WASHINGTON – Legislation signed recently by Governor Greg Abbott enhances protections for Texas consumers seeking lifetime income through annuities. Championed by House Insurance Committee Chairman Dr. Tom Oliverson and Senate Business & Commerce Chairman Kelly Hancock, the new law enhances the standards financial professionals must follow while preserving consumers’ ability to access the tools they need for a secure retirement.
Texas is the 12th state to adopt a measure that closely tracks the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. These new laws and regulations also align with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest. Together, these measures provide Texas consumers with a strong network of state and federal protections.
“Unlike a fiduciary-only approach that limits choices for consumers, these measures make sure savers, particularly financially vulnerable middle-income Americans, can access information about options for long-term security through retirement,” said American Council of Life Insurers President and CEO Susan Neely. “We hope additional states adopt these new standards so that more consumers planning for retirement can benefit from these protections.”
“Running out of money is among retirees’ biggest fears,” said Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers President and CEO Jennifer Cawley. “Annuities are the only product on the market that can provide a guaranteed stream of income and address this concern. Thanks to the Texas Legislature’s leadership, Texans planning for retirement will have the tools they need to secure peace of mind no matter how long they live.”
“This new law imposes strict requirements on financial professionals that ensure they will act in the best interest of the Lone Star State consumers they serve,” said National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors –Texas President Danny O’Connell. “Life insurance companies and agents strongly support this new law. It provides Texans planning for retirement confidence that financial professionals will offer savings recommendations that address the unique situations of individuals and families, rather than their own financial interest.”
About ACLI: The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is the leading trade association driving public policy and advocacy on behalf of the life insurance industry. 90 million American families rely on the life insurance industry for financial protection and retirement security. ACLI’s member companies are dedicated to protecting consumers’ financial wellbeing through life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, reinsurance, and dental, vision and other supplemental benefits. ACLI’s 280 member companies represent 95 percent of industry assets in the United States.
ABOUT TALHI: TALHI is the trade association for life and health insurers doing business in Texas. TALHI serves as the voice of its members and the industry, advocating for an economic, legislative, and regulatory environment that supports a vibrant life and health insurance market, believing that by so doing we contribute to the financial security and well-being of the citizens of Texas.
ABOUT NAIFA: Founded in 1890, NAIFA is the oldest, largest and most prestigious association representing the interests of financial services professionals from every Congressional district in the United States. Our mission – to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members – is the reason NAIFA has consistently and resoundingly stood up for financial services professionals and called upon members to grow their knowledge while following the highest ethical standards in the industry.