Most everyone has been focused on the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule changes lately. But don't forget to read our Updates From Admin or Producer Advisories, in your monthly Annuity Buzz newsletter.

By Rich Lane, 2nd VP of Sales and Marketing, Individual Annuities. Reprinted with permission from InsuranceNewsNet.

When a client's assets are placed within a Medicaid-compliant immediate annuity, it is considered income and no longer counts as available assets when qualifying for Medicaid assistance. Immediate annuities can help achieve a client's goal of helping an ill spouse qualify for Medicaid eligibility in order to pay for long-term care, while providing the healthy spouse with sufficient income and resources to maintain their lifestyle.

The Key Is When Annuity Funds Will Need to Be Accessed

By Chris Conklin, VP Individual Annuities. Reprinted with permission from ThinkAdvisor.

A fixed annuity is a great option for clients who are looking for a safe place for their money to grow without risk of loss. However, clients may be deterred from purchasing a fixed annuity because of their concerns about surrender charges. You can overcome this objection by ensuring that a fixed annuity is selected to fit a client's specific situation.

Immediate annuities are often a good tool to use for part of your clients' Medicaid planning. Though regulations vary from state to state, assets placed in a properly designed immediate annuity are considered income and typically no longer count as available assets when qualifying for Medicaid assistance.

Individual Annuities Administration is in the process of converting to paperless processing. The goal is that incoming mail will be scanned and the scanned document will be sent electronically to the department for handling. Once scanned, the paperwork will eventually get shredded.

A producer advisory was recently sent out about the state of Missouri adopting the 2010 Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation in Rule 20 CSR 400-5.900, and there had been some question about the CE training requirement and its availability.

During tax season, advisors may get questions such as, is an annuity taxed or what are the advantages of owning an annuity over another type of savings vehicle — but it can also be a good opportunity to help clients understand the tax benefits of annuities.