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DOL Fiduciary News: November 21, 2017

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NAFA Fiduciary Case Postponed Until 5th Circuit Ruling

ThinkAdvisor; November 20, 2017

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Nov. 14 granted the National Association for Fixed Annuities’ motion to delay the oral arguments in NAFA’s appeal against the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule until a decision is made in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

That case was brought by the nine plaintiffs in a Texas court against Labor’s fiduciary rule, and includes the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Financial Services Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Oral arguments in NAFA’s appeal had been scheduled for Dec. 8.

“Postponing the oral argument date provides some much-needed breathing room to let some of the current unresolved issues related to the fiduciary rule play out,” Chip Anderson, NAFA’s executive director, told ThinkAdvisor.

Anderson listed the publication of Labor’s 18-month delay rule, which is currently awaiting approval by the Office of Management and Budget; the anticipated decision out of the Fifth Circuit in the U.S. Chamber appellate case; as well as the “ongoing review” of the rule by Labor as ordered by President Donald Trump in his Feb. 3 memorandum.
(http://www.thinkadvisor.com)

Swearing off ‘product pusher’ image, annuity firms target wary advisors

Financial Planning; November 20 2017, 12:21pm EST

The fiduciary rule and the wane of traditional wholesaling have prompted annuity issuers to change their pitch to financial planners, along with their product shelves. The firms are betting the new approach will appeal to advisors wary of sales calls, regulation and litigation.

Jackson National Life Insurance has instructed agents to strive for deep conversations around investment strategy, technology and planning rather than just “pushing their own product and bashing the competition,” says Jackson Chief Distribution Officer Greg Cicotte.

Similarly, Voya Financial hopes technology and tailored services help it shift away from a past in which “we were really kind of product pushers,” says Chad Tope, Voya’s president of annuities and individual life distribution.
(https://www.financial-planning.com)