Last week, the fight to keep indexed annuities state-regulated made a huge step forward when House conferees approved the Harkins amendment to the financial services bill H.R. 4173. That’s good news for agents who have been selling indexed annuities as insurance products and want to continue doing so – the SEC’s Rule 151A, which was passed in 2008 and originally set to go into effect on Jan. 12, 2011, would have regulated indexed annuities at the federal level, as securities, and led to a world of trouble for the popular product’s current distribution system.
Now, all the remains is to sit and wait for the passage of H.R. 4173 in the Senate – but it looks like Democrats are still pushing to get the support they need for the bill, which has beenpassed in the House and reconciles the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act bill.
But even though the passage of H.R. 4173 would now mean a victory for the indexed annuity camp, it may not be all roses and sunshine. For one, the financial services bill includes a number of issues of concern for producers – for instance, the creation of a Federal Insurance Office,
And Huffington Post blogger Shahien Nasiripour recently wrote about how the Harkins amendment could end up hurting, not helping, seniors.
So what do you think? Is this the inclusion of the Harkins amendment sweepingly good news? If you sell indexed annuities, are you breathing easier, or are you holding your breath to see whether the financial services bill will actually make it through the Senate? And do you think that it’s a bright spot in what could be an otherwise game-changing bill? Share your thoughts here!