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Happy New Year – Well, Maybe?



We begin 2016 as we ended 2015, still waiting for the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) proposed ruling. The final rule could contain revisions based on suggestions and ideas expressed during the second comment period, which closed this past September.

As this publication goes to press in early February, we have confirmation that the DOL’s rule has now been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB review is expected to take approximately 60 days, but for sure no longer than 90 days. After review by the OMB, DOL will issue the final rule, perhaps in March but most likely in April. It would then take approximately six to eight months for the rule to go into effect after it is released in its final version. This accelerated timeline may fit with the current administration’s push to see the final rule implemented before the end of 2016.

Meanwhile, Congress is working to pursue legislation of its own that was introduced in late 2015. While it remains to be seen how effective Congressional counter efforts will be, NAFA continues to monitor all aspects of the proposed ruling and potential responses. In fact, the industry professionals involved in NAFA’s DOL Working Group have devoted countless hours of time to research and analyze all of our options to make this final rule a workable solution for our industry.

In addition to NAFA’s specific efforts, we continue to work closely with other trade groups in the financial services industry as well as the Secure Family Coalition to educate professionals and consumers alike about the potential impacts of this legislation. Ultimately, our goal is to strengthen the ability for Americans to save for a safe and secure retirement. We know that providing access to guaranteed lifetime income through fixed annuities is a critical component of this mission.

As we prepare for what’s to come, I’d like to thank you for your continued support. If you aren’t already a member, please consider joining NAFA and getting involved through committee work, event participation and other initiatives. Also, please join us in Washington, D.C. for our fifth annual Annuity Leadership Forum and Hill Walk on June 8-10. Premier partners are encouraged to bring your top annuity producers to help expand our voice and ensure we’re all working together to be part of the solution to combatting this serious threat to our products and our clients.

THAT would be a major contributor to the Happy New Year we all hope 2016 will be.
Chip Anderson
Executive Director, NAFA

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