Insurance and financial experts traveled to the Capitol today to spread the message that Americans need access to trusted advice and affordable products to reduce risk and protect their assets.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers holds an annual congressional meeting. The event kicked off with a policy briefing on Monday and ends today with a visit from elected lawmakers.
Among the issues NAIFA members would like to discuss with Congress are the implementation of best interest standard of care, technical modifications to SECURE 2.0, protection of the independent status of producers, and support for the Secure Notarization Bill (S. 1212). etc.
NAIFA has promoted the Best Interest Standards embodied in regulations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest and the National Insurance Commission’s Pension Eligibility Model.
American Life Insurance Association President and CEO Susan Neely told NAIFA members on Monday, “For many years we have shared a common goal of ensuring that people receive advice and protection. We have been working together towards this,” he said.
He noted that the Labor Department is developing additional rules that are expected to revive much of the DOL’s fiduciary-only approach to providing retirement investment advice, which was discontinued in 2016. He said best interest standards put the interests of clients first and maintain affordable access to financial experts.
“We believe they’re looking for a problem and have a solution, and we’re fighting for access for all Americans,” she said of the fiduciary-only standard.
Neely pointed to a Morning Consult survey that said 91% of workers want choice when it comes to financial guidance. “People are worried and seeking help from financial professionals,” she said. “So why would the DOL push for fiduciary-only regulation that limits access?”
“We had a big win in 2018 and thought it was over,” said Jane Fitzgerald, NAIFA’s Director of Government Relations, saying the federal court would overturn the rule and allow the DOL to create a new regulatory scheme. said that he had ruled beyond his powers. Retirement plan space. “Unfortunately, we have learned that the DOL is on the agenda for a review of the trustee-only rules. I’m listening toth 2018 Court of Appeals for the Circuit. “
Fitzgerald urged members of NAIFA to ask members of Congress to “watch what the DOL does in the coming weeks or months and see if they publish a rule.”
Fix SECURE 2.0
SECURE 2.0 was signed into law on December 29, 2022, but the bill requires some technical amendments. Specifically, to maintain catch-up contributions to retirement plans and additional proposals to increase the capacity of caregivers to contribute.
NAIFA members are calling on Congress to fix drafting errors in SECURE 2.0 that could jeopardize catch-up funding in 2024. Members are asking Congress to support legislative and regulatory efforts to correct the error.
The problematic part of SECURE 2.0 is the provision that allows retirement plan participants between the ages of 60 and 62 to contribute additional payroll deferrals to their plans. The portion was mistakenly removed from the bill.
Protecting NAIFA Members‘ independent status
NAIFA members want to exempt insurance and financial advisors from being classified as employees under federal law and regulation. A NAIFA survey found that 95% of the association’s members operate as independent contractors and want to continue to do so.
Members also oppose the DOL’s proposed new worker classification rule, which would change the current federal independent contractor standard and classify advisors as employees.
NAIFA issecure notarization
According to NAIFA, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a 15% increase in death claims and has changed the way many businesses operate.
Lawmakers are urging Congress to back S.1212, a bill authorizing electronic and remote notarization. The measure would allow notaries commissioned under state law to remotely notarize electronic records and perform notarizations for remote individuals. It said it was an additional means of providing access to financial instruments.
Susan Rupe is Editor in Chief of InsuranceNewsNet. She previously served as Communications Director for the Insurance Agents Association and was an award-winning journalist and editor. to contact her [email protected]. Follow her on her Twitter @INNsusan.
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