Industry Thoughts

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Survey results suggest that employees who receive support from their employer for mental, chronic or physical health conditions are more likely to resume productive roles in the workplace. Here's what you can do to help. Read the InsuranceNewsNet article, Disability Management Helps Employees Return Successfully, by Tom Foran, vice president of underwriting and product development at The Standard.

 

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Heart attack, stroke and cancer are all serious medical conditions that can be covered by Critical Illness insurance. Danielle Lehman, senior product manager with The Standard, explains what else clients should know about CI coverage. Read the Rough Notes article, Critical Illness: New Coverage Options Meet Evolving Needs.

 

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Given the growing size of millennials in today's workforce, now can be a great time to talk with clients about low-risk investment products that can help meet the savings needs of this generation. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, Three Unique Stable Value Fund Benefits That Help Millennials, by Kent Bartell, director of investment research at The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Regardless of your tenure, Rich Lane, second vice president of sales and marketing, individual annuities at The Standard, offers annuity tips and sales strategies that can help you better meet clients' financial goals. Read his ThinkAdvisor article, 3 Must-Ask Questions for Annuity Clients.

 

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Timing and the right communication can make a big difference when reaching out to prospective clients. Here are five key times, and thoughtful conversation starters, that could grab a plan sponsor's attention. Read the 401K Specialist article, The Key to Converting Prospective 401k Clients, by Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region.

 

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Monday, January 29, 2018

These 3 employer assumptions about disability management could be hindering workforce health and productivity. Read the Entrepreneur article, Avoid These Mistakes When Addressing Disabilities in the Workplace to Protect Your Employees and Your Business, by Tom Foran, vice president of underwriting and product development at The Standard.

 

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Are you prepared to answer your clients' Paid Family Leave questions? Breanna Scott, director of product management at The Standard, explains important program and state nuances you should know. Read her Leader's Edge article, Family Time.

 

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Help clients better manage employee depression with these key tips. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, How Advisers Can Help Clients Better Deal With Employee Depression, by Jeff Guardalabene, senior behavioral health case manager with The Standard.

 

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Monday, January 22, 2018

We live in a world of communication overload. A lot of employees miss key information that comes out in advance of open enrollment, and they suffer for it in the next plan year,” says Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist at The Standard. Help break through the noise with persona-based decision support tools that can make communicating about benefits simpler and more digestible for employees. Read the Workforce article, When Your Workday Is Interrupted, and Interrupted Again and Again.

 

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Signs of opioid abuse in an employee are often subtle. Here are tips to help provide clients guidance on ways to manage potential drug abuse in the workplace. Read the BenefitsPRO article, How to Help Employers Address Opioid Addiction in the Workplace, by Jeff Guardalabene, senior behavioral health case manager with The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Timing can be everything. Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region, offers 5 crucial moments to reach out to prospective clients and ways to grab their attention and business. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, The 5 Best Times to Call on Prospective Clients.

 

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Are your clients prepared to support employees diagnosed with cancer? Sandy Witt, disability and productivity consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, provides three ways employers can help. Read her California Broker article, Three Ways Clients Can Support Employees Diagnosed With Cancer.

 

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Is presenteeism impacting employees' productivity more than clients realize? Here are 3 ways a disability management program can help. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, 3 Ways a Disability Management Program Can Address Presenteeism, by Jeff Smith, practice consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program.

 

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tom Foran, vice president of underwriting and product development, and Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, share important sales and marketing tips for 2018. Read their recommendations on how to help your clients succeed in the new year in the BenefitsPRO article, 100 Sales and Marketing Tips.

 

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A new year means new opportunities. Consider using these 5 insights to highlight how a fixed annuity could help meet your clients' financial objectives in 2018. Read the Advisor Today article, Ensuring Success for Your Fixed-Annuity Sales in 2018, by Rich Lane, second vice president of sales and marketing for individual annuities at The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

As you prepare for your 2018 sales meetings, here are key points to understand about PFL and ways you can offer consultation to your clients in the new year. Read an Advisor Today article about Paid Family Leave co-authored by Breanna Scott, director of product and service development at The Standard, and Terri Rhodes, CEO at DMEC.

 

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Make 2018 the year you show clients how a comprehensive disability management program can help reduce employee healthcare costs and improve overall workplace productivity. Read the Employee Benefit News article, 3 Things to Consider When Implementing a Disability Management Program, by Jeff Smith, practice consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program.

 

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

In 2017, Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, notes that a high this year was seeing how decision support tools can help better educate employees about voluntary insurance and close the knowledge gap. Let's see what 2018 has in store. Read the BenefitsPro article, Ups and Downs.

 

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Friday, December 8, 2017

As you look to refresh your investment offerings in the new year, stable value funds may be worth your consideration for these three reasons. Learn more in the BenefitsPRO article, Stable Value Funds: The Retirement Product That's Stood the Test of Time, by Kent Bartell, director of investment research at StanCorp Investment Advisers.

 

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Friday, December 1, 2017

These survey findings can help your clients assess their disability management process and determine if their approach is meeting the needs of their workforce. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, 3 Ways to Help Clients Evaluate the Effectiveness of Their Disability Policies, by Tom Foran, vice president of underwriting and product development at The Standard.

 

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

As the popularity of volatility-controlled indices grows, make sure you're aware of the pros and cons the product offers — for you and your clients. Read the ThinkAdvisor article, The Rise of the Volatility-Controlled Annuity, by Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard.

 

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Are you curious what employee benefits were considered when naming the top 50 best workplaces for parents? Read what HR Dive has to say in the article, The Best Places to Work for Parents Offer Generous Paid Leave, Work-Life Balance.

 

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Workplace accommodations don't have to be complicated to be effective and can help increase employee productivity and morale. Read the Workforce article, Workplace Accommodations Don't Have to Be Complicated to Be Effective, by Tom Foran, vice president of underwriting and product development at The Standard.

 

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

As the hunt for top talent becomes increasingly competitive, be prepared to answer paid family leave questions in your end-of-the-year sales meetings. Read the InsuranceNewsNet article, How Paid Family Leave Helps Employers Win the Fight for Top Talent, by Terri Rhodes, CEO of Disability Management Employer Coalition, and Breanna Scott, director of product management at The Standard.

 

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Recovering from a cancer diagnosis can be difficult, but there are workplace accommodations clients can make to help support employees along this journey. Learn more in the Employee Benefit Adviser article, How Benefit Advisers Can Help Employers Support Workers With Cancer, by Sandy Witt, disability and productivity consultant for the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard.

 

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Help clients implement an effective disability management program by encouraging collaboration with a disability carrier. Read why this approach can be effective in the California Broker article, Disability Survey's In: Disability Management Programs and Employee Productivity Are Linked, by Brian Kost, Workplace PossibilitiesSM senior director at The Standard.

 

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

These 10 questions can help determine if a paid family leave program is right for an organization. Read the Employee Benefit News article, 10 Questions Employers Should Ask Before Offering Paid Family Leave.

 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Are organizations setting the right tone for their employees' disability management experience? Consistency, proactivity and accommodations are key components of a successful program. Read the WorldatWork article, Employees Choose HR Over Their Supervisors for Sharing Health Conditions.

 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

For employees who have experienced an AD&D loss, a new service can help provide personalized return-to-work support. Find out more in the BenefitsPRO article, The Standard Adds AD&D Occupational Assistance.

 

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Friday, October 13, 2017

18 fewer days of leave were taken by employees who worked with an HR manager vs. a direct supervisor. Our survey results explain why. Read the HR Dive article, Employees Prefer Disclosing Health Conditions to HR, Rather Than Their Boss.

 

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Make sure you're selling clients a holistic income protection offering by incorporating the need for IDI as part of your life insurance sales pitch. Doug Waters, second vice president of individual disability income insurance sales at The Standard, provides insights in the Advisor Today article, Ideas to Help You Sell More.

 

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Through collaboration and trust, read how The Standard worked with Phoebe Putney Health System to build a customized voluntary benefits package to meet the specific needs of their employees. See the HR Dive article, As Benefits Homogenize, Will Tailored Voluntary Packages Help Companies Stand Out?

 

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Friday, October 6, 2017

As high-deductible health plans continue to rise, so do accident insurance sales. As we prepare for 2018, Danielle Lehman, senior product manager at The Standard, notes a marketplace trend she's seen increase in popularity among clients. Read the Rough Notes article, Product Services Vital Need in High Deductible Health Plans.

 

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

As organizations fight for top talent, paid family leave as an employee benefit offering can help to better meet the caregiving needs of diverse workforces. Read the Entrepreneur article, With Today's Changing Workforce Demographic, Companies That Want to Succeed Would Do Well to Offer This Employee Benefit, by Breanna Scott, director of product management at The Standard, and Terri Rhodes, CEO of DMEC.

 

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

When discussing asset allocation with clients, do you break down risky vs. safe options? Here are three reasons why fixed annuities should be included in the safe consideration set. Read the ThninkAdvisor article, 3 Ways Fixed Annuities Can Outperform Bond Mutual Funds, by Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard.

 

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region, provides insight into the role of plan administrators and fiduciaries, and the level of responsibility that can be assumed by external providers. Read the Employee Benefit News article, When Retirement Plan Administrators Make an Error.

 

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Persona-based decision support tools offer tailored messaging so employees better understand voluntary insurance benefits options. Learn more in the BenefitsPRO article, Persona-Based Decision Support Tools: Boosting Employee Engagement This Enrollment Season, by Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard.

 

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Not all employees have the same benefits needs, whether it's due to lifestyle, age or personal buying preference. Persona-based decision support tools can help encourage better benefits selection. Assigning employees to a persona can help ensure benefits information is presented in a way that makes sense to them, says Jackie Waller, senior research program manager at The Standard. Read the SHRM.org article, 2018 Open Enrollment: Targeted Communications Address Differing Needs.

 

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Clients have the opportunity to differentiate themselves with customized voluntary benefits, but communicating these offerings is essential for successful enrollment. Read the Employee Benefit News article, Customization, Communication Key to Optimizing Voluntary Benefits, that summarizes a session on the future of voluntary benefits at last week's Benefits Forum & Expo. Greg Hammonds, vice president, specialty market sales, at The Standard, participated in the panel discussion.

 

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Recent regulation changes are sure to raise questions for employers who are thinking about offering paid family leave. In an interview with Employee Benefit Adviser, Breanna Scott, director of product and service development at The Standard, explains that paid family leave regulations vary by state, and a key way brokers can set themselves apart is by monitoring these statutory changes and advising clients accordingly. Read the full article, “10 Questions to Prepare Clients for Paid Family Leave Compliance.”

 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Take September's Life Insurance Awareness Month as a time to strategize different selling approaches to reach clients' Gen X and Millenial employees. Learn five key points you can bring to enrollment meetings in the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Closing the Gap: Selling Life Insurance to Gen Xers and Millenials,” by Jennifer Gassaway, life insurance product manager at The Standard.

 

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Friday, September 15, 2017

The opioid crisis is affecting today's workplace. In the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “The Opioid Epidemic: How to Give Clients a Fighting Chance,” Jeff Guardalabene, senior behavioral health case manager at The Standard, suggests four steps advisers can share with their clients to proatively address potential abuse in the workplace.

 

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Improvements to decision support tools, new enrollment strategies and additional product services have increased the uptake in employer-based life insurance sales. In Life Annuity Specialist's article, “Employer-Based Life Insurance Sales Eclipse Individual Channels,” Jennifer Gassaway, life insurance product manager at The Standard, also cites how employers make the purchasing process quick and easy by doing the legwork for employees.  

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Are you selling clients individual disability insurance coverage that includes a family caregiving benefit? Help clients understand how the benefit works, when to use it and the process for filing a claim. Read the America's Benefit Specialist article, “Help Prepare Sandwich-Generation Clients for Caregiving Responsibilities,” by Sophia Horsman, senior director of IDI claims at The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

One-third of employers offer paid family leave. Our survey findings show this trend isn't slowing down. Read the HR Dive brief, “A Third of Employers Offer Paid Family Leave, and More Plan to Do So Soon.”

 

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Monday, August 21, 2017

As millennials mature in their careers, they can be the perfect candidates for individual disability insurance sales. Highlight these five benefits to resonate with this generation. Read the ThinkAdvisor article, “Millennials Need to Protect Their Income,” by Jill Frohardt, regional director for IDI at The Standard.

 

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Monday, August 21, 2017

For clients looking to protect and grow their savings, follow these three steps to help position an annuity as a financial vehicle to meet their retirement needs. Read the Advisor Today article, “Tailoring Annuities to the Needs and Wants of Your Clients” by Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard.

 

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Get smart ahead of enrollment season. Learn more about how hospital indemnity insurance can help cover the gap many employees face with their health care coverage. In the Rough Notes article, “Helping Employers With Hospital Indemnity,” Danielle Lehman, product marketing manager III with The Standard, explains how The Standard's hospital indemnity product is designed to complement high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts. She also notes the product has unique coverage aspects, such as coverage for pregnancy, critical care unit stays and wellness screenings.

 

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Be ready to answer these 6 FAQs from clients in preparation for New York's Paid Family Leave plan implementation. Read the BenefitsPRO article, “6 FAQs in Anticipation of New York's Paid Family Leave Implementation,” by Breanna Scott, director of product management at The Standard.

 

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Don't let income riders hold your clients back. These tips can help you position the right annuity to better meet your clients' needs. Read the California Broker article, “An Income Rider Could Be Holding Back Your Client's Earning Potential,” by Rich Lane, second vice president of sales and marketing, individual annuities, at The Standard.

 

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Paid family leave policies may be a consideration for clients when choosing where to work and raise a family. Is your state family friendly? This CNBC.com article, “The Top 10 States to Raise a Baby” cites a statistic from a survey by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

As plan sponsors experience the impact of the SEC's money market reforms, here's how a stable value fund could be their new safe investment option. Read the 401K Specialist article, 3 Key Advantages of Stable Value Funds in 401ks by Kent Bartell, director of investment research at StanCorp Investment Advisers.

 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Speak with your clients to ensure their IDI coverage offers time to care for a loved one, while protecting their paycheck. Sophia Horsman, senior director of individual disability insurance claims at The Standard, outlines what clients need to know when filing a claim for this type of benefit. Read her ThinkAdvisor article, Individual Disability Insurance Can Help Family Caregivers.

 

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Are your clients aware of these common individual disability insurance misconceptions and who to contact if a claim needs to be filed? Listen to this I Love D.I. podcast interview with Jamie Frederick, an IDI claims consultant with The Standard.

 

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Monday, July 31, 2017

It may be time to reconsider the benefits fixed annuities can offer your clients. Chris Conklin, vice president of Individual Annuities at The Standard, explains why. Read his InsuranceNewsNet article, Is It Time for Your Safety-Seeking Clients to Take Another Look at Fixed Annuities?

 

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Charitable giving can be a strong employee engagement tool. Read how The Standard and its employees are supporting community organizations in the Employee Benefit News article, Charitable Giving Builds Strong Ties Between Employer, Community.

 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Looking for information on paid family leave laws? Here are five areas to help start the conversation with clients. Read the ThinkAdvisor article, “5 Paid Family Leave Possibilities, for Agents” with insights from The Standard's Breanna Scott and Melissa Oliver-Janiak.

 

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Even if your clients aren't based in New York, the state's upcoming paid family leave program may affect them. Breanna Scott, director of product management at The Standard, has tips to help you prepare. Read her Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Prepare Now for NY Paid Family Leave Implementation.”

 

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Remote employees are becoming a workplace reality. Consider these 10 questions to help ensure the ergonomic needs of remote workers are met. Read the Employee Benefit News article, “10 Questions to Ask Before Allowing Employees to Work From Home” with some tips provided by Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard.

 

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Are your clients meeting ADAAA regulations? Jeff Smith, Workplace PossibilitiesSM practice consultant with The Standard, offers ideas to help clients remain compliant. Read his Employee Benefits Adviser article, “How to Help Clients Stay Compliant With the ADAAA.”

 

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Are you aware of the benefits and drawbacks created when clients add an income rider to their annuity? Read the ThinkAdvisor article, “The Truth About Income Riders,” by Rich Lane, second vice president of sales and marketing, individual annuities, for The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Can you guess common 401(k) plan sponsor mistakes? Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region, and other industry experts share tips on how to avoid these pitfalls. Read the Plan Advisor article, “Avoidance Strategies.”

 

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Greg Shumavon, senior director of GSI product at The Standard, explains why Guaranteed Standard Issue plans can be a great way to provide comprehensive disability coverage for high income earners. Read the Life Annuity Specialist article, “The Standard Debuts Innovative DI Plan for Execs.”

 

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Depression can greatly impact a workforce. Connect clients with their disability carrier to address these concerns. Read the BenefitsPRO article, “3 Ways to Support Clients in Managing Depression in the Workplace,” by Jeff Guardalabene, senior behavioral health case manager with The Standard.

 

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Help prevent unnecessary client surprises by asking disability carriers these 3 questions. Read the Leader's Edge article, “Preventing Buyer's Remorse,” by Jeff Smith, practice consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program.

 

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Use these 3 tips from Jeff Smith, practice consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, to debunk common client misconceptions about outsourcing return-to-work assistance. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “3 Ways to Overcome Clients' Disability Management Outsourcing Concerns.”

 

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Help plan sponsors increase participants retirement readiness with auto-escalation plan designs. Read the ThinkAdvisor article, “How to Boost Use of Retirement Plan Auto-Escalation,” by Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region.

 

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Are your clients getting mixed messages about purchasing an annuity? Help them overcome these misconceptions. Read the ThinkAdvisor article, “4 Ways to Overcome Media-Driven Annuity Misconceptions,” by Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard.

 

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Increase participant retirement readiness with these 6 tips to combat common behavioral finance tendencies. Read the Financial Advisor article, “Six Tips To Increase Retirement Readiness,” by Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region.

 

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Advisers Must Address the Cost of Disability Leave,” Sandy Witt, disability and productivity consultant for the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, explains that some disability leaves can be prevented with the right stay-at-work accommodations.

 

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Are your clients' employees prepared to pay out-of-pocket for unexpected medical expenses? Help your clients offer financial security solutions with voluntary benefits. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Voluntary Benefits Remain a Priority During Healthcare Uncertainty,” by Danielle Lehman, product marketing manager III with The Standard.

 

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Review your roster of disability carriers and determine if their portfolio offerings best meet your clients' needs. Read the BenefitsPRO article, “It's Time for a Relationship Check With Your Disability Carrier,” by Brian Kost, Workplace PossibilitiesSM program manager for The Standard.

 

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Learn about 3 ways you can help plan participants become more retirement ready in the 401K Specialist article, “3 Ways to Overcome Retirement Planning Behavior,” by Ken Waineo, The Standard's senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region.

 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

An integrated disability management approach can help employees return to work quicker and prevent future claims. Jeff Smith, a disability and productivity consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, mentions that the concept of integrated disability management programs isn't new, but the amount of cooperation and partnership among vendors has grown. Read why more employers are moving towards this benefits concept in the Business Insurance article, “Integrated Disability Makes a Comeback” (accessed May 4, 2017).

 

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Think beyond the initial sale. Doug Waters, second vice president of individual disability income insurance sales at The Standard, shares how to move the IDI conversation from price to value and help clients understand the long-term benefits contracts can provide. Read his Advisor Today article, “Changing the IDI Conversation From Price to Value” (accessed May 3, 2017).

 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Position the family protection benefits voluntary insurance can offer, says Danielle Lehman, product marketing manager III with The Standard, and catch the attention of millennial employees to help increase sales. Read her ThinkAdvisor article, “Millennials, Voluntary Benefits and Family Matters” (accessed April 18, 2017).

 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ask questions and be curious. It can help you stay relevant with clients and find a benefits administration vendor that fits their needs. Read insights from Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, in the BenefitsPRO article, “Weathering the Storm” (accessed April 18, 2017).

 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Long-term care costs can deplete your client's hard-earned savings. Learn how a Medicaid-compliant annuity can help. Read the InsuranceNewsNet article by Rich Lane, 2nd vice president sales and marketing, individual annuities, at The Standard, “How Annuities Can Be Structured to Be Medicaid-Compliant” (accessed April 18, 2017).

 

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Did you know, employees working through health conditions can cost businesses the equivalent of three months per year in lost productivity? To help minimize presenteeism in the workplace, Jeff Smith, Workplace PossibilitiesSM Practice Consultant with The Standard, offers four tips in his Talent Economy article, “4 Ways to Deal With Employee Presenteeism” (accessed April 3, 2017).

 

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Show your clients how you can help them avoid these four common 3(16) fiduciary pitfalls. Dan Hall, The Standard's vice president of retirement plan sales and Joel Mee. a retirement plan consultant with The Standard, provide their insights in the 401K Specialist article, “4 Key Areas That Risk 3(16) Fiduciary Failure” (accessed March 30, 2017).

 

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Looking to increase disability sales? Brian Kost, senior director of The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, offers four tips to help uncover education groups' DI needs. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “4 Tips to Uncover Education Groups' DI Needs” (accessed March 27, 2017).

 

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Encourage your clients to partner with a disability carrier to help employees successfully return to work after a disability leave. Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, explains how partnering with a disability carrier can help employers navigate the complexities of employee disability leaves and extended absences, including management of legal regulations, medical updates and workplace accommodations. Read his California Broker article, “How to Help Your Clients Address Questions About Disability Leave” (accessed March 22, 2017).

 

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Looking to increase your IDI sales this year? Dawn McMaster, vice president of IDI for The Standard, offers tips on how to approach your next sales meeting. See the Advisor Today article, “Growing Your IDI Practice.”

 

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Monday, March 6, 2017

You may be the first to receive a call when your client needs to file an individual disability insurance claim. These tips from Sophia Horsman, senior director of IDI claims at The Standard, can help ensure you're prepared. Read her LifeHealthPRO article, “How to Streamline the Disability Insurance Claims Process” (accessed March 6, 2017).

 

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Are you prepared to answer these 6 commonly asked client questions during tax season? March is a great time of year for advisors to talk with their clients about the benefits of annuities, says Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard. Read his LifeHealthPro article, “Six Commonly Asked Questions About Annuities During Tax Season” (accessed March 3, 2017).

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Selecting the right disability carrier can make all the difference to your client. Jeff Smith, a Workplace PossibilitiesSM practice consultant with The Standard, identifies three main questions advisers should ask to help clients access which disability carrier best fits their needs. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “How to Improve Disability Sales This Year” (accessed March 2, 2017).

 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

The foundation is built, now integrate expanded benefits options and advanced technology to grow your voluntary sales. Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, shares 5 ways to help you get started. Read his BenefitsPRO article, “How to Increase Voluntary Sales in 2017” (accessed Feb. 27, 2017).

 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Critical illness offerings have become an increasingly popular trend among clients as a way to help employees fill the financial security gap created by high deductible plans. Danielle Lehman, a marketing product manager with The Standard, explains that most employees are likely to know someone who is suffering from a critical illness, which could encourage them to purchase coverage. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Lack of Education Holds Back Greater Enrollment of Critical Illness Insurance” (accessed Feb. 27, 2017).

 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Employers are still confused by the complexities of the ADAAA, but timeliness with an ADAAA accommodation may be more important than ever, says Brian Kost, senior director of The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Timeliness Is Critical in ADAAA Compliance” (accessed Feb. 27, 2017).

 

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Monday, February 13, 2017

New accident insurance plans can provide much-needed support to employees who may have gaps in health coverage. The new products can cover a range of different types of treatment and can either be employer-paid or employee-paid. Employers make the choices about what benefits to offer, but employees make the decision about what is best for themselves or their families, says Danielle Lehman, a senior marketing product manager at The Standard. Read the article, “Accident Insurance: Money in Their Pockets,” in Rough Notes (accessed Feb. 13, 2017).

 

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Friday, February 3, 2017

With marketplace uncertainty, you have an opportunity to offer clients a more conservative investment option with guaranteed insurance stable value funds, says Jim Roche, Stable Asset Sales Director for the Pacific Northwest Regional Retirement Plans Office at The Standard. To help turn more leads into sales, prepare yourself for these six commonly asked stable value fund questions. Read his 401k Specialist article, “6 Important 401k Stable Value Questions” (accessed Feb. 3, 2017).

 

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Monday, January 30, 2017

With enrollment in voluntary benefits on the rise, now's a good time to help clients re-evaluate and make the most of their employee offerings. Breanna Scott, director of product management at The Standard, is seeing the integration of voluntary disability into employers' wellness programs. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Changing Voluntary Disability From an Optional Benefit to a Necessity” (accessed Jan. 30, 2017).

 

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

With all the changes throughout the annuities industry last year, one thing shouldn't change: tailoring recommendations to best serve your clients. See how three fact-finding steps can help. Read the LifeHealthPro article by Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard, “New Year's Sales Strategies: Fact-Finding to Determine Client Objectives” (accessed Jan. 23, 2017).

 

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Standard's new single premium deferred indexed annuity, Strategic Choice Annuity 7, offers an innovative way for clients to accumulate growth. Read the LifeHealthPro article, “The Standard Offers Single Premium Deferred Indexed Annuity” (accessed Jan. 26, 2017).

 

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Employees missing work due to a migraine has made news recently with one high-profile case involving a football coach. How prevalent are migraines in your clients' workplace? Learn more about ways to provide accommodations from Todd Meier, program coordinator for the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, in his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “How to Help Clients With Employees Sidelined by Migraines,” (accessed Jan. 26, 2017).

 

News Category: 
Friday, January 6, 2017

Fixed annuities could be a great option for clients who are rethinking their financial portfolios in the new year. Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, provides 10 reasons why. Read his Annuity Outlook article, “Provide Peace of Mind in the New Year With These 10 Fixed Annuity Benefits” (accessed Jan. 6, 2017).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Leveraging the expertise of a disability carrier can help your clients comply with ADA regulations and provide workplace accommodations to minimize stress for the employer and employee, says Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard. Read the Rough Notes article, “Protecting the Paycheck” (accessed Jan. 3, 2017).

 

News Category: 
Friday, December 30, 2016

Find out the best way to help your clients deal with complex issues associated with disability leave regulations. Read the BenefitsPRO article by Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, “Helping Clients Navigate ADAAA/FMLA Leave Regulations” (accessed Dec. 30, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Decision support tools can help clients learn about voluntary benefits and could lead to greater benefits enrollment, says Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “How to Use Decision Support Tools to Change Employee Thinking.” (accessed Dec. 28, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, December 19, 2016

Focusing on the best solutions that drive clients' retirement readiness should be a top priority for advisors in the new year, says Ken Waineo, senior director of retirement plan business development and sales operations at The Standard. Read his 401k Specialist article, “New Year's Resolution for 401k Industry: A Renewed Focus on the Right Thing” (accessd Dec. 19, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, December 19, 2016

Are your clients aware of how to provide support to employees with disabling conditions? A disability carrier can help make sure employees aren't unfairly labeled by health conditions. Read the BenefitsPro article by Jeff Smith, practice consultant for the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, “How Disability Programs Can Prevent Unfair Workplace Assumptions,” (accessed Dec. 19, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, December 19, 2016

Some of your baby boomer clients may be behind in saving for retirement, but here are tips from Ken Waineo, senior director of business development and operations, retirement plans, Pacific Northwest region, for The Standard, to help them as their retirement dates draw near. Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “How to Help Baby Boomers Add to Their Retirement Savings” (accessed Dec. 19, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, reflects on how voluntary sales have increased throughout the past year and provides five trends that brokers may see when selling voluntary products in 2017. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “The Year in Voluntary Benefits: Products See Popularity Surge” (accessed Dec. 14, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Making sure your clients' employees know about the wellness resources available to them — including mental health assistance — are key aspects of a wellness program, says Jeff Smith, practice consultant for the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “The Year in Wellness: Workplace Wellbeing Shifts From Physical Focus to Mental, Financial Stability” (accessed Dec. 14, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Getting into the executive boardroom can be the hardest part of the sale for individual disability insurance, but having persistence can be worth it, according to Steve Brady, national accounts director for IDI at The Standard. Read his InsuranceNewsNet article, “How DI Can Be the Key to the Executive Boardroom” (accessed Dec. 14, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Truly knowing a client's financial goals is key to finding the best annuity option and avoiding any potential surrender charges, says Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard. Read his LifeHealthPro article, “Two Questions Help Clients Avoid Annuity Surrender Charges” (accessed Dec. 8, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“Producers shouldn't feel timid about bringing up IDI,” says Doug Waters, 2nd vice president of individual disability insurance sales for The Standard. Listen to his insights and tips before your next sale in this I Love DI podcast (accessed Dec. 7, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Consider these six ways to underwrite your next individual disability insurance application more efficiently. Sue Schweitzer, senior director of individual disability insurance underwriting at The Standard, provides tips for speeding up your clients' application process. Read her Advisor Today article, “From Yes to Success” (accessed Dec. 1, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Make simple ergonomic adjustments in the workplace to build a healthier and more productive team, says Jeff Smith, practice consultant with The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Ergonomics Setting the Tone for Wellness Success” (accessed Dec. 1, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Employers should work with injured or ill employees to find the appropriate accommodations to keep them at work and productive. Jeff Smith, Workplace PossibilitiesSM practice consultant for The Standard, offers multiple solutions for brokers to use with their clients to help employees with injuries or chronic conditions thrive at work. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “When an Employee Faces a Disability Leave, What's the Adviser's Role?” (accessed Nov. 17, 2016)

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Looking for ways to increase your IDI sales? Simplified underwriting programs could be the ticket. Sue Schweitzer, senior director of individual disability insurance underwriting at The Standard, shares three commonly overlooked benefits of simplified underwriting programs that can help you and your clients. Read the Health Insurance Underwriter article, “Three Benefits of Simplified Underwriting Programs” (accessed Nov. 16, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Are your clients proactively addressing mental health situations in the workplace? Show clients how benefits offered by their disability carrier can help improve their workplace accommodations plans. Read advice from Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, in the Risk & Insurance article, “Distress Signals” (accessed Nov. 3, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, October 21, 2016

With telecommuting on the rise, employers must remember to accommodate for the ergonomic needs of remote workers, says Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard. View the Employee Benefit Adviser slideshow, “10 Questions to Ask About Accommodations Before Allowing Employees to Work From Home” (accessed Oct. 21, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Determining what your clients' main investment objectives are can be challenging, but if you ask the right questions you can uncover important client insights, says Chris Conklin, vice president of individual annuities at The Standard. Read his Annuity Outlook article, “Holistic Planning Is 'In'” (accessed October 18, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, October 14, 2016

Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuities sales and marketing for The Standard, discusses the growth of fixed annuities in the marketplace because of the safety and flexibility they provide clients. He also details five ways fixed annuities can help clients reach their investment goals. Read his Advisor Today article, “Using Fixed Annuities to Meet Your Clients' Investment Goals” (accessed Oct. 14, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, October 14, 2016

Understanding ADAAA and FMLA regulations can be stressful for clients, especially when it comes to leave accommodations. Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, discusses how disability carriers can help HR professionals to tackle ADAAA and FMLA regulations head-on and determine a course of action for leaves of absence and reasonable accommodations. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “ADAAA or FMLA: Navigating Employee Leaves of Absence” (accessed Oct. 14, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, October 10, 2016

Too much of a good thing can often be overwhelming. Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, has a few ideas about how you can help employees better understand their benefit choices. Read the Society for Human Resource Management article, “Missing the Mark: Employees Don't Appreciate Benefits Spending” and his sidebar, “Meeting the Benefits Enrollment Challenge” (accessed Oct. 10, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, September 26, 2016

As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month, encourage your clients to educate employees on the importance of updating beneficiary designation forms when a life changing circumstance occurs to avoid unnecessary headaches. Read the article, “Avoid the Beneficiary Designation Blues,” by Jennifer Gassaway, marketing product manager of Group Life insurance at The Standard, in BenefitsPRO (accessed Sept. 26, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kevin McNamara, senior enrollment strategist for employee benefits at The Standard, explains how new technologies, such as interactive tools, short videos and mobile communication, are making enrollment innovations easier. Are you using any of these trends to help drive voluntary enrollment this year? Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “9 Rising Trends in Voluntary Benefits” (accessed Oct. 6, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Employers who have disability coverage are often unaware of how it can help provide return-to-work or stay-at-work assistance to employees. Brian Kost, Workplace Possibilities senior director at The Standard, explains how strong broker-carrier relationships and communication can help ensure an employee with a disability can be provided with the right assistance. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Strong Disability Support Leads to Strong Workforce” (accessed Oct. 6, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, September 23, 2016

As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month and as enrollment season quickly approaches, it may be a time to rethink how you address common employee misconceptions regarding the benefits of life insurance. Read “Four Easily Refutable Misconceptions Employees Have When Purchasing Life Insurance,” by Jennifer Gassaway, marketing product manager of Group Life Insurance at The Standard, in California Broker (accessed Sept. 23, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, September 23, 2016

Help clients make the most of their partnership with a new disability carrier by following these simple steps for success. Read “4 Steps to Start Your Clients' Disability Program,” by Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard, in Employee Benefit Adviser (accessed Sept. 23, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, September 23, 2016

It's Life Insurance Awareness Month. During your next life insurance sales or enrollment meeting, strengthen your sales pitch and pique your clients' interest by discussing additional benefits built into life insurance plans. Read “Pitch Extras to Jumpstart Life Insurance Sales Calls,” by Jennifer Gassaway, marketing product manager of Group Life insurance at The Standard, in BenefitsPRO (accessed Sept. 23, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ken Waineo, senior director of retirement plan business development and sales operations at The Standard, outlines eight pivotal questions that can help determine the 401k plan administration challenges your clients are facing in his 401k Specialist article, “8 Questions to Ask About 401k Plan Administration” (accessed Sept. 21, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, September 19, 2016

As part of Life Insurance Awareness month, your clients should remind their employees to make the most of their employee benefits and understand the services being offered. One often underused service is financial planning assistance, which can help with will preparation, funeral planning services and identity theft assistance, says Jennifer Gassaway, marketing product manager of Group Life insurance at The Standard. Read more about “Life Insurance Awareness” in BenefitsPRO (accessed Sept. 19. 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, September 19, 2016

If your clients aren't offering remote workers ergonomic assistance, they may be behind the times. The BenefitsPRO article, “Ergonomics Matter for Telecommuters, Too” (accessed Sept. 19, 2016), discusses the importance for employers to consider their remote employees as they determine proper workplace ergonomics and includes the viewpoint of Brian Kost, senior director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program at The Standard.

 

News Category: 
Friday, September 16, 2016

As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month and your fall enrollment meetings, encourage your clients to remind their employees to annually update their beneficiary designations to help prevent payout difficulties for unforeseen circumstances. Read “Keep Beneficiaries Current as Life Brings Changes,” by Jennifer Gassaway, marketing product manager for Group Life insurance at The Standard, in InsuranceNewsNet (accessed Sept. 16, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In today's low-interest-rate environment, consumers are cautious with their investment strategies, but annuities can serve as their safe financial vehicle. Read “Annuities: Your Go-To Financial Vehicle in a Low-Interest-Rate Environment,” by Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, in LifeHealthPro (accessed Sept. 13, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Although many Critical Illness insurance plans cover cancer, products have evolved to provide coverage for additional illnesses, says Danielle Lehman, product marketing manager III with The Standard. Read her Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Why Advisers Should Take Critical Illness Conversations Beyond Cancer Coverage” (accessed Aug. 23, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

To help your clients understand the full worth of their group benefits offerings, consider how you can play up certain benefits that may seem customary — such as long term disability coverage. Breanna Scott, product marketing director for The Standard, discusses two provisions in particular that could go the extra mile for employees. Read her Health Insurance Underwriter article, “Enhanced Disability Insurance Coverage: Support Employees With Added Provisions,” (accessed July 26, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ahead of your next check-in meeting, refresh your disability sales approach and better meet your client's needs with advice from Brian Kost, Workplace Possibilities program manager at The Standard. Read his article, “How Advisers Can Refresh Their Approach to Disability Sales,” in Employee Benefit Adviser (accessed July 21, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Setting realistic expectations early can increase the odds of closing an Individual Disability Insurance sale. Read “Preparing Clients for a Modified Disability Offer,” by Steve Brady, national account sales director for individual disability insurance at The Standard, on LifeHealthPro (accessed July 21, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, July 18, 2016

Help your client make the most of their investment while still supporting various financial goals with a fixed deferred annuity. Read “Selling the Flexible Benefits of a Fixed Deferred Annuity,” by Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, in the July issue of California Broker (accessed July 18, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, July 8, 2016

When dealing with a potential disability leave, there are do's and don'ts for helping employees stay at work. Brian Kost, Workplace PossibilitiesSM program manager, gives a comprehensive look at what makes a stay-at-work accommodation a success in his Employee Benefit News article, “The Do's and Don'ts of a Successful Stay-at-Work Accommodation” (accessed July 8, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Technology and social media have brought about big changes in the insurance industry. Breanna Scott, director of product and service management at The Standard, says that brokers are in the best position to provide detailed information and consultation to help employers tailor attractive benefits packages for their employees. She discusses how to be a consultative resource to clients in her Life & Advisor Magazine article, “DI: Above and Beyond” (accessed July 6, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

For a client who wants income down the road, position a fixed deferred annuity, which will allow him or her to turn on — or annuitize — their income stream at a later date. In an article for LifeHealthPro Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, suggests “4 Tips for Selling a Fixed Deferred Annuity” (accessed June 22, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Monday, June 13, 2016

Many employees don't sign up for Voluntary coverage because they don't fully understand how products can protect their financial assets. Danielle Lehman, product marketing manager with The Standard, suggests how to position both Critical Illness and Accident insurance to employees in her Employee Benefit Adviser article, “How Focusing on Family Can Improve Voluntary Sales” (accessed June 13, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, May 27, 2016

Knowing that “time is money,” take advantage of five benefits of partnering with group disability carriers to help you get back time in your day. Brian Kost, Workplace PossibilitiesSM program manager, outlines the details in his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “5 Benefits of Partnering With Group Disability Carriers” (accessed May 27, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In 2014, it was estimated that 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode over the past year. Dr. Jeff Guardalabene, mental health case manager with The Standard, explains how to approach the sensitive subject of mental health conditions at work. By understanding four signs, you can help your clients create a healthier and more productive work environment for all employees.

Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “How to Help Clients Identify and Support Employees With Mental Health Issues” (accessed May 24, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Walking your clients through the steps Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, outlines in this article will help ensure their financial legacies make a lasting impact.

Read his Advisor Today article, “Preparing Clients for Fixed-Annuity Wealth Transfers” (accessed May 17, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, May 6, 2016

Preparing for employees to take a disability leave for an illness or injury can be a stressful experience.

Brian Kost, program manager for The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, advises human resources managers about how to start the process for employees taking a disability leave, in his Employee Benefit News article, “Answers to 3 Common Questions About Disability Management” (accessed May 6, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Thursday, May 5, 2016

When helping clients plan for their post-retirement years, the flexibility that comes with a fixed deferred annuity can help meet a myriad of investment goals.

Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, discusses how to tailor the purchase of a fixed deferred annuity to help meet a client's investment needs in his InsuranceNewsNet article, “Position Deferred Annuities for Specific Investment Plan Goals” (accessed May 5, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

While the underwriting process may seem extensive, it helps ensure your client has the best coverage at the best price to help protect him or her if an unforeseen illness or injury arises.

Sue Schweitzer, senior director of individual disability insurance (IDI) underwriting at The Standard, suggests how producers can improve their experience writing an IDI policy in her LifeHealthPro article, “5 Ways to Ensure Your Next IDI Sale Breezes Through Underwriting” (accessed May 4, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Are your clients losing money on their investments due to taxes?

Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, discusses the advantages of tax-deferred annuities in his LifeHealthPro article, “Reaping the Tax Benefits of Annuities” (accessed April 20, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ergonomics is one of the most important aspects of any office setup and one of the most overlooked aspects of telecommuting.

Brian Kost, program manager for The Standard's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, discusses how to help effectively care for employees who aren't in the traditional work environment by creating a robust and efficient off-site workplace.

Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Are Employers Set Up to Correctly Manage Remote Workers?” (accessed April 20, 2016)

 

News Category: 
Friday, April 1, 2016

Navigating intermittent leave administration may feel like the ultimate balancing act. Lincoln Dirks, senior compliance analyst at Standard Insurance Company, discusses the parameters of intermittent leave administration under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Learn how to properly administer intermittent leave and avoid being too strict or too lenient in your approvals. Read his Employee Benefit Adviser article, “6 Ways to Help Clients Manage Intermittent Leaves” (accessed April 1, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

For many, retirement planning is a puzzle. A fixed annuity can be a great “piece” to consider. Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, explains how to discuss fixed annuities with your clients. Read the InsuranceNewsNet article, “Flipping the Switch on an Annuity Income Stream” (accessed Mar. 23, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Accommodating employees who are experiencing disabling illnesses or injuries can help them work more comfortably, boost productivity and minimize missed work days due to medical-related leaves. Brian Kost, Workplace PossibilitiesSM program manager, gives advisers suggestions for coaching their clients on how they can accommodate their employees more effectively.

Read the Employee Benefit Adviser article, “Four Ways to Help Clients Undertake Employee Workplace Accommodations” (accessed Mar. 22, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Friday, March 4, 2016

A hidden setback of returning to work after a serious illness or health condition can often be a mental health or anxiety disorder. In the Employee Benefit News article, “Mental Health Issues Hidden Aspect of Returning to Work” (accessed Mar. 4, 2016), Dr. Jeff Guardalabene, a mental health case manager with The Standard, discusses how comorbidity, the presence of dual health conditions, can be very common. He provides some tips for helping employees return to work after a significant health issue.

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing at The Standard, discusses how single premium immediate annuities (SPIA) are great vehicles for clients who are looking for a guaranteed stream of income.

Read his article, "3 Tips for Success When Positioning a Fixed Immediate Annuity" to see how the tips can help your clients determine if a fixed annuity is the right choice for them. (LifeHealthPro, accessed Feb. 2, 2016)

 

News Category: 
Friday, January 8, 2016

Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for Standard Insurance Company, explains that although no one has a crystal ball to help with recommendations on the right products for their clients' needs, there is always room for fixed annuities as part of a diversified investment approach. See the article, “Looking Into the Annuity Crystal Ball” (InsuranceNewsNet, accessed Jan. 8, 2016).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

As 2016 starts, look back at your 2015 strategies to identify opportunities for improvement and prepare for a successful year of annuities sales. Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for Standard Insurance Company, offers some additional sales strategies to consider. Read "Make the Annuity Sale a Part of Your New Year's Resolutions." (LifeHealthPro, accessed Jan. 5, 2016)

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How are you evaluating new voluntary products to add to your 2016 portfolio? Greg Hammonds, vice president of specialty markets sales at The Standard, offers six ways to investigate. See the article, "Six Ways to Evaluate Voluntary Products for 2016." (Employee Benefit Adivser, accessed Dec. 22, 2016)

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Looking to refresh your annuities sales approach? Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing at The Standard, offers 10 points to use when talking with your clients about fixed annuities. Read "The Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Fixed Annuity." (California Broker, accessed Dec. 9. 2015)

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Advisors focused on life insurance and financial planning are missing an opportunity to stand out by introducing individual disability insurance. Doug Waters, second vice president of individual disability income insurance at The Standard, discusses how advisors can reach out to millennials to consider individual disability insurance in the article, "Marketing Disability Insurance to the Millennial Generation." Waters explains that the risk of a disability is more prevalent than this generation may think, and why millennials should purchase insurance now. (Employee Benefit News, accessed Nov. 11, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Help your clients think holistically about their employees' financial futures, while attracting and retaining talent. In the article, "Providing a Retirement Safety Net," Breanna Scott, marketing product manager at The Standard, discusses how employers are putting an increased emphasis on group benefits, such as disability insurance, because of shifted or reduced coverages elsewhere. Scott explains how additional riders to a disability insurance plan can help employees who incur severe disabilities earn an income after retirement. (Advisor Today, accessed Oct. 28, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mary Malone, Workplace PossibilitiesSM program nurse case manager, discusses how an employer can help support employees who may be caring for their children, but also are responsible for their aging parents, in the article, "3 Ways to Support the Sandwich Generation in the Workplace." (Employee Benefit Adviser, accessed Oct. 27, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Monday, October 12, 2015

An excise tax on health plans scheduled to take effect in 2018 could mean more supplemental and voluntary benefits for employees. Greg Hammonds, senior vice president of specialty market sales, was interviewed by InsuranceNewsNet.com on The Standard's new voluntary products, and how aspects of the Affordable Care Act might affect sales in the coming years. In the article, "Health Care Cadillac Tax Expected to Boost Voluntary Offerings," Hammonds noted that rich healthcare offerings may be discouraged through the "Cadillac tax," potentially prioritizing the role voluntary products play in an employer's overall benefit offering. He advises brokers to ask whether their clients' employer-sponsored health plans meet the threshold for the tax, and discuss plan design options. (InsuranceNewsNet.com, accessed Oct. 12, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Friday, October 9, 2015

Statistics help brokers explain disability insurance, but a personal touch may make a bigger impact during enrollment. In the article, "Putting Disability Insurance in Context," Carol Harnett, president of the Council for Disability Awareness, informs readers of the lost art of being personal when educating employers and employees about disability insurance. Also, Danielle Lehman, product marketing manager at The Standard, is quoted in the article offering her position on the importance of educating women on the various benefit offerings in advance of enrollment. (Employee Benefit News, accessed Oct. 9, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Monday, September 28, 2015

Asking questions is a vital first step for helping an employee with a medical condition. Learn how to start that conversation and stay in compliance. The Standard's Alison Daily gives helpful suggestions on initiating a discussion in the article, "4 Tips for Starting Accommodation Conversations." (Employee Benefit News, accessed Sept. 28, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When it comes to positioning an annuity to your clients, focus on selling what your client needs and cut out the expensive extras. Rich Lane and Jeff Affronti discuss how advisors can sell annuities without pushing the most substantial option possible to clients in the article, "4 Ways to Simplify Your Approach to Selling Annuities." (LifeHealthPro.com, accessed Sept. 16, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When talking to your clients about disability programs, are you bringing up return-to-work and stay-at-work programs? Not only can these programs help address health-related lost productivity, but they can also save your clients money. Brian Kost, Workplace PossibilitiesSM program manager, explains how beneficial a comprehensive disability management philosophy can be for a company in the article, "How Health-related Lost Productivity Can Affect Your Clients." (Employee Benefit Adviser, accessed Sept. 15, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Monday, August 31, 2015

When an employee experiences a mental health condition, employers know they should reach out and offer assistance, but often don't know where to start. Alison Daily, second vice president of clinical and vocational services at The Standard, discusses how to help employees get the assistance they need in the article, "Helping Clients Connect Employees with Mental Health Resources." (Employee Benefit Adviser, accessed Aug. 31, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fixed annuities are a great investment vehicle for financially conservative clients. In the article, "The Top 5 Fixed Annuity Benefits to Discuss with Clients, Rich Lane, senior director of individual annuity sales and marketing for The Standard, discusses the benefits of helping advisors position fixed annuity sales during conversations with clients. Bring up one of Lane's top five benefits the next time you discuss options with your clients. (LifeHealthPro.com, accessed Aug. 11, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Need a dose of inspiration? Read about how her Peace Corps experience has helped Katherine Durham, The Standard's vice president of individual disability insurance and corporate marketing, find perspective for her career in the financial services market. The feature, "Inspired to Sell" looks to inspire advisors in the business to find ways to uncover their clients' backstories as part of their sales. (InsuranceNewsNet, accessed Aug. 6, 2015)

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Are your clients missing the big picture to help an employee treat all aspects of a chronic condition? Brian Kost, director of the Workplace PossibilitiesSM program, discusses how to make the most of employee accommodations in his article, "More Than Just a Chair" (Employee Benefit Adviser, accessed Aug. 4, 2015).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Doug Waters, second vice president of individual disability income insurance sales at The Standard, asks four questions when discussing business overhead expense (BOE) insurance with small-business clients. Read more about this very-needed, yet often undersold, product in "How to Sell and Position BOE" (BenefitsPro.com, accessed Aug. 4, 2015).

 

News Category: 
Monday, June 8, 2015

"Anyone who depends on income to pay the bills and maintain a standard of living needs to protect that income," says Doug Waters, second vice president of individual disability insurance (IDI) sales at Standard Insurance Company. Read more about his approach to IDI sales and learn how you can position the benefit with your clients. See "4 Fallacies About Selling Individual Disability Insurance" (InsuranceNewsNet, accessed June 5, 2015).

 

News Category: 
Monday, June 8, 2015

Can picking up a pen boost business? Rich Lane, director of individual annuity sales and marketing at Standard Insurance Company, thinks it does. Read more about this and other old-school sales tips to consider when reaching out to your customers in his article, "Go Old School to Stand Out in the Digital World" (AnnuityNews.com, accessed June 5, 2015).

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The month of May is all about how disability insurance can provide much-needed income protection to employees. But a smart strategy may be to position how your clients can benefit, too. Read the article, "3 Ways Brokers Can Secure Disability Sales" (BenefitsPro.com, accessed May 19, 2015), by Brian Kost, program director for Standard Insurance Company's Workplace PossibilitiesSM program.

 

News Category: 
Monday, May 18, 2015

Looking to refresh your fixed annuities sales approach? See "Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Fixed Annuity" (LifeHealthPro.com, accessed May 18, 2015) by Rich Lane, director of sales and marketing, Individual Annuities, at Standard Insurance Company, and incorporate the five tips into your next client meeting.

 

News Category: 
Thursday, February 12, 2015

By Rich Lane, Director, Sales and Marketing, Standard Insurance Company
Reprinted with permission

The oldest baby boomers are approaching age 70. As this segment of the demographic — which spans the two decades from 1946 to 19641 — moves deeper into their post-retirement years, many are starting to think about how to pass on their wealth. And they have a lot of wealth to transfer. A study from Accenture found baby boomers' net worth equals nearly $7 trillion.2

Although clients might have initially chosen to invest in an annuity to accumulate retirement savings, a fixed annuity also can be used as a wealth transfer strategy.

Read the full article, "How to Plan for the Great Wealth Shift," on LifeHealthPro (published January 8, 2015; accessed February 12, 2015).

 

1 U.S. Census Bureau. The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060. http://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1141.pdf. Published May 2014. Accessed November 11, 2014.

2 The "Greater" Wealth Transfer, Capitalizing on the Intergenerational Shift in Wealth. Accenture, 2012.

 

News Category: 
Monday, October 27, 2014

You may be skilled at selling your core business products such as long-term care or life insurance, but are you leaving money on the table by not asking your clients to also consider income protection? Perhaps you recognize the need for your clients to purchase individual disability income insurance but struggle with effectively proposing it. Doug Waters, 2nd vice president of disability insurance sales at Standard Insurance Company, provides five conversation pivots you can use to transition the discussion to individual disability income insurance when selling other products.

Read the article, "5 Opening Lines To Sell Individual Disability Income Insurance," on Employee Benefit Adviser (accessed October 15, 2014).

 

News Category: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

By Rich Lane, Director, Sales and Marketing, Standard Insurance Company
Published online, July 25, 2014, on
InsuranceNewsNet. Reprinted with permission.

The annuity purchaser demographic is changing. What was previously thought of as an investment strategy for retirees is now making a foothold with a younger group of investors – a group that understands the need for a sound retirement investment strategy.

Savvy younger investors want progressive brokers who can help them build a creative and lucrative retirement package. Here's how you can do it.

Get To Know Younger Investors

Although retired baby boomers may still be the bread and butter of brokers' fixed annuity sales, smart brokers are shifting part of their efforts to focus on a slightly younger age group. And for good reason.

A Gallup and Committee of Annuity Insurers survey found that nonqualified annuity owners are an average of 51 years old at the time of their first purchase.1 In addition, nearly 40 percent of these first-time annuity purchasers were younger than age 50.1 According to a recent LIMRA study, half of all annuity purchasers are under the age of 60.2

The gender and marital status of annuity purchasers also has shifted. The majority of current annuity owners are women by the slimmest of margins – 51 percent versus 49 percent male.1 The majority of annuity owners (58 percent) are married,1 although that percentage has decreased over the years.

Younger purchasers open a huge window of opportunity for expanding annuity sales. And this group is more concerned about retirement preparedness than ever before.

Understand Their Needs

Fixed annuities are a practical option for financially conservative clients, particularly for those who want to see a return on their investment. Many workers preparing for or nearing retirement age are at a life stage in which investment objectives and risk tolerance is low. A fixed annuity can be a practical investment for those who don't want to gamble with money they've worked so hard to accumulate for retirement.

When connecting with potential clients in this age group, make sure they understand why fixed annuities can be a perfect addition to any retirement portfolio. Emphasize that fixed annuities can provide predictable future income with a guaranteed rate of return. Flexible payout options offer a lifetime income stream, and those earnings aren't taxed until the funds are used.

Annuity purchasers are getting younger. Understanding the "new" annuity purchaser, and what is important to him or her, will set you up for increased sales and a role as a trusted advisor for years to come.

 

1 The Committee of Annuity Insurers. 2013 Survey of Owners of Individual Annuity Contracts (The Gallup Organization and Matthew Greenwald & Associates). Available at: http://www.annuity-insurers.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2013-Gallup-Survey.pdf. Accessed June 12, 2014.

2 LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. Deferred Annuity Buyer Attitudes and Behaviors. 2012.

 

News Category: 
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sound Selling Strategies Will Net Brokers Satisfied Customers, Additional Sales

By Rich Lane, Director, Sales and Marketing, Standard Insurance Company
Published online, August 5, 2014, on
InsuranceNewsNet. Reprinted with permission.

Investors these days are looking for a sound investment vehicle to help set them up for retirement. With many scarred from losing money in the recent economic downturn, clients are interested in a vehicle that has a guaranteed rate of return. That is one of the reasons why the fixed annuities industry is seeing strong growth in sales.

June was National Annuities Awareness Month, and a great opportunity for you and your clients to get up to speed on how an annuity can benefit their retirement portfolio. If you're new to selling annuities or are interested in a new client base, these surefire strategies can help make the sale.

1. Position it as one piece of the financial pie.

A sound financial plan should have a mix of options. Many clients are liquidating their 401(k) plans at retirement and taking them to other investors or brokers. Savvy brokers can recommend a fixed annuity as part of a broader financial portfolio instead of a bond, mutual fund or certificate of deposit. Younger investors with one or more decades between them and retirement will appreciate the conservative nature of annuities, as well as the guaranteed rate of return and lifetime income stream.

2. Find a suitable carrier.

Good brokers select a product that helps meet clients' investment and accumulation objectives – not just something that increases their personal bottom line. Although many products might fit a client's basic needs, it might be backed by a new or inexperienced carrier.

The influx of new annuity carriers is steepening competition for customers. Find a carrier to work with that not only sells sound products but also provides value-added services. Veteran carriers mitigate client risk and might provide a better return on investment. Consider these four things when selecting a carrier:

  • Long-term outlook — Does the carrier have a track record of successful long-range investing for their customers? The carrier should be able to support the claim and not sell the liability off to another carrier.
  • Ratings — Working with a respected, high-quality carrier can eliminate default risk and ensure guaranteed income for purchasers when they need it. Well-respected ratings agencies, including A.M. Best, Moody's and Standard & Poor's, offer valuable information.
  • How funds are invested — Although every carrier has to make investments to support its annuity responsibilities, investments should be sound and keep an annuity purchaser's interests in mind.
  • Company's assets — Collaborate with a carrier that has shown stability over the long term – including during the recent economic recession. Visit a carrier's website to see where it's investing its funds.

3. Highlight unique features.

Annuities purchasers also may have other investment needs, aside from the general need to protect their nest egg. Some purchasers may be interested in unique features, including how their investment can pay out multiple beneficiaries, or beneficiaries with unique needs.

For a client whose beneficiary isn't good with money, or for those with a disabled beneficiary who needs a continuous lifetime income stream, position a policy with restricted beneficiary designations. Restricted endorsements are a great way for the purchaser to decide how proceeds are disbursed. It also can take the decision-making process out of the hands of a beneficiary who might not be ready for the responsibility. It will help give purchasers peace of mind and help them plan for what will happen to their money after they're gone.

Fixed annuities can help clients invest in the future and provide a sound strategy for retirement. Brokers can develop a secure and long-term client base by understanding an annuity's place in a retirement portfolio for current or soon-to-be retirees, as well as younger investors who are looking to secure their post-retirement financial future.

 

News Category: 
Monday, August 11, 2014

Doing Homework Will Benefit Brokers And Purchasers

By Rich Lane, Director, Sales and Marketing
Published in the June 2014 issue of
California Broker. Reprinted with permission.

The fixed annuities marketplace is getting crowded. New entrants mean that seasoned and new advisors have a lot of information to review in order to make educated product recommendations to their customers. Brokers can develop a secure and long-term client base by developing a thorough understanding of the big picture of the annuities market – the sales process, what a purchaser is looking for and the carrier's integrity.

Aging Workers Seek Conservative Investments

Since the 2008 market downturn, there has been a shift in the way investors – particularly baby boomers – invest their retirement money. The average age of an annuity purchaser is 651 and getting younger. Life expectancies are on the rise, so workers will need more income to sustain them past retirement. This, coupled with risk aversion, has led to strong growth in fixed annuity sales.

Fixed annuities are a great option for purchasers who want an investment that will provide a guaranteed rate of return. Workers nearing retirement age are at a life stage where investment objectives – and risk tolerance – decrease. A fixed annuity can be a practical alternative for investors who don't want to gamble with the money they've worked so hard to accumulate for retirement.

Payout options for fixed annuities make them an attractive option for purchasers as well. A deferred annuity enables workers to accumulate savings – on a tax-deferred basis – until it's distributed as a payment stream or a one-time, lump-sum payment. An immediate annuity guarantees payments, which start right away, for a specified time period or a lifetime. Whichever path a purchaser chooses, a fixed annuity offers the safety of that guaranteed minimum for those who are close to retiring and more conservative with their nest eggs.

The bottom line is that most people buying fixed annuities are more concerned about the return of their principal balance than the return on it. Unlike bond funds or other types of equity-based product, the principal that is put into a fixed annuity is guaranteed at a minimum return if maintained for the life of the annuity. If an employee's life savings is $250,000, his or her investment objectives are likely very conservative. The employee wants to purchase a product that guarantees him or her a stock market crash won't reduce that $250,000 to $150,000 and send them back into the workforce.

Take Care Choosing A Carrier

Finding an annuity carrier that is a good fit for brokers and their clients can be a challenge. New entrants that haven't previously carried annuities products have increased the type and number of carriers to consider. Because of this, brokers have a lot of questions that must be answered before recommending a product. Which company will add value to the service you provide your customers? Will they help you stand apart from the competition? Is the carrier's focus on short-term gains or a continued presence in the annuity marketplace for the long term?

When determining which carrier to work with, consider these four things: long-term outlook, ratings, how funds are invested and the company's assets.

Long-term Outlook

Consider carriers that have been around for decades – or even more than a century. Do they have a track record of successful, long-range investing for their customers? Today, a 65-year-old retiree can be expected to live at least another 20 years. Brokers and their customers need to know that the company will be available – and able – to pay out benefits.

A retiree's main concern is that his or her assets will be available at retirement – and even beyond for heirs. Make sure the carrier's outlook matches that of the customer's. Will the carrier be there to support that claim and help the retiree move forward, or sell the liability off to another carrier?

Ratings

In addition to longevity, the quality of a carrier is important. Working with a respected, high-quality company can eliminate default risk and guarantee income for purchasers when they need it the most. Financial strength ratings factor in a company's investment portfolio, cash flow, earnings and other internal and external factors. Ratings serve as an indication of a carrier's vulnerability to unfavorable economic conditions and the ability to meet its financial commitments.

Strong financial support is the basis of a fixed annuity. A strong reputation is one of the highest qualities in a carrier. Consider only the highest-rated companies that meet brokers' and customers' needs. This information can be found by contacting well-respected ratings agencies such as A.M. Best, Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

How Funds Are Invested

It's important to investigate a carrier's financial standing and history to confirm its strength and stability. Brokers should review the investment portfolio of carriers they're considering for fixed annuities. Does the company invest in high-risk assets that don't align with their customers' needs? How do its investments or liabilities match up with fixed annuities?

Although every carrier has to make investments to support its annuity responsibilities, investment portfolios can vary from company to company. Carriers that align investments and liabilities with those of fixed annuities know that their policyholders don't want to outlive their money.

Company Assets

A financially strong and stable carrier is dedicated to meeting the long-term needs of its policyholders. Be sure that the fixed annuity a broker offers his or her customer comes from a carrier that has shown its stability through turbulent economic conditions such as those we've had over the last decade.

Understanding The Purchaser Mindset

Although rate of return may be important to a broker, often it's the opposite for a purchaser. Funding a comfortable retirement and leaving money to heirs are what the safety of a fixed annuity can offer. Brokers should focus on the features and benefits of a fixed annuity and align with a carrier that acts as they do – with integrity, personalized service and customer satisfaction.

 

1 The Standard internal data.

 

News Category: 
Friday, May 30, 2014

Dispelling The Myth

By Rich Lane, Director, Sales and Marketing
Published in the May/June 2014 issue of
Advisor Today. Reprinted with permission from Advisor Today.

Brokers are poised to profoundly affect their clients' financial decisions. Many brokers may not know they can help their clients realize their investment goals by including the purchase of a fixed annuity.

Although many brokers think that fixed annuity sales aren't for their clients, or are complex to sell and administer, the opposite is actually true. Fixed annuities can help clients invest in their future and maintain peace of mind leading up to and after retirement. Consider the following four myths, and learn more to see if selling a fixed annuity is right for your client base.

Myth No. 1: Only retirees purchase fixed annuities.

Baby boomers beginning to reach retirement age are weighing the right time to transition out of the workforce and thinking about how to maintain their standard of living during retirement.

Fixed annuities are a practical option for baby boomers who don't want to take chances with their retirement money and are interested in a guaranteed stream of retirement income.

Myth No. 2: My clients don't want to purchase a fixed annuity when they can invest in the stock market.

Many investors are still apprehensive about aggressively investing. The 2008 market downturn created uncertainty about where and how to invest retirement dollars. People reaching retirement age learned that market volatility is not always their friend, and as such, developed a lower tolerance for risk. Baby boomers are living longer and need to rely on retirement income for a longer period of time – making this investment increasingly important.

Because of this aversion to risk, the fixed annuities marketplace is seeing strong sales growth. Brokers can sell a fixed annuity by focusing on the two aspects that purchasers want to ensure for their investments – protecting their money and funding them for the rest of their retirement years.

Myth No. 3: My clients want higher interest rates before they will consider purchasing a fixed annuity.

Even in today's low-interest-rate environment, a fixed annuity's compound growth and tax-deferral status can grow a purchaser's retirement savings faster than he or she may think possible. If a purchaser put $50,000 into a five-year guaranteed annuity paying 2 percent, he or she would be guaranteed $55,204 at the end of five years without early withdrawals.1

Waiting one year to invest $50,000 in a fixed annuity, the money would have to earn 2.51 percent annually for four years to catch up with the investor who purchased an annuity now. If a purchaser waits two years, it would take three years at 3.36 percent annually to achieve the same earnings.

Myth No. 4: It's too difficult to sell a fixed annuity with unique beneficiary situations.

Like life insurance death proceeds, annuity carriers typically distribute proceeds as a lump sum. However, there are times when an annuity purchaser wants to control how the proceeds from an annuity are disbursed. Perhaps there are multiple beneficiaries; a beneficiary isn't good at managing money; or the purchaser wants to know the beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed income stream for their lives or for a designated period of time.

Brokers can find an annuity carrier that offers a restrictive endorsement, which allows the owner of the annuity to determine how proceeds are disbursed. A restrictive endorsement gives the purchaser "control from the grave," taking the decision-making out of the hands of beneficiaries, who might not be ready for the responsibility, and into the hands of the purchaser.

Brokers can differentiate themselves by understanding the nuances of fixed annuities. Not only will a fixed annuity provide another option to help clients plan for retirement, it also will cement brokers' positions as trusted advisors.

 

1 The Standard internal data

 

News Category: 
Friday, April 5, 2013

In a recent article for LifeHealthPro.com, John West, director of product management for The Standard, outlines the key ways to help clients understand the need for electronic enrollment technology. Implementation of automation technology could potentially assist in increasing enrollment and contributing to customer retention.

Read the LifeHealthPro.com article by John West, "7 Ways To Ease The Adoption Of Enrollment Technology," (March 26, 2013).