SEC IM director Dalia Blass. SEC IM director Dalia Blass. (Photo via Securities and Exchange Commission)

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management hopes to release its rule for a variable annuity summary prospectus by April 2020, according to IM Director Dalia Blass.

The SEC in mid-February extended by one month, to March 15, the comment period for its proposed rulemaking on a long-awaited VA summary prospectus.

The plan, which amends the rules and forms to help investors make informed investment decisions regarding variable annuity and variable life insurance contracts, was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 30, 2018.

Blass, in a recent speech, said that the IM Division is now considering the 50 comments as it drafts the rule. “The staff will continue to consider comments and is always available and interested if you have ideas, concerns, or information you would like to share with us,” Blass said Thursday in a speech before the American Council of Life Insurers.

Blass also noted in her speech that with the filing of the first Form N-CENs this year by insurance companies, as of the end of 2018 the commission regulated 422 variable annuity separate accounts, 241 variable life separate accounts, and that — collectively — these separate accounts funded about 3,500 variable products.

New ETF Rule and Separate Accounts

Blass also noted that the new ETF rule, adopted by the commission in September, “will be more straightforward for all ETFs,” given that ETF trading costs will now be required as part of disclosures filed by all open-end and unit investment trust ETFs with the commission.

Said Blass: “Although most insurance company separate accounts do not invest directly in ETFs, the new ETF regime should increase the options for contract holders desiring a fund-of-ETFs structure for their invested assets.”

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