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A group for life, annuity and long-term care insurance distributors is asking independent insurance agents to help it fight the U.S. Department of Labor’s new sales standards regulation draft.

The Federation of Americans for Consumer Choice (FACC) has sent out an email asking FACC members and supporters to write to the White House, U.S. senators and U.S. representatives to oppose the current version of the regulation.

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The Labor Department is developing the new “Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees” regulation to replace an earlier version that was developed by the department during the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Obama-era regulators tried to develop a broad, tough fiduciary rule. That effort included a draconian set of guidelines for issuers of indexed annuities.

The administration of President Donald Trump let that version of the regulation die in court, by declining to defend the regulation against industry lawsuits.

DOL officials say they have tried to make their new draft regulation compatible with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest.

The new version applies only to asset rollovers from retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, into individual savings arrangements. That version lets agents and distributors collect sales commissions.

A number of insurer and distributor groups have expressed concerns about the new version of the regulation.

Kim O’Brien, FACC’s chief executive officer, says in the FACC email that, “Independent insurance agents like you are under attack again.”

“If you don’t act right now, the U.S. Department of Labor will adopt a rule that could turn you into a ‘fiduciary and forever change the way you do business,” O’Brien says in the letter. “You must let your elected officials know immediately — before it’s too late — that you oppose the ‘Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees’ regulation issued by the Department of Labor. The regulation would make it much harder for you to help clients with IRA products, add to your cost of doing business, and could make it impossible for you to remain an independent agent representing multiple carriers.”

FACC is a Milwaukee-based group for independent life, annuity and LTCI distributors. It seeks to promote “recognition of the value of fixed insurance and annuity products and related services offered through the independent distribution channel.”

The group also hopes to promote the “preservation of freedom of choice for consumers who seek products and services of independent agents and agencies that provide fixed insurance and annuity products on behalf of multiple carriers.”

The group has set up a form page that a financial professional can use to send emails about the draft regulation to the White House, the financial professional’s senators, and the financial professional’s House member.

Kim O’Brien, the CEO of FACC, is also the CEO of Americans for Asset Protection (AAP). Paul Feldman, the chairman of AAP, is the president and publisher of InsuranceNewsNet.com and InsuranceNewsNet Magazine.

— Read Life Industry Reps Try to Speed Shape DOL Rollover Standards Drafton ThinkAdvisor.

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