2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 17B - INSURANCE
Section 17B:25-36 - Use of certain terms regulated; exceptions.

17B:25-36 Use of certain terms regulated; exceptions.

3. a. (1) Consistent with the unfair trade practices set forth in N.J.S.17B:30-1 et seq., an insurance producer, or an agent, representative or member of a fraternal benefit society not required to be licensed as an insurance producer in accordance with section 32 of P.L.1997, c.322 (C.17:44B-32), or an insurer, if no producer or non-licensed society agent, representative or member is involved, shall not use a certification, professional designation, or form of advertising expressing or implying in an untrue, deceptive, misleading, or false manner that the producer, non-licensed society agent, representative or member, or insurer has special education, training, or experience in advising or servicing senior citizens or retirees in connection with the solicitation, negotiation, or sale of an annuity, or its value or suitability, either directly or indirectly, including through a publication or writing, or by issuing or promulgating an analysis or report relating to an annuity.

(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to:

(a) a title or designation conferred through an academic degree, certifying the completion of a course of study from an accredited institution of higher education, so long as the title or designation is not used in an untrue, deceptive, misleading, or false manner in connection with the solicitation, negotiation, or sale of an annuity; or

(b) a professional job title presented by an employer or other organization that is licensed or registered by a state or federal financial services regulatory agency, including any agency that regulates financial institutions, insurers, investment companies as defined under the "Investment Company Act of 1940," title I of Pub.L.76-768 (15 U.S.C.s.80a-1 et seq.), investment advisers as defined under the "Investment Advisers Act of 1940," title II of Pub.L.76-768 (15 U.S.C.s.80b-1 et seq.), and broker-dealers, and that indicates seniority or standing within the employer or other organization's operation or specifies an area of specialization recognized by that employer or other organization, so long as the professional job title is not used in an untrue, deceptive, misleading, or false manner in connection with the solicitation, negotiation, or sale of an annuity.

b. An untrue, deceptive, misleading, or false use of a certification, designation, or form of advertising shall include, but is not limited to:

(1) the use of a certification or professional designation not actually earned or otherwise available for use;

(2) the use of a nonexistent or self-conferred certification or professional designation;

(3) the use of a certification or professional designation that expresses or implies a level of occupational qualification obtained through education, training, or experience, but which is not actually obtained; and

(4) (a) the use of a certification or professional designation obtained from a certifying or designating organization that:

(i) is primarily engaged in the business of instruction in sales or marketing;

(ii) does not have reasonable standards or procedures for assuring the competency of a holder of its certificate or professional designation;

(iii) does not have reasonable standards or procedures for monitoring and disciplining a holder of its certificate or professional designation for improper or unethical conduct; or

(iv) does not have reasonable continuing education requirements for a holder of its certificate or professional designation in order to maintain the certification or designation; however

(b) there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the use of a certification or professional designation obtained from a certifying or designating organization is not in violation of this section if the certificate or professional designation issued to the holder does not apply primarily to sales or marketing and is accredited by:

(i) the American National Standards Institute, or its successor;

(ii) the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, or its successor;

(iii) any organization recognized as an accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education pursuant to section 496 of the "Higher Education Act of 1965," Pub.L.89-329 (20 U.S.C.s.1099b); or

(iv) any other organization approved by the commissioner by regulation.

c. In order to determine a violation of this section, the commissioner may consider the use of one or more words, combination of words, or acronyms representing these words, and the manner or context of their use with respect to a certification, professional designation, or form of advertising, including, but not limited to, "senior," "retirement," "elder," or words of similar import, "certified," "registered," "chartered," or words of similar import, and "adviser," "specialist," "consultant," "planner," or words of similar import.

L.2008, c.88, s.3.

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