The New York State Department of Financial Services maintains a Life Insurance Resource Center on its website designed to inform New York State residents of the various life insurance-related products being sold in New York State. These products include immediate annuity contracts such as:
- Straight life annuities;
- Life contingent with period certain annuities;
- Life contingent with refund feature annuities;
- Joint and survivor annuities; and
- Period certain annuities.
Investors are cautioned that these products oftentimes do not provide protection against inflation, generally do not permit partial withdrawals and don’t offer cash surrender benefits.
The New York State Department of Financial Services Life Insurance Resource Center also notes that another category of annuity, deferred annuity contracts, include:
- Accumulation annuities designed to have an accumulation phase for ultimate annuity income available at a later, selected retirement age.
Types of accumulation annuities include:
- Excess interest annuities,
- Modified Guaranteed Annuities (MGA),
- Equity Index Annuities (EIA), and
- Variable Annuities.
The Federal government, as well as various State governments, are presently considering regulations designed to protect investors who have been improperly sold annuity products, with their concerns including the improper payment of kickbacks of commissions or other gifts and consideration associated with the sale of these products: bonus annuities; replacement issues associated with the swapping of one existing insurance or annuity product for another; taxes; surrender fees; early withdrawal fees; early withdrawal penalties; and misrepresentations regarding guaranteed rates of return and credit-related issues of fixed benefit guarantees, guaranteed minimum death benefits, and guaranteed living benefits. The average investor is oftentimes sold annuity investments without any meaningful understanding of all of the risks, hidden costs, uncertainty of guarantees, and other problems associated with these insurance products.
We offer a free initial consultation to investors who feel they may have been victimized by the sale of an annuity product.