This post contains a copy of a report issued by the staff of the SEC, NASAA and FINRA and does not reflect the view of, or include findings or conclusions of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The full release is contained on the attached pdf. document.
PROTECTING SENIOR INVESTORS:
COMPLIANCE, SUPERVISORY AND OTHER PRACTICES USED BY
FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SERVING SENIOR INVESTORS
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s
Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations,
North American Securities Administrators Association, and
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
August 13, 2010
Today in the United States, nearly 40 million people are age 65 and older. This number is expected to more than double to 89 million by 2050. In addition to these staggering numbers, many seniors find themselves with smaller nest eggs than they anticipated as a result of the economic downturn experienced over the past 18 months. Estimates show that total retirement assets decreased by $4.5 trillion, or 25%, from 2007 to the first quarter of 2009.
In light of these demographics, Staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) continues to view the protection of senior investors as a top priority. With this in mind, in March 2008, NASAA adopted the NASAA Model Rule on the use of Senior-Specific Certifications and Professional Designations in response to the possible risk to investors that a designation may be used to imply expertise or credentials, which may be inaccurate or misleading.
As of February 2010, 19 states have adopted the NASAA Model and two states have adopted state specific rules prior to adoption of NASAA’s Model. As part of securities regulators’ collaborative efforts to protect senior investors, the authors released a public report in September 2008 that summarized practices used by financial services firms and securities professionals in serving senior investors. The report entitled “Protecting Senior Investors: Compliance, Supervisory and Other Practices Used by
* This is a report of the Commission’s Staff, FINRA and NASAA, and does not reflect the views of, or include findings or conclusions by, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
1 http://www.transgenerational.org/aging/demographics.htm#ixzz0bqbUpAAv .
2 At the end of 2007 U.S. retirement assets stood at $17.9 trillion. By the end of the first quarter of 2009 they were down to $13.4 trillion. See The U.S. Retirement Market, 2008 at
www.ici.org/pdf/fm-v18n5.pdf and The U.S. Retirement Market, First Quarter 2009 at
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