A Closer Look At Variable Annuities
Variable annuities are hybrid investments with securities and insurance features. Unlike fixed annuities, returns on variable annuities fluctuate with the market. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) both regulate sales of variable annuities. The complexity and confusion often surrounding the terms of variable annuities can lead to questionable sales practices. According to FINRA, variable annuities are a leading source of investor complaints to the agency. The California FINRA and securities attorneys at Evans Law Firm have experience with variable annuities and suggest a closer look at these contracts. If you or a loved one have been sold an unsuitable variable annuity or suffered a loss from a full or partial surrender of a variable annuity contract, call the California FINRA and securities lawyers today at Evans Law Firm, Inc. (415)441-8669 and we may be able to help. We accept cases in the State of California
Variable annuities are sold by prospectus, which are required by SEC rules to describe risk factors, fees, and surrender charges that may apply. Variable annuities are illiquid, long-term investment vehicles and are not suitable for short-term savings goals or for the portfolios of many investors, especially seniors. These long-term contracts take years to maturity. In the interim, investment return and principal value will fluctuate, and you may experience a gain or a loss when money is withdrawn.
Variable annuities are sold as tax deferred investments so the tax implications of these contracts are extremely important. We do not provide investment or tax advice at the Evans Law Firm but we have seen policyholders suffer tax losses on these contracts. Taxable amounts withdrawn prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty; later withdrawals are also subject to taxation at ordinary income rates. Withdrawals may also be subject to surrender charges and reduce the value of the death benefit and any optional benefits. Be careful committing to these kind of illiquid investments. Depending on your age, it may be many years before you can access your money penalty-free. Seek out the advice of investment professionals without any stake in your purchase and always consult your tax advisor before making a purchase.
Lastly, the brokerage or advisory agreement you signed with your advisor prior to purchase most likely requires any claims against the advisor are subject to FINRA arbitration. The arbitration process begins with a party filing a Statement of Claim with FINRA. In addition to the Statement of Claim, a claimant must also file a Submission Agreement and pay the appropriate filing fees. Specific rules govern the FINRA arbitration process. The California FINRA attorneys at Evans Law Firm can represent you throughout the process and in any subsequent court litigation if required.
If you or a loved one been sold an unsuitable variable annuity or suffered a loss on a full or partial surrender of a variable annuity, contact California FINRA and securities attorney Ingrid Evans and the other attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (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 FINRA arbitration, 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 issuers of variable annuities in California are:
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
American General Life Insurance Company
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company
AXA Equitable Life Insurance
Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Global Atlantic/Forethought Life Insurance Company
Genworth 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 Financial Group/Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
MassMutual/Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Prudential Life Insurance Company
Security Benefit/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Voya/ReliaStar Life Insurance Company