NAIFA-Texas has been hard at work ensuring that the Texas legislature adopts the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model for a “Best Interest” standard for annuity products this legislative session. Partnering with Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers (TAHLI), we have met with multiple offices and other stakeholders to ensure clarity and support from those within the Texas Capitol. State Rep. Tom Oliverson, M.D. (R-Cypress), chair of the Texas House Insurance Committee is the bill's author.
On March 23, 2021, Jason Talley, NAIFA-Texas Past President, represented NAIFA-Texas by testifying in support of HB 1777 before the Texas House Insurance Committee. This bill passed unanimously out of committee and passed in the Texas House 144-1. Once it reached the Texas Senate, it was referred to the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce. Due to a time constraint before the first bill filing deadline of the session in early March, there was no Senate companion bill nor a Senate author. NAIFA-Texas and TALHI were able to get Chairman Kelly Hancock (R-Fort Worth) to carry this bill in his own committee. On May 13, 2021, this bill was heard in a formal hearing where NAIFA-Texas submitted written testimony in support. There was no opposition.
Behind the scenes, NAIFA-Texas was having conversations with staffers in Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s office, as well as, Governor Greg Abbott’s office about this bill. HB 1777 was heard on the Senate floor on May 19th and voted out unanimously, 31-0. It is on its way to the Governor’s desk now!
NAIFA-Texas is extremely grateful to have partnered with TAHLI in this endeavor. We are proud to have played a part in ensuring agents are held to a best interest standard to continue serving their clients!
NAIFA supports adoption of the NAIC model regulation for annuities transactions by every state. We are working with our advocacy partners at the American Council of Life Insurers to achieve this goal and enhance consumer protections while preserving the ability of agents and advisors to serve their Main Street clients.