The National Association for Fixed Annuities is criticizing a television news show segment that focused on indexed annuities.

Dateline NBC broadcast a report Sunday that portrayed indexed annuities as being too complicated and implying that indexed annuity sales practices are deceptive, according to NAFA, Milwaukee.

One state official criticized annuity contract language as being confusing, even though her state’s laws require annuity issuers to use the language that she was criticizing, NAFA says.

“The fixed annuity marketplace offers a diverse set of low cost and competitive choices for the consumer, and consumers are protected by their state insurance department’s oversight and enforcement of robust state regulations,” NAFA says in its response to the Dateline NBC report.”

In most cases, consumers buy indexed annuities because of characteristics such as crediting rates that are higher than bank certificate of deposit rates and the fact that annuity interest earnings are not treated as income in Social Security benefits determinations, NAFA says.

“NAFA strongly opposes fraudulent and deceptive sales tactics and inappropriate or unsuitable sales,” the group says. “The association is working aggressively with others in the industry to ensure a safe and informed environment for consumers.”

If a state official sees evidence of use of unacceptable sales practices, the official should take legal action against the sellers rather than putting a case on trial on television, NAFA says.