The Treasury Department has expressed support for allowing a long term care rider to be added to annuities.
In comments before the D.C. Bar Association on March 7, Mark Warshawsky, assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, also said the department would support allowing insurance agents to offer investment advice to participants in 401(k) programs.
In his comments, Warshawsky said the administration strongly supports a permanent extension of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001′s annual contribution limits for IRAs and qualified defined contribution plans. Under current law, these provisions are due to sunset at the end of 2010.
All of these provisions are contained in the House version of legislation reforming the defined benefit pension. The life insurance industry, both underwriters and agents, strongly supports and lobbied heavily for inclusion of these provisions and others in the House version of the pension reform bill.
Interestingly, Warshawsky did not touch on a provision in the Senate bill long sought by the industry–best practices and codification of corporate-owned life insurance. The industry, especially the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Falls Church, Va., is strongly lobbying for inclusion of this provision in the bill.
Negotiations to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills are expected to get under way shortly. The negotiators are working against an April 17 deadline, the date when corporations have to make their first quarter payments to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.