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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > SEC

SEC Extends Annuity Rule Comment Period

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be giving members of the public more time to comment on a controversial proposal to classify indexed annuities as securities.

In June, the SEC set the comment period on the Section 151A proposal to end Sept. 10.

The comment period now will end 30 days from the date when the extension notice appears in the Federal Register, officials say.

The notice should appear in the Federal Register sometime this week, officials say.

Issuers of indexed annuities offer a fixed, guaranteed rate of return and also offer to pay holders extra if a specified investment index does well.

Insurance agents, securities brokers and others already have submitted hundreds of comments on the proposal to the SEC.

Proposal supporters say they want the SEC to step in and help improve the way indexed annuities are sold.

The majority of the commenters have objected to the idea of the SEC sharing oversight over indexed annuities with state regulators, arguing that the products are clearly insurance arrangements, not securities, and that indexed annuities have been performing much better under current conditions than the products and entities that the SEC now regulates.

“Call me cynical, but when the United States Treasury has to extend a line of credit to Wall Street firms so they can remain solvent, I’m not sure the SEC has their regulatory priorities properly structured,” Douglas Peyton, a holder of the Chartered Life Underwriter and Certified Financial Planner professional designations, writes in a comment submitted in August.


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