NAIFA has not been sitting idle as the Department of Labor made moves to propose a new fiduciary rule. In anticipation of the rulemaking, NAIFA helped the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) draft a resolution that opposes the DOL's new fiduciary rule as unnecessary and likely harmful to consumers. The resolution, which NCOIL adopted in July after NAIFA testified at the Conference's 2023 Summer Meeting, states: "NCOIL urges the DOL to refrain from further rulemaking that would revive all or parts of the 2016 Fiduciary Rule" and "...urges state legislators and other interested stakeholders to join in opposition to any further rulemaking by DOL reviving the 2016 Fiduciary Rule."
The DOL's previous fiduciary rule, put forward in 2016, threatened the ability of Main Street Americans to get needed financial services and advice. It was vacated by a federal appeals court after NAIFA and other groups filed lawsuits against the DOL.
There is absolutely no reason for the DOL to create an additional layer of regulation for financial advisors and their clients. Since 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission has put Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) into effect requiring financial professionals to act in their clients' best interests. In addition, 40 states have enacted laws or regulations based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, which works in harmony with Reg BI to enhance protections for annuity consumers.
Insurance and financial professionals across the country responded to NAIFA's call to participate in In-District Meetings with their lawmakers during the recent Congressional recess. Among the topics discussed was the potential DOL rulemaking.
Members of Congress are hearing our message. On the last day of August, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, sent a letter to the DOL opposing a new round of fiduciary rulemaking.
Now that DOL has nonetheless begun the rulemaking process by sending a proposed fiduciary rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review, NAIFA remains vigilant. NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux clearly and firmly stated the association's opposition to a new fiduciary rule. NAIFA is once again poised to take necessary actions to protect the interests of NAIFA members, their clients, and Main Street consumers across the country.