NAIC Annuity Initiative Aligns with SEC Reg BI to Protect Consumers

Consumer Protection

When consumers are considering what to do to save for their future, they should take comfort in knowing that financial professionals have the consumers’ best interests first and foremost in mind when making recommendations.

Thanks to recent actions by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), consumers across America are one step closer.

Last weekend at the NAIC’s meeting in Austin, Texas, the NAIC’s Life Insurance and Annuities Committee unanimously approved a proposal to enhance the NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. In a nutshell, the revised regulation would crystallize and strengthen the strong framework of consumer laws and regulations that protect Americans planning and saving for the future and managing their retirement nest eggs.

The well-reasoned proposal reflected the thoughtful input received from consumer and industry groups. A few loose ends remain before the final revised model is approved by the NAIC in the next several weeks.

The NAIC’s action aligns well with the important work earlier this year by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with its new Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). These complementary state and federal initiatives will bolster protections for consumers, especially low and moderate balance savers and those seeking guaranteed lifetime income in retirement through annuities.

Together, Reg BI and the NAIC’s model regulation will ensure consumers have strong uniform state and federal protections. Regardless of where in the United States they live or move to, consumers can be confident that insurance companies and insurance agents must act in their best interest.

The real winners? Main Street America’s savers, who will continue to enjoy access to skilled financial professionals who carefully and diligently consider their customer’s financial needs and objectives and make recommendations that are in their customer’s best interest. Thanks to the recent work by the NAIC, this win is within sight.

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Bruce Ferguson

Bruce Ferguson

Bruce Ferguson is Senior Vice President, State Relations at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). He oversees ACLI’s legislative and regulatory advocacy at all levels of state government, including organizations such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and associations of state legislatures and governors.