What You Need to Know
- Merit Life Insurance is best known for its Banyan CDA contract.
- Martin Woll, a former Equitable executive, joins the company as its chief operating officer.
- Cliff Merrill, a Prudential veteran, will be the new chief distribution and product development officer.
Merit Life Insurance — a company best known for its contingent deferred annuity contracts — is staffing up.
The Shelton, Connecticut-based company has hired Martin Woll, who has been the chief operating officer at Equitable’s individual retirement division, to be its chief operating officer.
The company has also added Cliff Merrill, formerly vice president for strategic distribution at Prudential Financial’s retirement income solutions business, as its chief distribution and product development officer.
The company has also changed the name of its contingent deferred annuity contract to “Banyan,” and announced plans to roll out new retirement income solutions.
Merit Life has backing from 777 Partners, a Bermuda-based reinsurer with about $7.5 billion in assets.
What It Means
Some life insurers may be tilting away from exposure to annuity guarantee risk, but plenty of other insurers want to sell your clients annuities.
Contingent Deferred Annuities
A contingent deferred annuity is a contract that can convert an ordinary investment portfolio that meets the CDA issuer’s eligibility criteria into an arrangement that can provide a guaranteed stream of income.
A CDA could appeal to a client who likes the idea of getting a guaranteed stream of income but who is leery of putting assets in the hands of insurers, or who wants to use a somewhat unusual investment strategy that’s conventional enough to meet the CDA issuer’s eligibility standards.
The Merit Life CDA contract can guarantee annual distributions of 5% for eligible covered portfolios, the company says.
The minimum age of an annuitant is 45. Income payments can begin any time after a vesting period and before age 95.
The annual fee is 0.55% per year of the wealth management account’s value. That fee is in addition to the wealth management firm’s own advisory services fee.