Product Reviews

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#400 | MassMutual Apex VUL

When MassMutual rolled out Apex VUL in 2021, the name was unintentionally ironic. If you’re going to roll out a product and call it “apex,” it better be good. Apex isn’t an aspirational term. It’s a descriptor. A product called…

#398 | Universal Life Outside the Lines

Over the past few weeks, two stalwarts of independent distribution – John Hancock and Pacific Life – have released new versions of their respective best-selling Indexed UL products. At first blush, the two products don’t have much in common. John…

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#395 | Nationwide High Par 5

Full Article It’s been an interesting run for Nationwide New Heights IUL, which theoretically piggybacks on the massive success of Nationwide’s New Heights FIA and was built in partnership with Annexus. New Heights IUL was and continues to be identical…

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#394 | The Curious Case of the MassMutual 8 Pay

One of the most obvious impacts of the change to the Section 7702 interest rates implemented at the beginning of 2021 was the ability for life insurers to become quite a bit more targeted in their Whole Life product designs.…

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#369 | Brighthouse SmartGuard Plus

Quick Take There is no doubt that Brighthouse SmartGuard Plus is one of the most innovative new products to hit the market in a long time, blending the competitive guaranteed income of an annuity with the income tax advantages of…

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#368 | Nationwide Flexes Its Muscles in the Hybrid Life/LTC Market. Again.

This article was written by Steve Cox, Head of Life and Hybrid Products at Life Innovators. Special thanks to Ramona Neal of The Living Benefit Review for her contributions as well. Over the last two plus decades, the joint last…

#356 | Northwestern Mutual Enters the 10 Pay Fray

Quick Take At first blush, Northwestern Mutual isn't a natural fit for the highly competitive and quickly growing 10 Pay Whole Life market. Illustrated performance in short pay products generally favors companies with high Dividend Interest Rates, yet Northwestern lags…

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#343 | The Original IVUL – Equitable MSO II

Quick Take Equitable was first-to-market with Buffered crediting strategies in VUL with its 2010 release of the Market Stabilizer Option (MSO). A few weeks ago - on the same day that Prudential FlexGuard IVUL was released - Equitable launched a…

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#341 | Prudential FlexGuard IVUL

Quick Take Prudential FlexGuard IVUL is the second (after Equitable MSO, which has been in market largely unchanged since 2010) of what will inevitably become a new category in the life insurance market, Variable UL products with subaccounts that offer…

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#338 | New York Life Wealth Plus

Quick Take New York Life's new Secure Wealth Plus is a direct competitor to Mass Mutual and Guardian in the 2% 10 Pay Whole Life space - and it delivers the goods. First year liquidity is at the top of…

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