The National Association of Securities Dealers has joined with 3 state insurance commissioners to sign a statement supporting a new annuity sales suitability rule.
The suitability rule would apply to both insurance companies and agencies, and it would require insurance companies and agencies to recommend only suitable annuity products to their customers.
The state insurance commissioners signing the statement are Susan Voss of Iowa, Jim Poolman of North Dakota and Glenn Wilson of Minnesota. The statement also was signed by NASD Chairman Mary Schapiro.
The release of the statement follows an annuity roundtable sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the NASD, Washington.
The authors of the statement declare that it was the “general consensus” of the more than 20 securities and insurance regulators and industry executives participating in the roundtable that “investors purchasing fixed, variable or indexed annuities should have suitability protection, regardless of which regulatory regime covers the particular product they buy.”
The NAIC has adopted a Suitability in Annuity Transactions model regulation that applies to all consumers. The model imposes suitability requirements on the purchase or exchange of fixed annuities in those states that do not have a requirement. With respect to variable annuities, the model imposes an “express suitability standard on insurance companies where none exist.”
The authors of the statement note that although broker-dealers and investment advisors are subject to the federal securities laws and certain state securities laws, insurance companies have not been subject to an express obligation.