Five insurance industry trade associations are asking the leadership of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to bring legislation to the House floor that would expand the use of registered index-linked annuities—a vote they’re hoping to get before the midterm elections.

The legislation, known as the Registration for Index Linked Annuities Act, cleared the Financial Services Committee at the end of July. The bill is designed to provide cost savings to insurers and variable annuities companies by requiring the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a streamlined registration and disclosure form specifically for these products, which the industry calls “RILAs.” The current process is more akin to those designed for equity offerings, the trade groups said in a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters and committee leadership Monday.

The registered index-linked annuity is tied to stock market indexes, but allows policy holders to set the upper and lower bounds on the index’s performance. Unlike other annuities, it allows investors to set a bottom on how much they are willing to lose.

“Passing the legislation would result in more companies offering RILAs, which creates a more competitive market and more choices for consumers,” said Dan Zielinski, a spokesperson for the Insured Retirement Institute in an interview with Financial Advisor. The institute, which represents the variable annuities industry and RILAs, signed on to the letter to Chairwoman Waters.

In the first half of 2022, sales for these products hit $20.4 billion, which was 6% higher than the prior year, according to the Life Office Management Association. Sales of registered index-linked annuities now make up 40% of overall variable annuity sales.

The bill passed by the House committee in July mirrors a Senate bill introduced last year. That bill would also change the accounting principles used to register the products. Insurance companies typically use statutory accounting principles, or the SAP method. They would prefer that registered index-linked annuities also use that standard, but the SEC requires equity filings to use generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP standards.

“We support this bill because it will lower a significant barrier that is preventing this innovative retirement income product from being used by more consumers who desire an annuity product providing some protection of their investment principal from market loss, while also allowing participation in market growth,” said the letter to the Financial Services Committee.

Among those signing the letter were the American Council of Life Insurers, the Committee of Annuity Insurers, Finseca, the Insured Retirement Institute and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

The Consumer Federation of America is also supporting the legislation because it requires the SEC to tailor a disclosure form specifically for RILA investors.

“This bill will help to ensure that investors who consider purchasing a RILA will get the information they need to make a sound investment decision and that the information is presented in a way that promotes investor understanding,” the organization said in a letter to lawmakers last summer.