American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and NAIFA-MA President Josh O’Gara issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance:
“The new rule adopted by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance adds to the nationwide drive for enhanced protections for consumers seeking lifetime income through annuities.
“Massachusetts is the 30th state to implement 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 align with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest. With these enhanced state and federal consumer protections, savers can be assured that financial professionals must act in the consumer’s best interest when offering recommendations about annuities.
“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. A recent survey finds that middle-income retirement savers would be very concerned about a regulation keeping them from accessing the professional financial guidance they want and need.
“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 consumers while also ensuring that middle-income and working-class families will retain access to easy-to-understand financial information.
“We hope other states add to this nationwide effort and adopt these sensible protections. Consumers working to secure their family’s financial future should benefit from a best interest standard of care no matter where they live.”