Analysis: Geopolitical events could roil markets | Annuity providers say business is going well despite challenges | Tax reform could take a bite out of retirement savings
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August 16, 2017
Insured Retirement Institute SmartBrief
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Analysis: Geopolitical events could roil markets
Brexit, gridlock in Washington, D.C., and sanctions against Russia are geopolitical issues that could affect markets in the second half of 2017. Upheaval in Venezuela could disrupt global oil supply.
Bloomberg Professional Services (8/11) 
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Annuity providers say business is going well despite challenges
Low interest rates and uncertainty about rules governing sales haven't blunted the enthusiasm of executives at companies that issue annuities. In recent earnings calls with analysts, they indicated they are generally satisfied with the performance of their annuity units.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (8/14) 
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Tax reform could take a bite out of retirement savings
Older workers nearing retirement could lose hundreds of dollars a year in contributions if a tax reform plan to convert some or all tax-deferred 401(k) contributions to Roth 401(k) contributions is adopted. That's a possibility with tax plans now under consideration in Congress, and Steve Vernon weighs the ramifications.
CBS MoneyWatch (8/10) 
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How to Nurture Superstar Employees
Focus on these three traits to help your top performers flourish—and stick around. Learn more through insights from Kellogg School of Management Professor Carter Cast.
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Around the Industry
Annuity provider Brighthouse could be a winner for patient investors
The sell-off in annuity and life insurance provider Brighthouse's shares since it was spun off by MetLife could provide an opportunity for patient investors, writes Aaron Back. He argues that Brighthouse's adjusted book value is more attractive than its peers'.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/14) 
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IRS warns financial pros about tax-related phishing
The IRS has warned financial professionals to be alert to cybercriminals trying to take over their computer networks by impersonating tax-software providers. Scammers use emails labeled "Software Support Update" to steal financial firms' login credentials, the IRS said.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (8/9) 
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Annuity providers may be assessed for failure of long-term care insurers
A National Association of Insurance Commissioners working group is reviewing a proposal to add annuity and life insurance companies to the entities assessed when a long-term care insurer fails. If the association backs the idea, it could be written into NAIC's Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Model Act.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (8/9) 
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Big stock gains still leave pension funds short
If pre-retirees with pensions are hoping the big run-up in the stock market will secure their payouts in retirement, they should think again. The gains will help, but so far they're falling well short of what would be needed to guarantee that all state and local retirees receive the benefits they were promised.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/8) 
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Washington Update
Commentary: Fed faces uphill battle
The Federal Reserve is likely to face challenges as it considers replacing Chair Janet Yellen in 2018, writes former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. He contends history indicates Yellen's successor will probably face a recession, along with geopolitical difficulty, which will require creative and unorthodox responses.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/13) 
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Research & Analysis
Survey: Annuity options still rare among 401(k) plans
Only 17% of employers surveyed by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies offered annuity payout options to participants in their 401(k) plans. Among companies with five to 99 employees, the figure fell to 16%.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (8/10) 
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How personality figures into retirement
Your personality type and how it fits into your retirement planning will have a lot to do with how satisfying these years turn out to be. Dave Hughes reviews several types -- including perpetual workers and doting grandparents -- and discusses how they can shape their retirements.
U.S. News & World Report (8/10) 
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IRI Updates
New issue of IRI Insight available
The Summer 2017 edition of IRI Insight examines the best states for retirement, advisor and consumer knowledge and attitudes toward retirement planning and annuities, behavioral aspects of retirement preparation, and methods for maximizing income and retiring sooner.
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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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