NU Online News Service, Nov. 16, 2005, 6:21 p.m. EST

A major West Coast insurer says it will be easing up on a recent change in the way it compensates benefits brokers.[@@]

StanCorp Financial Group Inc., Portland, Ore., has announced that it no longer will withhold payments under existing performance-related commission arrangements with the producers who sell its retirement plans and other employee benefits products.

In October, StanCorp, the parent of Standard Insurance Company, responded to a wave of investigations by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and other regulators by saying it would stop making payments due under existing contract provisions that called for StanCorp to reward brokers for the overall performance of blocks of business.

StanCorp said it needed time to study the broker compensation issue.

Since then, “we have carefully assessed our broker fee arrangements in light of current circumstances and have determined that honoring payments under our current arrangements is appropriate,” StanCorp Chairman Eric Parsons says in a statement. “We continue to monitor developments around broker compensation, and as previously disclosed, are not entering into new performance-related commission arrangements at this time.”