Alcoa said during an earnings call that it will pay $300 million for annuities that will assume responsibility for the pension benefits of approximately 9,000 retirees. The annuitization will be phased in over time, the company said.
Security Benefit Life is releasing a new version of its RateTrack floating-rate annuity that includes a lifetime income benefit. Company president Doug Wolff said that since the original RateTrack was introduced nearly two years ago, sales of the floating-rate fixed annuity have exceeded $2 billion.
Industry experts had expected the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on a challenge to the Labor Department's fiduciary rule by the end of 2017. Now, "it may be that the court is simply delaying issuing the ruling to see what happens in the regulatory process," said Bruce Ashton, a lawyer with Drinker, Biddle & Reath.
A number of advisors say the ideal time to review investment portfolios is while the market continues to make strong upward progress. Modifying return expectations and assessing risk appetite are among the recommended actions, as certified financial planner Lynn Ballou points out, "We get lulled into complacency in times like this ... then we kick ourselves if there's a market correction."
Employees might not always be willing to discuss the reasons their performance is slipping, so managers must be proactive about addressing the issue. Several strategies can help, including giving employees a sense of ownership and reassuring them of their value.
Approximately 83% of employers who sponsor a 401(k) plan reviewed their fees last year, and more than 40% of those decided to lower them, according to a survey by consulting firm Callan. A Callan official says the trend has been prompted by growing concerns over lawsuits alleging excessive fees, which have increased significantly since 2015.
A recent survey shows Americans store most of their wealth in 401(k) accounts, and a substantial number have no form of short-term savings. Columnist Maurie Backman contends the lack of an emergency fund puts retirement-savings goals at risk.
Financial planners sometimes make excuses for lackluster marketing efforts, but the truth is that many need to do a better job of demonstrating the value they can provide, writes Dan Martin, FPA's director of marketing. Before creating a list of specific marketing tactics, focus on shaping the story about your practice and your clients, he writes.
Women tend to outlive men and are more likely to require long-term care, but planners sometimes overlook the wealth transfer from husband to wife. Working directly with female clients well before they need long-term care is a smart move.
Advisor Dan Cuprill writes that in most cases, doctors only deal with patients who come to them with a specific need and it is unlikely a person with a clean bill of health would ask another doctor for a second opinion. He argues advisors can learn from this by framing conversations with existing and potential clients in terms of their financial needs and concerns.
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