|By Richard Burnett, Orlando Sentinel|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But while the Safeguard Our Seniors Act has apparently discouraged the use of shady sales techniques and other abuses, the life-insurance industry -- which is already pushing to change the law -- is still at odds with the financial regulators and the financial planners over what it should cover.
According to state regulators, during the first 12 months after the law took effect in
"Annuity complaints are down, which also causes enforcement actions to go down," said
Some problems persist. A
"My impression is that this law is working," said
Earlier this year, insurers pressed for new legislation based on a model developed by the
But according to Fitzgerald, the industry proposal in its earliest drafts threatened many of the protections in Safeguard Our Seniors. The amended bill eventually failed to pass the state Legislature.
Industry officials dispute any notion that they are trying to undermine
"We believe Safeguard Our Seniors has been effective in
Miller said the industry plans to lobby for the national-model bill again next spring when state lawmakers convene in
"My view is that
Certified financial planners and insurance agents have been butting heads over annuities in
Planners argue that annuities are only one piece of a person's overall investment and financial plan, and they accuse some insurance agents of viewing them more as opportunities to generate hefty sales commissions. Insurers argue that they are just as concerned about the financial well-being of their customers as planners are, and they accuse some planners of exaggerating what they describe as isolated problems within the industry.