By Rob Smith, NAIFA President
The other day the radio was playing Frank Sinatra’s version of Where or When, the 1930’s Rodgers and Hart showstopper for the musical Babes in Arms. Naturally, that brought to mind the upcoming Congressional Conference and the mission NAIFA’s constituent lobbyists will undertake.
Puzzled? Consider the lyrics:
"It seems we stood and talked like this before.
We looked at each other in the same way then.
But I can't remember where or when...
Some things that happen for the first time
Seem to be happening again."
Well, we certainly know where the Congressional Conference will convene: Washington, DC. And we know when: April 8-9, 2013. Additionally, and you may not remember this, but “we... (Have)…stood and talked like this before” --actually several times over the history of NAIFA. However, it is the What that marks this Congressional Conference as so critical.
Delegates will be in DC solely to reeducate members of Congress on why the tax treatment of permanent life insurance and annuities is sound public policy and should be continued. Probably no time since 1913, when the tax treatment of inside build-up was first created, is it more important to remake the case.
Many political and legislative issues were a lot different in 1913, but some things don’t change. Even as Congress passed the 1913 tax law, they recognized the need for families to purchase life insurance and decided that for the good of society life insurance dividends and death benefits should not be taxed. But today, some in Washington, D.C., are talking about changing those rules and creating a new tax on life insurance and retirement annuities.
Just in case you “can’t remember where or when” the last time tax reform happened, it was 1985-1986. Then NAIFA members successfully re-educated Congress on how permanent life insurance acts as the foundation for basic family financial security. The importance of life insurance has only grown since, so NAIFA members will have to redouble their effort. As the song reminds us, “some things that happen for the first time, seem to be happening again."