WASHINGTON – American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)-Kansas Chapter President Brad Noller issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by the Kansas Insurance Department:
“Kansas consumers seeking lifetime income in retirement now have stronger protections thanks to a new rule adopted by the Kansas Insurance Department and Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt. The new rule enhances the standards financial professionals must follow and protects consumers’ access to, and information about, annuities, the only financial product in the marketplace that can provide guaranteed income for life.
“Kansas joins 38 other states in adopting measures that follow the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. The actions in the states also closely align with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest providing robust consumer protection at the state and federal levels.
“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 2022 that made it easier for employers to include annuities in workplace retirement plans. With the enhanced state and federal consumer protections, savers in nearly 80% of the states can now be assured that financial professionals are acting in consumers’ best interest when offering recommendations about annuities.
“We urge every state to adopt these enhanced protections so that all consumers, regardless of where they live, can benefit from a best interest standard of care.”
About ACLI: The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is the leading trade association driving public policy and advocacy on behalf of the life insurance industry. 90 million American families rely on the life insurance industry for financial protection and retirement security. ACLI’s member companies are dedicated to protecting consumers’ financial wellbeing through life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, reinsurance, and dental, vision and other supplemental benefits. ACLI’s 280 member companies represent 94 percent of industry assets in the United States.
About NAIFA: The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is the preeminent membership association for the multigenerational community of financial professionals in the United States. NAIFA members subscribe to a strong Code of Ethics and represent a full spectrum of financial services practice specialties. They work with families and businesses to help Americans improve financial literacy and achieve financial security. NAIFA provides producers a national community for advocacy, education, and networking along with awards, publications, and leadership opportunities to allow NAIFA members to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. NAIFA has 53 state and territorial chapters and 35 large metropolitan local chapters. NAIFA members in every congressional district advocate on behalf of producers and consumers at the state, interstate, and federal levels.