President’s Blog


21
Mar 2018

  • You’ve probably seen this, but it’s worth sending again. The Department of Labor fiduciary rule has been officially vacated. Here’s the Alliance Bulletin on the issue. The question that remains is who will fill the regulatory void for the most important provision of the DOL rule – the so-called “best interest” standard. We’ve heard positive predictions that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will issue a national standard that will be fair and understandable. 
 » Read more about: All items, big and small…  »...

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12
Mar 2018

Last Wednesday was one of my favorite days of the year. It was the day I spent with representatives from six Alliance members – Thrivent, Modern Woodmen of America, WoodmenLife, KJZT, Sons of Norway, and Woman’s Life – before sending them out to spread the fraternal message to their Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill.

Thrivent has sponsored this event for more than five years and the Alliance has been partnering with our largest member......

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05
Mar 2018

Thanks to the generosity of dozens of Alliance members and my friends and family, I’m more than halfway to reaching my 2018 St. Baldrick’s fundraising goal of $7,500.

And with a little over two weeks left before my March 23rd head shaving, I’m using this space to make one last appeal for your help in putting me over the top.

As you know, I’m dedicating this year’s fundraising to Maddie Coyle,

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26
Feb 2018

The sweeping tax reform act signed into law late last year may produce a flurry of new tax legislation to correct glitches, oversights, and unanswered questions that are the inevitable result of a hasty and single-party effort to pass major reforms without taking the time to read the bill or hold hearings on its potential impact. The GOP is holding the bag on this one, but the Democrats did exactly the same thing with the Affordable Care Act.

 » Read more about: New tax law produces more questions than answers…  »...

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19
Feb 2018

After two hearings on proposed amendments to an Oregon bill that would have, among other things, shortened the contestability period under life insurance policies, a combined industry effort defeated those amendments last week.

However, there is another bill in the Oregon legislature which affects the fraternal tax exemption and presents some interesting challenges for the Alliance. On the bright side, the bill affects all insurers by imposing a new excise tax on commercial,


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12
Feb 2018

Folks:

This is my dear friend Bill Coyle and his wonderful daughter, Maddie. There are three things I love about Bill: he hits a golf ball further than any 63-year-old has a right to; he has a cat-that-caught-the-canary twinkle in his eye that’s infectious; and he always – ALWAYS – manages to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

That last characteristic is largely due to his wife, Sue.

 » Read more about: It’s St. Baldrick’s time......

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05
Feb 2018

The most striking difference between the state and federal legislative processes is…speed. Bills rarely move quickly through the U.S. Congress, and are often carried over from session to session.

State legislative sessions, on the other hand, are typically far shorter – 30, 60, 90 days – which means a bill can move from introduction, to committee hearing, to a floor vote, to the governor’s desk at what seems like warp speed. That’s exactly what happened on a measure to repeal the fraternal tax exemption in South Dakota this year,

 » Read more about: Six ways......

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30
Jan 2018

Thanks to compelling testimony provided by local reps of Thrivent Financial, Modern Woodmen of America and Catholic Order of Foresters, the South Dakota Taxation Committee soundly defeated SENATE BILL 1181, a bill that would have repealed the tax exemption for fraternals and county farm bureau mutuals today. The committee’s action effectively kills the bill for the 2018 session.

While the Alliance briefed each member of the committee on the value of the fraternal exemption prior to......

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29
Jan 2018

Thanks to years of painstaking work educating Members of Congress about the value and viability of the fraternal business model and the tax exemption on which that model is built, the Alliance and its members came out of the most extensive debate over federal tax reform in decades without a scratch.

Hail to the victors, right?

Not so fast.

State legislative sessions are just now getting underway and in at least two of them – South Dakota and Oregon – lawmakers will be considering measures to repeal the fraternal tax exemption. 

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23
Jan 2018

Having recently completed an extensive strategic planning project with the Alliance Board of Directors – one that resulted in the adoption of an entirely new operating model for the organization – I’ve become a much more avid student of the process. I’ve got my own core beliefs about the common characteristics needed to make any strategic planning exercise a success. These include: a) start with “Why?”; and b) bring in an objective and experienced consultant as a facilitator.

 » Read more about: Four great articles on one important topic: strategic planning  »...

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