• Grassroots Activation Call to Action:

    by Karla Nelson | May 04, 2017

    Fiduciary Rule Delay Extension

    The new Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, has been sworn in. It is imperative that he hear about an issue of vital importance to our industry and Americans saving for retirement: The Fiduciary Rule.

    We need your help! Please take action to help protect retirement savers. With one click you can send two messages: one to Secretary Acosta urging him to extend the fiduciary rule’s delay and another to your Member of Congress asking them to contact Secretary Acosta directly.

    Please click here to send a message today.

    Thank you!

  • Newt Gingrich: Trump vs. the swamp, Round III -- Democrats turn to bureaucrats to stop POTUS

    by Karla Nelson | May 01, 2017
  • NAFA Statement on Confirmation of Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 28, 2017

    Washington, D.C., April 28, 2017 – NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, released the following statement from Chip Anderson, NAFA’s Executive Director, on the confirmation of Alexander Acosta as the Secretary of the Department of Labor.

    “NAFA, extends its congratulations to Alexander Acosta on his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Labor. We look forward to working with Secretary Acosta and are hopeful that he will bring much-needed leadership to the agency and will direct his immediate attention to delaying the June 9th implementation date of the fiduciary rule.”

    “President Trump’s February 3 Memorandum was unequivocal in its directive to the Secretary that his Department conduct a full examination of the rule and to prepare an updated economic and legal analysis of the likely impacts of the rule before moving forward with any implementation of the rule’s new requirements.  The Department’s decision to implement certain parts of the rule on June 9th – including the new fiduciary definition and the impartial conduct standards – is in direct violation of the President’s order. 

    “NAFA strongly urges Secretary Acosta to take immediate action to delay the June 9th implementation date while the Department conducts its required review of the rule.”

    View Press Release

  • On fiduciary rule, Trump could actually add more exemptions

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 28, 2017
  • Analytics for The DOL & Your Clients [Webinar]

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 25, 2017
  • AAP to DOL: Rescind the Rule

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 25, 2017
  • Experts say DOL fiduciary rule's fate, timing uncertain, changes likely

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 25, 2017
  • Some broker-dealers changing indexed-annuity compensation due to DOL fiduciary rule

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 25, 2017
  • DOL Update from North American Annuity

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 18, 2017
  • AssessBEST: DOL Update - What the Delay Really Means

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 06, 2017
    View Stradley Ronon Article

    As usual there is a lot of misinformation out there, as well as speculation.  We are attaching a good overview of the Rule for Delay and what it means so you can rely on facts and not fake news. While some are suggesting the “BIC Relief” is new to this Delay – it is NOT.  The DOL already granted relief from executing a BIC last fall.  However, what IS new and good news is that we can rely on BICE and 84-24 for variable compensation relief WITHOUT the onerous disclosures, too!

    EXCEPTS from Stradley Ronon article linked above that are relevant to our business:

    Generally, because the ways in which one can become an ERISA fiduciary by reason of providing investment advice changes on June 9, 2017, exemptive relief for receipt of various forms of resulting compensation is essential. Service providers who are deemed investment advice fiduciaries under the Rule may rely upon the new PTEs (i.e., the Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption), as well as other relevant PTEs, such as PTEs 84­ 24 (Certain Transaction Involving Insurance Agents and Brokers, Pension Consultants, Insurance Companies and Investment Company Principal Underwriters) and 77­4 (Class Exemption for Certain Transactions Between Investment Companies and Employee Benefit Plans), on June 9, provided they adhere to what are referred to as the “Impartial Conduct Standards.”

    As a reminder, the “Impartial Conduct Standards” can generally be boiled down to:

    • Adherence to ERISA’s duties of prudence and loyalty;
    • Compliance with the “reasonable compensation” requirements set forth in Section 408(b)(2) of ERISA; and,
    • Avoidance of making materially misleading statements to the retirement investor on any subject that may be relevant to the investor, including information on the transaction(s), compensation, and material conflicts of interest.

    The Best Interest Contract Exemption goes into effect on June 9, 2017. Until Jan. 1, 2018 service providers (including robo advisers) may rely on this exemption for relief, provided they comply with the Impartial Conduct Standards. The controversial and more compliance­heavy conditions, such as the contract and disclosure requirements, are not required until Jan.1.

    From June 9 until Jan. 1, 2018, insurance agents, insurance brokers, pension consultants and insurance companies will be able to continue to rely on PTE 84­24, as previously written, for the recommendation and sale of fixed indexed, variable and other annuity contracts to plans and IRAs, subject to the addition of the Impartial Conduct Standards. On Jan. 1, the exemption would no longer apply to transactions involving fixed indexed annuity contracts or variable annuity contracts, and all of the conditions of the exemption would otherwise apply.

    This is great news and gives us time at minimum to NIX the BIC and the compensation disclosures! 

    Wishing you the BEST,

    Kim O’Brien
    414-332-9312 (mobile)
    480-269-9483 (office)

  • A "balanced" approach to the DOL Fiduciary Rule and its effects

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 05, 2017

    After almost a year of uncertainty surrounding the Rule and its implementation date, the DOL today issued a formal delay to the Rule until June 9, 2017. Click here to read the (as of yet) unpublished version. This will be formally published on April 5.

    Note that the DOL attempted to take a balanced approach, delaying some parts of the Rule until January 1, 2018, while assuring investors that the "Impartial Conduct Standards" will apply effective June 9, 2017.

    Note this language on pg. 18 - "The Impartial Conduct Standards generally require that advisers and financial institutions provide investment advice that is in the investors’ best interest, receive no more than reasonable compensation, and avoid misleading statements to investors about recommended transactions. As detailed in the Regulatory Impact Analysis below, a longer delay of the Rule and Impartial Conduct Standards cannot be justified based on the public record to date."

    While the DOL will be busy between now and January 1, 2018, it's clear that they - and the industry - support the implementation of impartial conduct by advisors. This includes making recommendations in the client's best interest, receiving reasonable compensation and not making misleading statements.

    The industry has the temporary relief it was hoping for - and the opportunity to continue to take steps to build compliance programs to support the Impartial Conduct Standards that will apply on June 9, 2017.

    Call or email Summit Compliance Group for to keep your DOL Rule compliance moving forward!

    Maureen C. James (mjames@summitcompliancegroup.com)
    Roger Hayashi (rhayashi@summitcompliancegroup.com)
    Co-owners / Founders of Summit Compliance Group, LLC

    Ph: 612-308-6161

  • DOL fiduciary delay final rule expected to be released Wednesday

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 05, 2017
  • DOL releases final rule delaying fiduciary implementation

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 05, 2017
  • Fiduciary rule delayed by 60 days

    by Karla Nelson | Apr 05, 2017
  • DOL fiduciary rule supporters question agency's quick read of comment letters before sending final delay to OMB

    by Karla Nelson | Mar 30, 2017
  • DOL sends final fiduciary rule delay to Office of Management and Budget

    by Karla Nelson | Mar 30, 2017
  • DOL Nominee Stands Up to Sen. Warren on Fiduciary Rule

    by Karla Nelson | Mar 23, 2017
  • Why a Delay to the DOL Rule is a Critical First Step

    by Karla Nelson | Mar 23, 2017
  • Sparks fly as DoL nominee, Sen. Warren spar over fiduciary rule's fate

    by Karla Nelson | Mar 23, 2017
  • Fiduciary rule's fate hangs in balance before Acosta hearing

    by Karla Nelson | Mar 23, 2017