The Fine Madness of the 401(k) Business

Most of the workshops and discussions at the NAPA Summit in San Diego were devoted not to the pending DoL fiduciary proposal but to potential solutions to the problems that retirement plan advisors grapple with every working day.

The Alt-Asset Teams that Reinvent Annuity Companies

'Insurance Solutions' groups use private assets to boost the returns of life/annuity company investment portfolios. RIJ talks with Todd Fonner of Investcorp Insurance Solutions about this trend.

One Life Insurer’s Pivot to Private Assets

American Equity Investment Life’s ‘AEL 2.0’ strategy is designed to help it thrive even in a low yield environment. Allocating up to 40% of its money to ‘private assets’ is key to the fixed annuity specialist's plan.

NAIC Eyes ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

A document from the NAIC's Financial Stability Task Force reflects the concerns that the NAIC has heard from a variety of sources about the increased ownership of life insurers by private equity firms. (Image from NAIC document.)
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Voya enters the structured variable annuity game

The product resembles other structured variable annuities in the marketplace, issued by MetLife, AXA, CUNA Mutual and Allianz Life. These products offer more upside potential than fixed indexed annuities because the owner assumes some risk of loss.
News

Ameriprise and Bank of New York Mellon settle ERISA suits

Ameriprise Financial will pay $27.5 million to settle charges that its own 401(k) plan investment options were too expensive and Bank of New York Mellon will pay $84 million for offering unfavorable pricing to most of its 'standing instruction' foreign exchange clients.

New York City comptroller calls for statewide “fiduciary disclosure”

“Billions of dollars in savings are lost each year because of hidden fees and conflicted financial advice,” Scott Stringer said, borrowing a theme from the Obama administration, which has made a fiduciary standard for advisors to rollover IRA clients a policy priority for 2015.

How much should your clients start saving now? EBRI knows

The traditional 'replacement rate' method of gauging retirement savings adequacy ignores the risk of outliving one’s savings, post-retirement investment risk, and nursing home costs, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

Quote of the Week

“You go to the doctor to make you feel better. But a doctor doesn’t have to make someone else sick in order to make you feel better.” Gus Sauter, retired Vanguard CIO, on the zero-sum nature of transactions in the equity markets, during an address at a Society of Actuaries meeting on active vs. passive investing..