An Entrepreneur Tackles Decumulation, with TIPS

Manish Malhotra’s FIAP platform, set to launch next year, will enable advisors to build retirement income streams out of laddered TIPS, immediate annuities, and withdrawals from balanced portfolios.

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.

Singing from the Fee-Only Song Book

Given their focus on planning rather than sales, fee-only advisors seem well-suited to the labor-intensive process of creating customized retirement income solutions for their clients.

Good Day at BlackRock

BlackRock will use the SPARK Institute's new IT standards to deliver the LifePath in-plan income solution--a deferred income annuity in a target-date fund of funds. “That’s a very important step in the evolution of these products in the marketplace,” said BlackRock's Chip Castille (above).

Decumulation Beat

Only advisors who are self-employed have the autonomy to use the fiduciary standard when working with clients.

Four Firms Capture Half of VA Sales

At the same time, a dozen large insurance companies saw their VA sales drop by double-digit percentages from the second to the third quarter of 2010, according to Morningstar data.

Low Rates Squeeze Fixed Annuity Issuers

“The current interest rate environment poses a challenge for issuers of these annuities because it pressures profitability," said Beacon Research president and CEO Jeremy Alexander.

Health Benefit Costs Grow 3X Faster than CPI

The prevalence of retiree medical plans slid to its lowest point ever in 2010, with just 25% of large employers offering an ongoing plan to retirees under age 65.

Letter to the Editor

There are two problems with Curtis Cloke's analysis of the relative merits of fees versus commissions for income annuities ("Fees vs. Commissions in SPIA Sales," RIJ, 11/17/10), writes Glenn Daily.

The Bucket

Late-breaking items from Prudential, Genworth and New York Life...