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Government Relations Committee 2015 Priorities

At the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA), our primary mission is to promote the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. Therefore, a core value proposition for NAFA members is advocacy on issues affecting the fixed annuity industry, supported by:

  • Actively engaging in the legal, legislative and regulatory processes
  • Creating broader and deeper relationships with key legislators and regulators
  • Improving the annuity marketplace through professional education and training

With these key tenets in mind, as 2014 came to a close our Government Relations Committee

worked diligently to identify, discuss and delineate the most pressing issues we must address in 2015. As a result, we’ve developed a list of 12 priorities on which we will focus our efforts as the New Year unfolds. Naturally, NAFA will continue its unwavering advocacy on behalf of the industry for a healthy market environment and the delivery of quality products to clients, ultimately giving consumers greater freedom of both access and choice of products for guaranteed retirement income and account value security.

NAFA’s key advocacy priorities for 2015 include the following items:

1. Opposing state and federal regulatory efforts to treat any type of fixed annuity as subject to securities regulation.

2. Promoting efforts by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the states to adopt a bulletin clarifying permissible and prohibited activities of persons licensed to sell annuities, similar to Iowa Insurance Bulletin 11-4.

3. Opposing any U.S. Department of Labor proposal to redefine the term “fiduciary” or to impose a fiduciary standard that would limit compensation and distribution alternatives for purchasers of independent retirement arrangements (IRAs).

4. Opposing any Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) proposal to impose a uniform fiduciary duty standard applicable to fixed annuities.

5. Supporting and promoting the efficacy of the suitability standard for fixed annuities to policymakers, regulators and the media, including supporting the adoption of the 2010 NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.

6. Opposing tax-reform efforts that would adversely impact the taxation of the annuity marketplace, including the tax-deferred status and tax management sales practices for consumers, as well as the taxation of annuity business for insurance companies and distributors.

7. Supporting efforts by the NAIC to revise fixed annuity reserving rules using a framework and treatment approach that is fair and reasonable, and that ensures a level playing field compared to other similarly situated products.

8. Advocating that the U.S. Treasury Department include fixed indexed annuities in qualifying longevity annuity contracts (QLACs).

9. Supporting the states’ adoption of the 2011 NAIC Annuity Disclosure Rule and Deferred Annuity Buyer’s Guide Model in a consistent manner, along with reasonable effective dates for compliance, as well as continuing to work with the NAIC to resolve Annuity Buyer’s Guide copyright and disclosure issues.

10. Opposing federal efforts that would adversely infringe upon the state-based insurance regulatory system for fixed annuities, and supporting state-based efforts to maintain jurisdiction over fixed annuities.

11. Working with the National Organization of Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA) to obtain clarification of guaranty fund coverage for fixed annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (GLWBs), as well as working with the NAIC to permit disclosure of state-specific guaranty fund information with other annuity disclosure materials.

12. Working with trade partners regarding the California Life & Annuity Consumer Protection Program to ensure that the sales of fixed annuities in that state are held to the standards established by state insurance laws and regulations and not to the criminal justice system, unless specifically warranted.

NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is a national trade association exclusively dedicated to promoting the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. NAFA is the only association whose sole purpose is advocating for the fixed annuity product.

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