Rate Expectations

At a time when low interest rates are pinching off the annuity industry’s oxygen supply—not to mention starving bond investors and crippling pensions—a Columbia University economist's rationale for raising rates might sound like salvation in certain quarters.

The Alt-Asset Teams that Reinvent Annuity Companies

'Insurance Solutions' groups use private assets to boost the returns of life/annuity company investment portfolios. RIJ talks with Todd Fonner of Investcorp Insurance Solutions about this trend.

One Life Insurer’s Pivot to Private Assets

American Equity Investment Life’s ‘AEL 2.0’ strategy is designed to help it thrive even in a low yield environment. Allocating up to 40% of its money to ‘private assets’ is key to the fixed annuity specialist's plan.

NAIC Eyes ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

A document from the NAIC's Financial Stability Task Force reflects the concerns that the NAIC has heard from a variety of sources about the increased ownership of life insurers by private equity firms. (Image from NAIC document.)
Featured

Let’s Face It

Lincoln Financial, Allianz Life, and now Merrill Lynch have dabbled with artificial face-aging to worry people into saving more. It's based on behavioral finance research, but just thinking about this blend of science and commerce gives me grey hair.

Fixed Annuity Sales Stall, but Security Benefit Stands Out

Low rates continue to weigh on fixed annuity sales, the latest Beacon Research Fixed Annuity Premium Study shows. But Beacon CEO Jeremy Alexander said he's encouraged that “a number of carriers are developing new indexed and income annuity products."
News

Achaean Financial to partner with InFre

InFRE, a non-profit education foundation devoted to “enhancing the retirement preparedness of the American worker,” will train advisors in the use of Achaean's Retirement Outcome software.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from T. Rowe Price and Invesco.