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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...

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...

State insurance commissioners consider strengthening annuity sales rules

April 12, 2017

State insurance regulators are considering strengthening investor protections surrounding sales of annuity products. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners launched an annuity suitability working group April 8 at the organization's...

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...

'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...

Department of Labor's fiduciary rule blamed for insurers' massive hit on variable annuity sales

March 28, 2017

The variable annuity industry took a beating in 2016, with several of the top sellers inking losses upwards of 25% on the year and some exceeding 40%. The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, issued in its final form last spring, played a big...

Study finds most retirees want guaranteed lifetime income

March 8, 2017

Most Americans are comfortable with the idea of working towards a savings goal as they approach retirement, but few know how to create an income strategy once they get there. The greatest financial challenge facing retirees is determining how...

UBS exploring fee-based annuities for advisers

February 8, 2017

UBS Wealth Management Americas is mulling the potential offer of fee-based annuities to its adviser force for use with clients, according to a company executive. The evaluation comes as such annuities, and fee-based business generally, are poised...

Conditions fertile for annuities if industry can connect with investors

February 1, 2017

Most investors want guaranteed, pension-like income yet are reluctant to buy an investment that can provide it: an annuity. That reluctance, the so-called annuity puzzle, may be closer to being resolved as a combination of factors — fewer...

Complaints surface at Finra over buffer annuities

January 25, 2017

A new type of variable annuity called a buffer annuity is beginning to gain attention from regulators. It is highly complex and uses structured products — not mutual funds — in the sub account as the underlying investment. The Financial...

DOL proposes allowing some insurance intermediaries to use a BICE under fiduciary rule

January 18, 2017

The Department of Labor issued a proposed rule Wednesday that would ease compliance with its fiduciary rule for some distributors of fixed annuity products such as indexed annuities. The rule is a proposed class exemption that, if granted, would...

Obama administration shows more support for annuities in 401(k) plans

January 3, 2017

In its most recent show of support for lifetime income products in defined-contribution plans, the Obama administration has said it may be “prudent” in particular circumstances to default participants into target date funds that bundle in...

Have indexed annuities become too complicated?

December 16, 2016

Fixed indexed annuities are becoming more complex. To a certain degree, the product evolution driving that complexity is inevitable, as insurance companies seek to stand out and grab a bigger piece of a market whose annual sales have been growing...

Finra hits Valic Financial Advisors with $1.75M fine for creating compensation conflicts

November 28, 2016

Citing a number of conflicts of interest having to do with the way it compensated brokers selling annuities, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Monday said it had fined Valic Financial Advisors Inc. $1.75 million. “Finra found...

Federal court rejects NAFA attempt to kill DOL fiduciary rule

November 4, 2016

In a victory for the Department of Labor, a federal judge Friday rejected an attempt by an insurance trade group to strike down its new fiduciary rule for retirement advice. In the first court decision involving a legal challenge to the DOL...

Stars aligning for use of annuities in 401(k) plans

October 19, 2016

In recent years, policymakers have increasingly paid attention to annuities as one way to help investors solve the retirement puzzle. A recently released government report reviews the current barriers to annuities on the 401(k) plan menu and...

Nationwide to buy Jefferson National

September 28, 2016

Nationwide has agreed to buy Jefferson National, a distributor of variable annuities for clients of registered investment advisers. The acquisition, which expands Nationwide's ability to sell financial products through Jefferson National's network...

Wells Fargo mulls development of immediate variable annuity

September 27, 2016

Wells Fargo Advisors is considering working in tandem with insurers on development of what it says is a new type of annuity, an immediate variable annuity. With an immediate fixed annuity, a consumer gives a lump sum to an insurance company...

Insurers cite broker-dealer annuity requirements as 'big issue' under DOL fiduciary rule

September 26, 2016

The catering by insurance companies to specific broker-dealer requests on annuity product design has been a major change, and challenge, for the industry as implementation of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule draws closer. Insurers are trying...

Selling annuities under the DOL fiduciary rule is a whole new ballgame

September 21, 2016

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule will fundamentally change the way brokers can select annuities for clients. Brokers are currently able to sell annuities under a suitability standard, but fiduciary experts describe new DOL requirements...

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