Elder Abuse Reporting Moves Forward
Your firm could get a green light to fight elder financial abuse if a bipartisan effort by lawmakers is successful, reports Financial Planning.
Sen. Susan Collins (R.-Maine) has recruited Democratic and Republican support for the Senior Safe Act, which she reintroduced last month. Also backing it are the Investment Adviser Association, SIFMA and the Insured Retirement Institute, which aren’t always allies on policy matters, notes Financial Planning.
The legislation would shield financial companies and employees from lawsuits if they report suspected elder abuse to the appropriate authorities. To get safe harbor, firms would have to train workers on flagging abuse.
The Senate Aging Committee, which Collins chairs, defines elder financial abuse as “illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property or assets.”
Unlike internet or phone scammers, people who commit elder abuse often know their victims well. The Government Accountability Office says the annual cost of such abuse and fraud is $2.9 billion, but other estimates are even higher.
Regulators already have tried to assure financial professionals that reporting abuse doesn’t breach privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Even so, Diane Menio, executive director of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, said many firms have shied away from taking the steps to identify and report it, Financial Planning reported.