Talk About a Shake Out

Faced with capital shortages and ratings downgrades, the ranks of major publicly-held life insurers appears to be headed for consolidation. Historically low stock prices alone have made merger talk inevitable.

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.)

Democrats Expected to Tweak, Not Scuttle, IRAs and 401ks

Speaking at LIMRA’s Retirement Industry Conference in Orlando on April 3, an attorney-lobbyist predicted that tax incentives for insurance and retirement products will undergo scrutiny by the White House and Congress.

Study Assesses Market for “Unbundled” Living Benefits

“Guaranteed Retirement Income Beyond Annuities,” a new white paper from Annuity Insight, a unit of Strategic Insight, Inc., offers a 137-page, 50-exhibit analysis of Standalone Living Benefits (SALBs), which are lifetime withdrawal riders unbundled from annuities and applied to select mutual fund or ETF portfolios.

Could Uncle Sam Guarantee a 5% Return for Life?

In a new report, authors at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) attempt to calculate how much it might cost to give American workers guaranteed an attractive long-term return on retirement savings invested in the stock market over a lifetime.

EIA Trade Group To March Against Rule 151A

“The annuity industry is at a boiling point,” says NAFA executive vice president Kim O’Brien. She invited insurance producers to attend NAFA’s annual meeting and join in a “March to Capitol Hill" in Washington on May 6-8, 2009.

Heck Of A Job, FINRA!

Mary Schapiro spent the past ten years as president of FINRA or its predecessor, NASD. During that time, FINRA dithered while two stock market bubbles and the Enron crime vaporized the savings of millions of Americans.