Are you a Wild West gunslinger? Help NAIFA set the record straight!

March 19th, 2015, Comments Off.

Dear NAIFA Member,

President Obama said in a recent speech that some financial professionals are “selling snake oil” and bilking their retirement clients out of billions of dollars per year. By implication, he zeroed in on advisors who receive commissions as compensation. He said the financial services industry is not well regulated and that many of you and your colleagues are “like the gunslingers of the Wild West.” We at NAIFA know this is patently untrue.

Even more concerning is that beyond the rhetoric, the President has made imposing new layers of regulations on financial professionals a high priority, and your business could be in the crosshairs. Both the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission may soon propose regulations that would create new fiduciary obligations for many advisors.

The SEC and DOL regulations could fundamentally alter your business model and make it more expensive and burdensome for you to serve clients. Visit the NAIFA web site for detailed information on the fiduciary drive at the SEC and at the DOL.

We Need Your Help!

NAIFA has met with every member of the SEC, and is working with members of Congress to ensure that new regulations do not harm advisors or their clients. But our real strength comes from our individual members like you.

This coming May 19-20, the SEC and DOL proposals will be high on the Congressional Conference agenda, along with tax reform. This is NAIFA’s premier grassroots event, during which hundreds of advisors from all 50 states will come to Washington and meet with their senators and representatives.

I appreciate your support of NAIFA. It shows dedication to your profession, your colleagues and your clients. NAIFA’s membership gives us the clout to influence decision makers in Washington and around the country. But given the seriousness of the current regulatory threat, I have two additional favors to ask of NAIFA members.

  1. If you have not already done so, please register for the Congressional Conference and join us May 19-20 to advocate on your behalf.
  2. Share this message with at least three of your colleagues who are not NAIFA members. Make sure that they are informed about the increasing regulatory threat to their businesses. Encourage them to join NAIFA – our strength is in our numbers and everyone counts. Even if they are reluctant to join right now, encourage them to register for the NAIFA Congressional Conference. Non-members may attend the conference and get a first-hand view of how NAIFA’s grassroots efforts are working for them.

Our efforts are important for the future of your business and our industry. Together we will ensure that unnecessary regulations do not make it more difficult for you to serve your clients.

Thank you,

NAIFA President Juli Y. McNeely, LUTCF, CFP. CLU

 

NAIFA-New York Works to Make Regulation 60 Less Burdensome

February 3rd, 2015, Comments Off.

Thanks largely to the lobbying efforts of NAIFA-New York State, the New York State Department of Finances has amended Regulation 60 to allow insurers to accept applications immediately and issue disclosures later, before the policy goes into effect.

This will speed up the processing of applications and reduce the difficulty of complying with the regulation for consumers and advisors. It should also reduce a problem that emerged when insurers would have to revise the disclosure documents to account for changes that occurred during the waiting period.

“We congratulate and thank the New York State Department of Finances and its Life Bureau for working with us to accomplish this amendment,” said NAIFA-New York President Lawrence J. Holzberg. “This reform will bring positive and necessary changes that will allow NAIFA members to better serve their clients’ interests safely and securely.”

Regulation 60 is a well-meaning measure designed to protect consumers from unwanted or unnecessary replacements of existing life insurance or annuity policies. In practice, however, it has forced consumers (and their advisors) who are certain they want to replace their policies to jump through regulatory hoops and endure lengthy, unnecessary delays.

Passed in 1999, the regulation requires anyone applying for a life insurance policy or annuity contract in New York to authorize the insurer to obtain information about any existing coverage they may hold. The insurer then must provide standard disclosures comparing the existing policies to the new one.

Many states have similar regulations. What makes Regulation 60 in New York different and more burdensome is that it imposes a 26-day waiting period to allow the insurer time to gather information and prepare the disclosures, which must be completed before the insurance company can even accept an application from the consumer.

The delay is mandatory even if the differences in the old and new coverages are obvious. The benefits of the new coverage, such as a lower price for the same coverage or extended coverage, may be readily apparent, but the waiting period still applies. Because of this, the insurer cannot begin processing the application or completing any underwriting requirements until after the waiting period, which can draw out the process well beyond 26 days.

In the end, the amended Regulation 60 will give the same consumer protections it has always given but will streamline the process of complying with the regulation. This, in turn, will reduce the frustration of consumers who legitimately want or need to replace an outdated insurance policy or annuity contract.