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.

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.
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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.
News

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.