NAIFA-NYS BILLS

CONTINUING EDUCATION (CE) CREDITS SUPPORT

A5922 (Hunter) / S4365 (Breslin, Brooks)

Bill Purpose & NAIFA-NYS Position: NAIFA-NYS TOP PRIORITY BILL.  Requires the Superintendent of Financial Services to grant three (3) continuing education credits for all active members of a statewide professional insurance producer association. The bill defines a “statewide professional insurance producer association” and lists the requirements that the licensed producer and professional insurance association must meet for the insurance to be considered “active” for the continuing education credits.

The bill outlines the information that must be provided by both the licensed insurance producer and statewide professional insurance producer association to the Superintendent in order to obtain such continuing education credits.

The bill is a revised version of a bill that passed unanimously in the Assembly and in a 62-1 vote in the Senate last session, and would authorize three (rather than six) CE credits.  The Governor vetoed the previous bill, citing concern over the number of CE credits it would allow.

New York’s insurance producer associations promote professionalism, best practices, ethical compliance, continuing education training and networking opportunities to their members. In addition, membership in these associations provide younger members an opportunity to be mentored by more established insurance producers thereby enhancing their business prospects. Thus, it is in the best interest of the State of New York to encourage insurance producers to join such associations and participate in that association’s meetings, conferences and educational seminars.

Status: A5922 – introduced February 20, 2019 and referred to Assembly Insurance Committee; S4365 – introduced on March 11, 2019 and referred to Senate Insurance Committee, sent to the Senate on May 13, passed the Senate 60-0 on June 4.

REBATING LAW REFORM SUPPORT

S3524 (Breslin, Seward)

Bill Purpose & NAIFA-NYS Position: Imposes a standard for services offered by life insurance companies and producers, which requires that to show a violation of the anti-rebating statute, the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services must show that the offered service was the sole reason for the sale of the policy and that such sale would not have taken place without the offered service.  This standard will restore the statute’s original intent to prevent insurance sales made solely to obtain a service, while allowing the providing to insureds of valuable services that happen to come along with the purchase of the insurance policy.  A need has arisen to create a clear standard with which all parties may use to ensure compliance with the law and also which allows insurers and producers to convey value to insureds along with the insurance policy, while returning to the original intent and purpose of the anti-rebating statutes.

Status: Senate Insurance Committee 

OTHER BILL WE SUPPORT

INTERSTATE INSURANCE PRODUCT COMPACTSUPPORT

A1180 (Simotas) / S3507 (Breslin, Seward)

Bill Purpose and NAIFA-NYS Position:  We SUPPORT this bill, which establishes New York State’s eligibility to become a member of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact (IIPRC), intended to improve product approval conditions by establishing a single point-of-filing for life insurance policy forms.  Products approved by the Compact Commission may be sold in every member state.

Status: A1180 in the Assembly Insurance Committee; S3507 in the Senate Insurance Committee 

BILLS WE OPPOSE

REQUIREMENT FOR ADVISING SENIORSOPPOSE

A2727 (Bichotte)

Bill Purpose and NAIFA-NYS Position: We OPPOSE this legislation, which would require financial planners working with the elderly to hold the professional designation of Certified Financial Planners. Should this bill become law, no other quality educational credentials, and more importantly, no other competent practitioners (who simply don’t have the requisite singular designation) would be acceptable in New York State to provide guidance, assistance, advice and product to many seniors.

Status:  Assembly Committee on Banks

MANDATING DISCLOSURE BY NON-FIDUCIARIESOPPOSE

A2467-A (Dinowitz) / S2872-A (Hoylman)

Bill Purpose and NAIFA-NYS Position: We OPPOSE this bill, which requires that brokers and financial advisors who are not subject to a fiduciary duty tell current and prospective clients, both orally and in writing, that:  “A non-fiduciary investment advisor is not required by law to act solely in the client’s best interest.  Federal law, state law, and standards of professional conduct do not apply a fiduciary standard to my investment recommendations, although other standards may apply.  You may ask any advisor to explain to you the standards that apply to their investment recommendations.”  In addition, any investment brochures, advertising material, and related information give to the client must include the disclosure statement “in a clear and conspicuous manner”.  The bill empowers the Attorney General to enforce the Act and provides for civil penalties (up to $5,000 per violation).

NAIFA-NYS supports appropriate, balanced disclosures.  The one-sided disclosure required under A2467-A/S2872-A, however, does not come close to telling the complete story and amounts to little more than “fiduciary good, all others bad”.

An appropriate disclosure that paints a more complete picture of the standard-of-care landscape would (1) discuss the protections provided by FINRA’s suitability standard and the robust rules-based regulatory regime that applies to the broker-dealers/registered representatives who are covered by the standard; (2) overview the frequency and types of examinations that FINRA requires of broker-dealers, and that FINRA and broker-dealers require of registered representatives; and (3) compare and contract these items with the regulatory regime and examination requirements that apply to investment advisors with a fiduciary duty.

Status:  A2476-A in Assembly Codes Committee; S2872-A in Senate Judiciary Committee. Bills were amended on May 23, 2019.