Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law SB 1557 on Friday June 5, 2020. The measure will amend the state’s requirements governing annuity recommendations and sales by requiring producers and insurers to act in the best interest of annuity purchasers and to not put their own financial interests ahead of the consumers’ interest. These revisions track amendments made earlier this year by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to the NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, which aligns well with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and will raise the standard of care required of financial professionals while preserving consumers’ access to valuable financial advice, services and products.
NAIFA worked closely with the NAIC Annuity Suitability Working Group during the development of the amendments, providing testimony and submitting comment letters on issues of particular interest and concern to our members. NAIFA’s suggestions helped shape the working group’s final product, and many were included in the model.
Grassroots were deployed in the state throughout the bill’s legislative journey. Dozens of NAIFA members personally reached out to legislators and the governor, urging the final passage of the bill.
“NAIFA-AZ did an amazing job locating members that sell annuities, and these members offered to personally meet with senators to communicate the importance of this bill,” said Julie Harrison, NAIFA State Government Relations Director. “Our partnership with ACLI and the expertise of our co-counsel in Arizona all helped to drive this bill through.”
Arizona and Iowa are the first states to introduce and adopt the NAIC model amendments. The adoption by the states of these amendments is a top advocacy priority for NAIFA and NAIFA is working with our industry partners to encourage other states to adopt the revised NAIC model.