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State’s Largest Senior Citizen Organization Commends Assemblyman for Efforts, Leadership on Issue

(PASSAIC) — Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer on Friday thanked the AARP for their efforts in publicizing a new law he sponsored that prevents unscrupulous investors from abusing or misusing senior-specific investment certifications to coerce senior citizens into specific financial investment programs.

“Most senior citizens nearing or in retirement rely on a lifetime of investments to see them through their golden years,” said Schaer (D-Passaic), chairman of the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. “Ensuring that these critical investments are protected from unscrupulous individuals — especially in a weak economy — continues to be one of our top priorities, and I thank the AARP for publicizing and highlighting that fact.”

“As the first legislator to introduce a bill on this issue, you have taken unprecedented steps for New Jersey seniors,” said Sy Larson, president of the New Jersey chapter of the AARP. “We believe that your actions will help reduce dishonest and harmful practices, while giving seniors greater confidence when obtaining information and making decisions about their investments.”

The law (A-369) prohibits financial advisors from advertising senior-specific certifications or professional designations which:

  • Were not actually earned or that an advisor is otherwise ineligible to use;
  • Are nonexistent or self-conferred;
  • Indicates or implies a level of occupational qualifications obtained through education, training or experience that the person does not have; and
  • Are conferred by any organization that does not meet certain recognized professional criteria.

“Any senior citizen or retired individual seeking the best financial advice and planning needs every assurance that the professional they are trusting to properly handle their money and their future actually has the expertise they say they do,” said Schaer. “Anything else is outright fraud.”