Social Security Benefits and Income Planning
Insurance Agents and Advisors May Mislead You
Social Security is a big part of planning for the future. Once eligible, married couples each receive their own benefits when living but when one spouse dies, the double benefits do not continue. The survivor receives the larger of the two checks for the remainder of his or her life. 20 CFR §§ 404.335(d) and 404.337(b)(1). Not all consumers understand how the law works. Insurance agents and carriers often get it wrong too, misleading married or recently widowed consumers into believing both benefits continue and filling out the paperwork with those mistakes or misrepresentations. If your insurance agent or advisor has been wrong on the law, you may have been sold an unsuitable contract. If you’re over 60 and live in California, call the annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669 and we can review the information you’ve been given and the policies you’ve been sold.
Misrepresenting income levels violates California law governing the “suitability” of insurance products. California insurance law requires agents recommend annuities “suitable for the consumer” that result in the consumer receiving a “tangible net benefit” from the recommended product. Calif. Ins. Code § 10509.914(a). In order to determine what is “suitable” the law requires agents to gather information about the consumer’s financial resources, net worth, and income. Calif. Ins. Code § 10509.913(i). Carriers are supposed to supervise compliance with these rules. Calif. Ins. Code § 10509.914(f). Our attorneys have litigated against agents who distort suitability information to sell unsuitable contracts and carriers who fail to supervise compliance as they should.
Misrepresenting Social Security benefits is just one example of misleading consumers and distorting information in annuity sales. Agents may overstate an individual’s net worth or liquid assets again with an eye to qualifying the consumer for an annuity. The payoff is the sales commission the agent earns; the bigger the policy the bigger the commission. Annuities and life insurance are commission-driven products. Whenever you are presented with a proposal be sure and review it with a professional with nothing to gain from a sale and consult your tax advisor as all annuities and life insurance arrangements have tax consequences.
Annuities and life insurance are complicated products generating large sales commissions but are often inappropriate 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
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company
Berkshire Hathaway Group
Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.
CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company
Delaware Life Insurance Company
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group
Genworth Financial, Inc.
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
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.
Minnesota Life Insurance Company
National Life Group
National Life Insurance Company/Equity Services, 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
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Oxford Life Insurance Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Principal Financial Group
Prudential Life Insurance Company
Raymond James Insurance Group
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company/Tokio Marine Group
RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial
Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
The Standard Life Insurance Company
Symetra Financial Corporation
Symetra Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Unum Life Insurance Company of America
USAA Life Insurance Company
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
Wells Fargo Advisors
Western & Southern Financial Group
The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
If you or a loved one has suffered a loss as the result of the sale to you of an inappropriate or unsuitable annuity in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a FINRA arbitration, 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.