An estimated 1,000 life insurance agents will be advising their legislative representatives on the importance of maintaining strong incentives for people to save as part of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers annual conference being held in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, told them, “You are interwoven in American history. When you spread the message about the great life insurance industry, you are spreading the great tale of American history,” as part of an issues briefing. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also spoke.
|NAIFA members in Washington, D.C.|
On Tuesday, the attendees will go to Capitol Hill for a total of 428 meetings with their senators and representatives.
They will be visiting Capitol Hill as key members of Congress work to draft a blueprint for major tax reform they hope to get Congress to consider this year.
The tax rates on virtually all insurance products will likely be on the table as Congress considers how to reduce the burgeoning U.S. deficit, including the tax advantage provided for inside buildup in life insurance products.
For example, in his budget for fiscal year 2014 revealed late last week, President Obama proposed a cumulative limit on individual tax-favored retirement saving accounts, including IRA rollovers, of $3 million, a proposal which generated a lot of angst in the insurance agent and financial adviser community.
The industry fears that proposal implies that the entire issue of inside buildup will be in the cross-hairs of Congress if comprehensive tax reform is debated in this Congress.Diane Boyle, NAIFA vice president for federal government relations, acknowledged that the issue is a priority for agents and advisors.
She said NAIFA is preparing to counter the argument that the “inside-buildup” incentive mainly benefits wealthy investors, arguing that nearly 60 percent of the households served by NAIFA members earn less than $100,000 annually.
“We want to maintain those safety nets for individuals that are truly needy,” Boyle said.