Insurance agency Market Synergy Group filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
It seeks an injunction to stop the DOL's controversial fiduciary rule. The complaint calls the rule “arbitrary” and “capricious,” as do previous lawsuits.
As in other suits, Market Synergy claims the DOL has no authority to enact the rule. The company, based in Topeka, said the rule could harm retirees by restricting their access to instruments like fixed annuities, which can provide steady retirement income.
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Perhaps most significantly, the lawsuit argues that the DOL overreached by moving fixed indexed annuities into the restrictive Best Interest Contract Exemption, a move that was made after public comment was completed.
"The Department acted without providing adequate notice and an opportunity for comment, reflecting arbitrary and capricious conduct in excess of its statutory authority and in clear violation of its obligations to make necessary findings under applicable law," the lawsuit reads.
The 37-page complaint was filed by Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, a Washington D.C. law firm.
Earlier Thursday, the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council filed a fourth lawsuit, the first 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.
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.
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 protected].
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