Do VA ‘Roll-Ups’ Have the Desired Effect?

Deferral bonuses, a key feature of many VAs, may not prevent contract owners from taking withdrawals, according to Milliman’s latest survey of issuers of VA guaranteed living benefits. Photo courtesy of Whimsicalwhisk.com.

A Closer Look at CLOs (and Other U.S. Credit)

Bond mavens, check this out. A new SEC report describes how most of the $54-trillion dollar U.S. credit market survived last spring's financial crisis. It covers securitized 'leveraged loans,' which provide high-octane fuel for fixed indexed annuity issuers.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.

Searching for Yield? Here’s Where to Look

Bond gurus Anne Mathias of Vanguard and Rick Rieder of BlackRock spoke at the Morningstar Investment Conference last week. Emerging markets, real estate debt, and asset-backed securities are potential sources of yield, as are dividend-paying stocks, they said.
News

Raymond James launches the RightBRIDGE Annuity Wizard

The new tool, developed with CapitalRock, gathers key information from clients about their income, liquidity, time horizon, risk tolerance, expenses, and guarantees, and finds the appropriate variable annuity.

Allianz Life’s new FIA features rising withdrawal percentage

Starting as early as age 40, the lifetime payout percentage increases by 35 basis points for every year the client delays income. There's also a 50% bonus on the interest credited every year during the accumulation period and, optionally, during the income period.

Policy analyst critiques debt ceiling agreement

Here’s an edited version of an analysis of the new agreement on deficit and debt reduction by Robert Greenstein, president of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

For DoL’s fiduciary campaign, an unsympathetic hearing

During the July 26 hearing on the DoL plan, Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions described the department’s proposal to strengthen the fiduciary standard as “ill-conceived."

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from New York Life, MetLife, Lincoln Financial Group, Still River, Huntington Funds, Weiss Ratings, MassMutual, Fidelity, and Cerulli Associates.

A Memo to Congress about Money

The donnybrook in Congress over debt and deficits stemmed partly from a mistaken belief that the government is like a player in a card game when it's actually more like a scorekeeper. Warren Mosler explains.

A Modest Proposal

Americans used to help their government by buying government bonds. I think we can solve our current debt problem by tearing up our government bonds!

The Extinction of Retirement

For many Americans, the traditional idea of a comfortable retirement, filled with golf carts, cruises, and fishing trips, is going the way of the dodo bird.

A New Arm for a New VA Arms Race

AllianceBernstein's DAA fund, which aims for 60/40 performance without the tails, has been adopted as a risk-reduced investment option in AXA, MetLife, Ohio National, Sun Life, and Transamerica variable annuities. AB's Mark Hamilton (below) explains.