The variable annuity "arms race" is over, a victim of the equity crash, low interest rates, and the destructive effects of competition for market share - mainly among publicly held life insurers. Here's a three-part look at what has happened, why it happened, and what could happen next in the "living benefit" space.
Faced with capital shortages and ratings downgrades, the ranks of major publicly-held life insurers appears to be headed for consolidation. Historically low stock prices alone have made merger talk inevitable.
On a sultry afternoon in Washington, the Capitol looked stark, lonely, and forbidding. But NAFA members persevered in their long-planned "March to the Hill" to enlist legislators in a bi-partisan fight against SEC Rule 151A.
The new offering, a group variable annuity called IncomeFlex Target or IFX Target, is designed to be fully automatic. If not exactly a “cradle-to-grave” plan for qualified plan participants, it's potentially a “first-job-to-grave” plan.
Thanks to an 81% year-over-year increase in fixed annuity sales, Jackson National Life generated $2.6 billion in annuity sales in the first quarter of 2009, up 8% over the same period in 2008.
Only two new EIA contracts were issued in the first quarter of 2009, both with bonuses and both with mandatory GLWBs. They were Forethought Life’s single-premium Income 125 and American Equity’s flexible-premium Retirement Gold.
Jerry Golden has retired from Mass Mutual, leaving uncertainty over the future of the Retirement Management Account. MassMutual says the RMA, a tool for building income annuity ladders, "remains available."
A list of recently discontinued variable annuity contracts. Source: Milliman.