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151A: Meeks-Price bill hits the house

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A bill that would overturn SEC rule 151A is “in the house,” as they say on Capitol Hill. If you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely well-versed on 151A, which would securitize most fixed and indexed annuities and place them under the “watchful” eye of the SEC. (OK, hold the laughter.)

This bill, which is making its way through the House, is known as H.R. 2733. Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) have co-sponsored the bill — the “Indexed Annuities and Insurance Products Classification Act of 2009.”

The bi-partisan bill has picked up an additional 21 sponsors and, in overturning 151A, would clarify that fixed indexed annuities are not securities, thus ensuring that consumers would continue to have access to those products.

“The last thing the U.S. public needs is unnecessary and duplicative regulation,” said Jim Poolman, the Coalition for Indexed Products’ spokesperson, who noted that fixed indexed annuities are already effectively regulated by state commissioners, under the Securities Act of 1933.

“These products have proven their ability to provide middle class investors with a high level of stability and peace of mind in a very difficult market environment,” he added. “In light of recent events, the advantage inherent in guaranteed, non-securities, insurance products is more evident than ever.”