Washington – State and federal regulators, consumer advocacy groups, life insurance companies and those who sell and distribute annuity products recently gathered to address the issues of suitability of annuity sales at a summit. The Bethesda, Md.-based Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) convened the summit.

The topics discussed included how state and federal regulators can work collaboratively to provide greater clarity and predictability for companies who are expected to comply with an array of inconsistent and overlapping state and federal requirements.

The issue of suitability has arisen recently in the wake of complaints that senior citizens have been beguiled into buying annuities ill suited for them. In February, Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America reached a $10,050,000 settlement with the California Department of Insurance over allegations that it sold senior citizens unsuitable annuities.

"I applaud IMSA's initiative and effort to address suitability," says New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny, also the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) president-elect. "This issue gains importance everyday, not only for baby boomers and other consumers, but also for the insurance and regulatory communities.”

"This important dialogue addressed suitable annuity sales for consumers throughout the United States so that companies and distributors might better understand both state and federal regulations," says James Mumford, first deputy insurance commissioner of Iowa. "This summit can effect positive change for not only consumers and regulators, but also for those that market and sell annuity products and their current policyholders.”

Sources: IMSA, INN Archives

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