Plan Experts Like Annuities

In a workshop at this week's ASPPA annual meeting in Washington, D.C., few third-party administrators believed that the average couple will be able to afford the retirement they dream of. Many people, they said (including themselves), will need annuities.

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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Singapore Mandates Annuities

The government of this tiny Asian nation has confronted its collective longevity risk by requiring the purchase of annuities with defined contribution assets. Wharton pension expert Olivia Mitchell and colleagues have written a new paper about it.

AXA Equitable Introduces Structured VA Product

AXA Equitable has put structured notes inside a variable annuity, giving investors tax-deferred exposure to small-cap, gold and oil indices for specific periods while capping their upside and buffering their downside.
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Quote of the Week

“We’re not trying to force all employees into annuities. We’re all about creating more opportunities for people”-- J. Mark Iwry, senior advisor in the Treasury Department, speaking at the ASPPA annual meeting in Washington this week.

Which Firms Connect Best with Advisors?

“Prudential has strengthened its grip on advisors in the variable annuity space over the past year," says Cogent Research in a study of advisor loyalty to variable annuity issuers, mutual fund companies and ETF providers.

U.K. To Raise Retirement Age, Implement National DC Plan

In a move that resembles the Obama administration's "auto-IRA" program for workers in companies that don't offer retirement plans, the British are hoping to jump-start middle-class savings with their National Employment Savings Trust.

U.S. Retirement System Rates a ‘Low C’: Mercer

Analysts at Mercer say the U.S. could improve its private pension system by, among other things, requiring that participants convert at least part of their retirement savings to an income stream.

Final Rule on 401(k) Fee Disclosure Issued

The 72 million participants in defined contribution plans in the U.S. are about to get more fee and expense disclosures than they'll know what to do with.

The Bucket

Late-breaking items from Allianz Life of North America, MetLife, Nationwide Financial, Prudential and Genworth Financial.