The Downsides to Annuities in Retirement Plans
Consider Other Tax-Deferred Options
Risks to Seniors
Our litigators recommend against annuities because commissions, fees and surrender penalties reduce returns and make it expensive to get your money out if you need it. We especially advise against any such investment for seniors or for individuals considering investments for their retirement plans. The attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent consumers, especially seniors, who have lost money on nonqualified annuities and annuities held in qualified retirement plans. If you’re over 60 and live in California and have suffered a loss due to cancellation, replacement, full or partial surrender, or high fees on any type of annuity, call our California financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys. today at 415-441-8669 for a free review of your policy.
Tax deferral is important to saving for retirement but your Social Security and company pension plan are also tax-deferred and so are independent investments you can make in IRAs, SEPs, and 401(k) Plans. Don’t buy into commission-driven products like life insurance and deferred annuities that line other people’s pockets and leave you stuck with your investment because of high withdrawal penalties if you want to get out. Avoid high-pressure sales seminars and promises of guarantees too good to be true – they always are. If you are considering an annuity here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Pay attention to annual maintenance costs. Yearly fees can eliminate advertised returns. One investment website (financialmentor.com) estimates that variable annuities can cost 50-100 percent more in fees and surrender charges than direct mutual fund investment options.
- Avoid contracts that offer a premium bonus. This is a phantom benefit that neither you nor your heirs are ever likely to realize.
- Know that annuities are illiquid; withdrawals are subject to surrender charges and tax penalties.
- Consult your tax professional before you buy; tax deferment does not mean no taxes. Gains on annuities are taxed as normal income – not at the lower capital gains rates – upon withdrawal.
- Agents receive a big upfront sales commission on whatever they sell you.
- Review any proposal with a professional with nothing to gain from your purchase.
Our litigators know from experience that annuity owners are often hit by hidden costs and withdrawal penalties when their policies go into effect. Agents gloss over costs and details and may not themselves understand how a complicated annuity performs over time. The problem is compounded by the fact that once you’re sold an annuity you cannot get out of it without paying a withdrawal penalty and a tax on the amount withdrawn. Always consult a professional with nothing to gain from a sale and always consult your tax advisor before any purchase or surrender of an annuity.
If you or a loved one has suffered loss on an annuity in California, contact San Francisco and California annuity and financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid M. Evans and the other attorneys at 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 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 International Group, Inc. (AIG)
American National Life Insurance Company
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
AXA Advisors, LLC
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Genworth Financial, Inc.
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Genworth Life Insurance Company
Guggenheim Partners, LLC
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
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Minnesota Life Insurance Company
Nationwide Investor Services Corporation (NISC)
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Nationwide Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Pacific Life & Annuity Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Security Benefit Corporation
Security Benefit Group, Inc.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Security Investors, LLC
Security of Denver Life Insurance Company/Voya
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Voya Financial Advisors
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.