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Advocacy in action blog

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ (NAIFA)—Utah Government Relations Chair Dori Phillips, issued the following joint statement on the best interest annuity rule adopted recently by the Utah Insurance Department:

“Led by commissioner Jon Pike, the Utah Insurance Department adopted a new rule that greatly strengthens safeguards for Beehive State consumers seeking lifetime income through annuities. The 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. Thanks to this new rule, all Utah residents will be in a strong position to achieve financial security and prosperity for their entire lives.

“Utah is the 41st state to adopt the ‘best interest of consumer enhancements’ in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)  Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. Residents in more than 80% of the United States now benefit from a best interest standard of care. These new laws and regulations also alignwith the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest.

“Unlike the Department of Labor’s ill-advised fiduciary-only proposal, these measures ensure savers, particularly financially vulnerable lower and middle-income Americans, can access information about different options for long-term security throughout 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 and 2022 that made it easier for employers to include annuities in workplace retirement plans and simpler for savers and retirees to utilize annuities that fit their needs. With these enhanced state and federal consumer protections, savers in Utah and 40 other states can be confident that financial professionals must act in the consumer’s best interest when offering recommendations about annuities.

“We hope that all states implement these important, commonsense protections so that consumers everywhere can benefit from a best interest standard of care.”