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FINRA Posts VA Notice

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has released the final version of changes to variable annuity transaction regulations.

FINRA Regulatory Notice 09-32, “Deferred Variable Annuities,” covers amendments to parts of NASD Rule 2821, which governs purchases and exchanges of deferred variable annuities.

The amendments were approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in April. FINRA will use the amendments to put some hotly contested portions of Rule 2821 into effect Feb. 8, 2010.

One affected section of Rule 2821 will require FINRA member firms to have a principal review each recommended VA transaction within 7 business days after a firm’s “office of supervisory jurisdiction” has received a correct and complete copy of the application.

Originally, FINRA had planned to ask member firms to have principals review VA transactions that were not recommended as well as recommended transactions, and it had planned to require principals to conduct reviews within 7 days of receiving any signed VA application.

Other provisions deal with topics such as handling of lump-sum payments for variable annuities and other products.

A copy of the FINRA notice is available here.