October 2012 • Vol. 4, Issue 10
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 Government Relations Team Warns of Threats to Industry
At their Annual Conference in early September NAIFA’s Government Relations Team provided updates on developments in Washington D.C. and in statehouses nationwide during the Legislative Forum held during the second day of the meeting. The group addressed the legislative and regulatory efforts that pose potentially serious threats to life insurance professionals, including Congressional action to address end-of-year deadlines and tax reforms that could circumscribe or eliminate the tax-favored treatment of life insurance.
100 Year Anniversary-2013 Congressional Conference
NAIFA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations William Anderson started the Forum off by reminding attenders that nearly 100 years ago, NAIFA members were instrumental in ensuring that life insurance benefits would not be subject to the then-new federal income tax. Anderson emphasized that today, NAIFA must continue its advocacy efforts to educate Congress on the importance of life insurance and annuities to the American public.
Anderson stated that efforts are ramping up to ensure tax reform does not threaten these products, the agents who sell them, or the families and small businesses who rely on them for financial protection. Anderson mentioned that these efforts will include the NAIFA 2013 Congressional Conference, scheduled for April 8-9, 2013, when life insurance agents will take their case directly to Congress in meetings with members and staff on Capitol Hill.
Fiscal Cliff—Danea Kehoe spoke of the impending “fiscal cliff”, and the consequences of Congress failing to act by year-end on an estimated $7 to $10 trillion in federal spending and tax rules. Topping the list Ms. Kehoe indicated is the expiration on December 31 of the Bush tax cuts implemented in 2001 and extended in 2003.
Kehoe mentioned several other deadlines, including one in 2013 respecting the federal government’s debt ceiling limit, which will need to be raised to cover expenditures and interest on the national debt; and, within the next three weeks, a bill to prevent a government shutdown.
Preserving 100 Years of Tax-favored Treatment of Life Insurance
Boyle said that Republicans and Democrats agree that tax reform must engender lower tax rates and a broadening of the tax base, but they disagree on the means by which these goals are attained. Republicans demand that taxes not be raised, whereas many Democrats don’t want to see cuts to entitlement programs. Boyle said that “These proposals present challenges to our industry and we need to be able to communicate our concerns about them to Congress.” She encouraged all who could attend to participate in the April 2013 Congressional Conference.
Modifications to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Being Sought
McCarron-Ferguson Act’s Federal Anti-trust Exemption Retained
NAIFA Backs FINRA as SRO for Investment Advisors
Hoffman noted that, “We believe that making FINRA the SRO is the best solution of all the options available because it will mean that advisors are subject to one master, and not multiple organizations examining you on an individual basis.”
Why It Matters: To ensure that American families and businesses continue to receive tax-free death benefits and inside build-up on their insurance products.
To Learn More: Contact Contact Diane Boyle Bill Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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