DOL Fiduciary News: January 25, 2018
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Deloitte Regulatory Leader: Individual US States Leading Regulatory Ramp-Up
News Service via Bestwire -- January 24, 2018 12:00 PM
NEW YORK -- Howard Mills, global insurance regulatory leader, Deloitte, said tighter standards for cyber, consumer interests and other changes introduced by New York, California and others have spurred more aggressive regulation at the national level. Mills spoke with A.M. BestTV at the Joint Industry Forum 2018 in New York.
Following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Q: What are the big regulatory challenges facing the industry in 2018?
A: There are quite a few of them. It’s really going to be defined by the dynamic between the federal government and the state government. You’re hearing a lot of talk out of Washington of a lighter regulatory environment for financial services. That may be true for banks but we need to remember that the state regulatory system remains the primary regulator of the states. We may, in fact, see a very challenging regulatory environment as the states begin to move to fill what they might perceive as a vacuum coming from a less-active federal government.
Will Congress pass a relaxed annuity safe harbor?
BenefitsPro.com; January 24, 2018
Days after the 116th Congress convened for business, bipartisan legislation that would relax the existing safe harbor for offering annuities in 401(k) plans was reintroduced in the House of Representatives.
The Increasing Access to a Secure Retirement Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-DE, and Rep. Tim Walberg, R-MI, would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and give sponsors of 401(k) plans the regulatory clarity on annuities they’ve been requesting for years.
In 2008, the Bush-era Labor Department issued a safe harbor defining sponsors’ fiduciary obligations when selecting annuity providers for retirement plans.
The guidance was written with the intention of broadening 401(k) participants’ access to guaranteed income products.