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DOL Fiduciary News: May 11, 2016

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FBL Financial CEO: Including Fixed Indexed Annuities in Final Fiduciary Rule Was a ‘Big Negative Surprise’

Best's News Service via Bestwire -- May 10, 2016 04:06 PM

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Despite “several positive changes” in the U.S. Department of Labor’s final fiduciary rule, “clearly the big negative surprise was the inclusion of fixed indexed annuities” as regulated securities, the chief executive officer of FBL Financial Group Inc. told investment analysts during a conference call.

While discussing first-quarter earnings, CEO James Brannen said he hasn’t yet “seen anything that would prohibit us from continuing with our current proprietary product offerings and agent compensation model,” he said. “However, adjustments and refinements to our current practices and procedures, including additional disclosures and record-keeping, will be required.”

MetLife Facing Big Decision on Annuities 

InsuranceNewsNet; May 10, 2016

MetLife might wait until the fall to decide which structure it will utilize to sell annuities, company executives said last week.

Under new fiduciary rules published April 6 by the Department of Labor, product manufacturers say they have options. They can assume liability as a financial institution for the sale of variable and fixed indexed annuities by signing a best interest contract exemption with clients.

This insurance group likely to be first to file DOL fiduciary lawsuit 

InvestmentNews; May 10, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

Like horses running in the upcoming Preakness, financial industry trade associations may be off to the races on lawsuits against the recently released Labor Department investment advice rule.

While the others prance around, it looks as if the American Council of Life Insurers has entered the gate.

DOL official: Agency will consider changes to fiduciary rule if problems arise

InvestmentNews; May 10, 2016 @ 1:51 pm

A Labor Department official told financial industry professionals on Tuesday that the agency would consider adjustments to a new investment advice rule for retirement accounts if problems arise during implementation.

“We need to have the courage to make changes and to be responsive as problems emerge,” said Timothy Hauser, a DOL deputy assistant secretary, at an Investment Company Institute conference in Washington. “We have every intent to do so.”

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