Annuities Are Complex and Expensive
Your Money Is Tied Up For Years
Our lawyers recommend you always beware when an insurance agent tries to sell you annuities or life insurance, particularly if you’re a senior. Annuities are complicated insurance products with a lot of red flags for consumers: sales commissions on annuities are high, contract fees are high, enhanced benefits are rarely beneficial in practice, and any money tied up in an annuity can be withdrawn only by paying a hefty penalty in the “surrender” period for the annuity, which can be as long as 15 years. Withdrawals are also subject to tax at ordinary income rates. To top it off, the Obama Administration’s initiative to hold advisors to a higher standard of conduct has been scrapped by the current administration. As one industry watcher put it, “the door is still wide open for unscrupulous agents to sell products that are a poor fit for clients.”
The San Francisco annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent consumers, often seniors, who have lost money through high commissions and fees, withdrawal charges and tax bills as a result of the sales and exchanges of inappropriate annuities and life insurance. If you or someone you know is over 60 and lives in San Francisco or elsewhere in California and is a victim of annuity fraud, call us today at 415-441-8669.
If you are considering an annuity be sure to consult with your tax advisor before making any purchase as purchases, replacements (exchanges of one contract for another), and withdrawals all have tax consequences. Weigh of the risks presented in what an agent tries to sell you. Be sure to consider:
- Illiquidity – Your money will be tied up for years in an annuity and any withdrawals will be subject to withdrawal penalties and tax.
- Dying early – If you die before annuity payments kick in you will lose the income benefits you were sold. Death benefits to your heirs may be reduced or eliminated by any early withdrawals you make.
- Company risk – Annuities are not insured investments like CDs, bank deposits or securities accounts. The carrier’s promise to pay is only as good as the company’s word.
- Inflation – Rising inflation will reduce the spending power of the annuity payments promised for the future.
Never allow yourself to be pressured into a purchase. Avoid tactics like “free lunch” seminars; the end result can be a sale of an expensive annuity or life insurance policy that you do not need and which can wipe out savings through fees, penalties and low growth.
If you or a loved one been the victim of this kind of annuity fraud or financial elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. California law provides injured seniors with restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish the fraudulent conduct) and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to the senior forced to bring an action against the wrongdoers. If you have suffered a loss from this kind of agent/advisor misconduct, the lawyers at Evans Law Firm will work with you to see those responsible for your loss pay up. 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 International Group, Inc. (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 Financial Services, LLC
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
AXA Advisors, LLC
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, LLC
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 Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
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 Corporation
Security Benefit Group, Inc.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Security Investors, LLC
The Standard Life Insurance Company
Symetra Financial Corporation
Symetra Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York
Unum Life Insurance Company of America
USAA Life Insurance Company
The Variable Annuity 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.
 David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar, a leading independent investment research firm. Mr. Blanchett was quoted in a recent Barron’s article “What to Watch Out For When Buying an Annuity” by Karen Hube. You can read her July 19, 2019 article here: https://www.barrons.com/articles/what-to-watch-out-for-when-buying-an-annuity-51563581054.