The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has decided to put off enforcing a proposed deferred variable annuity sales review regulation until 180 days after it rewrites the regulation.

The proposed regulation, Rule 2821(c), would require that a FINRA member firm principal review the suitability of each deferred VA application within 7 business days after the customer had signed the application and before the application had been submitted to the insurance company.

“A number of firms asserted that 7 business days beginning from the time when the customer signs the application may not allow for a thorough principal review in all cases,” FINRA officials write in an explanation of the decision to postpone implementation of the proposed rule. “These firms asked that a different timing mechanism be used.”

Some commenters also questioned whether the proposed rule should apply to broker-dealers that do not make investment recommendations to customers and do not employ principals to perform suitability reviews, officials write.

FINRA now is preparing to respond to those concerns and others by proposing “substantive amendments” to Rule 2821 and wants to notify member firms that they can wait until a later date to comply with the rule, officials write.

FINRA is the product of a merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Washington, and the regulatory arm of the New York Stock Exchange.

Rule 2821(c) is part of Rule 2821, a package of proposed deferred VA suitability and supervision guidelines, which was approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2007.

The rule originally was set to take effect May 5.

In January, the SEC let FINRA postpone implementation of Rule 2821(c) until Aug. 4.

The new notice will push implementation back till October or later.