IRI's Weatherford praises newly introduced retirement bill | Senate Banking Committee OKs Powell as Fed chair | Commentary: Senate's FIFO rule punishes small investors
December 6, 2017
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IRI's Weatherford praises newly introduced retirement bill
Cathy Weatherford, president and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute, applauded legislation introduced by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., aimed at making defined-contribution retirement plans available for more workers. The bill "offers a common-sense private-sector solution for Americans to save more for their retirement by expanding access for workers who choose to participate in a workplace plan, while preserving employer choice, competition and protections for small businesses," she said in a statement.
Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (12/1),  PlanSponsor online (12/1),  PlanAdviser online (12/1) 
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Senate Banking Committee OKs Powell as Fed chair
With a 22-1 vote, the Senate Banking Committee recommended that Jerome Powell succeed Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., cast the only dissenting vote as the committee cleared the path for Powell's approval by the full Senate.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/5),  Politico (12/5),  CNBC (12/5) 
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Commentary: Senate's FIFO rule punishes small investors
White House veteran Lloyd Green contends that the first-in-first-out clause in the Senate's tax bill places unreasonable administrative burdens and an unfair cost on small investors when they sell off stocks. Green argues that requiring them to base their price on the cost of the stock when they first bought it will be hard to calculate if they hold more than one position in the same investment and will effectively amount to a tax hike.
Fox News (12/4),  The Motley Fool (12/2),  RealClearPolitics (12/2) 
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More variable annuities add international investing options
More variable annuity providers are adding subaccounts that give clients exposure to international investments. Portfolio manager Charles Sizemore notes that US equities have outperformed international equities over the past 10 years, but says, "There will come another time, and probably soon, when international stocks will outperform for a sustained period of time, and this gives the variable annuity participants access."
Financial Advisor online (12/1) 
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Around the Industry
Group to pay $2.05B for Hartford life insurance, annuity unit
The Hartford Financial Services Group has agreed to sell life insurance and annuity business Talcott Resolution to a group of private investors that includes Cornell Capital and Atlas Merchant Capital for $2.05 billion. The buyers will run Talcott as an independent company, Hartford said.
Reuters (12/4) 
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Molson Coors shifts $900M in pension liabilities to group annuity
Molson Coors Brewing Co. shifted $900 million of pension liabilities from its MillerCoors LLC Pension Plan to a group annuity purchased from Athene Annuity and Life Co. On May 1, 2018, Athene will start making payments to about 6,000 retirees and beneficiaries of the plan.
Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (12/4) 
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Washington Update
Clayton: SEC will have more to say on use of bitcoin
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton says the agency will be commenting further on permissible practices related to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, particularly on the subject of initial coin offerings, though he did not announce that formal guidance will be forthcoming. His statement comes as the SEC filed its first charge against an allegedly fraudulent ICO.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/4) 
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Commentary: FINRA under fire again for conflicts of interest
A report from the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association repeats the criticism that several board members at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have industry ties that cast doubt on their ability to act impartially in investors' best interests. The report urges FINRA to correct the imbalance by inviting more participation from investment advocates.
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (12/2) 
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Tax bill's FIFO provision ā€ˇharmful to retail investors, expert says
The Senate tax bill's first-in-first-out provision requiring investors to sell the first stock in an individual name they purchased creates an "undue burden on the retail investor," TD Ameritrade's JJ Kinahan told a CNBC panel. The measure is likely to affect all retail investors, particularly retirees, he says.
CNBC (11/29),  The Washington Times (11/28) 
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Research & Analysis
Morningstar: Workers without retirement plans need auto-IRA option
A report from Morningstar encourages the development of a federal savings mandate for people who lack retirement-plan access via their employers. The paper calls for automatic enrollment in individual retirement accounts, with workers able to opt out, and it suggests Congress should change laws to allow "open" multiple-employer retirement plans.
BenefitsPro (11/30) 
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IRI Updates
Report: Millennials and Retirement
The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) recently published the findings from its second biennial report on millennials and their thoughts about, and preparations for, retirement. With a quarter century until the first of them turn 65, millennials very much view themselves as "on their own" with regard to retirement income, and are saving for what they see as the biggest benefit of being retired: freedom. More than half of millennials are making contributions to 401(k) accounts, and about 4 in 10 are contributing to personal savings -- saving at higher rates than baby boomers and Gen Xers. Download the full report here.
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IRI's 2017 Fact Book is here!
Marking its 16th year in publication, the IRI Fact Book continues to be a reliable, trusted source for information regarding the insured retirement industry. Building on the redesign and renaming that commenced with the 10th edition in 2011, we strive to improve content each year, while keeping the focus on practical information that can help financial professionals better understand and serve their clients, including through the exploration and analysis of retirement topics beyond annuities. Readers will find practice management tips and information, the latest consumer and advisor research regarding retirement planning, current retirement market statistics, and much more. As IRI continues to grow to serve the diverse needs of the people and organizations that we are proud to represent, this publication will also evolve as a resource for the entire insured retirement industry and the consumers that invest in our strategies.
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