With the DOL Fiduciary Rule now partially in effect, an increasing number of new tools are being introduced to help advisors and insurance agents comply in the new environment.
BGAs and FMOs have worked diligently in recent months to prepare their agents for implementation of the rule, even as doubt remains as to whether or not it will indeed become fully implemented on Jan. 1, 2018. But they aren’t the only ones putting together resources. Merely as an example of some of the kind of help that’s out there, here’s a look at a trio of new tools intended to provide support for producers as they navigate the complexities of the rule.
IRI’s ClientsFirstPro.org Fiduciary Rule implementation resources
The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) launched a website June 9 that provides financial professionals with educational resources for the post partial-implementation Fiduciary Rule environment.
The site, ClientsFirstPro.org,equips financial professionals with practice management tools to support industry efforts to foster substantial and beneficial relationships with investors.
“ClientsFirstPro.org is a one-stop-shop for all the educational materials a financial professional could need to transition under the partial implementation of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule,” said IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford. “Given the many complexities of the rule, financial advisors will benefit greatly from having real-time access to the most up-to-date information, tools, and resources that will help them understand, navigate and adapt to these new regulations.”
Features of ClientsFirstPro.org include:
• Fiduciary Rule FAQs
• The Latest DOL News
• Fiduciary Rule Compliance Training Videos
• Practice Management Webinars
• Planning Calculators
• Continuing Education Opportunities
IRI adds that the educational value of ClientsFirstPro.org extends beyond the DOL rule by providing financial professionals with FINRA-approved materials, webinars, and videos designed to help them maintain good practice management standards and client education.
Nationwide helps advisors prepare for first phase of Fiduciary Rule
With the first phase of the Department of Labor's (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule now in effect, the Nationwide Retirement Institute® is providing resources and support to help advisors incorporate a best interest process with clients.
"Nationwide's goal is to break down and simplify this complex issue so advisors can focus their attention on building client relationships," said Kevin McGarry, director of the Nationwide Retirement Institute. "We've been working on making this transition as easy as possible, because clients need help and advisors are seeking clarity on the rule."
Starting June 9, those who give advice on investments within retirement accounts are now held to the Impartial Conduct Standards, which have three requirements:
- Advice is in the best interest of the customer
- Compensation is reasonable
- Statements about investment transactions, compensation and conflicts of interest are not misleading
The full requirements will go into effect on Jan. 1, barring further regulatory or legislative changes.
"Through our focused DOL implementation efforts over the past two years, Nationwide is more prepared than ever to position advisors for success," McGarry said. "Nationwide has been meeting in person with advisors across the country about the DOL rule. Everyone has been busy developing their game plan. And they want our help."
The Nationwide Retirement Institute's DOL website provides resources for firms and advisors wrestling with the complexities of the fiduciary rule, such as identifying any new requirements as a fiduciary, taking a close look at the Best Interest Contract Exemption, understanding how the regulations may affect their business and how to address common client questions.
These new tools became available on June 9, and also help advisors implement a prudent process that puts clients' interests at the center of advice-giving, simplifying complex topics like:
- Optimizing Social Security filing decisions
- Estimating health care costs in retirement
- Planning for long-term care expenses
- Understanding market dynamics
Nationwide’s resources help advisors serve a variety of client needs, whether working in a commission-based or fee-based model. With the acquisition of Jefferson National, operating as Nationwide's advisory solutions business, Nationwide offers resources leveraging tax-deferred investing to accumulate wealth. Financial professionals can access the educational video on Maximizing Tax Deferral, visit the Knowledge Bank, or call the Advisor Support Desk at (866) 667-0564.
"As America's largest and most affluent generation moves into retirement, they need help from professionals who can expertly and confidently develop retirement planning strategies," McGarry said. "Through the Nationwide Retirement Institute, we help advisors provide effective guidance to clients tackling the toughest investment and retirement challenges – with tools, resources and hands-on support that fosters informed actions."
LifeAnswers launches a simple solution to the DOL Fiduciary Rule
LifeAnswers Financial Group has launched what it believes is the simplest solution for insurance agents to comply with DOL Fiduciary Rule during the Rule’s transition period that runs from June 9 through December 31, 2017.
The LifeAnswers DOL Platform provides for an insurance agent to comply with the DOL Fiduciary Rule at no additional cost to the agent, requires no new licenses and no technology fees.
Elements of the LifeAnswers DOL Platform include:
• A select platform of top rated carriers
• Full product training support
• Referrals to industry sources for fiduciary and Rule training
• Suggested DOL disclosure format based on platform insurance carrier suggested formats
• Available group Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage including Fiduciary Rule coverage
• An annuity product selector tool
• Full optional e-application support for all platform insurance carriers beginning in July of this year.
LifeAnswers has made the decision that insurance agents working with the company will use a form supporting the Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (PTE) 84-24 exception during client meetings during the transition period.
LifeAnswers Financial Group estimates between 55 and 65 percent of all annuity sales will be impacted by the Rule.
“There are still some major unknowns for insurance agents to be aware of as the Rule may go into full implementation on January 1, 2018 or it may be modified,” said LifeAnswers CEO Harry N. Stout. “Either way, insurance agents can rest assured that LifeAnswers Financial Group will continue to monitor the implementation of the Rule and will provide appropriate solutions to its independent agent base as more information becomes available.”
LifeAnswers bills itself as a “direct-to-the-agent marketing and life insurance sales opportunity that combines a next generation technology platform, a compound recruiting model and a top-of-industry compensation plan backed by progressive training, consumer lead and education systems.”
LifeAnswers has been designed for existing Independent Marketing Organizations (IMOs) and independent insurance agents to achieve higher levels of success.
Learn more information about LifeAnswers Financial Group and its approach to the DOL Fiduciary Rule.
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