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TIAA-CREF changes concern some advisers

February 7, 2005

NEW YORK - Changes at TIAA-CREF in New York are causing some observers to question the firm's commitment to financial advisers. Chief among those changes is the departure of Michael F. Lane in September. He had been the director of TIAA-CREF's...

Insurers battle over fiduciary, dislosure regs

February 7, 2005

WASHINGTON - Insurance salesmen would legally become fiduciaries, and insurance brokers would have to disclose all quotes they receive, under proposals on which state insurance regulators may act in the next month. The proposals are being fiercely...

Pacific Select takes equity stake in newcomer Advanced Financial

January 31, 2005

NEW YORK - Pacific Select Distributors Inc. this month said it had made an equity investment in a new broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, Advanced Financial Solutions Inc. The deal gives Pacific Select, already a holding company...

Some advisers tout unique flat-tax idea

January 31, 2005

WASHINGTON - As President Bush's newly appointed advisory panel on federal tax reform begins to consider how to revamp the tax system, several financial advisers have come to a surprising conclusion about one of the most pressing issues: the...

Life insurers urged to get aggressive

January 31, 2005

NEW YORK - Life insurance companies need to compete more aggressively for the estimated $90 trillion in global personal financial assets. That is the conclusion of a report released last week by New York-based Mercer Oliver Wyman, a financial...

OppenheimerFunds to enter retirement income arena

January 31, 2005

CHICAGO - As part of the effort to attract and retain the assets of retiring baby boomers, OppenheimerFunds Inc. is poised to be the latest entrant into the retirement-income-planning arena. "We do anticipate that in late February, we will be...

Nursing home costs up in 2004, survey says

January 31, 2005

NEW YORK - The average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home was $65,200 in 2004 - a 13% increase over the amount in 2003 - according to a survey of 6,000 care providers released this month by Genworth Financial Inc.'s long-term-care-insurance...

Morningstar to let VARDS fly solo, for now

January 24, 2005

CHICAGO - Morningstar Inc.'s purchase of the Variable Annuity Research and Data Service earlier this month is likely eventually to spell the end of a familiar industry acronym. "We haven't set any date for this, but we may change the branding...

NASD rule sets VA sales criteria

January 24, 2005

NEW YORK - The sale of variable annuities, long the bread and butter for some financial advisers, could become more difficult under a proposed NASD rule that would prohibit certain sales. NASD of Washington filed the rule proposal with the Securities...

Health savings accounts slowly make inroads

January 24, 2005

NEW YORK - Health savings accounts are either a solution or an enigma, depending on whether you ask an employer or employee, according to surveys released earlier this month. Employers are exploring HSAs as a way of blunting double-digit increases...

Dilemma: To 403(b) or not to 403(b)

January 24, 2005

CHICAGO - For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Internal Revenue Service has proposed major changes to the regulations governing 403(b) plans, and some think they could squeeze independent financial advisers out of the market. "Virtually,...

Another index of hedge funds, but this one has a new wrinkle

January 24, 2005

NEW YORK - The first index that tracks hedge funds used by insurers to invest premiums from insurance products targeting wealthy clients will be available in March. The index will give advisers a way to benchmark performance of the funds backing...

LTC pricing and availability may stabilize in 2005

January 17, 2005

NEW YORK - The long-term-care-insurer shakeout and fine-tuning of the pricing structure are expected to create a more stable market for the coverage in 2005, as well as blunt some of the negative press that has hounded the industry. The carrier...

Cultural divide impedes bank insurance sales

January 17, 2005

NEW YORK - Bank insurance sales are likely to spike significantly if top managers of the banks and insurance companies can resolve their cultural differences - and that's a big "if." "It's as though two individuals from different countries meet...

Vanguard exits term life business

January 10, 2005

NEW YORK - The Vanguard Group Inc. quietly terminated its term life insurance program in November, but don't expect its biggest competitor to follow suit. Fidelity Investments in Boston will continue to offer term life insurance through its...

Value of benefits planning is on the rise, study says

January 10, 2005

NEW YORK - As workers are increasingly expected to assume more of the cost of their health benefits, employers are being pressured to enhance benefits education efforts and be more flexible about plan offerings, according to a study by MetLife...

Outdated pitches may be stifling sales volume in LTC insurance

December 20, 2004

NEW YORK - Hammering home the asset preservation and tax-saving aspects of long-term-care insurance will help sell more policies to individuals and businesses than talking about policy provisions and the odds of needing extended medical care,...

Optional fed life insurer oversight gets boost

December 20, 2004

WASHINGTON - In its efforts to win the option of being regulated by a federal entity, the life insurance industry may find that it has some allies in the Consumer Federation of America as well as in some Democrats in Congress. And in a demonstration...

Secondary market for VAs is emerging

December 13, 2004

NEW YORK - Advisers with clients who are unhappy with the performance of their variable annuity - or who need quick cash - can advise them to sell the annuity to a gradually expanding secondary market. Insurers and industry observers, however,...

Improved tax incentives for LTC are receiving scant attention

December 13, 2004

CHICAGO - The tax incentives for buying long-term-care insurance continue to improve, but some think not enough financial planners and accountants are taking notice. The Internal Revenue Service said this month that it has increased deductibility...

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