The Elephant in the Room

It's difficult if not impossible for anyone to describe the contours and textures of the annuity/retirement income business, or even any particular section of it. But fortunately there are people who try.

Research Roundup

We summarize four recent papers: 'Portfolios for Long-Term Investors,' 'What is the Value of Annuities?,' 'Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature,' and 'Financial and Total Wealth Inequality with Low Interest Rates.'

An Annuity’s ‘Moneyness’? There’s an App for That

How will variable annuity contract owners use their income benefits? That question is vital to annuity issuers and to fiduciary advisers with clients who own VAs. This Texas Dep't of Insurance actuary knows a product that can help them find out.

A Chip Off the Old Rock?

Bloomberg reported this week that Prudential is considering selling its retirement plan recordkeeping business. Prudential didn't confirm the report, but several industry insiders did. Low interest rates, high costs of IT makeovers, and sticky stable value fund guarantees are driving the move, RIJ was told.
Featured

Seven Nominees for Our Product Innovation Award

Products from Great-West, ING-US, Midland National, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, Sun Life of Canada and Transamerica/AEGON are in contention for the first annual "Innovation in Retirement Income Products" award from RIJ and the RIIA.

Sizing Up the DIA’s Sales Potential

With y-o-y sales growth of 150%, deferred income annuities have attracted a lot of attention. But so far the DIA phenomenon has been concentrated among mutual insurers and in the captive agent channel.
News

“I’m financially literate, but you’re not”

Over half of Americans gave themselves an A or B grade on their saving and investing knowledge, while giving the average American a grade of D, according to a survey sponsored by Genworth Financial.

‘Managed solutions’ pass $3tr in assets: MMI

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the leader in managed solution programs with $627 billion in AUM at the end of 2Q 2013 and a 21% market share. The other top five firms are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, UBS Financial and Charles Schwab.

Lufthansa permanently grounds its DB plan

CEO Peter Gerber said the airline's pension costs for domestic employees alone rose from €210m to €250m since 2011. One of the main cost drivers was the contract's guaranteed minimum interest rate of 6-7% for employees.