NAIC Urged to Limit ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

'The ability of insurers to significantly lower the total asset requirement for long-duration blocks of business that rely heavily on asset returns appears to be one of the drivers of the significant increase in reinsurance transactions,” wrote a New Jersey and an Iowa insurance regulator. 'A stunning development,' said one federal official.

Iceland’s Tiny But Great Collective DC Plan

I visited Iceland in mid-2022 to interview pension experts in Reykjavik, the capital city and to fish for brown trout in the rivers near Akureyri, a harbor town on Iceland‘s north coast. I wanted to compare Iceland’s retirement policies with pension practices back home in the US.

‘Sticking to the Plan’ While Taking Income

Pension Plus is a recent entry in the race to sell decumulation tools to 401(k) plan sponsors. Shlomo Benartzi, the behavioral finance expert, conceived it. Retirement industry veteran Mike Henkel will run it. American Funds and OneAmerica are early adopters.
Anecdotal evidence

We’re Baaaaaaaaack

Too much is happening in the retirement industry to ignore. So I'm planning to publish RIJ once a month, nine times a year, while spending the rest of my time on book projects.

Fidelity’s Plan Sponsors Can Now Offer Annuities

Income products issued by MetLife, Pacific Life, Prudential Financial and Western & Southern Financial Group are available on the Fidelity platform, with additional insurers to be added in the future, Fidelity said in its release.

Annuity Sales Reach Record Highs, Again

'Economic conditions and growing demand for protected investment growth propelled fixed annuity sales to a remarkable $286.2 billion, a 36% jump from the record sales set in 2022,' said Bryan Hodgens, head of LIMRA research.


July 2023

Of Athene, Pension Risk Transfers, and Fiduciaries

The ERISA Advisory Council recently heard comments on changing the criteria that fiduciaries use when vetting annuity providers in pension risk transfer deals. Athene's vice chairman defended his company's practices.
June 30, 2022

Why Annuity Issuers Use Bermuda Reinsurance

Reinsurance helps life insurers transfer risk and release capital. But when it's internal--between affiliates--and the reinsurer is offshore, it's hard to tell if the deal is real or just 'regulatory arbitrage.'
June 23, 2022

How Annuity Risks Get Passed to the Bermuda Triangle

Leading private equity-linked fixed indexed annuity (FIA) issuers ceded the risk (the liability) of 95% of their 2021 sales to the balance sheets of affiliated or co-owned reinsurers located mainly in Bermuda.