Monday, April 17, 2023
ACLI President and CEO Susan Neely and NAIFA-West Virginia Executive Director John Pauley issued a joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by West Virginia’s Offices of the Insurance Commissioner.
WASHINGTON – American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)-West Virginia Executive Director John Pauley issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by West Virginia’s Offices of the Insurance Commissioner:
“A new rule adopted in West Virginia adds to the growing list of states that have adopted enhanced protections for consumers seeking lifetime income from annuities. The rule implements the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.
“More than 2/3rds of the states have adopted similar laws and rules that also align with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest. Together, these measures provide consumers with strong protections at the state and federal levels.
“Unlike a fiduciary-only approach, these laws and rules make certain that all savers, particularly financially vulnerable middle-income Americans, can access information about different choices for long-term security in retirement. A 2022 survey finds that middle-income retirement savers would be very concerned about a regulation that keeps them from working with a financial professional on their retirement security needs.
“The U.S. Congress reaffirmed the importance of lifetime income when it passed legislation in 2019 and 2022 that made it easier for employers to include annuities in workplace retirement plans. With enhanced state and federal consumer protections in place, savers in West Virginia and 35 other states can be assured that financial professionals must act in the consumer’s best interest when offering recommendations about annuities.
“We hope more states follow West Virginia and add to the nationwide momentum for these sensible protections. All consumers, regardless of where they live, should benefit from a best interest standard of care.”
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 94 percent of industry assets in the United States.
About NAIFA: The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is the preeminent membership association for the multigenerational community of financial professionals in the United States. NAIFA members subscribe to a strong Code of Ethics and represent a full spectrum of financial services practice specialties. They work with families and businesses to help Americans improve financial literacy and achieve financial security. NAIFA provides producers a national community for advocacy, education, and networking along with awards, publications, and leadership opportunities to allow NAIFA members to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. NAIFA has 53 state and territorial chapters and 35 large metropolitan local chapters. NAIFA members in every congressional district advocate on behalf of producers and consumers at the state, interstate, and federal levels.