As the Nebraska Legislature considers LB 22, legislation that would establish an enhanced standard of care for financial professionals offering annuity products, NAIFA-NE Past-President Dave Skutnik submitted testimony in support of the bill on behalf of NAIFA’s Nebraska chapter.
The bill incorporates the language of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) updated Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation and would align with the Security and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest. NAIFA worked with the NAIC to ensure the updated Model bolsters consumer protections while preserving the ability of insurance and financial professionals to serve their clients. NAIFA helped to head off other proposals that would have limited the choices and ability of Main Street investors to find needed products, services, and guidance.
“LB 22 is a workable best interest standard that preserves Main Street access to beneficial annuity information and education from NAIFA members and other financial professionals,” Skutnik said in his submitted testimony. “And, it enhances consumer protections to assure them that financial professionals act in their best interest when recommending annuity products.”
“Thanks to LB 22 and federal initiatives, all those working to save for retirement will continue to have access to information about guaranteed lifetime income from annuities,” he added. “And they can rest assured that the recommendations they receive from financial professionals will be in their best interest.”
So far, five states – Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, and Rhode Island – have adopted the NAIC Model. NAIFA urges the remaining states to follow suit to strengthen consumer protections and ensure that financial professionals operate under clear, consistent, and noncontradictory laws and regulations.