The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021 has been reintroduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. The bill addresses issues with the Social Security's Windfall Elimination Provision, which Neal says "unfairly penalizes many public employees."
The financial-services industry needs to do a better job of helping women advance their careers, two members of Women in Insurance and Financial Services said. "Women have adapted to the industry. Now it's time for the industry to adapt to women," said Carrie Sayre, president of Women in Insurance and Financial Services.
Diversification has become more difficult as correlation between asset classes has increased, but it remains an important aspect of investing, writes Amy Arnott, a Morningstar portfolio strategist. Despite correlation increasing during market volatility, a diversified portfolio would have reduced volatility and limited losses during the coronavirus-driven market downturn, Arnott notes.
A federal court in Pennsylvania has ruled that an accounting firm may face liability regarding material misrepresentations in financial statements that a surety relied upon in issuing payment and performance bonds to a subcontractor. The subcontractor ultimately was declared to be in default on a construction project, leading to a $3.4 million payout from the surety to the general contractor.
The Financial Services Institute has launched a program that offers affordable, high-quality health insurance to advisors and their staff and family members. "We think this is the future of health care for advisors, and it's exciting to see it taking off," says Chris Paulitz, FSI's head of strategic initiatives.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will focus on suspicious activity reports and technology issues this year, says Bill St. Louis, FINRA's senior vice president of retail and capital markets firms. FINRA also will continue to focus on implementation of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest, St. Louis says.
Estate tax exemptions could decline, either through the expiration of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act or through new legislation. Against this backdrop, advisors should help clients identify high- and low-cost basis assets, accelerate gifting and use vehicles such as grantor-retained annuity trusts.
Near-retirees face a reduced sense of financial security because of the coronavirus pandemic and heightened market volatility, writes David Hanzlik of CUNA Mutual Group. Hanzlik recommends financial advisors work with clients to plan for new challenges, encouraging them not to panic and discouraging them from playing the market.
President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan contains $621 billion that would go toward transportation projects and $100 billion for broadband internet projects. The bill also contains money for utilities and buildings such as public schools and veterans hospitals.