Voya Life Insurance – Advice for Voya Reliastar Life Insurance Policyholders

Voya Life insurance is not a household name compared to other life insurance companies across America. The reason being is that it was formerly known as ING U.S. Life Companies, which sold life insurance under the name Reliastar Life Insurance.

It has now been fully re-branded to Voya Financial, while it’s life insurance products are still underwritten by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company and its other subsidiaries.

If all this sounds confusing, it is for many agents too. Their have been many changes that have occurred during the many years which we have represented each company.

However, none as big as what has happened towards the end of 2016.

voya financail

So, what’s happening with Voya Financial?

Voya Financial, which is also know as Reliastar, and formerly ING has decided to halt the sales of most it’s life insurance products.

This has come as complete surprise to many of agents who have represented all versions of Voya Reliastar, and ING over the past few decades.

We have seen similar decisions made over the past few years by companies like Lincoln Benefit and Genworth.

In a recent press release, Voya Life Insurance announced that they will no longer be offering term life or any universal life product with a lifetime guarantees.

So, moving forward Voya will continue to offer non-guaranteed universal life insurance. Here are the three remaining VOYA  fixed permanent life insurance products:

  1.  VOYA Universal Life CV
  2. Indexed Universal Life Global Choice
  3.  Strategic Accumulator Survivorship Universal Life

Remember: The remaining Voya Life policies have more moving parts and are not contractually guaranteed. Voya’s contractually guaranteed universal life will no longer be available for new policyholders.

Voya made the following statement:

“To achieve our vision to be America’s Retirement Company, Voya must continually evolve our strategy in response to change, and often challenging, market conditions.

The insurance industry continues to face strong headwinds, including historically low interest rate, heightened market volatility and regulatory changes.

In response to these conditions and as part of our evolution as a company there will be a number of changes to our product offering.

Effective December 30, 2016, Voya will suspend it’s Guaranteed Universal Life and all level-term insurance sales while continuing to offer cash value life insurance products. Going forward, all products will be non-guaranteed until further notice.”

Voya, Reliastar, and ING Voya Suspend Sales, Now What?

Voya Financial maybe using low interest rates and volatile market environment as an excuse for cancelling these products.

However, these policies from Reliastar Life Insurance have been around for many years and were created and approved by the company, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in the same interest rate environment.

Over the years, Voya and ING Life Insurance have consistently lowered Reliastar’s  term life insurance rates to stay competitive. This was probably the only way to remain popular with big internet agencies like Select Quote, which sold thousands of their guaranteed products.

Furthermore, guaranteed life insurance products, like term insurance usually make up a majority of most life insurance companies sales. These term life products have been an essential product line for Reliastar Life Insurance and it’s many agents for years.

Instead of eliminating all their guaranteed products, Voya Reliastar could have simply raised their premiums to make up for lower interest rates on newly issued Reliastar life insurance policies.

We have represented all of the versions of Voya Reliastar and ING Life Insurance. We also have hundreds of current clients who have purchased a Voya Reliastar or ING Life insurance policy from us over the past 25 years.

We have enjoyed working with their helpful  home office staff and hope that not to many people will lose their jobs. Now, like all agents across the United  States, we can no longer sell any of these once popular Reliastar life insurance policies because they are no longer available.

Without any guaranteed life insurance products, Voya Financial is significantly diminishing Voya Reliastar’s  role in the life insurance business. This is because all the competitive life insurance companies in the marketplace offer guaranteed products.

So, it becomes very difficult or impossible for a life insurance company to compete without any term products and with universal life products which are more expensive and not contractually guaranteed.

So, it looks like Voya Financial will simply be managing the premiums coming in from existing policyholders. Basically, managing  future premium inflows and current assets much like a mutual fund.

In our opinion, this may not be a sustainable strategy for long term success for any life insurance company. Hopefully, Voya Life Insurance will decide to one day start selling their fixed life insurance products once again.

ING life insurance

Voya Financial Ratings

Many of our current Voya Reliastar Life insurance policyholders are now worried about the future of the company.

One key concern you might be thinking about is whether or not the company will be able to honor death benefits in the future.

Don’t worry, Voya Financial and it’s subsidiaries all still have a decent financial ratings:

Company A.M. Best Fitch Moody’s S & P
Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company A A A2 A
Voya Insurance and Annuity Company A A A2 A
Midwestern United Life Insurance Company A- NR NR A
Reliastar Life Insurance Company A A A2 A
Reliastar Life Insurance Company of NY A A A2 A
Security Life of Denver Insurance Company A A A2 A
  • A.M. Best Company assigns ratings from A++ to F based on a company’s financial strength and ability to meet obligations to contract holders. Voya Financial is A (Excellent) which is the 3rd highest of 15 ratings.
  • Fitch assigns ratings from AAA to C based on company’s financial strength. Voya  is rated A (Strong) which is the 6th highest of 19 ratings.
  • Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s) assigns ratings from Aaa to C based on a company’s financial security. Voya Financial is rated A2 (Good) which  is the 6th highest of 21 ratings.
  • Standard & Poor’s assigns ratings from AAA to CC based on a company’s financial security. The Voya Financial rating is A (Strong) which is the 6th highest of 20 ratings.

The life insurance is also heavily regulated and protected both Federally and by the State Insurance Commission. So, it is also rare for any life insurer to go bankrupt and it is unlikely that this will occur with Voya Financial because of it’s large size and overall assets.

Even if  Voya Financial did go bankrupt, your life insurance coverage will be provided through the Insurance Guaranty Association that exists in each state which ensures that claims will be paid subject to the state’s coverage limits.

reliastar life insurance

Current Voya Life Insurance Policyholders

Have you have purchased a policy from Voya Life Insurance, ING, or the Reliastar Life Insurance Company?

Are you concerned about your policy’s future performance?

If you feel it would give you peace of mind, you might want to consider getting a new quote from an A+ rated carrier. Before making any quick decisions, it will also depends on what type of life insurance policy you have purchased  from Voya Reliastar Life Insurance.

What to do if you have a Voya Reliastar Term Policy Now?

Current Voya Reliastar term life insurance policyholder’s have an easier time making adjustments to their coverage.

As your needs change or as your coverage expires, people often do replace term life insurance. If you are in decent health you can always evaluate if replacing your current policy makes economic sense.

You can use our term  life insurance calculator, Instant Life Insurance Quotes for new guaranteed level premium for an initial period of 10, 15, 20, or even 30 years.

What to do if you have a Voya Universal Life Now?

Current Voya universal life insurance policyholder’s have several things to consider before changing policies. In the past, Voya Life Insurance Company and it’s subsidiaries had always offered pretty competitive universal life insurance policies.

Universal Life Insurance is a type of permanent policy where the excess of premium payments above the current cost of insurance are credited to the cash value of the policy.

Before making any drastic changes take a look at your current contract. Some older Voya Reliastar life insurance policies offered contractual guarantees. If your policy is guaranteed and priced fairly, it is normally not a good idea to replace your policy.

However, if you have a current Voya universal life policy which is not guaranteed, it may be worth taking a peek at your policy.

The first thing to consider is whether any surrender charges are going to be applied if you do switch policies. If you face surrender penalties, you may also be better off keeping your exiting policy.

Please realize their is a “surrender period,” which is the period of time (usually 10-15 years) that a policyholder must wait before it is possible to receive the full cash value of the policy upon canceling. If a you cancel your policy before the end of the surrender period, it is not likely that you will receive much of your cash value.

Voya Reliastar, Universal Life

Has your Voya Universal Life policy gone off course?

It is not too late begin smooth sailing once again! All Voya life insurance policyholders receive an annual statement showing how your current policy is performing each year.

You should pay attention to both the current interest rate and the minimum interest rate column of this policy statement. These statements can be confusing and may not contain the proper information needed to determine how your policy is performing.

Many policyholders make a more educated evaluation by contacting Affordable Life USA to conduct a policy audit.

voya life insurance

Here is how a policy audit works:

First, we will have Voya Financial run several  “in-force” illustrations which calculate your current policies future under four different scenarios.

  1. How long will your life insurance policy last, assuming you keep paying the current premium?
  2. How much more you would have to pay to maintain the current benefit until your target age?
  3. How much will a smaller death benefit cost you?
  4. If Voya Life is crediting your policy with more than the minimum guaranteed return, a guaranteed illustration so that you will have a worst-case scenario.

Secondly, a market evaluation will be conducted to determine if a newer policy could be more beneficial to you.

First and foremost, new policies are also medically underwritten, so it is important check into whether you can qualify for coverage. If you can qualify for new coverage, you have two options to consider.

  1. So, your first option would be to keep your cash surrender values, and simply buy a new policy with a higher premiums . Illustrations will be generated on new guaranteed premium policy for death benefit you require without using your policies cash surrender values.
  2. Another option, would be to transfer your existing Voya cash values by using a 1035 tax free exchange.
  • If you follow the 1035 exchange rules, you can directly transfer the money from your old Voya cash values  into a new insurance contract.
  • Illustrations will be generated on new guaranteed premium policy for the death benefit you require by transferring your using existing policies cash surrender value.
  • This strategy could lower your future premiums, and eliminate the potential taxes by surrendering your Voya Life insurance policy.
  • More importantly, the newer contract will be contractually guaranteed, these new policies are called guaranteed universal life insurance .

Now you need to decide the best option for you?

Depending on your specific policy, you might get by simply monitoring your existing current  Voya Reliastar life insurance policy. If your policy is not performing your choice will be either to boost the premiums on your current death benefit, or to shop for a new policy.

You can utilize our universal life insurance calculator, Instant Life Insurance Quotes for new prices on guaranteed universal life.

You accomplish this by simply selecting the duration or age you wish to guarantee your coverage. (i.e age 90, 95, or 100).

If you need our assistance because you have existing cash value in your policy, please do not hesitate to call us 1-877-249-1358.

Eric Van Haaften, LUTCF is the president of Affordable Life USA. We are a nationally licensed life insurance agency focused on finding our clients custom planning solutions at excellent prices. 1-877-249-1358. eric@affordablelifeusa.com