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Oct 29, 2018 by |

Alameda County and California Annuity and Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Fixed Indexed Annuities

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Beware Fixed Index Annuities

Americans pump billions into complex fixed indexed annuities every year. Insurance agents push the annuities as a safe bet in volatile markets – they’ll tell you the policy offers the upside of market increases (the “indexed” part) with downside protection (the “fixed” part).  Advertised returns exceed CD and money market rates.  Anxious seniors are easy prey particularly after a big drop in the Dow like October 10. Our lawyers recommend avoiding deferred annuities of any kind, including fixed indexed annuities.[1]  At a minimum, take a close look before you buy. If you’re over 60 and already purchased a contract here in California and have suffered a loss due to cancellation, surrender or high fees, call the California financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at 415-441-8669 for a free review of your policy.

Here’s how fixed indexed annuities work in theory: in each year of a fixed indexed annuity, the contract return is the greater of an annual minimum rate, or the return of the chosen stock index, reduced by expenses and formulas buried in the contract. If the chosen index rises sufficiently for the year, a greater return is credited to the owner’s account but not vested or available for withdrawal. If the index declines, the lower minimum rate is credited (usually 0% – 2%) and again not vested immediately or available for withdrawal. Any “guarantees” kick in only if the owner holds the contract for the minimum required time (often as long as 10 years) and makes no withdrawals.

There’s the rub. Your money will be tied up for a long time and any early withdrawal will be subject to charges and forfeiture of any “extra” return in your account.  Even if you hold out to the end and refrain from early withdrawals, commissions and other fees erode your return. Bottom line is, beware. Fixed index annuities are extremely complicated, and this is just a brief overview.  Always consult a qualified professional who does not stand to gain from any purchase and your tax advisor before making any purchase. 

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has suffered loss on a fixed indexed annuity or any other annuity in California, contact the Marin County and California annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies.  We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement.  We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred annuities in California are listed below.  We are not in any way suggesting that any of these carriers or distributors has done anything wrong.  Rather, the list is provided solely as a reference for our readers.

AIG/American General Life Insurance Company

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

American General Life Insurance Company/AIG

American National Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/RiverSource Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/Securities America, Inc.

Athene Annuity & life Assurance Company

Athene Annuity and Life Company

Athene USA

Aviva Life Insurance Company

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US

Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company

Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.

CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company

Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group

Genworth Life Insurance Company

Global Atlantic Financial Group/Forethought Life Insurance Company

Guardian Life Insurance Company

Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

John Hancock Life Insurance Company

Lincoln Benefit Life Company

Lincoln Financial Group

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

National Western Life Insurance Company

Nationwide Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Oxford Life Insurance Company

Pacific Life Insurance Company

Principal Financial Group

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Raymond James Insurance Group

RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial

Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners

Symetra Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Unum Life Insurance Company of America

Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company

Wells Fargo Advisors

World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

[1] We do not provide investment or tax advice but our litigators represent senior policyholders who lose money through cancellations, surrenders or fees on these contracts.

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