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Aug 15, 2018 by |

California Annuity and Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Annuities in Banks

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Be Wary of Annuities

Don’t Be Blindsided In Your Search For Higher Returns

Banks sell a lot of annuities. Bank customers grumble at low interest rates on bank deposits and CDs and banks want to keep their customers happy.  So many bank officers and service reps steer disappointed customers toward annuities that offer higher “guaranteed” rates of return; some even pursue customers proactively with ads for annuities.  Many banks get insurance licenses for select employees so that they can offer these products, and the employee is rewarded either through a commission or the bank’s incentive program.[1] An alternative arrangement might be to have independent third-parties offer products that the bank doesn’t offer (as a way to offer more to customers). Either way, watch out.  Annuities are expensive, complicated contracts that tie up your money for a long time and commissions, fees, and surrender charges eat into that “guaranteed” return you were promised.

The California and San Francisco securities and annuity lawyers at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent clients who have lost money on commissions, fees and surrender penalties under inappropriate annuity contracts sold by banks, brokers, and insurance agents.[2]  If you are over 60 and live in California, State law has strict “free look” and disclosure requirements meant to protect you when you’re sold an annuity.  If a carrier fails to follow those requirements, we can help you get relief in the form of rescission (undoing the contract), restitution (getting your money back), extra damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs you spend bringing your case.   If you or a loved one is over 60 and lives in California and have been sold an inappropriate or unsuitable annuity or suffered loss on a policy surrender, call the California financial elder abuse and annuities lawyers today at Evans Law Firm (415)441-8669 and we can help. 

Be especially careful with your IRA savings when a banker or other annuity peddler recommends you put the IRA in an annuity. Your IRA contributions are already tax-deferred even if the contributions are invested in stocks, bonds, and money market accounts.  A second deferral is unnecessary. Particularly when it means that any withdrawal will be subject to a surrender penalty.  While the IRS may tax any early IRA withdrawals, a mutual fund or your broker will not charge you a surrender penalty for your withdrawal.  But an annuity carrier will.  In short, the second deferral isn’t worth tying up your money that way.  Lastly, don’t count on annuity “guarantees.” 

Contact Us

If you or a loved one lives in California, is over 60, and been sold an unsuitable or inappropriate annuity or suffered loss on a surrender or replacement, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other California and San Francisco securities, financial elder abuse and annuity and life insurance attorneys at Evans Law Firm (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 also 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.

Some of the leading providers and distributors of life insurance and annuities in California are listed below. Some of these carriers offer products through consumer banks. 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

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

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

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

Nationwide Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Pacific Life Insurance Company

Principal Financial Group

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Raymond James Insurance Group

RiverSource Life Insurance Company/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]

[2] Surrenders often result in tax bills too.  Withdrawals from annuities are taxed at ordinary rates.  While we do not provide tax advice, we can represent you if the carrier or agent causes you to incur a tax loss on an inappropriate surrender or replacement.

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