The nation's insurance industry would rather that the Securities and Exchange Commission did not adopt amendments to the redemption fee rule that the regulator proposed in February.
Officially known as Rule 22c-2, it's meant to sniff out instances of illegal market timing by imposing fees of as much as 2% of assets on shareholders who redeem their stakes within seven days of purchase. Originally, funds would have been required to enforce the rule, but they argued that it would impossible to track down trades in large omnibus accounts.
The amendments essentially push that task onto some first- and second-tier intermediaries, which would include insurance companies that offer variable annuities. But they say they're in no better position than mutual funds, according to Best's Insurance News.
"The imposition of redemption fees at the omnibus account level in pension and annuity contracts would be difficult, if not impossible, to administer," wrote Carl Wilkerson, vice president and chief counsel for securities and litigation at the American Council of Life Insurers, a Washington lobbyist.
The Council submits that fair-value pricing or trade restrictions at the funds would be better alternatives. The subsidiaries of a number of leading insurers like Prudential Financial, MetLife and Marsh & McLennan played key roles in the market-timing scandal.