Misleading Annuity Illustrations
When seniors go to a financial advisor, they often aren’t specifically looking for an annuity. They want to protect their savings, and ensure that they can find a way to make their savings last through their retirement. A financial advisor often sees this as an opportunity to sell a product that can earn them a commission, and may not be overly concerned with picking a product that is optimally suited for the senior’s specific financial needs. The tool that a broker or financial advisor turns to to convince their client that the product is right for them is typically the “illustration” a packet to financial projections, graphs, charts, and information provided by the company that offers the annuity.
As one might expect, these illustrations tend to offer a rose-tinted view of how the annuity is likely to operate. They generally present a best-case scenario, and with some products, especially offerings like indexed annuities that are tied to market performance, the best-case scenario can be completely derailed by events out of anybody’s control. Even in less extreme cases, annuities are such complicated products that the broker may have difficultly explaining or even understanding how the product is likely to perform based on when and how much money a senior is likely to need. In such cases, the illustration is worth less than the paper is printed on, and may entirely misrepresent the value of the product it is designed to sell.
Some states, including California, have specific rules and regulations about how these annuity illustrations are presented and explained, and require that certain caveats and explanations be included. However, they can be buried in 15 page documents that seniors are unlikely to peruse. Annuity brokers who are planning on a major payday may be less than completely forthcoming with information that makes the annuity product look less desirable.
Some of the major annuity and life insurance providers are*:
- Aviva/Athene/Accordia Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Midland Life Insurance Company
- North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln Benefit Life Company
- Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an improperly sold or administered annuity policy in California, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our annuity fraud attorneys have experience handling financial elder abuse cases, insurance and annuity fraud, and qui tam and whistleblower law.
*Evans Law Firm does not allege that any of these companies’ annuity illustrations are misleading, but will be happy to provide a free, confidential consultation for anyone who would like us to review their contract and/or illustration.