Out of Commission

Wondering what life under a strict fiduciary standard might be like? Just ask investors in the U.K. (also known as 'the nanny state') where sales commissions were banned from financial services last January.

Marshmallows and Social Security

Should US retirees delay claiming Social Security until age 70, even if they have to spend savings until then? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College proposes that strategy as a default option in retirement plans.

How to Choose an Annuity Issuer

Shopping for an annuity, like shopping for a car, involves questions about the manufacturer of the product. Do their products perform as expected? Will service quality be high? Are they likely to stay in business? We show you where to look for answers.

Time to Put Benjamins Back in the Sock Drawer?

At the LIMRA annual conference in Boston earlier this week, MIT economist James Poterba described how low interest rates make saving for retirement more of a challenge.
Featured

America’s Bond Market Blues

"For China, the benefits of holding large quantities of US dollars no longer outweigh the risks, so it must begin to reduce the share of US securities in its foreign-exchange reserves," writes a researcher at the China Macroeconomic Research Platform.

Allianz Life Launches an “Indexed Variable Annuity’

The product, Index Advantage, includes variable annuity subaccounts, plus a low-risk index crediting method that returns 4% (annually adjusted) whenever the index is flat or positive, plus a structured multi-index option that offers double-digit caps if the client accepts losses beyond a 10% downside buffer.
News

Britons debate best way to consolidate DC accounts

Some in the U.K. suggest the creation of a nationwide non-profit “pension-pot clearinghouse.” It would keep track of all the plans a person has contributed to and how much has been accumulated, as well as provide an estimate of retirement income.

Big outflows from bond funds persist

While the monthly outflow has been huge, it is still a recent phenomenon. The year-to-date net outflow of $28.4 billion reverses only a tiny fraction of the inflows from 2009 through 2012, which totaled $1.20 trillion.

Advisor headcount to shrink through 2017

Since peaking in 2005, the industry has shrunk by a net 32,000 advisors. Some simply aren’t needed. Competition and “underwhelming” client demand have caused firms to lower the supply of advisors, according to Cerulli.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Cannex and The QWeMA Group, Nationwide Financial, The SPARK Institute and ING U.S.