The Insured Retirement Institute's Action19 Conference featured advice on lobbying from two former members of Congress, US Reps. Luke Messer, R-Ind., and Joe Crowley, D-N.Y. They stressed the importance of meeting policy staffers over members of Congress, as staffers are often the gatekeepers.
The American Securities Association, a trade organization that speaks for regional broker-dealers, is asking the New Jersey Bureau of Securities to hold new public hearings on the proposed fiduciary rule. Christopher Iacovella, the group's chief executive officer, said the rule "would fundamentally alter the relationship that currently exists between broker-dealers and their retail clients in the state of New Jersey and this could have a negative impact on the state's finances."
US consumer sentiment in early May climbed to the highest level since 2004 as Americans became more optimistic about the economy. The University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index reached 102.4, compared with 97.2 in April, based on data collected before US-Chinese trade talks became contentious.
Panelists at the Insured Retirement Institute's Action19 conference noted that regulatory initiatives are guiding the development of fee-based annuities. They also discussed how new technologies are affecting the industry.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has authorized Precidian Investments to offer a type of actively managed exchange-traded fund that isn't required to make public its portfolio every day. This clears the way for companies that want to offer similar nontransparent ETFs.
Retirement legislation is getting a lot of attention on Capitol Hill, and the newest proposal brought into the debate is the Retirement Security and Savings Act, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md. The proposal has more than 50 provisions that Portman and Cardin say would improve America's retirement system.
A proposed rule from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that would impose restrictions on firms employing high-risk registered representatives and financial advisors may apply to 61 financial-services companies, said FINRA CEO Robert Cook. John Salerno, who manages the high-risk representative program, said hundreds of individuals have been identified as presenting risk to clients.
A panel of industry experts at the Insured Retirement Institute's Action19 conference discussed the shift in annuity sales to fixed and fixed-indexed products. "I think there's a ton of tailwind for this product," said Kevin Mechtley of Sammons Financial Group, adding that the contracts offer features that aren't available from any other product.
Many plan sponsors aren't aware they face a fiduciary risk when a participant defaults on a plan loan, attorney Bruce Ashton writes. "Most plan sponsors have blind spots about fiduciary duties for loans, and are operating under an incorrect assumption that disclosure alone satisfies Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) loan requirements," he writes.
Retirement anxiety is growing among baby boomers, many of whom have little to no retirement savings, forcing more boomers to postpone retirement. IRI's annual survey of boomers found that 45% have zero savings for their golden years, and even those with savings are lacking in a number of retirement preparedness factors. Read the report.
Leading off this edition of IRI Insight is an article examining how to best assist women with their unique retirement-planning challenges, such as earnings lag, time pressures and a fundamentally different approach to decision-making. Also in this issue: helping clients understand options to preserve their savings; casting a new light on the value of annuities through the lens of retirement realities; and examining the effect of sequence-of-returns risk on retirement savings. The issue also includes a snapshot of government retirement plan contribution and benefit limits and Medicare income-based premiums for 2019. Get your copy here.