The Senior Safe Act was passed in 2018 to encourage brokers, advisors and other professionals in the investment industry to report suspected elder financial exploitation.
The act grants immunity from legal liability in the event an employee makes a report in good faith of suspected exploitation of a senior’s assets. This immunity also extends to actions that would temporarily interrupt suspicious withdrawals of funds to protect a senior’s assets.
The ruling supports retirement plan advisers and other financial professionals taking a more proactive role to protect their clients’ best interests. It specifies that employees must receive specific training to qualify for immunity.
Instruction includes learning how to identify and handle potential senior financial exploitation as well as their possible privacy issues that may result from a report. It also includes discussion about ethical approaches to seniors’ issues and concerns.
Other recommended training that many financial firms give to their employees is on how to detect the signs of cognitive decline in an elder client. Spotting a decrease in mental ability early on gives a financial professional the chance to address the heightened risk of client vulnerability.
Awareness is key
Many seniors have become savvy to exploitation, such as phone scam grifts through increased reporting by the media.
However, the greatest danger of financial harm can be through family or close friends. By staying aware, getting recommended training and being observant, financial professionals can make a positive impact that promotes seniors’ financial stability.