Rule 151A

A Federal appeals court recently voided Rule 151A.

Rule 151A would have treated indexed annuities as securities and would therefore have shifted responsibility for regulation of indexed annuities from state departments of insurance to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Keeping an Eye on Fiduciary Status

The proposed regulation that could expand fiduciary status to a broader set of financial advisors appears to be pending in Congress.

The Dodd version from the Senate Banking Committee would potentially extend fiduciary status to broker-dealers and registered representatives.  Broker-dealers are currently exempt from the Investment Advisers Act which defines fiduciary status.

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Annuities in 401k Plans Under Consideration by Obama Administration

Members of Congress and officials from the Departments of Treasury and Labor are working on options that would provide sources of guaranteed lifetime income to participants in 401k and other pension plans. At a high level, it is clear that the Obama Administration wants to create structures and incentives for: Increasing retirement savings. Providing people with the ability to turn those accumulated savings into streams of income that last through retirement. A trial program that would involve...

SEC Postpones Effective Date of Rule 151A

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed to a two year "stay" on SEC Rule 151A. SEC Rule 151A is a contentious rule that, from a regulation standpoint, would treat fixed indexed annuities as securities rather than insurance products. The securities regulation would be under FINRA oversight. The stay basically postpones the rule's proposed January 12, 2011 effective date for a period of two years. Source: Wall Street Journal Full Story
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Investors Making Some Progress with Financial Crisis-Related Arbitration Claims

Barron's reports that U.S. investors have filed more securities arbitration claims in 2009 than in all of 2008. 4,991 claims have been filed thus far in 2009. Mandatory arbitration--which prevents a case from going straight to court--is essentially the sole recourse for investors who feel they have been harmed by a broker or advisor. The arbitration system is run by Finra , which serves as the self-regulation arm of the securities industry. The overall success rate of securities arbitration...