Investors Find Their Nest Eggs Are Variable and Vanishing Kansas City Star (05/25/03) p.A1; Wenske, Paul
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners may soon consider enforcing stricter policies to protect consumers from aggressive agents trying to reap higher commissions through unsuitable sales of annuities. While the insurance industry touts annuities as attractive products to help people save for retirement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state regulators cite a rise in variable annuity complaints from consumers. SEC Division of Investor Education Director Susan Wyderko says variable annuity complaints received by her agency increased by 45 percent last year, reaching 460. Kansas legislation that would have given state insurance regulators more enforcement authority over variable annuities was shot down earlier this year, but consumer advocates continue to argue that stricter regulations must be applied to agents' sales of variable annuities. ACLI Chief Counsel, Securities and Litigation Carl Wilkerson says the move for more enforcement authority over annuities by the Kansas Legislature is redundant, because variable annuities are already sufficiently regulated by state and federal laws.