Imperfect Harmony

Hundreds of riled-up advisors and brokers, including Harold Evensky, have responded to the SEC's RFI on "harmonizing" their standards of conduct. Here's some of what they wrote.

Trends RIJ Will Track in 2021

When will annuities be loved? After all the creative destruction of the past 10 years, what’s next for the annuity industry? Which trends will persist? Which products will flourish? We discuss the trends that Retirement Income Journal expects to cover in 2021 and beyond.

The Catch-22 of In-Plan Annuities

Fixed deferred annuities may be the most promising candidates for inclusion in 401(k) plans. But in order to adapt these contracts to the defined contribution space, they must lose some of the 'illiquidity' that helps make annuities valuable. Some innovative solutions are now on the market.

Bermuda Triangle Part IV: The Reinsurance Angle

Publicly-held life insurers are using reinsurance to improve their balance sheets. But at what cost? 'I believe that many of these blocks of business are only being funded in part with real assets,' a forensic accountant told RIJ.
Featured

Why We Need The Fiduciary Standard

It might rid the financial services marketplace of situations where the customer enters into transactions without knowing that there's an adversarial relationship, this well-known columnist believes.

My Tailor, My Fiduciary

The SEC could help investors distinguish between bespoke advice and off-the-rack advice that’s merely “suitable.”
News

Quote of the Week

“If we want to study whether a ‘fiduciary duty’ is better for consumers, then we should also study if grass is green, if water is wet, and if deserts are dry.” Luke Dean, professor of finance, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ.

Britain’s Annuity Muddle

Surprisingly few retirees use the ‘open market option,’ which allows them to transfer their money at retirement from the asset management company where they accumulated their savings to another provider with a higher annuity rate.

Response to Last Week’s FIA Article

FIA issuers face the "discipline of the market" when resetting their crediting formulas each year, writes David Babbel of the Wharton School.

Behavioral Economics and Retirement Investing

PIMCO and its Allianz affiliates recently sponsored a new study, “Behavioral Finance and the Post-Retirement Crisis.” PIMCO Retirement Product Manager Tom Streiff explains how the study’s findings can foster the development of successful retirement income products.

Found in Translation

Annuity issuers are reaching out to non-English-speaking investors through websites written in Spanish and Asian languages, according to Corporate Insight.