Variable annuities

Soleares Research, LLC is a market research and consulting firm servicing the annuity and life insurance businesses. We provide, through our website, periodic articles that cover important industry trends; we also offer clients phone or on-site consultations, executive briefings and presentations. We pride ourselves on first-class customer service and responsiveness to our clients. We aim to be an indispensable resource to the marketplace.

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Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 17, 2017

After reviewing earnings calls of stock-traded insurance companies we cover regularly, we came away with the impression that for of them, variable annuity results were lackluster, although there were a few instances of modest improvement...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 09, 2017

While we have seen a few insurers offer to buyout owners of vintage guaranteed lifetime benefits for risk-reduction purposes, a company that has taken a different approach is Principal Financial. Earlier this week it filed to offer a program that will switch holders of older benefits into newer ones...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Nov 02, 2017

Third quarter earnings season is now underway, and we are highly interested in what conference calls might reveal about the variable annuity business. We’re suspecting that sales levels might have started improve at least a bit due to the delay in full implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 24, 2017

This will be a brief report in which we’ll get caught up with the latest in new variable annuity contract filings, and cover a few noteworthy product changes...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 12, 2017

While activity along the variable annuity product pipeline has been slower than usual of late, we did manage to find a few interesting developments in recent SEC filings which we’ll cover in this report...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Oct 04, 2017

In this report we’ll discuss which kinds of variable annuities are selling best so far this year, and we’ll cover a few new registrations that were filed recently which we think reflect the kinds of products insurers are most likely to come out with over the near term...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 20, 2017

This report contains our customary coverage of noteworthy variable insurance fund filings from the prior month. In August we saw a few new registrations, and quite a few adjustments to fees and expenses...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Sep 11, 2017

This will be yet another one of our reports covering recent variable annuity product filings we found interesting. Most of them involved alterations to existing contracts and riders; there were also updates to annuities in the pipeline and a new benefit buyback program...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 28, 2017

In this report we’ll cover new variable annuity contracts and guaranteed death and living benefits filed with the SEC in August. In most cases the products are next-generations versions of existing ones, with slight modifications or upgrades...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 21, 2017

In our following of activity along the variable annuity product filing pipeline of recent weeks, we came to the opinion that things are rather slow going; however we did see multiple benefit rate sheet updates, some which we’ll cover in this report. We’ll also touch on a few product changes...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 14, 2017

As we suspected, some stock-traded insurance companies we cover regularly garnered increases in variable annuity sales sequentially, which we attribute partly to seasonality – since the second quarter is usually a strong one for the industry – and partly to the continued strong performance of the stock market...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Aug 01, 2017

As second quarter earnings season has gotten underway, in this commentary we’ll provide a few thoughts about how we think the variable annuity industry has been performing. We will make sure to follow up with more perspective once official sales numbers come out...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 24, 2017

Just when we thought product development pipeline activity had gotten as slow as it could possibly get, we noticed interesting filings last week of new variable and structured annuities, which should launch sometime this year...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jul 10, 2017

The focus of this report will be on variable annuity guaranteed benefit buyouts from Voya Financial and Zurich American Life that have either already launched or will be coming out soon – and both resemble similar programs the insurers extended to clients earlier...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 29, 2017

As we opined in our last commentary, activity along the variable annuity product pipeline continues to be rather slow, thus we don’t have a great deal of new developments to cover. Our intention with this report is to get caught up with competitive conditions, from a product perspective, as they stand currently...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 20, 2017

Activity has been a bit slow along the variable annuity product pipeline of late – which is typical of this time of year – however we do have a few notable filings to report on, and will also offer up some thoughts on related industry themes...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Jun 05, 2017

Every so often we like to study variable annuity guaranteed living benefit (GLB) account value and risk levels around the industry, as they can impact the health of insurers. This report will be an update to one we published last November, relying on first-quarter data we compiled from company financial reports...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 23, 2017

It’s about time we checked in on the variable annuity product pipeline because we noticed a good mix of interesting filings come through over the past few months, most of them debuting during the May prospectus update season...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 17, 2017

In first quarter earnings calls of stock-traded insurers we watch regularly, a common theme was discussed on pretty much all of them: issues in dealing with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule which put a damper on annuity sales...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: May 03, 2017

Last week we attended the annual LIMRA/LOMA/SOA Retirement Industry Conference, held in Orlando, Florida, and in this report we’ll share some thoughts on a topic that was much discussed throughout the event – the Department of Labor’s fiduciary standard...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 25, 2017

In this report we’ll get caught up with new variable annuity contracts and guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs) filed with the SEC so far this year. In our view, industry filing activity in 2017 has been rather slow compared to years past, although this is not surprising to us given the secular de-risking period we are in...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 18, 2017

This report covers notable variable fund developments from the last month, a time in which we saw no new registrations, but a good amount of filings that made changes to investment platforms...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Apr 11, 2017

Not long ago industry research firms released full-year 2016 variable annuity sales data, thus in this report we’ll give our thoughts on what the numbers revealed, and discuss some themes from last year might remain relevant moving forward...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 24, 2017

This report contains our customary coverage of noteworthy variable fund filings from the prior month. During February we noticed a number of new registrations, including some that will pursue alternative investment and managed-volatility strategies, which have been used with increasing frequency in the industry of late...


Posted By: Steven D. McDonnell Posted On: Mar 17, 2017

Due to this being a somewhat slow period in the variable annuity product pipeline, in this report we’ll delve a little further into a new guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit from Lincoln National scheduled to launch in May. We already mentioned it in these pages, but a recent filing added new details...


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