A working group for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners approved a framework for its long-awaited annuities “best interest” model law—but without several key consumer protections in place.

The working group voted down a ban on sales contests and travel awards and also failed to pass a cost-benefit disclosure for customers.

Jodi Lerner, attorney at the California Department of Insurance, proposed the language to prohibit agents from profiting from sales contest incentives, prizes and trips, which insurance companies have used for years to motivate agents to more and bigger sales. Lerner said that sales contests can create aggressive sales tactics that don’t advance a consumer-centered best interest standard.

But the sales contest ban was voted down, with opposition led by Dean Cameron, the NAIC’s working group chairman and the director of Idaho’s Department of Insurance. Cameron said the ban lacked specific language.

The commissioners also rejected the creation of a cost-benefit analysis that would have shown consumers, from a simple dollars and cents perspective, if an agent’s recommendation to buy a new annuity makes financial sense. James Regalbuto, the deputy superintendent for life insurance at New York state’s Department of Financial Services, advocated the analysis, which he copied from the best interest regulation he created in New York for annuities.

Regalbuto did persuade the NAIC working group to approve a requirement that will require agents to document and disclose to customers the basis for new annuities recommendations.

 “If there’s an issue down the road, we can say, ‘OK, show us the documentation where you made this recommendation,’” Regalbuto said.

Consumer advocate Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, is supporting cost benefit analysis.

“It seems like it will in fact reduce a lot of misunderstandings and disagreements,” he said. “And it will empower the consumer in a way that they are not empowered today.”

Cameron said it is his goal to finish drafting the model law by August 4, when the NAIC meets in Boston.