LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2007 LAWFUEL – Class Action Newswire — Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP (“LYS&R”) has commenced an investigation of alleged abuses in the sale and marketing by certain insurance companies and their agents of specially designed life insurance policies used to fund Section 412(i) tax-qualified retirement plans (“Insurance Policies”). Section 412(i) plans are pension plans funded exclusively by the purchase of life insurance and annuity contracts and are not subject to the funding rules that apply to other defined benefit plans if they meet all of the requirements of Section 412(i). Generally, the Insurance Policies are made available only to highly-compensated employees.
LYS&R’s investigation focuses on concerns that in connection with the sale and marketing of the Insurance Policies to fund Section 412(i) plans, and how certain insurance companies, including, Hartford Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Indianapolis Life Insurance Company, Security Mutual Financial Life Insurance Company, American General Life & Accident Insurance Company, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and their agents, may have represented that the Insurance Policies were a legitimate means to maximize current tax-deductible contributions and provide economic and tax advantages.
The IRS has announced that it is “well along in the process of auditing potential abusive tax avoidance transactions involving defined benefit pension plans claiming to be 412(i) plans.” Further, according to the IRS, “(s)ome taxpayers have attempted to use the special 412(i) funding rules to take excessive deductions and to avoid taxes they properly owe. Other purported 412(i) plans merely fail to follow the specific rules that apply to 412(i) plans, though the deductions taken generally are not greater than the deductions that would have been allowable had the plan not claimed to be a 412(i) plan. In all cases the defects must be corrected.”
Purchasers of the Insurance Policies and targets of the IRS audits may have claims, if timely asserted, against the insurance companies and the agents from whom the Insurance Policies were purchased because those persons, among other things, withheld or concealed material information regarding whether the Insurance Policies were suitable for the pension plans. Purchasers of the Insurance Policies may be entitled to recover the value of the premiums paid to the insurance companies.
Targets of the IRS audits may be entitled to recover interest and penalties that may be due and owing to the IRS and attorneys’ and accountants’ fees incurred because of the IRS audits.
If you are a participant in a Section 412(i) Defined Benefit Pension Plan that has purchased one or more Insurance Policies with the understanding that the Insurance Policies were a legitimate tax shelter, you may contact any member of our team toll free at (866) 620-6722.
Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP is one of America’s leading law firms handling retirement and pension plan litigation, including claims on behalf of participants in Defined Benefit Pension Plans. Visit our website at www.californiaclassaction.com.