Running Lapse around Variable Annuities

As the living benefits of variable annuities became more valuable during the financial crisis, contract owners astutely held on to them, according to a presentation by Ruark Consulting at a recent Society of Actuaries meeting in Chicago.

Drama in Des Moines

Rejecting a takeover bid by Athene and MassMutual, fixed index annuity issuer American Equity will partner with Brookfield Asset Management. The deal releases up to $350m in capital for American Equity, and makes it a 'Bermuda Triangle' player. Photo: AEL headquarters in Des Moines.

The Five Most Important Retirement Income Decisions

'Many of the decisions presented here are beyond the skills of most pre-retirees and retirees,' writes the author, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. 'They’re going to need help.'

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.
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Five Challenges for Life Insurers in 2012: E&Y

“Pressures such as low interest rates, volatile equities markets, and a political and regulatory environment in flux will continue to impact the industry, making it difficult for insurers to boost earnings," Ernst & Young said iin a release.

The Fees Ate My Savings

A gerontology professor argues in a new article that Americans’ 401(k) holdings are coming up trillions of dollars short, thanks to high investment management fees.
News

Lynne Ford leaves ING

Ford’s departure was “the result of some consolidation within our broader retirement business," an ING spokesperson told RIJ.

New Celent report forecasts DC trends

The defined contribution industry will see growing use of collective investment trusts and custom target date funds, according to a new report from Celent.

Do Motley Fool stock recommendations beat the market?

“A strategy of shorting stocks with a disproportionate number of negative picks on the site and buying stocks with a disproportionate number of positive picks produces a return of over 9 percent per annum over the sample period,” a National Bureau of Economic Research paper said.

Portugal to apply pension funds to deficit

The measure aims to transfer pension funds' liabilities to the Portugese Social Security program while using the assets to help the government meet its budget deficit target and pay down its debt.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from MetLife, Vanguard, Boston Research Group, Securian, Nationwide, The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.