NAFA’S FIGHT TO DEFEAT THE DOL FIDUCIARY DUTY RULE
NAFA Continues to Fight the DOL Fiduciary Rule
WASHINGTON D.C. (February 21, 2017) — Things are moving fast and furious as NAFA continues to fight the DOL fiduciary duty rule on all fronts: legislatively through Congress, administratively through the agency rule-making process, and, of course, through the courts with our ongoing lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Additionally, there has been activity in the three other lawsuits brought in Kansas, Texas, and Minnesota:
- On February 8, the Texas court granted summary judgment in favor of the Department of Labor. Plaintiffs in that consolidated lawsuit, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have thirty (30) days to file notice of appeal.
- On February 17, the Kansas court granted a summary judgement for the DOL, issuing the following opinion. There too, the plaintiff, Market Synergy Group, has 30 days to notice an appeal of that judgment.
- In the Minnesota case, where oral argument had been set for Friday, March 3, the Department filed a request for stay in that matter, which was opposed by the plaintiff, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, on February 17, on both procedural and substantive grounds.
In the meanwhile, NAFA submitted a comment letter to the Department on Friday, February 17 in general opposition to the Department’s Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption for Insurance Intermediaries. Recognizing that the Proposed Exemption would have devastating effects on IMOs – particularly on small and mid-size organizations, many of which are NAFA members – NAFA’s comment letter addressed, in particular, the arbitrary and unjustifiable $1.5 billion premium threshold and the 1%-of-premium ‘financial responsibility’ set-aside requirement that IMOs would need to meet in order to qualify under the exemption. As was clear in the promulgation of the Rule, this proposed exemption reveals a profound misunderstanding of fixed annuity products and the way those products are sold and delivered. In light of the ongoing lawsuits, as well as the February 3, 2017 White House memorandum directing the DOL to undertake a review of the Rule, NAFA requested an indefinite postponement of the Proposed Exemption.
NAFA continues to monitor all developments regarding the fiduciary duty rule and will continue to work all channels to have the rule rescinded.
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NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, is the premier trade association exclusively dedicated to fixed annuities. Our mission is to promote the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. We educate annuity salespeople, regulators, legislators, journalists, and industry personnel about the value of fixed annuities and their benefits to consumers. NAFA’s membership represents every aspect of the fixed annuity marketplace covering 85% of fixed annuities sold by independent agents, advisors and brokers. NAFA was founded in 1998. For more information, visit www.nafa.com.