The Senate voted unanimously last week to pass a bill that would impose new rules on companies selling life insurance and other financial services products on military bases.
The Senate bill, S. 418, the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act, was introduced by Sens. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
S. 418 is different from H.R. 458, the military sales bill the House passed in June 2005, and congressional leaders already are preparing to set up a conference committee to reconcile the bills.
S. 418 would:
–Bar the sale of contract mutual funds, which have especially high fees in their early years, on military bases.
–Make it clear that military bases fall under the jurisdiction of the insurance department of the state in which the base is located.
–Require the U.S. Department of Defense to maintain a list of individuals who have been barred from a base for unfair sales practices.
One major difference between S. 418 and H.R. 458 is that the House bill includes provisions dealing with “payday loan” services. The Senate bill does not contain payday loan provisions because the Senate plans to address the issue separately.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, issued a statement welcoming the passage of S. 418.
“The men and women who protect our country deserve no less than a full commitment to help them financially, which is why life insurers strongly support S. 418,” ACLI President Frank Keating says.