Last week’s attack at the U.S. Capitol was horrific. The disturbing scenes and tragic loss of life are very difficult to shake, and they illuminated so many things that must be repaired in our nation.
Many of us felt the same chills and horror that we did 20 years ago on September 11, 2001. I was privileged to serve our country after those attacks and help create the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Here’s what I know: Our democracy is resilient and so are we. I believe we will come together, better and stronger than ever. I also believe that the best way to move on from senseless violence is to redouble our energies to make progress on the things that matter most to people.
Now as President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, I’m privileged to help lead our industry’s efforts to improve Americans’ financial security and help resuscitate America’s economy.
Life insurers are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with President-elect Biden and the 117th Congress to help advance public policies that protect and expand access to financial security and lifetime income solutions for all Americans, while supporting our communities recover from the economic upheaval spawned by COVID-19.
Life insurers serve 90 million American families with essential financial protection products including:
- Life insurance – A foundational tool for financial resilience, helping families keep their homes and pay for education after a parent is lost and providing valuable support in so many ways for small business owners.
- Private-sector retirement solutions – Annuities are the only product guaranteeing income for life, like a pension. 401(k)s and IRAs allow workers to save and supplement Social Security.
- Long-term care, disability income insurance and paid family medical leave – Provides vital protection for families and caregivers. Life insurers protect 40 percent of private-sector workers from losing pay if they take medical leave after having a child or tending to a medical condition.
- Supplemental benefits – Financial protection, including dental and vision insurance, against expenses not covered by major medical insurance.
The life insurance industry paid out $2.1 billion every day in 2019, supplementing Social Security which paid out $2.8 billion a day. We are also one of the nation’s largest sources of capital with $6.9 trillion invested in the U.S. economy.
With our Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative, ACLI is acting to bridge racial and socioeconomic divides across the country.
There are many challenges to meet and more to do to help American families and our communities. Life insurers are ready to partner with Congress and the new Administration. There are bipartisan solutions we can tackle together.
Let’s do it.