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November 20, 2012
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News covering the insurance and financial advising industry

  Top Story 
  • Poll: 25% of Americans include life insurance in retirement planning
    A quarter of Americans purchase life insurance as part of their retirement planning, according to a Northwestern Mutual survey. The same amount of respondents said the greatest peace of mind results from having adequate resources for retirement. Among those 55 and older, 31% said retirement purposes were their main driver for purchasing life insurance, compared with 25% of the 45-to-54 age group and 19% of those younger than 45. BenefitsPro.com (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • Q3 sales of variable annuities dropped by 8% from 2011, data show
    Third-quarter sales of variable annuities declined by 8% to $36.6 billion from the same period a year earlier as carriers moved to limit their exposure in response to continued low interest rates, LIMRA reports. The decline was the biggest in 12 quarters. "The sustained uncertain economic environment has many companies implementing conservative risk management strategies," LIMRA's Joe Montminy said in a statement. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Americans are pessimistic on retirement, still aren't planning
    Research indicates that Americans are expecting less out of retirement and are pushing back the time when they expect to leave the workforce, but that even with lowered expectations, few are planning far enough ahead. More than one-third of Americans surveyed by BlackRock said they aren't confident they'll have the income they need once they retire. About half said they know how much they need to save. AdvisorOne (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tips for helping nervous clients make proper withdrawals
    Financial adviser Ron Lecours says he seeks to ease retirees' anxiety by starting with a review of their income and withdrawals. Clients who are withdrawing too much sometimes can "get by on a little bit less" and consider part-time work, Lecours says. He also advises minimizing or eliminating IRA withholding by making tax payments from another source. "The whole concept of the traditional retirement where you leave employment at age 62 and you sail off into the sunset and never look back is essentially gone now," he says. Financial Advisor online (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Investment Trends 
  • Auto-enrolled 401(k)s aren't without problems
    While automatically enrolling workers in 401(k) plans might seem like a good idea, many workers don't increase their contribution levels past the minimum and don't qualify for a company match, Karen Blumenthal writes. Even auto-escalation features can produce savings levels that fall short of a match or of recommended savings rates, Blumenthal writes. Experts say employees should aim to save at least 10% of their pay and check to be sure their automatic investments aren't too costly. The Wall Street Journal (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Okla. governor decides against state-run health insurance exchange
    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says her state won't establish a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. "It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American healthcare and the fiscal stability of the nation," Fallin said in a statement. The Hill/Healthwatch blog (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Labor Department is expected to ramp up enforcement
    President Barack Obama's re-election means Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis Borzi will remain in charge of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and she is expected to enforce new disclosure rules for plan sponsors and plan participants. Industry experts also expect the Labor Department to continue scrutiny of improper or undisclosed pay by plan consultants and investment advisers. InvestmentNews (free registration) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Legislators say fiscal deal is just a matter of time
    Lawmakers say they're optimistic that their negotiations will yield a workable solution to the "fiscal cliff," but neither side has yet shown willingness to give ground on tax and entitlement reform. Republicans in particular have little incentive to strike a quick compromise deal, David Frum writes. "The president will never again be stronger than he is this month. The later into his presidency this deal is done, the better deal Republicans will get," he writes. The Daily Beast/Newsweek (11/18), CNN/Political Ticker blog (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Measure would allow health insurance exemption for religious beliefs
    A person could get an exemption from the Affordable Care Act if they were to file an affidavit with the Internal Revenue Service under a proposed bipartisan bill in the House. Under the measure, a person could claim that he or she doesn't have insurance for religious reasons, but would lose that exemption and face a penalty if they later took advantage of the health care law. The Hill/Floor Action Blog (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Business 
  • Recommended practices for indexed universal life products
    Sales of indexed universal life products represent the life insurance industry's fastest-growing segment, despite being a complicated product. Agents and brokers should take care to ensure clients have realistic expectations of this flexible premium product, according to this article. Richard Weber, president of The Ethical Edge, advises firms to have a standard process for client intake, a policy placement process and annual policy reviews, and he advocates aggressive training for brokers and agents. Weber also mentions the importance of planning conservatively. National Underwriter Life & Health (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NAIFA News 
  • Free NAIFA webinar: Post-Election and the Lame Duck Congress -- new session added
    The NAIFA Government Relations team is providing a webinar from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 27 on what to expect in the lame duck session, the makeup of the 113th Congress and what it means for insurance agents and financial advisers. Due to high demand, the Nov. 27 webinar is now full. A second webinar has been scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon Eastern time on Nov. 29. To sign up for this important webinar, which is free to all NAIFA members, please click on the NAIFA Member Benefits link at www.naifa.org/benefits/postelection/. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."
--Albert Camus,
French author, journalist and philosopher


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