Changing Annuities Rules May Even the Playing Field
We’ve spoken a lot about the convoluted rules governing the financial products that are grouped under the name “annuities.” This moniker can cover a staggeringly wide variety of related products and categories, including deferred variable, indexed, and numerous other obscure annuities available for purchase. It seems that this issue has caught the eye of the Department of Labor, which seems poised to deliver a new set of regulations for annuities that may help make it easier for consumers to make informed choices about what they are spending their money on.
Currently, the main regulatory distinction has been to separate fixed annuities, which offer a non-changing rate of return, and variable annuities, where the rate of return will fluctuate over time. In recent years, this distinction has proven to be insufficient, as a new annuity product has appeared on the market: indexed annuities. However, as this new category of annuities has risen in popularity, it has not been accompanied by regulation to control and inhibit its sale. Indexed annuities connect their rate of return to a financial index, meaning that they tend to fluctuate, but since there are also fixed indexed annuities, where a lower rate of return is guaranteed in exchange for the possibility of earning interest on the market, it has been difficult to fit indexed annuities into either category comfortably.
Now, however, the Department of Labor may implement reforms which will essentially categorize all indexed annuities as variable annuities, and consequently they will be regulated as securities, and advisors and brokers will be stripped of some of their protection from fines and penalties they enjoyed when fixed indexed annuities could be sold as insurance products.
Major Sellers of Indexed Annuities Include:
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Aviva Life Insurance Company
- Minnesota Life insurance Company
- Aegon USA Life Insurance Company
- National Life Group
- Penn Mutual Life insurance Company
- Old Mutual Financial
- Midland National Life Insurance Company
- Allstate Life Insurance Company
- NACOLAH Life Insurance Company
- ING Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- UNIFI Life Insurance Company
- Phoenix Life Insurance Company
Evans Law Firm has amassed a great deal of experience with annuities of all types, and if you believe that you may be a victim of an improperly sold or administered annuity, life insurance, or other financial products, contact us at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We handle annuity fraud, financial elder abuse, healthcare fraud, and nursing home abuse, as well as whistleblower and qui tam law.