February 2012 • Vol. 4, Issue 2
PURPOSE OF LEGISLATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Speaking as one, we can and will make a difference.
Comments on Legislative Spotlight: Contact Ron Panneton with comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter.
NAIFA Encouraged by SECís Deliberate Pace on Fiduciary Rule
One year ago the Securities and Exchange Commission staff report to Congress recommended a fiduciary duty for broker-dealers and their registered reps. NAIFA has been involved from the beginning in the fiduciary debate and remains committed to working with the SEC to ensure that the final fiduciary rule does not hurt the ability of middle-market investors to receive advice and services.
The original SEC study was completed within a congressionally imposed timeframe. Several SEC Commissioners immediately issued dissenting statements raising concerns about the study. Several members of Congress have since voiced similar concerns. Fortunately, the SEC has decided to give the issue more study and conduct a robust cost-benefit analysis before proposing a rule.
“Our biggest worry is that a rule designed to help consumers could wind up doing a lot of harm if it makes the cost of doing business untenable for advisors working with Main Street investors and everyday people saving for retirement,” said NAIFA President Robert Miller. “NAIFA is encouraged by recent signals that the SEC is taking a deliberate approach and performing a detailed cost-benefit analysis on the proposed fiduciary rule. We’ve seen signs that the commissioners have begun to understand the important role NAIFA members play in protecting the financial well-being of millions of Americans.”
“At times during this debate, NAIFA has been painted in very broad strokes by people implying we’re opposed to any and all regulation,” Mr. Miller added. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. We favor intelligent regulation that serves a definite consumer-protection purpose and that preserves the ability of American families to obtain affordable financial services and advice.”
Why It Matters: The outcome of the SEC’s further study and recommendations will have a significant impact on middle and lower income consumers in terms of consumer protection, as well as access and affordability.
To Learn More: Contact Jill Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAIFA Applauds Vote to Repeal the Class Act
On January 18, the Ways and Means Committee voted 23-13 in favor of H.R. 1173 which would repeal the CLASS Act. The CLASS Act was to be a government-run long-term care insurance program. It was enacted as part of the health care reform law in March 2010. In October 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that there was “no viable path forward” for the CLASS program.
NAIFA President Robert Miller issued the following statement in response to the Committee’s passage of H.R. 1173.
“NAIFA applauds the Ways and Means Committee’s decision to repeal the unsustainable long-term care insurance program called the CLASS Act. NAIFA supports the goal of achieving financial security to cover long-term care services. However, we believe there are better ways to help people plan for their long-term care needs, such as offering quality insurance products at people’s places of employment. We look forward to working with Congress in a bipartisan manner to enact sustainable long-term care reform”.
Why It Matters: Protecting the long-term care needs of people is very important and the path to this security must be viable and sustainable. The CLASS Act was not.
To Learn More: Contact Diane Boyle at email@example.com.
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