The answers in this section are general in nature and may not reflect the definitions, terms and conditions that apply to your annuity contract.

Is there a minimum amount required to purchase a contract?
Most annuities have minimum purchase payments and may or may not allow multiple payments. Some flexible premium annuities may be purchased through payroll deduction, with minimum purchase payment requirements of $50 or less. Other annuities need a single lump sum with certain minimum requirements, depending on the product. Consider what works best for you and meets your financial needs.
How will my annuity be credited with earnings?
Different types of annuities offer you different protection and opportunities when it comes to earnings. Traditional fixed annuities offer you the protection of an interest rate that is fixed and guaranteed never to be below a minimum amount. Fixed-indexed annuities offer the protection of a fixed rate as well as the potential to earn a higher interest rate based on a referenced stock or bond market index, but with the guarantee that, unless otherwise stated in your contract, you will never have a negative interest rate. Variable annuities do not offer the principal protection, but allow you the opportunity for greater growth based on the performance of underlying investment options.
Are there charges for an annuity?
Most annuities do not charge up front sales charges, but have charges if you withdraw money before the end of a stated period. Generally, fixed and fixed-indexed annuities do not have administrative fees, although interest crediting rates take into account expenses related to the product. Variable annuities may have ongoing fees to provide guaranteed death benefits and cover expenses related to the product. When purchasing a variable annuity, you can find specific information regarding contract charges in the contract’s prospectus.
What if I need to access some of my money during the accumulation phase?
Annuities are long-term savings vehicles designed to accumulate money for retirement. They provide their best possible benefit if left intact, without taking withdrawals. However, it's nice to know that you have access to the funds in your annuity if you need them. Many of our products provide a number of options to withdraw the money in your annuity, including penalty-free withdrawals up to 10%, and interest withdrawals through the easy systematic payment program. Remember that for certain products, withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to restrictions and a 10% penalty tax. Early withdrawal charges and taxes may also apply. 
Are there any special features that will provide access to my money if I get sick or need long-term care?
Yes, some of our annuities may include the following waivers to help ease the strain of unforeseen events:
  • Extended care waiver rider. After the first contract year, if you are confined to a nursing home or long-term care facility for at least 90 consecutive days, you have the option to withdraw up to 100% of the account value without incurring an early withdrawal charge.
  • Terminal illness waiver rider. After the first contract year, if you are diagnosed by a physician as having a terminal illness (prognosis of survival is 12 months or less, or a longer period as required by state law), you have the option to withdraw up to 100% of the account value without incurring an early withdrawal charge.
Please note, extended care and terminal illness waiver riders are not available in Massachusetts. In California, the Extended Care Waiver Rider has been replaced with the Waiver of Early Withdrawal Charges for Facility Care or Home Care or Community-Based Services Rider, which provides for a waiver of early withdrawal charges under an expanded variety of circumstances.
Can I cancel my annuity?
You can typically cancel your annuity and receive your full purchase payment amount if it’s within 30 days from the date you receive your contract. You will not receive any interest.
What happens if I die before I begin to receive payments from my annuity?
If the contract owner dies before income payments begin, the beneficiary may receive a death benefit from the annuity. In some contracts, the death benefit will be based on the account value while other contracts use the surrender value or other applicable contract value to calculate the death benefit. If your spouse is the surviving joint owner or sole beneficiary, then he or she may have the right to succeed to the ownership of the annuity with all rights and privileges of the original owner, as allowed by IRS regulations.