DOL Update

URGENT ACTION NEEDED

There continues to be a misperception in the industry that the DOL has already issued an 18-month delay to the fiduciary rule. While we continue to believe a delay will be issued soon, as of today, no such delay is in place and the final implementation date is still set for January 1, 2018.

Several industry groups continue to lobby both Congress and the DOL, advocating for a delay and for modifications to the rule. In addition, the court cases continue to work their way through the appellate process, and we are expecting a decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals any day now.

But rather than just sit around and wait for something to happen, there are several actions that you can take today to lend your support for the delay. 

  1. Sign the petition. The Fixed Annuity Consumer Choice Campaign has an online petition that you can easily sign and submit to the DOL. You can access this petition at: https://www.votervoice.net/Shares/BsycXAFuAEWSAAAFwdR7FAA.  This petition was originally submitted to the DOL with over 2,600 signatures, but more signatures are needed. Please add your name to the list today.
  1. Contact Congressmen Stivers (R-OH, 15th District) or Cleaver (D-MO, 5th District). These Congressmen have agreed to reach out to Labor Secretary Acosta, urging him to issue the delay and revisit how fixed index annuities should be treated. They should be thanked for their support of fixed index annuities. For those of you who live/work in either of these districts, a personal visit to their office or a phone call is the most effective means of communication. For those of you who have clients in these districts but who personally live/work outside the district, the most effective communication would be from your clients. Your clients could send a short email to their office at the following links:
    Stivers:  https://stivers.house.gov/contact/
    Cleaver:  https://cleaver.house.gov/contact/email-me
  1. Contact Senator Perdue (R-GA), and Senator Scott (R-SC). These Senators have expressed willingness to support fixed index annuities, but they need to hear from their constituents on this issue. If you or your clients live in GA or SC, please reach out to these Senators at the following links:Perdue:  https://www.perdue.senate.gov/connect/email
    Scott:  https://www.scott.senate.gov/contact/email-me

    You could also submit a form letter from the following site to either of these Senators, but only if you live in GA or SC:  http://fixedannuitychoice.com/takeaction/

  1. Contact your Congressional Representative and Senators. A simple email to your Representative and Senators is always a good idea, even if they are opposed to the position you are advocating. A simple message stating how you always act in the best interest of your clients in helping them plan for retirement, that fixed index annuities are an important piece of a sound retirement strategy, and that the current DOL Fiduciary Rule creates an undue burden on the use of fixed index annuities as part of an overall retirement strategy. And be sure to ask them to support a delay of the Fiduciary Rule as proposed by the DOL. You can easily find your Representative or Senators at the following site:  https://www.congress.gov/members.

It is also important to reiterate that the impartial conduct standards (best interest of client, reasonable compensation, no materially misleading statements, disclosure) that took effect on June 9th continue to be in place and will most likely remain in place even if a delay is formally issued. You should continue to operate under these impartial conduct standards—this is our industry’s new “normal.”

As always, we will continue to provide updates as things change.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Tim Nelson (tnelson@assetismarketing.com) or Bob Seawright (rpseawright@mas-bd.com) directly with specific questions on this important topic. Your Business Consultant is also an excellent resource to help you navigate the changes occurring in our industry.

Jennifer Schendel


President & CEO