What’s Good for General Motors…

A month after Ford’s pension buyout offer, GM is offering some salaried retirees a choice of a lump sum buyout or lifetime income from Prudential. Both automakers took advantage of a change in discount rates to reduce obligations.

Marshmallows and Social Security

Should US retirees delay claiming Social Security until age 70, even if they have to spend savings until then? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College proposes that strategy as a default option in retirement plans.

How to Choose an Annuity Issuer

Shopping for an annuity, like shopping for a car, involves questions about the manufacturer of the product. Do their products perform as expected? Will service quality be high? Are they likely to stay in business? We show you where to look for answers.

Time to Put Benjamins Back in the Sock Drawer?

At the LIMRA annual conference in Boston earlier this week, MIT economist James Poterba described how low interest rates make saving for retirement more of a challenge.
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Prudential Files “2.0” Version of Highest Daily VA Rider

In the newest version of Prudential's Highest Daily lifetime income rider, the former M&E charge is split into an temporary premium-based fee to recover acquistion costs and a smaller, persistent M&E fee based on the account value.
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MetLife files for GMIB Max IV rider

Under the latest version of GMIB Max, contract owners who take withdrawals before the fifth contract anniversary are locked into a maximum 4.5% per year withdrawal rate. If they defer withdrawals for five years, they can take out up to 5% for

MetLife files for GMIB Max IV rider

Under the latest version of GMIB Max, contract owners who take withdrawals before the fifth contract anniversary are locked into a maximum 4.5% per year withdrawal rate. If they defer withdrawals for five years, they can take out up to 5% for life.

Thrivent Financial to consider non-Lutheran customers

CEO Brad Hewitt said the company hasn’t decided whether it would need to change its name if it changed its customer base. "We haven't figured that out yet," he said. “The reality is, the practical thing is, people call us ‘Thrivent,’ “ he said.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Wells Fargo, Securian Financial, The Phoenix Companies, Great-West Life & Annuity, Financial Engines, LPL Financial, the Concord Coalition, Morningstar, Jackson National and JP Morgan.

“Quote” of the Week

“Some people may feel like they’re pushing mud up hill,” said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo, in describing Americans who are trying to save in a low interest environment.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Balkanization, conflicted corporate governance, and failed public-private hybrids are three prevalent structural problems that defy solutions.