Kicking Off 2011 With Predictions And Producer Training
Happy New Year! 2010 was a great year for The Standard, but also one where we all had to fight for sales in this low interest environment. Without an end in sight to low interest rates, 2011 could be another challenging year, but I feel confident we're ready. I encourage you to read Kim O'Brien's article, reprinted in this issue, titled "2011 Annuity Market Predictions."
Updated suitability requirements and required product-specific producer training are both in high gear now. In fact, Iowa has already implemented the NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. Knowing that more states are adopting this model regulation or will be soon, The Standard is selecting a vendor to help make sure our brokers are able to easily access and complete the required product training and continue to write business with us.
As always, we look forward to working with you on new annuity sales, and helping you service your existing annuity clients. Our focus on consumer-friendly products, competitive crediting rates and customer service will continue to guide us. Thank you for your business in 2010 and we look forward to another successful year in 2011!
Director, Sales & Marketing
Greetings From Julie Grandstaff:
Producer Survey Planned
In December I took part in the first of two full-day working sessions with our core management team. This team represents all disciplines associated with individual annuities at The Standard. It was important for us, as a group, to redesign and refresh our strategic focus. One area of focus for 2011, specific to you, is to improve the service we provide producers.
We'll be developing an electronic survey in the first quarter of this year seeking your input. I encourage you to take a few minutes to respond to the survey.
The Standard, and individual annuities, is poised and ready as we enter into the second decade of the 21st century. StanCorp Financial Group and its subsidiaries have a solid track record. We look forward to building on that foundation.
Best wishes for the New Year,
Vice President, Individual Annuities
2011 Annuity Market Predictions
By Kim O'Brien, Executive Director, The National Association for Fixed Annuities
Reprinted from NAFA Newswire. Used with permission; all rights reserved. For additional information, visit nafa.com.
What does 2011 hold for the annuity market?
The fixed annuity industry's stunning victory over SEC Rule 151 this year has broad implications for next year. Many Carriers and marketing organizations had been treading water unable to invest in the growth of their fixed annuity market while they waited for the final outcome of Rule 151A. Now that the regulatory uncertainty has been resolved with the repeal of the Rule, we expect that these organizations will greatly expand their sales, marketing, and product development efforts. This will be good for agents, consumers, and the industry as a whole.
What other key developments does Kim O'Brien forecast?
Please review these recent compliance alerts.
Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia – L&H Insurance Guaranty Notice
South Carolina – Regulation 69-39: Buyer's Guide to Annuities
New MVA Index For Focused Growth Annuity In Approved States
We've changed the index used for our Market Value Adjustment (MVA) for our FGA 5 and 6 in all states that have approved our FGA 7 and 10. We're now using a Bloomberg-based MVA in those states for all our FGA products. You can find current approvals on our product availability chart.
New FGA Disclosure Required
With this change comes a new Focused Growth Annuity Disclosure that requires the applicant's signature. Please be sure to return the signed disclosure to The Standard with all new FGA sales using the Bloomberg-based MVA. To download the new disclosure, go to Find Forms & Materials on our website. Any application for an FGA signed after on or after January 1, 2011 will require the new disclosure.
State Life & Health Guaranty Associations: Coverage Limits Update
By Bill Douglas, Compliance Manager, Individual Annuities
Most states have funds in their Life & Health Guaranty Associations to help pay life and health claims of financially insolvent insurance companies. Those funds are held by each state's Life & Health Guaranty Association. Each state's laws and regulations note which lines of insurance are covered under the association funds and identify any payment limits.
Review more key points and access an online chart of coverage limits.
Required Minimum Distribution Annual Notification
Along with the New Year come required IRS tax notifications, which we’ll mail before the end of January. One is a reminder to qualified annuity policyholders age 70½ or older regarding required minimum distributions (RMDs) and how to obtain an RMD quote from the company.
Learn more about what to expect.
Annuity News is an online newsletter for annuities producers of The Standard.
FGA 7 & 10 Availability
Our Focused Growth Annuity 7 and 10 are now available in Michigan. To see our product availability by state, review our product availability chart.