The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) announced this month they have increased coordination of programs that support member professional development and networking, and political advocacy and engagement on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the U.S.
“NAIFA and NAILBA are closely aligned in our commitments to advance the knowledge and professionalism of insurance and financial advisors and position our members as industry leaders in financial services,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, CAE. “This partnership reflects commitments from both organizations to create opportunities to leverage our organizational strengths while ensuring our members have the knowledge to serve their clients and to speak in a unified voice.”
“NAILBA and NAIFA have worked together on previous programs that benefit our members, and we welcome the evolving collaborative relationship to advance our missions of advocating on behalf of the industry, our members and the clients we serve,” NAILBA CEO Dan LaBert said. “Americans’ ability to save and plan for their futures is at an all-time low. Consumers need access to advisors and agents who can help them address the financial realities of retirement. This collaboration demonstrates leadership and forward-thinking strategies to advance industry-wide efforts to bring value to millions of American households and businesses that need our products and services to plan for secure futures.”
Membership and development
Opportunities for formal collaboration in the areas of membership and professional development include:
- NAILBA and NAIFA will each encourage membership in the other party’s organization.
- NAIFA and NAILBA will collaborate on mutually agreed upon professional development and education offerings including the NAIFA Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) certification.
Advocacy and government relations
Opportunities for formal collaboration in advocacy and government relations include:
- NAIFA and NAILBA will form a joint task force to foster greater collaboration of advocacy efforts and leadership across both organizations.
- NAIFA will represent NAILBA on agreed upon industry task forces and coalitions that work to advance the parties’ mutual interests on key legislative and regulatory issues.
- NAIFA will represent NAILBA on agreed upon issues in state capitals, before state insurance and other financial regulators, and at the federal level as appropriate.
- NAIFA can provide advocacy experts at NAILBA meetings, as well as lead government relations webinars and other presentations.
- NAILBA members can participate in NAIFA’s Congressional Conference and NAIFA state chapter Days at the State Capitol.
- NAIFA can provide grassroots advocacy training for NAILBA members, as well as access to NAIFA GovAlerts and other resources.
“NAIFA has a proud history as the leading advocacy organization in Washington for agents and advisors,” Mayeux said. “We’re pleased to team up with NAILBA to strengthen the industry voice on important matters that lie ahead in Washington and in state legislatures. We must remain vigilant in order to operate in a positive legislative and regulatory environment that benefits the industry and consumers.”
Mayeux cited a number of challenges, including state-run retirement plan proposals, tax reform, and federal and state efforts to revise the standards of care owed by advisors to their clients.
“NAIFA leaders have held meetings with a majority of the SEC Commissioners’ offices to discuss the SEC’s pending Regulation Best Interest proposal. At the same time, advisors in numerous states have largely been successful in opposing legislation that would have cost states a lot of scarce money to set up state-sponsored retirement plans that would needlessly compete with the existing vibrant and comprehensive private retirement planning market,” Mayeux added.
Other challenges include recent amendments to New York State’s Regulation 187 that impose a complicated new standard of care on annuity recommendations and broaden the scope of that regulation to include life insurance as well as annuity products.
“The mid-term elections brought dozens of new state and federal lawmakers in office. We need to build relationships and educate these new legislators about our members’ day-to-day activities, and to caution them against taking action that could be harmful to consumers’ access to needed and informed advice, products and services,” LaBert said.
NAIFA and NAILBA members will have the opportunity to educate lawmakers during the NAIFA Congressional Conference May 14-15 in Washington. In the past six years, nearly 5,000 NAIFA members from every corner of the country have come to Washington for training and updates on legislative and regulatory issues, followed by meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Said Mayeux: “As advocacy partners, NAIFA and NAILBA will work together to ensure lawmakers understand and make informed decisions about our industry and the value and solutions our members deliver to 90 million American families every day.”
About NAIFA: Founded in 1890 as The National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), NAIFA is the oldest, largest and most prestigious association representing the interests of insurance professionals from every Congressional district in the United States. Its mission – to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members – is the reason NAIFA has consistently and resoundingly stood up for agents and called upon members to grow their knowledge while following the highest ethical standards in the industry.
About NAILBA: NAILBA is the leading insurance industry organization promoting retirement security and consumer choice in the insurance and financial services marketplace through the use of independent wholesale brokerage distribution channels. NAILBA is the voice of independent brokerage distribution.