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Feb 11, 2019 by |

Marin County and California Securities and Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Unsuitable Variable Annuities


FINRA Continues Fines on Sales of Unsuitable L Share Annuities

Variable annuities are sold as B-share and L-share contracts.  B-share annuities are the more common and sold to investors with long-term investment horizons. B-shares typically have lengthy surrender charge periods.  L Share Variable Annuities are a type of variable annuity where the surrender charge period under the contract is shortened to three or four years but administrative fees and mortality expense rates are higher. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) believes L Share annuities are unsuitable for certain investors, particularly those with long-term investment horizons and levies fines against brokers for recommending them.  This past week FINRA again censured an investment advisory firm for failure to establish and enforce adequate supervisory procedures in connection with the sale of L-share variable annuities by its representatives.[1]  FINRA found the firm had sold a large number of L-share variable annuities to policyholders who would have been better off with lower-fee B-share contracts.

The Marin annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent consumers, especially seniors, who suffer losses from high fees, surrender penalties and taxes, on unsuitable annuities including L-share variable annuities. If you or a loved has suffered a surrender penalty or tax loss on an annuity surrender or paid high fees for an unsuitable policy, including on L Share annuities, call the Marin and California annuities, securities and financial elder abuse lawyers today at Evans Law Firm, Inc. (415)441-8669 for a free review of the terms of your annuity including surrender provisions. 

FINRA has really stepped up enforcement of the agency’s suitability rules when it comes to annuity sales, particularly with respect to L-Share variable annuities. Late last year, FINRA fined one firm $400,000 for failing to mandate and enforce its own supervisory procedures, resulting in sales of unsuitable L-share variable annuities tied to long-term riders. When combined with long-term riders, such as Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit Riders, a high-fee, short-term L-share contract will get stretched to five years or longer for the holder to obtain benefits. That means the carrier can charge you more in the way of fees and keep your money longer, defeating the idea behind short-term L-Share contracts. FINRA also determined the advisory firm failed to properly train its representatives to ensure they understood variable annuities and suitability considerations.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one been sold an unsuitable annuity contact in Marin County or elsewhere in California, contact annuity and financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid M. Evans and other attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669 for a free consultation, or by email at <a href=””></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 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.

Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred 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

Ameriprise Financial/Securities America, Inc.

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

Berkshire Hathaway Group

Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska

Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.

CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company

Delaware Life Insurance Company

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company

Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group

Genworth Financial, Inc.

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

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

Lincoln Financial Group

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

Minnesota Life Insurance Company

National Life Group

National Life Insurance Company/Equity Services, Inc.

National Western Life Insurance Company

Nationwide Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Oxford Life Insurance Company

Pacific Life Insurance Company

Principal Financial Group

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Raymond James Insurance Group

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company/Tokio Marine Group

RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial

Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners

The Standard Life Insurance Company

Symetra Financial Corporation

Symetra Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Unum Life Insurance Company of America

USAA Life Insurance Company

 Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company

Wells Fargo Advisors

Western & Southern Financial Group

The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company

World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in either of the cases mentioned in this blog in any way.

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