Life insurance groups have stepped up efforts to shape a major pension benefit bill as lawmakers set about reconciling the House and Senate versions.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., and the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, a NAIFA division, have sent one letter asking members of the conference committee in charge of reconciliation of the bill, H.R. 2830, to include a number of features of the bill approved by the House.
NAIFA and AHIA are supporting House bill provisions that would let agents offer investment advice to participants in defined contribution plans, let insurers sell hybrid annuities containing long term care riders, and help workers do something with cash left over in flexible spending accounts.
Because of current conflict of interest restrictions in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, only 16% of 401(k) participants have a financial advisory service available to them through their employer-sponsored retirement plan, representatives for NAIFA and AHIA write in the letter.
The House bill would do far more to eliminate the restrictions inhibiting employers and financial advisors who are employed by the employer’s 401 (k)-plan provider from helping employees evaluate plan investment options, NAIFA and AHIA representatives write.