NAIFA GR Team Presents Legislative Forum at Conference

October 5th, 2015, No Comments, be the first ».

NAIFA is adapting its advocacy methods to better engage officials in Washington, both those who are elected to Congress and those appointed to regulatory posts, NAIFA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Diane Boyle told attendees of NAIFA’s Legislative Forum at NAIFA’s Career Conference and Annual Meeting.

“We are engaging new NAIFA members to become politically active,” she said. “We are addressing the changing demographics of the country and their needs, and we must communicate to all these audiences in a way that they want to receive information.”

NAIFA has a tough advocacy job ahead. More than 1,500 bills were introduced in the 113th Congress that are of direct interest to NAIFA members and their clients, and the current Congress is on a similar track. Additional measures would seek sources of revenue for the government, which always presents a potential danger to the insurance and financial services industry.

Every state legislature introduced even more bills than Congress, Boyle said.

On the State Level

NAIFA Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations Gary Sanders told the Legislative Forum that state measures to create state-run retirement plans present a real threat to NAIFA members.

“Many of these plans would directly compete with the types of retirement services you provide, which raises the question of whether states are focusing on the real problem,” Sanders said. “What makes more sense, for a state plan to compete with effective and competitive private-market solutions or for the state to focus its resources on consumer education, outreach and greater incentives to think and act on retirement planning?”

 Department of Labor Proposal

The DOL fiduciary rule proposal is a top NAIFA focus at the federal level, said NAIFA Director of Government Relations Judi Carsrud. The rule would impact all NAIFA members who work with retirement accounts as well as their clients.

“Regardless of the type of securities license you have, or don’t have, if you provide advice for a fee, under the proposal you are a fiduciary when advising on retirement savings,” Carsrud said. “If you don’t want to be a fiduciary, you would need to work for free.”

NAIFA has been actively involved with the issue, testifying at DOL and congressional hearings, submitting official comments, meeting with members of Congress and DOL officials, and activating our grassroots.

“We are taking this very seriously and have been at the forefront of strategies to ensure that any rule enacted protects your ability to serve middle-income families using the compensation model that best suits those families.”

NAIFA By the Numbers on DOL Fiduciary

  • $455,500 raised for Congressional candidates
  • 270 meetings
  • 241 fundraisers attended
  • 102 meetings with Joint Trades and Coalitions
  • 45 NAIFA hosted or cohosted fundraisers
  • Multiple hearings, forums and briefings with policymakers
  • 5 meetings with the DOL, White House and FINRA
  • 2 appearances to testify before Congress and the DOL

Political Action and Involvement

NAIFA Vice President of Political Affairs Magenta Ishak called on Conference attendees to lead the way in NAIFA’s grassroots and PAC activities. “Attend town hall meetings,” she said. “Recruit others. Give to IFAPAC.”

The GR Team concluded the Legislative Forum by crowning NAIFA members Robert Miller and Terry Headley as “IFAPAC Kings.” Headley and Miller each has personally contributed over $100,000 to IFAPAC.

“This city has a rich history filled with traditions, pageantry and characters. NAIFA, too!” Boyle said. “But hidden, in the sometimes peculiar, are strength, intelligence and generosity. This is certainly true of the two gentlemen we’d like to honor today for their selfless commitment of time, talent and treasure.

“Gentlemen, thank you! As the first in NAIFA history to achieve this [$100,000] milestone, you are the IFAPAC Kings!”

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

March 19th, 2015, Comments Off on Are you a Wild West gunslinger? Help NAIFA set the record straight!.

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