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American General launches Accelerated Access Solution

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American General Life Companies (American General), a part of AIG, launched the Accelerated Access Solution, a flexible guaranteed universal life insurance. Life insurance policy holders who become diagnosed with a chronic illness can now access their policy’s death benefits, income tax free (based on current tax laws), through the rider.

The payout can be either 2 percent or 4 percent of the benefit amount per month, or the policy holder can choose to have the benefit amount set at the maximum Internal Revenue Service allowable per diem at the time the benefit is exercised. In 2014, it is $330 per day. A policy holder can qualify for the accelerated access to benefits if a licensed health care practitioner certifies that for at least 90 days, the insured has been unable to perform, without substantial assistance from another person, at least two of the six Activities of Daily Living or has suffered from a severe cognitive impairment (measured by clinical evidence and cognitive tests). A licensed health care practitioner must also certify that the conditions are likely to be permanent.

In other industry news:

Edward Myers joined Symetra Life Insurance Company as regional vice president, Institutional Markets. Myers will be part of the wholesaling team responsible for representing Symetra’s institutional life insurance programs to specialty brokers focused on the corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) and bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) markets. Myers reports to Laura Johnson, Symetra’s vice president of Institutional Markets.

Before coming to Symetra, Myers was director of Executive Benefits Markets Sales at Great-West Financial, where he was responsible for COLI sales. Prior to Great-West, he was vice president, Consulting with Mesirow Financial in Chicago. 

Myers is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University. He holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas as well as Series 6 and 63 licenses.

Indiana Sports Corp. President Allison MelangtonThe board of directors for OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. elected Indiana Sports Corp. President Allison Melangton as its newest member.

Melangton served in a variety of roles at Indiana Sports Corp. from 1994-2008, including leading Indianapolis’s successful bid to host the 2012 Super Bowl. In 2008, she accepted the position of president and CEO for the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. As a result of her leadership, more than 1.1 million people visited downtown Indianapolis during Super Bowl week, $154 million were invested in the city’s Near Eastside through the Legacy Project, and a number of community, youth and green initiatives were implemented impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals. She returned to Indiana Sports Corp. as president in 2012.

Melangton is a graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor of arts in Sports Administration. Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp., she directed national and international events for 11 years for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics. Melangton also worked at eight Olympic Games, including time as an associate producer for NBC Sports, and has won five Emmy Awards for her work.

Chris Swanker, vice president of Worksite & Specialty Markets,The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), has been elected 2014 board chairman for the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP).

The NADP is the largest nonprofit, national trade association focused exclusively on the dental benefits industry. Swanker will be responsible for helping determine the board agenda and areas in which the association should focus, as well as providing strategic leadership.

Swanker was elected to NADP’s board of directors in the fall of 2011 and became board vice chairman in the fall of 2012. He also currently serves as the vice chair of the NADP’s Health Care Reform Task Force.

Paul B. PhefferSecurity Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York named Paul B. (Pete) Pheffer, MBA, CPA, as the company’s executive vice president & chief financial officer. Pheffer succeeds Kevin J. McKeown, CPA,

FLMI, CLU, ChFC, who will retire in April 2014 after more than 30 years with the company.

Until his retirement, McKeown will continue to serve the company as senior vice president, chief accounting officer.

Pheffer has helped lead both mutual and public companies during his 30-plus years in the life insurance industry. Prior to serving Security Mutual, he was CFO for Presidential Life Insurance Company. His career includes having served as CFO for Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co., Kemper Life Insurance Companies, and Jackson National Life Insurance Companies, as well as president and CFO for Standard Management Corp.

Nationwide Financial introduced Nationwide YourLife CareMatters, an indemnity style plan that lets policy owners use the benefits for a wider variety of long-term care options – including paying a family member to care for them.

Nationwide YourLife CareMatters was designed for clients ages 40-75 with investible assets of $250,000 or more.

Disability Reinsurance Management Services (Disability RMS) joined the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) as the first reinsurer to become part of the national movement to educate working Americans about disability awareness and income protection.

As part of its CDA membership, Disability RMS will provide resources and expertise that will help CDA fulfill its mission, and will also leverage CDA’s educational materials, tools, quizzes, disability research, statistics and calculators, all of which can be found on Disability RMS will join the Defend Your Income movement, which unites consumers, advisors, employers and insurers in the fight to protect the incomes of working Americans.