The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has received permission from federal regulators to update rules that cover the handling of new variable annuity business.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has applied accelerated procedures to approve the change, which affects portions of NASD Rule 2821.

The rule deals with variable annuity transactions.

Originally, a draft of the rule change would have imposed stiff new transaction review requirements to all transactions, whether the transactions were approved or not, and the draft would have required FINRA member firms to act on VA applications within 7 business days.

The revised version of the rule change will impose the tougher principal review requirements only on recommended transactions, not on transactions that are not recommended.

The revision also will make it clear that the 7-day application review period starts only when a company’s “office of supervisory jurisdiction” has received a correct and complete copy of the application.

Other revisions deal with matters such as handling of customer VA payments.

The SEC approves of the revisions, including the slight loosening of the 7-day review standard, SEC officials say.

“We are not persuaded that the principal review clock should begin to run when any office of a broker-dealer receives an application because of the practical delays often associated with processing an application and routing it to the appropriate person,” officials say.

Although the SEC has approved the changes, it is inviting public comments.

Comments are due May 13.

A copy of an SEC release about the update is available here.