Four House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would postpone the Affordable Care Act's tax on health insurance -- already on hold in 2019 -- until 2021. America's Health Insurance Plans praised the move, noting the suspension "will help to lower premiums for everyone, whether they get coverage through their jobs, buy their own coverage, or enroll in Medicare Advantage or Medicaid."
Insurance marketing expert John Graham says there are several common mistakes insurance agents make that limit their sales. Among them are failing to adequately educate the client, not asking enough questions, not offering enough choices and failing to identify cross-selling opportunities.
Many employers would be wise to look into transferring their pension liabilities to an annuity purchased from an insurance company to reduce the size of the plan, says Elliot Dinkin, president and CEO of Cowden Associates. Taking that step can give a company greater control over its expenses and risks, he says.
Only 35% of college-educated women report feeling confident they can manage investments in their self-directed retirement accounts, compared with 60% of college-educated men and 41% of men who only hold high-school diplomas, according to a Federal Reserve survey. The difference may be exacerbating the gap in retirement savings between the genders, writes Jordan Yadoo.
A Congressional Budget Office report estimates that the federal government will spend approximately $705 billion on health insurance assistance this year, which translates to $2,582 per American under 65. Of the total, $82 billion will go to people under 65 who qualify for Medicare, $49 billion will go to the Affordable Care Act premium tax credit program and $4 billion will go to ACA's Basic Health Program.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton told attendees at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's annual conference that the word "fiduciary" was left out of the SEC's Regulation Best Interest to avoid investor confusion. "It's important for an investor to understand that the relationship model of the broker-dealer is different than the relationship model of the investment advisor," he said.
Michael Piwowar, outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission member, defended the SEC's best-interest standard at a conference in Washington, saying, "We think we got most of the important things right." He called the Labor Department's fiduciary rule "an unworkable, impossible set of standards for people to comply with."
Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker indicated the Fed may raise rates three times this year and another three times next year, and then pause. Harker added that we could see a fourth rate increase in 2018 if inflation accelerates, but said he's not seeing evidence of that.
There are several areas in which advisors may want to rethink the way they communicate certain things to clients or prospects, writes Bryce Sanders of Perceptive Business Solutions. He offers 10 tips for discussing fees, referrals and potentially leaving an advisor, among others.
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Only in growth, reform and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.