Insurance, financial advisors support Senior Safe Act

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) endorsed Tuesday a bill introduced in the House designed to help identify, report, and stop senior financial abuse.

The Senior Safe Act would allow agents and advisors to report suspicious financial activities involving accounts of the senior citizen clients to financial institutions. Financial institutions would then evaluate the activities and, if appropriate, report them to proper authorities.

“We look forward to working with you to put in place meaningful public policies to protect seniors from financial fraud and to incorporate protections for NAIFA members when reporting suspected financial abuse of a senior client,” NAIFA President Keith Gillies wrote in a letter to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). “Thank you again for your leadership.”

The measure also incentivizes firms to train employees to identify and stop financial fraud.

Gilles said NAIFA has worked with Sinema and other members of Congress to ensure that the act would allow advisors to work in their clients’ interests while shielding advisors who act in good faith and with reasonable care from liability.

It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of seniors may be a target of financial fraud or abuse, even when financial institutions suspect abuse, the abuse may go unpunished. Current laws lack the necessary flexibility to allow financial institutions to report suspected abuse to authorities.