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FedEx shifts pension obligations by purchasing $6 billion group annuity

May 9, 2018

FedEx Corp. announced Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase a group annuity contract with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to transfer about $6 billion in U.S. pension plan obligations. The transaction, which is expected to...

Finra fines Fifth Third Securities $4 million for variable-annuity violations

May 8, 2018

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has fined Fifth Third Securities $4 million and ordered it to pay approximately $2 million in restitution to customers for "failing to appropriately consider and accurately describe the costs...

Four challenges in using annuities for retirement planning — and how to overcome them

May 8, 2018

Over the years, I've had countless conversations with advisers about retirement planning and the use of guaranteed income products. While some embrace annuities and their ability to offer consistency in retirement income, others are more dismissive....

Recent rule changes to boost retiree health costs

April 30, 2018

Individually, recent updates to Medicare and Social Security rules may not have seemed like a big deal. But when taken together, seven changes to Medicare means testing, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and Social Security...

Job satisfaction tied to benefits satisfaction, survey finds

April 27, 2018

The happier employees are with their benefits, the happier and more satisfied they are overall, according to an analysis of survey data by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The data, from EBRI's 2017 Health and Workplace Benefits Survey,...

Indexed annuities likely to rebound after dip in sales last year

April 25, 2018

Sales of indexed annuities look like they are going to bounce back this year after dipping in 2017, a first for the product line in almost a decade. Broker-dealers and market observers indicate that a combination of trends — namely, an increase...

The rich are betting they can buy their way to a longer life

April 20, 2018

Money might not buy love, but it can buy better health. And, to live as long as possible, the world's wealthy are willing to pay up. Over the past few decades, the average person's lifespan has risen almost everywhere in the world. In China,...

What a court decision teaches 401(k) advisers about choosing stable-value funds

April 19, 2018

In order to reduce their risk of fiduciary liability, 401(k) plan sponsors often seek to offer an investment menu that satisfies the requirements of ERISA Section 404(c), which eliminates the risk associated with investment choices by plan participants....

AXA reverses course on variable annuity buyout

April 16, 2018

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. is no longer proceeding with a variable-annuity buyout round that it had planned to do beginning in May. "AXA has decided to not move forward with the buyout program at this time," AXA said in an email it sent...

Insurers still grappling with costly variable-annuity promises

April 13, 2018

Insurance companies are still trying to wriggle out of promises made years ago to consumers of their variable-annuity products, as certain contract features have proven too generous in light of market conditions such as persistently low interest...

Finra fines Park Avenue Securities $300,000 over variable annuity sales

April 11, 2018

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has censured Park Avenue Securities and fined the firm $300,000 for problems in its supervision of variable annuity sales. In a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent, Finra said that from Jan....

Insurers' 401(k) record keepers gain big share in small, midsize markets

April 11, 2018

Insurance companies that provide 401(k) record-keeping services have gained substantial market share among small and midsize retirement plans over the past few years. Insurance companies are by far the most common type of record keeper for 401(k)...

The magic in talking about cost

April 9, 2018

I recognize there can be a natural hesitation in talking about fees and costs in the financial services business. After all, talking about costs puts costs front and center in the mind of a client, which in turn places front and center the risk...

Guaranteed income tops boomers' retirement wish list

April 9, 2018

Monthly guaranteed income is the most important single trait that aging baby boomers look for in a retirement investment, ranked No. 1 or No. 2 by 41% of participants in the latest annual survey of retirement expectations and preparedness conducted...

Old strategy with a new twist: Dollar cost averaging and annuities

April 9, 2018

Today's investors fall on a spectrum when it comes to their tolerance for risk. Most, roughly two-thirds, are moderate risk takers, while about 1 in 10 are high risk takers and the remaining quarter are very risk averse. While market volatility...

Like it or not, annuities are coming to retirement plans

April 7, 2018

Some would argue that annuities and 401(k) plans should never mix. To those individuals, we say brace yourselves, because legislation is being considered in Congress that could clear a path for more employers to offer annuity products in their...

Finra institutes disciplinary proceedings against broker over alleged improper variable annuity sales

April 3, 2018

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has instituted disciplinary proceedings against Frederick David Holloway, the owner of Holloway & Associates Inc., to disgorge alleged ill-gotten gains from recommendations he made to clients...

New rules for a 21st century retirement

April 2, 2018

A 21st century retirement needs a new set of rules to provide financial and emotional security for a post-career period that can last 30 years or more. "Rewirement: Rewiring the Way Your Think About Retirement," a new book by professor Jamie...

Have variable annuities sales hit rock bottom?

March 31, 2018

Sales of variable annuities are in the tank. Product sales have slid for the past six consecutive years, and 2017 sales (roughly $96 billion) were the lowest in two decades.​ Will variable annuities recover from the slump, or has their heyday...

Are annuities finally getting some respect?

March 31, 2018

For years, financial advisers have had a love-hate relationship with annuities. The financial products, which offer a guaranteed stream of income, have long been maligned by some financial advisers and the broader public as being costly, confusing...

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