Members of the National Association for Variable Annuities need to take the consumer protection provision in the group’s mission statement seriously.
Annette Nazareth, a commissioner who serves on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, delivered that message in Washington Monday at a compliance conference organized by NAVA, Reston, Va.
Nazareth noted that NAVA’s own mission statement states that the group exists in part to “protect consumers by encouraging adherence to the highest ethical standards by insurers,” according to a written version of her remarks.
Nazareth also praised NAVA efforts to protect consumers by trying to come up with a simplified disclosure system and by coming up with a list of 10 questions that older consumers should ask when considering the purchase of variable annuities.
But Nazareth also emphasized that she and the SEC have taken a keen interest in reports of problems with VA sales.
Officials at the National Association of Securities Dealers, Washington, have made a point in recent months of complaining about what they say are complicated equity indexed annuity contracts and a fragmented system for regulating annuities.
Nazareth told NAVA conference participants that she was not at the conference to opine on the legal issues concerning which agency should regulate EIAs.