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May 31, 2022 by |

San Mateo County Financial Elder Abuse And Annuity Attorney: How Deferred Annuities Work

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Understand Penalties On Withdrawals 

Fees And Other Hidden Costs

Beware High-Pressure Sales Tactics

“Our older citizens, understandably concerned with rising living and medical costs and even pension uncertainties, are being targeted by unscrupulous financial predators,” said a top State securities regulator recently.  The regulator has brought a string of complaints against annuity providers on behalf of older consumers who were sold unsuitable annuities. Evans Law Firm, Inc. generally recommends against certain types of deferred annuities for older consumers because these complex, expensive insurance policies may tie up a senior’s money for years and impose significant penalties if you need your money back.  Sales and recommended surrenders and exchanges of deferred annuities to seniors may constitute financial elder abuse claims under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse) and 10509 (suitability requirement).. Questionable sales tactics, like unannounced home visits or falsified applications, are illegal.  See, e.g., Cal. Ins. Code § 790 et seq. (Unfair Insurance Practices Act).  If you are over 60, and live in San Diego or elsewhere in California and would like us to review your annuity contract, call us today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy. 

Annuities Are Long-Term Contracts

Most annuities are long term contracts and should not be considered for short-term purposes. Nor should a senior allow an agent to sell them an annuity without realizing that the annuity will tie up their money for a long time and any withdrawal will be subject to penalties and tax liabilities. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times described the effect of surrender charges on a 90-year-old retiree who bought a $100,000 annuity where the surrender penalty period lasted ten years.  He would have had to live to 100 to have unfettered access to his money,  Instead, according to the article, he died a year into the contract and his heirs had to pay an $11,000 surrender charge to withdraw his investment of only one year before.

Beware of Deceptive Or High-Pressure Sales Practices

Using come-ons honed by marketing experts, come unscrupulous agents play on seniors’ fears by suggesting that stock mutual funds, even federally insured bank accounts, are too shaky to depend on. They depict annuities as a secure alternative without explaining the accompanying fees and restrictions.  Some sales agents offer estate-planning services or free financial workshops or lunches for seniors to gain access to their financial information. Then they zero in on those with sizable assets, delivering a hard sell for annuities regardless of whether they meet the clients’ needs. Beware of any agent who pursues you aggressively about needing to act fast to miss some supposed opportunity.  Also beware of any agent who is unwilling to meet with your family in order to answer questions they may have about how a proposed annuity will work.  If you are considering an annuity, always get a second opinion from a professional with nothing to gain from a sale.

Contact Us

If you are over 60 and live in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California and would like a free review of your policy contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS), or by email at <ahref=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.

Some significant issuers and distributors of 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.  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

Athene USA

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

PacLife

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.

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