Read Bulletin - Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

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Read Bulletin - Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
April 24, 2015
Charging Fees
Not Acceptable
Annuities issued by
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company,
Wilmington, DE
An important reminder to all producers that charging fees related to the post-sale servicing of all Athene products is
considered inappropriate.
Charging fees is unacceptable to Athene and may violate the Unfair Trade Practices statutes and related Insurance
Department bulletins of a number of states. There are currently 38 states that maintain an Unfair Trade Practices statute
within their Insurance Codes.
These statutes contain the same, if not similar, language as follows:
An insurance producer is not permitted to charge a fee, in addition to earning a commission, for services
that are customarily associated with the solicitation, negotiation or servicing of policies.
These statutes also remind producers that “unfair financial planning practices” includes an insurance producer:
Holding himself or herself out, directly or indirectly, to the public as a financial planner, investment
advisor, consultant, financial counselor, or any other specialist engaged in the business of giving
financial planning or advice relating to investments, insurance, real estate, tax matters, if the insurance
producer is, in fact, engaged only in the sale of policies.
While fee-for-service businesses may be appropriate in some areas of the financial services industry, the charging of fees
is closely regulated and often requires special licensing, credentials and disclosure.
For instance, a Registered Investment Advisor is one example of a person/firm that may charge advisory fees. But, even
for those duly authorized to charge fees for assets under management, those fees generally would not include the value
of fixed insurance products. Such advisory fees would likely be viewed by regulatory authorities as fees related to postsale service activities and unacceptable in many jurisdictions. And, to the extent a commission has already been earned
on a sale of the fixed product, charging a fee for ongoing “management” of a fixed product would be unacceptable to
Athene.
Athene views a client service request as a professional responsibility and an opportunity to enhance your relationship with
your client. All producers should be aware that state regulators would likely take strong action — either as a direct code or
unfair trade practices violation — against any producer who charges a post-sale service fee for activities such as,
assisting a beneficiary to complete a claim form. Such state enforcements action can include fines, suspension of a
license, or both.
Please utilize your partners at the Athene Home Office for both pre- and post-sale support in order to assist your clients.
Together, we can provide a distinctive customer experience for your clients while also putting people before policies.
For agent use only. Not to be used with the offer or sale of annuities .