Frequently Asked Questions About Secondary Market Annuities

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FAQ To Stay Ahead Of The Crowd:

Secondary Market Annuities and factored structured settlements form an important part of the financial landscape by providing liquidity to sellers.  Properly packaged as Secondary Market Annuities, these instruments form a great guaranteed income alternative to today’s yield starved investors.  Advisers and individuals alike should take a close look and be ready for a high-yield, safe alternative investment.

Here are a few frequently asked questions to round out your knowledge:

#1- How Do Secondary Market Annuities Fit Into My Financial Plan?

 #2- Why Are Secondary Market Annuities  Higher Yield Than Fixed Annuities?

#3- Why Would The Insurance Company Issue A Contract Yielding 4.5% In This Market?

#4- How Do I Know Structured Settlement Annuities  Are Safe?

#5- How Do I Know Secondary Market Annuities Are Safe?

#6- Why Shouldn’t I Buy Deals Direct From Factoring Companies?

#7- What Are The Costs And Fees Of A Secondary Market Annuity Purchase?

#8- What About SMA’s With Qualified Funds?

#9- Who Is The Typical Secondary Market Annuity Buyer?

#10- Who Are The Parties In A Structured Settlement Annuity Transaction?

1- How Do Secondary Market Annuities Fit Into My Financial Plan?

Secondary Market Annuities are an excellent, high-yield alternative to other fixed income investments.  In addition, they can also form a high-yield, guaranteed income source for risk-averse investors, or to fund future obligations.

Structured Settlement Annuities have a variety of uses.  Here are a few planning scenarios where these are great tools:

  • A couple has a wide disparity between their ages (70 year old man, 50 year old wife)
  • Traditional joint life annuities will offer very low payouts, whereas an SMA can be used to produce income for the couple’s life and a future lump sum for the surviving spouse to re-position in the future.
  • Investors seeking high yield alternatives to CD’s
  • Investors seeking specific future payment streams or lump sums, to fund education, gift, or other goals.
  • Investors seeking alternatives to the complicated contractual terms of variable and index annuities with income riders

2- Why Are Secondary Market Annuities  Higher Yield Than Fixed Annuities?

The yield on Secondary Market Annuities is higher simply because the seller is selling at a discount.  These are existing, fully funded payment obligations.  A buyer becomes the assignee of an existing payment stream- a note receivable bought at a discount.

3- Why Would The Insurance Company Issue A Contract Yielding 4.5% In This Market?

See above- discounted cash flow is a hard concept for a lot of people, but it’s at the heart of this market.  $100 in 10 years is worth $64 today at a 4.5% discount rate.  There are 10 years of deferred, compounding accumulation, which means the purchase price today is just $64.

Using the same discount rate of 4.5%, a payment stream of $1000/ month for 120 months costs $96,865.45 today.  Because the payments start immediately, each payment includes some portion of principal and some of interest.  As principal is paid out, is no longer accruing at the discount rate, and thus the total amount of interest earned on a ten-year income stream is much lower than the total interest earned on a ten-year deferred lump sum contract.

Insurance companies are not issuing contracts that yield 4.5% in this marketplace.  Rather, sellers are willing to sell their existing annuities at a discount that allows you to achieve a 4.5% yield.

In summary, Investors considering period certain Single Premium Immediate Annuities (SPIA’s) or using withdrawals from Fixed Annuities, Variable Annuities, or Indexed Annuities  for cash flow, will find a Secondary Market Annuity a higher yield alternative.

4- How Do I Know Structured Settlement Annuities  Are Safe?

Structured Settlement Annuities are considered to be senior obligations of the insurance companies issuing the annuity.  Because structured settlements originate in lawsuits, payments that are made to settle the lawsuit are subject to a court order.  Failure to make those payments would be contempt of court, and therefore are considered to be senior obligations.

5- How Do I Know Secondary Market Annuities Are Safe?

In typical Secondary Market Annuity transactions, we facilitate you receiving the payments of an existing payment stream.  In previous sections, we detailed how structured settlement annuities come into being and are funded, and why they are safe.

In a well structured and properly documented SMA transaction, there are five key items that document a case transfer and ensure legal safety of payments to you:

  1. Benefits letter from the issuer to the payee, which establishes that the Payee has the payments to sell,
  2. Court order changing the payee name to you or an entity that benefits you, such as our Business Trust
  3. Acknowledgement letter or stipulation agreement after the court hearing from the Issuer naming you or an entity that benefits you  as the new payee of the specific payment stream you purchased.
  4. Legal Review reviewing all documents, notices, filings, UCC statements and procedures in each case and every jurisdiction the case is subject to.
  5. Irrevocable Assignment of the cash flows from our entity that purchased the payments assigning the payments to you forevermore.

Of course, this is exactly what we do at SecondaryMarketAnnuity.Net.  Counsel reviews each and every case.

6- Why Shouldn’t I Buy Deals Direct From Factoring Companies?

Transactions undertaken directly with factoring companies, or through low-value add introducing parties, are discouraged.  You won’t find better rates and will run many more risks of improper structure and performance.  Doing it right is cheap insurance for buyer and adviser alike!

A simple analogy is this: People buy and sell homes all the time.  But whether  it’s with an real estate agent or direct from a seller (FSBO), everyone uses a title company to insure title and perform escrow services.

Buying a home without a title insurance policy is a HUGE and foolish risk.   Buying an SMA without legal review, direct from a factoring company, is like buying a home direct from a seller, and skipping the title policy.  In short, it’s crazy.

7- What Are The Costs And Fees Of An Secondary Market Annuity Purchase?

Unlike all other newly issued annuities, SMA’s have no holding or administrative costs other than a nominal payment servicing fee and, if applicable, costs to your IRA custodian.  Remember that originally, a claim or suit was settled with a monetary payment that purchased an annuity, either in a qualified assignment or directly by the defendant, to pay out future benefits to the injured party.  This award has no costs or fees to the recipient, and thus has no costs to you too.

Secondary Market Annuities are a refreshing, what you see is what you get transaction, without complicated fees, riders or other costs.

8- What About SMA’s With Qualified Funds?

SMA purchases can be arranged through a self directed IRA custodian who is familiar with the asset class.  There are special calculations to be done to account for required minimum distributions or RMD’s so it’s best to work with a custodian already familiar with the market.

There are a couple of  IRA custodians that we recommend and will work with.  Furthermore, we have discounted rates for self-directed IRAs available to our members and clients.

It’s important to note that while Secondary Market Annuities have no fees or costs other than the purchase price and a nominal payment servicing charge, IRA custodians do have some costs.  We have a discounted rate available to our customers from the best Self Directed IRA custodians in the marketplace.  See This Page for more info.

9- Who Is The Typical Secondary Market Annuity Buyer?

The typical SMA buyer is a safe-money investor seeking an above average yield, with very low risk and no volatility.  Payment streams can be immediate income, short term lump sum, long term lump sum, or a mixture.

10- Who Are The Parties In A Structured Settlement Annuity Transaction?

In a typical structured settlement annuity transaction, there will be an annuity issuer or obligor, an annuity owner, and a payee.    The payee is the person to whom the payments are being made.  This is the person who is injured in the suit or settlement, who is receiving the money.

In a lawsuit, typically the losing party will settle the claim against them by either purchasing an annuity to fund the future claims, or by assigning their obligations to pay the future payments through what is known as a qualified assignment.  In a qualified assignment, the assignment company will then purchase an annuity to fund the future claims.

In both an assigned case and an unassigned case, you have the same parties, namely, the payee, the annuity issuer, and the annuity owner.

As a buyer of structured settlement payment rights, you become the new assignee of the original payments.  Your payment rights are guaranteed by the annuity issuer, and in the secondary manner guaranteed by the annuity owner, who may either be an assignment company or the original losing party in the lawsuit.