Moving Mutual of Omaha from FMO to company appointment


5000 Post Club
Henderson, NV
Can this be done without a release? I have no issue with my current FMO (Senior Market Sales) but I've asked them for their assurance of a release from any and all contracts if requested. They have yet to answer 3 emails.

Having been burned twice previously, I'm tired of the FMO system and trying to get all this settled up front. My promise to myself is to NEVER sign a contract with a GA or FMO without receiving an unconditional release up front.

I suggest everyone else do the same and end the servitude system set up solely for the benefit of those who do nothing but get an override.


P.S. Let me just off my libertarian soapbox now!
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I don't know the answer to your question but I was considering contracting through them specifically to offer Mutual of Omaha. I am a little put off by the contact person I have spoken to there. He seems knowlegable enough but very arrogant and just more interested in convincing me that he's an expert than in answering my questions.

How will you contract with Mutual of Omaha if you cancel with SMS? Or will you?
What products are you offering or wanting to offer through Mutual?

I know SMS pretty well, & I'll tell you that they're highly unlikely to release anyone. Particularly if you've ever produced while being under their contract / hierarchy.

Lately I have been a big promoter of Great American's setup. While they have some FMO's pushing their products, they have a very competent internal marketing team. I hold several contracts through them and all of them are direct.
I called Mutual of Omaha and they told me that all brokers go through the FMO system.

In the absence of a release, it's 6 months of non-production for most busienss; 12 months for med supps.

I left a message for SMS to ask about a general release. They want me to sign with Genworth for supplements but I won't sign anything without this release.

Why do agents put up with this system of servitude?
On the opposite side of the fence it's a system designed so agents don't go hopping from one agency to the next.

The theory is that new agents get a lower commission in exchance for training and support. After training and support the agency needs to recoup their time invested by receiving overrides. However, this goes south sometimes. A new agent on a lower commission comes out of training and a month to two goes by. Now that agent knows what they're doing and decides to their seek out higher commissions or gets recruited by another agency offering more commission.

Now that new agency doesn't have to train or support - they just acquire an agent already writing business and don't really have to put an hour into anything leaving the other agency who put a ton of hours into training holding the bag.

The reason this system is flawed is you can sign up with an agency who gives low commissions with no training and support. Then you're stuck.
In the absence of a release, it's 6 months of non-production for most busienss; 12 months for med supps.

I left a message for SMS to ask about a general release. They want me to sign with Genworth for supplements but I won't sign anything without this release.

What kind of wording would I look for in an FMO contract? Something like "Agent is released by sending a noterized letter to xxx."

I too have been approached by SMS but have not signed. They seem like a very up-front company and I like the rep I've spoken with (Chris McDonald) but I've not yet signed their paperwork for all the reasons mentioned in this thread.

Release Granted

I just got off the phone with SMS and they have no problem granting a release if requested. According to Jim Summers (mktg. mgr.), they are in agreement with me and realize that things change. He went on to say it is THEIR job to make certain they help agents earn the highest commission and access the best products.

I have no doubt this is the case. The lack of response to my emails was simply one of timing.

Keep in mind, I have no reason to be released at this time. All I want to do is protect myself for the future.

This issue has been settled and an email from SMS is being sent to me for my records indicating that they will release me from my contracts if requested.

Finally, an honest FMO!
I just wrote the recruiter I've been talking to at SMS, gave him the link to this thread, and he replied:

The thing you need to understand, and what this particular individual was told numerous times, is that this is NOT Senior Market Sales position, it is Mutual of Omaha's. Again, I will tell you that we don't
have a contract, Mutual of Omaha (or whatever carrier you wish to get
appointed with) does and that is what you would sign.

So I guess he is saying that the terms of the release are dictated by the carrier and not the FMO? Now I'm more confused than ever!
You are correct. It is imposed by Mutual of Omaha. However, it is for the benefit of the FMO.

This agreement is that the carrier will not reappoint for a period of time unless the agent is released from his/her upline.

SMS is taking the position that if I request this release, I will receive it.

Any FMO that is willing to do this is tops in my book. Unless there is a VERY compelling reason not to do so, I will use them whereever possible.

Good for you Rick. That actually surprises me. Like I said, I've had to deal with them in the past trying to get other agents released and I never had much luck.

Glad to hear it worked out for you.

As far as wording goes, look for a section within the pages most of us never read that goes over terminations. Within that section you should find the stipulations for maintaining the contract and for getting released. Some agencies absolutely DO NOT release agents. Others are more reasonable. In the case of unreasonable FMO's, you generally have to self terminate the contract and wait anywhere from 6 months to a year to before you can re-appoint with someone else.