California Annuity Fraud Attorneys Discuss Transparency in Annuities
If you or someone you know is the owner of an annuity, you know firsthand exactly how confusing and complex those products can be. Buying one involves mountains of paperwork and piles of money. Annuities are major investments, and some financial planners and lawyers are saying the process needs to become more transparent to customers and to regulators. Annuities are notorious for containing obscure and hidden charges such as surrender penalties, liquidity fees, and commissions for salespeople that can be as much as 15 percent. For an expensive annuity, these fees can eat into a significant amount of your earnings. To help prevent this problem, it can be invaluable to make it clear to customers exactly what they are agreeing to.
H2: Are You Getting Accurate Information?
In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority has managed to ban commissions on almost all financial products, but for some reason annuities and life insurance were excluded from this ban. In the United States, there has never been a requirement for brokers to disclose their commissions, which keeps consumers in the dark. This practice allows big brokers to offer preferential rates which often aren’t disclosed to the consumer. Consumers are encouraged to feel that they are getting great deals, but are not given accurate information on what rates are being offered elsewhere.
This lack of transparency essentially means that consumers are entering the lottery when they go to buy an annuity. Their rates can vary based on a number of factors, and salespeople and brokers are under no obligation to disclose the rates of other sellers. They can conceal it easily if they are offering an inferior product or taking a higher commission, and without a more transparent system, consumers will continue to suffer from higher rates and commissions.
Major sellers of annuities include:
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Life Insurance Company
- Metlife Investors USA Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln Benefit Life Company
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Reliastar Life Insurance Company
H2: Where to Get Help: The Evans Law Firm
If you feel that you may have been the victim of an improperly sold or administered annuity or life insurance product, contact a San Francisco securities fraud lawyer at the Evans Law Firm. Our practice areas include annuity, insurance, and banking fraud, qui tam/whistleblower law, financial and physical elder abuse, and nursing home abuse. We can be reached by phone at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.