By Mack Bekeza
Are you currently a Registered Representative or an Insurance agent? If so, you will want to keep reading!
As you may know, the Department of Labor will have new regulations in effect on April 10, 2017, which will change how Brokers and Insurance agents conduct business with retirement investors.
For starters, when dealing with retirement investors, the broker or insurance agent cannot receive variable compensation. This means that someone receiving commissions, asset based fees, 12b-1 fees, etc. must create a uniform method of compensation.
Additionally, any investment recommendations must be in the retirement investor’s best interest, meaning that the agent or broker must have a thorough understanding of the client’s overall financial picture and cannot just rely on FINRA’s suitability standards.
Finally, if you still want to receive variable forms of compensation, you must be able to comply with something called the Best Interest Contract Exemption, aka the “BICE.” And, in order to truly comply, you have to be certain that recommending a product that will pay you variable compensation is in the retirement investor’s best interest.
The major caveat with complying with the BICE is that even though the client is fully aware of how you are compensated, if he or she believes the product is not their best interest, he or she can file a lawsuit against you. In other words, you can still sell commission based products, but don’t expect the BICE to bail you out if you are sued!
So, who is considered to be a retirement investor? To make this simple, do you sell or make investment recommendations for the following accounts?
- ERISA governed Retirement Plans (with less than $50 million)
- Non-ERISA Retirement Plans (e.g., Keogh, Solo Plans)
- Health Savings Accounts, Archer MSAs, and Coverdell ESAs
If you fall into one of these categories, you will want to seek advice on where to go from here! If you reside in the Greater Denver Area, Castle Rock Investment Company and The Law Offices of Ed Frado, LLC are hosting an event to educate Brokers and Insurance Agents on the details of the new DOL regulation on September 20th at Maggiano’s in the Denver Tech Center. If you would like to register, click here
We hope to see you at the event!
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