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Prudential pivots toward indexed annuities

January 29, 2018

Prudential Financial Inc. Monday announced the launch of its first indexed annuity, the latest variable-annuity carrier to pivot toward the increasingly popular annuity. The variable annuity market has had a rough go in recent years, having...

New York lobbies for nationwide 'best-interest' standard for life insurance sales

January 26, 2018

New York State is lobbying for a higher standard of care for life insurance sales across the country, arguing that consumers need stronger protections from conflicted advice and building off a national dialogue set off by the Department of Labor...

How new leadership at DOL could address retirement rules

January 25, 2018

By all accounts, the administration of Donald J. Trump is slashing regulations across government. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, and a less ambitious deregulatory regime seems likely under new leadership at the Department of...

New tool helps advisers estimate health care costs

January 23, 2018

The cost of health care in retirement consistently ranks as a leading concern among clients, yet it is a topic on which few financial advisers can offer specific guidance. That is about to change. A new tool from HealthyCapital unveiled this...

State fiduciary rules may be reckoning for life insurance industry

January 19, 2018

The life insurance industry escaped the jaws of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule only to come face to face with another beast: the states. New York's recent proposal to impose a best-interest standard on life-insurance sales — a higher...

Beware: Medicare surcharges can change throughout year based on latest tax return

January 17, 2018

It's a new year and time for another dispatch from the retirement front, an occasional series of columns where I chronicle life with my retired husband and describe our personal retirement decisions. I hope it provides some insights to advisers...

Technology is streamlining the process of issuing life insurance policies

January 10, 2018

Life insurance is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. The industry is slowly transforming from one entrenched in the old-age archaism of paper and manual processes to one embracing digital technology and artificial intelligence, which benefits...

Morgan Stanley and adviser win lawsuit over annuity distribution

January 8, 2018

Morgan Stanley has prevailed in a lawsuit alleging the company and one of its advisers acted negligently when it told clients to take a particular type of annuity distribution, which cost the clients nearly $300,000 in tax liabilities. While...

Growth of HSAs opens new market for financial advisers

January 8, 2018

The increasing popularity of health savings accounts is creating a new avenue for financial advisers to add value, while also adding assets under management. Health savings accounts hold nearly $45 billion​ nationwide, having grown from less...

January surprise of vanishing Social Security COLA

January 5, 2018

Now that it's January, financial advisers should prepare themselves for an onslaught of questions from clients asking why their monthly Social Security check stayed the same or even declined this month. After all, weren't Social Security benefits...

Trump's social-media saber rattling spawns fresh look at 'apocalypse insurance'

January 5, 2018

As uneasy scenarios go, there is nothing quite like watching a U.S. president engage in a social media squabble with the leader of North Korea over which country has the readiest access to launch nuclear bombs. But does such an early January...

Tax bill may change your clients' health-care costs

December 29, 2017

The newly signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect how much your clients pay out of pocket on health care, in several ways. The effects will be both short term and medium term: • The "Individual Mandate" will be eliminated by Jan. 1, 2019....

New York State proposes 'best interest' standard for life insurance and annuities

December 27, 2017

New York State's top financial watchdog proposed regulations that would require sellers of life insurance and annuities to act in the best interest of clients, raising standards even as the U.S. government delays its fiduciary rule. Products...

Longevity is the best reason to invest in LTC

December 21, 2017

A majority of the population is going to need long-term care someday. It's seldom easy, however, to convince clients that they should protect themselves with LTC insurance just when they're enjoying a healthy middle age, with more immediate...

Advisers fear private equity's reach into VAs

December 20, 2017

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information about the sale of Voya Financial's annuity business. Financial advisers have expressed alarm over recent reports of insurers looking to offload large blocks of variable annuities to...

New York, Massachusetts eye MetLife's unpaid pensions

December 19, 2017

The New York Department of Financial Services, which regulates insurers and banks in the state, and Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, that state's top securities regulator, are investigating MetLife Inc. over its failure...

Complexity of new indexed annuities causing concern

December 14, 2017

The way indexed annuities have evolved has led to concern from some corners of the insurance market, with some critics saying insurers have developed increasingly complex products in hopes of standing out in a competitive market. Indexed annuities...

Critics say regulation hasn't curbed overly rosy projections for indexed universal life insurance

December 13, 2017

A regulation governing indexed universal life insurance policies has had a fairly limited effect, leading some observers to question whether the regulation went far enough and if more stringent rules are necessary. The rule, Actuarial Guideline...

Finra report hints at trouble with L-share variable annuities

December 8, 2017

Variable annuities sold in an L share continue to turn up as products plaguing broker-dealers and their compliance departments. Finra, in a recent report detailing its examination findings, called out "multi-share class and complex products"...

Next Financial whacked (once again) by Finra

December 7, 2017

Next Financial Group Inc. is back in hot water with regulators and agreed on Tuesday to pay a $750,000 fine to Finra as part of settlement for a variety of violations, including the failure to catch a broker's excessive trading and poor supervision...

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