In a recent article, Susan Neely, President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), highlights the growing concern among Americans about their financial security during retirement, given increasing lifespans and economic pressures. The passage of SECURE and SECURE 2.0 aimed to address these concerns by closing savings gaps and expanding retirement security.
Neely explains that a fiduciary-only approach by the Labor Department would eliminate commission-based arrangements and potentially limit access to financial recommendations for millions of Americans. She emphasizes that Americans want the freedom to choose their financial professionals and that a fiduciary-only policy would disproportionately affect working-class individuals, particularly Black and Hispanic Americans, widening the racial wealth gap.
The article also highlights a decline in Americans' confidence in their long-term financial prospects and asserts that a fiduciary-only regulation would worsen the situation. Additionally, it argues against any proposal that hinders access to annuities, which have become a popular choice for financial consumers.
NAIFA and ACLI have worked together to get the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) annuity transactions model bolstering consumer protections implemented in 38 states. Life insurers and lawmakers, says Neely, must work together to develop sensible public policies that promote financial certainty in retirement for all Americans.