Broker Check

Broker News

March 2020

FIFTH AVENUE FINANCIAL HAS A NEW HOME

Please update your records with our new address.  All other contact information will remain the same.  We’re now located at:  

Fifth Avenue Financial

90 Park Ave, 17th Floor

New York, NY  10016

 

Best Practices for Paperless New Business Transactions
As we have all seen in the news, companies in the US are contending with contingency plans surrounding the coronavirus.   Workforces are moving to remote locations in order to conduct business.  We want to make sure that our brokerage community is prepared by being up to date with electronic new business process.  We encourage you consider adopting these practices in light of the recent environment.  Not only will this help the communities that are impacted, but it will reduce cost and increase efficiency in processing your business overall.  Here are a few New Business Best Practices you can implement when submitting your business.

EZ-App
EZ-app is MassMutual’s electronic application system used to collect and submit whole life, term and disability applications.  The system is intuitive with wizard-based entry and allows for eSignature.  For instructions on how to submit EZ-app applications, please see our EZ-App Process for Brokers resource guide.

Paper Application Submissions
If you have a wet-signed application, please scan the application and email it to our New Business centralized inbox  NewBusiness@FifthAveFinancial.com.  You can send the forms to us securely by typing the word “SECURE” in the subject line of the email.  Please make sure the copy you remit is clear and complete.  An original application is not needed. 

Initial Premium Payments
Initial premium payments can be made via electronic bank draft (PAC Form) regardless of the payment mode selected.  Check off “Initiate a one-time EFT Transaction” in section 1 of the form.  The PAC form is included in all policies upon delivery.  The form can be emailed, along with delivery requirements directly to your case manager or to our centralized inbox NewBusiness@FifthAveFinancial.com.  Obtaining a PAC form is the most efficient way to report your business. 


NY REG 187 Now in Effect! 

Please note changes in New Business Submissions.  All applications must include client signed illustrations with disclosures and suitability questionnaire.  There will be NO EXCEPTIONS!


Required Training

All brokers must complete Best Interest and MassMutual proprietary product training PRIOR to obtaining an application with a contract state of NY.  See NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers for training instructions.

Illustrations

All pages of a signed and dated illustration must be submitted with the application.  Illustrations must match the benefits on the application and be signed prior to or same day as the application. 

Suitability Questionnaire

Producers must disclose suitability rationale on the Suitability Questionnaire that forms the basis of the recommendation. All NY applications must include the Reg 187 Suitability Questionnaire.  Information must be obtained on the policy owner.  The Reg 187 Pocket Guide can help you determine suitability for clients when the contract state is NY.  There is a different suitability form for Conversions.

 

Reg 187 & Replacements

Brokers are required to do more leg work before application submission when replacing a policy. Please note that this does not replace the current MassMutual Regulation 60 process, this is in addition to. *There is no exception to the submission of the below requirements with an application.

  1. Signed Conforming Illustration
  2. Inforce Illustration from the Replacement Company
  3. Replacement Producer Explanation (FR2332) – see attached (does not need to be signed by the client)
  4. Replacement Comparison Worksheet (FR2331) – see attached (does not need to be signed by the client)

 

Conversions to ALIR Disallowed in New York

Because of financial suitability requirements included in Regulation 187, MassMutual no longer allows term insurance conversions to the Additional Life Insurance Rider (ALIR) in New York, effective Dec. 31, 2019.
Beginning March 1 in all states except New York, the company will permit conversions of term policies to scheduled, unscheduled, or planned ALIR as follows:

  • The term policy converted must be at least one year old.
  • The whole life policy must be newly issued.
  • The conversion cannot be a face-amount increase to an existing whole life policy.

·         The Renewable Term Rider (RTR) and Life Insurance Supplement Rider (LISR) cannot convert to ALIR.

 

Vantage Term Premiums Reduced on Base Products

As of February 22nd  MassMutual reduced premiums for base term products in the Vantage Term portfolio by up to 4%, with rates for most bands and age ranges generally decreasing by 2%-3%. Rates for extended conversion period (ECP) products remain unchanged.  Reach out to your Brokerage Director for details or email brokerage@fifthavefinancial.com for a quote. 

February 2020

FIFTH AVENUE FINANCIAL IS MOVING!

We’ll be relocating our office on February 18, 2020.  Please update your records with our new address below.  All other contact information will remain the same. 

Fifth Avenue Financial

90 Park Ave, 17th Floor

New York, NY  10016


NY REG 187 – Changes in New Business Submissions Effective January 25, 2020

Required Training

All brokers must complete Best Interest and MassMutual proprietary product training PRIOR to obtaining an application with a contract state of NY.  See NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers for training instructions.

 

Illustrations

All pages of a signed and dated illustration must be submitted with the application

  • Illustration must include insured’s full name, age, gender and plan.
  • Illustration must include broker’s name, license number if required and business address.
  • Illustration must include product summary and disclosures.
  • Illustration must match the benefits on the application.
  • Illustration must be signed prior to or same day as the application.  Illustrations dated after the application date will not be accepted.

 

Suitability Questionnaire

  • Producers must disclose suitability rationale on the Suitability Questionnaire that forms the basis of the recommendation. All NY applications must include the Reg 187 Suitability Questionnaire.  Information must be obtained on the policy owner.  We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the questionnaire so that you are obtaining the appropriate information from your clients. 
  • The Reg 187 Pocket Guide can help you determine suitability for clients when the contract state is NY.
  • The Guide to the Life Insurance Suitability Questionnaire breaks down each section of the suitability questionnaire and is a good reference.
  • Upon submission, suitability and underwriting processes will run concurrently. 

 

All applications must include client signed illustrations with disclosures and suitability questionnaire.  There will be NO EXCEPTIONS!

 

MassMutual Whole Life Product Portfolio

This tool kit provides product overviews and marketing pieces on MassMutual’s Whole Life Legacy Series.  Highlights of MassMutual’s underwriting guidelines and programs are also included.  

 

SignatureCare 600 LTCi

Effective January 31, 2020 – Individual Long Term Care (SignatureCare 600) is available in CT, NJ and PAThe Advisor Reference Manual will provide you with basic information needed for solicitation, writing and servicing of MassMutual’s SignatureCare 600.  The Client Brochure can be shared with clients. 

January 2020

MassMutual Broker WebCast

MassMutual’s New Whole Life Product Portfolio

Mass Mutual is enhancing their existing products and introducing several new ones to ensure that you can meet the needs of all of your clients. 

Register Here  

 

Upcoming Workshop – Innovative New Whole Life Products & Sales Concepts
This workshop will introduce you to MassMutual’s new whole life products.  We will also discuss when each one is competitive, how to position at point of sale and have an overview of the variety of new riders that are now available.  *Note: This is NOT a Continuing Education course.
 
Strategy Speaker:  Michael A. Book, CLU, ChFc, CLTC, Managing Partner & General Agent, Fifth Avenue Financial and James X. Farka, SVP, Advanced Sales, Fifth Avenue Financial
Wednesday January  22, 2020 10am-12pm
Fifth Avenue Financial – 530 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor

Register Here

 

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

NY Reg 187 - Best Interest & Product Training for Life Insurance Policies with a Contract State of New York

New York Regulation 187, became effective Aug. 1, 2019, for annuity contracts, and goes into effect Feb.1, 2020, for life insurance policies with a contract state of New York. MassMutual has set Jan. 25, 2020 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers must ensure Best Interest and Mass Mutual proprietary product training is completed. 

Brokers can access Best Interest and MassMutual’s proprietary training modules for life insurance via RegEd.  Please refer to the NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers, which includes screen shots to walk you through the process.  Completion of Best Interest and proprietary product training is required under New York Regulation 187.  MassMutual has set Jan. 25 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers who have not completed the Best Interest and Product training by the deadline will not be able to submit applications.

Please contact your Brokerage Director or salesandmarketing@fifthavefinancial.com if you have any questions. 

 

Advanced Sales

2020 Federal Tax Information

For use with clients, this brochure provides 2019 Federal Tax Information ranging from standard deductions to individual income tax rates. 

 

Estate Tax Change and You

This strategy spotlight overviews the history of Estate Tax and the changes that occurred through the years.

 

Disability Insurance

Illustrated Dividend for BOE and Buy-Sell Disability Income Insurance Increased

The illustrated dividend for Business Overhead Expense (BOE) and Buy-Sell DI insurance products has been increases from 10% to 25% of premium. 


CRN202201-258098

December 2019

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

NY Reg 187 - Best Interest Training for Life Insurance Policies with a Contract State of New York

New York Regulation 187, also called “Suitability and Best Interests in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions,” sets a standard of conduct for producers when interacting with clients and making recommendations for any life insurance or annuity business in New York State.

The regulation became effective Aug. 1, 2019, for annuity contracts, and goes into effect Feb.1, 2020, for life insurance policies with a contract state of New York. MassMutual has set Jan. 25, 2020 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers must ensure Best Interest Training is completed.  Here are instructions to complete Best Interest Training. 


MassMutual Proprietary Life Insurance Product Training

Once you complete Best Interest Training, you will be required to complete MassMutual life insurance product training.   Brokers can access MassMutual’s proprietary training modules for life insurance by referring to page 2 of the NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers, which includes screen shots to walk you through the process.  Completion of the proprietary training is required under New York Regulation 187, which goes into effect Feb. 1, 2020.  MassMutual has set Jan. 25 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers who have not completed the Best Interest and Product training by the deadline will not be able to submit applications.

Please contact your Brokerage Director or salesandmarketing@fifthavefinancial.com if you have any questions. 

 

Brokerage Product Portfolio

Reach for the Top Shelf

Whether you’re helping clients protect their family and business, or plan for retirement,  MassMutual’s suite of annuities, long-term care solutions, life and disability insurance products can help.  Here’s a list of products available in Brokerage.   

 

Advanced Sales

CPI Inflation-Adjusted Numbers for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation adjusted numbers for qualified plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) in 2020. These numbers relate to contributions to qualified plans and IRAs. These include pensions, profit sharing plans, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s, IRAs, Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs), SIMPLEs, Roth IRAs, and Roth 401(k)s.

 

New Business News

Help More Foreign Nationals with Lower Face Amount

As of Nov. 23, MassMutual’s non-high-net-worth foreign nationals underwriting program offers a $500,000 minimum face amount option for non-U.S. citizens living abroad when there is a $15,000 minimum life insurance premium. The attached updated program brochure provides details on eligibility requirements/guidelines for non-high net worth foreign nationals. 

 

Latest Life New Business and Service Forms

Due to 2017 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) Mortality Table updates, there are new versions of many life insurance new business and post issue service forms.  See attached list of forms, which can be retrieved from FieldNet. Contact salesandmarketing@fifthavefinancial.com if you need updated forms.

 

November 2019

MassMutual Broker Webcast

MassMutual’s Long Term Care Planning Solutions

November is long term care insurance awareness month.  Find details and register for the November 21st Webcast to learn about MassMutual’s long-term care insurance planning solutions for your clients. 

New Business News

2019 Year-End Critical Dates

Please review for year-end deadlines.  Adherence will ensure the best service and timely payment of commissions.

MassMutual Rules and Key Dates for Transition to 2017 CSO

MassMutual and all other carriers must comply with the 2017 CSO guidelines for designing and pricing their life insurance products by year-end. Any products based on the 2001 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) Table that are still available for sale must be issued by Dec. 31, 2019, to be in compliance. Here are key dates and transition rules to keep in mind. 

UL Guard and SUL Guard Premiums will rise Nov. 23rd

Due to continuing low interest rates, MassMutual’s UL Guard and SUL Guard premiums will increase at the same time these products are updated on November 23, 2019 to meet the requirements of the 2017 CSO Mortality Table. Here are some key points about the upcoming changes to MassMutual’s universal life products.

Competitive Underwriting Alerts

Breast Cancer

More competitive offers available for many clients.

Prostate Cancer

New guidelines take into account the most recent prognosis-based refinements in prostate cancer staging, which enable greater accuracy in determining the mortality risk.

Advanced Sales

Executive Benefit Planning - Leveraged Bonus: Income Tax Deduction Plus Control

Done in case study format, this strategy snapshot is intended for end clients to help provide them another option to help retain key employees to help them save for retirement and protect their families.

2019 Quality & Performance Brochure

This brochure provides a detailed look at key competitive measures that help differentiate MassMutual in the current marketplace; use to demonstrate the company's enduring strength and long tradition of providing quality products and services to help customers achieve financial security.


October 2019

Advanced Sales

Planning for the Financial Protection of Children and Young Adults

Written in case study form, this strategy spotlight overviews the importance of properly drafted estate planning documents in order to avoid unintended consequences.

Whole Life Insurance as a Business Asset

Many businesses need life insurance on owners or employees to provide key person protection and/or fund buy-sell agreements. Companies often choose term life insurance to meet this need, simply because of its low cost (i.e., premiums). However, for businesses with strong cash flow, whole life insurance can be an attractive alternative to term insurance.

New Business Updates

MassMutual Rules and Key Dates for Transition to 2017 CSO

MassMutual and all other carriers must comply with the 2017 CSO guidelines for designing and pricing their life insurance products by year-end. Any products based on the 2001 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) Table that are still available for sale must be issued by Dec. 31, 2019, to be in compliance. Here are key dates and transition rules to keep in mind. 

NEW: High Net Worth Foreign Nationals Underwriting Program

Help wealthy residents of foreign countries meet their life insurance needs.  This new underwriting program targets high net worth foreign nationals living abroad but with business, financial, or personal interests in the United States. 

MassMutual Participates in Military Insurance Conversion Program

In support of those serving in the United States military, MassMutual is proud to participate in a program allowing veterans and their spouses to convert military group insurance policies to individual commercial policies. About 250,000 servicemembers leave the military each year. Within 120 days of their date of separation from the military, those covered by SGLI can convert their group coverage to a WL20 policy without underwriting. In addition, spouses can convert their Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSLGI) within the same 120-day window after established life events. 

More Details: SGLI/FSGLI/VGLI Conversion Program Resources

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Single Premium Whole Life insurance, (SPWL-2013, ICC13SPWL and ICC13SPWL in North Carolina), is a participating, permanent single premium life insurance policy issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001.