Editor’s Note: In recognition of the Labor Day Holiday, IRI’s GAU will not be published on September 6. Publication will resume on September 13.


IRI Annual Meeting Adds Sen. Crapo and Jay Clayton to Agenda

IRI is excited to announce that Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton have been added as speakers at IRI’s upcoming Annual Conference. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Crapo will offer his outlook for legislation to help America’s workers and retirees achieve economic equity, strengthen their financial security, and protect their income to sustain them throughout retirement. In an interview, former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton will share his perspectives on Reg BI, the potential the potential for SEC rulemaking to facilitate our industry’s use of modern technology to conduct business and serve investors (e.g., electronic delivery of required disclosures), and the prospects for creation of a new registration form for registered index-linked annuities (RILAs).

IRI’s 2021 Annual Conference will be held virtual, running September 21-22 and September 28-29. The Conference’s agenda includes stimulating general sessions highlighting thought leadership and a big-picture perspective on the pivotal issues of the day and focused breakout sessions that deliver more detailed discussion and analysis. Registration information is available here.  

Gensler Adds Consumer Advocate as Senior Advisor

The SEC announced last week that Barbara Roper will serve as a senior advisor to Chair Gary Gensler. Ms. Roper has long been an outspoken investor protection advocate and 35-year mainstay of the Consumer Federation for America (CFA). According to recent reports, Ms. Roper will advise the Chairman directly and the support the SEC on issues related to retail investor protection, including policy, advisor and broker-dealer oversight, and examinations. In her role at the CFA, Roper has regularly advocated against several significant industry-related and IRI advocacy efforts, most notably in her advocacy for a uniform fiduciary rule governing investment advisors and broker-dealers across the regulatory agencies and system. However, Ms. Roper recently collaborated with IRI on the proposed RILA Act on the Hill and supports “the potential of the Internet to improve certain disclosures”, and modern methods of document delivery. In addition to her work with the CFA, Ms. Roper has served on numerous advisory committees at the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other entities.

Any questions should be referred to Jason Berkowitz.


Ways and Means Committee Schedules Reconciliation Mark Up

Following the adoption by the House of the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) Budget Resolution, the House Committee on Ways and Means is scheduled to conduct a mark-up on September 9, 10, 13, and 14 of legislation to implement the instructions the Committee received in the FY 2022 Budget Resolution which was adopted by the House last week by a party-line vote. The resolution authorized the spending of $3.5 trillion and set forth a path for the committees of the House and Senate Committees to draft the reconciliation bill. The Securing a Stronger Retirement Act (H.R. 2954) is not expected to be included in the reconciliation legislation. However, the Committee is expected to consider some other proposals which could impact the retirement income industry. These may include increases in the corporate tax rate mainly focused on potential implications derived from the rate change to the treatment of corporate life insurance taxes and a proposal which would restrict the use of mega-IRA accounts, defined as IRA accounts with balances of $5 million or more. IRI will be monitoring the mark-up and will provide an update following the mark up.

Any questions should be referred to John Jennings.

House Reconvenes to Consider Infrastructure and Voting Rights

In addition to the FY2022 Budget Resolution, last week the House of Representatives advanced two additional bills which are priorities for President Biden and Democrats. After intense negotiation, the House adopted a rule requiring the consideration of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIF) – on or before September 27. The BIF passed out of the Senate with bipartisan support and is expected to gain some bipartisan support in the House. The House also passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act on a party-line vote. The bill amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to address provisions removed by Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2021. The bill is expected to face opposition in the Senate from Republicans and, as such, will have a difficult time in trying to overcome the 60-vote filibuster rule.

Any questions should be referred to John Jennings.


South Carolina Proposes Best Interest Regulation

South Carolina released a notice proposing to amend Regulation 69-29, Suitability in Annuity Transactions. The Notice of Drafting stated that the amendments are based on the NAIC Model Regulation. Comments are due by September 9, 2021, and IRI is working to obtain a copy of the proposed amendments for review.

Any questions should be referred to Sarah Wood.

Shirin Emami Becomes Acting Superintendent of New York Department of Financial Services

Shirin Emami has been named Acting Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. She was the Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Banking Division of NYDFS and previously served as General Counsel of the Banking Division. Kathy Hochul, the new Governor of New York, will still appoint a permanent Superintendent to replace Linda Lacewell.

Any questions should be referred to Sarah Wood.