Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
By Cyril Tuohy
ING U.S., on the eve of a major rebranding effort to Voya Financial, has announced that its retirement solutions business has renewed its 401(k) and 457 retirement plan contracts with the state of Michigan.
The 457 deferred compensation plan and the 401(k) defined contribution plan hold more than $5.5 billion in assets. There are approximately 150,000 participants in the combined plans. Michigan has been a client of ING U.S. since 1997.
Jamie Ohl, president of tax-exempt markets for ING U.S. Retirement Solutions, said the company was “honored” that Michigan had opted to renew the contract. “This is a testament to our nearly 20-year relationship and our vision to be America’s retirement company,” he said in a news release.
Public employee unions remain strong in Michigan, the birthplace of the nation’s auto manufacturing industry.
Phil Stoddard, director of the Michigan Office of Retirement Services, praised ING U.S. for “exemplary” service delivered to state employees and retirees. “Our relationship continues to flourish due partly to the strong business partnership we’ve built with the team,” he said.
In a separate announcement, ING U.S. also said that as of Dec. 20, its reinsurance subsidiary Security Life of Denver International Limited has been relocated to Arizona from the Cayman Islands.
Security Life reinsures the living benefits connected to ING U.S.’s closed block variable annuity book.
Relocating to Arizona will not affect the statutory financial statements of ING U.S.’s subsidiaries, nor will the move have any impact on the company’s capital position, the closed block variable annuity book or any risk-based capital ratios, the company also said.
In the past three years, several foreign-based reinsurance subsidiaries of U.S.-based insurers have been moved back onshore as the Obama administration looks to close tax loopholes surrounding reinsurance subsidiaries, also known as “captives.”
Regulation of captives is stricter in the U.S. than it is abroad and the move is likely to help ING U.S. as the company turns over a new chapter under the Voya Financial brand, and seeks to compete against retirement giants Prudential and MetLife.
ING U.S., the U.S. insurance business of the Dutch financial services giant ING Groep NV, was spun off into a public company earlier this year through an initial public offering and rebranded as Voya Financial. Selling the insurance operations was a condition of ING Groep’s 2008 bailout.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
© Entire contents copyright 2013 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.