The National Association of Insurance Regulators issued new suitability standards this summer that they hope investment advisers will follow. According to Investment News’ “IRI to launch ‘painless’ annuity training platform” by Mark Schoeff Jr., the annuity sales training will be uniform across the board of investment advisers because one website will handle everything. While only two states have plans in place to implement the regulations, there are 29 other states committed to beginning the suitability requirement process. Iowa will be the first state to require the suitability regulations be followed, beginning January 1. Their investment advisers will be able to use this new website system for their training because it will be up and running on November 22 of this year.
The Insured Retirement Institute worked with RegEd, a compliance company, to get the training program up and running. Advisers will receive specific training related to the suitability of annuity products to meet the new suitability standard. The training will include a range of annuities from a 401k annuity to various other types of fixed and variable annuities. These suitability standards were put in place to protect worried consumers who hear the small percentage of negative stories about annuities from the media. While the majority of annuity products are not too complex or expensive to begin with, this across the board training is meant to eliminate any abusive practices by advisers. There are incentives in place to encourage the 19 states who haven’t yet implemented the regulations to do so.