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Here are the issues NAIFA is working on for you.

By William Anderson and the Government Relations Staff

As a NAIFA member you know our industry is constantly under attack. Your membership gives NAIFA the strength to tackle the many legislative issues that affect the products you sell and how you sell them. This article lets you know what NAIFA is doing to protect your interests. To build our membership and advocacy power, share this information with any agent or advisor you know who has yet to join our ranks.

Federal tax and regulatory issues
Annuity tax incentives: Guaranteed monthly retirement income for life is a critical issue for most individuals.

NAIFA supplies the rank-and-file lobbying muscle for legislation granting tax incentives for guaranteed lifetime annuity payouts.

Business use of life insurance: NAIFA and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) led the congressional push to preserve the market for business use of life insurance.

Do-not-fax rules: NAIFA was in the forefront of groups successfully lobbying Congress to allow businesses to continue to fax information to their customers.

Deferred compensation legislation/regulations: NAIFA, along with AALU, successfully amended proposed laws to keep this market open.

Estate tax: NAIFA and AALU are holding the line for politically sustainable reform, while repeal advocates are pushing hard for complete repeal.

Insurance regulatory reform: NAIFA is advocating for speed-to-market and uniform agent licensing.

Investment advice: NAIFA is urging Congress to amend ERISA to permit employers to engage agents to help workers invest their 401(k) plan funds.

Investor-owned life insurance (IOLI): NAIFA led the agent coalition that lobbied numerous states, as well as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators to keep strong state insurable-interest laws in place and for Congress to keep strong tax incentives for life insurance.

LIAM: NAIFA spearheaded the effort in Congress to declare September Life Insurance Awareness Month and obtain public support from President Bush. State associations garnered proclamations from 28 governors.

Lifetime savings accounts: NAIFA successfully opposed new laws that favor short-term saving and spending in contrast to long-term retirement saving and family security.

Military personnel: NAIFA worked with Congress and the Pentagon to allow military personnel to have access to sound financial advice while curbing predatory sales practices.

Social Security individual accounts: NAIFA is working behind the scenes to focus Congress on private-sector options such as annuities.

12b-1 fees: NAIFA successfully defended SEC Rule 12b-1 fees, which are paid to agents for service to mutual-fund-owning clients, in Congress and, so far, the SEC.

403(b) annuities: NAIFA joined forces with AALU in vigorously opposing an IRS effort to limit individual participation options.

Federal health-insurance issues
Association health plans: NAIFA and the Association of Health Insurance Advisors (AHIA) helped steer a lobbying coalition that has successfully blocked destructive federal AHP legislation for eight years.

Employer-provided health insurance: With AHIA, NAIFA is pushing legislation for more tax incentives for small-business employers to offer health insurance and resisting efforts to diminish incentives for large enterprises.

Health savings accounts: NAIFA and AHIA are urging Congress to grant “above” and/or “below the line” deductions for individual purchase of high-deductible health-insurance plans.

Long-term care insurance: NAIFA applauds AHIA’s effort to get “above the line” tax deduction legislation reintroduced in Congress in spite of a hostile climate.

State issues
Compensation disclosure: In a tremendous victory for NAIFA and the life-insurance-industry coalition of AALU, The American Council of Life Insurers and the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, NAIC ratified an amendment to its Producer Licensing Model Act, which requires compensation disclosure only when the producer receives compensation from both the customer and the insurer.

IOLI: NAIFA continues to play a leadership role in opposing legislation that would permit investor-owned life insurance arrangements. No state enacted pro-IOLI legislation in 2005, and one state tightened its insurable interest laws to strictly limit new IOLI programs.

Term life licenses: NAIFA state associations in Alabama, Illinois and Mississippi derailed term license proposals and NAIFA supported an NAIC resolution condemning the concept of term licenses, which lower the bar for agent standards, limit the products a “term agent” can offer as well as complicate agent licensing.

 


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