Section 628.347, Wis. Stat., pertaining to the suitability of annuity transactions has been amended. New requirements take effect May 1, 2011, and include the requirement that licensed life insurance agents who sell annuities complete a one-time, four-credit general annuity training course approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). Existing life agents on May 1, 2011, who sell any annuities must complete four hours of approved annuity training within six months, by November 1, 2011. Newly licensed life agents on or after May 1, 2011, have to complete the training before they can sell annuities.
The training is required of both resident and nonresident agents, and is a one-time requirement. No follow-up training is mandated. Agents who satisfy the training requirements of another state that are similar to Wisconsin's law will be deemed compliant for Wisconsin's requirement. It is up to each insurer to verify that their appointed agents have completed the required training.
All providers and courses must be reviewed and approved prior to credit being awarded. Providers not already approved in Wisconsin need to contact Pearson VUE at (800) 274-4743 to obtain the appropriate information on how to apply. Application materials are also available at their Web site at Pearson VUE.
The approved Annuity Training Outline (opens in new window) is available at our Web site. Please note that provider courses do not have to follow our outline verbatim. Courses that follow the high-level outline can have some flexibility in the subcategories as long as the major areas are discussed.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why were changes including the training requirement made to s. 628.347, Wis. Stat.?
- What kind of training is required?
- When do agents have to complete the training requirement?
- Can the training be approved for CE credit?
- How can agents find approved annuity training courses?
- Do all licensed agents have to complete annuity training?
- Does the training requirement apply to nonresident agents?
- Does the training requirement apply to producers who sell only group annuities?
- Do agents need to submit proof of completion of training to the OCI?
- If an agent completes annuity training in another state will it satisfy the Wisconsin requirement?
- Does s. 628.347, Wis. Stat., require agents to have any additional annuity training?
The changes to s. 628.347, Wis. Stat., coincide with the revisions made to the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation that was originally adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2006 and later amended in March 2010.[Back to Top]
Agents who sell annuities are required to complete a one-time annuity training course of sufficient length to qualify for at least four continuing education credits. Course content must include the types of annuities, identification of the parties to an annuity, how fixed, variable and indexed annuity contract provisions affect consumers, the application of income taxation of qualified and non-qualified annuities, the primary uses of annuities, as well as appropriate sales practices and replacement and disclosure requirements. Training courses may not present any marketing information or provide training on sales techniques or provide specific information about a particular insurer's products.[Back to Top]
Existing agents who sell annuities have until November 1, 2011, to complete the training while agents first obtaining a life license on or after May 1, 2011, will need to complete the required training before they can begin selling annuities.[Back to Top]
Completion of a Wisconsin approved annuity training course can also count towards a resident agent's continuing education credits requirement.[Back to Top]
A listing of approved annuity training courses can be found by following the links on SIRCON's Wisconsin Producer Portal at: http://www.sircon.com/resource/layout.jsp?page=wisconsinLps&sc=pglemyjk&type=wisconsin[Back to Top]
Only those life insurance producers who intend to sell annuities are required to complete the annuity training.[Back to Top]
Yes. It applies to any agent selling annuity products in Wisconsin.[Back to Top]
The training requirement applies to agents who sell either fixed or variable annuities that are individually solicited, whether the product is classified as an individual or group annuity.[Back to Top]
No. Insurers are responsible for verifying that their appointed agents have received the required training before allowing agents to sell their annuity products.[Back to Top]
Completion of an annuity training course approved in another state that is substantially similar to Wisconsin's requirements can satisfy the annuity training requirement.[Back to Top]
An agent may not solicit the sale of an annuity unless the agent has adequate knowledge of the product to recommend the annuity and is in compliance with the insurer's standards for product training. Insurers are required to establish standards for agent product training and to provide product-specific training and training materials that explain all material features of their annuity products to their agents.