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.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

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?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)

What Advisors Want from Annuity Issuers

This week, RIJ received a press copy of “What Advisors Want from Annuity and Insurer Providers-2019,” a study by Practical Perspectives, a Boxford, MA-based financial services market research firm.
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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.