January 15, 2021
IRI Retirement Income SmartBrief
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With Democrats in control of the Senate, new bipartisan legislation to encourage retirement savings will likely pass within two years, said Paul Richman, chief government and political affairs officer at the Insured Retirement Institute. With the slender margin held by the Democrats, the bipartisan bill isn't likely to change much from its present form, Richman said.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/12) 
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A Road Map to the Coming US Economic Cycle
With the rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccines beginning this month, the end of the virus - and the trajectory of the US economy - is becoming more clear. AB's senior economist breaks down the coming economic path into three stages.
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Retirement Income Roundup
Michigan, Arkansas, Maine and Nebraska are the latest states to seek best-interest annuity sales standards based on the model law developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Delaware, Alabama and Rhode Island also previously introduced annuity sales rules.
Full Story: InsuranceNewsNet Magazine online (1/11) 
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Unisys said it will transfer $280 million of its US pension plan liabilities to a group annuity to be purchased from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance. The insurer will assume responsibility for paying monthly benefits to about 11,600 retirees and beneficiaries.
Full Story: Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (1/11) 
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The surrender rate for annuity holders without guaranteed living withdrawal benefits is above 10%, according to a study by Ruark Consulting. For those with GLWBs who purchased the contract through an agent or broker, the surrender rate was less than 4%.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (1/11) 
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Insights for wealth management leaders
Insights for wealth management leaders based on worldwide research pre- and post-pandemic. Learn more
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Washington Update
The Insured Retirement Institute is asking the Maine Bureau of Insurance to more closely align its proposed annuity sales rule with the model law adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Strong, consistent regulation is important to protect consumers and to preserve consumers' choice of financial advice and products that meet their financial and retirement planning needs," IRI wrote in a comment letter.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (1/12) 
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Improving retirement security will be a key objective this legislative session for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. Lawmakers must do "more to help American families, especially minority families, have a secure and dignified retirement," Neal said.
Full Story: Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (1/12) 
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President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name former financial regulator Gary Gensler to serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, sources said. From 2009 to 2014, Gensler chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Full Story: Reuters (1/12),  The Wall Street Journal (1/12) 
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Your Practice
Because of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, financial advisors may find themselves helping clients with their financial wellness rather than providing investment advice. Martin Abo, managing member of Abo and Co., offers tips to conserve cash and tap retirement accounts if necessary.
Full Story: InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (1/8) 
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Retirees and their financial advisors should keep their eyes on a few issues in 2021, says Vanguard's Maria Bruno. Among them are the return of required minimum distributions, taxes and withdrawal strategies.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (1/12) 
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IRI Updates
The Insured Retirement Institute celebrates exemplary leadership within the insured retirement industry. In the latest edition of IRI's "The Long View," TIAA President and CEO Roger Ferguson Jr. talks about the leadership principles he brings to crisis situations and offers advice to others leading during this year of uncertainty. See the issue here.
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