by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP
I've heard grumblings from a number of NSSTA members about the striking lack of publicized support that the NSSTA has given to ELNY structured settlement annuitants.
Just about one week to go before a crucial deadline for ELNY structured settlement annuitants and NSSTA still has no information for them on its website. "What is up with that?" people have been asking?
Personally I question the wisdom of posting of a blog on the home page of the NSSTA website on December 9, 2011, coinciding with the mailing of the benefit reduction letters to ELNY annuitants by the "party that be", which was was labeled "(I've had) the time of my life", a "witty" (yet unwitting) nod to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" a hugely popular song released in 1987 (when Executive Life of New York was "going Homer Simpson" at the junk bond all you can eat buffet, recorded by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, which was the finale song for the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. With it already known that the Court hearing on the ELNY liquidation scheduled for "The Ides Of March" and the objection filing deadline a national holiday when the NYLB offices are closed, you have to wonder, who thinks this through? Perhaps it would be funny if it weren't so tragic.
To be fair, the ELNY task force at NSSTA has worked very very hard, for the most part I understand having been hamstrung by an imposed "cone of silence". NSSTA DOES provide considerable resources to its members to assist them in explaining the situation to their clients and callers. Yet since much of the information is now public, NSSTA members should not be faulted for naturally wondering "where's the beef?".
NSSTA is not comprised of annuitants and decisions are made by its board members. It's membership categories include:
Producers: Those directly involved in negotiating
structured settlements to resolve claims
Providers: Includes life insurance, trust and
Claims companies: Includes property/casualty
insurance companies, self-insureds, and other companies whose claims work benefits from NSSTA efforts
Associate members: This category is for
individuals such as plaintiff and defense counsel,
international structured settlement consultants
and those involved with Medicare set-aside
services. Source : NSSTA website
Getting into the granularity of membership, there are:
- Structured settlement brokers who placed ELNY structured settlement annuities in the 1980s.
- Agencies whose members placed ELNY structured settlement annuities in the 1980s.
- Purportedly an agency (or agencies) that took assignments, or qualified assignments of obligations from Defendants/Insurers, which were then funded with ELIC and/or ELNY annuities
- Brokers and agencies who DID NOT ever place any ELNY business at the time ELNY was operating or, entered the structured settlement business AFTER ELNY was taken over.
- Life insurance companies who stand to be assessed as part of the resolution of the ELNY situation
- Representatives of insurers who may be asked to make up shortfalls where ELNY structured annuities were purchased by them as part of a buy and hold strategy, or before there were qualified assignments.
As a British soccer commentator might observe, having read betwen the lines, the situation is "delicately poised".