Edited By : Emily Miller
This page features 8 Cited Research Articles
Fact-Checked

Annuity.org content is meticulously reviewed to ensure it meets our high standards for readability, accuracy, fairness and transparency.

Annuity.org articles are spellchecked, grammatically correct and typo-free. Annuity.org editors may revise content for clarity, logic, flow and meaning. Annuity.org only uses credible sources of information.

This includes reputable industry sources, select financial publications, credible nonprofits, official government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

How to Cite Annuity.org's Article

APA Zimmermann, S. (2021, October 13). NAIC Annuity Suitability Training Requirements. Annuity.org. Retrieved January 14, 2022, from https://www.annuity.org/annuities/regulations/naic/training/

MLA Zimmermann, Sheena. "NAIC Annuity Suitability Training Requirements." Annuity.org, 13 Oct 2021, https://www.annuity.org/annuities/regulations/naic/training/.

Chicago Zimmermann, Sheena. "NAIC Annuity Suitability Training Requirements." Annuity.org. Last modified October 13, 2021. https://www.annuity.org/annuities/regulations/naic/training/.

Before an annuity product is sold, the insurer or agent issuing the annuity needs to fulfill certain training requirements. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and state insurance departments establish and enforce these regulations to protect the best interests of consumers.

Why You Can Trust Annuity.org

Annuity.org has been providing reliable, accurate financial information to consumers since 2013. We adhere to ethical journalism practices, including presenting honest, unbiased information that follows Associated Press style guidelines and reporting facts from reliable, attributed sources. Our objective is to deliver the most comprehensive explanation of annuities and financial literacy topics using plain, straightforward language.

Our Partnerships, Vision and Goals

We partner with Senior Market Sales (SMS), a market leader with over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, to offer personalized retirement solutions for consumers across the country. Our relationship with SMS (and Insuractive, the company’s consumer-facing branch) allows us to facilitate the sale of annuities and other retirement-oriented financial products to consumers who are looking to purchase a safe, reliable solution to fill gaps in their retirement income. When we produce legitimate inquiries, we get compensated, in turn, making Annuity.org stronger for our audience. Readers are in no way obligated to use our partners’ services to access Annuity.org resources for free.

SMS and Annuity.org share a common goal of educating consumers and helping them select the most appropriate product for their unique financial and lifestyle goals. Our network of advisors will never recommend products that are not right for the consumer nor will Annuity.org. Additionally, Annuity.org operates independently of its partners and has complete editorial control over the information we publish.

Our vision is to provide users with the highest quality information possible about their financial options and empower them to make informed decisions based on their unique needs.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, or NAIC, governs the insurance industry and supports state insurance commissioners. The insurance industry in the United States is regulated by the individual states, but the NAIC provides the overarching laws for standardization.

Since annuities are insurance products, annuity providers must adhere to NAIC standards and state regulations. Insurers must satisfy training requirements and fully grasp these regulations before they can be licensed to sell annuities.

What Are the NAIC’s Suitability Guidelines?

The NAIC has suitability guidelines in place to ensure that an annuity meets your needs. The Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, commonly referred to as the NAIC Model Regulation, provided the framework when it was adopted in 2003, then was revised with enhanced standards in 2020.

To date, 11 states have adopted the 2020 revisions to the NAIC Model Regulation, including the following:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island

Before an agent or insurer can recommend an annuity product to you, they must gather certain information to determine your suitability, including your age, annual income, time horizon, risk tolerance, financial goals and more. This information helps keep the insurer in compliance, as they can only recommend and sell products that align with your needs.

“A producer shall not solicit the sale of an annuity product unless the producer has adequate knowledge of the product to recommend the annuity and the producer is in compliance with the insurer’s standards for product training.”

What Training Requirements Are Mandated by the NAIC?

The NAIC outlines training requirements in Section 7 of its revised Model Regulation. According to the NAIC, “a producer shall not solicit the sale of an annuity product unless the producer has adequate knowledge of the product to recommend the annuity and the producer is in compliance with the insurer’s standards for product training.”

The Model Regulation states that annuity-specific training involves the following competencies:

  • Types and classifications of annuities
  • Identification of the parties to an annuity
  • How product-specific annuity contract features affect the consumer
  • Application of income taxation of qualified and non-qualified annuities
  • Primary uses of annuities
  • Appropriate standard of conduct, sales practices, replacement and disclosure requirements

Producers or agents in states that have adopted the NAIC Model Regulation must complete a general four-hour annuity continuing education, or CE, course. The course must be administered by an educational vendor approved by the department of insurance.

Existing agents in states that have formally adopted the revised 2020 NAIC Model Regulation will be subject to an additional one-hour supplemental course. New agents can complete a revised four-hour course that already has the updated information included in the curriculum.

The state commissioner is responsible for enforcing compliance of these rules.

Are There Other Certifications Required to Sell Annuities?

Agents should be licensed in the state in which they are selling the annuities. The licensing process can vary by state, but most agents engage in product-specific and carrier-specific training to be knowledgeable about their business lines.

Interested in Buying an Annuity?
Learn about the different types of annuities and find out which one is right for you.

What Are the Annuity Suitability Training Requirements by State?

The states that have adopted NAIC’s Model Regulation mandate the completion of the four-hour annuity suitability training, while other states have different rules in place — or no statewide requirements at all.
As a consumer, you may want to verify the level of training your insurer has completed before making your purchase.

11 states that require the revised NAIC four-hour training:
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
California:
Eight-hour initial training, plus a four-hour CE training course required every two years thereafter
Florida:
Three-hour initial training, plus a three-hour CE training course required every two years thereafter. The five-hour "Law and Ethics Update" course meets Florida’s senior suitability training requirement.
Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Vermont:
Currently no annuity training requirement
New York and Utah:
Four-hour training course not required, but producers must complete a two-part product training
Texas:
Four-hour initial training, plus an eight-hour CE training course required every two years thereafter for resident producers only
All other states:
Producers must complete required carrier- and product-specific training

States that align with the 2020 NAIC Revised Model also designate a grace period and a deadline for existing agents to complete the one-hour supplemental training.

The following continuing education organizations provide courses that fulfill the annuity training requirements:

State requirements may change as new regulations are adopted. Verify all requirements with your state or governing board.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: October 13, 2021

8 Cited Research Articles

Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.

  1. Kaplan Financial Education. (n.d.). NAIC Best Interest Standard Training Courses. Retrieved from https://www.kaplanfinancial.com/insurance-continuing-education/best-interest-standard-training-courses
  2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2021, June 4). Annuity Suitability & Best Interest Standard. Retrieved from https://content.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_annuity_suitability_best_interest_standard.htm
  3. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2021, May 18). Implementation of 2020 Revisions to Model #275 Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. Retrieved from https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/275%20Formal%20Map_2020%20revisions%20May%202021.pdf
  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2020). Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. Retrieved from https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/MDL-275.pdf
  5. Quest CE. (n.d.). Regulations by State. Retrieved from https://learn.questce.com/naicsuitability/regulations/
  6. Quest CE. (n.d.). State Reciprocity. Retrieved from https://www.questce.com/insurance-continuing-education/naic-suitability-training/
  7. RegEd. (n.d.). Annuities Training Platform Overview. Retrieved from https://www.reged.com/annuities-training-platform-overview/
  8. WebCE. (n.d.). 4-Hour Annuity Training Course. Retrieved from https://www.webce.com/catalog/courses/course-information?c=5702