FLORIDA ANNUITIES CONSULTANT FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
*This law is expanded to all persons,
regardless of age on 10/1/2013.
See the Section on "Annuities, Suitability and Your Rights"
ANNUITIES AND SENIOR CITIZENS
In recent years, an unprecedented level of funds has poured into Annuity Investments through new investment purchases, policy exchanges and rollovers. Although Annuities have their place in certain portfolios, they often come with a higher level of fees and surrender charges. Those fees and charges fund the agent and broker's commissions, and they often make it difficult or costly to exit the investment. Examples of possible agent and broker abuses include:
- Individuals sold deferred contracts when they needed immediate income
- Existing annuity owners, only a few years away from the end of their surrender charge periods, convinced to exchange their contracts for new contracts that impose new eight to ten year surrender charge periods
- Individuals not informed of fees assessed on withdrawals
- Individuals convinced to switch from guaranteed contracts to annuities or life insurance policies that could lose value during market declines
- Individuals convinced to borrow money from their contracts
Florida's Senior Citizens are vulnerable to many of these abusive sales techniques. Accordingly, in 2008, the Florida Legislature passed the "John and Patricia Seibel Act", named for an elderly Florida couple who were victims of a blatantly unsuitable annuity sale. This law requires that agents and brokers:
- Obtain financial and other information from seniors before recommending the purchase or exchange of an annuity
- Know your existing portfolio of annuities and investments when recommending additional purchases
- Conduct a written suitability analysis for the recommended product or investment
- Confirm your understanding of the recommendation in writing
- Deliver the required Disclosure Documents, including the Annuity Buyer's Guide
- Deliver the required Contract Summary
- Deliver the required Prospectus for Variable Life and Annuity sales
- Deliver the required Disclosure and Comparison Form when recommending the replacement of an existing contract
Failure to provide these services to a Senior Purchaser of these products is a violation of Florida law
and exposes the agent or broker to liability for your losses.