Transamerica

The companies of Transamerica offer a wide array of financial services and products.

Transamerica's history dates back to 1906 with the formation of Occidental Life Insurance Company.  In 1930, San Francisco businessman A.P. Giannini purchased the Occidental Life Insurance Company with the Transamerica Corporation.

In 1999, Transamerica was acquired by AEGON.  Based in The Hague Netherlands, AEGON is one of the world's largest providers of life insurance, pensions and asset management.

Transamerica operates through a group of subsidiary life insurance companies.  The Transamerica companies provide a broad portfolio of retirement-oriented products and services that fall under the general categories of investments, life insurance and annuities.

Transamerica's annuity-related offerings include both variable annuities and fixed annuity products.

 

Transamerica Product Reviews
Products Offered


General Information
Websitehttp://www.transamerica.com
TypeInsurance Company
Founded1967
Ownership
CountryUSA
Contact Information
Address4 Manhattanville Road
New York, NY 10577
Phone800-821-9090
Fax852-2877-6220, 704-330-7947

Information & Articles about Transamerica

A very good article from Darla Mercado at Investment News discusses the current challenges that insurers face in the fixed annuity market.

The challenges basically involve two issues:

  1. Interest rates--and particularly interest rate spreads--are very low.  Low interest rate spreads make it difficult for insurance companies to earn income on fixed annuities since they are spread-based products.
  2. Increased regulatory requirements make it more difficult and expensive to sell fixed annuities--particularly through independent brokers.  Suitability requirements at the point of sale make it difficult for insurers to manage the independent broker channel since it is so diffuse.  Banks and broker-dealers are easier to manage because top-down controls can be imposed by the parent organization.  In addition, the parent organization is able to assume more responsibility  and liability since they are more resource rich than individuals.

The case is supported by recent departures (Transamerica, Dearborn National) from the fixed annuity market and certain fixed annuity channels (i.e. independent insurance brokers).

The article can be read by clicking here.

1,610 reads

The Dutch insurance and financial services giant Aegon appears to be rethinking its U.S. based variable annuity business.

It is reported that Aegon is making a move to apply a macro equity hedge to its in-force variable annuity contracts.

The company is also considering the sale of its life reinsurance business, Transamerica Re.

During a recent presentation, Aegon company executives discussed the company's desire to move away from spread-based products, and move towards fee-based products such as 401k and 403b savings vehicles.

The company will also place an increased focus on dominating the worksite marketing channels in the United States, as well as certain foreign markets such as Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Clearly the company is positioning itself in light of what it considers to be profitable growth opportunities on a longer-term basis.

Source: National Underwriter

Read Full Story

2,846 reads

The standalone living benefit (“SALB”) is a relatively new and innovative product in the retirement income arena.

A SALB is basically the same thing as the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) that accompanies many variable annuities.  The GLWB feature allows the contract holder to withdraw a fixed percentage of the total annuity premiums each year regardless of market performance.

What makes the standalone living benefit different is that the GLWB has been “stripped away” and can exist independently of the variable annuity.  This allows the owner of the standalone living benefit to receive the guaranteed income and longevity risk protection of the GLWB without having to purchase a variable annuity.  The SALB guarantee is still an annuity and provides insurance—it just does not have to be coupled with a variable annuity.

Standalone living benefits are intended to accompany a pool of money or assets that are being managed.  The owner of a professionally managed private investment account who purchases a SALB would have all the features and protections of the GLWB. 

For example, assume that a person with $350,000 purchases a SALB that pays 5%.  This person would be able to receive the 5% guaranteed income stream for life.  The actual amount of the income stream would be $17,500 ($350,000 x 5%), and this amount would not be affected if the value of the $350,000 portfolio decreases.

There is an annual step-up with SALBs, so income stream in the example above would increase if market conditions are favorable and the value of the $350,000 portfolio increases.  For example, the contract holder’s guaranteed lifetime income would increase to $20,000 per year if the portfolio value increases to $400,000.

The SALB contract holder also has the ability to choose when to apply or remove the guarantee.  SALBs do have a spousal option and there is little to no death benefit.

The cost of a SALB is based on a number of factors—equity market volatility being a fundamental driver of cost.  A very rough cost estimate would range from 75 basis points to 2 percent.  In our example above, a 1 percent fee would equate to $3,500 per year (1% X $350,000).

A higher equity allocation (versus fixed income) in a portfolio likely results in higher costs.  In fact, some insurance companies providing SALBs will limit equity allocations to a certain percentage of overall assets.

In contrast to variable annuities, gains on SALBs are taxed.  On the positive side, though, there are potentially no contingent deferred sales charges with SALBs.

SALBs are not necessarily widely available yet.  The product works best with professionally managed assets that are governed by certain accounting features.  In addition, many SALBs come with minimum asset requirements.

Some of the insurers providing or intending to provide SALBs include Phoenix, Genworth, Nationwide, Allianz and Transamerica.

7,422 reads

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