA & VA BICE Exemptions Are Unlawful

***UPDATED: November 6, 2015*** On Friday, a judge denied a motion for preliminary injunction by the National Association for Fixed Annuities in its lawsuit against the DOL’s fiduciary rule, according to a recent InsuranceNewsNet article. Judge Randolph D. Moss presented a 92-page ruling that addressed all six claims in the District of Columbia District Court, including that the DOL acted “arbitrary and capricious” with its decision to add fixed indexed annuities in to the restrictive... Read More

Jefferson National’s Low Cost Variable Annuity Big Part of Why Nationwide Bought Company

Nationwide Financial is planning to greatly expand their variable annuity business through the purchase of Jefferson National, a strong player in the variable annuity game. Investment News' Christine Idzelis wrote about the acquisition in the article "Nationwide to buy Jefferson National." This deal gives Nationwide access to Jefferson National's 4,000 registered investment advisors and fee-based advisors. It's a move that Nationwide sees fitting because of the new fiduciary standards that... Read More

Streamlined Annuity Industry Will Have Simpler Products Post-DOL Rule

Insurance companies are looking for more clarification from the Department of Labor in regards to how they will comply with the new fiduciary rule. They are also trying to figure out how they will continue to meet the needs of broker-dealers and advisors. Investment News' Greg Iacurci wrote about these issues in the article "Insurers cite broker-dealer annuity requirements as 'big issue' under DOL fiduciary rule." In the past, insurance companies were able to design their products around the... Read More

After DOL Rule Dust Settles, Annuity Industry Will Shine Again

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has been the talk of the annuity and financial industries for months now. With the requirement timeline approaching, the talk will likely be heating up even more through the rest of the year. LifeHealthPro's Jane Wollman Rusoff wrote about a recent interview with "annuity guru" Moshe Milevsky regarding the impact of the DOL's rule. In "Milevsky: Big flaw in DOL fiduciary rule; annuities take early hit," Rusoff highlighted the interview that Milevsky did... Read More

Senate Finance Committee Helps 401k Annuity Exposure

Experts in the annuity industry have been pushing the government to make changes to regulations that would allow for more use of annuities in 401k plans. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2016 does just that. It was recently passed by the Senate Finance Committee with an overwhelming 26 to 0 vote. This information comes from the 401k Specialist article "Beltway Bill To Help Annuities In 401(k)s Gets Boost," by John Sullivan. Committee Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch said that the... Read More

Two Government Offices Battle Over 401k Annuity Options

Over the past few years, the government has been pushing consumers to use annuity products in their retirement planning. The Treasury Department promoted the use of longevity annuities in 401k plans through new rules back in 2014. Then they made it alright to use target date funds like deferred annuities as a 401k plan default investment later that year. The global retirement planning crisis is due in part to fewer people having company pensions that will pay lifetime income. Annuities create a... Read More

Look for New Versions of Fixed Indexed Annuity Products This Fall

Thanks to the DOL fiduciary rule that was finalized earlier this year, fixed indexed annuity products are changing. Stan "The Annuity Man" Haithcock says that the industry will change and go back to where it was when indexed annuities were first introduced back in 1995. He hasn't been a fan of the indexed annuities that have been adapted from those first versions which were made to compete with CDs and MYGAs because of the increased complexity and fees that have come with them. In the... Read More

Fixed Indexed Annuity Industry Trying to Avoid Forecasted Sales Decline

Indexed annuity sales have been growing steadily for almost a decade, but according to many experts the growth is likely to end this year. Investment News' Greg Iacurci wrote that "Indexed annuity sales (are) projected to plummet 30% because of (the) DOL fiduciary rule." Some forecasts predict that indexed annuity sales will go down 30-35% to $40 billion in 2017, which is the level that sales were at back in 2013. The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule increases the investment advice... Read More

Don’t Rule Out Annuities Just Because the Industry is Changing

In this post-DOL fiduciary rule time, the annuity industry will certainly change, but in some ways will still remain the same. In the Financial Planning article "How will annuities fit in portfolios in a fiduciary world?," Chris Orlando says that there is still an important place for annuities. The industry has changed before as laws and other economic factors have forced it to and it will certainly adapt again. Annuities have been questioned for their suitability, exchange laws, whether... Read More

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