NAIFA members say fiduciary rule already having harmful effects | $4.3M recovered for seniors via FINRA helpline | Life insurers are testing facial-analytics tech
April 21, 2017
NAIFA SmartBrief
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NAIFA members say fiduciary rule already having harmful effects
NAIFA sent a comment letter to the Labor Department after gathering feedback from nearly 1,100 of its members regarding the effects of the department's proposed fiduciary rule. The letter notes that 46% of NAIFA-member respondents said they are able to offer fewer products, while 43% said their commission arrangements have deteriorated and 20% said minimum account sizes have increased.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (4/20) 
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Industry News
$4.3M recovered for seniors via FINRA helpline
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Securities Helpline for Seniors has received more than 9,200 calls and has obtained $4.3 million in reimbursements in the two years since it launched. FINRA said its staff has referred almost 650 cases to regulators and has reported more than 130 matters to state adult protective services.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (4/20) 
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Life insurers are testing facial-analytics tech
Software that evaluates potential longevity based on facial analytics and other data is undergoing testing by life insurance companies. Lapetus Solutions, which developed the software, says the technology could enable life insurance purchases that take 10 minutes online and require no medical examination.
The Associated Press/NerdWallet (4/20) 
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Investment Trends
Baby boomers taking steps to improve their finances
Baby boomers are taking positive steps toward a more secure retirement, including managing their spending and planning to retire debt-free, finds a study from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. However, the study also found that a quarter of this age group no longer invests at all and that almost 40% of middle-income boomers plan to rely on Social Security as their primary source of retirement income.
CBS MoneyWatch (4/18) 
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Policy Watch
Heightened enforcement sends FINRA fines soaring
Total fines imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority shot up to a record $176 million in 2016, almost double the previous year's figure, according to an analysis by law firm Eversheds Sutherland. The biggest factor in the rise was FINRA's increasing use of fines of $1 million or more, the law firm said. (4/20) 
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Mnuchin vows tax overhaul by year-end
Mnuchin vows to complet tax overhaul by year-end
Mnuchin (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)
The Trump administration is confident an overhaul of US tax law will be finished by year-end, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. "Whether health care gets done or doesn't get done, we're going to get tax reform done," he said.
Bloomberg (4/20),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Trump signs law allowing some vets to receive care outside VA
President Donald Trump signed legislation to extend the "Veterans Choice" pilot program, which lets some veterans see health care providers in their communities rather than those inside the Veterans Affairs system. The program facilitates sharing of medical records and reimbursement of non-VA providers in the wake of concerns about delays and inefficiencies inside the system.
Reuters (4/19) 
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Report: FIO should assess state regulators' funding needs
Budget cuts and the channeling of insurance regulatory fees to other state programs mean many state insurance regulators have insufficient funding and are outsourcing essential tasks, according to a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center. The report recommends that the Federal Insurance Office examine states' appropriations for insurance regulators, among other issues.
Reuters (4/19) 
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Building Your Business
It's never too soon to discuss longevity with clients
Advisors must discuss longevity planning with clients as soon as possible as life expectancy lengthens, writes Victor Ngai of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. He suggests six points that should be part of the conversation. (U.S.) (4/19) 
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Black Americans more likely to buy life insurance than general population is
Six in 10 black American households indicate that they are fairly or very likely to buy life insurance for themselves or another member of their household in the next 12 months, compared with 45% of the general population who said the same. Read more on the Advisor Today Blog.
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