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Zamansky LLC Investigates Voya Financial Advisors Over Sales of “L Share” Annuity Contracts With “Guaranteed” Minimum Benefits Riders

June 25, 2015 Investigations

The law firm is investigating Voya Financial Advisors over sales of its “L Share” variable annuity policies.   Voya Financial Advisors is a division of the New York-based insurance and retirement benefit group formerly known as ING U.S. Inc. Voya Financial Advisors recently announced that it wound not longer sell type of variable-annuity contract known as an “L share” if the annuity contract includes riders, according to a report by InvestmentNews.

The reason is that Voya Financial Advisors received “guidance” from FINRA, which regulates annuity sales, that L-share variable annuities with riders are presumptively unsuitable, according to news reports.   L-shares typically charge higher ongoing fees in exchange for a shorter-than-normal period of time before clients can withdraw their premium payments or exchange their contracts without paying a surrender charge.   This is inconsistent with long-term investing which is the purpose of a variable annuity.

There is also concern over “double charging.” Riders usually provide additional guarantees of benefits to investors at an extra-cost. The extra cost of a rider may be unnecessary to an investor who holds an L share.   The impact of the extra or unnecessary costs to investors from the combination of these two features of a variable annuity may not have been properly disclosed to investors.

Our law firm is investigating whether investors in L shares received proper disclosures, particularly if they also purchased riders. If you purchased an L share variable annuity with a guaranteed income or minimum benefits rider through Voya Financial, please contact our firm for an evaluation of your rights. You can contact Jake Zamansky by telephone at (212) 742-1414 or by email at jake@zamansky.com.