IRI conference gets lobbying advice from former congressmen | Securities group wants new hearings on N.J. fiduciary rule | US consumer sentiment reaches 15-year high
May 22, 2019
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IRI conference gets lobbying advice from former congressmen
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.
Advisor News (5/16) 
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Securities group wants new hearings on N.J. fiduciary rule
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."
Financial Planning online (5/17) 
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US consumer sentiment reaches 15-year high
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.
CNBC (5/17) 
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Around the Industry
Panelists: Regulations shaping fee-based annuity space
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.
InsuranceNewsNet Magazine online (5/17) 
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Washington Update
SEC approves structure for nontransparent ETFs
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.
Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (5/20) 
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2 senators propose retirement bill
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.
PlanAdviser online (5/14) 
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FINRA targets financial professionals who pose risk to clients
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.
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (5/17) 
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Research & Analysis
Expert: Strong fixed annuity sales could continue
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.
InsuranceNewsNet Magazine online (5/17) 
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Plan loans expose sponsors to fiduciary risk, attorney says
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.
PlanSponsor online (5/20) 
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IRI Updates
9th Annual IRI Baby Boomer Report
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.
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IRI Insight -- Spring 2019
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.
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