August 9, 2005
Re: File Number SR-NASD-2004-183
I feel that the proposed rules relating to the sale of variable annuities would affect my business and operational practices in a negative way.
I feel that time horizon should be one of the suitability criteria, not the sole determinant of whether a recommendation can be made. This ruling, if passed, would reduce my ability to provide annuities to my clients. If my client meets all of the suitability criteria, except that he/she does not have a long-term investment objective, the sale would be rejected.
Adding additional suitability information prior to recommending a DVA purchase is un- warranted in that rule 2310 already provides satisfactory standards. I am concerned that certain product specific criteria, listed by the NASD, are either unclear or irrelevant to a suitability determination.
I am disturbed by the vagueness of certain suitability standards that would be applied to the appropriateness of a sale. If a DVA cannot be sold to a customer over a certain age, what standard does the NASD have in mind? I would not like being put in a position to second-guess what the answers are.
I am in full agreement that representatives should be better trained by product sponsors as proposed in paragraph e of the Proposed Rule.
I would like to see more enhanced and meaningful disclosure in prospectuses. A plain English summary discussion would be most appreciated by the consumer and the representative.
I feel that if the Proposed Rule 2821 is passed in its present form, it will have substantial unintended consequences and would ultimately harm customers by making DVAs less available to those who legitimately need them.