Equitable Financial Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay $50 million to investors to settle charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it provided misleading account statements to about 1.4 million of its variable annuity investors, most of whom are public school teachers and staff members. As described in the SEC’s order, since at least 2016, Equitable gave investors the false impression that their quarterly account statements listed all fees paid during the period. The SEC’s investigation found that, in reality, the statements listed only certain types of fees that investors infrequently incurred and that more often than not the statements had $0.00 listed for fees. "When considering how to invest their hard-earned money and save for retirement, it is essential that investors not be misled about the fees they are paying," said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. "This case should serve as an important reminder to investment firms to carefully review their statements to ensure fee information is disclosed properly." Equitable, which markets itself as the No. 1 provider of 403(b) retirement plans for public school employees, also agreed to revise how it presents fee information in its variable annuity account statements.