L5. Annuities

  1. The principal use of a Life Annuity is to:

    • C) Arrange an income for old age
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • A Life Annuity will pay the annuitant as long as they live. The funds are paid out to the living policyholder, not the beneficiary. Life income annuities do not have a beneficiary, except during the Pay-In period. Remember, during the Pay-Out period of a Life income annuity, the company pays you as long as you live, but if you die, the company keeps the money.
  2. An annuity where both the principal and the interest are guaranteed, but excess interest may accrue since performance is calculated using an indexing method that is usually linked to the S&P 500 is known as a:

    • B) Equity indexed annuity
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • An EIA is a fixed annuity where both the principal and the interest are guaranteed. However, excess interest earnings above the guaranteed rate may accrue since performance is calculated using an indexing method that is usually linked to the Standard and Poor's 500 index.
  3. Which contract requires a series of benefit payments to be made at specified intervals:

    • B) Annuity
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • When an annuity policy is in the pay-out period, it will pay the annuitant back all the money the annuitant paid in, plus interest, over their lifetime. The principal amount is guaranteed and will be paid out as long as the annuitant lives. The amount paid is based upon the annuitant's expected life span, sex, and the annuity pay-out option selected. Annuity benefit payments to the annuitant are usually paid out monthly. Insurance companies offer annuities to the beneficiaries of insureds who have died, enabling these beneficiaries to reinvest the policy proceeds with a high degree of safety and the guarantee of lifetime income.
  4. In a variable annuity the investment risk is to:

    • D) The owner
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Since variable annuities have no guaranteed rate of return, the investment risk is to the owner of the annuity, which is not always the annuitant. Just like in life insurance, an annuity can be purchased on someone else.
  5. A client purchased a single premium deferred annuity in 2004 for $13,000. Ten years later, after their account has grown to $24,000, they withdraw $15,000. How much is taxable:

    • B) $11,000
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Partial withdrawals from a deferred annuity during the accumulation period are considered to be interest first and a return of principal second. To find the interest portion of the $15,000 withdrawal, subtract the client's cost basis of $13,000 from their $24,000 account balance. This $11,000 is taxable as ordinary income. The remainder of the $15,000 withdrawal is a tax free return of principal.
  6. Annuities must be written by which of the following:

    • C) Life insurance companies
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • All annuities are life insurance products and must be written by life insurance companies. Although many bankers and stock brokers sell annuities, they do so through a life insurance company, who pays them a commission for selling their products.
  7. When recommending the purchase or exchange of an annuity, a producer shall have reasonable grounds for believing that the transaction is __________ based upon the customer's financial status, tax status and investment objectives:

    • C) Suitable
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Annuity recommendations must be "suitable," based upon a customer's financial status, tax status and investment objectives.
  8. The Joint and Survivor Life Annuity contract calls for the surviving annuitant to receive a:

    • A) Predetermined income for life
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Joint and Survivor Annuity option pays benefits, although reduced, to the death of the last survivor.
  9. During the accumulation period, the earnings in a non-qualified deferred annuity purchased by an individual are:

    • D) Tax deferred
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • The earnings during the accumulation period of a deferred annuity purchased by an individual are tax deferred until the contract is surrendered for cash or annuitized, at which time the earnings above the annuitant's cost basis are taxable as ordinary income. However, the earnings during the accumulation period of a deferred annuity owned by a corporation are taxable to the corporation as they accrue.
  10. A customer paid $15,000 in premiums into their non-qualified deferred annuity over a period of time. If their account balance is now $26,000 and they withdraw $17,000, how much is taxable:

    • D) $11,000
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Partial surrenders on annuities are treated as interest first and a return of principal last. In this case, the customer has earned $11,000 in interest, which means of the $17,000 withdrawn, $11,000 will be taxable as ordinary income and $6,000 will be treated as a tax free return of principal. There could also be a 10% IRS penalty on the interest portion of the withdrawal if the customer was under age 59 1/2.
  11. All of the following are true regarding Market Value Adjusted annuities, EXCEPT:

    • A) They are also known as Equity Indexed annuities
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Market Value Adjusted annuities are a type of variable annuity, so a life insurance producer must also have a FINRA securities license in order to sell them. Clients who purchase Market Value Adjusted annuities bear some of the risk in that if they withdraw their invested funds early, their account is subject to a market value adjustment, which could result in negative performance. Equity Indexed annuities are not considered to be securities, since both the principal and the rate of return are guaranteed in the contract.
  12. Upon death, annuity proceeds payable to a beneficiary are generally taxable. However, if the beneficiary is the spouse of the deceased annuity owner/annuitant, they may continue the contract on a tax deferred basis as the ________ owner:

    • C) Contingent
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • If the designated beneficiary on an annuity is the surviving spouse of the owner, then the distribution requirements are applied by treating the spouse as the contingent owner of the annuity contract, which means that they can treat the contract as their own and defer taxes until they elect to annuitize.
  13. Annuity payments will cease upon the death of an annuitant who has selected which of the following annuity pay-out options:

    • B) Life income
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • A Life income annuity has no beneficiary, so payments will cease upon the death of the annuitant.
  14. Cash Surrender is available on an annuity in which of the following situations:

    • B) During the accumulation period
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Cash surrender is only available on an Annuity during the accumulation or pay-in period. Once the annuitant annuitizes and selects a payout option they can no longer take cash surrender. An annuitant can annuitize the contract at any age without a 10% penalty (even under 59 1/2). However, if the annuitant instead of annuitizing decides to take cash surrender under 59 1/2 they will have to pay a 10% IRS early withdrawal penalty on any interest they withdraw. The 10% penalty DOES NOT apply to the annuitant's cost basis, only to interest withdrawn prior to age 59 1/2. Partial surrenders of annuities are taxed as withdrawal of interest first and return of cost basis second (LIFO), similar to Modified Endowment Contracts (MECs).
  15. A husband and wife are co-annuitants and decide to select the joint life payout option upon annuitization. They will receive monthly annuity payments from the insurer until:

    • D) Either the husband or wife dies
    • Explanation: (Annuities) When the Joint Life Annuity payout option is selected the insurer will send a check to the husband and wife once a month until the first person dies. Regardless of who dies first (the husband or wife), monthly payments will be discontinued at that point. If they had selected the Joint and Survivor payout option the insurer would send them monthly payments until the last surviving spouse died. Since the Joint Life payout option will pay only until the first person dies, they would receive a higher monthly payment than if they selected the Joint and Survivor payout option, since the insurer will be paying the money out over a shorter period of time. Age 59 1/2 has no relevance to Annuity payout options.
  16. Single premium immediate annuities are most commonly used for which of the following:

    • C) Retirement expense
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • SPIAs are most commonly used for retirement expenses.
  17. All of the following are true regarding an IRC Section 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity, EXCEPT: A) They are funded with voluntary before-tax contributions
    B) They are similar to IRC 401(k) plans
    C) All distributions are taxable as ordinary income
    D) They are available to anyone with earned income
    • D) They are available to anyone with earned income
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • TSAs are generally available only to employees of public educational institutions, tax exempt non-profits and church organizations. TSAs are funded with voluntary before-tax contributions, usually on a payroll deduction basis.
  18. Which type of annuity requires that the customer bear part of the risk:

    • C) A Market Value Adjusted annuity
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Market Value Adjusted annuities are considered to be a type of variable annuity, so the customer must bear part of the investment risk.
  19. A penalty that some insurers levy when an annuitant makes a withdrawal in the early years of the contract is known as a:

    • C) Surrender charge
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Most annuities are subject to surrender charges, which are levied by the insurer during the early years of the contract, as well as premature distribution penalties, which are levied by the IRS upon cash surrender prior to age 59 1/2. Surrender charges usually apply on a declining basis and will gradually disappear over a period of time. Their purpose is to discourage customers from investing in annuities on a short-term basis.
  20. Alice has an annuity with life and 10-year certain period that has her husband Marty listed as beneficiary. If Alice dies 13 years into the 10-year certain period, what will Marty receive from the insurer:

    • C) Zero
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Marty was only a beneficiary for the payments for the period certain, which happens to be 10 years. Since Alice died after the period certain, Marty will not receive anything.
  21. All of the following are true regarding Single Premium Immediate Life Income annuities, EXCEPT:

    • B) Payments begin upon the death of the annuitant
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • On immediate annuities, payments will begin to the annuitant immediately upon purchase, but payments will stop upon their death. Remember, Life Income annuities have no beneficiary. An immediate annuity is annuitized right away, so it has no accumulation period. Once an annuity has been annuitized, it can no longer be surrendered for cash.
  22. All of the following are true regarding annuities, EXCEPT:

    • C) On a life annuity, payments begin upon the death of the annuitant
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • On a life annuity, payments stop upon the death of the annuitant.
  23. When an owner/annuitant with a life income annuity dies before receiving the value of their account, the remaining funds will be:

    • B) Retained by the insurer
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Remember, annuities are the opposite of life insurance. When an annuitant buys a life annuity, they are betting that they will outlive the insurer's annuity tables and the insurer is betting that they won't. Based upon the law of large numbers, the insurer will take the money of their life annuitants who die too soon and pay it to those who live too long.
  24. Mr. Jones has contributed a total of $30,000 into a tax-deferred annuity over a period of time, which has now grown to $50,000 due to tax-deferred interest. If he dies now at age 50 prior to annuitizing the contract, what is the tax implication:

    • B) $20,000 is taxable to the beneficiary as ordinary income
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Although proceeds payable from a Life insurance policy are tax free, that portion of an annuity death benefit that consists of the earnings will be taxable to the beneficiary as ordinary income.
  25. Which of the following is a characteristic of an annuity:

    • D) They provide protection for a retired individual from outliving their savings
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • If a retired person has $200,000 in savings and they start withdrawing $60,000 a year to live on, they could potentially run out of money, depending on the return on their investment and length of their lifespan. A life annuitant can never outlive payments from an annuity. They will be paid as long as they live. Life insurance creates an immediate estate upon death of the insured. The main function of an annuity it to liquidate an estate over an individual's lifespan. Annuity death benefits are not tax free. The beneficiary would have to pay ordinary income tax on any interest they receive. Cash surrenders taken from an annuity prior to age 59 1/2 have a 10% IRS early withdrawal penalty that applies to the interest only. Life insurance cash surrenders can be taken at any age without penalty, but tax is still due on any amounts received in excess of premiums paid.
  26. All of the following are true regarding deferred annuities, EXCEPT:

    • D) They provide an immediate source of education funds
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • It is "immediate" annuities that provide an immediate source of education funds.
  27. If a client annuitizes an annuity to pay them $250 a month for life or for 15 years, whichever is longer, they have chosen which annuity pay-out option:

    • C) Period certain
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • A period certain annuity guarantees that payments will be made to the annuitant for a specified period of time, 15 years in this case. For example, if the annuitant died after 10 years, the beneficiary would receive payments for five years. However, although the beneficiary disappears when the period certain ends, if the annuitant continues to live, payments would continue on until their death.
  28. Which of the following Annuities will start paying the annuitant a monthly payment right away for the rest of their life:

    • D) Immediate
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Annuities can be paid for in a number of ways, which are very similar to life insurance. The annuitant could purchase an annuity with a flexible, fixed or single premium. The only annuity that would begin payments to the annuitant right away would be a single premium immediate annuity. A deferred annuity is any annuity where the annuitant does not enter the pay out period (annuitize) right away.
  29. On a fixed annuity, the interest rate that is paid the first year, which could decline thereafter is known as the:

    • B) Current interest rate
    • Explanation: (Annuities) Fixed annuities guarantee not only the amount of payments but also the interest rate paid on the invested capital. Each fixed annuity contract specifies an interest rate, for example 5%. If the portfolio earns only 4%, the company is still obligated to pay the 5% rate. To minimize risk, an insurance company uses its general account to fund fixed annuity contracts. The portfolio of the general account is invested in medium term fixed income producing debt securities such as bonds and real estate mortgages. The insurer may also guarantee a higher earnings rate, which may vary from year to year (the current rate). For example, the interest rate stated in the contract, say 5%, is the guaranteed base rate. The account will never earn less than 5% for the life of the contract. However, a current interest rate, such as 7 1/2%, may be guaranteed for one year. The account is credited for interest at 7 1/2% for the one year period; thereafter, a new rate may be effective, but will never be less than the guaranteed 5%.
  30. An annuity that will make monthly payments to the owner/annuitant while living, but has no value at their death is known as:

    • B) Life income
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Life income annuities have no beneficiary, so they only make payments to the annuitant until they die. Since they are the most risky, they offer higher monthly payments than some of the other annuity pay-out options, such as period certain or refund.
  31. On which type of annuity must a producer disclose that excess earnings above the guaranteed rate may vary:

    • D) An Equity Indexed annuity
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Although Equity Indexed annuities are considered to be a type of fixed annuity with a guaranteed minimum rate of return, excess earnings above the minimum may or may not accrue, since performance is calculated using an indexing method that is usually linked to the S&P 500 index.
  32. All of the following are true regarding fixed annuities, EXCEPT:

    • B) They have no guaranteed rate of return
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Since fixed annuities have a guaranteed rate of return, they do better when the cost of living is going down and worse when the cost of living is going up. In other words, fixed annuities have purchasing power risk and will suffer in an inflationary economy. Customers often buy variable annuities to hedge against inflation.
  33. The individual whose life an annuity is based upon is known as the:

    • D) Annuitant
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • The person whose life an annuity contract is based upon is known as the "annuitant." Although the contract owner is often also the annuitant, that is not always the case.
  34. When selling a variable annuity, the most important thing for a producer to verify is the applicant's __________?

    • D) Tax status
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Of the answers shown, the customer's tax status is the most important factor to be used in determining their suitability for a variable annuity.
  35. What type of annuity will make a cash payment to the beneficiary when the owner/annuitant dies during the annuity period:

    • B) Refund
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • Refund annuities have very little risk, since if the annuitant dies before they receive the value of their account back, the beneficiary will receive the balance, either in cash or in installments. However, if the annuitant continues to live, monthly payments will be made until their death.
  36. Fixed annuities are backed by:

    • D) The insurer's general account assets
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • FDIC covers bank deposits. SIPC covers securities brokerage firm insolvency. Although fixed annuities are not backed by either, they are backed by the insurer's general account assets. However, variable annuities offer no such backing, since they are invested in the insurer's separate account, which is very similar to a mutual fund.
  37. Which of the following is NOT true regarding deferred annuities:

    • B) They are often used to fund lottery pay-outs or structured settlements
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • It is immediate annuities that are used to fund lottery pay-outs and structured settlements.
  38. A client might purchase an immediate annuity for all of the following reasons, EXCEPT:

    • D) To save money for a child's future college expenses
    • Explanation: (Annuities)
    • An immediate annuity is purchased with a lump sum and is annuitized right away, meaning that the client will start to receive monthly payments immediately. Remember, an immediate annuity has no accumulation or pay-in period. It is a deferred annuity that would be used to save money for a child's college expenses.
  39. A woman has inherited a sum of money. She is age 60 and desires to purchase an annuity that will appreciate with market and economic conditions. What type of annuity should she consider?

    • C) Variable
    • Explanation: (Annuities) A Variable Annuity is the most risky type of annuity. The insurance company invests the annuitant's funds in a "separate account" that is usually invested in equities (stocks). This type of annuity MAY appreciate with market and economic conditions and it MAY NOT. This type of annuity is not backed by the State Guaranty Fund and it is considered very risky, meaning the client could lose their invested capital due to poor performance of the stock market. Salespersons selling Variable Annuities need to have a life insurance license plus a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) license. In addition, the State Department of Insurance requires a Variable Annuities endorsement on your life insurance license. Fixed Annuities are much safer, since the insurance company invests the funds of the annuitant in its "general account" in much the same way it invests its other funds. A Fixed Annuity has a guaranteed, fixed minimum rate of return, guaranteed by the insurance company and backed by the State Insurance Guaranty Fund, so the annuitant cannot lose their invested capital. The fixed minimum rate of return may be quite low, such as 4%, but companies often pay more than the minimum. A life insurance license is all that is needed to sell Fixed Annuities.A Deferred Annuity may be either Variable or Fixed. It is simply an Annuity that is bought over a period of time, say by investing $100 a month from age 35 to age 65. This is called the Accumulation period, or Pay-In period. If the annuitant should die during the Pay-In period, all invested capital up to that point, plus interest, would go directly to their beneficiary or estate. Remember, this is not a life insurance Death benefit, it is a return of the annuitant's invested funds. The interest earned during the Pay-In period accumulates on a tax-deferred basis; the annuitant is not taxed on their earnings until they start the Pay-Out (Annuity) period, and then only on the interest earned, since the initial contributions were made with after-tax dollars. An Immediate Annuity means that the annuitant purchases either a Fixed or Variable Annuity with a lump-sum amount, say $100,000. This would be considered the "premium" paid for the annuity. The annuitant wants the insurance company to start paying them back immediately, starting with monthly payments based on their expected life span, sex, and annuity option selected. Remember, most annuity pay-out options pay the annuitant for life. You cannot outlive the income from a life annuity. As you can see, insurance companies began to offer annuities as a way to keep the money when a life insurance client died. By offering the surviving beneficiary the option to purchase an annuity with a lifetime income, the company was in a position to reinvest the policy proceeds they would have otherwise had to pay out as a lump-sum cash Death benefit. When the annuitant starts the pay-out period or annuity period, they must select an annuity pay-out option. Of course, they could always select lump sum cash at that point and pay tax on all interest earned up to that point. Annuity "settlement" options include: Straight Life or Pure Life Annuity: The most risky option, it also has the highest pay-out. Based on your expected life span and sex, the insurance company will pay you an amount monthly that would "annuitize" your invested capital over a period of time. If you die, payments stop immediately and the insurance company keeps what is left of your funds. If you live, the insurance company will continue to pay you until you die, even if you collect more than you invested. Period Certain Annuity: With this option, either you or your designated beneficiary or estate is guaranteed to receive funds from the insurance company for a period of time designated by the annuitant, say 10 years. If you die after five years, the payments for the remaining five years go to your beneficiary or estate, so there is less risk, although the amount paid monthly is less. If you die in the eleventh year, the insurance company keeps your remaining funds. However, if you live to be 105, they will continue to pay you. The Period Certain can be 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Refund Annuity: The Annuity settlement option with the least risk. If you die before receiving back everything you invested, your designated beneficiary or estate will continue to be paid by the insurance company, either on an installment basis or on a lump-sum cash basis until it has paid out everything you paid in. This is less risky, but the pay-out is lower. Joint and Survivor Annuity: This option has two or more annuitants, and benefits are payable as long as the last survivor lives. Usually selected by husband and wife, the benefits are reduced if the husband dies, but the wife continues to be paid until she dies (or vice versa).
Card Set
L5. Annuities