Editor's Note: Check our DOL Rule page for updates, as we will be breaking down all four complaints and getting expert opinion.
- The chamber suit's eight counts.
- DOL says litigants are suing for "their own financial self-interests."
The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council filed a fourth lawsuit today against the Department of Labor and Secretary Thomas Perez over its controversial fiduciary rule.
It is the first lawsuit featuring carriers as plaintiffs. American Equity Investment Life Insurance is among the four carriers joining IALC in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas.
Like the other lawsuits, the 33-page IALC complaint alleges that the DOL lacks the statutory authority to promulgate the rule, violated the First Amendment and acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner.
"We are not disputing that retirement advisors should act in the best interests of their clients. That is not the basis of this litigation. While the DOL is attempting to redirect the focus, the reality is that the DOL fiduciary rule will harm millions of hard-working Americans who need the principal protection and lifetime guaranteed income that fixed indexed annuities offer." said Jim Poolman, executive director of IALC.
On Wednesday, the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) teamed to filed a 105-page lawsuit. Like the first lawsuit, filed by nine trade organizations and led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the ACLI/NAIFA complaint was also filed in the Northern District of Texas.
A second lawsuit was filed in District of Columbia District Court by the National Association for Fixed Annuities. According to court documents, the court will hold a hearing at 2 p.m. on Aug. 25 regarding NAFA's request for a preliminary injunction.
The IALC lawsuit asks the court to immediately set aside the DOL rule. The plaintiffs are represented by Sidley Austin, a Washington, D.C. based law firm.
The other insurance carriers involved in the lawsuit are: Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, Midland National Life Insurance and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance.
Here is the rest of Poolman's statement:
"Americans are living longer and increasingly have primary responsibility for planning for their own retirements. Because of this, fixed indexed annuities have become a critically important financial instrument to make sure their funds last through their retirement years. In addition to principal protection and guaranteed lifetime income, these products uniquely provide the ability to receive higher interest than other safe money products, without the downside risk of losing principal in down markets. By limiting access to these products, DOL harms the very people it is trying to protect—those who cannot afford to put their retirement at risk of market loss.
"During the rulemaking process, IALC provided constructive recommendations to the Department of Labor with the objective of helping finalize a rule that promotes the best interest of all Americans saving for retirement. Unfortunately, the final DOL regulation unfairly targets certain types of fixed annuity products, making it harder for Americans to purchase fixed indexed annuities when it is in their best interest to do so. IALC will continue to be a voice in advocating for retirement choices to protect millions of Americans, and this legal challenge is simply the next step in our efforts."
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at email@example.com.
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