The National Association of Securities Dealers has published guidelines to help members develop appropriate variable annuity sales practices.

The guidance, published last week, identifies "best practices" in five categories: customer information, product information, liquidity and earnings accrual, investment and tax-qualified accounts, and variable annuity replacements.

Lawrence Kosciulek, an assistant director of the NASD's regulatory unit, said the notice would be a "useful tool."

"In concept firms should be doing the same things, but how they do them is their call," he said.

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