App-ward Mobility

Connecting with investors via full-size computer screens is so last-decade. People now live on their smartphones, and the financial industry has little choice but to follow.

Tell Us What You Really Think

At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)

Rollups are Back in Style

Guardian Life and Protective Life have both filed prospectuses for variable annuities with 10-year/100% deferral bonuses.

The Crisis Behind the Crisis

A new report from Oliver Wyman examines the dysfunctional state of the global financial services industry. It blames asset-liability mismatching for a lot of the trouble, and suggests a return to simpler 'Volkswagen' banking.

Russell’s “parachute” decumulation strategy

The strategy recognizes that most people don’t want to relinquish a big chunk of their liquidity at age 65 and that the SPIA “mortality credit” isn't attractive until the client reaches age 75 or so.

‘Pullback from pure DC’ predicted in UK

Current DC arrangements in the UK are so inadequate, one official said, that employers will eventually find their workforce dominated by workers in their 70s or 80s who can't retire, and whom employers can't force to retire.

St. Louis Fed president questions U.S. monetary policy

"Monetary policy is a blunt instrument which affects the decision-making of everyone in the economy,” said James Ballard, pointing out that low interest rates hurt savers. Better to address unemployment directly than through monetary policy, he added.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items regarding Mary Fay, Curian Capital, RIIA, New York Life, Milliman, and Albridge Solutions.