Regulatory Agencies and Investor Education
The mission of the NAIC is to assist state insurance regulators serve the public interest and achieve the following fundamental regulatory goals in a responsive, efficient and cost effective manner, consistent with the wishes of its members:
- promote competitive markets
- facilitate the fair and equitable treatment of insurance consumers
- promote the reliability, solvency and financial solidity of insurance institutions
- support and improve state regulation of insurance
An agent or broker may not use a senior designation unless they meet California law criteria.
Overseeing Variable Insurance Products
Variable insurance products are regulated by the NAIC, the State Insurance Departments, and by FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 5,100 brokerage firms, about 174,000 branch offices and more than 672,000 registered securities representatives. Created in July 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration functions of the New York Stock Exchange, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business` from registering and educating industry participants, to examining securities firms and writing the rules. FINRA further enforces those rules and the federal securities laws, informs and educates the investing public, provides trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms.
It also performs market regulation under contract for The NASDAQ Stock Market, the American Stock Exchange, the International Securities Exchange and the Chicago Climate Exchange. FINRA has approximately 3,000 employees and operates from Washington, DC, and New York, NY, with 15 district offices around the country. “The creation of FINRA is the most significant modernization of the self-regulatory regime in decades,” said Mary L. Schapiro, Chief Executive Officer of FINRA. “With investor protection and market integrity as our overarching objectives, FINRA is an investor-focused and more streamlined regulator that is better suited to the complexity and competitiveness of today`s global capital markets.”
FINRA believes investor protection begins with education. Using the internet, the media and public forums, they help investors build their financial knowledge and provide them with essential tools to better understand the markets and basic principles of saving and investing. In addition, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. As of June 2007, the Foundation had approved $10.4 million in grants and an additional $10.2 million in direct investor education programming. In today`s fast-paced and complex global economy, FINRA is a trusted advocate for investors, dedicated to keeping the markets fair, ensuring investor choice and proactively addressing emerging regulatory issues before they harm investors or the markets.
State Insurance Departments
The following are links to the State Insurance Departments:
At USA.org, there is official information and services described about the U.S. government. As the website states,
Whatever you want or need from the U.S. government, it`s here on USA.gov. You will find a rich treasure of online information, services, and resources. Our Vision: As the U.S. government`s official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. USA.gov also serves as the catalyst for a growing electronic government. Who “Owns” USA.gov? Many people and organizations have had a hand in creating our comprehensive, award-winning portal to government. And the government worked fast~Internet time~to launch it and to keep it responsive to the American people and the world.
USA.gov is an interagency initiative administered by the U.S. General Services Administration`s Office of Citizen Services and Communications. It got its start when Internet entrepreneur Eric Brewer, whose early research was funded by the Department of Defense, offered to donate a powerful search engine to the government. That gift helped accelerate the government`s earlier work to create a government-wide portal. In June 2000, the President announced the gift from the Federal Search Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Brewer, and instructed that an official U.S. web portal be launched within 90 days. USA.gov went online on September 22, 2000 under the name FirstGov.gov. The GSA and 22 federal agencies funded the initiative in 2001 and 2002. Since 2002, USA.gov has received an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress. In January 2007, FirstGov.gov officially changed its name to USA.gov. So, who “owns” USA.gov? The American people.