Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014 March/April LILI

Wanted: Leadership In Life Institute Class of 2014...Are YOU Ready??
2012 LILI Class Students and Now Alumni

L/R: Stan Fortier, Alex Collins,
Jim Thompson, Stan Fortier, Jason Hastie
and Randy Kimm

Mission: The NAIFA Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) develops leaders by fostering personal growth, enhancing business practices and developing skills necessary for effective leadership.

·     Encounter the very best in leadership and personal development thinking as presented by outstanding leaders

·     Learn at a highly accelerated rate while surrounded by highly motivated peers

·     Engage in deep introspection and deal with topics such as time management, vision and mission statements, business plans, and ways to create deeper, more meaningful relationships

2014 January/February OIC

OIC Accepts Additional NIPR Applications

The OIC has expanded the types of applications being accepted through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) online interface as of December 20, 2013.  New insurance license applications and renewals may now be submitted for the following license types:

Ø  Resident producer (full lines only)*

Ø  Resident surplus lines broker*

Ø  Non-resident surplus lines broker*

2014 January/February Advocacy

“2014 Day on the Hill Success!”

We had over 75 attendees at this year’s “NAIFA Washington Day on the Hill”.   Here are the Talking points:

I.          Protect the Role of NAIFA Members with Respect to Retirement Planning—Oppose Bills Allowing the State to Deliver Retirement Programs to Private Employers/Employees—Section 134(1), HB 2185/SB 6002 (Supplemental Budget Appropriation) and Policy Bills Yet to be Introduced

(a)   These Bills Would Authorize the Creation of Retirement Accounts to be Offered by the State Department of Retirement Systems to Private Employers and Employees;

(b)   The State Should Not Compete with NAIFA Members and Other Licensed Securities Professionals Who Assist Private Employers and Employees with Retirement Planning and Investments;

(c)    These Bills Threaten Jobs within NAIFA Membership.  These Bills Will Cost the State Money in Lost Tax Revenue in the event that Services Currently Provided by NAIFA Members are Transferred to the State.  These Bills Expose the State to New Liabilities if the State Takes on a Fiduciary Responsibility for Investors.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 January/February Lobbyist Report

House and Senate to Focus on Floor Action as Fiscal
Committees Complete Work on Policy Bills

House and Senate Fiscal Committees completed their review of policy bills on Friday, February 11.  With the Fiscal Committee Cut-off behind them, legislators have been working on the House and Senate floors to consider bills passed by committees in the House of origin.  Floor action will dominate activity in Olympia until the deadline for the House and Senate to act on their own bills.  The cut-off resolution calls for bills in the House of origin to be approved by Tuesday, February 18 at 5:00 p.m.  With rare exception, bills failing to be approved by the cut-off dates will not be considered further this session.

Divided House Approves Bill Allowing the State to Provide
Retirement Accounts to Private Employers—
Future in Senate Doubtful

Despite a wall of opposition from business groups, insurers, agents/brokers, and others appears, a controversial plan that would allow the State Department of Retirement Systems to provide private employers and their employees with retirement accounts was approved by a divided House on a final vote of 54-43 with one member absent.  SHB 2474 would require the State Department of Retirement Systems to design a plan for retirement savings accounts to be offered to private small and mid-sized employers and their employees.  The proposal was roundly criticized during hearings.  Additionally, opposition was voiced regarding Governor Inslee’s supplemental budget proposal, which includes a $250,000 appropriation to the Department of Retirement Systems “to explore alternatives for retirement savings accounts for employees of private sector…small and mid-sized firms.”  (See section 134 of HB 2185 and SB 6002).  

2014 January/February President's Message

"Wins and Challenges"

I want to take some time here to recognize the many NAIFA members that attended Day on the Hill to become more informed of the healthcare issues regarding the exchange and some life and retirement issues as well. They followed up the morning session with visits to legislators educating them and encouraging them to vote in a manor favorable to our profession and our clients, their constituents.  One issue remaining of concern was the plan to have retirement plans offered to small business by the state. We felt pretty confident the Senate would not condone it but the House was a different story. Thank you Sharon Sparling and Richard Ek, along with Mel Sorensen for testifying before the House Committee on our behalf! As I write this it appears the House will pass the bill.  This is where you as our members will be urged to contact legislators soon. Please open all of your NAIFA email and take action when asked.

Recently we have seen several new members joining our Association, thank you. To those who have sponsored a new member – Thank you! Remember the contest of bringing in 10 new members and having a week stay in Eastern Oregon at the very nice home of our National Committeeman Al Zalewski. If you have any questions contact Al or Jim Scott our Membership chair. While these are surely wins for our Association we are far short of where we need to be in numbers to remain a force for good in Olympia and Washington. I challenge each of you to sponsor at least one new member between now and the next newsletter, two months from now. Many of the companies have endorsed NAIFA to their agents and brokers so it may be as easy as asking. You can ask Linda for a brochure or just go to the NAIFA website and print one to give to the prospect. Ask them to join while you are there either online or with the paper form and check or bank withdrawal part completed. I want to thank you in advance for making the effort.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 January/February Health & Employee Benefits


While discussing his healthcare agenda, President Obama also stressed how he’d have to go at it alone if Congress didn’t start cooperating with him more. Time after time, he promised to act via executive order or other regulatory action if Congress did not pass legislation to address his priority initiatives. The reality is that executive orders will only take you so far, but as we health nerds know all too well, if a law is already on the books on a topic, the president generally does have substantial authority to impose the technical parts of his agenda through regulations. With regard to health reform, he invited alternative approaches by saying, “If you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, increase choice, tell America what you'd do differently. Let's see if the numbers add up.” But the president made no pledge to support legislative changes to the law, even those that might make it work better for millions of Americans or help improve the law’s economic impact.

In contrast, during the GOP’s response to the SOTU, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) called for Congress to take action to change the law and replace it with something that works. She did not stress full repeal, as GOP leaders have in the past, but instead noted that “We’ve all talked to too many people who have received cancellation notices they didn’t expect or who can no longer see the doctors they always have. No, we shouldn’t go back to the way things were, but the president’s healthcare law is not working.” She went on to say, “Republicans believe healthcare choices should be yours, not the governments. And that whether you’re a boy with down syndrome or a woman with breast cancer, you can find coverage and a doctor who will treat you.” Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) provided a Tea Party response and called for repeal of the law and stated that the best way to stop Obamacare was to offer better healthcare solutions.

2014 January/February IFAPAC

The Best Time To Plant A Tree

In ancient Rome, Janus was the god of beginnings. He was often depicted with two faces--one looking back on the past, the other looking forward to the future. Some languages name the month of January after him because the beginning of the year was a time for reflection as well as planning. Thousands of years later, many cultures throughout the world carry on a tradition of making resolutions for the new year.

There is something incredibly hopeful about a fresh start. You have certainly realized this when you bought a new computer with a clean hard drive. For a time it works perfectly but as the days and weeks pass by and more programs get installed the computer begins to stall, and things it used to do quickly and efficiently become sluggish. Sometimes it doesn't work at all. Even getting it started can become a chore as the hard drive becomes cluttered with miscellaneous chaos and electronic debris. There are times when the only recourse is to reformat the computer and start over.