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Done with DOL Rule, Lobbyists Take Aim at SEC Best-Interest Proposal

June 8, 2018

Lobbyists from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors are gearing up to argue against the SEC’s “best-interest” proposal, which includes a customer relationship disclosure document aiming to limit who can designate themselves an advisor, FA Magazine reports.

While Diane Boyle, NAIFA’s senior vice president of government relations, says NAIFA is still analyzing 1000 pages of documents and aims to comment on other sections of the proposed regulation, NAIFA will first target a section trying to limit who can and cannot be referred to as an advisor. NAIFA insists the provision – by limiting who can call themselves an advisor – gives investors less clarity, therefore worsening the advice they receive, Boyle says.

Fighting to allow the use of the title of “advisor” without added regulation to prevent NAIFA members from giving investment advice is apparently crucial to helping Americans retire, Boyle insists. Unlike RIAs, NAIFA members are mostly made up of broker-dealer reps and insurance agents not required to abide by a fiduciary standard.

To accomplish its goal of changing the best interest proposal, NAIFA lobbyists have met with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, as well as various SEC commissioners and staff. The SEC proposal is open to comments through Aug. 7, 2018.

The lobby group had previously supported legislation aimed at halting implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. That attempt to dismantle the DOL rule was ultimately vetoed by President Barack Obama in June 2016. However, the DOL rule was ultimately stuck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit earlier this year, as reported.

(Getty)

While lobbying against the fiduciary rule, Kevin Mayeux, CEO of NAIFA, said the rule improperly classified interactions between insurance salespeople and retirement savers as fiduciary advice. Mayeux insists the interactions are not of a fiduciary nature.

By Garrett Keyes
  • To read the FA Magazine article cited in this story, click here.