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DOL Fiduciary News: November 30, 2017

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State Insurance Regulators Could Set Their Own Best Interest Standard

ThinkAdvisor; November 29, 2017

State insurance regulators are preparing to discuss a proposal for adding a best interest standard to their own annuity sales standards model.

Earlier this year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners set up an Annuity Suitability Working Group to look at the NAIC's Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (Model Number 275).

The working group plans to look at a draft model revision that includes best interest provisions on Sunday, during a session at the upcoming NAIC fall national meeting in Honolulu.

Have annuity sales bottomed out?

InvestmentNews; Nov 29, 2017 @ 2:46 pm

Annuity sales have fallen to their lowest point in well over a decade, but industry experts believe a turnaround is at hand.

Sales among all annuity products in the third quarter were $46.8 billion, the first time since 2002 that quarterly sales have dipped below $50 billion, according to the Limra Secure Retirement Institute, which tracks insurance products.

Limra and other industry experts attribute the recent dip primarily to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, which places stricter standards on the sale of investment products such as annuities to retirement investors. The rule partially came into effect in June.

However, with much of brokerages' compliance efforts behind them, annuity sales will likely begin creeping upward again.

"This might be the bottom of it, at least for the near future," said Jamie Hopkins, professor of retirement income at The American College of Financial Services. "I'd expect a slight bounce back in Q4, probably not tremendously higher, and next year back to 2016-type levels."

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