Is the SEC’s offer to delay implementation of Rule 151A by a couple of years good news, or bad news?
Well, it depends on how you look at it.
On the one hand, regulators would have more time to determine how the rule, which would regulate indexed annuities as securities at the federal level, would impact the industry and the economy. As part of its proposed two-year stay, the SEC would open up a comment period designed to find out just what type of a longstanding impact such a rule would have.
Any delay for the rule — which was originally set to take effect in January 2011 — would also give indexed annuity issuers more time to implement the rule and adjust, should the commission actually go through with things (and should the courts allow them to).
But as with many decisions, this one cuts both ways. It’s clear the SEC isn’t ready to give up yet, as American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co., Midland National Life Insurance Co., and other insurers may have hoped when they filed a lawsuit back in January to keep the regulator from moving forward with the approved rule.