SIFMA Commends Missouri’s ‘Senior Savings Protection Act’

Release Date: June 15, 2015
Contact: Carol Danko, 202.962.7390, [email protected] 

SIFMA Commends Missouri’s ‘Senior Savings Protection Act’  

Washington, DC, June 15, 2015– SIFMA commends the State of Missouri for passing the ‘Senior Savings Protection Act’ (SB 244) to prevent the financial exploitation of senior investors, which was signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon last Friday. 

“SIFMA applauds Missouri’s leadership in enacting the ‘Senior Savings Protection Act’ to prevent the financial exploitation of seniors, and we encourage other states to adopt similar models. Aging investors are at a greater risk of diminished capacity, making them vulnerable targets for scams and exploitation.  Persons working for broker-dealers are often firsthand witnesses to potential exploitation, and this legislation will give them the ability to help protect senior investors from those who wish to take advantage of them,” said  Kim Chamberlain,  SIFMA Managing Director and Associate General Counsel.    

SIFMA has long expressed support for the law, which would provide Broker-Dealers with a path to voluntarily reach out to the Securities Commissioner, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and immediate family members when they suspect their senior clients are being financially exploited.  Broker-Dealers who voluntarily report suspected exploitation would be immune from civil and administrative liability, and would be allowed to refuse to execute suspect disbursements for up to 10 business days so that the state may review the situation.   

Missouri has a growing senior population.  By 2030, the number of seniors aged 65 and above in Missouri is expected to reach 1.4 million and make up roughly 21% of the state’s population. The population of Missourians aged 85 and above is expected to surpass 176,000 in that same time frame, which would account for more than 2.5% of the state’s population. 

Nationwide, seniors are a highly targeted demographic.  Seniors lose an estimated $2.6 billion annually to financial exploitation. Studies report that 1 in 5 seniors have been victims of financial fraud, including exploitation by friends and family members, abuses of Powers of Attorney, Jamaican Lottery scams, Nigerian Prince scams, Romance scams, and a number of other dangers. 

The National Adult Protective Services Association estimates that only 1 in 44 cases of financial exploitation are ever reported. 

Financial advisors are in a unique position to help prevent the financial exploitation of seniors. As of late 2014, Americans over the age of 50 accounted for 77% of all personal financial assets in the U.S. and more than half of them utilized financial advisers. 

Missouri is the third state to enact such a law, joining Washington and Delaware.