Despite what you have heard, the implementation of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule will bring huge changes to the way annuity producers sell annuities and even approach the topic with clients. Although a part of the rule called BIC (or best-interest contract) has been delayed until January 2018, the burden has now been placed on you the producer to comply with other parts of the rule.
By now, you probably know that opposition to the rule is widespread. A recent “Time” magazine article summed up the industry’s sentiment by calling the rule, although well intentioned, “unduly burdensome and costly to implement.”
To help get you up to speed on what you might not know, here is a status update as of today:
- The DOL officially delayed the April 10, 2017 implementation date until June 9, 2017
- On June 9, agents willbe subject to Impartial Conduct Standards (ICS) on the qualified sale of all fixed and indexed annuities.
- The standard includes 3 key components:
- » Act in the best interest of the client
- » Be paid reasonable compensation
- » Make no misleading statements
- Agents must have systems and processes in place to demonstrate compliance with the standard.
Davis Life & Annuity has been in business for over 36 years because we have always adapted to change and helped our agents do the same. Our position now that the rule has been delayed — the rule will bring tremendous changes to the industry very soon; however, it is another challenge that we will meet, beat and be better for it!
Here are 3 steps to prepare your business for a post-DOL fiduciary marketplace:
- Davis Life & Annuity, in partnership with AmeriLife®— the firm which customized a DOL-compliant and sales-enhancing tool using a Nobel Prize winning theory, is offering its system at minimal cost to Davis Life producers. AmeriLife® has developed this exclusive software to 1) help annuity producers stay compliant and 2) increase productivity — thus bringing in more revenue — by making it easier to assess client needs and recommend solutions. If you have not already; contact us today for the pre-recorded webinar demo to learn more about it.
- Regardless of the end result of the DOL fiduciary rule, one thing you can do to strengthen your practice is to review and improve your client documentation procedures. Review your filing system, fact finders, notes, and other materials you use in the sales process. At Davis Life & Annuity, we have advocated doing this for many years. Maintaining clear records puts you in a better position to show how you are helping your clients reach their goals. At the end of the day, the focus of the Rule is about doing what is best for your client. From that standpoint, we applaud the sentiment. We disagree with how it has been implemented, but we have to adapt to reality.
- Stay informed and talk to your clients. With all of the uneasiness over the rule, your clients are bound to have questions. Clear communication and transparency are the best ways to maintain trust. Do the work required to stay in the know. Read blogs, talk to your peers, or do whatever it takes to stay on top of the news. Davis Life & Annuity is committed to helping you stay informed about the DOL fiduciary rule and other important changes that could impact your industry. You will feel more confident about the direction of your business when you know what is happening, when and why.
For more tips on preparing for a post-DOL fiduciary marketplace and the Amerilife® tool, contact us today at 800-491-0697
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