Reviewing the Variable Annuity
Annuities are financial products that are often fraught with complications, miscommunications, and disappointment for policyholders. When seniors or retirees initially buy the product, they are generally expecting that the annuity will be both a sound investment and a means of providing stress-free guaranteed income for their later years. Instead, they are often paying for a product that may hamper their ability to deal with unplanned costs, require frequent attention, and in some cases even shrink or be eaten away. This is the upshot of the exponential growth of more complicated annuity products, such as variable and indexed annuities that may not function the way people expect, and that are often pushed by brokers since they result in higher commissions.
Variable annuities in particular have come under scrutiny lately, with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, announcing their intention to crack down on the products in 2016. Companies such as Metlife and Transamerica have been major sellers of the products. Variable annuities have a reputation for being unreliable, as they base their returns on the performance of various investments that together comprise the annuity. This variability is often glossed over when a customer is discussing the investment with a broker, and they are often sold by telling the buyer that they offer potentially higher returns than other annuity options.
For a buyer counting on a certain level of income, a variable annuity can throw their finances into disarray as it fluctuates between higher and lower returns. To top it off, variable annuities tend to return less over time than traditional annuities, and even when they do outperform them, the annuity company may take a sizeable cut out of the investment returns.
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
The California annuity fraud attorneys at Evans Law Firm Inc. have experience dealing with annuities of all kinds, including variable and indexed products issued by major insurance companies such as Metlife and Transamerica. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at (415) 441-8669, or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.