A retirement investment product associated with steak-dinner sales pitches is flourishing thanks to the death of a regulation once expected to curtail it.
Annuity sales totaled $59.5 billion in the April-to-June period, the highest since late 2015, according to the Limra Secure Retirement Institute. Sales are expected to remain strong through at least the rest of the year.
The boom shows how Washingtonās push to roll back financial regulations is giving new life to products that industry watchdogs say arenāt always good for investors. The annuities resurrection stems from the demise of the Labor Departmentās fiduciary rule, an Obama-era proposal that would have required brokers who oversee retirement savings to act in their clientsā best interests.
The fiduciary rule would have required brokers and insurers dealing with retirement money to act in clientsā best interest. Hereās a timeline of its short life.
Annuity sales, quarterly
The Labor Department under President Barack Obama proposes new rules aimed at protecting retirement savers from conflicted investment advice.
President Trump orders the Labor Department to review the fiduciary rule, with an eye on revision or repeal.
The fiduciary rule goes into partial effect. Brokers and agents are required to fulfill the spirit of the rule but not all of its technical requirements.
The Labor Department rolls out a finalized fiduciary rule with some concessions to the industry.
A U.S. circuit court rules that the Labor Department overreached in imposing the fiduciary rule.
Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election, giving brokers and insurance agents hope that the fiduciary rule will be killed.
After the Trump administration declines to appeal the courtās decision to throw out the fiduciary rule, it is officially dead.