How Whole Life Dividends Are Calculated

Updated 3/5/2020, Originally posted 1/2019 Dividends are a return of premium when carrier results exceed a very conservative projection for investments, income, and expenses.  Dividends are paid annually on participating whole life insurance and determined at the discretion of the board of directors.  They are paid in addition to the guaranteed cash values in the policy, but the dividends themselves are not guaranteed and will [...]

Choosing the Best Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Updated 1/7/2020, Originally posted 10/05/2018 Because we have managed life insurance for over a decade our clients will sometimes inquire about the best permanent life insurance policy to buy.  Our answer – always – is there is no single best policy.  The market usually has a “latest and greatest” policy and today it is equity index universal life (EIUL) which captured 64 percent of all [...]

2020-01-07T14:33:05-06:00January 7th, 2020|General Interest, Whole Life|1 Comment

Take the TOLI Challenge: In a Permanent Life Insurance Policy, the Cost of the Policy is Equal to the Premium – Yes or No?

The answer is an emphatic NO. Some permanent life insurance policies, specifically guaranteed universal life (GUL) and Whole Life (WL), have required premiums, though WL out of pocket premiums can be reduced by dividends, paid-up addition cash values or policy loans. But the premium paid is not the actual cost of the policy and finding the underlying costs on the policies is a challenge. For [...]

New Legislation Introduced in Congress Would Help Seniors and the Life Settlement Industry

A bill introduced in Congress could help spur sales of life insurance in the secondary market by allowing policyholders to use the proceeds from the sale of a life insurance policy to fund an account to be used for paying long-term care expenses on a tax-favored basis.  HR Bill 7203, introduced by U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins [...]

The Big Four Carriers Announce Their Dividends for 2019

  For the last few years, we have tracked the dividends paid by four large mutual carriers whose main product offering is whole life.  These carriers are owned by their policyholders, not stockholders and operate with a long-term business view. Unlike most life insurance carriers, they sell their products through a career agency system – a dying breed.  Their dividend rate and payments are a [...]

How About Just Doing the Right Thing?

During an ITM TwentyFirst University webinar on trustee liability, I described a replacement case that came into our remediation department. A grantor with a whole life contract in his trust had decided to stop gifting. His agent advised him to complete a 1035 exchange of the cash value from the existing policy into a new current assumption policy. The exchange, with no other premium, would [...]

Mass Mutual Class Action Settlement Means Small Payout for Participating Policyholders

A class action lawsuit brought against Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company has resulted in preliminary approval of a $37.5 million payout. The payout benefits policyholders of Mass Mutual participating policies held between January 1st, 2001 and December 31st, 2016. A participating policy is one that receives dividends. ITM TwentyFirst has begun to receive notices of the payout that was agreed to in a document filed [...]

Dividends at The BIG 4 Carriers Mostly Down, But Are Interest Rates Finally Going Up?

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Northwestern Mutual had declared its 2017 dividend and had not only lowered it but also increased some costs (see: Northwestern Mutual Dividend and Crediting Rates Drop, Expenses Rise). Northwestern Mutual was the first of the so-called “Big 4” mutual carriers to report. These A++ (AM Best)–rated companies are considered to be the gold standard among life insurance carriers. [...]

2016-11-29T09:06:44-06:00November 29th, 2016|General Interest, News, Whole Life|3 Comments

Northwestern Mutual Dividend and Crediting Rates Drop, Expenses Rise

Over the last two years, we have written extensively about the impact of the low interest rate environment on life insurance policy performance, primarily Current Assumption Universal Life policies. Many carriers have pointed to low interest rates as a primary cause for their cost of insurance (COI) increases in these policies. Anyone who has attended one of our webinars on life insurance policy subjects (see: [...]

Recent Court Case Identifies An Obvious Tax Liability: One TOLI Trustees Sometimes Miss

A recent US Tax Court Memo identifies the financial risk in unwittingly or intentionally mismanaging a life insurance policy. In 1987, a policy owner purchased a single premium variable life policy (since this was pre Code Section 7702A, it was not considered a modified endowment contract) with a payment of $87,500. The policy contract permitted the owner to take loans from the policy, allowing any [...]