On May 11 Iowa insurance regulators adopted revisions to the state’s regulations on annuity recommendations and sales to require producers and insurers to act in the best interests of annuity purchasers. Under the revised rules, producers must not put their own financial interests ahead of consumers’ interests. These revisions track amendments made earlier this year by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to the NAIC Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, which aligns well with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and will raise the standard of care required of financial professionals while preserving consumers’ access to valuable financial advice, services, and products.
NAIFA was an active participant in the development of the NAIC revisions, and the adoption by the states of these amendments is a top advocacy priority for NAIFA. Members of NAIFA's Iowa chapter reached out to Iowa regulators as strong proponents of the proposal.
"The Iowa Insurance Division and Commissioner Doug Ommen have done a great service to consumers in the state by moving quickly to adopt these amendments," said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. "We applaud their efforts and urge other states to follow Iowa's example. The NAIC model is designed to protect consumers and safeguard relationships between financial professionals and their clients. It truly is a win-win proposition."
The Iowa Insurance Division had also proposed regulations which would have put in place a similar best interest standard for securities transactions; this proposal has been delayed due to the COVID -19 crisis and will likely be reconsidered later this summer.