More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Registration Requirements for Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs) When individuals launch an advisory firm, they must avoid marketing themselves or the firm as investment advisors before they are properly approved and registered. Otherwise, they are subject to severe penalties.
- The Need for Thorough and Effective Policies and Procedures Whethere an advisor is SEC or state-registered, RIAs must revise their policies and procedures to address significant compliance problems occurring during the year, changes in business arrangements, and regulatory developments.
Recent headlines concerning the disposition of life insurance assets to deceased veterans' families have sparked an investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into the practice along with an outcry from veterans' groups and class action lawsuits by veterans' families. The news hitting the press in recent days reports that beneficiaries did not receive benefits in a lump sum, that benefits were not FDIC insured, and that families said they were not advised of the practices.
According to a Bloomberg Markets magazine report, cited in another Bloomberg article, "life insurance companies keep money in their own accounts, instead of paying a lump sum directly to survivors when a policy holder dies. The insurers pay uncompetitive interest rates and offer misleading guarantees about the safety of accounts that aren't federally insured."
So loud has been the outcry that Representative Debbie Halvorson (D-Illinois) has introduced legislation "that would require companies such as Prudential Financial Inc. to tell beneficiaries how their money will be invested and how much the insurer stands to make from holding the funds." Cuomo's fraud investigation has already resulted in subpoenas for Prudential Financial and MetLife, Inc.
The new NAIC working group will be co-chaired by Roger Sevigny, NAIC past president and insurance commissioner of New Hampshire, and Thomas Sullivan, NAIC life insurance and annuities committee chair and insurance commissioner of Connecticut.
"We want consumers to have as many choices as possible in how they receive their claims payments, but we also want to make certain the terms of those payments are fully disclosed in language that is clear and easy to understand," Jane Cline, NAIC president and West Virginia insurance commissioner, said in a statement.
Regulators working through the Financial Condition Committee will also consider enhancements to life insurance product reporting requirements; this will be in addition to whatever action is taken by the working group.