May 19, 2020
Keeping you informed with important Covid‑19 updates
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act
Fixed and fixed indexed annuities provide valuable guarantees and benefits that meet consumers’ needs and objectives, especially during times of market volatility. Offering annuity products during the COVID-19 crisis is presenting unique challenges to both producers and Athene. As described in our April webinar and field communications, Athene is committed to working with you so we may conduct electronic and virtual business in a compliant manner.
Thorough documentation is key to compliant sales. Documenting when and how you met a consumer and why you did or didn’t recommend an annuity is even more crucial now than under normal circumstances. This is especially true for an annuity sale involving a replacement of an existing life insurance or annuity contract. Suitability and replacements are always key concerns of your state regulator, and this time is no different. In fact, regulators have indicated they will look closely at sales made during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure that suitable sales were conducted. As such, we strongly urge you to continue the practice of keeping detailed notes and records of any annuity sales transaction.
Working in a virtual world
We’ve developed guidelines to help you navigate the world of virtual selling. Please take a moment to review them carefully.
Athene also offers an array of resources to help you complete and submit business electronically. Download our handy Guide to Doing Business During COVID‑19 for a walkthrough. Before using these tools, please be sure to confirm the procedures for submitting business with your firm’s back office.
We’re here to help
While we’re taking appropriate precautions for the safety of our team members and communities, Athene is open for business and ready to serve you. Please contact the best Sales Desk in the business at 888‑ANNUITY (266‑8489) if you have questions about virtual selling or the electronic application process.
Coming soon! Easier-to-use suitability forms and Product Comparison Worksheets
You asked we listened! In an effort to make it easier for you to do business with Athene while maintaining a strong suitability program, we’ll be rolling out new Suitability forms and Product Comparison Worksheets (PCWs).
Watch for additional details over the next few months.
Ideas you can use to grow your business
Athene’s online libraries are packed with valuable information for you and your clients. Take a look at these highlights for May…
Insights provides education and information that can help take your business to the next level.
- Managing volatility for more predictable performance. Take a closer look at the volatility control mechanisms of today’s fixed indexed annuities and how they help reduce exposure to the underlying index — delivering a more stable performance.
- Financial literacy for your clients in their 40s and 50s.There are many new opportunities to talk about financial literacy with your clients to discover if they understand the basics as they relate specifically to this time in their lives. Here are four things all clients in their 40s and 50s should know.
For your Clients…
- Planning for retirement in uncertain times. A long-term retirement strategy can help clients navigate market ups and downs and achieve their goals for the future.
- Using an annuity to help pay for college. The cost of college continues to rise, but there are options to help clients financially prepare for this important milestone. Clients will learn how using an annuity as part of an overall college saving strategy can help them tackle everything from tuition to student loans.
Athene Legal and Compliance Updates
The following information will help you stay current on your responsibilities as an Athene producer. Remember, it is your obligation to know the requirements of your Athene contract, as well as the laws and regulations of any state in which you conduct business.
All states: Telemarketing restrictions due to state emergency – New York passed legislation in December 2019 amending its telemarketing and fraud prevention act. While the new legislation has an exemption for insurance producers, it also contains a provision that adds “knowingly making unsolicited telemarketing sales calls to any person in a county, village, etc., under a state of emergency or disaster emergency” to the list of practices that are considered “abusive.” There is no exemption in this provision for insurance producers.
Therefore, during this current State of Emergency, insurance producers and marketers in all states should refrain from making any telemarketing calls to consumers in New York, unless responding to an express written or verbal request by the consumer or in connection with an established business relationship.
Violators of the rule could be assessed a fine of up to $2,000 per occurrence and a fine not to exceed $11,000 per violation after an administrative hearing. Athene recommends insurance producers exercise great caution when making telemarketing calls to New York residents.
Please make sure you read all applicable updates in their entirety. Failure to comply with applicable regulations may lead to disciplinary action and may be grounds for termination of your appointment and/or contract with Athene.
Learn at your Desk or on the Go!
Athene webcasts cover a wide range of topics, including product, compliance, and software training. Register to attend a live webcast or access our On‑Demand Library anytime. Take a look at what’s available now on Athene Connect.
Featured live webcast:
Indexed annuities: Pricing customer value – Join us on Tuesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. CT for a real-world look at the economics of modern fixed indexed annuities and gain insights into how insurers price products and credit interest.Register today!
Other Helpful COVID-19 Reminders
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act
On March 27, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third COVID-19 relief bill, into law. The more than $2 trillion package includes many elements to aid individuals, businesses, and state and local governments due to the pandemic.
New Deadline for 2019 IRA Contributions is July 15, 2020.
As part of the Coronavirus Tax Relief, the deadline for your clients to make IRA contributions for the 2019 tax year has been extended. All qualifying premiums must be postmarked to Athene or picked up by a UPS or FedEx delivery carrier no later than July 15, 2020. Be sure to check the minimum premium requirements for the product you’re selling prior to solicitation.
Beware of Fraud
The potential for fraudulent activity increases during uncertain times. Athene encourages you to monitor state Department of Insurance websites, and look to us for information that will help keep you in-the-know.
We’re here to help! If you suspect fraud, please contact Athene for assistance:
- Call 888-266-8489 or
- Send the Request for Compliance Review Form to Athene at email@example.com.
Be sure to monitor state insurance department websites
In response to COVID-19, state insurance departments are frequently issuing communications and bulletins regarding their policies and changes in procedures and processes. Some affect producers and the sale process, including states that are limiting in-person sales processes. Please monitor the state insurance department websites in any state where you are licensed.
Thank you for your business. At Athene, we believe the power of unconventional thinking can help take you to the next level. For product and sales support, please contact the best Sales Desk in the business at 888‑ANNUITY (266‑8489).
1 (800) 772-6881 x7731 | firstname.lastname@example.org