WASHINGTON, March 19 -- The Insured Retirement Institute issued the following news release:
New research findings released today by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) shows that maintaining state insurance licenses across multiple jurisdictions is a regulatory obstacle that may impede the sale of retirement income products. Considering that most financial advisors, 83 percent, are licensed in multiple states, the redundant processes are viewed as a burden to financial advisors.
The IRI study, which is part of a research initiative to identify regulatory barriers that impede broker-dealers' ability and financial advisors' willingness to sell lifetime income products, found that 80 percent of broker-dealers said state regulations have a negative effect on the ease of conducting annuity sales. In fact, while 46 percent of broker-dealers say they would like to sell more annuities, 83 percent of broker-dealers and 76 percent of financial advisors believe it takes considerably more time to sell annuities compared to other investments.
According to IRI's findings, the average financial advisor spends nearly 22 hours per year to complete continuing education requirements and licensing renewals to sell annuities-compared to just under 16 hours to complete continuing education requirements and licensing renewals to sell securities. Additionally, seven in 10 broker-dealers believe that state insurance licensing can be ambiguous or poorly defined, and eight in 10 broker-dealers believe that state insurance regulations are duplicative.
As a first step toward easing these restrictions, IRI supports establishing a one-stop national licensing clearinghouse for financial professionals operating in multiple states. The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act (NARAB II), which would establish such a clearinghouse, was reintroduced last week in both chambers of Congress.
"Time spent on redundant licensing requirements is time not spent servicing clients and focusing on their needs," IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford. "The time has come to advance NARAB II. This bipartisan and common-sense legislation promotes the efficient and cost-effective licensing of thousands of financial advisors across the country, while maintaining important consumer protections. We urge Congress to support and advance this legislation to establish a streamlined licensing process, and at the same time, retain states' authority to regulate the marketplace."
The Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment has scheduled a hearing on NARAB II legislation that will take place this afternoon. To view testimony from IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford, click here(https://avectra.myirionline.org/eweb/uploads/IRI%20NARAB%20II%20Testimony.pdf).
To view findings from IRI's regulatory environment study, click here(https://www.myirionline.org/eweb/uploads/2013%20Broker%20Dealer%20Study.pdf).
TNS JF78JF-130320-4254707 EditorFurigay