American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Hawaii Government Relations Chair Cynthia Takenaka issued the following joint statement on legislation signed into law in Hawaii that strengthens protections for annuity consumers:
“The new law approved by the legislature and signed by Governor David Ige strengthens protections for consumers in the Aloha State looking to secure lifetime income through annuities.
“The new law adds to the national momentum behind enhanced protections for annuity consumers. Hawaii becomes the 27th state to implement 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, providing robust consumer 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. 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- and working-class families will retain access to easy-to-understand financial information.
“We hope more states implement these sensible protections so more consumers working to secure their family’s financial future can benefit from a best interest standard of care, no matter where they live.”