1 Four Hour Annuity Continuing Education Course
2 Objective This course combines the information available to the agent or producer to understand through case law and case examples the CIC rules governing the design of annuities, as well as the sale of annuity products and the appropriate products to be sold to the senior population. This training course will contribute to an agent s understanding of the laws governing the design of annuities. Note: Although this program discusses the CIC (California Insurance Code) rules as defined by the State of California Department of Insurance, this program will contribute to all agent/producer responsibilities when selling annuity products.
3 Case 1 Why would Elders/Senior Citizens be potentially more susceptible to abusive practices in the annuity market? What would those abusive practices be?
4 Why did the NAIC adopt the 2010 Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation? This Model Regulation was adopted to set standards and procedures for suitable annuity recommendations and to require insurers to establish a system to supervise recommendations so that the insurance needs and financial objectives of consumers are appropriately addressed. Specifically, this Model Regulation was adopted to: Establish a regulatory framework that holds insurers responsible for ensuring that that annuity transactions are suitable (based on the criteria in Sec. 5I), whether or not the insurer contracts with a third party to supervise or monitor the recommendations made in the marketing and sale of annuities; Require that producers be trained on the provisions of annuities in general, and the specific products they are selling. Where feasible and rational, to make these suitability standards consistent with the suitability standards imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
5 NAIC Annuity Training Model Whereas the NAIC Annuity Training Model Act states, in part, that an insurance producer who engages in the sale of annuity products shall complete a one- time four (4) credit training course approved by the department of insurance and provided by the department of insurance- approved education provider. In addition, the agent has six months to complete the training to continue to sell annuity products. New licensees may not engage in the sale of annuities until the annuity course requirement is completed. (10/7/2011- Attached as handout NAIC model executive summary)
6 Four areas of Discussion Topic 1: What is an Annuity- will analyze the basics of fixed, variable, indexed annuities. Will demonstrate and compare fixed, variable, indexed annuities. Topic 2: Contract Provisions- will illustrate the financial impact of annuity products on the senior consumer. Topic 3: Sales Practices: Products & Practices Legislation will reinforce the Agent/Producer s competence in describing and selling annuity products. Fair and unfair sales practices to seniors. Topic 4: Suitability issues and risks for seniors- will discuss risks and income needs. Discuss briefly client s tax situation and replacement questions.
7 Topic 1 : What is an Annuity? Comparison of fixed, variable, indexed annuities and their impact on consumers. This will reinforce the Agent/Producer s competence in describing and selling annuity products.
8 What is an Annuity? An annuity is a contract between an investor and an insurance company where the investor makes payments in the form of premiums into the annuity. After a specific period of time the insurer repays the investor his principal payments plus accrued, compounded interest. - Annuity contract defined and basic benefits reviewed - Evaluation of risks and guaranteed value - Perspectives of investor, issuer, and institutions discussed
9 What are the different kinds of annuities? Comparative analysis of fixed, variable, and indexed Varying annuities and their impact on consumers. Levels of risk and guarantees. Classification of annuities according to when and how premiums are paid, when benefits are paid, or according to the investment options offered. Comparison of fixed, variable, indexed annuities and their impact on consumers.
10 What is a Fixed Annuity? An annuity contract under which the insurer guarantees: Accumulation value will experience no loss of principal and will earn at least a minimum guaranteed interest rate. Earns interest at rates set by the insurance company or specified in the annuity contract. Fixed annuities sometimes offer higher interest rates than competing investments.
11 Fixed Annuity Example Impact on Consumer- Fixed Annuities: Discuss the insurance company purchasing bonds with your money, seeking to earn a higher rate than it promised to pay you. If interest rates rise, the market price of the carrier s bonds drop. If you withdraw your money, the difference between the rate the carrier earns and what it pays you is known as the spread. The wider the spread, the more money the carrier makes. If one of the carrier s creditors defaults on its bonds, that is the carrier s problem, not yours. The carrier has to pay you back. It gave you a guarantee.
12 What is a Variable Annuity? Variable annuities offer the consumer an opportunity to gain value on their investment based upon the performance of the stock market. Insurance company invests your money into a separate account variable annuity contract by making either a single purchase payment or a series of purchase payments. The money can be invested in stocks, bonds or other investments. If the fund does not do well, you may lose some or all of your investment. Variable annuities let investors receive periodic payments for the rest of their life. This feature offers protection against the possibility that they will outlive their assets after they retire. Variable annuities are taxed- deferred.
13 How Variable Annuities Work A variable annuity has two phases: Accumulation Phase: Investors make purchase payments, which can be allocated to a number of options. Example: John could designate 40% of his purchase payments to a bond fund and international stock fund. The money John has allocated to each mutual fund can increase or decrease over time, depending on the fund s performance. Pay Out Phase: At the beginning of the payout phase, investors may receive their purchase payments, plus investment income and gains (if any) as a lump- sum payment, or may choose to receive them as a stream of payments at regular intervals (generally monthly).
14 Comparison of Variable annuities Often allow investors to allocate part of their purchase payments to a fixed account. A fixed account, unlike a mutual fund, pays fixed rate of interest. The insurance company may reset this interest rate periodically, but it will usually provide a guaranteed minimum rate; e.g. 3%.
15 In- depth evaluation of Variable annuities The Pros of a Variable annuity are: Tax deferral on earnings until they are withdrawn. Earnings on the investments stay there helping them grow. A death benefit that protects heirs from market losses: Your beneficiaries collect a benefit if you die. No limit on the contribution of after- tax money.
16 In- depth evaluation of Variable annuities The Cons of a Variable annuity are: When withdrawn, earnings are taxed as income rather than as capital gains. Your heirs won t get the tax benefits of inheriting after tax- assets. Withdrawals before age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10 percent federal penalty, with additional income tax. You can lose money. Your investment returns aren t guaranteed. If you want guaranteed you want a want a fixed annuity.
17 Variable Annuities Considerations Investors and their advisors should always consider the following questions before buying a variable annuity: Will the investor use the variable annuity primarily for retirement? Is the individual willing to take the risk that their account value may decrease if the underlying mutual fund investment option performs badly? The fund s investment objectives and policies. Management fees and other expenses that the fund charges? The risks and volatility of the fund. Whether the fund contributes to the diversification of the investor s overall investment portfolio. Does the investor understand all of the fees and expenses that the variable annuity charges? Does the investor intend to remain in the variable annuity long enough to avoid paying surrender charges if they have to withdraw money? Has the investor considered all the tax consequences of purchasing an annuity, including the effect of annuity payments on their tax status in retirement? If the annuity has a bonus credit, the investor needs to ask whether the bonus is worth more than any increased charges they will pay for that bonus.
18 What is an Indexed Annuity? Also called equity indexed annuities (EIAs) and fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) are actually a type of fixed annuity. Indexed annuities offer the best of both worlds : the safety of a bond plus the growth potential of stocks. You may just as easily conclude that they offer the least of both worlds: a lower guaranteed return than bonds and a smaller potential return than stocks.
19 Comparative discussion of Consumer and Equity- Indexed Annuities Impact on Consumer- Indexed Annuity: The issuer of an index annuity contract (an insurance company) guarantees that, as long as you own the contract and abide by its rules, you can t lose money. When the stock market goes down, you lose nothing. When the stock market goes up, you reap about half the gains. Example: When you hand over a chunk of money at least $2, or so to the insurance company that issues your index annuity, the carrier uses your money for three purposes: It puts most of the money in bonds, which earn interest. It deducts a small amount for its own expenses. It uses the rest of the money to buy index options. Index options are at the heart of index annuities. Note: the carrier never invests your money directly in stocks. Instead, it invests in options to buy all the stocks in a particular market index. Many people get confused and think that index annuities involve investments in stocks. They do not.
20 Comparative discussion of Consumer and Equity- Indexed Annuities Equity- Indexed Annuity: A variation of a fixed annuity in which the interest rate is based on an outside index, such as a stock market index. The annuity pays a base return, but it may be higher if the index increases. Example: The insurance company makes money when the index goes up and loses very little when the index goes down. This allows it to keep its promise to you: to pay you a portion of the index gains in years when it goes down. If the index never goes up during the entire life of the annuity contract, you won t lose anything and you will earn a guaranteed minimum interest of 2 or 3 percent.
21 Case 2 Grandpa Bennett just died. Grandma Bennett is 80 and left with $250, in the stock market. a social security check monthly payment of $874.00, Medicare Coverage, Medicare B and D Coverage and a 50 year old house that is paid for but in need of a new roof, a new furnace and air conditioner, and stove. It is a two story house with bedrooms and the bath room upstairs. The current market and insured value of the house is $70, A real estate agent says it will sell within a year but probably only get $52, as a selling price if conditions do not deteriorate further in the marketplace. Johnny and Sally Sales call on Grandma who tells them she is very worried about the stock market and wants out of it tomorrow. They say she would be best in a $175, deferred annuity with surrender charges for 12 years starting at 12% and decreasing 1% per year. The annuity guarantees 1% interest a year. The surrender charges apply if she dies and the beneficiary inherits the contract. She can withdraw $2, per year with surrender charges. The surrender charges are waived if she annuitizes and elects monthly payments under a pre- determined table with potential excess interest credited the first payment of the next year as earned at the end of a year. Is this annuity suitable for grandma? Why? Why not? Are there any general concerns about this annuity product? If there are what are they?
22 Topic 2: Sales Practices (The slides that follow are discussing the California Insurance regulations on Sales Practices. However, the concept of suitability from the securities industry is being adopted by many states) Many states insurance requirements to sell annuity products are following suitability standards that are intended to address widespread abusive sales practices directed at Senior Citizens. These abuses include selling multiple overlapping Medicare Supplement policies and selling life insurance policies with premiums larger than death benefits.
23 Topic 2 : Sales Practices Products and Legislation: Prohibitive Sales Practices An agent may refer to the on- line CIC section 787 (b) and of the CIC as tools for assisting the agent when selling annuity products regarding acceptable sales practices to stay compliant with the California law. Providing the TOOLS for agents. This section will take a look at the specific insurance laws and regulations that have been enacted to protect retirees and senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse at the hands of unscrupulous insurance specialists Senate Bill 1065: Discuss this bill specifically targeting the sale of life insurance to seniors. The key item in this legislation was to provide seniors the right to cancel a life insurance policy within 30- days of delivery SB 1505: was passed to deal with life insurance and annuity contracts specifically as they relate to senior citizen policies and annuities. Discuss the many issues in this legislation regarding additional changes in cancellation procedures and notice requirements.
24 Prohibitive Sales Practices Annuity Sales Practices and Prohibitive Sales Practices An agent may refer to the on- line CIC section 787 (b) and of the CIC as tools for assisting the agent when selling annuity products regarding acceptable sales practices to stay compliant with the California law. Tools: To assist agents understanding of annuity provisions and their impact on consumers: Refer to section Annuity Contract Provision section for clarification of CIC rule. Whenever an insurer provides an annual statement to a senior citizen policyholder of an individual annuity contract issued after January 1, 1995, the insurer shall also provide the current accumulation value and the current cash surrender value. Note: : Any contract which does not provide cash surrender benefits or does not provide death benefits at least equal to the minimum nonforfeiture amount prior to the commencement of any annuity payments shall include a statement in a prominent place in the contract that such benefits are not provided.
25 Sales Practices AB284: Discuss specific legislation which dealt with Deferred Annuities Non- forfeiture. The key components of AB284. First: the written request Second: the approval of the commissioner regarding reserving the right to defer payment Third: the uniform method for calculating the minimum forfeiture amounts under the contract. Fourth: applies to contracts issued on or after January 1, Fifth: allows the insurance commissioner to adopt regulations to implement any and all of the provisions noted in this article.
26 Sales Practices California Insurance Code Sections : Log on to the California Legislative website at to thoroughly review all of the provisions of this act and the insurance code. SB618: Review SB618 which addresses insurance unfair sales and marketing acts and outlines grounds that can be used by the commissioner to act against a license held by an individual who may be in violation of the laws contained in this act. SB620: sponsored by Senator Jack Scott - resulted in major changes In the California Insurance Code and impacts marketing and sales of annuities to seniors in California. SB620 was drafted to outline required disclosures and prohibited sales practices. Discuss this bill s mandate regarding specific training for life agents in order for them to be able to sell annuities.
27 Sales Practices EXAMPLE: Discuss Selling annuities to seniors: An annuity shall not be sold to a senior in any of the following circumstances. The senior's purpose in purchasing the annuity is to affect Medi- Cal eligibility and either of the following is true: (A) The purchaser's assets are equal to or less than the community spouse resource allowance established annually by the State Department of Health Services pursuant to the Medi- Cal Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code). (B) The senior would otherwise qualify for Medi- Cal. (2) The senior's purpose in purchasing the annuity is to affect Medi- Cal eligibility and, after the purchase of the annuity, the senior or the senior's spouse would not qualify for Medi- Cal. (a) In the event that a fixed annuity specified in subdivision (b) is issued to a senior, the issuer shall rescind the contract and refund to the purchaser all premiums, fees, any interest earned under the terms of the contract, and costs paid for the annuity. This remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy that may be available.
28 Sales Practices In- Home Solicitations: Any person who meets with a senior in the senior's home is required to deliver a notice in writing to the senior no less than 24 hours prior to that individual's initial meeting in the senior's home. Upon contacting the senior in the senior's home, the person shall, before making any statement other than a greeting, or asking the senior any other questions, state that the purpose of the contact is to talk about insurance, or to gather information for a follow up visit to sell insurance, if that is the case, and state all of the following information: (1)The name and titles of all persons arriving at the senior's home. (2) The name of the insurer represented by the person, if known. (d) Each person attending a meeting with a senior shall provide the senior with a business card or other written identification stating the person's name, business address, telephone number, and any insurance license number. (e) The persons attending a meeting with a senior shall end all discussions and leave the home of the senior immediately after being asked to leave by the senior. (f) A person may not solicit a sale or order for the sale of an annuity or life insurance policy at the residence of a senior, in person or by telephone, by using any plan, scheme, or ruse that misrepresents the true status or mission of the contact.
29 Sales Practices Appropriate advertising: Any advertisement or other device designed to produce leads based on a response from a potential insured which is directed towards persons age 65 or older shall prominently disclose that an agent may contact the applicant if that is the fact. In addition, an agent who makes contact with a person as a result of acquiring that person's name from a lead generating device shall disclose that fact in the initial contact with the person. For the purposes of this section, an advertisement includes envelopes, stationery, business cards, or other materials designed to describe and encourage the purchase of a policy or certificate of disability insurance, life insurance, or an annuity. Advertisements shall not employ words, letters, initials, symbols, or other devices which are so similar to those used by governmental agencies, a nonprofit or charitable institution, senior organization, or other insurer that they could have the capacity or tendency to mislead the public.
30 Case 3 Bill and Shirley Wymer of Any City, Any State, owned their home and had set aside a nice nest egg for their retirement years. When they could no longer care for themselves because of advanced forms of dementia, the family hired Norma Silverman to be a live- in caregiver after her son sold the Wymers five different annuity contracts the prior year. They believed the son had saved their parents from the disasters of the stock market downturn. The Wymers daughter, Sandy Sunderman of Austinia, states Silverman took everything her parents had worked and saved for their entire lives. "She thought she had found the goose that laid the golden egg, Sunderman said. And in a matter of 15 months she made my parents homeless and penniless. The prosecutor in ABC County, Any State, has charged Silverman with various felonies, including theft and forgery. Court papers say within months of moving in, Silverman convinced 86- year old Charles Wymer to give her power of attorney, name her as beneficiary of his estate including five annuity contracts- a variable, an indexed, and three deferred contracts- - which had been sold by Silverman s son who earned $40, in commissions on the sale, and to disinherit his wife. She then gave the cash in the estate totaling $600, to her son to invest who promptly lost it in private placements. Silverman is also accused of facilitating a reverse mortgage on the Wymers' house (which the couple owned free and clear) as a way to fill their bank account with a large sum of money which she could then steal. The prosecutor claims Silverman literally guided Mrs. Wymer s hand to sign her name on the loan documents because she was too infirm at the time to sign her name herself. In all, the Wymers' estimated cash losses are put at more than $1,000, present value. And the home they lived in for 45 years went into foreclosure. The Wymers died within a month of each other in 2008 with just $374 in the bank. What abuse took place here? Should the annuities have been sold to Mr. Wymer at his age? Why? Why not?
31 Topic 3: Contract Provisions Annuity Contract Provisions and their impact on consumers This section will contribute to an agent s understanding of the laws governing annuity contracts and CIC rules on how Annuity contract provisions impact the senior consumer. Annuity contract structure: involves the rules that determine the movement of money in the annuity after a death. Beneficiaries: Contract owner s beneficiary vs. Annuitant s beneficiary. Contract owner s beneficiary: The person who receives the accumulated value of the contract if the owner dies before converting the contract income. Annuitant s beneficiary: The person who receives the death benefit which may be different from the accumulated value, if the annuitant dies before the contract is annuitized.
32 Annuity Contract Provisions and Their Impact on Consumers Impact on Consumer: Variable annuities are designed to be long- term investments, to meet retirement and other long range goals. Variable annuities are usually not suitable for meeting short- term goals because substantial taxes and insurance company charges may apply if investors withdraw their money early. Variable annuities also involve investment risks, just as mutual funds do. Before purchasing a variable annuity with a bonus credit, investors need to ask themselves whether the bonus is worth more than any increased charges they will pay for the bonus. Factors to consider: i.e. amount of the bonus credit and the increased charges, how long the investor holds their annuity contract, and the return on the underlying investments, and other features of the annuity.
33 Owner Driven Contracts Owner driven contracts Annuitant driven contracts Review the Rules surrounding death of an owner: owner s beneficiary if the owner s spouse is the owner s beneficiary if the joint owner is NOT the spouse if the owner was also the annuitant Review the Rules surrounding the death of the annuitant: in an owner driven contract in an annuitant driven contract if the contract has a joint annuitant
34 Living Benefits Living Benefits provided for in the Annuity Contract Discuss: Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit: annuitization for no less than the principal. Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefits: return of no less than the principal in annual installments. Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits for Life: Lifetime payments without annuitization. Guaranteed Minimum Accumulation Benefits: Principal guarantee after waiting period. Guaranteed Account Value: Guarantee of principal and step ups.
35 Discussion on Contract Provisions- Death Benefit Discussion on Contract Provisions: Define death benefit and review different death benefit payment options. Death benefit: If you die while owning the annuity, your money (including the interest you have earned up to your death) goes to the beneficiaries identified in your contract. If you want, you can change the beneficiary after you buy the contract. A death benefit that equals at least the amount of a deferred annuity's accumulation value and that is to be paid to a beneficiary designated by the contract owner if the contract owner dies before periodic income payments begin. Also, known as a survivor benefit. Standard death benefit Lump Sum vs. 5 year pay out Return of premium death benefit Provision Death Benefits Stepped up death benefit rider Enhanced death benefits
36 Discussion on Contract Provisions- Death Benefit To assist agents understanding of annuity provisions and their impact on consumers: Refer to section Annuity Contract Provision section for clarification of CIC rule. Whenever an insurer provides an annual statement to a senior citizen policyholder of an individual annuity contract issued after January 1, 1995, the insurer shall also provide the current accumulation value and the current cash surrender value. Note: : Any contract which does not provide cash surrender benefits or does not provide death benefits at least equal to the minimum nonforfeiture amount prior to the commencement of any annuity payments shall include a statement in a prominent place in the contract that such benefits are not provided.
37 Discussion on Contract Provisions- Death Benefit Refer to section For contracts which provide cash surrender benefits, such cash surrender benefits available prior to maturity shall not be less than the present value as of the date of surrender of that portion of the maturity value of the paid- up annuity benefit which would be provided under the contract at maturity arising from considerations paid prior to the time of cash surrender reduced by the amount appropriate to reflect any prior withdrawals from or partial surrenders of the contract, such present value being calculated on the basis of an interest rate not more than 1 percent higher than the interest rate specified in the contract for accumulating the net considerations to determine such maturity value, decreased by the amount of any indebtedness to the company on the contract, including interest due and accrued, and increased by any existing additional amounts credited by the company to the contract. In no event shall any cash surrender benefit be less than the minimum nonforfeiture amount at that time. The death benefit under such contracts shall be at least equal to the cash surrender benefit.
38 Discussion on Contract Provisions- Death Benefit For contracts which do not provide cash surrender benefits, the present value of any paid- up annuity benefit available as a nonforfeiture option at any time prior to maturity shall not be less than the present value of that portion of the maturity value of the paid- up annuity benefit provided under the contract arising from considerations paid prior to the time the contract is surrendered in exchange for, or changed to, a deferred paid- up annuity, such present value being calculated for the period prior to the maturity date on the basis of the interest rate specified in the contract for accumulating the net considerations to determine such maturity value, and increased by any existing additional amounts credited by the company to the contract. For contracts which do not provide any death benefits prior to the commencement of any annuity payments, such present values shall be calculated on the basis of such interest rate and the mortality table specified in the contract for determining the maturity value of the paid- up annuity benefit. However, in no event shall the present value of a paid- up annuity benefit be less than the minimum nonforfeiture amount at that time.
39 Topic 4: Suitability Issues Suitability Issues & Seniors: Risk Is the client willing to take any investment risk as in the case with a variable annuity? Variable annuities have the potential for higher earnings that aren t guaranteed and can lose principal. Is a fixed annuity with a guaranteed interest rate and little or no risk of losing the principal better suited for the client? Or, am I somewhere in between and willing to take some risks with an equity- indexed annuity?
40 Income Needs Income Needs 1. How much retirement income will the client need in addition to what he/she is getting from Social Security, pensions and distributions from qualified and non qualified plans. 2. Will this senior need supplementary income for others in addition to myself, such as a spouse? 3. What is the clients need in terms of liquidity? 4. What liquid assets does the client have? 5. Does the annuity product provide enough liquidity to meet the clients short term needs? 6. What are the annual free withdrawals? 7. How long can the client leave money in the annuity? 8. When does the client need income from the annuity? 9. Does the client have a long term care policy? 10. Will the annuity product provide tax benefits? 11. Are there any provisions available in the event of terminal illness or nursing/long term care? 12. Does the annuity have any provisions for nursing/long term care surrenders? 13. Is there terminal illness rider available with this annuity?
41 Income Needs Example: Senior Annuities Fraud: John was 73 when he paid $43, for a life insurance annuity from Midland National Insurance Company. But, the annuity payments don t start until his 115 th birthday. Example: Senior Annuities Fraud: Variable annuities pay investors a fixed, monthly income. Yet, scam artists fail to tell seniors that payments may not begin for 10 to 20 years. Many seniors will not live long enough to receive the promised income. Example: Unethical Sales Practice: Once a senior is invested in a variable annuity, the sales agent may advise him or her to move assets to different sub- accounts. It s a technique called twisting, used solely to generate yet another high commission for the salesperson.