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1 min read

NAIC Committee Adopts Best Interest Model FAQs

By Julie Harrison on 7/23/21 5:00 PM

The NAIC Life and Annuities (A) Committee recently adopted the frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the best interest model adopted by the Committee in February of 2020.  As most NAIFA members by now already know, the updated model clarifies that all recommendations by agents and insurers must be in the best interest of the consumer and that agents and carriers may not place their financial interest ahead of the consumers’ interest in making a recommendation. In addition, the model now requires agents and carriers to act with “reasonable diligence, care and skill” in making recommendations.

3 min read

Toomey Re-Introduces Measure to Make Long-Term Care Insurance More Affordable

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 7/22/21 5:38 PM

For well over a century, NAIFA members have helped individuals, families, and businesses:

1 min read

Financial Services Coalition Warns “Significant Disruption” From PRO Act Would Harm Consumers

By NAIFA on 7/22/21 2:57 PM

The following statement and press release was published today on ACLI's site. NAIFA is proud to be part of the coalition of trade associations and works within the coalition to as the association representing agents and advisors.

A coalition of trade associations told Congressional leaders today that the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act “would cause significant disruption” that would affect consumers’ access to insurance, investment and retirement security solutions. Collectively, the coalition represent more than 100,000 individual small business owners, broker-dealers and insurance companies providing financial services to more than 112 million American families.

Topics: PRO Act
2 min read

NAIFA Experts Testify on the Importance of Independent Contractor Status at NCOIL

By NAIFA on 7/18/21 11:16 PM

NAIFA is an active participant in interstate advocacy efforts, including working with groups like the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) to create policies and model regulations that protect the interests of consumers and preserve the ability of producers to provide products, services, and advice that help Main Street Americans achieve financial security. 

1 min read

ThinkAdvisor Article Highlights NAIFA Suggestions to FINRA on DEI

By NAIFA on 7/9/21 10:27 AM

NAIFA has suggested ways for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the association’s ideas have gained notice.

In an article this week, the influential industry publication ThinkAdvisor has highlighted suggestions made by NAIFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle and Policy Director Maeghan Gale. Among the NAIFA ideas called out by ThinkAdvisor are:

1 min read

Gale Representing NAIFA on NIPR Board of Directors

By NAIFA on 7/8/21 1:50 PM

NAIFA Policy Director Maeghan Gale will represent insurance and financial advisors and NAIFA on the Board of Directors of the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR).

NIPR is a not-for-profit technology company with the goal of streamlining the producer licensing process. Governed by a Board of Directors representing state insurance regulators and members of the insurance industry, NIPR is an affiliate of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Gale joins the board immediately.

1 min read

NAIFA Trustee Havir Testifies Before NAIC Committee

By NAIFA on 7/1/21 2:44 PM

NAIFA Trustee Win Havir, CPCU, CLF, LUTCF, FSS, AIC, LACP, a founding member of NAIFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council, testified on behalf of NAIFA before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Committee on Race and Insurance.

1 min read

Three More States Enact Consumer-Protection Rules Based on the NAIC’s Annuity Transactions Model

By NAIFA on 6/29/21 2:52 PM

Alabama, Maine, and Virginia have the joined 12 other states in adopting consumer-protection regulations or legislation based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model. The NAIC model requires financial professionals to work in the best interests of their clients during annuities transactions and aligns with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest. It also preserves the ability of consumers to work with agents and advisors offering a variety of successful business models and avoids restrictions that would likely make it impossible for financial professionals to work with Main Street investors and retirement savers.

1 min read

NAIFA Comment Letter to FINRA Offers DEI Recommendations

By Maeghan Gale on 6/28/21 5:02 PM

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a request for comments as part of its efforts to support dialogue for greater diversity and inclusion within the financial industry. NAIFA submitted comments to Regulatory Notice 21-17 that highlighted our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as part of the NAIFA 2025 strategic plan, the mission of our DEI Council, and the importance of cooperation among the industry to drive change.

2 min read

NAIFA Works to Preserve Tax Deduction for Pass-Through Businesses

By NAIFA on 6/22/21 5:17 PM

As the leading advocacy association for insurance and financial services professionals, NAIFA continues to work with policymakers at the federal and state levels on efforts to bolster American businesses. Most recently, NAIFA is one of only three insurance-related associations (along with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents) to sign onto a letter sent to key members of the Senate and House of Representatives urging Congress to maintain the 20% deduction for qualified business income under Section 199A of the federal tax code.

2 min read

NAIFA-LA Secures Financial Professional Exemption in State Independent Contractor Law

By Julie Harrison on 6/22/21 8:56 AM

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards recently signed a NAIFA-supported misclassification of workers bill into law. The bill, SB 244, outlines a 12-point definition for “independent contractor” developed by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry which classifies an independent contractor as anyone who can meet seven of the 12 points. According to the new law, independent contractors could include workers who can’t set their hours, are not allowed to work for other businesses, and are directly managed or supervised by the contracting party.

1 min read

New CBO Report Offers Insights on Estate and Gift Taxes

By NAIFA on 6/18/21 4:54 PM

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office provides a guide to understanding federal estate and gift taxes. These taxes affect only a small number of taxpayers (of 2.7 million Americans who died in 2016 only 5,500 left taxable estates, and in 2018 only 2,000 people paid gift taxes), but they may consider in planning for financial professionals working with affluent families or business owners. In 2021, estate values above an $11.7 million exemption are taxed at a 40% rate. “The same threshold and tax rate apply to gift taxes,” the report says.

4 min read

NAIFA-CO Shows Advocacy Influence Throughout an Intense Legislative Session

By NAIFA on 6/18/21 3:46 PM

The First Regular Session of Colorado’s 73rd General Assembly ended Tuesday, June 8, 2021. The legislature introduced 627 pieces of legislation and 80% of those introduced bills passed and will be up for action by the Governor.

NAIFA-CO was very busy this session beginning with hosting a virtual Lobby Day for legislators featuring Securities Commissioner Tung Chang and the Division of Insurance, Deputy Director Kate Harris. NAIFA-CO finished out the legislative session testifying and advocating on numerous bills. In total, NAIFA monitored and actively worked on 24 pieces of legislation.

1 min read

NAIFA Submits Comments to Senate Finance Committee Leadership on Unemployment Insurance

By NAIFA on 6/17/21 10:25 AM

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have developed a proposal that they say would update and expand unemployment insurance so that the program is ready to respond to the next recession and meet the needs of the modern workforce.

NAIFA joined industry partners in a letter to Senate Finance Committee leadership to express strong concerns with a provision in the committee’s current discussion draft of the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act.

2 min read

NAIFA SVP Boyle Signs Diversity in Government Relations Pledge

By NAIFA on 6/15/21 10:12 AM

NAIFA, along with NAIFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle, has signed on to the Diversity in Government Relations (DGR) Coalition, a group of professionals and organizations in the government relations field working to actively champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in local, state, and federal policymaking.

1 min read

NAIFA Signs on to Support Letter for SECURE Remote Online Notarization

By Mike Hedge on 6/10/21 5:47 PM

NAIFA joined with industry partners in a letter to House sponsors of the SECURE Remote Online Notarization Act urging support for the importance of the legislation. Bipartisan legislation (S. 5355, H.R. 6364) was introduced by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Madeleine Dean (D-PA). 

1 min read

New Missouri Law Allows CE for Agent Association Membership

By NAIFA Missouri on 6/10/21 10:45 AM

Legislation signed recently by Governor Mike Parsons "allows an insurance producer to receive up to four hours of continuing education credit per biennial reporting period for participation as an individual member or employee of a business entity producer member of a local, regional, state, or national professional insurance association with approval by the Director of the Department of Commerce and Insurance."

NAIFA-MO worked on securing the adoption of the bill (HB 604) for several years.

“Our State Government Relations Committee found a good sponsor in Rep. Kurtis Gregory, and we are very proud of this accomplishment for NAIFA members,” said Ed Anderson, NAIFA-MO’s National Committeeperson.

Over the past several years, many NAIFA state chapters have been advocating for legislation to allow financial advisors to receive CE credit for their membership and active participation in a professional agent association. Due to NAIFA’s advocacy, at least 11 states allow advisors to be eligible for CE credit for their association membership: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Depending on the state and the approval of the respective state insurance commissioner, advisors may receive from one to six CE credit hours for this purpose.

As NAIFA has argued in state legislatures and before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, professional insurance associations promote high standards of ethical conduct and provide educational programs and professional development opportunities to association members. NAIFA believes advisors who are active members of an agent association should be eligible for continuing education credit for such membership.

“We believe that permitting advisors to receive CE credit for association membership both encourages advisors to become members of nationally recognized professional insurance associations and benefits consumers by ensuring them access to better qualified advisors,” said Anderson.

1 min read

Cybersecurity Bill Passes Wisconsin Senate With NAIFA Amendment

By NAIFA-Wisconsin on 6/9/21 4:50 PM

New data security standards for the insurance industry passed the Wisconsin State Senate on June 9, 2021, on a voice vote. 

2 min read

New Texas Law Enhances Protections for Annuity Consumers

By NAIFA on 6/8/21 10:33 AM

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.

1 min read

NAIFA’s Maeghan Gale Speaks to LTCI Partners on Recent Trends in LTC Legislation

By LECP Center on 6/4/21 5:44 PM

NAIFA’s Policy Director Maeghan Gale joined LTCI Partners Managing Director, Tom Riekse, and Director Steve Cain for a panel discussion about recent Long Term Care Insurance legislation.  For many years, Long-Term Care Insurance took a backseat as it relates to legislative action on the state and federal level. However, 2021 has brought a wave of activity as lawmakers consider the best way to support their growing aging populations.

3 min read

NAIFA Attends NAIC and NCOIL Spring 2021 Annual Meetings

By NAIFA on 6/4/21 10:21 AM

Understandably, 2020 was a slow year for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) – with the obvious exception of COVID-19 matters. Many Working Groups, Task Forces, and Committees delayed projects and meeting altogether. Although there still are discussions on COVID-19 topics, the recent spring meetings of both groups generally focused on getting regular work streams back up and running.

3 min read

Members of Congress Praise NAIFA Advocates at Virtual Congressional Conference

By NAIFA on 5/28/21 10:34 AM

NAIFA’s Virtual Congressional Conference, May 25-26, was an overwhelming success, with more than 1,300 registered participants. These insurance and financial advisors received advocacy training, benefited from policy briefings, and heard words of encouragement from Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Darin LaHood (R-IL), as well as NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux and American Council of Life Insurers President and CEO Susan Neely.

4 min read

NAIFA State Advocacy Roundup

By Julie Harrison on 5/24/21 4:17 PM

NAIFA's state-level advocacy work is second-to-none, with state chapters and members providing expertise and influence to shape legislation and regulations impacting NAIFA members' businesses and clients across the country.

NAIFA President Michel: It's Not Too Late to Register for Congressional Conference

By NAIFA on 5/23/21 3:30 PM

NAIFA President Tom Michel, LACP, is a political advocacy rock star! He's met with more than 100 legislators in his career and had an impact on policy decisions vital to his business, the insurance and financial services industry, and the consumers who depend on financial professionals. He understands the power of the Congressional Conference, his favorite NAIFA event of the year, and extends his personal invitation for all insurance and financial advisors to attend this year's virtual event.

1 min read

NAIFA Supports Cardin, Portman Efforts to Move Retirement Reform Legislation

By NAIFA on 5/21/21 3:59 PM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux has thanked Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) for introducing the Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2021. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 is working its way through the House and three Senators earlier this week introduced the Improving Access to Retirement Savings Act.

2 min read

Texas Legislature Passes NAIC Model for Annuity Transactions

By NAIFA on 5/20/21 4:17 PM

NAIFA-Texas has been hard at work ensuring that the Texas legislature adopts the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model for a “Best Interest” standard for annuity products this legislative session. Partnering with Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers (TAHLI), we have met with multiple offices and other stakeholders to ensure clarity and support from those within the Texas Capitol. State Rep. Tom Oliverson, M.D. (R-Cypress), chair of the Texas House Insurance Committee is the bill's author.

On March 23, 2021, Jason Talley, NAIFA-Texas Past President, represented NAIFA-Texas by testifying in support of HB 1777 before the Texas House Insurance Committee. This bill passed unanimously out of committee and passed in the Texas House 144-1. Once it reached the Texas Senate, it was referred to the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce. Due to a time constraint before the first bill filing deadline of the session in early March, there was no Senate companion bill nor a Senate author. NAIFA-Texas and TALHI were able to get Chairman Kelly Hancock (R-Fort Worth) to carry this bill in his own committee. On May 13, 2021, this bill was heard in a formal hearing where NAIFA-Texas submitted written testimony in support. There was no opposition.

1 min read

NAIFA Thanks Senators for Introducing Bipartisan Retirement Legislation

By NAIFA on 5/20/21 11:34 AM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, CAE, has sent a letter to three members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), thanking them for introducing the Improving Access to Retirement Savings Act of 2021, which contains some provisions found in a bill that has passed the House and is commonly known as the SECURE Act 2.0.

1 min read

NAIFA's Holzberg: Congress Needs to Hear From Financial Professionals About the PRO Act

By NAIFA on 5/18/21 4:29 PM

NAIFA's Virtual Congressional Conference, May 25-26, is a great opportunity for NAIFA members to tell their Senators how being reclassified as "employees" rather than "independent contractors" by the PRO Act would hurt their businesses and ability to serve the best interests of their clients. NAIFA President Elect Lawrence Holzberg gives his take on why it's important to attend.

1 min read

NAIFA Supports Federal Legislation on Remote Online Notarization

By Mike Hedge on 5/13/21 4:15 PM

NAIFA joined with coalition partners to submit a letter to U.S. Senate co-sponsors of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act (SECURE Notarization Act), signaling support for the legislative initiative moving forward. The Act increases access to remote transactions for consumers.

1 min read

State Advocacy in Action: NAIFA-OR Legislative Event a Success

By NAIFA on 5/13/21 2:42 PM

NAIFA’s Oregon chapter has not missed a beat when it comes to fulfilling its political advocacy mission. NAIFA-OR’s most recent legislative update was a 100% virtual event attended by approximately 20% of NAIFA members in the state. It also attracted the attention of policymakers. State Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby) was among those who participated in the event.

1 min read

US Department of Labor Withdraws Independent Contractor Rule

By Mike Hedge on 5/6/21 8:36 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced the withdrawal of the “Independent Contractor Rule," effective May 6, 2021.

2 min read

NAIFA’s Carsrud Contributes to Capitol Hill Briefing on Retirement Issues

By NAIFA on 5/5/21 3:19 PM

Policy experts from industry associations, including NAIFA Assistant Vice President for Government Relations Judi Carsrud, provided congressional staff with a briefing on the defined contribution retirement system and how Congress can improve it. They explained some common challenges faced by employers providing plans and employees anxious about covering present-day expenses while saving for retirement.

2 min read

NAIFA Supports SECURE Act 2.0 Introduced by Reps. Neal and Brady

By NAIFA on 5/3/21 4:24 PM

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) have introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, also known as the SECURE Act 2.0, and Neal has scheduled a markup session in the committee for Wednesday.

3 min read

New York Appellate Court Rules Regulation 187 Unconstitutional

By NAIFA on 4/29/21 2:41 PM

The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, has ruled that state Insurance Regulation 187, “Suitability and Best Interests in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions,” is unconstitutional. A 2018 amendment to Regulation 187 imposed a complicated new standard of care on annuity recommendations and broadened the scope of the regulation to include life insurance as well as annuity products.

Topics: Press Release
1 min read

NAIFA-NC Holds Virtual Advocacy Day

By NAIFA on 4/27/21 4:53 PM

NAIFA’s North Carolina chapter (NAIFA-NC) held a virtual Advocacy Day, Monday, April 26. Insurance and financial professionals who attended benefited from an update on state legislative and regulatory activity by NAIFA-NC lobbyists Michelle Frazier and David Ferrell.

1 min read

The IRS Will Correct Confusing Guidance on Stretch IRAs and the SECURE Act

By Judi Carsrud on 4/26/21 4:03 PM

The SECURE Act, enacted in December 2019, changes the rules for certain inherited retirement accounts whose original owners died after Dec. 31, 2019. Under the new rule, many heirs to IRAs and 401(k) accounts will have to fully distribute the funds from their inherited accounts (and pay income tax on the distributions) within 10 years of the original owner’s death. The rule does not apply to surviving spouses, minor children, heirs who are disabled or chronically ill, and heirs who are within 10 years of the age of the decedent.

2 min read

NAIFA Members Show Almost No Interest in Being Classified as “Employees”

By Mark Briscoe on 4/23/21 6:38 PM

More than 90% of NAIFA members have income reported to the government on IRS Form 1099, and very few of them show any appetite for giving up their status as independent contractors, according to a recent survey.

1 min read

New NAIFA Survey: What Was Your Path Into the Financial Services Industry?

By NAIFA on 4/23/21 2:54 PM

NAIFA’s advocacy educates and informs policymakers so they understand the important work insurance and financial professionals do to help American families and businesses achieve their financial goals and attain financial security. Well-informed officials make better decisions to serve NAIFA members and their clients as well as all Americans who seek financially secure futures.

Topics: Advocacy
1 min read

NAIFA State Advocacy in Action: Montana Rate-Setting Law Signed

By NAIFA on 4/22/21 8:42 AM

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed legislation that revises state non-discrimination laws to allow insurers to consider insured individuals’ gender and marital status when setting rates for insurance premiums. NAIFA’s Montana chapter worked with state Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Troy Downing to craft and promote the legislation. NAIFA-MT members testified on its behalf at hearings in the state. The commissioner cited research by NAIFA-MT in his press release on the legislation.

1 min read

NAIFA Looks to Work With Congress on Paid Family Medical Leave Solutions

By NAIFA on 4/21/21 3:59 PM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux issued the following statement following a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on paid family medical leave:

Topics: Advocacy

NAIFA Issues Statement on Confirmation of SEC Chair Gensler

By NAIFA on 4/14/21 5:32 PM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, CAE, issued the following statement on the confirmation of Gary Gensler as chair of the SEC:

Topics: Advocacy
2 min read

NAIFA Invites All Financial Services Professionals to Attend Virtual Congressional Fly-In May 25-26

By NAIFA on 4/14/21 1:58 PM

NAIFA’s Congressional Congress, May 25-26, will be a virtual event featuring targeted advocacy training with briefings on legislative issues that affect members’ businesses, best practices for conducting congressional meetings, and tips for developing impactful long-term relationships with legislators.

1 min read

NAIFA Urges DOL to Move Forward With Rule on Independent Contractor Status

By Mike Hedge on 4/13/21 2:17 PM

NAIFA has joined with industry partners to submit a comment letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) on the proposed withdrawal of the Independent Contractor Status rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule was published on January 7, 2021.

3 min read

COBRA Premium Assistance: What NAIFA Members Need to Know

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 4/8/21 11:45 PM

In March, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which included provisions that provide 100% COBRA subsidies from April 1 through September 30 of 2021.

2 min read

Nebraska Law Enhances Protections for Annuity Consumers

By NAIFA on 4/8/21 11:23 AM

Legislation signed into law today by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts provides citizens throughout the Cornhusker state with enhanced consumer protections when buying annuities. Strongly supported by Nebraska Director of Insurance Bruce Ramge and championed in the Nebraska Legislature by State Senator Matt Williams, the new law closely tracks the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. It also aligns with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest.

1 min read

NAIFA-CA's Virtual Day on the Hill Is a Success

By NAIFA on 4/6/21 9:00 AM

NAIFA-California held their annual Day on the Hill as a virtual event over several days in late March. Attendees received legislative and regulatory updates and heard from speakers who shared insights about building relationships with lawmakers and being an effective political advocate.

1 min read

NAIFA Experts Give Updates on the PRO Act

By NAIFA on 3/28/21 8:19 PM

NAIFA Senior Vice President Diane Boyle and Government Relations Director Michael Hedge spend part of their week keeping insurance and financial professionals up-to-date with the latest information on the PRO Act, where it stands, and how it could impact advisors.

Topics: Advocacy
1 min read

NAIFA-Iowa Holds Day on the Hill

By NAIFA on 3/27/21 4:42 PM

State advocacy is among part of NAIFA's critical mission to ensure policymakers in every state capital understand the important role of insurance and financial professionals in providing financial security and prosperity to families and small business in communities across the United States. 

2 min read

NAIFA’s Virtual Congressional Conference to Be May 25-26

By NAIFA on 3/26/21 3:29 PM

NAIFA’s Congressional Congress, May 25-26, will be a virtual event featuring targeted advocacy training with briefings on legislative issues that affect members’ businesses, best practices for conducting congressional meetings, and tips for developing impactful long-term relationships with legislators.

2 min read

Legendary Consumer Protection

By Bruce Ferguson and Lyle Kraft on 3/26/21 3:14 PM

In 2018, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum unveiled the state’s new brand: Be Legendary.

1 min read

Senate Extends the PPP Loan Application Until May 31st

By NAIFA on 3/25/21 6:49 PM

On March 25, the Senate passed 92-7 legislation to extend the deadline for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications to May 31. The program has issued 7.5 million loans totaling $687 billion to small businesses during the last year, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The bill would also allow the agency an extra month to process applications after the program closes.

Topics: Advocacy
1 min read

NAIFA Advocacy Briefing: The Latest on the PRO Act

By NAIFA on 3/21/21 5:03 PM

Tuesday, March 23, at 11 am eastern

1 min read

NAIFA's Hedge Explains Potential Impacts of the PRO Act

By NAIFA on 3/18/21 8:45 AM

NAIFA Director of Government Relations Mike Hedge recently spoke with David Duford of Duford Insurance Group about the potential implications of the PRO Act for insurance and financial professionals. Hedge discusses how the PRO Act could disrupt the business relationships between producers and companies and harm the ability of agents and advisors to serve consumers. He also talks about the work NAIFA is doing to head off provisions of the PRO Act that would “revolutionize the industry for the wrong reasons.” The interview is featured on Duford’s popular YouTube channel.

2 min read

Idaho Enacts Enhanced Protections for Annuity Consumers

By Julie Harrison on 3/17/21 2:15 PM

Idaho Governor Brad Little has signed a NAIFA-promoted best interest bill into law. The bill, HR 79, is based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transaction Model Regulation.

1 min read

NAIFA-MT Promotes Favorable Auto Insurance Ratemaking Bill

By Julie Harrison on 3/17/21 1:58 PM

The Montana State Legislature is considering a bill that would end the state’s practice of treating all people, regardless of gender, the same by insurance companies when setting rates and product offerings.

1 min read

NAIFA-MN Testifies Against Problematic Paid Family Medical Leave Bill

By Julie Harrison on 3/15/21 2:45 PM

NAIFA-MN opposes a bill that would create a state-wide paid and family medical leave insurance program in Minnesota, HF 1200, which is under consideration in the state House.

1 min read

NAIFA-ME Connects Producers and Lawmakers at Virtual Legislative Breakfast

By NAIFA on 3/12/21 9:12 AM

NAIFA-Maine’s virtual Legislative Breakfast on March 9 featured video conference meetings connecting NAIFA members with state lawmakers whose policy decision impact the businesses of insurance and financial professionals as well as the consumers they serve. Legislators in attendance included:

1 min read

NAIFA-ND Tells Lawmakers Their Clients Come First

By Julie Harrison on 3/9/21 3:35 PM

NAIFA-ND President Lyle Kraft testified at the State Senate Industry, Business and Labor Committee on March 9, on the importance of passing an important new best interest standard.

2 min read

As the House Passes the PRO Act, NAIFA Continues to Work for Changes

By NAIFA on 3/9/21 1:52 PM

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842), a sweeping piece of labor legislation. Among its provisions, the PRO Act as passed by the House would reclassify many insurance and financial professionals as “employees” rather than “independent contractors” under federal labor law. NAIFA argues that such a reclassification will disrupt insurance and financial services business models and limit consumer access to diverse offerings of products, services, and advice.

1 min read

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux Signs Letter Seeking PRO Act Changes

By NAIFA on 3/4/21 4:12 PM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux and the CEOs of 13 other insurance and financial services trade associations sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging Congress to address concerns with the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842).

1 min read

NAIFA-TX Holds Successful Virtual Day at the Capitol Advocacy Event

By NAIFA on 3/3/21 5:02 PM

NAIFA’s Texas chapter (NAIFA-TX) held a successful legislative event last week, with several dozen participants. The annual Day at the Capitol was planned as a hybrid event, with both in-person and virtual attendees. However, the lingering effects of recent winter storms required NAIFA-TX to quickly shift to an all-virtual event.

1 min read

NAIFA-Wisconsin to Hold Virtual Day on the Hill Political Advocacy Programs

By NAIFA on 3/3/21 4:13 PM

The Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA-WI) will present its annual Day on the Hill advocacy programming March 8 and 10. The virtual event will highlight the importance of political advocacy for insurance financial advisors. Decisions by state lawmakers and regulators have tremendous impacts on the businesses of NAIFA members as well as the Main Street consumers and small businesses they serve.

1 min read

NAIFA-TN Urges End of Professional Tax on Advisors and Broker-Dealers

By Julie Harrison on 3/2/21 3:55 PM

NAIFA-TN is using its advocacy muscle to convince state legislators to eradicate its professional privilege tax. The tax was used to balance budgets in 1992 and in 2002 and Tennessee is one of only six states with such a tax. Until two years ago, the tax applied to 22 different professions, including dentists, physicians, and real estate principal brokers. In 2019, Tennessee removed the discriminatory tax on 15 of the professions yet continues to require attorneys, securities agents, broker-dealers, investment advisers, lobbyists, osteopathic physicians, and physicians to pay the annual $400 tax.

1 min read

NAIFA-WI Objects to Proposed Layers of Data Privacy Regulations

By Julie Harrison on 3/1/21 2:42 PM

NAIFA-WI joined other trade associations representing the insurance and financial services industry to push back on a potential regulatory proposal that would complicate existing data privacy and security laws.

1 min read

Worker Classification Under Scrutiny

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 2/25/21 12:41 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering introduction of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) along mostly party lines, likely in April 2021. This wide-reaching bill seeks to reform current labor law in a variety of areas. Impacting the insurance industry, the bill amends the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 152(3)) by adding language that expands the definition of “independent contractor” by adopting an “ABC” test to define who is an “employee.”

Topics: Advocacy
1 min read

NAIFA-FL Holds a Virtual Legislative Day

By NAIFA on 2/24/21 9:33 AM

NAIFA-Florida’s Virtual Legislative Day on the Hill was February 23. Approximately 80 participants joined the event and received legislative and regulatory updates as well as advocacy training from NAIFA-FL President Craig Duncan and state lobbyist Tim Meenan of Meenan P.A. Other speakers included Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.

2 min read

The White House Issues Guidance on the Latest Round of PPP Funding

By NAIFA on 2/22/21 10:31 AM

The White House has released a fact sheet clarifying some aspects of the latest round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding that opened a month ago. The PPP provides loans to small businesses, including NAIFA members and their clients, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The low-interest loans may be forgiven if the businesses that receive them meet certain conditions.

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DOL Confirms PTE on Retirement Advice Will Go Into Effect Feb. 15

By NAIFA on 2/12/21 4:50 PM

The Biden Administration has confirmed that the Department of Labor (DOL) will move forward with a prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for financial professionals who provide retirement plan advice. DOL previously announced the new PTE on December 15 during the Trump Administration. It goes into effect February 15.

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Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace Coverage Begins Feb. 15

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 2/12/21 3:19 PM

On Friday, February 12, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that, in accordance with an Executive Order signed by President Biden, a Special Enrollment Period for the Health Insurance Marketplace will be available in the 36 states using the HealthCare.gov platform. The SEP will be available from Monday, February 15, through Saturday, May 15 for most states.

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NAIFA-WA Urges LTC Bill Changes to Protect Employees With Private Coverage

By NAIFA on 2/12/21 2:45 PM

NAIFA-WA is urging changes to a long-term services bill, HB 1323, to protect employees who have purchased long-term care coverage.

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NAIFA-Idaho Testifies at Hearing on Annuity Best Interest Legislation

By NAIFA on 2/11/21 6:14 PM

NAIFA-Idaho member EmmaLee Robinson testified before a hearing of the Idaho Legislature on the Annuity Consumer Protections Act (HB 79) and encouraged lawmakers to adopt legislation based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ updated Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model. The NAIC model requires financial professionals to work in the best interests of consumers on annuity transactions.

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Ohio Finalizes Annuities Best Interest Rule Based on the NAIC Model

By NAIFA on 2/10/21 5:05 PM

The Ohio Department of Insurance has finalized a rule based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ updated Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model that requires financial professionals to work in the best interests of consumers on annuity transactions. The new rule goes into effect in Ohio on Feb. 14.

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NAIFA Urges Oklahoma Senate to Reject State-run Retirement Plan

By NAIFA on 2/9/21 3:15 PM

NAIFA strongly supports efforts to encourage and incentivize workers’ participation in employer-provided retirement plans available on the private market. Private-sector plans offered by employers provide many design features that help workers plan for secure retirements. A qualified financial professional, such as a NAIFA member, can help workers with individual retirement-planning solutions and assist employers in establishing workplace plans.

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Delaware Joins the Growing List of States Adopting the NAIC Annuity Model

By NAIFA on 2/8/21 3:34 PM

The Delaware Department of Insurance has published a final regulation based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ updated Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model that requires financial professionals to work in the best interests of consumers on annuity transactions.

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NAIFA Supports Replacement of Indiana LTC Insurance Program

By NAIFA on 2/4/21 11:50 AM

NAIFA is encouraging the efforts of Indiana state Sen. Greg Walker and Rep. Martin Carbaugh to replace the Indiana Long Term Care Insurance Program, also known as the RWJ Partnership, with legislation (HB 1405 and SB 261) to create a Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) Partnership.

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NAIFA-VA Holds Successful Virtual Day on the Hill

By NAIFA on 2/2/21 4:12 PM

NAIFA's Virginia chapter held a successful Day on the Hill event on January 29, even though Virginia’s legislative session is completely virtual at present due to COVID-19. The Day on the Hill has been a key element of NAIFA-VA's advocacy mission for many years and a way for the chapter to engage with members from around the state.


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NJ Bill on Insurance Lawsuits Includes NAIFA-Supported Amendment Excluding Producers

By NAIFA on 2/2/21 9:26 AM

The New Jersey state Senate has passed the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act, which would permit a consumer to bring a private cause of action lawsuit against an insurer accused of an unreasonable claim denial or delay in payment of benefits.

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NAIFA Supports Maryland Bill to Boost LTC Education

By NAIFA on 2/1/21 4:24 PM

NAIFA supports Maryland state legislation that would provide consumers in the state with easier access to resources and educational materials on long-term care (LTC) planning. A NAIFA-Maryland member served on the Task Force on LTC Education and Planning that made recommendations that helped shape the bill, HB 599, Public Health – Long Term Care Planning.

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Maeghan Gale to Join NAIFA’s Government Relations Team as a Policy Director

By NAIFA on 1/29/21 2:04 PM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is pleased to welcome Maeghan Gale as a Policy Director. Gale will join NAIFA’s Government Relations team on February 1 and will report to Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle.

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Health Care Marketplace Special Enrollment Period to Open Feb. 15 - May 15

By NAIFA on 1/29/21 12:20 PM

In case you missed it, HealthCare.gov sent a notice that the Department of Health and Human Services has announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency the notice says: 

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NAIFA-NJ Pushes Back on Senate Bad Faith Bill

By Julie Harrison on 1/28/21 3:13 PM

NAIFA-NJ recently put out a call to action to its members, asking them to contact their state senators to vote "No" on S-1559. The bill, the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act, would establish a private cause of action for first-party claimants against an auto insurer for an unreasonable delay or denial of a claim or for violating statutes prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. 

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NAIFA-ND Activates Grassroots to Counter LTC Proposal

By Julie Harrison on 1/26/21 5:33 PM

North Dakota lawmakers are considering a bill that would impose a three-year ban on the sale of long-term care insurance policies. The bill, SB 2253, has four sponsors seeking to use the three-year moratorium to study the market and premium increases.

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NAIFA-Nebraska Supports Legislation to Boost Consumer Protections on Annuities

By NAIFA on 1/25/21 2:15 PM

As the Nebraska Legislature considers LB 22, legislation that would establish an enhanced standard of care for financial professionals offering annuity products, NAIFA-NE Past-President Dave Skutnik submitted testimony in support of the bill on behalf of NAIFA’s Nebraska chapter.

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NAIFA-IL Urges Governor to Veto Prejudgment Interest Bill

By NAIFA on 1/21/21 4:22 PM

NAIFA-IL has sent a call to action to its members to urge Gov. J.B. Pritzker to veto a bill that sets a prejudgment interest at the rate of 9% per year on all tort actions seeking recovery for personal injury or wrongful death.

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NAIFA Urges New Congress to Take Up Bipartisan Retirement Bill

By Judi Carsrud on 1/21/21 3:10 PM

NAIFA is hopeful that the 117th Congress will reintroduce and enact the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 (SSRA), bipartisan legislation with many provisions to make it easier for employers to offer plans and to encourage higher participation rates by employees.

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NAIFA Looks to Work With the Biden Administration on Financial Security Policies

By NAIFA on 1/20/21 1:54 PM

NAIFA congratulates President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration and looks forward to working with the Biden administration on policies to promote financial security and access to financial products, services, and advice for all Americans.

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NAIFA-FL Gets Behind COVID-19 Liability Shield Bills

By NAIFA on 1/20/21 9:18 AM

NAIFA-FL supports two bills that provide several COVID-19-related liability protections for businesses, educational institutions, government entities, religious organizations, and other entities.

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North Dakota House Committee Advances NAIFA-Supported Annuity Transactions Bill

By NAIFA on 1/20/21 9:08 AM

This week the North Dakota House Industry, Business and Labor Committee unanimously approved H.B. 1160, a bill that tracks with the “best interest of consumer enhancements” in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.

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NAIFA-VA Comments on State-Run Retirement Bill at Delegates' Subcommittee Meeting

By NAIFA on 1/19/21 1:18 PM

Virginia House Bill 2174 would establish the VirginiaSaves Program, a state-run automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA savings program. The program would be optional for employees, but would require employers with five or more employees that do not offer retirement plans to set up a payroll deduction and retirement savings plan through the state-run system.

Elizabeth Pate, a NAIFA-VA Board member and Past President for the state chapter, testified via Zoom before the Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations Compensation and General Government Subcommittee that NAIFA-VA has concerns about the proposed program.

Pate said that NAIFA applauds efforts by the Virginia General Assembly to help Virginians prepare for retirement, but cannot support the legislation as it currently stands. She noted that the federal SECURE Act makes it easier for employers to band together and offer retirement plans in a cost-effective manner. This achieves the goal of encouraging greater retirement preparation by employees without creating a state-run plan to compete with the private sector.

Plans created under the SECURE Act, she noted, would give participants protections afforded by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), while it appears VirginiaSaves participants would not benefit from ERISA protections.

Pate also noted that enrollees in the state-run program would lack access to personalized advice from financial professionals that many participants in private-market plans receive.

Several members of the Subcommittee raised questions about potential financial impacts of the VirginiaSaves plan on small businesses and expressed concerns about the mandatory nature of employer participation under the current draft of the legislation. The Subcommittee vote to send HB 2174 to the full committee for further consideration.

NAIFA and NAIFA-VA will remain politically active and engaged on the proposed legislation.

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NAIFA Members Participate in CMS Roundtable for Agents/Brokers

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 1/14/21 6:47 PM

On Wednesday, January 13, NAIFA members Elie Harriett and Alan Winstead participated in an invitation-only roundtable hosted by the Department for Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The discussion centered around marketplace policies and initiatives that impact agents and brokers.

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NAIFA Advocacy Helped Shape DOL Rule on Independent Contractors

By Mike Hedge on 1/6/21 1:20 PM

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced today a final rule clarifying the standard for employee- versus independent contractor-status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). NAIFA has worked closely with DOL to ensure an equitable rule that considers the needs of the insurance industry. NAIFA submitted comments on DOL’s rulemaking on October 26, 2020.

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Michigan and Arkansas Adopt Best Interest Rule on Annuities

By NAIFA on 1/5/21 10:44 AM

Michigan and Arkansas have become states number four and five to adopt a best interest annuity rule based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation

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Repeal of Health Insurers' Antitrust Exemption Likely to Harm Consumers

By NAIFA on 12/23/20 11:13 AM

On December 22, the Senate voted to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for health insurance companies by passing HR 1418, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act. The House passed the bill on Sept. 21. President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign the bill into law later this week.

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Spending Bill Loosens Restrictions on FSAs

By NAIFA on 12/23/20 11:01 AM

As part of the COVID relief package passed by Congress, NAIFA-backed Flexible Spending Account (FSA) relief was included to relieve some of the financial burden consumers face regarding healthcare costs and health spending account allocations. Known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, (CAA) it includes provisions extending FSA benefits to those enrolled in such plans.

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NAIFA-New York Hires Greenberg Traurig to Represent State Advocacy Interests

By NAIFA on 12/22/20 2:58 PM

The New York chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) has reached an agreement with Greenberg Traurig under which the firm will represent the advocacy interests of NAIFA-New York with state legislators and regulators. Greenberg Traurig is a global law firm with offices around the country, including in Albany and New York City.

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A Deeper Dive Look at Amendments to the Paycheck Protection Program

By NAIFA on 12/22/20 11:55 AM

As we posted earlier, agreement has come together at the final hour on the much-anticipated COVID-19 relief and government-funding legislation. The 5,593-page legislation is expected to be signed by President Trump today.

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NAIFA-Supported Surprise Medical Billing Provision Is Part of Year-End Legislation

By NAIFA on 12/22/20 9:09 AM

Congress has passed the final COVID-19 relief package of 2020 to support the economy and provide further relief during the continuing pandemic. Included within the 5,593-page bill is a provision to end surprise medical billing. The surprise medical billing language provides no government rate setting. The inclusion of this provision is arguably the most important patient-protection inclusion since the creation of Medicare Part D. NAIFA worked with congressional leaders in both the Senate and House, advising legislators of the importance of including surprise medical billing in the final bill.

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Congress Expands Paycheck Protection Program in $900 Billion Relief Bill

By NAIFA on 12/22/20 8:42 AM

Congress has agreed to a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package to assist American individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic. The legislation includes stimulus checks of up to $600 per person, including children. The amount diminishes for individuals with incomes reported above $75,000 in 2019, while those who earned more than $87,000 are not eligible. The package would also extend federal unemployment benefits by up to $300 per week through the middle of March.

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NAIFA Supports the Improving Retirement Savings Act

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 12/21/20 5:21 PM

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New DOL Rule on Retirement Advice Aligns with the SEC's Reg BI

By NAIFA on 12/15/20 6:24 PM

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its new prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for financial professionals who provide retirement plan advice. The PTE requires advisors to work in the best interests of their clients, receive reasonable compensation, and make no “materially misleading statements.” The PTE is effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The DOL exemption aligns with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest, and preserves opportunities and choices for workers and retirees seeking high-quality, personalized advice.

“NAIFA thinks the Department of Labor proposal – with the modifications in today’s final rule – will benefit retirement investors by preserving access to a wide variety investment advice professionals, products, and compensation arrangements,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “The Department has struck the right balance between crafting a PTE with robust compliance obligations that serve the interests of investors, while avoiding an overly prescriptive approach or penalizing certain market segments or arrangements versus others.”

The DOL under the Obama administration initially issued a rule that would have imposed a restrictive fiduciary duty on financial professionals and hindered access of middle-market investors to retirement services and advice. NAIFA was among the organizations that filed a lawsuit resulting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacating the rule in 2018.

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NAIC Executive Committee Updates UTPA Rebate Language

By NAIFA on 12/13/20 8:22 PM

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Executive Committee adopted an amendment to the NAIC Unfair Trade Practices Act that would liberalize the existing restrictions contained in the Model Act’s anti-rebating provisions.

The adopted language allows insurers or producers to "offer or give non-cash gifts, items, or services, including meals to or charitable donations on behalf of a customer, in connection with the marketing, sale, purchase, or retention of contracts of insurance." The revised language provides that offering or providing products or services that will help mitigate risk or loss will not be considered impermissible rebates.

NAIFA commented on the revisions to the UTPA in a letter sent in July to the NAIC’s Innovation and Technology (EX) Task Force.

NAIFA commended the NAIC for undertaking a review of the current UTPA provisions that deal with rebating, with an eye towards modernizing the model in recognition of technological and risk/loss mitigation advances that have occurred in recent years.

“Basically, recent technology advances generally referred to as ‘insuretech’ have resulted in the development of products that will aid in risk and loss mitigation,” said Gary Sanders, NAIFA’s Counsel and VP. “Things such as Fitbits and monitors that will tell you that your water heat is leaking, etc. can help reduce risks for consumers and losses for insurers.”

In general, NAIFA supports the approach taken in the draft as well as the scope of the proposed expansion of the types of practices, products and/or services that would not be considered an impermissible rebate.

The amendments also allow each state commissioner to impose a cap on the dollar amount of gift, meals and similar items that can be provided without running afoul of the anti-rebate laws.

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NAIFA Looks Forward to Working with 117th Congress on Retirement Legislation

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 12/10/20 4:21 PM

On December 9th, the Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), held a hearing entitled “Investigating Challenges to American Retirement Security.”

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NAIFA’s Christopher Gandy Speaks at NAIC Meeting on Race and Insurance

By NAIFA on 12/8/20 5:16 PM

Christopher L. Gandy, a member of the 2021 National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Board of Trustees and the president of NAIFA’s Chicagoland chapter, spoke on behalf of NAIFA at a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) meeting of the NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance.

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NAIFA Supports COVID-19 Liability Shields

By NAIFA on 12/2/20 7:31 PM

State lawmakers across the country are grappling with different solutions to quell business owners’ fears of legal liability as the pandemic threatens to loom for many months yet to come. NAIFA is encouraging lawmakers to pass bills that would enact liability immunity for businesses to protect them from a barrage of civil lawsuits related to the exposure to COVID-19.

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NAIFA-Delaware and ACLI Advocate for Annuities Best Interest Rule

By NAIFA on 12/2/20 10:24 AM

NAIFA-Delaware and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) have commended Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro for proposing a best interest annuity rule based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.

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Massachusetts Enters into NAIC Continuing Education Agreement

By NAIFA on 12/1/20 1:30 PM

In an effort to streamline processes and implement uniform transactions for both licensees and consumers, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance recently announced it has entered into the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Continuing Education Reciprocity (CER) Agreement.

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NAIFA Joins Groups Urging Congress to Reduce Health Care Costs

By NAIFA on 11/23/20 2:12 PM

NAIFA has joined with other groups and employers who sponsor health insurance benefits for tens of millions of Americans to send a letter to congressional leadership urging Congress to enact legislation to reduce health care costs.

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SEC Chair Clayton to Step Down

By NAIFA on 11/17/20 8:45 AM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) would like to thank Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton for his leadership and service. Clayton has announced that he will leave the agency at the end of 2020. As chairman, Clayton has shown a strong willingness to understand and consider the perspectives of financial professionals. He has met with NAIFA leaders and members on issues of importance to advisors and their clients.

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As Election Results Become Clearer, NAIFA Builds Advocacy Connections

By NAIFA on 11/4/20 4:55 PM

Although the results of a number of races remain undetermined, we are beginning to get a better picture of how yesterday’s election will reshape Congress in the coming year. Nearly 50 races decided yesterday, or in the process of being decided, will result in changes to the composition of congressional committees that have jurisdiction over issues important to NAIFA’s advocacy efforts, the interests of insurance and financial professionals, and the financial security of Main Street Americans.

Topics: Advocacy
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Be An Active Participant in Election Day!

By Diane Boyle on 11/2/20 9:29 AM

Be an Active Participant in Election Day!  Compete to See Who is the Real Election Soothsayer!

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State Adoption of Updated NAIC Annuity Rules Remains NAIFA Priority

By NAIFA on 10/29/20 7:51 PM

NAIFA continues to urge the states to consider and adopt recent amendments to the NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, and NAIFA state chapters should reach out to their state’s insurance commissioner or director and encourage him/her to support and promote the adoption of the NAIC amendments. The adoption of these amendments by the states remains a top advocacy priority for NAIFA.

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NAIFA-New York and LICONY Partner to Leverage Their Advocacy Clout

By NAIFA on 10/29/20 11:41 AM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ New York chapter (NAIFA-New York) and the Life Insurance Council of New York, Inc. (LICONY) will collaborate in 2021 and beyond on issues that are important to agents and advisors, the industry, and the consumers they serve.  

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Bipartisan Legislation Would Encourage Retirement Saving and Give Greater Flexibility

By NAIFA on 10/28/20 11:20 AM

NAIFA supports the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation introduced by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) that would help Americans prepare for a secure retirement. Among other provisions, the legislation would create new financial incentives for small employers to offer retirement plans, give people over the age of 60 greater flexibility when contributing to retirement plans, and raise the required minimum distribution age to 75.

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NAIFA Rejoins Industry Education Council, Lending Its Expertise on Insurance Matters to State Legislators

By NAIFA on 10/28/20 10:07 AM

NAIFA is proud to announce that it has renewed its participation as a member of the Industry Education Council (IEC), the educational partner of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL). The IEC provides effective communication with state legislators, and vital support for NCOIL’s educational programs.

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NAIFA Submits Comments on DOL’s Proposed Independent Contractor Rule

By NAIFA on 10/27/20 4:34 PM

On October 26, NAIFA filed comments on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed interpretation dictating which workers can qualify for independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). NAIFA supports DOL’s efforts to formalize existing interpretations, provide greater certainty for the regulated community, and promote opportunities for creating innovative work arrangements.

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Members of Congress Appreciate NAIFA

By NAIFA on 10/20/20 4:53 PM

Congress knows and appreciates NAIFA! When lawmakers seek Main Street USA perspectives on insurance and financial services issues, they know they can count on NAIFA members. NAIFA’s grassroots army serves as a resource and advocates for policies that promote financial security for American families and business owners. That's the Power of Us. Listen to what members of Congress have to say.

Topics: Advocacy
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Advocacy Takes Center Stage at NAIFA Leadership Training

By NAIFA on 10/20/20 4:03 PM

It’s not just luck that makes NAIFA the leading political advocacy association for insurance and financial professionals in the United States. It takes hard work, a dedicated and informed membership and strong leadership throughout our association chapters. Today’s NAIFA Leadership Blueprint training focused on advocacy to ensure that chapter volunteer leaders have the training and resources they need to empower their states’ NAIFA members and build on NAIFA’s advocacy strength.

Topics: Advocacy
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Highly Respected Advisors Named to NAIFA-New York Transition Team

By NAIFA on 10/15/20 4:20 PM

Team of industry stalwarts in the state will lead NAIFA’s New York chapter until state members select a new Board to take office in January.

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NAIFA Legislative Event Includes Iowa Lawmakers

By NAIFA on 10/15/20 11:37 AM

NAIFA’s North Central Iowa chapter recently hosted a legislative breakfast session that included a question and answer session with State Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink (R-Fort Dodge, District 5), state Rep. Ann Meyer (R-Fort Dodge, District 9); and Jack Friend (D-Ames, candidate for Iowa House District 48).

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NAIFA Members Tapped to Consult WA OIC

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 10/8/20 3:43 PM

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner recently announced that two NAIFA-WA members were selected to serve on the commissioner’s Life & Disability Producer Advisory Committee. The members, Robert Rockett and Mark Ingersoll, are both independent Life Insurance, Annuity, Disability Income, and LTCi wholesalers.

Rockett, of Rockett Financial Services, in Raymond, WA, is a New York Life Advisor and long-time active member of NAIFA. “He brings decades of rural financial planning experience as well as the relationship with New York Life,” said Wayne Lundy, NAIFA-WA’s immediate past president.

Ingersoll is President and CEO of Washington Brokerage in Seattle. “Mark also has decades of experience and brings the wholesaler side of the industry to the ear of the Commissioner’s office,” Lundy said. “NAIFA Washington is very pleased to have these two very knowledgeable members sitting on this committee.”

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner appoints members to act as consultants to the agency. One committee represents life and disability markets. Another committee represents property and casualty markets.

The commissioner and agency executives meet with committee members twice a year to discuss critical issues and developments within the industry.

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NAIFA-NJ Fights Proposed Financial Transaction Tax

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 10/8/20 3:36 PM

NAIFA-NJ is fighting two bills that establish a tax on high quantity processors of financial transactions, S-2902, and A-4402. NAIFA’s opposition is strengthened by coalition partners that consist of other trade associations representing 200,000 workers in the financial services industry in New Jersey, throughout the U.S., and other business groups in the state. On October 6, the coalition sent a letter to John McKeon, Chairman of the General Assembly, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney. The letter encouraged the lawmakers to consider the following as they debate moving forward with the legislation:

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NCOIL Adopts Model Act on Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance

By NAIFA on 10/6/20 4:39 PM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is pleased with NCOIL’s adoption of the Short Term Limited Duration Insurance Model Act sponsored by IN Representative Martin Carbaugh. NAIFA has long reasoned that STLDI plans can ensure that consumers are able to maintain critical and temporary health insurance coverage especially in instances where a consumer lost his or her individual market or group policy and needs sufficient time to obtain a more comprehensive insurance plan.  Also, in some health insurance markets where there are very few and cost prohibitive plans available for consumers, STDLI policies may offer consumers the only affordable, albeit temporary, option. 

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NAIFA Encouraging IRS to Permanently Adopt Remote Notarization

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 10/5/20 6:00 PM

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Trump Administration Issues America-First Healthcare Plan

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 10/2/20 5:11 PM

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Final IRS Disability Account Rules Expand Contribution Option

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 10/2/20 5:02 PM

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House Passes the Updated HEROES Act

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 10/1/20 11:10 PM

The House has passed the updated HEROES Act by a vote of 214 to 207. The partisan bill is not expected to be considered by the Senate. 

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‘The Power of You. The Power of Us.’  NAIFA’s New Political Advocacy Campaign Stokes Individual and Group Action

By NAIFA on 10/1/20 4:35 PM

Insurance and financial professionals provide a powerful advocacy voice at state and federal levels.

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NAIFA Opposes Bill that Could Weaken State Regulation of Insurance

By NAIFA on 10/1/20 8:28 AM

On Sept 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1418, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020. The bill repeals specific parts of the McCarran-Ferguson Act that exempt insurance businesses from most federal regulation.

Topics: Advocacy
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Sen. Grassley and Commissioner Ommen Speak at NAIFA-Iowa Conference

By NAIFA on 9/24/20 4:47 PM

NAIFA-Iowa recently held a successful combined in-person/virtual state conference, Sept. 9-11 in Cedar Falls. The program highlighted each point of NAIFA’s membership promise – Advocate, Educate, Differentiate – but the focus turned squarely to advocacy during the Thursday keynote presentation by state Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen and the Friday Newell C. Day Awards Breakfast keynote address by Sen. Chuck Grassley.

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NJ Joins List of States Offering Remote Licensing Exams for Insurance Producers

By NAIFA on 9/21/20 2:20 PM

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance announced on September 11 that individuals who want to take the insurance producer examination may do so remotely, even after the public health crisis ends.

1 min read

Financial Transaction Tax Introduced in New Jersey

By NAIFA on 9/21/20 11:55 AM

The insurance industry in New Jersey faced a scare in mid-September when Senate President Steve Sweeney introduced S-2902, which would impose a tax on high-quantity processors of financial transactions at $0.0025 per transaction. The bill defines "high-quantity" as processors of 10,000 or more financial transactions through electronic infrastructure located in New Jersey during the year. There was speculation the funding mechanism would be attached to the state budget. Fortunately, the state budget was approved, and the transaction tax was not included.

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Voter Registration Deadlines and Early Voting are Coming

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 9/15/20 9:00 AM

November is just two months away and with it comes two things: First, the relief that of knowing that 2020 is moving into the rearview mirror. The second, and perhaps most important, is Election Day and the checklist of things we have to do before we can cast our ballots.  

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NAIFA-CA Helps Alleviate Industry Concerns with HIV Modernization Bill

By NAIFA on 9/4/20 12:05 PM

The California State Legislature recently passed a bill to prohibit life and disability income insurance providers from denying coverage to HIV-positive individuals. The bill, initially introduced as SB 961 by Sen. Lena Gonzales (D), was initially concerning to NAIFA. Together with the Association of California Life & Health Insurance Companies (ACLHICI) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), NAIFA worked with Gonzales to amend the bill to give insurers more underwriting flexibility, while still prohibiting them from declining applicants based solely upon an HIV test.

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Industry Groups Testify at Hearing on DOL Proposal

By NAIFA on 9/3/20 6:11 PM

Bradford Campbell, a partner with the law firm Faegre, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, testified today on behalf of NAIFA and several other industry organizations at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Administrative Hearing on the Proposed Class Exemption Regulation “Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees.”

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NAIFA Webinar:  COVID-19 Executive Actions in August

By NAIFA on 8/28/20 10:39 AM

View the Webinar On-Demand

2 min read

New Maryland Commissioner Looks to Work  with Industry on Annuity Suitability Revisions

By NAIFA on 8/26/20 3:37 PM

Maryland’s new Insurance Commissioner, Kathleen Birrane, had an opportunity to introduce herself to the state’s insurance agents and financial advisers on August 25 during a townhall webinar with NAIFA-MD, the Maryland Association of Health Underwriters and Maryland Insurance Agents and Brokers.

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New DOL Rule Provides Important Guidance on How to Illustrate Monthly Lifetime Income

By NAIFA on 8/19/20 4:44 PM

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued an interim final rule providing the important information employers need to comply with the new requirement that they give retirement plan participants annual illustrations of the monthly lifetime income they would receive from their retirement plan account balances.

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NAIFA Members Invited to Signing of Agent Commission Bill in Georgia

By NAIFA on 8/17/20 1:50 PM

NAIFA-GA members were invited to attend Gov. Brian Kemp’s signing of a law requiring health insurance carriers to file commissions rates they offer producers as part of their filings with the state. The law (HB 716) also gives the state Insurance Commission the power to enforce commission rates. The law will help insurance producers impacted by the Medical Loss Ratio provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which has resulted in many carriers reducing or eliminating health insurance agents’ commissions.

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The SEC’s CAT Database Brings Data Security Concerns

By NAIFA on 8/13/20 1:28 PM

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June began requiring broker-dealers to submit detailed information on securities trades to the SEC’s Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) database. A similar requirement for options trades went into effect in July. The purpose of the CAT is to allow SEC regulators to identify and analyze irregularities and threats to the securities markets.

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Federal LTC Task Force Includes NAIFA Recommendations in Report

By NAIFA on 8/11/20 12:02 PM

The U.S. Treasury Department has released a report from the Federal Interagency Task Force on Long-Term Care Insurance recommending government actions to foster innovation in long-term care (LTC) product design, improve the efficiency and relevance of LTC product regulation and promote financial literacy on LTC matters.

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NAIFA Sees DOL Proposal as a Step in the Right Direction, But Offers Improvements

By NAIFA on 8/11/20 10:29 AM

NAIFA President Cammie Scott submitted a comment letter on behalf of NAIFA that generally supports the Department of Labor’s proposed class exemption for investment advice fiduciaries under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code and makes several suggestions to improve the proposal.

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ALI Survey Finds Growing Concern Among Workers Planning for Retirement

By NAIFA on 7/29/20 1:26 PM

A new survey by the Alliance for Lifetime Income (ALI) finds that 70% of older working Americans with at least $100,000 in assets are more pessimistic about their retirement plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One-in-five of these workers, or approximately 3.2 million Americans, now plans to retire later than they had anticipated. ALI notes that the number would likely be much higher had the survey also included older workers with less than $100,000 in assets.

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Pandemic, PPP and Policy

By NAIFA on 7/24/20 4:52 PM

This special NAIFA webinar provided Paycheck Protection Program updates and information on COVID-19 amendments to the Family Medica Leave Act that insurance and financial professionals need to know. NAIFA members may view the webinar on-demand. If you are not a NAIFA member, please join.

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IRS Provides Flexibility on RMD Rollovers for 2020

By NAIFA on 7/24/20 4:43 PM

The CARES Act, signed into law in late March, waives the 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) for IRAs and defined contribution plans, like 401(k)s and 403(b)s. This provides owners of these products flexibility and prevents them from having to draw down their plans while facing COVID-19-related market volatility.

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Expert Panel to Provide New Insights on the Paycheck Protection Program to NAIFA Members

By NAIFA on 7/17/20 3:58 PM

The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided more than $517 billion in COVID-19 relief loans to nearly 5 million employers across the United States. Nearly 170,000 loans have gone to companies in the finance and insurance sector, while many more have gone to small businesses served by NAIFA members and other financial professionals. As of July 7, more than $130 billion remained in PPP funding, according to the Small Business Administration.

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SEC Warns of Increase in Cybercrimes Targeting Financial Professionals

By NAIFA on 7/14/20 11:23 AM

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a Risk Alert warning about an increase in cybercrimes targeting financial professionals and institutions. The document, issued by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), says scammers have targeted “broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investment companies” and others in the financial services industry with phishing and ransomware attacks.

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NAIFA’s Carsrud Briefs WIFS Members on Advocacy Issues

By NAIFA on 7/9/20 1:51 PM

NAIFA Assistant Vice President of Government Relations Judi Carsrud provided members of Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) in Central Pennsylvania a briefing on the SECURE Act and the Security and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) in a virtual meeting on Thursday.

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DOL Proposes New Rule to Replace Fiduciary Rule NAIFA Helped Defeat

By NAIFA on 6/30/20 10:26 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a new rule to govern the standard of care for producers providing consumers with retirement guidance and products. NAIFA was a part of the lawsuit, along with the American Council of Life Insurers and other groups, that resulted in the DOL’s original fiduciary rule being struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018. The new proposal would create a “best interest” prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for ERISA- and Internal Revenue Code-covered investment advice fiduciaries.

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Federal Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Reg BI

By NAIFA on 6/29/20 10:45 AM

In an opinion published last Friday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the validity of the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and rejected the challenge to the rule which had been filed last fall by a group of state attorneys general and several private financial firms. The court did not agree with the plaintiffs’ claim that the Dodd Frank Act required the SEC, if it chose to act, to adopt a standard of conduct for broker-dealers that paralleled the fiduciary standard applicable to investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act.

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NAIFA Georgia’s Health Insurance Agent Commission Bill Sails Through the Senate

By NAIFA on 6/29/20 8:57 AM

NAIFA-Georgia is celebrating a win. HB 716 (Insurance; carriers issuing a health benefit plan in this state through an agent shall file proposed commission rates with the department) passed the Senate unanimously on June 26. 

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NAIFA Backs Ohio’s Suitability in Annuity Trans-actions Proposal Albeit Minor Edits

By Julie Harrison on 6/23/20 5:41 PM

Ohio’s Department of Insurance recently proposed updates to its “3901-6-13 Suitability Annuity Transactions” rule.  The state’s Director of Insurance, Jillian Froment, chaired the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Annuity Suitability Working Group while the working group crafted revisions to the NAIC’s “Suitability In Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275).”  As expected, the Ohio proposal is similar to the model. It establishes a new standard of conduct that goes beyond the rule’s current suitability standard, but it is not a fiduciary standard. 

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The State of NAIFA Town Hall: Advocacy Update

By NAIFA on 6/19/20 3:01 PM

NAIFA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Diane Boyle provided an advocacy update during NAIFA’s Town Hall, “The State of NAIFA on Our 130th Anniversary.”

Topics: Advocacy
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SEC Chair Urges Caution Recommending Retirement Account Rollovers, Withdrawals

By NAIFA on 6/18/20 9:07 AM

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a statement June 15 reminding financial firms and advisors of the new, enhanced conduct standards found in Regulation Best Interest. Reg BI requires broker-dealers and their representatives to act in the best interest of their clients when making recommendations, and to not put the firm’s or representatives’s financial interests ahead of the consumer’s.

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SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

By NAIFA on 6/17/20 5:27 PM

On June 17, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

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NAIFA Urges Congress to Bolster Retirement Savers in Next Phase of COVID-19 Legislation

By NAIFA on 6/17/20 2:45 PM

NAIFA’s advocacy team and grassroots army have been engaged from the beginning of conronavirus-related shutdowns with Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state regulators on proposals to provide economic relief and recovery assistance to individuals, families, and small businesses. We provided input to Congress as they shaped the first three phases of COVID-19 legislation, including the Paycheck Protection Program.

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State of NAIFA Virtual Event to Celebrate 130 Years of Association Excellence

By NAIFA on 6/17/20 12:54 PM

NAIFA will celebrate its 130th anniversary Thursday, June 19, with an online Town Hall meeting “The State of NAIFA on Our 130th Anniversary Celebration.”

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NAIFA-CO Sees Big Win on Proposal to Expand Annuity Taxes

By NAIFA on 6/16/20 11:24 AM

When Colorado legislators on June 8 introduced changes to the state’s tax laws that would impact insurance companies, consumers, and retirement savers, NAIFA’s state advocacy team sprang to action. The original version of the “Adjust Tax Expenditures For State Education Fund Act” (HB20-1420) would have expanded the state’s tax on some insurance premiums to include a broader range of annuity products. It also would have removed a credit applied to existing premium taxes for insurance companies that maintain home offices in Colorado.

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NAIFA Supports Legislation to Boost Registered Index-Linked Annuities

By NAIFA on 6/11/20 1:02 PM

Registered index-linked annuity (RILA) products offer a good option for some consumers who want to benefit from market growth while reducing their exposure to market losses. These are long-term, tax-deferred investments that are often well-suited for investors who are preparing for retirement, especially those who are retired or are nearing retirement and wish to reduce the impact of market downturns.

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NAIFA-WI Pushes Back on Potential Layering of Data Privacy Regulations

By NAIFA on 6/11/20 12:10 PM

NAIFA-WI teamed up with other trade associations representing the insurance and financial services industry to push back on a potential regulatory proposal that would complicate existing data privacy and security laws. 

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NAIFA Sees Small Victory in Colorado Secure Choice Plan

By NAIFA on 6/10/20 5:48 PM

Colorado’s Implementation of Colorado Secure Savings Program bill, SB 200, is on a trajectory to pass. NAIFA, along with the American Council of Life Insurers, Insured Retirement Institute, and National Federation of Independent Business, worked diligently to counter the measure. There was limited time for debate. Also, the proposal is an initiative of the House Speaker. These factors make it all but impossible to defeat.

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Arizona Annuity Sales Standards Bill Signed Into Law

By Julie Harrison on 6/9/20 2:55 PM

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law SB 1557 on Friday June 5, 2020. The measure will amend the state’s requirements governing annuity recommendations and sales by requiring producers and insurers to act in the best interest of annuity purchasers and to not put their own financial interests ahead of the consumers’ interest. These revisions track amendments made earlier this year by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to the NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, which aligns well with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and will raise the standard of care required of financial professionals while preserving consumers’ access to valuable financial advice, services and products.

Topics: Annuities
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NAIFA Stands for Financial Security

By Suzanne Carawan on 6/8/20 5:42 PM

Last week NAIFA issued a joint statement with industry association partners to denounce racial injustice. NAIFA has always advocated for financial security for all and the responses we received to our statement were overwhelmingly positive. Our active pursuit of racial equality does not support violence or any activity that works against financial security—including looting, marring our national monuments and destroying private property. We are further saddened by the damage done through rioting and in no way condone these activities as a method of protest.

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NAIFA Praises Legislation to Provide Flexibility on COVID-19 PPP Loans

By NAIFA on 6/4/20 4:11 PM

The U.S. Senate has passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act that would increase the program’s loan period for borrowers seeking forgiveness from eight weeks to six months. The legislation would also expand the ability of small businesses to use PPP funds to pay rent, mortgages, utilities, and other essential business costs. The bill keeps the obligations requiring recipients seeking loan forgiveness to avoid layoffs and provide worker protections. The House of Representatives had previously passed the bill, and the president is expected to sign it into law.

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Sen. Scott Offers Thoughts on the Next Round of COVID-19 Legislation

By NAIFA on 6/3/20 3:09 PM

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) had some interesting things to say on the Politico "Morning Money" program about the economic recovery and the potential for future COVID-19 legislation. As a former financial professional and NAIFA member in the days before he entered politics, Scott shows a strong understanding of the issues important to agents and advisors and their Main Street clients.

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Life Insurance Community Denounces Racial Injustice

By NAIFA on 6/2/20 10:32 AM

The life insurance community grieves with the nation over the racial injustice, brutality and bigotry that took the life of George Floyd and the lives of so many others. Too often, the justice system has failed, bringing devastating consequences such as destroyed hope, fear and division. 

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NAIFA’s Harrison Named to the NIPR Board of Directors

By NAIFA on 5/28/20 7:51 PM

Julie Harrison, NAIFA's Director of State Chapter Government Relations, has been named to the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) Board of Directors.

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Politico Notes NAIFA Advocacy in Action Day Participants

By NAIFA on 5/21/20 6:24 PM

Politico, the influential political publication, noted some of the prominent contributors to NAIFA Advocacy in Action Day in its "Influence" column: Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), Roger Williams (R-Texas), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.) and Mark Walker (R-N.C.); Susan Neely and Joyce Meyer of the American Council of Life Insurers; Julie Herwig of New York Life; and Laura Haines of Guardian Life.

Topics: Advocacy
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NAIFA's Mayeux Commends DOL on Rule Allowing E-Delivery of Retirement Plan Documents

By NAIFA on 5/21/20 11:51 AM

The U.S Department of Labor has finalized a rule permitting electronic delivery of required retirement plan disclosures and documents to plan participants.

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Advocacy in Action Day: Meeting the Moment in Response to COVID-19

By NAIFA on 5/21/20 9:57 AM

Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, provided an inspiring and laudatory message to attendees of NAIFA’s Advocacy in Action Day. She spoke of how the life insurance and financial services industry and agents and advisors are “meeting the moment” during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Advocacy in Action Day: The Problem Solvers Caucus

By NAIFA on 5/20/20 5:32 PM

Reps. Tom Reed (R – NY) and Tom Souzzi (D – NY) share a strong appreciation for the insurance and financial services industry and the importance of the products and services that agents and advisors provide. The y spoke about their work and the Problem Solvers Caucus during NAIFA’s Advocacy in Action Day.

Topics: Advocacy
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Advocacy in Action Day: "Lobbying From the Living Room: Adapting Advocacy Efforts to COVID-19"

By NAIFA on 5/20/20 5:24 PM

Moderator: Diane Boyle

Topics: Advocacy
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Advocacy in Action Day: “Growing Grassroots: Why Relationships Matter”

By NAIFA on 5/20/20 5:14 PM

Tracy Jones – Moderator

Topics: Advocacy
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SBA Releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Application and Instructions

By NAIFA on 5/17/20 3:52 PM

On May 15, the SBA released a standardized PPP loan forgiveness application with instructions.  The SBA still intends to publish additional rules and guidance on the program’s forgiveness provisions, but highlights from the release – and answers to a few outstanding questions – include:

Topics: COVID-19
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Iowa Enacts Best Interest Standard for Annuity Transactions

By NAIFA on 5/12/20 2:27 PM

On May 11 Iowa insurance regulators adopted revisions to the state’s regulations on annuity recommendations and sales to require producers and insurers to act in the best interests of annuity purchasers. Under the revised rules, producers must not put their own financial interests ahead of consumers’ interests. These revisions track amendments made earlier this year by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to the NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, which aligns well with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and will raise the standard of care required of financial professionals while preserving consumers’ access to valuable financial advice, services, and products.

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NAIFA to Host Online CEO Panel

By NAIFA on 5/7/20 4:33 PM

NAIFA’s Online CEO Panel
Tuesday, May 12 at 1 PM EDT
Free to all financial professionals

NAIFA is bringing together CEOs from the insurance and financial services industry’s top associations to discuss our collaborative efforts during the COVlD-19 crisis to address financial security on Main Street USA. NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux will moderate a panel consisting of:

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D.C. Council Removes Business Interruption Insurance Measure from Omnibus Bill

By NAIFA on 5/6/20 10:26 AM

All eyes were on the Washington, D.C., Council on Tuesday morning. Included in its “Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2020” was a proposal to essentially rewrite business income insurance policies and require the industry to pay for losses that were not covered. The Council ultimately agreed to withdraw the language before passing the omnibus bill. The business interruption insurance measure could have threatened the financial solvency of the District's insurance industry, so having it removed was a major win for insurers.

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NAIFA Advocates for  IRI's Retirement Plan Proposals

By NAIFA on 5/6/20 8:59 AM

NAIFA along with five other organizations has sent a letter to Congress asking legislators to support the Insured Retirement Institute’s (IRI) five-point plan to help retirement savers recover from losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. NAIFA has worked with IRI to promote the plan and garner support in Congress.

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Department of Labor Releases Information on COBRA Implementation

By NAIFA on 5/6/20 8:24 AM

Recent estimates suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost more than 9 million Americans employer-provided health insurance, with projections indicating that those numbers will continue to rise. These individuals are generally granted the option to elect continued health coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

Topics: Health Care
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Do Financial Professionals Need to Disclose COVID-19 Relief Loans to Clients?

By NAIFA on 5/4/20 8:39 AM

One part of the COVID 19 federal relief package known as the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allows individuals and small businesses to obtain loans for the purpose of paying their employees during the crisis. Repayment of these loans may be forgiven if certain terms are met. If a securities firm obtains a PPP loan, must that fact be disclosed/reported to the firm’s clients?

Topics: Advocacy
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SEC Clarifies Rules on Use of the Term "Advisor"

By NAIFA on 5/3/20 9:14 PM

In recently updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on its new Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI), the SEC offered some clarification on when it would be permissible for broker-dealers and their registered representatives to use the terms “advisor” and/or “adviser” as part of their name or title once Reg BI goes into effect on June 30, 2020.  The SEC, in Reg BI, did not specifically prohibit the use of these terms by broker-dealers and their reps, and the FAQs indicate that a broker-dealer can use these terms when acting as a municipal advisor, a commodity trading advisor or “in a role specifically defined by federal statute”.

Topics: Advocacy
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NAIFA Urges Fast Track for Proposed  Electronic Delivery of Retirement Documents

By NAIFA on 5/1/20 2:42 PM

NAIFA supports a rule proposed by the Department of Labor that would expand the ability of retirement plan sponsors to provide participants with required disclosures and notices electronically. In a letter to Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, NAIFA and partner organizations urge the administration to finalize the rule as quickly as possible.

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Bills Would Put Insurers on the Hook for Uncovered Business Interruption Losses

By NAIFA on 4/29/20 8:59 AM

As governments look to offset financial business losses resulting from COVID-19, some state legislatures have explored further exploiting the insurance industry by introducing bills addressing business interruption coverage. Business interruption coverage typically applies only to losses resulting from physical damage to property, such as that caused by a natural disaster, and generally inapplicable to losses caused by viral or bacterial pandemics.

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Congressional Action Needed to Ensure Access to Health Plans

By NAIFA on 4/28/20 12:46 PM

NAIFA has joined a group of organizations asking Congress to ensure that 180 million Americans who receive health care coverage through workplace plans are able to continue receiving private health benefits in light of economic difficulties and job losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The groups, including America’s Health Insurance Plans, the National African American Insurance Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and 28 others, sent a letter to congressional leadership with five specific policy recommendations:

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NAIC Adopts Enhanced Standard of Care for Annuities

By NAIFA on 4/27/20 5:12 PM

The NAIC recently adopted amendments to its Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, which regulates producer and insurer recommendations for all annuities. The revised NAIC Model requires producers and insurers to act in the best interest of annuity purchasers and to not put their own financial interests ahead of the consumers’ interest. The amended Model, which aligns well with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, will raise the standard of care required of financial professionals while preserving consumers’ access to valuable financial advice, services and products. NAIFA was an active participant in the development of these revisions and supports the amended Model regulation. The adoption by the states of these amendments is a top advocacy priority for NAIFA.

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NAIFA Advocates Health, Retirement, and Life Insurance Proposals for Next Round of COVID-19 Legislation

By NAIFA on 4/24/20 4:01 PM

The latest federal COVID-19 relief package, signed into law today, provides $484 billion in funding, including $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $50 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for expanded COVID-19 testing.

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Mayeux Highlights NAIFA's Small Business Ties in COVID-19 Relief Comment

By NAIFA on 4/23/20 5:30 PM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux issued the following statement on congressional passage of the latest $484 billion COVID-19 relief legislation.

Topics: Press Release

IRS Webinar to Answer COVID-19 Tax Questions

By NAIFA on 4/22/20 4:31 PM

An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webinar tomorrow will provide a forum for taxpayers to ask IRS officials questions about relief payments due to taxpayers under the CARES Act and other COVID-19-related tax matters. The webinar is open to everyone and will be of particular interest to small business owners, individuals, veterans, and Social Security recipients.

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NAIFA Family Response Fund to Help NAIFA Members With COVID-19 Expenses

By NAIFA on 4/16/20 5:34 PM

NAIFA has announced the creation of the NAIFA Family Response Fund to help NAIFA members with expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund will benefit NAIFA members and their legal dependents who face financial hardship due to unexpected out-of-pocket medical or funeral expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Topics: Press Release
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The IRS and Social Security Administration Report Increased Fraud Related to COVID-19

By NAIFA on 4/14/20 9:53 AM

The U.S. Treasury Department reports that nearly 16,000 American have been taken in by scams involving criminals falsely claiming to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scams have resulted in losses of more than $80 million.

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New York Issues Emergency Regulations Requiring Insurer and Producer Notifications to Clients

By Gary Sanders on 4/9/20 11:45 AM

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued emergency regulations describing the notifications that insurers and agents must provide to their policyholders regarding the flexibility being given regarding premium payments, policy lapse and renewal and other topics. The new regulations—11 NYCRR 229.5(b) and 3 NYCRR 405.6(b)(4).

>View the Regulations

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COVID-19: Changing how we live, work… and vote

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 4/7/20 5:10 PM

On Sunday, March 29th, President Donald Trump extended his coronavirus guidelines for America, announcing 30 Days to Slow the Spread, effectively extending the minimum time for most Americans to remain at home until April 30th.

Topics: COVID-19

COVID-19 Impacts Life Insurance Applications

By NAIFA on 4/6/20 12:35 PM

Some reinsurers and primary insurance companies have announced that they will temporarily stop accepting applications for some life insurance policies. The COVID-19 outbreak has injected a new level of uncertainty into the marketplace and made it difficult for insurers to complete underwriting tasks, such as medical exams. Low interest rates are also having an impact on carriers’ business models.

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NAIFA State Advocacy Amidst COVID-19: A Glimpse into the Unknown

By Julie Harrison on 4/3/20 6:08 PM

NAIFA State Advocacy Amidst COVID-19: A Glimpse into the Unknown

2 min read

Which Small Business Loan is Best for Your Clients?

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 4/1/20 6:16 PM

The trinity of Congressional COVID-19 relief packages acknowledge the importance of small businesses to our economy. The new laws contain numerous provisions to support employers and their workers including small business loans.

1 min read

NAIFA Urges States to Temporarily Ease Insurance Licensing Requirements

By NAIFA on 4/1/20 2:00 PM

NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, along with several industry colleagues, has sent a letter to every state insurance licensing authority requesting temporary licensing accommodations for producers who cannot complete regular licensing requirements because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Topics: Press Release
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NAIFA-Supported Provisions Included in Landmark Coronavirus-Relief Legislation

By NAIFA on 3/27/20 3:54 PM

Measures on small business loans, payroll taxes, and retirement accounts to provide relief to financial professionals and their clients.

Congress has passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic stimulus and relief package designed to bolster Americans and the U.S. economy currently racked by the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill now goes to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it.

“NAIFA has advocated for measures to help small business owners and American workers weather the devastating financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are pleased to see many of the provisions we promoted included in the CARES Act,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “Small business loans to cover short-term payroll and other expenses, which could be forgiven at a future date; payroll tax exemptions; and relief from retirement-account withdrawal requirements and early withdrawal penalties have been at the top of NAIFA’s advocacy agenda and will be crucial to many NAIFA members and their Main Street USA clients. We are very pleased to see these provisions included in the final bill.”

Topics: Press Release
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NAIFA and Industry Partners Urge Congress to Support SECURE Notarization Act

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 3/27/20 2:41 PM

On March 26, NAIFA joined industry partners in a letter to Congressional leadership urging support for the inclusion of the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act (SECURE Notarization Act), in the legislative package from Congress intended to address the economic fallout from COVID-19. The bipartisan legislation (S. 5355, H.R. 6364) was introduced by Sens. Cramer (R-ND) and Warner (D-VA), and Reps. Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Dean (D-PA).

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SEC Considering Delaying Reg BI Implementation

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 3/26/20 2:56 PM

In light of the disruptions to normal business operations brought about by efforts to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a possible delay in the June 30, 2020 implementation/effective date for compliance with the Commission’s new Regulation Best Interest, which establishes a heightened “best interest” standard of care for broker-dealers and their registered representatives. (In a related matter, the SEC has changed the deadline for BD firms to file their Forms ADV from March 30, 2020 to June 30, 2020.) Although no final decision has been made, the topic has been discussed by SEC leadership. NAIFA has submitted a letter to the SEC requesting a reasonable delay in the Reg BI implementation/effective date, which you can review here.

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Provide Your Clients with Concise Information on New Paid Leave Requirements

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 3/25/20 5:37 PM

This concise chart provides employers with an easy-to-read summary of the new emergency paid leave requirements signed into law as part of H.R. 6201 by President Trump on March 18, 2020. Additional employer guidance from the Department of Labor can be found in a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document.

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DOL Explains Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Seeks Your Input

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 3/24/20 6:35 PM

On March 24, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.