Annuities

News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits After Obergefell

In a historic decision, the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges recently held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires all jurisdictions in all fifty states to: (1) license a...more

Maryland District Court Grants Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Payee’s Counterclaims and Awards Attorney Fees in Interpleader

On July 1, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued an opinion granting Connecticut General Life Insurance Company’s (“CGLIC”) motion to dismiss a payee’s claims for breach of contract and...more

IRS Flip Flops DeRisking Pension Plan Options

The volatility and unpredictability of an employer's obligations under a defined benefit pension plan can have a significant impact on its bottom line. This is especially true of plans with liabilities for pension benefits...more

It's Curtains for Some Lump-Sum Window Programs

On July 9, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2015-49 to announce it intends to prohibit retirees who are receiving annuity payments from a defined benefit pension plan from electing a lump sum in lieu of the...more

IRS Changes Rules on Lump Sum Window Programs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has surprisingly issued a notice of its intention to amend the required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to limit the use of lump sum payments to...more

Update on Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Congressional Proposals: H.R. 1105, Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, was passed by the House, as amended, on Apr. 16, 2015. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes...more

Expect Focus - ONLINE HEALTH CARE: NOT SO FAST Telemedicine Hits A Few Speed Bumps, Volume II, Spring 2015

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT • Risky Business: Common Cyber Security Risks, Expensive Consequences - LIFE INSURANCE • Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

$84 Million Settlement in Northwestern Mutual Annuity Class Case

March 26 marked the beginning of the end for the storied 14-year litigation concerning Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Pre-MN annuities when the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted preliminary approval of a proposed...more

Federal Regulation of Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities Redux?

When SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar recently cited "the need for the Commission and state regulators to focus on combatting fraud involving complex securities" including "equity-indexed annuities," he did not discuss...more

A Tale of Two Annuities: Exchange of Variable for Fixed Annuity Integral in SLUSA Dismissal

After attending an annuity seminar, Robert and Diane Ruud exchanged their variable annuity for a fixed annuity sold by PHL Variable. According to the Ruuds, seminar provider John Friendshuh represented the fixed annuity as...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts: An Estate Planning Strategy

In the current economic environment, IRS-prescribed monthly interest rates for certain intra-family transactions are at historic lows. As a result, an excellent opportunity exists to transfer wealth to lower generation family...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly What was Promised

Observing that it "delivered precisely what it promised," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an insurer in a case alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt...more

Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan?

A private annuity can be a powerful strategy for passing assets to heirs in a tax-efficient manner. In a typical private annuity transaction, a parent transfers property to his or her children in exchange for their unsecured...more

Analysis: The Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Sales of Insurance Products

This paper explains the basis for our conclusions about the impact of the Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to amend the fiduciary investment advice regulation and the prohibited transaction (PT) exemptions for sales of...more

Global Trends in Insurance M&A in 2014 and Beyond

Looking back on 2014: The return of the billion dollar transactions - In recent years, insurance companies have largely focused on improving their performance by cutting costs amidst a slow post-global financial crisis...more

Early Termination of Annuities Not Permitted

Since investing can be a risky business with investments dropping in value from time to time, investors seeking steady income with minimal risk are sometimes attracted to an annuity’s guaranteed-income feature. A recent case...more

IREG Update

Cybersecurity and the Insurance industry - Cybersecurity is quickly emerging as a top policy issue for insurance regulators. Speaking at a Dow Jones Risk & Compliance forum last week, on April 21, 2015, New York...more

Pensions News - March 2015

In This Issue: - Budget 2014 reforms - Budget 2015 - The Pensions Regulator - Legislation - DC Charges and Governance - Case Law - HMRC - Public Service Pension Schemes - Other News - On the...more

IRS Releases Favorable Private Letter Ruling on “Taxable Annuity.”

On April 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released PLR 201515001 (Oct. 10, 2014), favorably addressing a “taxable annuity”—essentially, a deferred annuity contract supported, in part, by subaccounts, each of which...more

At the State Level, Is a Fixed-Index Annuity?

The so-called Harkin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act was intended to keep fixed-index annuities outside the SEC’s jurisdiction. But the issue remains unsettled on the state level. For example, an Illinois state court recently...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Bonus Annuity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed summary judgment for the insurer in a putative RICO class action relating to a bonus indexed annuity. Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims, the court held that the...more

Ex-Husband Fails in Attempt to Use Texas Law to Impose Constructive Trust on Former Spouse’s Survivor Annuity

A former husband’s attempt to use Texas law to deprive his first wife of a survivor annuity under his pension plan has been firmly rejected by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Vanderkam v. Vanderkam,...more

The Seventh Circuit Interprets Wisconsin Exemption Law on College Savings Accounts and Retirement Annuities, but Did It Have...

As we explained in a post yesterday, the Seventh Circuit in In re Bronk (Cirilli v. Bronk), No. 13-1123 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2015), made some new law on Wisconsin’s college savings account (Edvest) and annuity exemptions for...more

The Seventh Circuit Interprets Wisconsin Exemption Law on College Savings Accounts and Retirement Annuities, but Did It Have...

In re Bronk (Cirilli v. Bronk), No. 13-1123 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2015), resolved a couple of “questions of first impression,” slip op. at 1, under Wisconsin’s exemption statute in a case where a bankruptcy trustee sought to...more

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