President’s Blog


11
Dec 2017

The fact that I haven’t written about governance issues in a while does not diminish their importance for individual societies or the future of the fraternal system.  That point has been driven home in recent weeks as I’ve heard governance nightmares – as well as one beacon of hope – from one fraternal CEO after another.  And underscoring all these developments within the fraternal community is the action taken last week by the NAIC’s Financial Standards and Accreditation Committee to approve the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act (CGAD) as an accreditation......

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04
Dec 2017

Despite some last-minute hand-wringing and because of some last-minute horse-trading, the Senate did what most pundits thought they would do – and what most GOP leaders felt they had to do – and passed a bill enacting sweeping reforms to the U.S. Tax Code on a 51-49 party line vote. The House passed its version of tax reform several weeks earlier. The differences between the two measures will be reconciled by a joint House and Senate Conference Committee.

 » Read more about: Senate passage of tax bill brings reform one step closer…......

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27
Nov 2017

It’s been quite a year for our household. We welcomed Olivia Anne Annotti to the clan on November 13 and she is living proof that little girls ARE sugar and spice and everything nice! Olivia is a Texan, which means that we will soon be Southwest Airlines’ #1 customers on flights from Chicago to San Antonio. I hope your Thanksgiving was full of friends and family and that your holiday season will be......

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20
Nov 2017

For this great American holiday, the American Fraternal Alliance thanks its member societies for their generosity and spirit of giving to those in need.

OAK BROOK, IL November 20, 2017 — The American Fraternal Alliance (Alliance), the national trade association representing 62 fraternal benefit societies in the U.S. and Canada, announced today that, as of November 10, 2017 its member societies have contributed $10,166,381 to relief efforts from recent hurricanes,

 » Read more about: Fraternal Benefit......

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20
Nov 2017

At the end of the day, giving is what distinguishes fraternals from our commercial insurance colleagues. The impact of our giving spreads in concentric circles: first to our members; then to the communities in which they live and work; and finally, to the nation and world.

Fraternals give of themselves to help those who need it every day. But in times of crisis, the need – and the fraternal response – is greater......

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13
Nov 2017

As expected, late last week the U.S. Senate jumped into the tax reform debate with the introduction of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch’s “Chairman’s Mark” measure.  The Senate version of the tax reform proposal has the same basic goals as the House bill (H.R. 1), which was passed on a party line vote last week by the Ways and Means Committee: simplification of the Tax Code with modest reductions in individual tax......

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06
Nov 2017

Last Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee released its tax reform bill to reduce corporate tax rates and compress individual rates. We are happy to report that all exemptions in the 501 section of the Tax Code, including our 501(c)(8) exemption, are retained. The Alliance is still working our way through the provisions that may have a specific impact on life insurers but in our initial review there do not appear to be provisions directly impacting the taxation of life insurance products.

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30
Oct 2017

OK, so maybe I’m overstating the potential impact of the information I’m going to share with you in this week’s post, but nonetheless, the links below will help make you a lively conversationalist at upcoming holiday parties. And keep your eyes open for a special blog posting later this week when we have had a chance to examine the GOP’s tax reform bill to determine its impact on the fraternal community. Enjoy…jja


24
Oct 2017

Last week, the Senate adopted a budget for the next fiscal year. Once House and Senate leaders work out their differences, and a final budget is passed by the House (which they appear to be voting on this Thursday) this would clear the way for prompt movement on the GOP-backed tax reform measure. This is because the budget resolution will include reconciliation instructions that will allow a tax bill to pass with only 51......

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16
Oct 2017

My wife and I got back from New York City late last night. We were there to babysit our two-month old twin grandchildren for four days while our son and daughter-in-law attended a wedding in Washington, D.C.

I learned many lessons during that time, the most important of which is that the Creator designed things so that you have children when you’re young.

The doctor said the comatose-like symptoms would pass in a week or so,

 » Read more about: The prognosis for a full......

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