Iowa First State to Use Improved Annuity Disclosures

The Iowa Division of Insurance will be the first U.S. state regulator to implement an initiative designed to improve consumer understanding of fixed and indexed annuities.

The regulator is joining with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, to promote the use of a new annuity disclosure template and disclosure documents that were created in response to an annuity disclosure model regulation developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, BestWeek reported.

The materials will provide clear answers to questions about fees, expenses, and benefits, including what in an annuity contract is guaranteed and what is not. The disclosure will also explain how to get income from an annuity, how the value grows, and how interest is calculated and when it is credited.

“We want to not only provide information as required by law, but to establish a standard where the information is disclosed in plain English and in a user-friendly way,’ ACLI President Frank Keating said in a statement, according to the news report.

Iowa customers could begin seeing the new disclosure materials immediately for fixed and indexed annuities, BestWeek said. The project will be evaluated after one year, according to Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss.

The ACLI and NAVA are seeking approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to extend the initiative to variable annuities.