Organizations Working Together for Best Practices
The Insured Retirement Institute has sought to forge relationships with other organizations to create and adapt the standards and best practices necessary to enable the straight-through processing of annuities. As part of this process, IRI is in dialogue with many trade groups to form new alliances.
The following are organizations that are on board with IRI's efforts:
ACLI: In 2007, IRI sought the lobbying expertise and advice of ACLI to help roll out the standards to state insurance departments and to work collaboratively on several enhanced disclosure documents. ACLI, whose endorsement of the IRI STP Standards was critical to the process, has been a key component in driving the state-by-state rollout of the standards.
ACORD: In November of 2001, IRI allied with ACORD, a recognized standards-setting organization for the insurance industry, to help develop data messages. IRI and ACORD entered into an agreement to work together to develop XML-based standards for the annuity industry. ACORD will ensure that these standards are open standards and available in the public domain. In 2003, that agreement extended to cover the development of standard annuity forms. In 2008, ACORD agreed to support the STP project to ensure that its annuity forms will be STP-compliant.
FSI: In 2007, IRI and the FSI, an advocacy and membership organization for independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors, entered into a strategic alliance to extend IRI's STP Initiative to the independent annuity distribution channel. IRI and FSI worked together to augment the STP standards by obtaining comments and input from independent broker-dealers and their affiliated financial advisors. Additional objectives included prioritizing a phased implementation plan and working with members to facilitate an implementation approach that will allow for broad STP adoption among FSI members.
SIFMA (formerly SIA): In 2005, IRI entered into a strategic alliance with the Securities Industry Association (SIA). The relationship focused on the process simplification and standardization, regulatory change, and industry buy-in and adoption necessary for annuity STP to become a reality. SIA and IRI members agreed to work together to maximize those opportunities. This alliance encompassed the implementation of the STP roadmap in its entirety, including both new-business and post-issue processing, and evolved with the priorities of SIA and IRI member companies. The SIA issued an advocacy letter in August 2005 outlining the automation projects for which it encourages adoption.
SPeRS: In 2003, IRI formed an alliance with SPeRS (Standards and Procedures for Electronic Records and Signatures), a financial services industry consortium that has created a set of guidelines, procedures, checklists, and strategies for developing systems to create, deliver, sign, manage, and transfer legally enforceable electronic records and signatures in commercial and consumer transactions. IRI recommend that its members adopt the SPeRS methodology in implementing electronic signatures.