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Annuity Update: Security Benefit, Great American, Annuities Genius, Transamerica

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Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, a unit of Security Benefit Corp., launched two new indexed annuity contracts Monday.

The annuities are part of a new Strategic Growth Series Annuities family of annuities.

(Related: TD Ameritrade Adds Pacific Life Indexed Annuity)

Both products are filed with regulators as non-variable contracts.

The Strategic Growth Annuity contract comes without a bonus and is aimed at purchasers who want high participation rates and spreads, according to Security Benefit, which is based in Topeka, Kansas.

The Strategic Growth Plus Annuity contract offers a 6% premium bonus.

Both contracts offer purchasers access to the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Barclays VC 7% index, along with a number of other interest crediting options, including the S&P 500 Low Volatility Daily Risk Control index.

Starting in the second contract year, the contracts offer free withdrawal of up to 10% of the prior year’s contract anniversary account value, according to Security Benefit.

In other annuity product news:

Great American Life, a unit of Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance Group, says it’s using a new Internal Revenue Service ruling to offer annuity holders help with paying fee-based advisors.

The IRS recently told several life insurers that they can let annuity holders pay the advisory fees out of the annuity contract market value, without creating a taxable event for the annuity holders.

In the past, under the old interpretation, annuity holders who tried to pay advisors directly from the account value might have had to pay 10% tax penalties, according to Tony Compton, a vice president at Great American Life.

Great American Life is helping annuity holders use the new ruling by adding an endorsement to the contracts for all fee-based annuity contracts issued on or after Oct. 28, 2019, and by making the endorsement apply retroactively to the company’s older fee-based annuity contracts.

The endorsement states that withdrawals used to pay advisors’ fees:

  • Are not subject to early-withdrawal charges or market-value adjustments.
  • Do not reduce the contract’s free-withdrawal amount.
  • Do not reduce income rider benefits.

Annuities Genius says it has updated its system to offer users easier access to current annuity product information.

The Laguna Hills, California-based company offers users access to an annuity product database, historical data, and other resources at

Transamerica has agreed to offer annuities through the Insurance Exchange system developed by Fiduciary Exchange LLC, or FIDx, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

The FIDx Insurance Exchange provides an annuity exchange, or web-based annuity supermarket, along with support services aimed at helping the clients of financial professionals who are not licensed to sell annuities.

— Read Annuity Product Update: Vantis Life, Nationwide, Pacific Life, on ThinkAdvisor.

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