ACLI President and CEO Susan Neely and NAIFA-Florida President Jeff Chernoff issued the following joint statement on legislation signed into law in Florida that strengthens protections for annuity consumers:
“The new law approved by the legislature and signed by Governor DeSantis strengthens protections for Florida consumers seeking lifetime income through annuities. It is a significant victory for residents of the Sunshine State and adds to the bipartisan, nationwide momentum behind enhanced safeguards for retirement savers.
“Florida joins a growing list of states that have adopted the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. Residents in 37 states now benefit from a best interest standard of care. These new laws and regulations also align with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, offering consumers important protections at the state and federal level.
“Unlike a fiduciary-only approach, these measures ensure that all savers, particularly financially vulnerable middle-income Americans, can access information about different choices for long-term security in retirement. In a recent survey, retirement savers overwhelmingly said they want the option to work with any type of financial professional who is offering products and services that meet their needs.
“The U.S. Congress reaffirmed the importance of lifetime income when it passed legislation in 2019 and in 2022 that made it easier for employers to include annuities in workplace retirement plans. Thanks to the enhanced state and federal protections, savers in nearly three-fourths of the United States can be assured that financial professionals are acting in the consumer’s best interest when offering recommendations about annuities.
“We hope other states follow Florida’s lead and adopt these sensible protections. All consumers should benefit from a best interest standard of care no matter where they live.”