Speakers had more meat for the annuity community than for the long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry today at the White House Conference on Aging.
The Obama administration used the 2015 event to promote a U.S. Department of Labor fiduciary standard proposal that the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) hates — and it unveiled a Labor Department retirement benefits annuitization proposal that retirement plan advisors might like.
The administration also announced smaller-scale proposals for improving retirement benefits and caregiver support.
President Obama said in a speech at the conference that preparing for retirement is getting tougher.
“Too many older Americans leave the workforce without having saved enough for a dignified retirement,” Obama said. “It’s not as if they haven’t tried. There are a lot of folks out there who work really, really hard, but, at the end of the day, still don’t have enough of a nest egg.”
Presidents have been organizing the conference events roughly every 10 years since the days of the Kennedy administration.
Belle Likover, a social worker, talked in a video shown during the conference about meeting the late Rep. Claude Pepper, a leader in aging policy efforts, at the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.
“The thing that strikes me,” she said, “is that the issues are the same year after year.”
But, in some cases, all of the talk at an aging conference turns into changes that have major effects on insurers, producers and policyholders.
For a look at some of the changes discussed at the White House today, read on.
1. Annuitization selection safe harbor clarification
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez promoted the Obama administration’s uniform fiduciary standard proposal, which could affect both commission-based and fee-based investment advisors.
“We need a standard that ensures investors that the people providing advice are working in your self-interest,” Perez said.
Obama himself talked about the fiduciary standard at the conference.
“The goal here is to put end to Wall Street brokers who benefit from backdoor payments or hidden fees at the expense of their clients,” Obama said.