Overall sales of annuities continue to fall following the adoption of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, but two types of annuities, structured variable annuities and fixed indexed annuities, are gaining wider acceptance from consumers, said Frank O'Connor, the Insured Retirement Institute's vice president of research and outreach. Driven by baby boomers, the demand for retirement products "hasn't changed," O'Connor said, but he notes, "It will be interesting to watch that journey and watch sales evolve as we see things shift around in product types."
The days when private placement variable annuities, which can be customized to meet the needs of individual investors, were available only to the super-rich are over, according to financial planner Frank Seneco. Today, a private placement variable annuity can be opened with as little as $500,000, he says.
The IRS has issued a warning to financial professionals about cybercriminals trying to gain access to their clients' annuity and life insurance accounts. In one scam, a criminal tried to impersonate a company that supplies computer cloud services in an attempt to obtain a professional's username and password.
In a survey conducted by Nationwide, 28% of retirees said their lives are worse now than when they were working, with the majority of them naming financial concerns as the primary cause of dissatisfaction. Columnist Katie Brockman suggests ways to ease the financial burden.
Allison Bell compiles the most popular online videos on the subject of annuities posted in the past 12 months, noting lessons for those who want to create their own videos. The most widely viewed video, produced by New York Life and starring singer Lou Bega talking about annuities, has 2.2 million views.
The Labor Department has asked the US District Court in Minneapolis to stay a legal challenge by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to the department's fiduciary rule while the agency revises the rule. The department said its administrative actions "are likely to address the challenged provision before it becomes applicable."
President Donald Trump has named Preston Rutledge, an aide to the Senate Finance Committee, to head the Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration. In the new position, Rutledge would oversee revisions to the department's fiduciary rule.
The House Financial Services Committee passed, 34-26, a bill sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., repealing the Labor Department's fiduciary rule. The bill would replace the rule with a best-interest standard for broker-dealers.
Establishing the value of client assets such as annuities, life estates and remainders often poses a challenge, according to this book excerpt, which outlines factors for financial professionals to consider when making such valuations.
David McKnight, author of "The Power of Zero: How to Get to the 0% Tax Bracket and Transform Your Retirement," explains how the tax cuts proposed by President Donald Trump would benefit his zero-tax retirement strategy. He proposes a strategy involving annuities, Roth IRAs and Roth conversions to generate tax-free guaranteed income.
In this collaborative report, the Insured Retirement Institute and Jackson gauge how Americans evaluate their financial preparedness for retirement, their familiarity with and viewpoints toward financial products, and the financial strategies they're most likely to employ as they prepare for and enter retirement.
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.