The Borzi Ballet

In this 3-min. video, Assistant Sec. of Labor Phyllis Borzi responds to IRI CEO Cathy Weatherford's question about Borzi's anticipated re-proposal of a "fiduciary rule" for retirement plan advisors. They and Deputy Assistant Sec. of Treasury Mark Iwry discussed retirement regulatory issues at this week's IRI conference in Washington, D.C.

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.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.
Featured

Harbinger unit offers fixed deferred annuity with GLWB

“Agents have told us that they want to lead with the income story and don’t want to complicate it with indexing methods," said Brian Grigg, vice president of annuity distribution at Fidelity & Guaranty Life, which Harbinger bought from Old Mutual plc in 2011.

Waiting for the DoL’s Fiduciary Do-Over

If the retirement plan space were Dodge City, do you think that a fiduciary rule would A) Clean up Dodge City for the benefit of all or B) Sterilize Dodge City of all commercial activity, to the detriment of all? That may be the essence of the fiduciary debate. Is there room for compromise? Apparently not.
News

Details of Hartford’s VA benefit rollback

Once a leader in VA sales, Hartford is now a receder. In a May 1 SEC filing, it gave existing contract owners an October 4 deadline to choose between reducing their risk profiles and losing their living benefit. Having left the annuity business, Hartford may have much to gain by the move and little to lose--except perhaps more of its reputation.

European employers ponder ways to cut pension costs

The members of the General Employers' Association Netherlands met recently to discuss the transition from defined benefit to defined contribution plans and to explore pension-cost reduction. There was a tie-in to the US via Dimensional Fund Advisors' European chief.

ARIA, PIMCO and Transamerica partner on bond-based CDA

This late-breaking story contains a link to the prospectus, filed May 15 with the SEC, for a new contingent deferred annuity, also known as a stand-alone living benefit, or SALB. The product is designed for the registered investment advisor channel.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Transamerica, Genworth Financial and the National Institute on Retirement Security.

Quote of the Week

"Money, like information but unlike material objects, can, by assuming different forms, be made to exist in more than one place at a single time"-- George B. Dyson, "Darwin Among the Machines" (1997).