Posted on February 21, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the Massachusetts Securities Division issued a notice of final action for a fiduciary requirement affecting financial professionals and firms doing business in Massachusetts. The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) issued a statement from Jason Berkowitz, Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer in response to this action.

“IRI is reviewing this regulation carefully with its members to ascertain its full meaning and potential effects. Broadly, we remain concerned that the Massachusetts regulation will limit consumers and investors of their choice of investment professional and of products that are important to retirement planning and financial well-being.

IRI continues to advocate that states should wait for the federal Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) to be implemented on June 30, allowed time to work and then evaluate its effectiveness before new regulations are considered.

Further, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) approved a new best interest model regulation this month that governs annuity sales practices. This model regulation aligns well with Reg BI and IRI urges all states to adopt it quickly. Combined, the SEC and NAIC regulations offer substantial enhancements to consumer protections, new compliance requirements for financial firms and stringent enforcement mechanisms.”

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