The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says it is still deciding how to handle supervision requirements for the variable annuity sales process.

FINRA, Washington, mentions proposed broker-dealer compliance and supervisory responsibilities for deferred VA contracts in a review of FINRA’s 2008 compliance examination program.

Many exam program priorities will be mainly of interest to stock brokers,

But FINRA notes that it is continuing to review public comments on the new Rule 2821 guidelines, which govern deferred VA marketing.

Most parts of the rule are set to take effect May 5.

A provision that will require principals to review transactions is set to take effect on or after Aug. 4.

“FINRA hopes to conclude its analysis of comments regarding the principal review provision and determine whether additional amendments to Rule 2821 are appropriate in the near future,” officials say.

FINRA notes that it also will continue look hard at treatment of senior investors, including “sales pitches masquerading as educational seminars… life settlements, the use of designations by salesperson[s]…and situations…whereby investors in or approaching retirement are solicited with misrepresentations or omissions about the risks of withdrawing retirement funds for reinvestments into products that may be unsuitable.”

In addition, FINRA will be looking at how member firms are responding to a recent court ruling that appears to define fee-based brokerage accounts as advisory accounts, officials report.

Firms that “trade on a principal basis with certain non-discretionary advisory accounts must be able to demonstrate they are conducting this trading in compliance with all requirements,” officials say.