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DPL and Security Benefit add ‘total return’ index option to FIA; Americans expect market volatility in 2022: Allianz Life; Lincoln redesigns participant-facing website.

DPL and Security Benefit add ‘total return’ index option to FIA

DPL Financial Partners, the insurance purchasing platform for Registered Investment Advisors, has partnered with Avantis Investors and Security Benefit Life on the design of a new, no-commission, fixed indexed annuity contract availability only to DPL customers. 

The contract, Security Benefit Life’s ClearLine fixed indexed, will feature the Avantis Barclays Volatility Control Index, created by Eduardo Repetto and Pat Keating of Avantis Investors.

A total return index, its performance of the Avantis Barclays Volatility Control Index includes the dividend yield of the underlying companies.

(Many indexed annuities now offer bets on price return indices that don’t include dividends. Since options on those indices tend to be cheaper than options on total return indices, issuers can set afford to higher caps on their performance. Whether a higher cap on a price-return index will beat a lower cap on the total-return version of the same index, it’s impossible to predict.) 

In a release, Avantis Chief Investment Officer Eduardo Repetto said, “FIAs can complement an existing allocation of equity and fixed income. FIAs offer risk mitigation, like fixed income, while diversifying the driver of returns away from bond yields. I think this structure can help advisors improve their clients’ portfolios, in particular during these times of extremely low bond yields.”

Security Benefit’s ClearLine Annuity, designed by DPL with Security Benefit, also offers a lifetime income rider with a 2% annual increase on income.  

Americans expect market volatility in 2022: Allianz Life

The average American worries a lot: about COVID mutations, potential blitzkrieg in eastern Ukraine, and the rising prices of gas and groceries. That’s in addition to the baseline “It’s-always-something” problems that they wake up to each morning.    

In the financial realm, more than 75% of Americans believe the markets will be “very volatile” in 2022, according to the 2021 Q4 Quarterly Market Perceptions Study from Allianz Life. Two out of three American fear that a COVID-driven recession ad almost three-fourths fear worry about an imminent loss of purchasing power. 

Another 64% of those surveyed say their income isn’t rising as fast as their expenses. The same percentage worry about tax increases. In Allianz Life’s other findings:

  • 57% say risks from market volatility will have a major impact on their plans to retire in the next few years
  • 61% say they are worried their current financial strategy won’t provide the lifestyle they’d like to have in retirement.
  • One-third say that putting some money into a financial product that provides a guaranteed stream of income in retirement is the most important step in having a secure retirement
  • 39% of Gen Xers expressed the most interest in a product that offers guaranteed income, compared with 33% of Millennials and 30% of boomers 
  • 66% of Americans believe it’s important to own a financial product that protects their retirement savings from market loss

Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2021 Q4 Allianz Life Quarterly Market Perceptions Study, in December 2021 with a nationally representative sample of 1,004 respondents age 18+.

Lincoln redesigns participant-facing website

Lincoln Financial Group has elevated a new retirement plan participant website, featuring “intuitive navigation” and “innovative tools to help participants plan for and achieve income in retirement,” according to a Lincoln release this week.

The new mobile-adaptive design provides “a simple and secure digital experience” including “a clear picture of where they are on their paths to retirement” and making it easy to “increase contributions.”

“Through our newly redesigned site, participants can access personally relevant information and streamlined plan transactions — all designed to drive positive outcomes,” said Sharon Scanlon, senior vice president of Customer Experience, Producer Solutions and Retirement Plan Services Operations at Lincoln Financial Group. 

“Through research, user analytics and usability testing, this new digital experience is designed to help meet the evolving needs, wants and expectations of plan participants, and help them save for and work toward the retirement they envision.”

The pandemic has inspired almost 80% of US workers to reevaluate their finances, career and retirement, according to Lincoln Financial Group’s 2021 Retirement Power study. Lincoln’s new participant site features include:

“My Target” tool: This personalized digital calculator helps participants estimate their retirement income and determine if they are on track for retirement.

Investments: New, easy-to-understand investment graphs help participants understand where their money is allocated and how their account has grown over time.

My Next Steps: This feature shows participants how to improve retirement readiness.  

Mobile-Enabled Navigation: Participants can now manage their account anytime, anywhere with a mobile adaptive design, while ongoing investments in cybersecurity help keep plan and participant information secure.

The new platform also features a content hub with videos, articles and tools to educate participants, as well as single sign-on access to Lincoln WellnessPATH, an online financial wellness solution. 

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