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DOL Fiduciary News: January 17, 2017

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DOL Rule Will Create Decline in Annuity Market, LIMRA Says

Financial Advisor; January 16, 2017

Annuity sales will decrease this year, in part because of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for retirement accounts that goes into effect in April, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute predicts.

Annuity sales will see a 10 percent to 15 percent decline in sales, the institute says. However, the annuity market will stabilize during 2018.

“There is little doubt that the DOL fiduciary rule will disrupt the existing financial services’ business structure,” says the institute in its report, “The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Retail Annuity Manufacturers’ Perspective.”

A.M. Best Briefing: Regulatory Shifts, Low Interest Rates Temper Merger and Acquisition Activity in U.S. Life/Annuity Industry

January 16, 2017 11:53 AM EST

OLDWICK, N.J. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The pace of merger & acquisition (M&A) activity in the life/annuity (L/A) industry continued to moderate in 2016, as headwinds from low interest rates and the regulatory environment have furthered conservatism among insurers, according to a new A.M. Best briefing.

The Best’s Briefing, titled, “Mergers and Acquisitions in the Life/Annuity Marketplace,” states that while the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary standard was a catalyst for distribution-centered M&A, it also reduced block transactions or whole company acquisitions as the industry continued to grapple with DOL readiness and implementation. The DOL was a significant distraction and consumed management resources for annuity companies throughout 2016.

As Donald Trump takes office, watch for action on these adviser issues

InvestmentNews; Jan 15, 2017 @ 12:01 am

As president elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office at his inauguration this week, the real estate tycoon and reality television star who has made the presidency his entry-level job in politics remains inscrutable on many issues important to advisers.

A big one is the Labor Department's fiduciary rule that would require advisers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts.

Most financial industry lobbying groups assume he'll back them on delaying and eventually replacing the rule. But Mr. Trump has not taken a public position, and some of his rhetoric makes advocates for the rule think he may be open to their arguments.

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