Understand The Costs And Downsides
Deferred Annuities Are Insurance Policies Not Fund Investments
Do Not Be Rushed Into A Sale
When selling annuities to senior citizens, insurance agents may gloss over the fine print and leave out some important details about how annuities actually work. Our litigators recommend older consumers avoid annuities of any kind because we have seen too many senior consumers lose money with annuities. A few of the important things you need to understand about annuities if you’re a senior are listed below. If you’re over 60 and have suffered a loss on an annuity due to cancellation, replacement, full or partial surrender, or high fees, call the attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind:
1. While growth in an annuity is not taxed, any withdrawals and income payments will be taxed at ordinary rates.
2. Premiums paid for an annuity are not investments in stock funds; you will not see the benefits of reinvested dividends.
3. Withdrawals during the so-called “surrender period” will be subject to penalties by the insurance carrier. These penalties can be as high as 15% and the surrender period may last for ten or more years.
4. Indexed annuities have cap rates, participation rates, and spreads that limit the growth in your annuity to less than the performance of whatever market index your annuity is tied to.
5. “No load” or “no fee” annuities have costs too; they’re just buried in the numbers.
6. Beneficiary designations can have very adverse tax consequences for your beneficiaries when you die. Always consult your tax advisor on all aspects of an annuity investment, including your beneficiary designations.
7. The person selling you an annuity may not be required to act in your best interests (i.e., be subject to the “fiduciary rule”). Instead, the agent may only have to follow the lower “suitability” standard, which requires them to offer “suitable” investments but not necessarily the “best” option for you.
Always get a second opinion from a professional with nothing to gain from a sale, before you allow an agent to sell you an annuity. Also, consult with your tax advisor. Every annuity transaction, whether a purchase, exchange, replacement, surrender or cancellation has tax consequences so you need to speak with your tax advisor before entering into any kind of annuity transaction.
If you or a loved one is over age 60 and has suffered loss on a fixed annuity or any other 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 toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) or by email at <ahref=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</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.
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.