Ken Mungan and Casey Malone of Milliman, Chad Slawner and Guillaume de Gantes of McKinsey, Tim Paris of Ruark Consulting, Jerry Golden and Moshe Milevsky share their visions of the future of the variable annuity business.
Boston College, DCIIA and Morningstar provide new research on Britain's 'NEST' experience with auto-enrollment, custom TDFs and why replacing bad 401k investment options is a good idea.
At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.
Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?
To make variable annuities more transparent and rehabilitate their reputation, start by not hiding commission recovery behind the so-called “mortality and expense risk” fee.
“Companies have some flexibility in deciding when to account for a change and when to take a charge,” said Neil Strauss of Moody's. “It’s a ball that can be kicked down the road. If policies go out-of-the-money, the lapse rates will be less of an issue."
Instead of eliminating another popular product for older Americans, the Federal Housing Administration would prefer to detect and screen out applicants who are likely default on their reverse mortgage loans, the New York Times reported.
"This action also advances Allstate's key priorities, including reducing exposure to spread-based business and interest rates,” said Thomas J. Wilson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Allstate Corporation.
This news item, which summarizes Fitch's "Good, Bad and Ugly" scenarios for future interest rate movements, contains a link to a copy of a new Fitch report, "Heightened Interest Rate Risk for U.S. Life Insurers."
“To be clear, I support prudent regulation of the life insurance industry. After all, we are financially liable for insolvencies through the state-based guaranty funds. What I do not support is a regulatory system that creates an unlevel playing field," Kandarian said.
The U.K.'s national publicly-supported defined contribution plan increased investment in North America to 35.9%, its single largest regional exposure. Allocation to Continental Europe, up nearly 3 percentage points, now accounts for 18.4% of investments.
Brief or late-breaking items from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Lincoln Financial, Transamerica, Employee Fiduciary, The Principal and NEST.
Total contributions to IRAs have increased every year since 2008, with a 3.1% increase over last year and a 7.5% increase over 2008, according to Fidelity.