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. 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. 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.”
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:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</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
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.
 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.