InsuranceNewsNet's March cover story provides a call to action for insurance advisors to use their grassroots influence with Congress to preserve the tax status of life insurance and annuity products.
The article provides a rundown of NAIFA’s historical involvement in the protection of life insurance, beginning in 1913 with passage of the federal income tax code. It then explains the present threat as Congress considers tax-reform proposals in 2013.
The article raises the point that advisors have heard about warnings about efforts to tax their products several times through the decades.
Diane Boyle, NAIFA vice president of federal government relations, explains that the industry’s success at protecting life insurance in the past doesn’t mean the threat this time is not real.
“Frankly, our products are on the line every year and we’re successful at having them taken off the table,” she told INN. “So it’s not so much crying wolf as it is being prepared and making sure that folks on the Hill understand.”
From the article:
“Members of Congress are having to deal with so many issues that they rely on their constituents who have an understanding in a given area to explain what the realities are with some of the decisions that they’re having to make. And that’s what our agents do. And that’s the value of bringing them in and having them share the story.”
-NAIFA Vice President Diane Boyle
“What I find useful is sharing situations of how our products have helped people here within the community – people within [the member of Congress's] own district.”
-NAIFA Member Hyatt Erstad
“I talk to [members of Congress] about the savings rate in America today, and how poor it is, and then point out that over 20 percent of the savings in America today is represented by our products. To do anything to discourage people from taking responsibility and using our products, all that’s going to do is further deteriorate the savings rate of Americans today.”
-NAIFA Member Bob Roach
The INN article reports that life insurance organizations, including NAIFA, formed SecureFamily.org to educate Congress and the public on the issue.
It also reports on NAIFA's Congressional Congress April 8-9, a grassroots event in which 1,000 advisors will visit congressional offices to discuss life insurance, annuities and tax issues.