IRI: Annuity-selection rules for employers need greater clarity | IRI, other groups press for 6-month fiduciary rule delay | US consumers continue to be more optimistic
March 22, 2017
Insured Retirement Institute SmartBrief
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IRI: Annuity-selection rules for employers need greater clarity
The Labor Department or federal lawmakers should remove the regulatory barriers and resolve the fiduciary uncertainty that hinder workplace retirement-plan sponsors from offering annuities and other lifetime income products, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. "Developing holistic retirement plans, designed to generate lifetime income, will have an important part in helping [baby boomers] meet their needs and goals," said IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford.
Financial Advisor online (3/20) 
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IRI, other groups press for 6-month fiduciary rule delay
The Insured Retirement Institute, other trade groups and executives of major financial firms have said in comments to the Labor Department that implementation of the new fiduciary rule should be postponed for six months, rather than the 60 days proposed by the department. The rule has drawn particularly strong opposition from insurers and brokerages that sell annuities.
AdvisorHub (3/15) 
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US consumers continue to be more optimistic
US consumer sentiment this month is at its highest level in the past 16 years, according to data from the University of Michigan. The preliminary reading from the university's sentiment index reached 97.6, up from February's 96.3.
Bloomberg (3/17),  U.S. News & World Report (3/17) 
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How the Trump presidency will affect 4 crucial retirement areas
Beyond the political preferences of US savers and retirees, the election of President Trump holds implications for retirement strategies. Grant A. Meyer looks at the possible effects in four key areas: taxes, health care, Social Security and investments.
MarketWatch (3/17) 
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Around the Industry
Annuity issuers likely to benefit from interest rate hikes
Rising interest rates are expected to boost sales of annuities and drive up the share price of the insurance companies that issue them, according to Zacks Investment Research. American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., Fidelity & Guaranty Life and ING Groep are among the annuity companies likely to benefit, Zacks said.
Zacks (3/15) 
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Lower stock returns may mean people need to save more, JPMorgan says
JPMorgan Asset Management is predicting a portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds will have a 5.5% compound nominal return this year, down from 6.25% last year, and it expects returns to lag over the next decade. That means people would need to save a great deal more toward retirement, the company said. (U.S.) (3/16) 
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More retirees may need Social Security, warns CRR
The Center for Retirement Research has warned that a significant number of future retirees are likely to be dependent on Social Security, which could pose problems at the government level. The warning was prompted by findings that retirement income generated from 401(k) plans and other voluntary options was mostly flat between 1992 and 2010.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (3/16) 
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Washington Update
Carney: Asset managers' funds to get a close look
Carney: Asset managers' funds to get a close look
Carney (Dylan Martinez/AFP/Getty Images)
Funds sponsored by asset managers are going to come under close scrutiny from the Financial Stability Board, said Chairman Mark Carney. The FSB is looking at what funds can do to manage the risk of being hit by runs in times of market stress.
Bloomberg (3/17),  MLex (subscription required) (3/17) 
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DOL fiduciary duties add to pressure on advisors
Sponsors of retirement plans, including 401(k) accounts, have expressed concern that the increased regulations imposed by the Labor Department's fiduciary rule may cause them to face lawsuits from participants or have their processes rejected by the Labor Department or the IRS. As a result, they are increasingly looking for advisors to provide expert help with their fiduciary duties, a Fidelity Investments survey finds.
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (3/19) 
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Featured Content
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Research & Analysis
An in-depth look at Social Security and retirement plans
Marc Kiner of National Social Security Advisors has written a five-part series that takes advisors through several Social Security aspects that affect retirement issues. In the second installment, he discusses retirement income eligibility, COLA adjustments, reductions for taking benefits early, Delayed Retirement Credits and the Annual Earnings Test.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (3/17) 
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Report: Defined-contribution plans to see changes in 2017
The defined-contribution industry will see changes in 2017, spurred in large part by the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, even though the rule may not go into effect, according to a Cerulli Associates report. Changes are likely to include the development of qualified default investment alternatives and more flexibility in retirement income choices. (3/14) 
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