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DOL Fiduciary News: April 25, 2017

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Experts say DOL fiduciary rule's fate, timing uncertain, changes likely

InvestmentNews; Apr 24, 2017 @ 2:10 pm

A panel of regulatory experts questioned Monday how the fight over the Labor Department's approaching fiduciary rule will play out, alluding to a political landscape in Washington that's in constant flux and a tight deadline for taking action before provisions of the rule officially come into force.

"To me, it's an unknown," Maureen Thompson, vice president of public policy at the CFP Board of Standards Inc., said at InvestmentNews' annual Retirement Income Summit in Chicago in response to a question about whether the rule will go through and as written.

Ms. Thompson said the implementation date of the Obama-era rule, which raises investment advice standards in retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s, is likely to remain June 9. It has already been delayed once by the Trump administration, from April 10.

American Equity Committed to Independent Channel, Despite BIC

InsuranceNewsNet; April 24, 2017

Despite a drop in fixed indexed annuity sales last year, the president of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. said Friday the company has no intention of steering sales away from the independent agent channel.

FIA sales at the company fell 16 percent to $5.7 billion in 2016 compared to 2015 but the drop had more to do with competition from Security Benefit Life coming back into the income guarantee market and a newly competitive Athene USA, executives said.

Overall, the indexed annuity market cooled significantly at the end of last year as fourth quarter sales fizzled 13 percent to $14 billion compared with the year-ago period, according to industry tracker LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.

Some broker-dealers changing indexed-annuity compensation due to DOL fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; Apr 24, 2017 @ 12:12 pm

Brokerage firms are evaluating how they and their advisers get paid for indexed annuity sales to clients, as the start date of a new Labor Department rule governing investment advice in retirement accounts inches closer.

At present, many broker-dealers don't require their advisers to clear indexed annuity sales through the brokerage, as they would with products like mutual funds and variable annuities. Instead, firms allow advisers to report sales as an "outside business activity," and receive commissions either directly from the insurance company or field marketing organization, an intermediary that helps market and distribute insurance products.

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