The Office of Management and Budget recently approved the Department of Labor’s request to delay full implementation of its widely discussed fiduciary rule from January 1, 2018 to June 1, 2019. Despite this decision, the annuity industry still needs to prepare to comply with the rule and educate advisors on upcoming changes. Two firms—AmeriLife and MassMutual—provide tools that help advisors navigate the new fiduciary standards.
AmeriLife’s tool—AmeriLyzer—launched on June 9, when the first phase of the DOL rule went into effect, is currently available for free, although the firm will charge a fee starting on January 1. The tool requires advisors to proceed through multiple fact-finding steps with clients in order to determine which product structure best fits their needs, which it documents for future reference. The tool scores clients’ risk tolerance based on a comparison of their current portfolios with their stated objectives. AmeriLyzer next illustrates how the purchase of a fixed annuity would impact clients’ risk scores.
AmeriLyzer Tool Homepage
Similarly, MassMutual advisors are now required to use the RightBRIDGE Retirement Profiler when dispensing advice to clients. The tool includes a Fact Finder feature to help advisors identify the proper data-gathering questions to ask. After advisors complete all inputs, the tool generates an output report that functions as a snapshot of clients’ goals and objectives. The tool classifies product recommendations into three categories and includes a reference guide.
RightBRIDGE Retirement Profiler – Recommendation Classes
Considering that a recent Practical Perspectives research report found that fewer than half of advisors feel like they’re well prepared to handle the implementation of the fiduciary rule, firms would benefit from arming their advisors with tools that aid compliance and protect advisors by documenting their meetings with clients.
Annuity Monitor tracks industry trends, including firms’ responses to the DOL fiduciary rule. Past blog posts discuss fiduciary regulations that are emerging at the state level and educational resources firms provide advisors to prepare them for compliance.