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SEC’s New Best Interest Standard Met With Mixed Reviews

Earlier this week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct (Regulation BI). The SEC started working on the Reg BI project after the U.S. Department of Labor started experiencing difficulties in implementing its own fiduciary rule regulations, according to a recent article from ThinkAdvisor. The new regulation is set to have a compliance date of June 30, 2020. The new standard will require broker-dealers... Read More

Fixed & Variable Annuity Sales Push Total Figures Slightly Upward

Last week, the LifeHealthPro Editors summarized the IRI's second quarter annuity sales report and found that "Annuity sales (are) trending slightly up year over year." The Insured Retirement Institute based their report on information from Beacon Research and Morningstar Inc. Second quarter total annuity sales were $55.9 billion, just a little bit under the first quarter sales of $56 billion. That is down 4.3% from the second quarter of 2015's sales of $58.4 billion. Year to date annuity sales... Read More

Nine Groups Suing DOL over Indexed and Variable Annuity Rule

Everyone in the financial industry has been talking about the new DOL fiduciary rule that changed the regulations for both variable and fixed indexed annuity products. Some consumer groups think that this is a positive change for consumers, but may not be taking into account the ramifications for the insurance industry that could change the overall products. Those who sell annuity products are up in arms and worried that their industry will be negatively impacted for the long term. Many groups,... Read More

Annuity Information Abounds Online

There is a wealth of information online to support people interested in purchasing annuity products, as well as the brokers and advisors who sell them. In this advanced technological time, online tools are crucial to the annuity industry and help overall annuity sales. In "Online tools, information, research support annuity sales," LifeHealthPro's Peggy Bresnick gathered a list of some of the most important sites available for this type of research. These online resources can help explain the... Read More

Retirement Plan Trends Include Increased Involvement, Annuity Use & QLACs

The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) recently summarized the trends that they saw in their industry last year. In "Growth in Engagement, Annuities, QLACs," their staff wrote about the increasing importance of multiple annuity types to their industry. They used information from two different retirement plan studies and found that one of the biggest trends is more employee involvement and interest in their financial well being. There is also an increasing use of... Read More

Consumers Want Guaranteed Lifetime Income Options in DC Plans

Americans are looking for lifetime income and providers are responding to this demand with new and improved products for defined contribution plans. In Plan Sponsor's "Providers Respond to Participants' Call for Lifetime Income," John Manganaro talked about how the retirement income industry is evolving. Both insurance companies and asset managers have been working to improve products for investors looking to guarantee a lifetime stream of income from their defined contribution plans. A recent... Read More

Five Reasons Fixed Indexed Annuities Are In Demand

The fixed indexed annuity market has been strong over the past couple of years and experts don't think that will change anytime soon. LifeHealthPro's Peggy Bresnick explained why "Demand (is) growing for fixed indexed annuities." Over the last year, fixed indexed annuity sales went up to $48 billion, an increase of 24%. That sales information came from the Insured Retirement Institute's 2015 Fixed Indexed Annuity Distribution Trends report. The IRI surveyed 15 broker dealers and distributors... Read More

What Did NAFA Have to Say About Senator Warren Questioning Annuities?

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently questioned the ethics of annuity sales by sending letters to fifteen of the top annuity providers.  Her concern lies with the incentives offered to insurance agents for selling annuity contracts.  She is calling for a rule that ensures retirement advisors do not have a conflict-of-interest when selling annuities.  Unfortunately, her public outcry shines light on the very small percent of unethical annuity sales practices.  The majority of annuities are... Read More

IRI Industry Predictions: Fixed Indexed Annuity Sales & 3% Interest Rates

The Insured Retirement Institute released their State of the Industry report last month.  The report offers insight into the overall annuity market for 2015 as well as a prediction that interest rates will rise above 3% this year.  In Think Advisor's article, "Fixed Indexed Annuities to Hold 'Bright Spot' in 2015," Melanie Waddell says that annuity purchases will continue to shift to products that offer principal protection and income streams for the future.  The IRI believes that an... Read More

Advisors Should Clear Up Annuity Confusion And Explain Benefits

Annuities are best used to fill gaps between other investments, according to Karen Demasters of Financial Advisor Magazine.  In the article, "Annuities Can Fill Investing Gaps, Advisors Say," she stresses the importance of advisors being educated about the value of annuity products.  Most consumers are confused about all of the different kinds of annuities and the benefits that they have to offer, so it's crucial for advisors to know what products are out there and how they might be able to... Read More

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