WASHINGTON BUREAU — A House committee has asked MetLife Inc. to send it detailed information about retained asset accounts by Sept. 2.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked for the data in a letter addressed to Robert Henrikson, the chairman of MetLife, New York (NYSE:MET).
RAAs are accounts life insurers use to hold beneficiaries’ benefits until the beneficiaries withdraw the cash using checks, payment cards or other means.
Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the committee, and Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., a senior member, suggest in a letter to Henrikson that some beneficiaries may not understand that they have the right to obtain immediate access to the money in RAAs.
“Moreover, these retained asset accounts are essentially low-interest bank accounts that, unlike bank deposits, are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, although they may be protected by state insurance guaranty funds,” the lawmakers say.
“It appears that MetLife currently earns more than 4% on funds deposited in these retained asset accounts, while some beneficiaries earn 0.5% interest,” the lawmakers say.