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2 min read

NAIFA’s Congressional Conference Takes Advisors’ Grassroots Influence to Capitol Hill

By NAIFA on 5/25/22 8:15 AM

Insurance and financial advisors from states across the country visited Capitol Hill on May 24 for meetings with more than 325 congressional offices, including lawmakers and senior staff. The day on the Hill is the highlight of Day 2 of NAIFA’s annual Congressional Conference.

1 min read

New Rule Strengthens Protections for South Carolina Annuity Consumers

By NAIFA & ACLI on 5/19/22 9:32 AM

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) South Carolina President Johnny Craven issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by Acting Director Michael Wise and the South Carolina Department of Insurance:

1 min read

NAIFA’s State Advocacy Hard at Work in California

By NAIFA on 5/17/22 4:31 PM

Selected advocates from NAIFA-CA’s grassroots network have reached out to influential members of the California Senate Appropriations Committee to urge the defeat of SB927 in the committee. The legislation would require insurance professionals and companies to provide confusing and costly disclosures that have no practical benefit for consumers. It would also result in increased litigation and higher costs for California consumers. Previously, NAIFA and coalition partners including the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies (ACLHIC) offered amendments that would address many of the bill’s unworkable provisions.

1 min read

Agents and Advisors Need to Represent Their Clients and Communities at Congressional Conference

By NAIFA on 5/5/22 8:55 AM

NAIFA Trustee Aprilyn Chavez Geissler, LACP, loyal member since 2005, says that insurance and financial professionals offer an important perspective on how legislative decisions affect Main Street Americans and their communities. NAIFA's Congressional Conference, May 23-24 in Washington, D.C., is a great opportunity for agents and advisors to talk with lawmakers about issues important to their clients and communities.

1 min read

Tennessee Modifies Qualifications for Potential Agents

By Bianca Alonso Weiss on 4/28/22 4:41 PM

NAIFA-TN is celebrating the recent signing of HB 2225 into law. Sponsored by Representative Dennis Powers and NAIFA-Tennessee member Senator Mark Pody, this bill limits the lookback of misdemeanors or Class E felonies to 10 years for insurance agent applicants. Class E felonies are often associated with low-quantity marijuana possession charges. In recent years, as many states have taken steps toward legalization, there are efforts to expunge or reconsider these types of crimes, which were disproportionately charged against minorities and people of color. HB 2225 is a step towards removing this barrier of entry into the insurance industry.

1 min read

You Don't Have to Be an Experienced Advocate to Make a Difference at NAIFA's Congressional Conference

By NAIFA on 4/19/22 9:43 AM

NAIFA-Greater Washington, D.C., member and Young Advisor Team Leader of the Year Brian Haney, CLTC, CFS, CFBS, CIS, LACP, CAE, provides his insights on NAIFA's Congressional Conference and how you don't have to be an experienced advocate to make difference. While Haney grew up in the D.C. area, our elected officials are interested in hearing the Main Street stories of insurance and financial professionals from around the country. Lend your voice by joining us May 23-24 at NAIFA's Congressional Conference.

NAIFA-KY and the Importance of State Advocacy: An Update From Brian Wilson

By NAIFA on 4/18/22 1:29 PM

The advocacy work of NAIFA-KY was highly influential in the late revision of tax reform legislation in the state that would have placed a 6% tax on financial planning and investment management services. This tax would have impacted many investors in Kentucky and the financial professionals they rely on for advice and services. NAIFA Trustee Brian Wilson offers his perspective on why this advocacy win and all of NAIFA's state advocacy efforts are so important.

2 min read

New Wisconsin Law Boosts Protections for Annuity Consumers

By NAIFA & ACLI on 4/18/22 9:58 AM

Legislation signed into law by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers greatly enhances protections for consumers seeking lifetime income from annuities. The law was proposed by Senator Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond) and Representative Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca). Wisconsin is the 23rd state that as part of a nationwide, bipartisan effort has adopted measures implementing the "best interest of consumer enhancements" in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.  The new laws and regulations also align with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest.

1 min read

Maryland Enhances Protections for Annuity Consumers

By NAIFA & ACLI on 4/12/22 9:47 AM

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ (NAIFA) former president and NAIFA-MD member Paul Dougherty, and The League of Life and Health Insurers of Maryland Executive Director Matthew Celentano issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by the Maryland Insurance Administration:

1 min read

Bryon Holz Urges Producers to Attend NAIFA's Congressional Conference

By NAIFA on 4/11/22 3:46 PM

NAIFA’s annual Congressional Conference is crucial to our grassroots advocacy strategy. The event brings NAIFA members together as a critical mass to advocate on behalf of their businesses, clients, consumers, and the insurance and financial services industry. It provides targeted advocacy training with briefings on specific legislative issues, best practices for conducting congressional meetings, and tips for developing impactful long-term relationships with legislators.

Bryon Holz, NAIFA President-Elect, urges every producer in financial services and insurance to attend this year's Congressional Conference to be an advocate for your Main Street USA clients.

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1 min read

Upcoming Webinar: Busting Through The Gridlock with Diane Boyle

By NAIFA on 4/11/22 10:42 AM

Don't miss NAIFA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Diane Boyle on InsuranceNewsNet's webinar "Busting Through the Gridlock: A D.C. Legislative Preview" on April 13, 2022, at 1:00 pm eastern.

In a time of uncertainty leading into the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election, insurance and financial professionals may be able to break through the gridlock in Washington, D.C. 

In the webinar, Boyle will outline the legislation affecting insurance and financial professionals and the Main Street Americans they represent.

1 min read

CMS Wants NAIFA Members' Feedback on the 2023 Medicare & You Handbook Draft

By NAIFA on 4/8/22 3:00 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking for NAIFA members who work with the seniors or Medicare markets to provide feedback on the draft of their Medicare & You Handbook for 2023.

If you would like to submit comments on this draft, please do so using the spreadsheet linked below. Comments must be submitted by Wednesday, April 13, by the end of the day to Cody Schoonover (cschoonover@naifa.org).

2 min read

Illinois Passes Association CE Credit Legislation

By Bianca Alonso Weiss on 4/6/22 3:17 PM

The Illinois General Assembly on March 30 passed HB 4324 by Representative Bob Morgan and Senator Julie Morrison, which will make Illinois the 13th state to offer licensed insurance producers the opportunity to gain continuing education (CE) credits based on their active participation in a state or national professional insurance association. Producers may receive up to four hours of CE on a biennial basis by providing detailed records of attendance and involvement to the Department of Insurance. The bill is now on its way to Governor J.B. Priztker’s desk for signature.  

8 min read

Biden FY 2023 Budget Proposes $1 Trillion+ in New Taxes, Mostly on Corporations, Wealthy Individuals

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 4/5/22 10:49 AM

On March 28, President Biden sent Congress a Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget that calls for $1.58 trillion in discretionary spending (a 7.4 percent increase over last year) and over $1 trillion in new taxes. The budget, the Administration says, would reduce the federal deficit by $1 trillion over ten years.

Most of the new taxes would come from the proposal to hike the corporate tax rate from the current 21 percent to 28 percent (starting in 2023) and from a new 20 percent tax on a combination of income and capital wealth held by households with $100 million or more in income from earnings and increases in the value of their capital assets. The budget also proposes raising the top individual tax rate to 39.6 percent.

2 min read

NAIFA-Kentucky Celebrates Legislative Win

By Bianca Alonso Weiss on 3/31/22 3:45 PM

The Kentucky Legislature has passed a comprehensive tax reform package, and thanks to advocacy work by NAIFA's Kentucky chapter financial planners and investment advisors narrowly avoided a 6% sales tax on their services.

2 min read

NAIFA Strongly Supports SECURE 2.0 Retirement Bill Passed by the House

By NAIFA on 3/29/22 9:41 PM

NAIFA commends the House of Representatives on passing the SECURE 2.0 (H.R.2954) retirement planning legislation in a 414-5 vote. The popular legislation simplifies the process and creates incentives for employers to create and enroll employees in workplace retirement plans. It also creates greater flexibility for workers who contribute to the plans.

2 min read

Sen. Scott Touts Care Planning and LTC Insurance in Committee Hearing

By NAIFA on 3/25/22 2:36 PM

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) knows the importance of the insurance and financial services industry and the role of agents and advisors in the wellbeing of Main Street Americans. He gained much of this understanding in his pre-political career as an insurance professional and NAIFA member.

4 min read

Next-Level Political Involvement: NAIFA Members Are Running for Office

By NAIFA on 3/22/22 2:40 PM

Being politically engaged is part of being a good NAIFA citizen. Understanding and working to influence public policy to promote financial security benefits NAIFA members' businesses, colleagues, clients, and communities, as well as all consumers. This election year, at least seven NAIFA members are taking their advocacy to the next level by running for statewide office.

1 min read

Many Americans Support Building on Our Current Health Care System

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 3/21/22 3:10 PM

The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future recently published results from a nationwide poll showing that the push for transforming the American health care system through a public option, Medicare-for-All or other government interventions in the market is losing traction with American voters.

2 min read

NAIFA-GA Members Gather in Atlanta for a Successful Legislative Day With State Lawmakers

By NAIFA on 3/21/22 2:58 PM

NAIFA’s Georgia chapter (NAIFA-GA) held its annual Legislative Day in Atlanta earlier this year. Speakers at the event included:

1 min read

NAIFA’s GOTV Resources Now Available to Empower Political Participation

By NAIFA on 3/17/22 10:19 AM

NAIFA’s Get Out the Vote (GOTV) resources are now available to NAIFA members and the general public online at gotv4financialsecurity.org. The website provides educational materials to help NAIFA members and the consumers who they help achieve financial security understand how the election process works and make informed decisions at the polls.

1 min read

Lend Your Voice to Help Reopen the Capitol

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 3/16/22 7:16 PM

Over the past few weeks, NAIFA has encouraged Congressional leadership to expand access to the US Capitol campus. Numerous reports confirm Congressional leadership is working on a bicameral reopening plan for the entire Capitol grounds.  With the 2022 Congressional Conference merely two months away, we are happy to hear that leadership is working on a phased reopening plan.  By reopening the Capitol, we will be able to get back to our in-person visits which allow us to discuss issues relating to the financial services industry and explain the impact that certain policies have on your clients and businesses.

1 min read

NAIFA-Alabama Hosts Successful Legislative Day

By Bianca Alonso Weiss on 3/14/22 4:15 PM

NAIFA’s Alabama chapter (NAIFA-AL) held a recent state Legislative Day in Montgomery. The event featured a welcome from NAIFA-AL President Booker Joseph and NAIFA-AL Grassroots Chair Matthew Wilson, followed by afternoon meetings with state legislators at the Capitol. Senator J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner recognized NAIFA-Alabama in the gallery during the Senate proceedings that day.

2 min read

NCOIL Adopts NAIFA-Supported Resolution to Preserve Independent Contractor Status for Advisors

By NAIFA on 3/9/22 9:35 AM

The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) unanimously approved a "Resolution Supporting Independent Contractor Status for Insurance Agents and Other Licensed Financial Professionals" at its Spring Meeting in Las Vegas. The resolution, sponsored by NCOIL President and California Assemblyman Ken Cooley states that "NCOIL will encourage states and federal entities that are debating worker classification policies and that are considering adopting a strict ABC Test and or other similarly worker classification laws to continue issuing exemptions for, or exempting out, licensed insurance agents and other financial professionals."

2 min read

South Dakota Law Strengthens Protections for Consumers Seeking Lifetime Income in Retirement

By NAIFA & ACLI on 3/8/22 4:34 PM

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and NAIFA-SD President Jennifer Soma issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity law recently signed by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem:

2 min read

Wisconsin Legislature Strengthens Protections for Annuity Products

By Bianca Alonso Weiss on 3/2/22 11:41 AM

NAIFA-WI is celebrating their most recent legislative win – both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature passed the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Model Regulation for Annuities.

The Wisconsin Assembly concurred on Senate Bill 644, the annuity best interest model bill, on February 23, 2022, during what is likely its final week of session in the house for the year. The state Senate passed it on January 25.

2 min read

New Mexico Enhances Protections for Annuity Consumers

By NAIFA & ACLI on 3/1/22 2:46 PM

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and NAIFA-NM Vice President of Advocacy Kenneth Bottari issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance:

1 min read

NAIFA Member's Client Illustrates the Importance of Choices for Investors

By NAIFA on 2/28/22 5:38 PM

NAIFA has partnered with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and other organizations to encourage states to adopt consumer-protection legislation or regulations based on a model created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which requires advisors to work in their client's best interests on annuity transactions. NAIFA also supports the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest

1 min read

NAIFA-Iowa Members Meet With Lawmakers at State Legislative Day

By NAIFA on 2/28/22 10:12 AM

NAIFA's Iowa chapter held a state Legislative Day in Des Moines last week. The event featured a morning advocacy training session and afternoon meetings with state legislators at the Capitol. NAIFA-IA also hosted an ice cream social with lawmakers. 

2 min read

NAIC President Dean Cameron Learned the Industry as a Long-time Producer and NAIFA Member

By NAIFA on 2/24/22 5:57 PM

Dean L. Cameron, Director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, is the 2022 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Cameron is a third-generation insurance professional with more than 32 years of experience. Prior to entering state politics, he was a NAIFA member who served two terms as the President of NAIFA’s Idaho chapter.

1 min read

NAIFA Urges the Administration to Move Forward with NARAB Nominations

By NAIFA on 2/18/22 12:25 PM

On February 17, 2022, NAIFA joined with coalition members to send a letter to Steve Richetti, Counselor to President Biden, offering the support of the insurance agent and broker community for the administration to nominate members of the Board of Directors to establish the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act (NARAB).

1 min read

New Report Counters Questions About the SEC's Reg BI

By NAIFA on 2/11/22 9:12 AM

NAIFA strongly supports consumer protections provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Regulation Best Interest and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) revised annuity model regulation (adopted by 19 states and counting). Both of these provisions require financial professionals to work in their clients’ best interests and preserve the ability of consumers to choose who they work with and how they compensate advisors. Reg BI and the NAIC model also avoid problems with other proposals that would have made it very difficult for producers to continue working with Main Street investors.

1 min read

NAIFA's Erstad Reappointed to Idaho's Health Marketplace Board

By NAIFA on 2/9/22 10:38 AM

Hyatt Erstad, a loyal NAIFA member since 1980 and President of Erstad & Company in Boise, ID, has been reappointed by Governor Brad Little as Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of Your Health Idaho. His confirmation hearing before the Idaho Senate Commerce Committee was February 8. While at the hearing, Erstad spoke with Idaho Insurance Director and National Association of Insurance Commissioners Chair Dean Cameron (see photo above).

3 min read

NAIFA-WI Holds Successful Legislative Day in Madison

By NAIFA on 2/7/22 1:03 PM

Members of NAIFA-WI gathered in Madison Feb. 1-2 for the chapter's 2022 Legislative Day. They received professional development and advocacy updates, including briefings on state issues by NAIFA-WI lobbyist Bill McClenahan and federal issues by NAIFA Assistant Vice President for Government Relations Judi Carsrud. State Representatives Dave Steffen (R-Green Bay) and Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca) delivered remarks. NAIFA members took their grassroots message to the capitol, meeting with their elected officials to discuss the importance of policies that promote financial security for everyone.

1 min read

NAIFA Trustee Wes Booker Runs for State Office

By NAIFA on 2/3/22 4:27 PM

NAIFA Trustee Wes Booker, LUTCF, CEO of the Wes Booker Agency, The Horace Mann Companies, in Maumelle, AR, has announced that he is a candidate for the Arkansas State House of Representatives. He is running for the seat serving House District 71.

1 min read

New Laws In Washington Alter and Delay State-Run LTCI Program

By NAIFA on 1/31/22 5:25 PM

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on January 27 signed two bills passed by the Legislature that delay and make some improvements to the Washington Cares Fund, a state-run long-term care insurance program.

2 min read

NAIFA-NJ Celebrates Legislative Victories

By Bianca Alonso Weiss on 1/27/22 9:19 AM

NAIFA's New Jersey chapter (NAIFA-NJ) has been hard at work on the advocacy front and has recent wins to show for its efforts.

1 min read

NAIFA Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Senior Investors

By NAIFA on 1/21/22 9:31 AM

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) introduced the Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act, a bipartisan bill that would create a Securities and Exchange Commission program to work with state regulators to protect senior investors.

2 min read

NIPR: 25 Years of a Groundbreaking Partnership Between the Regulatory and Insurance Communities

By NIPR on 1/19/22 10:49 AM

Innovation in insurance producer licensing in the U.S. has accelerated in the last few decades, and the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) has led the way.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, today’s NIPR is a vital technology company grounded in teamwork, service and innovation—with unsurpassed expertise in the state-based system of insurance producer licensing.

It’s hard to imagine that insurance producer licensing was once accomplished with paper applications and a long process of research and validation. Multi-state producers had distinct application processes, timelines, and fees for each state in which they did business.

To improve this approach, NIPR was formed in 1996 as a unique public-private partnership between the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the insurance industry. NIPR was founded on the concept that insurance producers and compliance professionals should have access to a “one-stop-shop” for cost-effective, streamlined and uniform licensing across all states and jurisdictions.

Today, NIPR’s Producer Database (PDB) is the single source of comprehensive insurance producer data from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. In 2021, the insurance industry used NIPR to process more than 42 million credentialing transactions and move $1.1 billion in fees to state insurance departments.

NIPR’s business is led by a board of directors made up of state commissioners, insurance industry representatives, and NAIC executive leadership—an ideal mix of professionals for coordinated and effective solutions.

Karen Stakem Hornig, CEO of NIPR said, “Through the past 25 years, NIPR has adapted to meet evolving industry and producer needs, harnessed the power of emerging technology and responded purposefully to change. These efforts have allowed us to humanize our technological offerings, ultimately building trust and a collaborative culture, which has been key to our success.”

Producers can access their own license information, apply for and renew their licenses at NIPR.com and use NIPR’s free mobile app to help with the compliance process. Insurance agencies and carriers use NIPR to manage the licensing and appointment process. Growing from a concept to a high-functioning organization emphasizing teamwork, service, and innovation, NIPR has supported the industry in its efforts to become more and more efficient and effective.

NIPR’s 25th anniversary commemorative booklet, Celebrating Our Journey, is online.

About 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). To learn more, visit NIPR.com.

1 min read

Senate Report Quotes NAIFA to Highlight Retirees' Need for Financial Services

By NAIFA on 1/14/22 5:34 PM

A new report by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging prominently features comments submitted by NAIFA that highlight the important ongoing role advisors play in retirement planning.

2 min read

NAIFA-WA Urges State to Delay and Reassess State Long-Term Care Program

By NAIFA on 1/14/22 11:12 AM

NAIFA’s Washington state chapter strongly supports proposed legislation, HB 1732, that would delay the implementation of the Washington Cares long-term care insurance program. NAIFA-WA President Chris Wertenberger, loyal NAIFA member since 2002, asked legislators to fast-track the bill during a hearing before the Washington House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on January 11.

2 min read

NAIFA’s Congressional Conference, the Premier Federal Grassroots Advocacy Event for Financial Services Professionals, to Be May 23-24

By NAIFA on 1/7/22 2:45 PM

NAIFA has announced that it will hold its 2022 Congressional Congress in-person May 23-24 in Washington, D.C. The event will feature targeted advocacy training with briefings on legislative issues that affect members’ businesses and the clients they serve. Expert presenters will offer best practices for conducting Congressional meetings and tips for developing impactful long-term relationships with legislators.

2 min read

Broker Compensation Disclosure Requirements

By Michael Hedge, NAIFA's Director of Government Relations on 12/27/21 4:39 PM

Beginning on December 27, 2021, brokers and consultants will be held to new compensation  transparency obligations under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). The CAA is a spending  and coronavirus relief package that was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and expands ERISA’s existing disclosure requirements. It broadened the definition of a “covered plan” to include group health plans (previously it only included retirement plans).

2 min read

FINRA Includes NAIFA Recommendations in New Maintaining Qualifications Program

By NAIFA on 11/29/21 9:45 AM

NAIFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle on June 22 submitted comments to FINRA in response to Regulatory Notice 21-17, Supporting Diversity & Inclusion in the Broker-Dealer Industry. Among several recommendations, NAIFA requested the U5 filing time limit be extended from two years to five years. Given the subject matter difficulty and extensive time commitment to earning FINRA Series Registrations, the extension would allow for a broader group of advisors to maintain their credentials despite taking leaves from the industry.  

2 min read

NAIFA’s Gale and Hedge Testify on Elder Financial Protection at NCOIL Meeting

By NAIFA on 11/24/21 9:04 AM

NAIFA Policy Director Maeghan Gale and Director of Government Relations Michael Hedge made a presentation on senior financial protection at the annual meeting of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) in Scottsdale, AZ.

Gale and Hedge discussed the important role of insurance and financial professionals in providing guidance for retired individuals. When a person retires, their need for financial services doesn’t end. NAIFA members help senior clients with budgeting and estimating their expenses, developing effective retirement plan disbursement strategies, obtaining coverage for healthcare, finding limited and extended care solutions, and creating financial legacies to leave loved ones or charities. NAIFA members have expertise in retirement planning, long-term care, estate planning, Social Security, Medicare, Medicare supplements, and other topics important to the financial security of seniors.

1 min read

New Rule in Mississippi Offers Stronger Protections to Annuity Consumers

By American Council of Life Insurers on 11/23/21 6:01 PM

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and George B. Pickett, J.D. CLU, AEP, LACP, of the NAIFA Government Relations Committee, issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by the Mississippi Insurance Department:

“Retirement savers seeking lifetime income from annuities should work with financial professionals who act in consumers’ best interest. The rule adopted by the Mississippi Insurance Department makes certain that they will.

1 min read

House Passes the Build Back Better Act

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 11/19/21 10:21 AM

The House passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act. Rep. Jaren Golden (D-ME) was the sole Democrat to vote against the bill. No Republicans voted for the bill. Now, on to the Senate, where significant changes are expected. Senate leadership wants to finish this before year-end, but given the other must pass agenda items (government funding, debt limit, defense authorization), that timing seems unlikely.  

2 min read

New Rule Enhances Protections for Kentucky Annuity Consumers

By American Council of Life Insurers on 11/17/21 4:14 PM

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) CEO Kevin Mayeux and NAIFA-Kentucky Immediate Past President Brian Wilson issued the following joint statement on the annuity best interest rule recently adopted by the Kentucky Department of Insurance:

2 min read

NAIFA Trustee Wes Booker Officiates Congressional Football Game

By NAIFA on 11/12/21 4:40 PM

NAIFA Trustee, Wes Booker, LUTCF, loyal member since 2004 can be spotted all across SEC country when he is not serving his clients out of Maumalle, AR. Booker is an NCAA Football referee for the Southeastern Conference. Recently, he had the honor of serving as an official during the 12th Annual Congressional Football Game.

2 min read

Congress Passes an Infrastructure Bill, but Debate Continues Over BBB Social Spending Legislation

By NAIFA on 11/8/21 4:15 PM

The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill by a vote of 228-206 with 13 Republicans voting in favor and six Democrats opposing. The vote came after an agreement amongst Democrats that the social spending bill, the Build Back Better Act, would come to the House floor the week of November 15 with no further changes (other than technical corrections). Then the BBB legislation would go to the Senate, where is will likely undergo several changes before coming back to the House for a second vote. 

1 min read

NAIFA Opposes Tax Increases for Main Street Businesses in Build Back Better Act

By NAIFA on 11/3/21 4:53 PM

NAIFA calls on Congress to reject tax hikes on Main Street businesses as the House of Representative sends the latest text of the Build Back Better Act to the Rules Committee. In a letter with other associations and business groups, NAIFA urges congressional leaders to reject the Build Back Better framework's tax increases on individual- and family-owned businesses.

4 min read

Build Back Better at a Boiling Point

By NAIFA on 11/1/21 1:37 PM

The Build Back Better reconciliation bill is at a boiling point. Some Washington insiders are saying the House could vote on it this week. Others are skeptical that a final bill could come together that quickly. Either way, it will take considerably longer for the Senate to vote. The rules of reconciliation allow for time-eating “vote-a-rama” amendments as well as up to 50 hours of debate, and it is highly likely opponents of the measure in the Senate will take all that time. But things are hot and getting hotter. Here’s the state of play currently.

1 min read

NAIFA Offers Comments to Senate Special Committee on Aging on Financial Literacy

By Mike Hedge on 10/29/21 8:41 AM

NAIFA submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging regarding an inquiry by Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC). Both committee leaders are working together in a bipartisan way to examine issues that are of importance to the health, economic security, and well-being of older Americans and their families.

1 min read

President Biden Announces Build Back Better Framework

By NAIFA on 10/28/21 1:59 PM

Thursday morning President Biden released a Build Back Better framework and fact sheet outlining his social spending plan. The situation is still very fluid and it’s unknown if the centrists who have opposed previous spending and tax plans will support this version.

1 min read

NAIFA Signs on to Letter Against Financial Accounts Reporting Proposal

By NAIFA on 10/25/21 5:20 PM

NAIFA, along with 100 business and trade associations, sent a letter to President Joe Biden expressing “strong opposition to the new tax information reporting regime proposed by the Department of Treasury and under consideration by Congress as part of the proposed reconciliation spending package.”

1 min read

NAIFA Opposes Changes to Grantor Trusts in Legislative Proposal

By NAIFA on 10/17/21 9:15 PM

The reconciliation package now being considered by Congress includes dramatic changes to grantor trusts which are of significant concern to many NAIFA members and their clients, especially proposed changes to Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts and the weak, ineffective “grandfather” provisions included in the reconciliation proposal. ILITs have been used for decades to help families of all sizes – not just the rich – address the expenses, income taxes, estate taxes, and gift taxes due at death. Life insurance policies inside these trusts provide the necessary liquidity to family heirs without the death proceeds themselves being included in the deceased’s taxable estate.

1 min read

NAIFA Opposes IRS Reporting Proposal That Raises Cost and Privacy Concerns

By NAIFA on 10/15/21 5:45 PM

NAIFA has joined more than 100 organizations expressing privacy and cost concerns with a Biden administration proposal that would require financial services providers to track and submit to the IRS information on every account with deposits or withdrawals totaling $600 or more annually.

1 min read

NAIFA Members Get Together With California Lawmakers

By NAIFA on 10/15/21 4:38 PM

NAIFA-CA members, including National President Tom Michel, LACP, and Past President John Davidson, LUTCF, FSS, attended a meeting earlier this week with California state and federal lawmakers. During the event, NAIFA members were able to connect with several state officials.

1 min read

SEC Chair Gensler Says He Is Committed to Reg BI

By NAIFA on 10/11/21 9:18 AM

NAIFA strongly supports the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC's) Regulation Best Interest (REG BI) to protect investors and preserve the ability of financial advisors to serve the needs of Main Street USA consumers. The rule is in harmony with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC's) revised Annuity Suitability Model, which requires producers to work in the best interests of consumers during annuity transactions, providing enhanced investor protections at the federal and state levels and discouraging a mishmash of confusing and potentially contradictory laws and regulations.

2 min read

NAIFA Article on NAIC Model Featured in NCOIL Publication

By NAIFA on 10/5/21 3:25 PM

The monthly newsletter of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) features a front-page article contributed by NAIFA State Chapters Director Julie Harrison on the best interest standard incorporated into the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transaction Model Regulation. 

1 min read

Representatives Introduce Legislation to Ease the ACA's Employer Reporting Requirements

By Mike Hedge on 9/30/21 5:23 PM

On September 21, 2021, Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced H.R. 5318. This bipartisan bill will provide much-needed relief for employers seeking to comply with the reporting requirements under Section 6055 and 6056 for enforcement of the ACA's individual and employer mandates. NAIFA believes the passage of this legislation would greatly assist in addressing new challenges employers face under the health-reform law.

1 min read

Terry Headley Lifetime Defender Award Nominations Due

By NAIFA on 9/24/21 5:05 PM

The inaugural Terry Headley Lifetime Defender Award will recognize a current NAIFA member who shows exemplary service to their profession, colleagues, and clients through their political advocacy and contributions to IFAPAC.

The deadline to nominate a NAIFA member for the award is Sept. 30.

Topics: Advocacy
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NAIFA Continues Support of Remote Online Notarization Legislation

By Mike Hedge on 9/22/21 5:34 PM

NAIFA joined with industry partners in a letter to express strong support for National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment #445 offered by Representative Dean (D-PA), with the support of Representatives Armstrong (R-ND), Turner (R-OH), Perlmutter (D-CO), and Reschenthaler (R-PA).

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Kim Durcho Joins NAIFA’s Government Relations Team as Grassroots Director

By NAIFA on 9/20/21 3:40 PM

NAIFA is pleased to welcome Kim Durcho as a Grassroots Director. Durcho joins NAIFA’s Government Relations team and reports to Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle.

As Grassroots Director, Durcho will develop and execute a comprehensive advocacy program to foster member participation in grassroots efforts at the national and state level.

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NAIFA Joins Main Street Employers Urging Congress to Reconsider Tax Proposals

By NAIFA on 9/15/21 12:01 PM

In advance of the Ways and Means Committee mark-up, NAIFA signed a letter with more than 100 other organizations representing Main Street employers asking Congress to reject proposed tax increases that would harm these businesses and the consumers they serve.

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NAIFA Supports Employee Voter Registration Week

By Kim Durcho on 9/9/21 4:11 PM

NAIFA has signed on as an official partner for Employee Voter Registration Week, which will take place from September 27 to October 1. During this week, NAIFA along with other companies and trade associations will be active on social media encouraging stakeholders and employees across the country to get registered to vote in the upcoming elections.

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NAIFA-Dallas Hosts Legislative Luncheon

By NAIFA on 8/31/21 2:04 PM

NAIFA’s Dallas chapter recently held its annual legislative luncheon. During the event, NAIFA members met with federal and state legislators and their staff and shared key NAIFA advocacy messages. NAIFA-TX lobbyist Elizabeth Hadley and NAIFA’s national Government Relations Director Mike Hedge joined the event and gave a legislative update via Zoom.

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CMS Plan Year 2022 Registration and Training is Live for Returning Agents and Brokers

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 8/30/21 5:24 PM

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that registration and training for Plan Year 2022 is now available for returning agents/brokers who completed training and registration for Plan Year 2021. Registration and full training for new agents and brokers will be made available later this year.

Take the 2021 NAIFA Workforce Survey

By NAIFA on 8/29/21 10:15 PM

NAIFA members are our association's advocacy strength. We are influential with lawmakers at state and federal levels because we have members from every congressional district in the United States who serve Main Street Americans. Policymakers want to hear NAIFA members' stories and respect our expertise because we represent the communities, families, and small businesses important to elected officials.

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NAIFA-WI Builds Advocacy Momentum With In-District Events

By NAIFA on 8/24/21 10:02 AM

Politically active members of NAIFA's Wisconsin chapter have maintained NAIFA's grassroots advocacy push throughout June, July, and August. According to NAIFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle, NAIFA-WI leads all NAIFA's state chapters in in-district meetings with lawmakers and their staff this summer.

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Connecticut Is the 16th State to Adopt the NAIC's Best Interest Model

By NAIFA on 8/18/21 4:46 PM

Connecticut has become the 16th state to adopt 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.

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NAIFA Advocacy Goes to the District Level During Congressional Break

By NAIFA on 8/17/21 3:01 PM

Congress is out of session for its annual August recess, which means that NAIFA members across the country are taking advantage of the opportunity to meet hold in-district meetings with lawmakers and their staff. NAIFA is the leading grassroots organization for insurance and financial professionals with members in every congressional district. Every year, NAIFA encourages members to meet with their Representatives and Senators during the August recess to reinforce the advocacy message shared at NAIFA’s May Congressional Conference.

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NAIFA Supports Bill to Reform Index-Linked Annuities Registration

By Mike Hedge on 8/16/21 9:39 AM

A bipartisan bill to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a new form for annuity issuers to use when filing registered index-linked annuities has been reintroduced in the House. 

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NAIFA to Present Terry Headley Lifetime Defender Award to Member Exhibiting Advocacy Excellence

By NAIFA on 8/11/21 4:25 PM

NAIFA has announced the inaugural Terry Headley Lifetime Defender Award, which will recognize a current NAIFA member who shows exemplary service to their profession, colleagues, and clients through their political advocacy and contributions to IFAPAC.

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GAO Audit Finds Health Agents Act Appropriately

By NAIFA on 8/11/21 2:35 PM

Agents and advisors are an important resource for consumers seeking affordable health care plans that suit their individual needs. These professionals have expertise and experience to help individuals and families navigate the complicated health care system and compare plan options. Consumers looking for an advisor can use NAIFA's "Find an Advisor" tool.

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The State of NAIFA Advocacy: 2021 Q2 Recap

By Mark Briscoe on 8/4/21 9:59 AM

NAIFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle reported that NAIFA’s virtual Congressional Conference in late May, held completely online, had a substantial impact. Nearly 1,350 registered participants representing every state participated in advocacy training, received policy briefings, and held 100 virtual meetings with Senators or members of their office staff.

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NAIFA and Industry Partners Request Non-Enforcement Period for Sec. 202 of the No Surprises Act

By NAIFA Government Relations Team on 8/3/21 5:09 PM

On Monday, July 26, NAIFA and our industry partners, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor requesting an initial non-enforcement period for Section 202 of the No Surprises Act.

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NAIFA Shares Concerns About Public Option Health Care With Lawmakers

By Mike Hedge on 8/3/21 3:07 PM

NAIFA submitted comments July 31 to Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in response to a request by the lawmakers for information on potential legislation to develop a public health insurance option. NAIFA shares the goal of expanding access to affordable and quality healthcare to all Americans. NAIFA firmly believes in the integrity of the employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) system and ability of employers to select coverage options that fit the unique needs of their employees. 

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NAIFA-CT Secures Unlimited Protection From Creditors for the Cash Value of Life Insurance

By Julie Harrison on 7/29/21 9:06 AM

Over the last two years, NAIFA-CT worked diligently with state legislators supporting legislation to provide Connecticut residents unlimited protection from creditors of the cash value of life insurance. The bill ran unopposed through a public hearing in June. It then passed the House and Senate and on July 12, and Gov. Ned Lamont signed it into law.

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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.

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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:

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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
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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. 

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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). 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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
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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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
3 min read

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.

1 min read

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).

1 min read

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.

2 min read

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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