Fixed Indexed Annuities Sales Hit Records
Fixed indexed annuities sold in record numbers in 2016 and are on track to have another big year in 2017. Agents push fixed indexed products as safe bets in volatile markets. The San Francisco and California annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm recommend a very close look at these complex products before you buy and, if you have purchased, a close look at the terms of your contract, particularly regarding surrenders and the fees for any riders and subaccounts you selected. If you or someone you know has suffered a loss on a fixed index annuity fraud as a result of a full or partial surrender or high fees, call the San Francisco County and California annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at 415-441-8669 for a free consultation and review of the policy.
Take A Closer Look
Sellers claim fixed indexed annuities combine the security of a fixed return with the upside of rising stock prices. In volatile markets, indexed annuities tend to outsell variable annuities. In each year of a fixed indexed product, the contract return is the greater of an annual minimum rate, or the return of the chosen stock market index, reduced by expenses and formulas buried in the contract. If the chosen index rises sufficiently during a specified period, a greater return is credited to the owner’s account for that period. If the stock market index does not rise sufficiently, or even declines, the lower minimum rate is credited (usually 0% – 2%). The owner is in theory guaranteed to receive back at least all principal less withdrawals, provided that the owner has held the contract for the minimum period of time specified in the contract and makes no withdrawals.
There’s the rub. Your money will be tied up for a long time and any early withdrawal will be subject to surrender charges and forfeiture of the “extra” return your account was earning over the guaranteed rate. Even if you hold out to the end and refrain from early withdrawals, the fees and expenses in these accounts, together with the upfront sales commission, may erode your return significantly if not wipe it out. Bottom line is, beware. Fixed index annuities are extremely complicated, and this is just a brief overview. Always consult a qualified professional who does not stand to gain from any purchase and your tax advisor before making any purchase. The California annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm do not give investment or tax advice but can represent you if you have suffered a loss under an annuity.
If you or a loved one has suffered loss on an unsuitable annuity or paid surrender charges on a fixed indexed annuity or any other annuity in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact California annuity attorney Ingrid Evans and the other annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm 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 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.
Some of the major annuity providers in California are:
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Allstate Life Insurance Company
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company
American National Insurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Guggenheim Partners/First Security Benefit Life Insurance Company
Forethought Life Insurance Company
Genworth Life Insurance Company
ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
Jackson National Life Insurance Company
John Hancock Life Insurance Company
Lincoln Financial Group/The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
MassMutual/Massachusetts Life Insurance Company
MetLife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Midland National Life Insurance Company
Mutual of Omaha
New York Life Insurance Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Prudential Life Insurance Company
Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company