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IRI Makes It to Charleston

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Members of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, today for the group’s Vision19 annual conference.

Just a week ago, organizers were worrying that Hurricane Dorian might force IRI to postpone or cancel the three-day event.

Charleston weathered the hurricane well. Hurricane-related worries are now in the organizers’ past. But issuers of annuities and other retirement income arrangements are still preparing for the arrival of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) — and for the aging of the baby boomers.

(Related: IRI Taps Prudential Exec as Next CEO)

Wayne Chopus, the new IRI president, told attendees today, during welcoming remarks, that an average of about 10,000 U.S. baby boomers are retiring every day, and that the companies in the lifetime income industry is poised to help them.

“Our industry offers the only source of guaranteed lifetime income products that can replicate the benefits of defined benefit pensions,” Chopus said, according to a summary of his remarks provided by IRI. “Plus, we have worked very hard to advance federal legislation that will vastly expand access to workplace retirement plans and lessen the barriers for those plans to offer lifetime income products.”

IRI is one of the groups trying to push the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act bill through the Senate, in the face of opponents’ objections to some of the “pay for” provisions.

IRI is also helping members prepare for the onset of Reg BI sales standards rules, and helping members shape the sales standard regulation proposals under discussion elsewhere, such as in state capitals, at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Reg BI critics have said that Reg BI will do little curb abusive financial services sales and marketing practices.

IRI says Reg BI will impose tougher regulations.

One sign of how much Reg BI concerns IRI members: IRI balanced the many Vision19 Reg BI sessions with a workshop entitled “All Things NOT Reg BI.”

— Read Life and Annuity Groups Celebrate House Passage of Secure Act Bill, on ThinkAdvisor.

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