March 13, 2008 12:29 ET

Annuity Suitability Summit Explores How to Best Serve Consumers in a Well-Regulated Marketplace

IMSA Addresses Key Issues Associated With Suitable Annuity Sales

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 13, 2008) - Yesterday a Summit Meeting in Washington, D.C. of state and federal regulators, consumer advocacy groups, life insurance companies, and those who sell and distribute products gathered to address the critical issues regarding the suitability of annuity sales to consumers and the challenges of coordinating regulatory approaches to best serve consumers. The Summit was convened by the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA).

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

"I applaud IMSA's initiative and effort to address suitability," said Roger Sevigny, New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner and 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. My hope is that from this Summit comes a uniform approach to suitability and suitability oversight."

"AARP was pleased to participate in this unique forum that will hopefully lead to the development of concrete steps to promote greater consistency and predictability in the regulation and sales of annuity products," said Ryan Wilson, AARP Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute. "These strides can benefit both the industry and the consumers who purchase annuities."

"The time to address these issues is now, and the organization to help us get it done is IMSA," said Doug Ommen, Missouri Insurance Commissioner. "In a well-regulated environment, consistency and uniformity is critical to protecting consumers."

"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," said 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."

IMSA is a nonprofit organization that promotes ethical business practices in the annuities, life insurance and long-term care insurance marketplace. Nearly half of all US consumer premiums are sold by companies already abiding by IMSA standards, which include the essential elements of state and FINRA suitability requirements. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • For information, contact:
    Jennifer Kalita