WASHINGTON BUREAU – Sen. Daniel Akaka acted today to keep an indexed annuity amendment from coming up for a vote on the Senate floor.
Sen. Thomas Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced the amendment, S.A. 3920, together with a bipartisan group of colleagues that included Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, as well as Sens. Earl Benjamin Nelson, D-Neb.; Michael Johanns, R-Neb.; and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
The amendment would bar the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from implementing Rule 151A and regulating indexed annuities as securities starting in January 2011.
Harkin and colleagues have been trying to add the amendment to S.A. 3937, a substitute version of S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act.
For the latest S. 3217 coverage, please see S. 3217: Senate Passes Cloture Motion.
The insurers that sell the annuities and the producers who sell them say the products offer a fixed minimum rate of return and therefore should be regulated as insurance products.
SEC officials and financial planning groups say the annuities are complicated, look like securities to consumers, and ought to be regulated using the same rules that apply to securities.
Insurers and industry groups have been fighting Rule 151A in court. They also have organized “fly-ins” and other efforts to try to persuade members of Congress to change or eliminate Rule 151A.