Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter on Tuesday, April 26, 2015, to a number of large insurance companies, including MetLife, Inc., American International Group, Inc., Pacific Life Insurance Company, Allianz SE, U.S. Life division, TIAA-CREF New York Life Insurance, Prudential PIC, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Jackson National Life, Riversource Life Insurance Co., Security Benefit Life Insurance Co., Prudential Financial, Aegeon’s Transamerica, AXA S.A.’s U.S. Unit, and Lincoln National Corp. seeking the particulars of monetary incentives, gifts, and other things of value paid to third party brokers, brokerage firms, and agents involved with the sales of annuity products.
In a statement issued by her offices, Senator Warren said that these favors have included cruises, cash, ipads, jewelry, and other things of value termed to constitute “kickbacks.” Referring to this, Senator Warren noted that, “Annuity agents that are more interested in earning perks than in acting in their client’s best interests can place American’s savings and retirement security at risk.”
These large insurance companies sell a number of annuity products, including variable annuities, equity indexed annuities, fixed annuities, immediate annuities and universal annuity life insurance, the sales of which have come under criticism for their high sales-related commissions, surrender fees, early withdrawal charges, mortality costs, management fees, and other ongoing fees charged on an annual basis.
Senator Warren also noted that given more than $235 billion per year in annuity sales, disclosure of all sales incentives is in the interest of the American investor.
The Law Offices of Timothy J. O’Connor offers a free initial consultation to investors who feel that they may have been victimized by way of an improper sale of an annuity product.