A form reviewer at the Securities and Exchange Commission recently said he wants to make sure life insurers give investors a clear picture of how their registered index-linked annuity (RILA) contracts work. RILAs are annuity contracts that can expose the holder to the risk of investment-related loss of principal, but that tie crediting rates at least partly to the performance of investment indexes, rather than to the performance of funds that resemble mutual funds. At the Life Insurance Products Conference, held recently in Washington, D.C., Michael Kosoff, an attorney on the staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, stated that he wants one strategy to be available throughout the life of the contract. He also wants to require issuers to disclose maximum losses. Essentially, the SEC wants life insurance company clients to say which crediting strategy the clients' guarantee will be available for the life of a RILA contract. A crediting strategy includes a reference to a particular index such as the S&P 500. Kosoff’s concern is that many issuers have a provision stating, “After the first year, we can terminate any and all options currently available. So, in essence, after year one, investors have no idea what they’re getting.”
Finsum:Due toconcerns over changing crediting changes in registered index-linked annuities, an SEC form reviewer stated that he wants one strategy to be available throughout the life of the contract.