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Aug 6, 2018 by |

California Annuity Attorney: You’re Making Your Annuity Company Rich

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Be Wary of Annuities

Commissions, Fees and Surrender Charges Drain Your Savings

One commentator recently summed it all up when it comes to annuities: “Annuity companies and annuity peddlers are making boatloads of money from you.”[1]  It’s the truth.  Annuities are among the highest commission financial products out there with upfront commissions as high as 10%.  Once the policy is in place, annual fees can run to 4%.  That is four to eight times average annual fees for direct mutual fund investments.  The real kicker though is surrender penalties: annuity companies charge as much as 15% for you to get your money back during what they call the surrender period – which can last up to 10 or more years! 

The California annuity lawyers at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent clients every day who have lost money on commissions, fees and surrender penalties under their annuity contracts.[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. 

One final word of caution. Be especially careful with your IRA savings when an 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.”  Guarantees are largely illusions; the carrier reserves the right to change the return and hidden fees and costs may wipe out any return.

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 the Evans Law Firm financial elder abuse and annuity and life insurance attorneys at (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. 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

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

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

 World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

[1] Read his article at https://www.thetimesherald.com/story/life/2018/07/13/making-annuity-company-rich/36836069/

[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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