WASHINGTON, D.C. December 17, 2008 – The following is a statement from the North American Securities Administrators Association on the vote today by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to subject equity-indexed annuities (EIAs) to regulation under the federal securities laws. NASAA’s membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“Equity-indexed annuities are extremely complex investment products that have often been used as instruments of fraud and abuse. For years, they have taken an especially heavy toll on our nation’s most vulnerable investors, our senior citizens for whom they are clearly unsuitable.

“This important rule will enable the SEC to address these abuses with the regulatory tools available under the federal securities laws, ranging from mandatory registration and disclosure requirements to strong suitability standards and antifraud remedies. NASAA commends the SEC and Chairman Cox in particular for removing the regulatory uncertainty surrounding EIAs and allowing the investing public to benefit from all of the protections this rule will provide.”

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications