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MetLife VA income benefit melting, melting

January 17, 2013

MetLife Inc. has reined in its variable annuity income benefits once again, filing for a product that will provide for 4% withdrawals. In a Jan. 15 product filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the insurer — which was the third-largest...

Does The Hartford's VA buyout offer make sense for clients?

January 17, 2013

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has divulged the details of its variable annuity settlement program, which would give certain clients extra cash for dropping their contracts. In a Dec. 28 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission,...

Now, it's Treasury that's pulling cash from its retirement plan to pay bills

January 16, 2013

Regular investors aren't the only ones who pull cash from their retirement savings to pay for today's expenses. The Treasury Department has announced that it will suspend investment of the federal employee pension fund so that it can avoid breaching...

Mary Beth Franklin: Why the merry widow is so darned merry

January 15, 2013

Seniors involved in later-life romances sometimes choose to live together rather than remarry in order to preserve pension benefits of a former spouse or to avoid becoming responsible for the debts of their new partner, including long-term care...

Premiums contribute to insurance spending boost in 2012, survey says

January 14, 2013

More than a third of Americans spent more last year to insure everything from homes, cars and boats to their own life and health. About 37% of Americans spent more on insurance in 2012, while 52% paid the same amount as in 2011 and 7% saw insurance...

Fidelity annuities vet jumps to Bank of America

January 14, 2013

Bank of America Corp. has hired Jeffrey K. Cimini, former president of Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co., to oversee the wirehouse's retirement products strategy. In the newly created post, Mr. Cimini will be a managing director and head...

COLA boosts estate tax exemption for couples to $10.5M

January 13, 2013

Taxpayers will be able to leave an extra $130,000 to their heirs free of estate taxes this year under cost-of-living adjustments announced by the Internal Revenue Service. The estate-tax exemption for 2013 will be $5.25 million for individuals,...

How self-employment made my season bright

January 13, 2013

I spent part of my Christmas holidays estimating my tax liability for 2012. Exciting stuff, huh? But rather than the usual gnashing of teeth that accompanied many of my tax-filing season computations in the past, I was pleased with my initial...

Employers hungry for returns when updating 401(k) menus

January 11, 2013

Retirement plan participants aren't the only ones looking to juice returns. A recent research brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College showed that 401(k) plan administrators have an eye for fund performance when the time...

Financial firms score well in 401(k) plan ranking

January 9, 2013

Wellington Management Co. LLP's 401(k) dominated those from other financial services firms — thanks mostly to the plan's low costs and rich employer contributions. The firm's retirement plan came in fourth place on BrightScope Inc.'s Year-End...

Mary Beth Franklin: The one thing advisers should know about Social Security

January 9, 2013

I want to thank Investment News reader Larry Lindsley, a certified financial planner in Green Bay, Wis., for posing an important question about Social Security benefits for married couples. He asked how claiming reduced retirement benefits early...

Roth 401(k) switch is a good deal for younger taxpayers sitting on cash

January 6, 2013

The Senate's decision to lift restrictions on Roth 401(k) conversions will be a boon to select individuals — those who can afford the tax bill now and whose employers have a Roth plan in place. A key to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of...

Diagnosis favorable for health care

January 6, 2013

Baby boomers are the overriding reason many advisers are betting that health care investments will be winners in 2013. “Health care is a good sector to be in,” said Joe Heider, a principal at Rehmann Financial LLC. “Ten thousand baby boomers...

Post-cliff, life insurance a tougher sell

January 3, 2013

Agents and financial advisers may have a tougher time selling life insurance this year. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which President Barack Obama signed into law yesterday, sets the individual exemption for estate taxes at $5 million...

No linkage as Social Security stays unchained — for now

January 3, 2013

Demands by congressional Republicans to scale back the future cost of the Medicare and Social Security programs nearly derailed the year-end fiscal cliff negotiations. In the end, congressional leaders and the White House postponed tough decisions...

Senate's post-midnight budget deal moves pressure to Boehner

January 1, 2013

The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan budget deal two hours after income tax cuts expired, reaching an after-deadline agreement to undo the potential economic harm of $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts. The vote early today in Washington...

Ameriprise 401(k) lawsuit set for January court date

December 26, 2012

Ameriprise Financial Inc. will be kicking off the new year in court as the company prepares to face employees who claim that it breached its fiduciary duty with allegedly imprudent and costly 401(k) options. Attorneys for the financial services...

New study reveals stark differences among baby boomers

December 19, 2012

Baby boomers, the roughly 78 million Americans between the ages of 48 and 66, are the meat and potatoes of the financial advisory industry. They control the bulk of investible assets in the country and constitute the core of most advisers' book...

Should widows take survivor or retirement benefits?

December 17, 2012

When it comes to selecting when and how to claim Social Security benefits, widows and widowers have more flexibility than other beneficiaries. Remember, retirement benefits and survivor benefits represent two different pots of money. A surviving...

Firm run by L.A Dodgers' owner buys big annuity seller

December 17, 2012

Sun Life Financial Inc., the best- performing financial stock in Canada this year, agreed to sell a U.S. annuity business in a $1.35 billion deal to a firm owned by Guggenheim Partners LLC shareholders to cut risks in equity markets and interest...

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