Thank you to everyone who participated in the NSSTA Member Forums held in Boston and Chicago in the last month. More than 40 NSSTA members met with Jim Early and Members of the NSSTA Board of Directors to discuss industry issues, growth initiatives and ways to increase member engagement.
Some of the issues discussed include:
Encouraging and training professionals who are new to the industry – Members agree that it’s important to encourage the next generation of consultants, case managers and industry professionals. Training initiatives, like Structures 202, and mentoring programs were discussed, as well as professional standards and codes of conduct. NSSTA will be holding a Structures 202 training program early next year – more details will be available soon. The CSSC and MSSC programs were also mentioned as a way to provide training and educational opportunities for industry professionals.
Government Relations Issues – Tax reform is a constant challenge to the structured settlements industry, and one that NSSTA works to address daily. Educating and engaging with elected officials is critical, and NSSTA PAC allows our association to support representatives who support structured settlements. Jim Early also discussed two recent political events sponsored by NSSTA in Washington, D.C., with Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho and Congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas—and Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. NSSTA will continue to work to protect tax code Section 130 and Section 104(a), and is asking all members to contribute to the NSSTA PAC – every dollar helps to protect the structured settlement codes.
Factoring Issues and Developments: Over the past 14 months, NSSTA has worked effectively to pass very strong Structured Settlement Protection Acts in Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. NSSTA worked to build a strong coalition of interest groups including the National Consumers League, the American Association for Justice, the American Insurance Association, the Property & Casualty Insurance Association and the American Association of People with Disabilities to adopt new consumer protections in State Structured Settlement Protection Acts. We are now turning our attention on the District of Columbia to encourage local officials to adopt a DC SSPA.
NSSTA Growth Committee has received more than 20 industry growth proposals from NSSTA members. From that list, the committee has recommended that NSSTA move forward with plans to develop three projects. It is important to remember that NSSTA has decided to make the new Growth Committee a permanent committee, which will allow all NSSTA members to continue submitting new growth proposals and ideas at Growth@NSSTA.com.
These current Growth Committee initiatives include:
• Develop a Convertible Lump Sum Option (CLS)
• Casualty Company Program Revival—CPR: Reach out to P&C companies that have gotten out of the structures business with the objective of finding out why they left the business and what our industry could do to get them back in the structured settlements business
• Amend the Federal Employee Compensation Act: The Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) claims are worker’s compensation payments (medical, indemnity and death) paid to Federal employees or their survivors. FECA was enacted to mimic the benefits available to injured workers and their survivors in various states. Since its inception, it has not permitted settlements. We propose to amend FECA to permit settlements for all three types of claims.