One of the problems we have inside our annuity industry (and one of the biggest problems the regulators have with us) is how we represent ourselves to consumers and the buying public. Personally, I believe every annuity professional should be comfortable saying, “I’m an insurance agent and I’d like to talk about fixed annuities.” Instead, we have a tendency to refer to ourselves as “retirement consultants” and “senior planners.” That is a problem. Annuity professionals sell an insurance product – a very valuable insurance product – called the fixed annuity.
NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, believes anyone who sells a fixed annuity is a valuable member of our insurance family and offers a service that is invaluable to Americans planning for retirement and those already in retirement. So whether you’re an insurance agent, an investment advisor, or a broker who recommends fixed annuities to your client for consideration, you are an incredible part of the future of America’s retirement security.
But we continue to struggle with the proper use of professional designations and representing ourselves as something other, something different, than what we are – annuity professionals who educate clients about the use of annuities in a sound financial plan and the benefits of purchasing a fixed annuity early in the retirement planning process. “I’m an investment adviser and I’d like to talk to you about fixed annuities.”
Currently about 36 states (over 70 percent) have approved the 2008 NAIC Model dealing with the professional designations. Model 278 has the long title of “Use of Senior-Specific Certifications and Professional Designations in the Sale of Life Insurance and Annuities” and is a template for how agents, brokers and advisors should use designations when marketing themselves and their products to consumers. NAFA just finished its Principle Paper for Use of Professional Designations. It is available to its members as an additional resource and reference tool. Both the NAIC Model language and the Principle Paper are available to NAFA members at www.nafa.com.
State specific rules