Variable Annuity Carriers ‘Mix It Up’ in Q4

"We may be at an inflection point, with the first carriers beginning to tweak products in small ways for competitive advantage despite the ongoing low interest rate environment," writes John McCarthy, Product Manager, Annuity Solutions, at Morningstar Inc.

How Debt Affects Retirement

“Remaking Retirement? Debt in an Aging Economy," was the theme of the 65th annual symposium of the Wharton School's Pension Research Council, held last week in Philadelphia. (Photo: Kitchen and retirement makeovers sometimes occur in tandem.)
Anecdotal Evidence

It’s No Joke: The Fed’s Comic Book is Wrong

The educational comic book from the New York Fed means well but perpetuates the myth that money was created in the private sector to facilitate barter and enabled commerce to flourish. History shows otherwise.
Anecdotal Evidence

Annuities that Pay Cash Back Rewards

Gainbridge, a insur-tech startup, aims to sell fixed deferred and period certain income annuities online. Its sister company, Relay, uses annuities to fund cash back rewards cards. Both firms are part of Group1001 (formerly Delaware Life Holdings).
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Anecdotal Evidence

Crime writer wins $50.9 million verdict against advisor

"Notwithstanding eight figure earnings per year during that period, CEI and Cornwell learned that their net worth, while substantial, was the equivalent of only approximately one year’s net income," according to the 2009 complaint.
Anecdotal Evidence

In Off-Year for Annuities, FIAs and DIAs Shine: LIMRA

Overall, annuity sales were $52.6 billion in the fourth quarter, down 8% from the previous year. For the year, annuity sales dropped 8%, tallying $219.4 billion. Variable annuity sales totaled $147.4 billion in 2012, down 7% from 2011.
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AIG Life and Retirement gets an A+ from Fitch

AIG reported significantly improved profitability in the first nine months of 2012, with net income of $7.6 billion relative to a modest net loss in the prior year period. Life & Retirement’s pre-tax income rose 22% in the same period, year over year.
Anecdotal Evidence

The Online 401(k) offers $200 for successful leads

“By instituting the referral incentive, we are hoping to debunk common myths about retirement plans and help Americans at businesses of all sizes effectively save for their retirement,” the Online 401(k) said in a release.
Anecdotal Evidence

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Nationwide, MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, and Jefferson National.
Anecdotal Evidence

Quote of the Week

"The business man is only tolerable so long as his gains can be held to bear some relation to what, roughly and in some sense, his activities have contributed to Society"--John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion, 1931.
Anecdotal Evidence

The New Yorker launches business hub

The work of well-known business feature writers like Malcolm Gladwell, Ken Auletta, John Cassidy and James Surowiecki will be featured on the site.