House Budget Committee Passes Retirement Subtitle of Build Back Better Act

In a Saturday session, the House Committee on the Budget completed its consideration of the Build Back Better Act. The bill includes the retirement measures passed out of the Ways and Means Committee which will require companies with five or more employees to automatically enroll those employees into an IRA or retirement plan that also will offer the participant an opportunity to elect a take a distribution of their vested balance using a protected lifetime income solution. It also includes a provision making the Saver’s Credit refundable. The Budget Committee’s approval of the Build Back Better Act is the next step in the process to advance the bill to the full House for consideration. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced she intends to bring the bill up for a vote this coming week.

Any questions should be referred to Paul Richman or John Jennings.

Key Members of Congress and Industry Regulators to Address IRI Annual Conference

On September 28, at 3:15 p.m. ET, attendees of IRI’s 2021 Annual Conference will hear from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) on their 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.

On September 29, at 3:15 p.m. ET, Dean Cameron, Director of the Idaho Department of Insurance and President-Elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and Jay Clayton, Former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will share their insights and perspectives on critical regulatory issues facing the retirement income industry in the coming year.

To register for IRI’s 2021 Annual Conference, click here.


IRI Blueprint Proposal Included in National Defense Funding Bill

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 was passed out of the House last week containing an IRI 2021 Retirement Security Blueprint proposal – the SAFE Banking Act. The bill would provide liability protection for both participants in and institutions offering and administering financial services – including retirement plans or individual retirement accounts – for the employees of cannabis companies which are regulated and licensed by a state. The SAFE Banking Act was introduced earlier this year by Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and previously passed out the House. The House and Senate versions of the NDAA are slated for the negotiation table, and it is unclear if a final version will include the SAFE Banking Act.

IRI will continue to monitor Congress for action on IRI Federal Retirement Security Blueprint proposals.

Any questions should be referred to John Jennings.

Consumer Data and Privacy Examined by Both Chambers of Congress

Last week, the House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Financial Technology held a hearing entitled “Preserving the Right of Consumers to Access Personal Financial Data.” The hearing focused on the need for modernized standards and regulations of the use of consumer’s personal data. In his opening remarks, Task Force Chairman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said that as “collection and utilization of consumer financial data has exploded in the past decade […] there is little doubt that recent emerging financial services innovations have the real potential to improve the efficiency and accuracy of those services, while reducing costs and fostering greater inclusion, the relentless full spectrum cultivation of consumer data, and the manipulation of that data raise important policy questions about personal data protections, user control, and meaningful consent to using that data, as well as the ultimate contours of personal privacy.” The Chairman did go on to note that “many financial services providers, both traditional and fintechs, have requested regulatory guidance and greater clarity in this area” to fill gaps created by evolving technology and innovation. Task Force Ranking Member Warren Davidson (R-OH) agreed that more needs to be done in this space but believes regulators should “provide consumer-focused, principle-based framework that will allow for innovation and competition” rather than top-down technical guidance.

The Senate Committee on Commerce is also scheduled to hold a hearing this week entitled “Protecting Consumer Privacy” at 10:00 a.m. ET on September 29. The hearing was called to “examine how to better safeguard consumer privacy rights, including by equipping the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with resources it needs to protect consumer privacy through the creation of a privacy bureau; and the need for comprehensive federal privacy law.” Additionally, a group of Democratic Senators led by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to the Chair of the FTC last week calling on the Commission to “begin a rulemaking process to protect consumer privacy, promote civil rights, and set clear safeguards on the collection and use of personal data in the digital economy. As Congress continues to develop national privacy legislation, FTC action on this front will ensure that Americans have every tool at their disposal to protect their privacy in today’s online marketplace.”

IRI will monitor the hearing and Congress for any legislation impacting consumer data and privacy.

Any questions should be referred to John Jennings.

Portable Retirement Investment Accounts Bill Introduced

Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Portable Retirement and Investment Accounts (PRIA) Act of 2021 last week. The bill would create “universal, portable retirement and investment accounts that will be accessible to all Americans.” According to a press statement, at the same time an American receives a Social Security Number they would also receive access to a PRIA account. These accounts would be administered “by an independent board and managed by selected financial institutions.” Accounts would have the ability to select investment options, and employers would be able to contribute to a PRIA account. In a press statement, Rep. Himes said, “The current retirement system isn’t working for all Americans. The options to which American workers have access can differ significantly based on their area of employment and the systems can be needlessly confusing. In addition, many Americans lose access to retirement savings vehicles if they lose their jobs, and gig, contract, and part-time workers are often ineligible. PRIA changes all of this.” Senator Warner, in his statement, addressed the need for portability, saying, “Americans are more likely to change jobs and be engaged in non-traditional forms of work than they were a generation ago, but our policies haven’t kept up with these shifts. As more and more Americans hold multiple jobs across a career, a year, and even a day, PRIA will provide more workers with access to flexible, portable benefits such as retirement savings that will carry with them from employer to employer and gig to gig.”

Any questions should be referred to John Jennings.

IRI Annual Conference Explores Government Affairs Strategies

As part of IRI’s 2021 Annual Conference, a panel of industry-leading government relations experts will provide their insights into the strategies and tactics needed to advance IRI’s Retirement Security Blueprint in the 117th Congress. IRI is excited to present “Advancing IRI’s Retirement Security Blueprint in Congress: The Challenges and Opportunities,” featuring Ben Brewster, Assistant Vice President Government Relations, Nationwide Financial, Freddy Mitchell, Vice President U.S. Government Relations, Met Life, and Helene Rayder, Vice President, Director Federal Relations, Lincoln Financial, at 2:15 p.m. ET on September 28.

To register for IRI’s 2021 Annual Conference, click here.



South Carolina Releases Proposed Best Interest Regulation

The South Carolina Department of Insurance released their proposed best interest regulation and is seeking comments on the draft by October 25, 2021. The proposed regulation closely tracks the NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, and deviations are mainly non-substantive in nature. The main item of note is that the NAIC Model language regarding the application of the best interest obligation found in Section 6.A(5) of the NAIC Model is not in the South Carolina proposed regulation. IRI will begin to develop responsive comments to and will express support for the proposed regulation unless other significant concerns are brought to our attention.

Any questions should be referred to Sarah Wood.

Allan L. McVey Appointed as West Virginia Insurance Commissioner

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has appointed Allan L. McVey as West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, replacing Jim Dodrill, who resigned earlier this month. McVey previously served as Insurance Commissioner from April 2017 to January 2019 until he was appointed as Secretary of Administration.

Any questions should be referred to Sarah Wood.

Maryland Securities Commissioner Melanie Lubin Begins Term as President of NASAA

On September 21, Maryland Securities Commissioner Melanie Lubin began her one-year term as president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Lubin addressed the NASAA membership at their Fall Annual meeting, indicating that she will continue the work to advance NASAA’s legislative agenda and strategic plan. The following NASAA officers for 2021-2022 were also announced:

  • President-Elect: Andrew Hartnett of Iowa
  • Past-President: Lisa A. Hopkins of West Virginia
  • Treasurer: Claire McHenry of Nebraska
  • Secretary: Kevin Hoyt of New Brunswick


Any questions should be referred to Sarah Wood.