Recharacterization and Return of Excess IRA Contribution Deadline

October 17, 2022 is the deadline to process recharacterizations of 2021 IRA contributions and to process return of excess IRA contributions made in 2021.

Recharacterizations of IRA Contributions
Customers who wish to change the nature of an IRA contribution may recharacterize such a contribution prior to the due date (including extensions) for filing the customer’s federal income tax return for the year for which the contribution was made to the IRA. The deadline to process a recharacterization of a contribution made for 2021 is October 17, 2022.

Customers can request a recharacterization by completing the Premiere Select IRA Recharacterization Request form, which must be submitted to National Financial Services LLC (NFS) for manual processing. The form (1.747222.107) is available on the Marketing Fulfillment Central Web site, which can be accessed from WealthscapeSM (Resources > Marketing Fulfillment Central) or from the Web (https://www.nfmarketingcentral.com).

A recharacterization processed in 2022 will be reflected on the 2022 1099-R and 5498 forms that will be mailed in January 2023. A recharacterization does not affect a prior year tax form.

Return of Excess IRA Contributions

Customers who have made an excess IRA contribution have until the due date (including extensions) for filing their federal income tax return to request a Return of Excess (ROE) Contribution. The deadline to process an ROE for a contribution made in 2021 is October 17, 2022. Note: Excess IRA contributions for a year that are not withdrawn by the deadline are subject to a 6% penalty tax. The 6% penalty applies for each year the excess remains in the IRA. In addition, the earnings on the excess contribution may be subject to a 10% penalty. Customers can request an ROE by completing a Premiere Select IRA One Time Distribution Request form (not required for accounts governed by Asset Movement Authorization).

Correspondents can process ROEs in the Integrated Cashiering Platform (ICP). To ensure that an ROE for a contribution made in 2021 is processed prior to the customer’s deadline, correspondents have until 4:00PM ET on October 17, 2022 to enter and approve the transaction. Please note that the last day to request a distribution via the standard 2-day EFT process is October 14, 2022, provided that the request is entered and paperwork is submitted (if applicable) by 4:00PM ET.

The IRS has provided tax relief for victims of recent storms and wildfires that extends the October 17 deadline. For details, please refer to these IRS Notices:

StateDeadline Extended ToIRS Notice
Kentucky11/15/2022KY-2022-06
St. Croix, USVI11/15/2022VI-2022-01
Missouri11/15/2022MO-2022-07
Mississippi2/15/2023MS-2022-01
Puerto Rico2/15/2023PR-2022-10

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Fixed Income Commentary

Bond yields rose substantially in August as investors interpreted numerous comments from Fed officials as bearish.  All tenors in the one-to-ten-year part of the yield curve rose by 50 basis points or more.  As a result, the total return for the Bloomberg U.S. Intermediate Aggregate Bond Index was -2.49% for the month.” Read the full fixed income commentary from Maple Capital (or any of their other commentaries) at https://www.maplecapital.com/fixed-income-commentary-september-2022/ .

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Tell Us What You Think About ESI AND Win A Smart Watch!

Feedback is key for us to learn where our strengths are, where there is room for improvement, and how best to move forward with achieving our goals.  Please help us by completeing the Annual Sentiment Survey, emailed from “Equity Services, Inc. noreply@qemailserver.com” on Monday, September 19th. Everyone who responds to the survey will be entered into a drawing for a smart watch!

Last year ESI sent its first Annual Sentiment Survey to registered representatives and administrative staff in the field to get a baseline on how we are doing at a very high level.  The survey was designed to assess your experience in working with ESI holistically.  Are we meeting your needs?  Are we helping grow your business? And most importantly ae we helping you, help your clients achieve their financial goals?

Over the past year we have spent time analyzing your responses and implementing changes that we felt would be most impactful.  An example of this was the creation of the Partner Experience Group to overhaul our onboarding process and facilitate trainings for experienced producers.

Didn’t receive your survey email? Contact Mike Chiarella at MChiarella@NationalLife.com.

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Prohibition on Use of Outside Email

The securities industry has recently seen some SEC enforcement cases which involved multi-million-dollar fines related to the failure of certain firms to capture all electronic communications.  Firms’ processes and representatives’ compliance in this area are sure to receive continued scrutiny from regulators. To ensure that ESI’s representatives are compliant and still able to market non-securities related services under an approved DBA, this notice reiterates the process for all outside business-related email accounts, as well as non-standard NLG email formats. All ESI Registered Representatives (“RRs”), Investment Adviser Representatives (“IARs”), employees, and associated persons (including non-registered fingerprinted administrative staff) are required to use an NLGroup email or a firm-approved non-standard (a.k.a. “vanity”) email address for all business-related communications. Using an unapproved outside email address could cause violations of securities laws and could result in disciplinary action to the representative.

What is a Business-Related Communication?
Definition: Business-related communications include anything relating to:

  • Securities
  • Investment advisory services
  • Insurance (i.e. life, annuities, disability, property/casualty, health, group, etc.)
  • Commodities
  • Real Estate
  • All investment-related activities as defined by FINRA

Business-related communications to clients, potential clients, vendors, home office employees, admin staff, or other RRs may not be sent using an unapproved outside email address.

Examples of business-related communications include, but are not limited to:

  • Communicating to/from or about clients,
  • Discussing appointments with a client or RR (even to say you are running late),
  • Sending a form (even to print it),
  • Submitting a blotter to your Field OSJ,
  • Asking/answering questions to your office staff,
  • Discussing anything about the Firm or the Firm’s business, or
  • Communicating with vendors (i.e. wholesalers and marketing organizations).

Scanners
If you scan documents that are linked to an email, ensure the email address is your NLG email. Scanners must be linked to an NLG email address for the security of the information being scanned. Additionally, if you utilize your phone to take a photo for business purposes (e.g. photograph a driver’s license or paperwork), ensure that you upload them only to an approved email account and not your personal email.  Keep in mind that these documents may have confidential, personally identifiable information and should not be stored on your phone or in the cloud. So, you will want to ensure such items are properly deleted from the device immediately.

CPA, Enrolled Agent, or Attorney Emails
RRs who are also CPAs, Enrolled Agents (“EAs”), or attorneys must use their NLGroup email for all financial services business-related communications. However, ESI recognizes that CPAs, EAs and attorneys have privacy concerns specific to these outside activities.  Accordingly, those RRs who are practicing CPAs, EAs, or attorneys (or NY-only tax preparers) may use an outside email address for their accounting/tax or legal activities. To do so, RRs must maintain clear separation between their financial services and accounting/tax or legal activities, and submit a completed Email Address Certification to their supervisor and ESI Compliance.  

RRs must allow inspection of the outside email if requested and agree to all other terms specified in the Certification, which include minimum retention requirements. 

Vanity or Non-Standard Email
RRs and associated persons may be permitted to use a personalized or vanity email address (e.g. jsmith@abcfinancial.com) or a non-standard National Life format (i.e. something other than the standard LastName_FirstName@nlgroupmail.com  configuration) for business-related emails, provided that prior approval is obtained from ESI, and that such email addresses are properly configured to flow through the National Life servers.

It is important to note that the use of web-based email such as “Yahoo”, “AOL”, “Gmail”, or like services will not be approved, and are not permitted for financial services business-related communications under any circumstances, because they do not meet the regulatory requirements for monitoring and retention.

For more information on vanity or non-standard email addresses, please review Field Notice 2022-23 Vanity and Non-Standard Email.     

Questions?
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ESI Compliance at 800-344-7437 or ESIElectroniccommunications@nationallife.com.

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Introducing Envestnet’s Next Generation Proposal

Introducing Envestnet’s Next Generation Proposal
Starting on October 1, 2022, ESI Illuminations users will notice a new option on your Quick Start menu as Envestnet launches their newly modernized platform. While the old proposal generation tool will remain available for a time, we encourage you to explore the time-saving options within the new tool.

Features of the Next Generation Proposal
The most impactful feature of the next generation Proposal is the new user interface. Intuitive and simplified, the next generation Proposal displays only what you need to see and guides you through each step of the Proposal process, including: Assessing your client’s risk Finding the right investment products Generating a pitch document Setting up account restrictions and instructions Determining and customizing fees Specifying the source of funds for the strategy Scroll down for screenshot highlights of the new Proposal tool.
How to Access the Next Generation Proposal

Choose the following option from the menu to access the newly enhanced design and workflow.



The new interface will walk you through the proposal generation process, step-by-step.

Highlights of the new interface include:

Streamlined Interface
 
Easy to Access Research and Additional Information
Information displays in the right column. Need more details? Click on the information symbols to change the right column display.


   

Resources
Capabilities Guide
FAQ Flyer
Fact Sheet

Envestnet Support on Demand
The Envestnet Help Center is available to advisors by clicking the icon in the upper right-hand corner of every page of the Proposal tool. The Help Center provides step by step instructions for every aspect of running and modifying a Proposal. This is a user’s number one resource for figuring out how to utilize the Proposal. Envestnet’s Help Center is regularly updated to reflect technology release enhancements and general product updates by a team of e-learning specialists.

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Annuity Options in a Volatile Market

Do you have clients who are looking for an accumulation and/or income solution for their rollover, but today’s market volatility has them leaning into a more conservative risk profile? Given their range of options an annuity may be a good solution to explore. 

Risk Profile: Conservative to Moderate

Needs:

  • Looking for accumulation and/or income
  • Concerned about risk but still looking for an alternative to CD’s or Treasuries
  • Use as a source of income “bridge” to avoid taking income from equities-based accounts in years during significant market decline – protection from sequence of return risk.
  • Does not want to risk their principal

Potential Solution: Single Premium Fixed Indexed Deferred Annuity (FIDA)
A Fixed Indexed Deferred Annuity, FIDA can offer competitive caps, floors and flexibility. For more information on FIDA  from National Life Group, click here

Risk Profile: Moderate to Moderately Aggressive

Needs:

  • Looking for accumulation and/or income
  • Willing to accept some risk (including principal loss) for potentially higher return

Potential Solution: Registered Index-Linked Annuity (RILA)
A RILA limits, but doesn’t eliminate, downside risk, and offers growth potential that falls between a fixed indexed annuity and a variable annuity.

To view RILAs available to ESI Reps, click here.

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Docupace Update: Discontinuing Use of the Send Originals Queues

When ESI first implemented Docupace, the Send Originals queue was used as a means of notification to the field that a work item had been approved by Home Office and could be mailed to the vendor. With the evolution of functionality within Docupace, including eSignature, approval email notifications, and automated faxing capabilities to vendors, there is no longer a need to manage this queue.

You will continue to receive the automated approval emails and should use this as your notification that paperwork can be sent to the vendor (in the few cases where physical paperwork is required).

Beginning October 3rd, you will no longer see the Send Originals dropdown menu within your work item indexing page.

If you have any questions on this, please reach out to ESI at 800-344-7437.

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