The state insurance department sets tougher rules for those who sell annuities in Missouri. The agency is using new powers given it by the legislature to put new protections for consumers who buy annuities. The new rules say, basically, that sales people cannot sell annuities that are inappropriate for the buyer’s specific investment and insurance needs.

Insurance department spokesman Emily Kampeter says the agency has been limited to regulating variable annuities. The new law lets the department regulate sales of all annuities to individuals. Kampeter says the department has received about 200 complaints about annuities in the last two years, sixty of them concerning equity-indexed annuity policies. She says consumers need to recognize annuities for what they are—insurance products, not investment products. She says annuities are insurance against a person outliving their money. The new rules will be published next month after which the public, including the insurance industry, will have 30- days to comment. They could go into effect by next June

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