New York Life has completed the acquisition, through reinsurance, of a net 60 percent interest in John Hancock Financial’s closed block, comprised primarily of participating whole life insurance policies. The transaction, which was initially announced in December 2014, has received all necessary regulatory approvals. The closed block of 1.3 million in-force policies with a face amount of more than $25 billion was established in connection with John Hancock’s demutualization in 2000. Through reinsurance arrangements, New York Life has assumed $7 billion of statutory reserves. New York Life’s NYL Investors, LLC unit, which oversees the company’s general account investments, manages approximately $12 billion in new assets as a result of the deal. With these additional assets, New York Life’s general account assets now exceed $213 billion (reflects cash and invested assets on a consolidated basis), a record high for the company. John Hancock, the U.S. division of Manulife Financial Corporation, will continue to administer the closed block policies, including paying claims and dividends. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Delta Dental of Colorado has introduced new self-funded dental plans for businesses with more than 50 employees, responding to demand for more plan variety for small groups. “Small businesses in Colorado now have access to the same tools most large companies use to control costs and tailor benefits to their needs,” said Mark Thompson, director of sales and client services for Delta Dental of Colorado. “Business owners and brokers have been asking for a self-funded option, and we’re excited to deliver.” Companies considering self-funded medical plans may opt to “test the waters” with a self-funded dental plan first because of the relatively low costs of dental claims compared to medical claims, Reams said.
The Financial Services Institute (FSI) has launched a new microsite for investors to weigh in with their members of Congress and the Department of Labor urging them to protect their retirement by ensuring their access to financial advisors, products and services that they depend on today for dignified retirement.The easy-to-use site, www.MySavingsMyChoice.org, allows each investor to send four total letters – two Senators, one member of Congress and one to DOL Secretary Tom Perez – in just two simple steps. The FSI advocacy software automatically matches the investor with their elected officials. Any financial advisor, whether an FSI member or not, is urged to send this link to their clients urging them to weigh in.
The site is just the latest in FSI’s extensive efforts to positively affect constructive change with the fiduciary rule. Last week, FSI unveiled its U.N.W.O.R.K.A.B.L.E. document, that has been helping Congressional staffers and members of Congress understand a complex issue in a simplified format. FSI is working directly with its 37,000 financial advisor members and 100+ firm members to reach their current clients asking them to weigh in on the rule. FSI will next provide an extensive comment letter to the DOL on the rule on July 21.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Nationwide announced several enhancements to its YourLife CareMattersSM linked benefit long-term care (LTC) product, featuring an increase in the LTC benefit pool for most new policies. For the most commonly selected six-year benefit scenario, the LTC benefit will increase up to 21 percent for single-pay cases and up to 15 percent on 10-pay cases. Other benefit periods will also see an increase or stay the same depending on age, gender, payment plan and benefit option. Other product enhancements announced include: a monthly premium option for multi-pay cases; a maximum issue age increase to 70 for single-pay policies; and the 100 percent return of premium feature changing to a five-year vesting schedule for single-premium policies.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has promoted James Nelson to vice president, Legal Business Operations and Product Development. In his new role, Nelson will oversee and manage strategy for legal support of tax, business operations and product development and will be responsible for advising on strategic planning and development of product life cycle and operations. He will also be a member of the company’s Senior Leadership Group. Nelson has been with Allianz Life since 2011, serving as lead attorney responsible for fixed annuity and fixed index annuity lines of business. Prior to joining Allianz Life, he was in private practice and held various counsel and general counsel roles at KMG America, Thrivent Financial and ING. Nelson has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and a juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.
Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, a California-based employee benefits brokerage firm, announced that both the firm and its president and CEO, Kristen Allison, have been recognized by the Orange County Business Journal for outstanding achievements in business. Allison, honored as one of five exceptional professional women who have made significant contributions to their organizations, their professions and the Orange County community, was selected from of a field of hundreds of distinguished nominees from a broad spectrum of industries, while the firm she has led for 20 years earned high rankings among the Best Places to Work. Allison accepted the prestigious Women in Business award before a crowd of more than 800 at the 21st Annual Women in Business Awards Luncheon.