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.
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?
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.)
“DIAs may represent a more palatable hedge against longevity risk for retirees than traditional annuities, because they are cheaper and therefore provide more liquidity to retirees,” writes Morningstar's David Blanchett in a Journal of Financial Planning article.
MetLife is selling one-third of what it was two years ago. Prudential is selling half of what it did in the first two quarters of 2012. The biggest gainers since then include Transamerica, SunAmerica, and Lincoln. (This piece was written by Morningstar's annuity product manager.)
Public television will turn its inquisitive light on the topic of behavioral finance next October 16.
A.M. Best attributed much of the quarterly gains for L/A stocks to the merger fever that followed Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.'s $5.7 billion bid for Protective Life.
Advisors with clients in their 40s need to know how heavy a debt load they are carrying, LIMRA said in a release.
There continues to be limited interest in in-plan annuities, with 6% of plans offering this option in 2013, up from 4% in 2012. Ten percent of plan sponsors indicated they are looking into adding an accumulation annuity to their current plan.