Who Is ‘Too Big to Fail’?

Concerned that your insurance company might be designated a SIFI (Systemically Important Financial Institution)? Then read Deloitte's primer on SIFIs. Here's a synopsis and a link.

Envestnet’s Big Annuities Play

Envestnet, with the help of six major annuity issuers, has built a platform where advisors from broker-dealers, banks and RIAs can blend insurance products and investments in the same financial plan. It's a service life insurers can't live without. But will RIAs embrace annuities?

FIAs for Retirement Income (Why Not?)

In this last article in our series on fixed indexed annuities, we consider the potential role of FIAs in providing retirees with guaranteed lifetime income. We find FIAs to be valuable, but underused for that purpose.

The Derivatives that Power Index Annuities

FIA owners can pick from an array of choices as cryptic as those on a roulette table. But if they don't understand options, how can they evaluate these safe but esoteric insurance products?
Featured

Why the U.S. had a crisis but Canada didn’t

Two Rutgers professors explain how fragmentation of the banking system in the U.S. has led to a long series of panics here, of which the Great Recession was only the latest. Canada's financial history has been quieter.

Use of peer pressure to encourage savings can backfire

Plan sponsors who urge union members to participate or to contribute more by pointing out other employees' saving behavior may produce unintended consequences, Harvard's David Laibson (in photo) and other researchers found.
News

Health insurance ate your raise

Between 2000 and 2009, the share of compensation gains provided in the form of more expensive benefits ranged from 35.2% to 60.8% for U.S. workers, depending on their level of income, according to Towers Watson.

Actuaries suggest automatic adjustments for Social Security

"Automatic adjustments to benefits, taxes, or the normal retirement age could solve Social Security’s long-range financing problem permanently and automatically—and restore public confidence in the system," says the American Academy of Actuaries.

Pensions feel the risks of “de-risking”

In July, the combined funding deficits of the 100 largest U.S. DB plans rose by $68 billion, to $254 billion, said Reuters, citing the Milliman Pension Fund Index.

Leakage from retirement plans plagues South Africa

To promote retirement savings and drive down the cost of retail annuities, South Africa's National Treasury is considering the creation of a public, low-cost "Retail Bond-backed Retirement Annuity."