What is a variable annuity?
A variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company. It’s a long-term investment designed for retirement purposes. Your clients invest money in professionally managed investment portfolios, where it accumulates tax-deferred. Investment returns and the principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s units, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the original investment. When your clients retire, their investment can be used to generate a stream of regular income payments that are guaranteed for as long as they live. In addition, variable annuities may provide a guaranteed death benefit for their beneficiaries. It is important to remember that annuity contracts contain exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits and terms for keeping them in force.
Why does the company behind the annuity matter?
When the time comes for your clients to use the benefits that are offered by a variable annuity it is important to remember that all guarantees including the optional benefits are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company and do not apply to the underlying investment options.
Can Prudential help me determine if an annuity is right for my clients?
It’s up to you to determine if a variable annuity is suitable for your clients. Prudential Annuities does not provide investment advice. The selections you choose together with your clients are all dependent on their investment goals and their risk tolerance.
What happens if my clients need access to their money?
There are limitations and restrictions when making withdrawals. Withdrawals or surrenders may be subject to contingent deferred sales charges. Withdrawals and distributions of taxable amounts are subject to ordinary income tax and, if made prior to age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% federal income tax penalty, sometimes referred to as an additional income tax. Withdrawals reduce the account value and the living and death benefits proportionately.
Withdrawals in excess of the Guaranteed Income Amount impact the value of your client’s benefit and can also affect the certainty of his or her income. An excess withdrawal occurs when your client’s cumulative Lifetime Withdrawals exceed his or her Guaranteed Income Amount in any benefit year. If an excess withdrawal is taken, only the portion of the Lifetime Withdrawal that exceeds the remaining Guaranteed Income Amount will proportionally and permanently reduce his or her Guaranteed Income Amount for future years. If an excess withdrawal reduces the account value to zero, no further amount would be payable and the contract terminates. Please note that Non-Lifetime Withdrawals proportionally reduce the Guaranteed Income Amount by the ratio of the Non-Lifetime Withdrawal amount to the Account Value immediately prior to the Non-Lifetime Withdrawal.
What are the limitations and restrictions my clients need to consider?
Please note, unlike many other annuity contracts, the Annuity does not currently provide a diverse set of investment choices that would provide the option to allocate money among a variety of investment choices with different investment styles, objectives, strategies and risks. Optional benefits have requirements for election and other restrictions. The Defined Income Benefit cannot be cancelled in the first year following election; however, upon specified events, we may terminate the benefit. The benefit charges are in addition to fees and charges associated with the basic annuity. Please see the prospectus for more information.
Investors should consider the features of the contract and the underlying portfolios’ investment objectives, policies, management, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. This and other important information is contained in the prospectus, which can be obtained by contacting the National Sales Desk. Your clients should read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Variable annuities are issued by Pruco Life Insurance Company, Newark, NJ (main office) and distributed by Prudential Annuities Distributors, Inc., Shelton, CT. All are Prudential Financial companies and each is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Prudential Annuities is a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. All products and optional benefits may not be available in all states or through all third-party broker/dealers.
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