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Health-insurance reform uncertainty hampers advisers' ability to counsel to clients

July 8, 2017

The failure of congressional Republicans to pass a health-insurance reform bill to replace the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act has complicated the lives of financial planners and investment advisers in many ways. The most obvious...

5 ways to ensure an HSA isn't subject to ERISA

July 7, 2017

Health savings accounts are swelling in popularity, and their growth could accelerate, depending on the fate of health-care changes currently being debated on Capitol Hill. Retirement plan advisers have taken notice: Observers say that lawmakers'...

Health savings accounts becoming the new IRAs

July 6, 2017

With more than $40 billion in total assets, health savings accounts are starting to add up to real money, which could represent another area of opportunity and responsibility for financial advisers. Today, only about 4% of HSA savers are moving...

Morningstar's first study of 10 largest HSAs reveals so-so performance

June 27, 2017

In its first assessment of major health savings account plan providers, Morningstar found that only plans from The HSA Authority earned a positive assessment as both an investment vehicle to save for future medical expenses and as a spending...

DOL fiduciary rule: When advisers actively seek to use BICE

June 14, 2017

To opponents of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, the best-interest contract exemption is something akin to the spawn of Satan. This provision of the rule, which raised investment advice standards in retirement accounts, allows broker-dealers...

Retiree health care costs rising faster than Social Security benefits

June 14, 2017

Health care costs in retirement are rising twice as fast as the average annual increase in Social Security benefits, putting a crucial source of retirement income on a collision course with one of the biggest expenses retirees face. Over time,...

State insurance regulators look to DOL fiduciary rule as they mull changes to annuity sales standard

June 13, 2017

State insurance regulators are using the Labor Department's fiduciary rule as a benchmark as they begin to mull changes to the annuity sales standard they oversee. The DOL rule, part of which was implemented last week, requires advisers to act...

How much life and disability is enough?

June 11, 2017

Veronica is a 33-year-old professional with a family, earning $150,000 a year. If she works until 75, she'll earn between $13 million and $20 million over 42 years (with 3% to 5% average annual increases). Veronica's human life value will be...

Voya re-entering buffer annuity market as product popularity grows

May 26, 2017

Voya Financial is hoping to capitalize on the recent popularity of buffer annuities by launching a product around the end of this year or early next, after having exited the market less than two years ago, and joining a small group of insurers...

DOL fiduciary rule pushes indexed annuity carriers to develop new products

May 25, 2017

Insurance companies, especially those that are indexed-annuity-centric, have been launching annuity products within the past several months in anticipation of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which is expected to cause a big disruption...

Advisers want Congress to increase HSA contribution limits

May 22, 2017

If any part of the House's health care reform bill survives in the Senate, it could be a provision that lifts the ceiling on health savings accounts, a move that some advisers welcome. Under the House bill, the contribution limit would be doubled...

Indexed, variable annuity sales slump as DOL fiduciary rule looms

May 18, 2017

Annual sales of indexed and variable annuities took another nosedive in the first quarter with the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule set to come into force. Despite a stronger equities market and interest-rate environment, the fiduciary-rule...

Include health savings accounts in fiduciary process

May 4, 2017

It is anyone's guess how the partisan fight in Congress over health care will eventually shake out, but one trend that financial advisers need to pay particularly close attention to is the rise of health savings accounts. HSAs, which are increasingly...

Finra whacks mid-sized NJ broker-dealer with $325,000 fine over variable annuity sales

May 2, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Monday said it had fined a New Jersey broker-dealer, Summit Equities Inc., $325,000 for failing to supervise brokers' sales of multi-share class variable annuities to clients. From October...

Finra issues complaint against broker for unsuitable variable annuity sales

April 26, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has issued a disciplinary complaint against former broker Walter Marino for recommending exchanges of non-qualified variable annuities to two customers without having a reasonable basis for recommending...

Some broker-dealers changing indexed-annuity compensation due to DOL fiduciary rule

April 24, 2017

Brokerage firms are evaluating how they and their advisers get paid for indexed annuity sales to clients, as the start date of a new Labor Department rule governing investment advice in retirement accounts inches closer. At present, many broker-dealers...

Finra arbitration panel awards Wilbanks Securities investor $1 million for misleading sales pitch on variable annuity

April 14, 2017

Finra arbitrators awarded an investor more than $1 million for what she alleges was a Wilbank Securities Inc. broker's misleading sales pitch about a variable annuity that over-promised and under-delivered. Grace S. Huitt won a total of $1,073,440...

Retirement plan advisers should bone up on lifetime income

April 11, 2017

The continuing demise of defined benefit plans and increasing concern about the future of Social Security have dramatically reduced the certainty of retirement income for most Americans. Guaranteed income options in defined-contribution plans...

How to define yourself as a life insurance adviser

April 7, 2017

Over the course of my career, I learned that if I didn't define myself, then I was defined by what others said about me. Life insurance advisers distinguish themselves as advisers by first defining their role and responsibilities on the planning...

'Retirement Rip-Off Counter' underscores impact of Department of Labor's fiduciary rule delay

April 5, 2017

A counter adding up the $46 million retirement savers are losing daily from a delay of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule will be projected onto federal buildings in Washington to protest the Trump administration's efforts to postpone...

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