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DOL Fiduciary News: September 29, 2017

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Thinking of Annuities As an Act of Civilization

InsuranceNewsNet; September 28, 2017

Advisors and carriers are facing the challenge of recasting their approaches to annuity sales. In the midst of that challenge, a psychologist urged advisors to think of insurance and risk pooling as an act of civilization and social construct.

Diluting longevity risk across large groups of people and the general account of an insurance company expands the power that insurance provides. That's what psychologist Ken Harman, managing director of the AB Advisor Institute, told attendees at the Insured Retirement Institute's annual conference this week. The AB Advisor Institute is an arm of AB Investments Inc.

…Harman provided a refreshing approach to annuity messaging this week at the IRI's annual meeting, where much of the talk centered on the significance of the 18-month pause in the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule.
(https://insurancenewsnet.com)

Rep. Wagner Introduces Bill to Kill DOL Fiduciary Rule

ThinkAdvisor; September 27, 2017

Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., introduced Wednesday her bill to repeal the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule.

Wagner said on Sept. 7 that she would introduce her bill, the Protecting Access for Small Savers Act, which keeps a fiduciary rulemaking under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s jurisdiction, by the end of September and would push for a speedy markup.

Wagner’s bill establishes a best-interest standard for broker-dealers, Wagner said during an event held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Sept. 7, and repeals Labor’s rule, “period. Full stop. And it gets the Department of Labor out of the broker-dealer space.”
(http://www.thinkadvisor.com)

Uniform fee charts gather steam: Merrill Lynch, Cetera, sign on

Financial Planning; September 27 2017, 1:58pm EDT

SEATTLE — A wirehouse, two of the largest independent broker-dealer networks and one of the biggest IBDs have agreed to provide simplified fee tables to clients, more than doubling the number of firms that will be using the standardized disclosure format.

Merrill Lynch, Cetera Financial Group, Ladenburg Thalmann and Voya Financial Advisors signed on to the North American Securities Administrators Association’s model fee disclosure schedule, NASAA announced this week. The 14 firms covered by the announcement will bring the total number of firms giving clients the standardized list of expenses to 27.

The fiduciary rule, along with the threat from discount firms and robo advisors, has forced many firms to cut fees to stay competitive. The rule has also led to calls for better cost transparency. Representatives from four firms, FINRA, FSI, SIFMA and state regulators designed the table after convening a working group in 2014. 
(https://www.financial-planning.com)