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State Regulators Consider Changes to Annuity Sales Standards

After the implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule earlier this month, state insurance regulators are starting to evaluate annuity sales standards that they oversee. The new rule requires advisers to act in the best interest of their clients when investing in retirement accounts. This means that for professionals selling annuities, they need to take into account a client’s risk tolerance, age, liquidity needs and other factors. According to a recent InvestmentNews article, the National... 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

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

The IRI Predicts An Increase for Annuity Sales in 2014

We're all making predictions for the new year.  It might be how long our resolutions will last or where the interest rates will go.  I have found a number of predictions about annuities, including an article in Life Health Pro summarizing the Insured Retirement Institute's (IRI) 2014 forecast.  Maria Wood tells us what the IRI expects to see happen in the annuity industry this year in "Annuities: 4 predictions for 2014." First of all, the IRI expects an increase in annuity sales.  2013 was... Read More

FIO Says States Should Adopt NAIC’s Annuity Suitability Model

Late last year, the Federal Insurance Office issued a 70 page report about how it would like to modernize the industry.  This branch of the U.S. Treasury is important to the insurance industry, including those selling annuities.  While they didn't mandate any kind of standards just yet, they have issued recommendations for the annuity industry.  This information comes from Maria Wood of Life Health Pro, in the article "The FIO Report: What it says about annuities."  The Federal Insurance... Read More

UPDATED BLOG: Minnesota Adopts Suitability Guidelines

Suitability guidelines are very important for annuity products.  Those of us with good ethical standards need to make sure that the industry is treating consumers well.  Two groups putting suitability standards into effect are FINRA and the NAIC.  I just updated a blog post about suitability standards from the two organizations as Minnesota became the 31st state to adopt the NAIC's guidelines. Written by Rachel Summit Follow Rachel, aka Finance Mama, on Twitter and... Read More

During Financial Crisis, Annuity Payments Were Not Missed

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has been researching annuities for a few years to see if they want to recommend them to Americans as the future of retirement income streams.  The GAO's latest report, "Retirement Security: Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals Have Both Benefits and Risks, But Regulation Varies across States," is summarized by Chris McMahon of Insurance Networking News.  McMahon's article "CDAs and GLWBs Help Retirees Avoid Outliving Assets," says that there... Read More

History Doesn’t Repeat When You Compare Annuities

According to the National Underwriter article "NAIC Panel: History is Just History" by Allison Bell, history is unlikely to repeat itself in regards to annuities.  The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Life Insurance and Annuities Committee is working to revise the way that illustrations that compare annuities are shown.  They have what they call an "exposure draft" to revise the Annuity Disclosure Model Regulation.  An exposure draft is one step in the process of revising a... Read More

More States Ensure Best Annuities for Consumers This Summer

Four more states and the District of Columbia will ensure that consumers are getting the best annuities by the end of this summer, according to Linda Koco of Insurance News Net.  In "More Annuity Suitability Rules Going into Effect This Summer," the Annuity News editor says that the newest states to adopt the NAIC's rules will be Rhode Island, Oregon, Ohio, North Dakota and Washington D.C.  The NAIC's Suitability of Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (NAIC 2010) has been a model for many... Read More

Suitability Standards for Annuities

One of the biggest concerns that people have with annuities is the problem of unethical advisors selling investors products that aren't right for them.  The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) approved regulations last year to protect investors from such practices.  The Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulations prevent advisors from selling senior citizens annuities that are not suitable for them.  When the model was approved, the NAIC's goal was for every... Read More

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