Securities regulators have come up with a list of suggestions for ways that financial services companies can protect older investors.
The organizations that worked on the report include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Washington; and the North American Securities Administrators Association, Washington.
Many of the suggestions involve topics of interest to life insurers, such as retirement planning and annuities.
To ensure the appropriateness of investments, for example, a company could take steps such as using financial planning tools, using a filtering program to help advisors select suitable annuities for investors, and requiring a review of all new account forms reporting investment objectives more aggressive than “income” for investors over a certain age, officials write in the report.
Other, product-specific practices could include prohibiting purchases of certain variable life insurance products by investors who are above a certain age, or imposing an age maximum on certain annuity riders that have actuarially little or no benefit to persons above that age, officials write.
To deal with concerns about investors’ need for access to cash, some companies require a heightened review of annuity applications for investors over a certain age in a low tax bracket or with low liquid net worth, officials write.