What happens after the surrender period?

Annuities typically have a 10 year surrender period. But unlike a bond, the annuity doesn't mature or expire. Rather, you're simply provided more flexibility when the period ends.

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By
Nicholas Crown
Updated on
July 11, 2024

What is the surrender period?

The surrender period is the length of time you are required to hold your annuity before you can withdraw funds without incurring surrender charges. During this period, if you withdraw more than the penalty-free amount (usually up to 10% of the accumulation value annually), you may be subject to surrender charges, which are fees assessed on the amount withdrawn.

These charges typically decrease over time and reach 0% after a certain number of years, depending on your state and the specific terms of your annuity contract.

The surrender period is one of the core provisions that allow an insurer to offer the benefits of an annuity.

What happens when the surrender period ends?

Annuities typically have a 10 year surrender period. But unlike a bond, the annuity doesn't mature or expire. Rather, you're simply provided more flexibility when the period ends. Most annuities won't forcably convert to a stream of payments until the owner's 100 or 115th birthday.

After the surrender period, you can withdraw funds from your annuity without incurring surrender charges.

Once the surrender period is over, you have several options:

  1. Leave the Funds Compounding: You can continue to let your funds grow within the annuity.
  2. Take a Partial or Full Distribution: You can withdraw some or all of your funds without facing surrender charges.
  3. Swap into Another Annuity Product: You may choose to transfer your funds into another annuity product offered by the company.

What are some common scenarios?

Most commonly we see younger customers simply continue to hold the annuity to continue enjoying compounding. With those approaching retirement and in need of income, we recommend considering swapping into an income-focused annuity and out of a growth annuity after the surrender period.

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