The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to address the status of equity indexed annuities soon.

“Possibly as early as this month,” said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in a June 13 speech, “we’ll consider a proposed rule to deal with the long standing investor protection issue of equity-indexed annuities, and when they should be treated as securities.

“This is an important issue on which we’ve been closely collaborating with NASAA [the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc.] and our state securities regulatory counterparts. And it is of particular importance to senior investors.”

Cox made the remarks while addressing the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute Conference on Next Generation Asset Management, in Washington, D.C.

The index annuity initiative is among numerous actions that Cox said the SEC has on the horizon for 2008.

Another initiative concerns 12(b)1 fees in mutual funds. The SEC will “formally consider proposed amendments to overhaul or abolish 12b-1 fees, which have befuddled mutual fund investors for so long,” said Cox.