A Closer Look At Variable Annuities and Seniors
Variable annuities are complex annuity contracts with securities and insurance features. Returns on variable annuities fluctuate with the market making these complicated contracts especially dangerous for seniors. The complexity and confusion surrounding the terms of variable annuities can lead to questionable sales practices; agents target seniors especially for these products and the agent may fail to disclose risks, fees, contract charges, and the effect of surrenders on policy benefits in order to expedite a commission-producing sale. The Obama Administration promulgated rules meant to protect consumers against deceptive sales practices and conflicts of interest but under industry pressure the current administration is posed to roll back these protections.
The Marin County and California financial elder abuse, annuities and securities attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. litigate on behalf of clients harmed by these volatile policies and do not recommend them, especially for senior consumers. If you or a loved one is over 60 and live in California and have been sold an inappropriate or unsuitable variable annuity or suffered a loss from a full or partial surrender of a variable annuity contract, call the California annuity and securities lawyers today at Evans Law Firm, Inc. (415)441-8669 and we may be able to help.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) both regulate sales of variable annuities. 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interim, investment return and principal value will fluctuate, and you may experience a gain or a loss when money is withdrawn. If you are within the surrender period you will also pay a surrender charge which may run as high as 15%.
Variable annuities are sold as tax deferred investments so the tax implications of these contracts are extremely important. Always consult your tax advisor with respect to any purchase, surrender or replacement of a variable annuity. Amounts withdrawn are subject to taxation at ordinary income tax rates. Withdrawals may also be subject to surrender charges and reduce the value of the death benefit and any optional benefits your agent has sold you. Be careful committing to these 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.
If you or a loved one is over 60 and a resident of Marin County or anywhere else in California and have been sold an inappropriate or unsuitable variable annuity or suffered a loss on a full or partial surrender of a variable annuity, contact Marin County and California elder abuse, annuity and securities attorney Ingrid M. 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 jury trial, FINRA Arbitration, 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 providers and distributors of life insurance and 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
Athene Annuity & life Assurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.
CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group
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
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Nationwide Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Principal Financial Group
Prudential Life Insurance Company
Raymond James Insurance Group
RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Symetra Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Unum Life Insurance Company of America
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
 We do not provide investment or tax advise but can represent you if you have suffered losses on a partial or full surrender including any tax losses you may have sustained.