Fixed index annuities had a really rough time in the year or so leading up to the debut of the first Fiduciary Rule. The DOL’s changes all but made the product extinct. However, since the rule was struck down, fixed index annuities have made a resurgence, posting their biggest ever quarter for sales with $20 bn in Q2 this year. The good news for brokers is that changes in the government’s regulatory approach means that fixed index annuities will now be treated like an equity product, which means they will be under the SEC’s purview. Additionally, a new kind of FIA has been developed—fee-based—which means brokers and advisors have a choice between a fee-based product or a commission-based one.
FINSUM: The big question for FIAs is how to do a best interest comparison between the fee-based and commission-based versions, as the cost changes depending on time and other factors.