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Annuities for Retirement: Stricter Regulation in Florida

A press release from Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink details new legislation the state has passed to protect residents from annuities fraud. Specifically, it bans the practice known as “twisting”, where an unscrupulous agent combines several annuities into one with a different holiday. The agent recieves an extra commission from another company, while the investor’s retirement nest egg is put in danger. In Florida, this practice is now a third degree felony.

Senior citizens also recieve other new protections under these laws. They now have a “free look” period of 60 days, duringwhich they can cancel the annuity purchase with no penalty, and agents are required to provide them with a cover sheet that informs them of that fact. The Department of Financial Services is prevented from giving another license to someone who as had theirs revoked due to solicitation of a senior citizen; in addition, it is authorized to require that an agent pay monentary restitution to someone they have defrauded.

The Safeguard Our Seniors (SOS) task force is taking a stand against agents that sell innapropriate annuity products to seniors; e.g. selling an individual in their 80s a deferred annuity that may not pay out during his or her lifetime, when immediate annuities that begin payments right away would probably be more suitable.

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