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:
“Consumers in the Old Line State seeking lifetime income through annuities will enjoy greater protections thanks to the actions of the Maryland Insurance Administration.
“Maryland is the 22nd state to adopt enhanced protections for annuity consumers adding further momentum to the nationwide push for implementation of the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. These new laws and regulations also harmonize with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest.
“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. According to a new study, a fiduciary-only approach would limit choices for consumers, reduce savings of nearly 3 million people by $140 billion and widen the racial wealth gap by 20%.
“The U.S. Congress reaffirmed the importance of lifetime income when it passed legislation in 2019 that made it easier for employers to include annuities in workplace retirement plans. These protections safeguard while also ensuring that middle- and working-class families retain access to annuities.
“We urge more states to implement these sensible protections so more consumers working to protect their family’s financial future can benefit from a best interest standard of care, no matter where they live.”