Consumers and Insurers Benefit from Uniform Insurance Product Standards

[Life Insurance 101 Series: This series features IMPACT posts that detail the breadth of the industry’s reach and benefits provided to consumers.] Most consumers have probably never heard of the Interstate Insurance Compact. Nonetheless, many of them have benefited from it. This is because the Compact gives individuals faster access to competitive insurance products as well as strong consumer protections through its uniform product standards across most states. At the same time, insurers, who are state-regulated, are able to obtain greater operational efficiencies and speed-to-market of their products. Instead of having to file and seek approval of their products in every … Continue reading “Consumers and Insurers Benefit from Uniform Insurance Product Standards”

Senate Passage of SECURE Act Would Help Gold Star Families and All Americans

Every November 11 on Veterans Day, the United States proudly honors the brave men and women who served in our armed forces.  We also honor their families, for the many sacrifices and hardships they endured while their loved ones protected our nation. These heroes and their families deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. Instead, some survivors of fallen U.S. troops are facing an undeserved tax burden. The 2017 federal tax reform law unintentionally changed the tax rules for children of U.S. military members who died on duty. Consequently, an estimated 18,000 Gold Star families watched the tax bill on their … Continue reading “Senate Passage of SECURE Act Would Help Gold Star Families and All Americans”

An Opening for Open MEPS?

Too many Americans lack access to a workplace retirement savings plan. Open multiple employer plans (known as open MEPs) are one great solution to expanding retirement plan access.  The concept is simple – let unrelated employers band together to offer a common retirement plan to their employees.   MEPs are not a new concept. But they’re currently “closed” – that is, generally limited to employers who have some relationship to each other.   Opening up MEPs to any employer is a perfect solution for small employers who don’t have a retirement plan nor a “relationship” with other businesses. And expanding access … Continue reading “An Opening for Open MEPS?”

Financial Advisors from 50 States Urge Senate to Pass SECURE Act

A well-known national motto e pluribus unum or “out of many, one” is a powerful statement of our strength as a unified nation. It reminds us that our country is greater than the sum of its parts and appears on the Great Seal of the United States, as well as most U.S. currency. This isn’t just a high-minded idea. It also illustrates how individuals in the real world come together for a common purpose in our democracy. And that’s just what’s happening today. This morning, financial advisors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia urged U.S. Senate leadership to pass the … Continue reading “Financial Advisors from 50 States Urge Senate to Pass SECURE Act”

91 Business & Community Leaders Call on Senate to Pass SECURE Act

On May 23, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, 417-3. The bipartisan landslide vote was not surprising. SECURE has attracted supporters from across the political spectrum because of all the good it will do for Americans’ financial security. What is disappointing is that in the nearly six months since the House vote, the Senate still hasn’t voted on SECURE. To that end, the American Council of Life Insurers led an initiative for SECURE supporters to sign a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck … Continue reading “91 Business & Community Leaders Call on Senate to Pass SECURE Act”

Life Insurers Help Millennials Through Every Stage of Life

(A version of this article originally appeared in USA Today for Mediaplanet’s Financial Planning and Insurance Campaign.) Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: The oldest millennials are celebrating their 20th anniversary in the workforce this year. Hard to believe, right? But it’s true. The millennial generation—widely defined as people born between 1981 and 1996—has grown up in a flash. An 18-year-old high school graduate in 1999 who didn’t go to college has been in the workforce for two decades. Indeed, millennials are already the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. As they face big questions over starting families, housing and career advancement, … Continue reading “Life Insurers Help Millennials Through Every Stage of Life”

What’s the Difference of a Few Percentage Points for Retirement Savers?

As previously discussed, the United States is in a low interest rate environment. Low interest rates negatively impact people saving for retirement, including those who invest in fixed-return assets (assets that pay people a set interest rate). They can have a particularly severe impact on retirees and those nearing retirement. But how much do a few percentage points really matter? Consider two simple examples: 1) A 50-year-old invests $100,000 in a fixed-return asset that pays 2.5%, compounded annually. Putting aside taxes, 10 years later she’ll have $128,009. If the investment pays 5.0%, she would have about $162,889. If it pays … Continue reading “What’s the Difference of a Few Percentage Points for Retirement Savers?”