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Dallas judge in DOL fiduciary rule suit deals yet another blow to indexed annuities

February 10, 2017

The federal judge who this week dealt plaintiffs fighting the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule a stinging defeat also dealt a blow to indexed annuities, a product that has taken quite a beating since the DOL issued its final rule last spring....

There's never been a better time to provide life insurance advice

February 10, 2017

I've never seen a better time to advise clients about life insurance. With insurers increasing costs with increasing frequency and performance consistently disappointing clients' expectations for decades, clients need help with this last, largest,...

Medicare enrollment ends HSA eligibility

February 9, 2017

As many clients continue to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, financial advisers are often confronted with questions about the interaction of employer-provided health insurance, Medicare and health savings accounts. Health savings...

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...

Dodd-Frank repeal could lead to big changes for indexed annuities

February 6, 2017

President Donald Trump's executive order to review the Dodd-Frank financial reform law could wind up complicating the indexed annuity market for insurers and distributors. Dodd-Frank, signed into law in 2010 under the Obama administration, contained...

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...

Buffer annuities, an index-variable hybrid, garner mixed reactions

February 1, 2017

While brokerage regulators and some attorneys have seen an uptick in complaints lodged against a type of annuity known as a “buffer annuity,” there's mixed reaction as to the validity of criticism lodged against the products. Buffer annuities,...

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...

Is cyber insurance worth the cost?

January 15, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has suggested that delivering messages via courier is the only way to protect data from hackers. But cybersecurity experts have a more practical solution for financial advisers: Craft plans for preventing, detecting...

Time to talk with clients about life insurance policy costs

January 13, 2017

Last year, many life insurers issued forward guidance for continued downgrades to policy earnings expectations. When declining policy earnings cannot cover internal policy costs, then clients must either pay more premium to get expected benefits...

Health savings accounts front and center amid Obamacare repeal efforts

January 12, 2017

With Republicans in Congress moving aggressively toward replacing all or major parts of Obamacare, health savings accounts are expected to become a centerpiece of managing health care-related expenses going forward. As part of the campaign to...

DOL fiduciary rule hastening death of L-share variable annuities

January 11, 2017

The specter of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is accelerating the demise of L-share variable annuities. Variable annuities sold in an L-share class had already been reeling prior to the DOL issuing the final version of its conflict-of-interest...

Office of Management and Budget reviewing proposed exemption under DOL fiduciary rule for some indexed annuity distributors

January 4, 2017

The Labor Department has submitted for review a proposal that would seemingly ease the compliance process for some distributors selling fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule. The Department of Labor sent its proposal, titled “Exemption...

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...

Elizabeth Warren investigating sales of Prudential insurance policies by Wells Fargo

December 14, 2016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the chief executive of Prudential Financial Inc. seeking information on sales of life insurance policies through Wells Fargo's retail bank channels, in a continuation of the ongoing investigation into the...

Prudential halts some insurance sales through Wells Fargo after ex-employees' whistleblower lawsuit

December 12, 2016

Prudential Financial Inc. announced Monday that it would halt distribution of some term life insurance policies through Wells Fargo's retail bank, following a lawsuit filed by Prudential employees alleging they were fired for blowing the whistle...

Trump's policies could be tough on emerging markets — and ignite a trade war with China

December 2, 2016

The election has clearly given the U.S. stock market a big boost, but how will a Trump presidency play out in China and other emerging markets? The effects of the election ripple out from the U.S. “The biggest effect in the U.S. will be monetary:...

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...

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