Blog:

FACC Campaign Welcomes 5th Circuit Mandate – Encourages NAIC to Step Back from Best Interest

The Fifth Circuit saw through the fallacy of the Labor Department’s presumption that it could simply deem insurance agents and securities brokers (who are sellers of products) to be equivalent to investment advisers.  The decision blasted the Labor Department for ignoring the longstanding distinction between an agent and adviser, only the latter of which is a fiduciary based on a unique position of trust and confidence, for whom standards of prudence and loyalty apply under ERISA.   

In rendering its decision, the Court rejected the paternalism of the DOL, rejected the agency’s arbitrary exercise of power, and rejected the idea that regulators could just turn anybody into a fiduciary.  Now that the Fifth Circuit has spoken, one wonders whether the financial services industry, along with regulators, will heed this message or simply chalk off the decision as a narrow admonishment aimed at the Labor Department.   That would be greatly disappointing and a missed opportunity to redirect regulatory energies in a way that truly helps consumers. 

FACC to NAIC: Suitability Works

A fiduciary/best interest duty simply does not fit insurance which first and foremost is a product, not a service, and which notably is a guaranteed insurance product backed by an insurance company. Taking concepts like best interest and fiduciary duty, or whatever it is ultimately called, which never were intended to apply to the sales of insurance products and now applying them based on some ill-defined desire for a uniform standard is not warranted.

Rather than invasive surgery on a working regulation, the NAIC should consider a swifter and perhaps more effective solution to any remaining gaps is through improved disclosure.

Great Scott! Or should we say Great Scottrade!

While the Scottrade case and these various pronouncements generally are directed at the securities industry, not fixed annuities, the implications are deeply worrisome.  The Fixed Annuity Consumer Choice (FACC) Campaign is concerned these developments prove the U.S. Department of Labor is losing control over the rule and unleashing uncontrolled forces such as hyper-aggressive state regulators and the always profit-hungry plaintiff’s bar that may wreak havoc on the financial services industry.   

TIME TO GET ENGAGED!

No, we don’t mean to your special someone. We mean “get engaged” in our campaign to save the future of fixed indexed annuities! The origin of the word “engage” can be traced back to the early 17th century and comes from the French “engager” which literally means ‘to...

WARNING: DOL HAS NOT YET ISSUED A DELAY!

The FACC Campaign is concerned many agents and distributors are not aware of THREE VITAL FACTS: 1. DOL HAS NOT YET ISSUED A DELAY – the Office of Management & Budget approved the proposed delay in near record time but we have heard nothing formally from DOL as of...

Sign Our Petition to Fix the Treatment of FIAs

Please take one minute to stand up and be heard on the Fiduciary Rule. Please sign a letter of petition to Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta urging him to delay implementation of the Fiduciary Rule exemptions. Join our campaign to extend the transition...

Round and Round We Go (Where We Stop Nobody Knows)

The last few days have seen a flurry of activity!  The most recent new items are:

August 29 – Office of Management & Budget (OMB) approval of the DOL’s request for an 18-month delay to the Rule.
August 30 – DOL issued an official announcement of the delay and has given 15 days for public comment.
August 30 – DOL published Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-03 stating it won’t enforce a provision of the BICE’s arbitration ban.