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DOL Fiduciary News: August 24, 2017

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DOL Fiduciary Rule Seems To Impact Annuity Sales

Plansponsor; Aug 23, 2017

Annuity sales during the first half of the year fell to a point not seen since the first half of 2001, according to research by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. 

The organization reports that total annuity sales for the first half of 2017 decreased to $105.8 billion, marking a 10% decline from the first six months of 2016.

LIMRA notes that second quarter results for total annuity sales rose slightly from last quarter to $53.9 billion, but they still reflected an 8% decline from this quarter last year. U.S. variable annuity sales in particular were $24.7 billion in the second quarter, down 8% compared with prior year results. This marks the 14th consecutive quarter of decline in variable annuity sales.

Recent Developments on DOL Fiduciary Rule

National Law Review; Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Although portions of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule went into effect on June 9, it remains under constant attack on multiple fronts – from legislators, industry leaders, and even the Department of Labor itself. 

There have been several attempts to kill the Fiduciary Rule in recent months.  On June 8, The Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10), which overhauls the Dodd-Frank Act and in the process repeals the Fiduciary Rule, passed by a vote of 233 to 186 in the Republican-led House.  It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

In an attempt to hit the Fiduciary Rule where it really hurts, on July 19, the House Appropriations Committee approved a Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending bill for fiscal year 2018 that not only reduces the Department of Labor’s budget, but blocks enforcement of the Fiduciary Rule.  The bill passed by a vote of 28 to 22.

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