NAFA Announces the 2016 Board of Directors

The general membership of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, approved recommendations for its newly elected 2016 board of directors at the association’s annual meeting held recently in Miami, Fla. Nominations were received from the membership at large, and candidates were thoroughly vetted by the current board before being announced in Miami. With all present at the meeting in favor of the new appointments, four new members and one re-elect actively began filling their roles effective January 1, 2016.

NAFA GRC Develops Summary of PTE 84-24 and Potential Changes

Recently, NAFA’s Government Relations Committee (GRC) worked diligently to develop a document summarizing Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 84-24 and its current application. Given that the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary duty rule would amend and partially revoke PTE 84-24, it’s critical that NAFA members understand this exemption, how it would change under the proposed rule and how that may impact the fixed annuity marketplace.

Whitepaper excerpt:

Why we should be interested in understanding PTE 84-24

Even though PTE 84-24 has been around since 1977 (and was most recently amended in 2006), the fixed annuity industry has not needed to consider utilizing this exemption because we have not been considered fiduciaries pursuant to the current, 5-prong definition of fiduciary under 29 CFR 2510.3-21. However, under the DOL proposed fiduciary rule, the base definition of who is considered to be a “fiduciary” is greatly expanded: if the proposed rule goes through as currently written, fiduciary status and duties would be triggered for almost all annuity contract transactions involving ERISA plans and IRAs. And, once a fiduciary, annuity sellers will need to utilize this exemption.

>> Read the full summation here.

>> Or, visit our Advocacy Update page for a summary of events related to the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary duty rule.

NAFA Highlights Facts about Annuities, Contrary to Recent Report

Response Excerpt:

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2015) — With only 22 percent of American workers very confident that they’ll have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement1 , there is a clear need for trusted insurance advisors and products that can generate guaranteed lifetime income. A fixed annuity is the only product that allows individuals to accumulate retirement savings, protect those savings from market losses and guarantee income that lasts a lifetime. However, a report released last week by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass.) ignores the benefits of these products and their growing popularity among consumers. In particular, it contains misstatements and unsupported conclusions about fixed annuities and annuity sales professionals that might create unnecessary worry and confusion for consumers.

“While we do not doubt the Senator’s sincerity in her concern for retirees, we fear that the inaccuracies in the report will deter consumers from securing the benefits of fixed annuities,” said Chip Anderson, NAFA’s Executive Director. “In truth, fixed annuities offer excellent consumer value and are the only financial product available that provides guaranteed income for life – with no downside risk to the client’s principal. They are supported by rigorous and comprehensive regulations that protect consumers and which have resulted in extremely high owner satisfaction rates.”

View NAFA’s entire response to Senator Warren HERE.

NAFA Files Second Comment Letter with DOL

On September 24, 2015, NAFA filed its second official comment letter with the Department of Labor-Employee Benefits Security Administration in regard to the Department’s Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule (RIN 1210-AB32), the Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption (ZRIN 1210-ZA25), and the Proposed Amendment to and Proposed Partial Revocation of Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (ZRIN 1210-ZA25).

Response excerpt:

On behalf of NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, I am pleased to have the opportunity to submit these additional comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed new definition of a fiduciary and the proposed amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 84-24 (collectively, “the proposed rule”).
As we made clear in our prior letter, NAFA commends the Department for recognizing that PTE 84-24 is the appropriate regulatory exemption for non-security annuities – i.e., fixed annuities – under the proposed rule. We believe that this is the appropriate exemption because only fixed annuities – unlike all other types and categories of retirement investment vehicles – offer two insurance-backed, contractual guarantees: guaranteed protection of principal and a guaranteed annuitized income payout.

Continue Reading the Comment Letter HERE.

NAFA Files Comment Letter with DOL

On July 21, 2015, NAFA filed its official comment letter with the Department of Labor-Employee Benefits Security Administration in regard to the Department’s Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule (RIN 1210-AB32), the Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption (ZRIN 1210-ZA25), and the Proposed Amendment to and Proposed Partial Revocation of Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (ZRIN 1210-ZA25).

Response excerpt:

NAFA is pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Rule and generally supports the Department’s efforts to provide enhanced protections for consumers in the retirement marketplace.

However, as currently drafted, the Proposed Rule requires significant refinements to ensure that Americans continue to have access to fixed annuities and to the financial professionals who provide the education and services necessary to service their clients. This is especially true for consumers who have investable assets of less than $250,000. At a time when a huge retirement savings gap exists, compounded by the fact that Americans are living longer, regulatory efforts must not hinder the principal-protected savings and lifetime income options uniquely provided by fixed annuities.

The Department appropriately recognizes that non-security annuities — in other words, fixed annuities — are insurance products and asks in its preamble to the Proposed Rule whether the line between insurance and annuity products that are securities and those that are not has been correctly drawn.1

NAFA appreciates the opportunity to answer the Department’s invitation to comment on the disclosure requirements and other applicable standards governing fixed annuities, the distribution methods and channels applicable to fixed annuities, the common structure of insurance agencies, and the applicability of the Best Interest standard to fixed annuities. However, NAFA contends that fixed annuities are different from securities investments, and we believe the Proposed Rule must not be written so broadly that it has an adverse effect on insured retirement savings and on the insurance professionals who provide consumers with education and retirement advice on fixed annuity products.

>> Read the full response here.

>> Or, visit our Advocacy Update page for a summary of events related to the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary duty rule.

1 Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption, 80 Fed. Reg. 21975

NAFA Plugs into National Retirement Planning Week® Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NAFA Plugs into National Retirement Planning Week® Events

Milwaukee, WI (March 26, 2014) The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announced today that the association will be participating in several National Retirement Planning Week® events during April 7-11. The week is coordinated by the National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC) to help consumers focus on their financial needs in retirement.

“Securing one’s retirement income is becoming increasingly difficult,” said NAFA’s President and CEO Kim O’Brien. “Opportunities like National Retirement Planning Week® are critical to raise awareness and help American’s better understand secure retirement options like fixed annuities.”

NAFA will actively participate in the week’s activities, including:

April 7: Serving on an industry expert panel at 9 a.m. Central where members of the media are invited for an  unveiling of the new Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) research findings on Boomer’s retirement expectations. Contact Andrew Simonelli at asimonelli@irionline.org to join the conference call.

April 8: Hosting an online educational session for financial professionals – “What Your Clients Don’t Know About Retirement Could Hurt Them” will be held at 10:30 a.m. Central. This online session will help financial professionals better understand the facts, the changes, and retirement solutions available in light of the high costs associated with healthcare. NAFA will also be represented at the Jump$tart Coalition’s annual financial literacy awards dinner in Washington, D.C.

April 9: Participation in an event with the American Savings Education Council, which will discuss new retirement trends, research and planning tools as well as participating in a webinar for financial advisors on Social Security’s part within a winning retirement strategy.

April 10: Participation in the Insured Retirement Institute’s Capitol Hill event. NAFA will also offer another online education session for financial professionals – “Suitably Using Annuities in Charitable Planning” will be held at 10:30 a.m. Central. Financial professionals will learn why to discuss charitable planning, how it benefits clients and suitable approaches to the conversation for retirement planning.

NAFA has also declared June Annuity Awareness Month.

During June, NAFA, along with fellow trade associations, will provide educational material, webcasts and social media communications to help educate financial professionals and the public on the important role fixed annuity products play in helping Americans save for retirement. The association’s Annuity Leadership Forum will be held in Washington D.C., June 11-13 and includes a walk on Capitol Hill to meet with Senators and Representatives to educate Congress on the excellence and success of the suitability standard and to unveil the consumer detriments of a fiduciary standard on the sale of fixed annuities.

For more National Retirement Planning Week® events or information go to www.retireonyourterms.org.

NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is an advocacy trade association exclusively dedicated to fixed annuities by educating 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. Get more information at www.nafa.com.

The National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC) is composed of prominent financial industry and advocacy organizations dedicated to raising the public awareness of the need for comprehensive retirement planning.

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Media Contact: Scott Hinds – 414-332-9306, ext.2, or scott@nafa.com                                                                     2014­_0324_PR_NRPW

Janet Terpening joins NAFA staff

National Association for Fixed Annuities Announces Leadership for Key Positions

Milwaukee, WI (March 7, 2014) The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) announced they are expanding their efforts to promote fixed annuities by welcoming Janet Terpening as its newest member of the NAFA team. Ms. Terpening joins current team members Scott Hinds who has been promoted to serve in the role of Director of Membership and Development and Bailey Sorensen who is NAFA’s Manager of Operations. Hinds has served NAFA for more than five years and Sorensen for the last three years. Read full press release.

NAFA addresses Knoxville News letter to the editor

NAFA responds to a member’s request to address Knoxville News letter to the editor - 03.02.14. 

Suitability Guiding Principles Paper

NAFA’s  Education Committee has released an update on its Guiding Principles Paper on Suitability. View here.

Jan. 23 Education webcast features Dr. Jack Marrion

Join Us to Hear from Dr. Jack Marrion and Learn:

  • Top 10 Reasons Why 2014 is the Year of the Fixed Annuity
  • How Generational Attitude Changes Should Positively Impact Your Business

This NAFA webcast will give you insights to improve your sales and show why you can expect 2014 to be another banner year for fixed annuities.

January 23 at 8:30 a.m. PT/9:30 a.m. MT/10:30 a.m. CT/11:30 a.m. ET

REGISTER HERE