AmeriLife Applies for ‘Financial Institution’ Designation
Agents & Consumers can count on AmeriLife in Post-DOL Fiduciary Rule world. AmeriLife, the nation’s premier life, health and annuity marketing group, has applied to be considered for “Financial Institution” designation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under the Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption, which is part of the DOL’s recently released Fiduciary Rule.
Once the DOL Fiduciary Rule becomes fully effective, agents wishing (1) to sell fixed index annuities into qualified accounts (like IRAs or 401Ks) and (2) be paid a commission on the transaction may ONLY make those sales in compliance with the BIC Exemption.
As part of the BIC Exemption, the agent can ONLY make the sale if they facilitate the execution of a Best Interest Contract at the point of sale between the consumer and a qualifying financial institution.
When the Fiduciary Rule was released, the DOL only listed banks, insurance companies, broker-dealers and registered investment advisors (RIAs) as qualifying Financial Institutions under the BIC Exemption. Multiple insurance companies have communicated that they are unwilling to execute the Best Interest Contract on behalf of their agents and consumers.
The DOL invited others to apply for an individual exemption to be treated as a financial institution, and AmeriLife has responded by submitting an application for consideration as a financial institution. AmeriLife plans to do everything necessary to be designated by the DOL as a financial institution under the BIC Exemption.
Consumers can rely on AmeriLife’s procedures to make certain that their agent is well trained and does not have an inappropriate conflict of interest. Additionally, affiliated agents will be able to rely on AmeriLife to enter into the Best Interest Contract and allow those agents the opportunity to make DOL compliant sales of fixed indexed annuities.
In addition to applying for financial institution status with the DOL, AmeriLife has begun taking steps to register as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and will be partnering with strategic and well-known legacy RIA institutions to offer a robust portfolio mix, with full-bodied technology platforms and practical training programs for representatives. AmeriLife’s intent is to deliver many detailed services to its representatives allowing them to provide a greater degree of service to their clients. The RIA will also be available to execute the Best Interest Contract.
In order to assist and empower agents’ transition to DOL-mandated compliance changes, AmeriLife is developing an expansive, detailed and well-defined training program. Training that is necessary to prepare agents to work in a DOL-compliant manner, and AmeriLife will support contracted agents and representatives with innovative technology and sales tools.
“Whether an agent has a securities license or not, agents can look to AmeriLife to provide them a home for making DOL compliant sales in the post-DOL Fiduciary Rule world,” noted Tim North, AmeriLife’s CEO.
Thus, AmeriLife is uniquely platformed to provide agents from California to the Carolinas the tools, the systems and the compliance oversight necessary for insurance-only agents and registered representatives to continue serving their clients. Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, AmeriLife was founded in 1971; AmeriLife’s innovative and visionary growth has provided access for tens of thousands of life, health and annuity agents for nearly 50 years.
Today, AmeriLife currently provides qualified insurance agents a broad spectrum of income-generating annuity products while offering new sales and operational systems to ensure compliance with new federal industry standards.
For additional information about partnering with AmeriLife, please contact us at DOLSolutionsTeam@AmeriLife.com