The silence at the Department of Labor is LOUD. The DOL sent its request for delay to the Office of Management & Budget 12 days ago and since then we have heard nothing. But, don’t think the silence means that victory is upon us – IT IS NOT!
The news of the delay is a hopeful sign. However, the lack of information and continued deafening silence creates more uncertainty and confusion. As we blogged last week, there are many possible interpretations of what this means:
- DOL may be extending the June 9th versions of BICE and PTE 84-24 to July 1, 2019. This would mean the status quo remains in place for the next two years and additional requirements of BICE remain on hold;
- DOL could be proposing additional requirements during the interim period through July 1, 2019;
- DOL could be proposing changes to the BICE and PTE 84-24 exemptions to take effect on July 1, 2019;
- DOL and OMB may be putting the proposals out for comment which will cause more delay and uncertainty until the Department gets public input and makes final decisions.
WHAT IS CERTAIN, is that today the fiduciary rule itself is law and all qualified sales are subject to the impartial conduct standards.
The FACC Campaign has a singular focus in all of this. We believe DOL acted arbitrarily by grouping FIAs with security products under the BICE. It is a painful reminder that our hard-fought victories on the 151a front and at the NAIC remain fragile and vulnerable to new bureaucratic assaults. That is why the FACC Campaign has prepared a letter to Secretary Acosta highlighting this concern. The letter states:
“One particular concern in that regard is the treatment of FIAs which we believe should be moved back from BICE to PTE 84-24. By returning FIAs to PTE 84-24, FIAs would be grouped properly with other fixed annuities rather than securities products, and would not be subject to ill-fitting BICE requirements that are oriented towards the securities industry’s framework and practices. By the same token, sellers of fixed indexed annuities would still be subject to impartial conduct standards that embody the Rule’s principal protections.”
We are pleased to announce two stellar congressmen have already agreed to sponsor this letter – Republican Congressman Steven Stivers of Ohio and Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. We are actively seeking more congressional members on both sides of the aisle to sponsor the House letter. We are working on a similar Senate letter too. We must continue all-out efforts to educate regulators and legislators on why FIAs are not securities and make them appreciate that FIAs are fixed annuity products that provide unparalleled consumer value.
Your engagement is critical to prevail on this this debate over treatment of FIAs. Silence is not an option. Visit our website at www.fixedannuitychoice.com and stay engaged!
United We’ll Stand and CREATE SOME NOISE!