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Structured Settlements and the Incentives That Complicate Them

Every year, thousands of individuals are involved in accidents that require years of medical care, often funded by a lump-sum financial settlement. Because it can be extremely challenging to manage such care with an all-cash settlement, many end up settling legal claims with a structured settlement. This means they trade a cash settlement for long-term, tax-free income that is funded by an annuity. It’s a wise decision and encouraged by the federal tax code, but did you know that special... Read More

Retirement News: Family Savings Act Passes House

Earlier this week, the Family Savings Act passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives by a 240-177 vote, according to a recent article from BenefitsPRO. The legislation allows non-related employers to pool workers under one defined contribution plan, relaxing existing regulatory guidance on employer participation in Multiple Employer Plans. The Family Savings Act is one of three bills packaged under Tax Reform 2.0 and originally included 17 provisions intended to relax restrictions on... Read More

Ohio National To Exit Annuity Industry

One of the nations top sellers of variable annuities has exited the business, confirming what many experts have been claiming in recent years: the variable annuity market is very challenging. Ohio National Financial Services Inc., has laid off 300 employees in the wake of the change. As of September 15, Ohio National will no longer accept applications for annuities, according to a recent article from InvestmentNews. Of the firm’s $42 billion in total assets under management, $24.9... Read More

Wink Inc: MYGA, FIA Annuity Sales Soar

According to a recent survey conducted by Wink Inc., sales of indexed annuities and multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) contracts were solid in the second quarter. On the other hand, figures show that traditional fixed annuity products are on the decline. Wink, a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm, has only released preliminary summary statistics for the U.S. deferred individual annuity market for the latest quarter, according to a recent article from ThinkAdvisor.  But those numbers reveal that... Read More

Retirement Strategies: Annuity or IRA?

If you’re at all interested in saving for retirement, there’s a really good chance you’ve heard of both annuity products and IRAs. While they are two totally different tools, they have several commonalities. Both can generate income later in life and offer some potential tax advantages. But both also include penalties for early withdrawals. These two financial products also have several differences, which is what should interest you if you’re looking to add one to your retirement... Read More

Shorter Surrender Periods Improve Sales of Indexed Annuities

As the first-quarter numbers roll in, the data is showing that investors are especially attracted to indexed annuities with shorter surrender periods. Sales through banks and broker-dealers skyrocketed as these distributors prefer the shorter surrender periods due to the higher rates and caps that they can impose in exchange for lower commissions.   “We’ve seen stuff going over to banks and broker-dealers more and more, and with banks and  broker-dealers, the five to seven-year... Read More

Are Fee-Based Annuities Right for You?

In response to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which requires financial advisors to offer retirement advice that is only in their clients’ best interests, the annuity industry has introduced a new generation of product. Several big time insurers, including Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life and Great American Life Insurance, have launched new “fee based” variable and fixed-indexed annuities for use in brokerage accounts. With this new type of annuity, investors pay an... Read More

Hybrid Annuities Continue to Gain Momentum

The hybrid annuity market has been on fire recently, and experts agree that it’s only going to get hotter. Eric Steigerwalt, president and CEO of Brighthouse Financial, is a big believer of the products and an even bigger seller of them. Steigerwalt claims that the hybrid annuity “is a great product for manufacturers, it’s a great product for distributors, it’s a great product for our clients - so growing that business, I think, would be great.” He added, in a recent InsuranceNewsNet... Read More

Options for Market Correction Protection

As many industry experts predict an end to our eight-year bull market, many investors are beginning to consider ways to protect their portfolio from the looming drop in stocks. Bonds have been a go-to in years past, but as interest rates remain low, many are looking elsewhere. As interest rates rise, which they are expected to, the prices of bonds fall in order to make up for their lower yields. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve could potentially put more pressure on bond prices. When the... Read More

It’s Time to Revisit Adding an Annuity to Your Portfolio

Did you know that from 1998 to 2013, the number of Fortune 500 companies offering traditional defined benefit plans fell a whopping 86%? When you couple that fact with growing concerns about the future of Social Security, it’s easy to understand why today’s generations of workers are a little concerned about their potential retirement. It is becoming more and more apparent that individuals need to become more responsible for the creation of his or her own retirement income. If you’re... Read More

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