Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed Sec. 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which deals with carbon emission reductions, at a webinar hosted by the American Sustainable Business Council on Sept. 4.

McCarthy said the rules proposed in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. “Climate change is a risk to health, business and economic growth,” she said, adding that small business owners overwhelming want action taken on the issue. And she’s proud of what the EPA is doing by developing standards to control air pollution, much of which comes from plants that generate power by coal, natural gas and petroleum.

McCarthy explained that the rule-making process took into account views from industry, unions, state officials and others. The EPA’s goal, in addition to cutting carbon emission was to make sure that the rules “can change climate economic risks into opportunities,” she said. (read more…)

Advisers need to proactively review clients’ annuities that are within individual retirement accounts to avoid “traps” by ensuring required minimum distributions are being taken properly, said Jeffrey Levine of Ed Slott and Co.

IRA or Roth rules trump annuity rules when an annuity is within an IRA, Levine explained Monday at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Roth conversions and required minimum distributions, or RMDs, are based on an annuity’s fair market value, which is a complex, “don’t-try-this-at-home” calculation, but an adviser can ask the provider to perform it, Levine said. (read more…)

The new Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow program will feature a sharply focused, timely curriculum to meet agents’ needs, according to the College for Financial Planning and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which teamed up to develop the revised designation.

The updated version of the program came about as the result of “an outcry from designees” to keep LUTCF going after a change in the institution that administers the program, said NAIFA President Juli McNeely.

The new program is “going to be very complete, very robust. It really is designed to give a brand-new adviser what they need to be successful,” said McNeely, who holds the LUTCF designation.

The development of the new program involved a team of subject matter experts, known as the LUTCF Advisory Committee, as well as a content-validation survey to determine how the curriculum could be as relevant as possible.

The survey included all LUTCF designees in NAIFA’s database and focused on the questions of “who’s the target audience, and what do they need to their job, and how do we fill that need?” said Jason Brunner, director of institutional research and effectiveness at the College for Financial Planning. (read more…)

It appears likely that a measure to create the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers will become law, and agents need to know what that means for their business, said Jill Hoffman, assistant vice president of federal government relations with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers.

A NARAB amendment is attached to House and Senate legislation to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act backstop. The political consensus is that NARAB will pass along with TRIA, which must be renewed before it expires at the end of this year, Hoffman said.

The bill is designed to establish a national licensing body through which agents would pay a fee to get a NARAB license in the state or states where they want to be licensed, said Scott Sinder, outside counsel with Steptoe & Johnson.

NAIFA wants to have a seat on the NARAB board of directors, which would be appointed by the president and also would include regulators, Sinder said. (read more…)