U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO, at a special hearing held by the U.S. House committee on Veteran's Affairs in 2010. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Washington, D.C. — Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, opened the 2015 NAFA Annuity Leadership Forum with a call to the emotions of our country’s lawmakers. While legislators may, at times, seem removed from the problems of regular Americans,Luetkemeyer said that if constituents want to get through to their Congressmen, then telling real stories about real people is the way to make a connection.

Pointing to his heart, Luetkemeyer told the roomful of annuity leaders, “This is how you will get through to your Congressmen when you speak to them.” 

One of the main objectives of this annual event is to make the NAFA (National Association for Fixed Annuities) Hill Walk for Fixed Annuities. What that means is NAFA members from around the country meet with their state’s legislators with the purpose of bringing awareness to annuities, retirees and the issues that affect retirees. This year, according to NAFA GRC committee chair Mark Triplett, “We’re staring down DOL. Other topics we’ll be discussing are the taxation of annuities and lifetime income disclosures.”

Triplett reiterated the words of Congressman Luetkemeyer. “We need the emotional stories. When you talk to your representative, think about who we’re here to work for. It’s our clients and we have safety and guarantees on our side.”

As Congressman Luetkemeyer concluded his speech, he reminded the audience that he and other legislators see enough spreadsheets and sit through enough tedious meetings, but that the real connection will be made by having people from the insurance industry meet with their Congressmen and communicate with them in the same manner that they meet with their clients.

Luetkemeyer, who worked in the insurance industry for 30 years before joining Congress, asked the audience a rhetorical question: “How do you make that connection with your client?”

You build trust,” someone shouted.

“That’s right, you build trust and that’s what is going to work with your Congressman this week and moving forward. Get to know them. Not just here, but back at home as well. Get to know them so when you show up for an event like this, you already have that relationship and they know why you’re there.”

Check out more of our NAFA coverage here.