At this time last year, I did not have “redesign your entire product portfolio for the second time in three years” on my 2021 bingo card. However, as the year began and the changes to IRC 7702 came to light, plans changed and we all set out, excited to see what the future held for our industry. Today, more product changes loom as companies try to figure out where the competitive landscape has settled. It seems that there were as many interpretations on product pricing as there were products to price. Products changed. Features changed. Rates changed. What did not change is our industry’s ability to find a way to continue to help people, families, businesses and communities when they need it most. We enter the new year with a greater level of appreciation of the value of our industry among the general public and armed with products better positioned to deliver that value. Our potential to make a difference has never been greater. I’m proud to be a part of our industry and the part that Mutual Trust will continue to play in realizing that potential.
As we look to what the next year will offer, it’s important to look at how we got here. At Mutual Trust, the first step we took was to talk with our distribution partners. If we had to redesign the portfolio again, we wanted to make sure that we designed something that worked for them—so we listened. The feedback that we received had five common themes and those became our product development priorities.
First, maintain the focus on early guaranteed cash values. That has been a staple of our product portfolio for years and the reason that our portfolio has been and continues to be a competitive solution for selling systems and selling concepts like Your Family Bank, Infinite Banking, Circle of Wealth, Wealth Building Cornerstones and LEAP. Mutual Trust will continue to be the company that you trust for guarantees.
Second, maintain the flexibility of the paid-up additions riders. Our portfolio remains one of the most flexible in the marketplace, with the ability to contribute up to $100,000 to the flex PUA every year. All that is required to continue that limit is a minimum payment of $100 every year. Add the disability income rider and you can protect up to $15,000 per year in contribution to the flex PUA if the client becomes disabled. Mutual Trust will continue to be the company that you trust for PUA flexibility.
Third, we need a longer term rider option. The 10-year term rider was effective, but the portfolio could be made even more flexible with a longer term option for younger clients. Like the 10-year rider, the new one will have the same commission levels as the whole life portfolio, so that customizing the client’s coverage doesn’t come at a cost to the agent. Mutual Trust will continue to be the company that you trust for premium flexibility.
Fourth, we need a full e-app process in place. The current remote signature process works, but true e-app process will make an excellent service model even better. We will introduce our new e-app process in the first quarter of 2022. Mutual Trust will continue to be the company that you trust for excellent new business, underwriting and policy service.
The last common theme we heard from everyone in every conversation–please don’t touch commissions! Our new portfolio will offer the same competitive first-year commissions and the same highly competitive renewal commissions. Mutual Trust will continue to be the company that you trust for the Power of Renewals!
In response to the feedback, we introduced our new portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2021. As before, Horizon Value offers some of the most competitive early guaranteed cash values in the industry. We have one of the most competitive single premium whole life products in the market in Horizon Legacy. With the introduction of Horizon Guarantee in December, we have a competitive and flexible death-benefit focused whole life product. We added a 20-year term rider to make customizing coverage easier and we lowered our loan interest rate to better reflect the low interest rate environment. Finally, we didn’t touch commissions!
The last few years have shown the country the power and the value of what we do. With the new year will come new opportunities and new challenges, which we will tackle head-on as we always have. There has never been a better time to be in our industry and I am excited for the role that Mutual Trust will play. From everyone here at Mutual Trust, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season! [LC]