Did You Know?
- That, as of the first quarter 2011, the combined net assets of U.S. variable annuities were valued at nearly $1.6 trillion, an 11% increase from first quarter 2010 and the highest level ever recorded?
- In 2010 fixed annuity assets were valued at $659 billion a 6% increase from 2009?
- That in 2010, the total average expense difference between variable annuities and mutual funds was 1.01%?
- In 2011, the contribution limits range from $5,000-$6,000 for an IRA, $16,500-$22,000 for a 401(k) and $200,000 plus for a non-qualified annuity?
- That the average number of funds per variable annuity contract was 50 in 2010, of which 47% of assets were invested in equities, 11% in bonds, and 20% in fixed-rate accounts?
- That the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit was offered on 79% of variable annuities in 2011 and was elected by 65% of contract holders?
- Boomers who own annuities have a higher confidence in retirement expectations, with 92% believing they are doing a good job in preparing for retirement?
Tools to Assist in Your Investment Decisions
What happens to the annuity value if the contract is surrendered?
Deferred annuity contracts permit the contract owner to surrender the annuity contract during the accumulation period and receive a cash payment from the insurance company. This amount is called the cash value or cash surrender value of the contract. It equals the sum of premiums paid plus any earnings, minus prior withdrawals and charges deducted. The owner may take partial withdrawals or fully surrender the contract during the accumulation phase. Penalties for early withdrawal may be incurred and federal income taxes will apply to any gain in the contract value. The amount paid to the contract owner on surrender may be subject to surrender charges which generally range from 5-7%. Some deferred annuity contracts impose surrender charges only for an initial period after the contract is purchased; others start a new surrender charge period for each individual premium paid. Surrender charges usually decline to zero over a period of time, such as five or seven years.
A partial surrender is the withdrawal of an amount less than the entire cash surrender value of the contract. Partial surrenders can also be taken as a pre-scheduled series of payments under a systematic withdrawal plan. Many contracts permit annual withdrawals of an amount, such as 10% of the contract value, which is free of a surrender charge. Tax penalties may apply, however.
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