NAIFA: IRS will require health insurance info on tax returns

Experts: 401(k) contributions still may not be safe from tax overhaul
President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that 401(k) plans would not be affected by tax-overhaul efforts, but some experts say deductions on 401(k) contributions aren’t necessarily untouchable at this point. Some Republicans have said they are uncertain about what Trump hopes to see in tax legislation.

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Industry News

Advisors should help clients with small estates understand tax policies
Clients with smaller estates may not trigger federal estate taxes, but advisors should explain other aspects of their estate could be subject to taxation. Consolidating real estate into one trust can make filing easier and eliminate issues that could arise after the client’s death, says tax expert Steven Siegel.

Execs: Finance workers need skills as fintech advances
Financial advisors and portfolio managers will not cease to exist as financial technology increases automation, which lets advisors focus on issues most valuable to clients, says Adam Broun of Kensho. However, executives encourage professionals to learn cross-disciplinary skills.

Annuity firms launching new products in response to focus on due diligence
The growing pressure on 401(k) advisors to exercise a high level of due diligence on the products they recommend is leading annuity providers to bring new kinds of products to the retirement market. Insurers are rolling out fee-compensated index and variable annuities and fixed-rate deferred annuities that offer optional income riders.

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Investment Trends

US pension system gets another “C” grade in report
The 2017 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index again gave a “C” grade to the US pension system, which nonetheless had an uptick in its overall index score. The report recommends improving the pension system through steps such as increasing the minimum pension, raising mandatory contributions and further restricting early access to funds.

Report: More employers automatically enrolling workers in 401(k)
Sixty-eight percent of large US companies use an auto-enrollment feature in their 401(k) plans, up 10 percentage points from two years ago, according to a survey from Alight Solutions. The report also shows the number of plans offering accounts managed by outside vendors increased from 11% to 58% during the past 10 years.

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Policy Watch

IRS will require health insurance info on tax returns
The IRS will not accept electronically filed tax returns that lack information on health insurance coverage required under the Affordable Care Act and will suspend processing of paper returns that lack the information, potentially delaying refunds, according to agency guidance for tax-processing professionals.

SEC can’t overrule Labor’s fiduciary rule, Clayton says
The Securities and Exchange Commission cannot simply replace the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule with its own, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said. Clayton remains committed to creating a rule that preserves investor choice and does not favor a single model.

Republicans announce rival plan to stabilize ACA markets
Senate Finance Commission Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, unveiled on Tuesday their plan designed to stabilize Affordable Care Act markets by funding cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019 while suspending the ACA’s individual mandate through 2021, refunding employer-mandate penalties incurred in the past three years and expanding use of health savings accounts. The proposal sparked criticism from Democratic lawmakers, who argued that rolling back the mandates could destabilize the individual market.

Building Your Business

Experts: Focusing on young people aids diversity in finance
Offering internships and pathways for advancing to management is crucial for improving diversity at financial firms, experts said at an industry conference. “Young people … need that first push, that first job, that nurturing to get to the next level,” said Suzanne Shank, CEO of Siebert Cisneros Shank.


“Rothification” emerges as potential tax-reform risk
“NAIFA continues to monitor the prevailing winds on Capitol Hill as members of congressional tax-writing committees draft tax-reform legislation. … We must be vigilant to ensure that our concerns are heard,” NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux writes. Read more at the NAIFA Blog.