NAIFA-NYS today submitted the following Letter to the Editor of Newsday, in response to an October 19 article in which AARP-New York used results of a new survey to justify creating a state-facilitated retirement program.  The study found that one in five employed Long Islanders over the age of 36 do not have a retirement plan.

October 20, 2016

To the Editor:

The 2,300 life insurance agents and financial advisors of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors—NYS cannot disagree with the findings of the recent Siena College poll commissioned by AARP New York and reported in “Future Shock,” Newsday, October 19: there are simply too many people without adequate retirement savings.

What we must take exception to is AARP NY’s advocacy for a state-facilitated retirement plan as the only answer to the problem. How about the state facilitating greater access to the products sold by New York’s own financial services industry, including and especially life insurance‎? Many people have come to reflexively turn to government for solutions to all that ails us, but that puts us on a glide path to repeats of things like Obamacare. That program, as predicted, is cratering before our very eyes. There are better answers.

The state can facilitate greater access to private-market solutions to the problem we all acknowledge is there by: 1) Offer meaningful tax incentives for purchasing life, disability and long term care insurance; 2) Speed the delivery of innovative products to market, and allow products available in other states to be sold in New York; 3) Provide and encourage real financial education, especially among our young, by including it in the curriculums of our high schools.

There may be some place for a state-sponsored plan, but that should only be considered when all private-market options have been explored and exhausted.  We are still very far away from that point in time.

Lawrence Holzberg, LUTCF

NAIFA-NYS President