Marin County Annuity Fraud Attorney: Fiduciary Rule
Annuity Sales and the Fiduciary Rule
The State of the Annuity Market
Annuities have a history of being rock-solid investments. A life insurance company, with sizeable government-mandated cash reserves, would take your funds savings, invest them in treasury bonds, and pay you a small but guaranteed investment. The model isn’t exciting by any means, but it’s simple and certain, which our Marin County annuity fraud attorneys believe should be the main factors for investments for seniors and retirees.
To say that the model has changed would be an understatement. Indexed annuities, variable annuities, fixed annuities, L-share annuities; the number and variety of products on the market boggle the mind. As annuities proliferated, the incidence of annuity fraud and abuse increased, leading to the Department of Labor’s new rule, set to go into effect in April 2017, which require brokers who sell annuities on a commission to act as fiduciaries, requiring them to act in their client’s best interest and holding them to a higher standard than before.
The DOL Fiduciary Rule
The fiduciary rule has been a contentious issue for brokers and brokerage firms. While few consumers would object to having their brokers act in their best interest (and many probably assumed they were), brokers have mounted legal challenges to the rule and many are trying to find work arounds to the rule in order to avoid the stricter liability imposed by the status. Our Marin county annuity fraud attorneys have heard of brokers trying to work on hybrid contingency/fee-based systems, removing the sale of some annuity types from brokers entirely, and other methods of skirting the letter of the law.
Finding Reliable Financial Advice
The Department of Labor fiduciary rule is essentially designed to convert annuity salespeople into objective financial advisors. While it’s clear that many would rather get out of the business entirely than study up, get training, and hold themselves to a higher standard, it’s clear that many consumers are looking for a way to navigate the corporate-affiliated pseudo-financial advisor system that has long been the only option for investors. Our Marin County annuity fraud attorneys believe that finding a financial advisor who works on a fee basis and can give objective, knowledgeable advice is be best solution of seniors and retirees, and if the fiduciary rule helps clear the underbrush of the financial system out a bit, that can be a significant boon for investors.
Some of the major annuity and life insurance providers in California are:
- Aviva/Athene/Accordia Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Midland Life Insurance Company
- North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln Benefit Life Company
- Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
If you or a loved one has experienced annuity fraud in California, contact the Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.