The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is a done deal at this point but there is another "asteroid" flying through the atmosphere toward the financial services industry. That is how NAIFA's Vice President of Government Relations Gary Sanders described another set of fiduciary regulations expected to be enacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
NAIFA's government relations staff discussed fiduciary regulations as part of a rundown of proposed legislation and regulation presented at the NAIFA 2016 Conference on Monday.
The SEC is treating the DOL's fiduciary rule "as a live experiment," said Judi Carsrud, NAIFA Director of Government Relations. She predicted the SEC will more more slowly toward enacting fiduciary regulations. "(The SEC) will want to make sure anything they do will be enhancing and not impeding," she said.
Carsrud said NAIFA government relations staff want to have what she called "roll-up-your-sleeve meetings" with the SEC to discuss fiduciary regulations.
As for most of the other items on the NAIFA legislative agenda, the outcome is up in the air until a new president and a new Congress are elected in November.
Among the issues discussed at the conference were tax reform and possible changes to the Affordable Care Act.
How much of a priority tax reform will be in Washington will depend on which party will be in power after the election. "How would insurance and annuities be affected by tax reform? We don't know yet," said Diane Boyle, NAIFA Senior Vice President of Government Relations. "There may be some discreet changes made in the tax code - loophole closing - where our products could be in peril," she said.
The future direction of the ACA also depends on which party rules Washington, NAIFA's government relations staff explained. The Republicans want to repeal the ACA's individual and employer mandates, and expand health savings accounts. Democrat want to expand the ACA and renew their efforts toward establishing a single-payer system.