NY Times Plays ‘Gotcha’ with Prudential

News Commentary: Last Saturday, the Times pilloried Prudential for blocking new contributions from existing contract owners to closed VA contracts with rich income riders. But the Times isn't entirely to blame for getting much of the story wrong.

Capacity Issues

A new report from Cerulli Associates addresses a big problem for variable annuity issuers: how to grow without exceeding their risk-capacity. The report suggests that SunAmerica is best equipped for growth.

The Five Most Important Retirement Income Decisions

'Many of the decisions presented here are beyond the skills of most pre-retirees and retirees,' writes the author, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. 'They’re going to need help.'

A Closer Look at CLOs (and Other U.S. Credit)

Bond mavens, check this out. A new SEC report describes how most of the $54-trillion dollar U.S. credit market survived last spring's financial crisis. It covers securitized 'leveraged loans,' which provide high-octane fuel for fixed indexed annuity issuers.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.
Featured

The Changing American Family

The 2010 Census revealed that married couples are, for the first time, less than half of U.S. households, according to this article, which appeared recently in the MetLife Mature Market Institute newsletter.

Fee Disclosure: Opportunity or Threat for Plan Advisors?

DoL rules 403(b)(2) and 404(a)(5) are motivating plan sponsors to reevaluate their advisory relationships and, in many cases, send out requests for proposals. Plan advisors tend to either salivate or cringe at the implications.
News

Allianz Life re-enhances living benefit rider

The subaccounts offered to those who choose the rider include four Allianz Fund of Funds, five intermediate bond funds, a PIMCO high-yield portfolio, an Allianz cash equivalent fund, and seven “speciality” funds.

Nationwide repositions annuities for sale to RIAs

“The growing success of the fee-based market and increased use of alternative investments has us broadening the distribution of our specialty product offerings,” said John Carter, president of distribution and sales for Nationwide Financial, in a release.

Wells Fargo reports wagon-load of income

The firm reported $1.2 trillion in retail brokerage assets, $199 billion in wealth management client assets, accounts, $295 billion in IRA assets, and $260 billion in institutional retirement plan assets.

It’s the health care, stupid

Twenty-nine percent of Republicans ages 55 to 65 said they would probably become more aggressive if Romney wins, while 30% of similar Democrats would become more conservative.