About Enhanced Structured Income®
Enhanced Structured Income® (sometimes referred to as “ESI®”) is payment rights from fixed structured settlement annuities that have been sold at a significant discount to a third party purchaser. After the sale, the structured settlement annuity remains in force and the payments can be legally transferred to a new Buyer through the purchase of ESI® from Synergy Asset Management. When ESI® is purchased, the Buyer is legally transferred, via a court order, the rights to future fixed structured settlement annuity payments in return for a one time lump sum investment.
What is Enhanced Structured Income?®
Enhanced Structured Income® (sometimes referred to as “ESI®”) is payment rights from fixed structured settlement annuities that have been sold at a significant discount to a third party purchaser. After the sale, the structured settlement annuity remains in force and the payments can be legally transferred to a new Buyer through the purchase of ESI® from Settlement Asset Management. When ESI® is purchased, the Buyer is legally transferred, via a court order, the rights to future fixed structured settlement annuity payments in return for a one time lump sum investment.
Where does ESI® come from?
ESI® is structured settlement annuity payment rights that have been sold by an injury victim (annuitant). A structured settlement is a fixed annuity issued by a large life insurance company as part of the settlement of a personal physical injury claim. Once a structured settlement is finalized as part of a personal injury settlement, the terms can’t be changed and the payments can’t be accelerated nor can the corpus be invaded. If an injury victim no longer wishes to receive the periodic payments from the structured settlement annuity or their circumstances change, they may sell all or part of their future guaranteed periodic payments for a lump sum payment from a third party purchaser. The companies that purchase the future periodic payments, called factoring companies, sell the “pre-owned” structured settlement annuity streams through companies such as ours to those who desire strong fixed rates of return with no stock market risk.
What are the advantages of buying ESI®?
ESI® provides a much greater return with no stock market risk. It is a great product to add to the fixed income portion of an overall balanced investment portfolio. Since you are purchasing the right to receive future structured settlement annuity payments from some of the largest life insurance companies in the world, it is a great place to invest monies that need to be safeguarded against losses. ESI® pays a fixed income stream that is guaranteed and typically offers a return two to three percent higher than comparable fixed income products.
When I purchase ESI®, where do my annuity payments come from?
The payments will come directly from a highly rated life insurance company with an A.M. Best rating of at least A (Excellent). The ESI® payments will be made to you directly or a trust established for your benefit.
Who selects the life insurance companies where my ESI® payments come from?
You, as the buyer, may select the life company or companies after evaluating their financial ratings. Alternatively, you can instruct us to only purchase payments from A+ or better rated carriers. It is completely up to you as the buyer.
How is the rate of return for ESI® determined?
The rates of return are determined by the structured settlement annuity secondary marketplace. The lump sum payment to the seller of the structured settlement annuity payment rights (original acquisition cost), our acquisition cost and the price you pay for the pre-owned income stream determines the effective rate of return. Also, the duration of the payments will impact the rate of return. The longer the duration, the higher the return will typically be. In general, the rate of return on ESI® will be far greater than that offered on identical annuities from the very same life insurance companies if purchased directly from the life insurer.
Why are the rates of return better for ESI® than those offered by insurance companies directly?
Since ESI® is “pre-owned”, it has been sold at a discount to the purchaser (factoring company). Because the purchaser buys the structured settlement annuity payment rights at a fairly significant discount, the savings are passed along to you as the new purchaser. The discounted purchase price allows you to obtain the pre-owned income stream for a much lower price thereby boosting your rate of return.
What are the typical pre-owned Enhanced Structured Income® payment streams and typical investment amount?
The typical ESI® payment streams are period certain between 5 and 20 years along with deferred lump sum payments. Longer duration payment terms may be available as well, subject to availability. Because ESI® is pre-owned annuity payment rights, lifetime payments can’t be made with this product and payment stream terms are limited by inventory constraints.
There is no specific typical investment amount. The only limitation on the investment amount is available inventory. Investors can purchase a single ESI® payment stream for as little as $50,000 or portfolios of ESI® in excess of $1,000,000.
What are the typical returns I can expect from ESI® and how does it compare to
other fixed products available in the marketplace?
Assuming a $250,000 investment and level payments for 20 years (240 payments), the following is an example of what can be achieved with ESI®.
|Product||Investment Amount||Monthly Payment||Total Payments||Return|
|ESI ® advantage||$272.00||$65.249K|
* 20 Year Term (240 Payments)
What are the benefits of purchasing ESI®?
ESI® is pre-owned fixed annuity payment rights offering a conservative guaranteed income stream. Since the Enhanced Structured Income® comes from a fixed annuity, it is one of the safest investment vehicles available. Life insurance companies, which issue structured settlement annuity contracts, are strictly regulated by each state’s own department of insurance. Traditionally, life insurance companies invest monies they receive for future payment obligations, such as annuities and life insurance, in government securities and high grade commercial bonds so they can meet their future obligations. Given the foregoing, Enhanced Structured Income® is appropriate for conservative investors.
As part of a properly balanced portfolio of investments, ESI® can provide a strong performing fixed income component. Most fixed income products available today have very low rates of return. On the other hand, ESI® has competitive rates of return that rival variable products. ESI® can elevate the overall portfolio value given its relatively high returns in the fixed portion of the portfolio.
What risks/disadvantages are associated with ESI®?
Every financial product has some element of risk associated with the investment. ESI® payment rights are no exception. Before purchasing ESI®, the Buyer should evaluate his or her relative risk tolerance and investment goals to determine whether ESI® is an appropriate investment vehicle.
The primary risk associated with ESI® is interest rate risk. What this means is that interest rates may rise while the rates of return received from ESI® is fixed. Enhanced Structured Income® streams are less sensitive to this risk given their competitive rates of return. However, longer duration payments are more sensitive to interest rate risk than are shorter duration payments. Laddering purchases of ESI® over time can help cut down on interest rate risk by averaging effective rates of return.
A more remote risk is insurer insolvency. The strength of annuity payment rights, such as ESI®, is based upon the financial strength of the life insurance company that will be making the future periodic payments. ESI® is not covered by the FDIC and is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government in the event of life insurance company insolvency. There may be partial coverage by the Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Associations established in each state to provide protection for life insurance and annuity policyholders. However, Settlement Asset Management does not make any representations or warranties about this type of coverage.
ESI® isn’t a liquid investment and usually must be held for the entire term. If there are needs that can’t be met with periodic payments, some monies should be held in a liquid investment to meet unforeseen needs.
What is the process to sell a structured settlement annuity payment right?
When a structured settlement annuitant wishes to sell future periodic payment rights from their structured settlement, factoring companies bid to purchase the future periodic payments. Once a purchaser is selected by the seller, a court supervised transfer process is begun. The transfer process is governed by a mix of federal and state laws. Through the transfer process, a court order is obtained transferring the future periodic payments from the seller to a third party (either the purchaser if the annuity is not resold or directly to you). The court order will specify the future periodic payments to be made and direct where those payments will be paid when they come due.
Do I have to be a part of the court supervised transfer process?
No, you are not involved in the court process. Settlement Asset Management’s team has the expertise to supervise the purchase process on your behalf. We handle all of the closing documentation and provide a binder with all of the court transfer documents upon closing of the transaction. All of the costs associated with the process and documentation are paid for by us, you pay nothing except the price for the future periodic structured settlement payments. Our industry knowledge is unparalleled and guarantees the quality of the Enhanced Structured Income® we offer to you.
How does an ESI® transaction work from start to finish?
Settlement Asset Management acquires the rights to ESI® being sold by the original structured settlement annuitant and the future periodic payments are transferred to you, the Buyer, through the previously discussed court transfer process. The Buyer’s name (your name) will be put in the transfer court order, which is generally sought in the state court that has jurisdiction over the original annuitant (where that person resides). The court transfer order will direct the structured settlement annuity issuer, the life insurance company, to pay you the annuity payments as they come due.
The future ESI® payments are made whether the original annuitant or Buyer is alive or dies during the term that the payments are due. If you (the Buyer) pass away during the remaining term, the payments would continue to your estate or a joint owner. Payments from the structured settlement annuity issuer are either mailed to the Buyer or direct deposited into the Buyer’s bank account.
What are the legal regulations governing factoring transactions and the court order process?
All structured settlement transfers are completed by a court order. On July 1, 2002, Congress enacted Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 5891, requiring the sale of structured settlement payments to be approved by a court in accordance with the relevant State statute governing structured settlement annuity transfer transactions. Most state transfer laws contain similar provisions, including: (1) pre-contract disclosures to be made to the seller concerning the essentials of the transaction; (2) notice to certain interested parties; (3) an admonition to seek professional advice concerning the proposed transfer; and (4) court approval of the transfer, including a finding that it is in the best interest of seller, taking into account the welfare and support of any dependents.