The $1.1 Trillion Tax Hike

The "Zero Plan" proposed by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform last week calls for the end of $1.1 trillion in tax breaks. The co-chairs would save Social Security through a combination of reduced benefits and higher taxes.

New Research on 401K Plans, from Top Researchers

Boston College, DCIIA and Morningstar provide new research on Britain's 'NEST' experience with auto-enrollment, custom TDFs and why replacing bad 401k investment options is a good idea.

Tell Us What You Really Think

At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.

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?
Featured

Fees vs. Commissions in SPIA Sales

When a client incorporates an immediate annuity into a custom financial plan, we shouldn’t ask what revenue method is best for the advisor; we should ask what method is best for the client, writes advisor Curtis Cloke in a Letter to the Editor.
News

An Alternative Deficit Reduction Plan

Similar to the Bowles-Simpson proposals, the Rivlin-Domenici plan would lower income tax rates while eliminating most deductions and credits. It would replace the home mortgage and charitable contribution deductions with 15% refundable credits, and cut health care expenditures by $75 billion a year.

75-Year Financing Plan Would Stabilize Social Security: NASI

Covering the projected long-term shortfall facing Social Security would require revenue increases equal to slightly more than 2% of taxable payroll over the next 75 years, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance.

UK’s National DC Plan Considers Investment Options

“We won't be investing in a single infrastructure fund, though, or a single commodities fund, or a single high-yield fund until we get bigger,” said Mark Fawcett, CEO of the National Employment Savings Trust.

American Funds Is the Top Brand in Large Cap Funds

Virtually all advisors who use mutual funds include large-cap growth or value funds in their lineup; 39% use large-cap American Funds product for the growth portion and 31% for the value.

Quote of the Week

"People tend to overestimate the utility of money and underestimate the utility of not being surprised by financial problems or not having to worry about money.” -- Steven A. Sass of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, author of The Promise of Private Pensions.

The Bucket

Late-breaking items from AnnuitySpecs, Pershing, ING, Jefferson National, Securian, Allianz Life and more...