NAFA Welcomes 2018 Board of Directors

New Leadership Poised to Continue Fight against Unnecessary Regulatory Overreach

WASHINGTON (Jan. 15, 2018) — The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, approved recommendations for its newly elected 2018 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in San Diego, Calif. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates were thoroughly vetted by the current board before being announced during the association’s annual Annuity Distribution Summit. With all present at the meeting in favor of the new appointments, five new members join forces with current leadership to continue advocacy and education efforts critical to the future of the fixed annuity marketplace.

Newly appointed board members include: Jason Kestler of Kestler Financial Group, Adam Lunardini of Delaware Life Insurance Company, Brad Newcomb of Independent Planners Group, Janet Sipes of AmeriLife and Eric Taylor of AIG.

Dominic Cursio of M3 Financial, Inc. will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors, taking over for past chair Brian Mann of Partners Elite Advisor Group. Jim Maietta of Allianz will roll up to vice chair and Chris Conroy of North American Company for Life & Health Insurance to secretary, while Lauri Beck of Insurance Network America will join the executive operating committee as its newly appointed treasurer.

“As we continue the fight to protect fixed annuity products, as well as those who develop, distribute and support them, the need for leadership excellence from our organization has never been more important,” said Chip Anderson, Executive Director of NAFA. “Our new appointees stand poised and ready to join the talented professionals currently serving on our board of directors in helping guide our strategic vision on behalf of all Premier, Supporting and Affiliate Partners. Additionally, they will move our litigation efforts against the Department of Labor forward while proactively addressing other pertinent issues that stand to impact our industry and the consumers we serve.”

NAFA membership subsequently approved the entire board roster, which includes the following current members: Tony Compton of Great American Insurance Group, Heather Kane of EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., Eric Marhoun of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, Randy Matzke of Advisors Excel, Jeff Maxey of InsurMark, Paul McGillivray of M&O Marketing, Kevin Mechtley of North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, Mike Morrone of Nationwide and Margo Thompson of The Annuity Source, Inc.

Of behalf of its members, NAFA then recognized the contributions of exiting board members Cary Carney of Voya Financial, Rich Lane of Standard Insurance Company and Kirby Wood of American Equity with commemorative plaques and pens.

###

About NAFA
NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is the premier trade association exclusively dedicated to fixed annuities. Our mission is to promote the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. We educate annuity salespeople, regulators, legislators, journalists, and industry personnel about the value of fixed annuities and their benefits to consumers. NAFA’s membership represents every aspect of the fixed annuity marketplace covering 85% of fixed annuities sold by independent agents, advisors and brokers. NAFA was founded in 1998. For more information, visit www.nafa.com.

Download a PDF of the release here. »

Financial Advisor “Despite Delays, DOL Rule Becoming Law Of The Land, Expert Argues”

DECEMBER 1, 2017 • 

“Yes,” National Association for Fixed Annuities Counsel and Director of Government Affairs Pam Heinrich said when asked if the association would proceed with its lawsuit to vacate the DOL rule, even after the agency’s 18-month delay. “Absent changes on how the rule will go into effect in July 2019—something that hasn’t happened as of yet so we can not count on—NAFA needs to continue the fight in the court system,” Heinrich told Financial Advisor Magazine.

“After the 18-month delay ends, in the event that there are no further changes to the rule, our industry will be irreparably harmed because we will be bifurcated under two separate exemptions [for disclosing commissions and potential conflicts of interest]: BICE [Best Interest Contract Exemption] for fixed-index annuities and PTE 84-24 for fixed declared rate annuities. Putting fixed-rate annuities under BICE will harm our industry and also consumers—everyday Americans who benefit from these retirement savings products,” Heinrich said.

Continue Reading the Article HERE

VeriFyle and the National Association for Fixed Annuities Announce a Partnership to Provide Secure Communications Platform to Members

Dear NAFA Members,

As the number of cyber attacks on small and mid-sized businesses continues to rise, NAFA is taking a proactive approach to helping members protect themselves, their producers and their clients.

Beginning on October 31st, all NAFA members will be eligible to sign up for VeriFyle ProTM, a secure document-sharing and messaging service, with patented encryption-key management technology, for the highly discounted price of only $3 per month.

  • VeriFyle replaces less secure technologies (like email and cloud sharing services like Dropbox) for the purpose of sharing sensitive information.
  • The service is extremely easy to use, completely secure, and can be customized for the look of your business.
  • VeriFyle provides a professional and secure way to present yourself to existing and prospective producers; and is free to use for all of your invited guests.
  • When you share something with someone, they simply click a link in an email and are taken directly and securely to the item(s) being shared.

Many businesses spend thousands of dollars per year for services that are less secure than VeriFyle. Through our partnership, NAFA members now have access to the most secure document-sharing technology on the web, at a fraction of the cost.

View the Member Alert HERE.

View the Demo Schedule HERE.

NAFA Strongly Supports the Proposed 18-Month Delay

Sept. 15, 2017- NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, submits this letter in strong support of the Department of Labor’s proposed 18-month extension of the current transition period and delay of the applicability dates for the Best Interest Contract Exemption (PTE 2016-01), the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs (PTE 2016-02), and the Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (PTE 84-24) as set forth in the Department’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

NAFA Pushes for Uniform Treatment of All Fixed Annuities in Response to DOL RFI

Aug. 9, 2017 — In response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) request for information (RFI) issued July 6, NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, submitted a comment letter outlining recommended revisions to the fiduciary rule and its prohibited transaction exemptions. Specifically, the letter provides the Department with rationale for expanding the scope of PTE 84-24 to cover fixed indexed annuities as well as fixed rate annuities.

View Comment Letter here.

NAFA Urges DOL to Delay January 1, 2018 Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date

July 25, 2017- In a letter submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is urging the Department to extend the January 1, 2018 implementation date of the fiduciary duty rule (“the Rule”).  NAFA’s comment letter was filed in response to a July 6, 2017 Request for Information in which the Department sought input regarding the advisability of extending the January 1, 2018 applicability date of certain provisions of the Rule relating to the prohibited transactions exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract (“BIC”) Exemption and PTE 84-24.

View the comment letter here.

NAFA Announces 2017 Board of Directors

WASHINGTON (Dec. 8, 2016) — The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, approved recommendations for its newly elected 2017 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in Phoenix, Ariz. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates were thoroughly vetted by the current board before being announced. With all present at the meeting in favor of the new appointments, five members will actively begin filling their roles effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Newly appointed board members include: Margo Thompson of The Annuity Source, Inc., Lauri Beck of Insurance Network America, Heather Kane of EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., Jeff Maxey of InsurMark and Mike Morrone of Nationwide.

Brian Mann of Partners Elite Advisory Group will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors, taking over for exiting chair Nathan Zuidema of Imeriti Financial Network. Dominic Cursio of M3 Financial, Inc will roll up to vice chair and Jim Maietta of Allianz to secretary, while Chris Conroy of CreativeOne will join the executive operating committee as its newly appointed treasurer.

Chairman Hensarling Reacts to Decision on Fiduciary Rule

Washington, May 23, 2017 -
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) issued the following statement regarding today’s decision by the Department of Labor on the controversial fiduciary rule:
“I was there in the Oval Office when President Trump signed his Presidential Memorandum on the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule. I don’t see how the Department of Labor’s decision is commensurate with the President’s Memorandum, so I am disappointed. It regrettably appears Obama era bureaucrats in the Department of Labor may have been allowed to overrule President Trump’s wishes. I am especially disappointed for those low and moderate income Americans who rely upon investment advice to plan their retirements. This flawed fiduciary rule means their costs will likely go up and their choices will likely go down – just like with Obamacare. Republicans believe we must preserve access, choice and affordability so Americans who like their retirement planner can keep their retirement planner, which is exactly what the Financial CHOICE Act will accomplish. That’s why I urge the administration to repropose the rule as soon as possible.”

Roe Statement on the Implementation of the Fiduciary Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement in response to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s decision to allow the fiduciary rule to partially take effect June 9, 2017:

“The misguided, Obama-era fiduciary rule drives up the cost of investment advice for low- and middle-income investors and makes it harder, not easier, for workers to save for retirement. From the day it was first announced, this rule was a solution in search of a problem. If this is the direction the secretary believes is necessary, I will strongly urge him to expedite additional relief from the rule, and in the long-term, will continue advocating the reversal of this flawed rule. More must be done to ensure Americans can more easily receive the advice they need to adequately save for retirement.”

Dr. Roe recently led a letter of 124 members in writing to the Secretary urging him to permanently delay the rule.

Continue Reading the Press Release HERE

NAFA APPLAUDS CONGRESSIONAL PRESSURE TO DELAY FIDUCIARY RULE IMPLEMENTATION

Washington, D.C., May 8, 2017 – NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, released the following statement today from its Executive Director Chip Anderson:

“NAFA expresses its gratitude to those members of Congress who have signed letters calling for delay of the June 9th implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule.  In separate letters, key members of the Senate HELP Committee led by Chairman Lamar Alexander, Chairman Hensarling with Congresswoman Wagner and Congressman Huizenga and 124 Representatives led by Congressman Phil Roe, have urged the Department of Labor to delay the rule in its entirety.”

“While NAFA greatly appreciates the support from Congress, make no mistake about it, NAFA still appeals directly to President Trump and Secretary Acosta to exercise their authority to stop any part of this Rule from going into effect before the DOL has completed its reexamination of the Rule as called for by the President’s own February 3rd memorandum.”

“If the Rule itself, along with the so-called Impartial Conduct Standards, are allowed to take effect on June 9th, it will be extremely traumatic for our industry, and, worse yet, it will be very harmful to consumers who will lose access to advice and products that are badly needed.”

“NAFA has launched a White House grassroots campaign because we want the Administration to understand the disappointment and anxiety being felt by our membership, which thought President Trump would never allow such a far-reaching excessive regulation to get this far.  We can report over 2000 members have already written the White House, and we anticipate hundreds more will be doing so in the weeks ahead.”

“NAFA feels strongly DOL must examine the Rule in accordance with the White House memorandum because there has yet to be an objective analysis of the Rule’s adverse effects.  In its recent comment letter submitted to DOL, NAFA pointed out the regulatory impact analysis used to justify the rule was flawed in numerous ways, and axiomatically defective because it failed to account at all for the positive effects of commissions in the fixed annuity industry which encourage agents to help consumers purchase annuities as opposed to leaving money in low-earning CDs or riskier investments.”

“We have a little more than a month to stop this runaway train.  NAFA is pulling out all the stops to try to prevent any part of this rule going live on June 9th.”

 

Download the Press Release HERE.