A Letter to Chairman Johnny Isakson

Chairman Johnny Isakson
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
131 Senate Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20150

Dear Chairman Isakson:

The Americans for Annuity Protection defends the rights of Americans to maintain their financial independence. Americans have been left with fewer options for their post-work years. Instead of enjoying the fruits of their labors, they are worrying about who will support them when they will be most vulnerable. We believe these times call for the iron-clad, insurance guarantee of income that will last as long as they live. That promise can only be met with an annuity.

Americans for Annuity Protection is a nonprofit 501c4 organization formed in 2015 by insurance and annuity veterans to preserve a diverse and competitive marketplace for annuities, which serve Americans across the economic spectrum.

The Department of Labor's proposed "Conflict of Interest" Rule prescribes fee-only advice as the only advice model that meets the Department's "no conflict" definition. Any other compensation is deemed by the Rule to be a prohibited transaction and traditional insurance commissions paid for the sale of any annuity are only permitted through an unwieldy, confusing, and onerous exemption disclosure process. The Rule will force Main Street insurance agents, brokers and advisors in towns across America to stop offering annuity IRAs as a solution to retirement longevity risk.

The Rule will also make annuities less affordable for all but the wealthiest who have the extra money to pay for advice. Today when a worker decides to roll their employer-sponsored savings into a fixed annuity, they do not need to pay extra for the insurance advice provided by an annuity professional. In addition, the extremely limited and restricted definition of education, will cause workers and retirees to have less opportunity to understand their savings and investing options. The severely limiting and restrictive definition of education will force workers and retirees to learn on their own without the help of an experienced annuity professional.

Americans for Annuity Protection supports the Committee's efforts on the Restricting Advice and Education: DOL's Unworkable Investment Proposal for American Families and Retirees Hearing. By exploring more workable and viable solutions that will encourage more not less education and maintain the current affordable and accessible advice to purchase the security and protection of a fixed annuity, the Committee will help all Americans saving for retirement.

Respectfully,

Americans for Annuity Protection
Kim O'Brien, CEO