National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

The Senior Safe Act Passes in House

The Senior Safe Act of 2017 is included in H.R. 2255, the Housing Opportunities Made Easier (HOME) Act, passed by the House of Representatives this week.

The Senior Safe Act provisions, previously introduced by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), exempt financial institutions and some of their employees from liability in any civil or administrative proceeding in situations where those employees report the potential exploitation of a senior citizen to a governmental agency so long as the institution has provided training and the report is made in good faith.

The legislation allows insurance and financial advisors to report suspected cases of financial fraud involving senior clients to financial institutions, which could then pass the suspicions along to the authorities.

NAIFA has worked closely with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advance this senior protection legislation and ensure that the provisions found within it would allow advisors to work in their clients’ interests, while shielding advisors who act in good faith and with reasonable care from liability. NAIFA also successfully argued that the legislation should not make reporting mandatory for advisors.

A 2011 MetLife study estimates that U.S. seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion each year to financial fraud. A separate study by Allianz found that senior fraud victims lost an average of $30,000 each, and 10 percent lost $100,000 or more.

The Allianz study also found that seniors who regularly speak about their finances with trusted third parties, including financial professionals, are significantly less likely to be fraud victims, which is why the Senior Safe Act and similar legislation in the states is so important.

A companion bill, S. 223, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) earlier in 2017 has been similarly merged into S. 2155, the  Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. NAIFA continues to work with lawmakers in the Senate to push for adoption of the Senior Safe Act provisions into law.
  • Posted February 2, 2018 IN

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