With swimming pools closed, school buses on roads, and Labor Day a summer memory, it can only mean one thing: The NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting is just around the corner!
For me, the annual gathering is an opportunity to re-energize, re-engage and re-connect with my best friends and colleagues. This year is bittersweet, as my role as NAIFA President comes to a close. I want to thank you in advance for the privilege of serving our members and our industry.
I already have lasting memories and proud moments to recall as your president. I was honored to represent you as a panelist before the House Ways & Means Financial Services Working Group earlier this year. I also had the pleasure of being among the 1,000 members who converged on Capitol Hill during NAIFA’s landmark Congressional Conference and Day on the Hill. Telling our story to lawmakers April 9 was a signature event for NAIFA.
The information and education we provided to Congress was critical, and these efforts must continue. That is why the NAIFA Board proposed a dues increase of $25 beginning Jan. 1, 2014, to fund NAIFA’s political advocacy initiatives, including the May 2014 Congressional Conference. In addition to comprehensive tax reform, our industry is being challenged on many fronts: The Department of Labor will soon re-propose rules for standard of care that could threaten consumer access to quality, affordable financial advice relating to IRAs and retirement funds. And the Securities and Exchange Commission is set to issue its own set of rules that could threaten our members’ ability to serve middle market consumers.
These are industry-threatening issues, and NAIFA members are the most qualified and credible voices to represent our views to Congress. We must remain active in the public policy debate through advocacy efforts such as the Congressional Conference. But don’t take my word for it, watch this new video to hear what our members have to say about the importance of face-to-face meetings with lawmakers.
I urge you to read more about the Board’s rationale for the dues increase. I urge you to vote for the increase.
For more information, mark your calendars for a webinar scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 16. Register here.
You also can call me or your trustee liaison. As your elected leaders, we value the trust you have placed in us to make the right decisions and recommendations on behalf of our members, the industry and this great association.
I hope you had a wonderful summer, and I’ll see you in San Antonio.
Robert O. Smith, CLU, ChFC, JD
2012-13 NAIFA President