Fiduciary Rule Impacts Annuity Sales
Putting You First Makes A Difference
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) long-awaited “fiduciary rule” took effect earlier this year and is sending annuity sales way down. Simply put, the rule requires financial advisors to put your interests first and industry authorities agree that annuity sales are suffering under that standard. The new rule applies to IRA investments, by far the largest segment of American retirement savings – and a common target of annuity sellers. We at Evans Law Firm applaud the fiduciary rule. While we do not provide investment advice or tax advice in any way, we have seen consumers, especially seniors, harmed by retirement investments in annuities and are not surprised the fiduciary rule has pushed sales down. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud or financial elder abuse, lost money through surrender penalties or rider fees on any annuity, or find yourself headed toward a FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitration, contact the Evans Law Firm securities and financial elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669 and we can help. As California lawyers, we only handle these types of cases arising in California.
What This Means
From now on when you seek advice on your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement savings account, your financial advisor, broker or banker will be required to put your interests first in whatever recommendations he or she makes. Annuities generate large sales commissions for the advisor, so the conflict of interest is clear to see and frankly unavoidable when it comes to commission-driven products. The DOL rule requires the advisor to recommend investments that benefit you the most regardless of the fees, commissions, or other benefits to the advisor. Most analysts agree that complex, commission-driven annuities just do not hold up under the advisor’s fiduciary obligation to put your interests first. Indeed, under the rule, your best interest may be to leave your retirement savings exactly where they are, in which case no one makes a commission on a new sale.
The rule applies to any advice regarding IRAs (both Roth and traditional), including rollover recommendations. The application to rollovers is particularly important. Under the fiduciary rule, in fact, the advisor would need to recommend that you not rollover funds at all if your best interests are served by leaving your retirement funds right where they are. Hopefully, the rule will curtail “churning” of retirement accounts under the guise of suitable rollovers. The fiduciary rule also applies to workplace retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and SEP and SIMPLE IRAs. The rule does not apply to non-retirement accounts.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, annuity or securities fraud or financial elder abuse in Contra Costa County or anywhere in California or are headed to FINRA Arbitration, contact the Evans Law Firm securities attorneys 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 securities cases, arbitrations, and mediations; and complicated 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, other types of qui tam and whistleblower cases, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.