What Will Be Covered in this Review?
In this review, we will be discussing the following information regarding the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term return expectations
- How it is used
- How it is most poorly used
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
If you’ve been considering the purchase of an annuity because you want to ensure that you won’t run out of income in the future – especially if you live a nice, long life – then purchasing the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll could be a great way to accomplish that.
One reason is that this annuity allows you the opportunity to avoid the constant ups and downs of the market. It also offers a fixed interest rate for a set period of time. In addition to that, when it comes time for you to convert the annuity over into an income stream, that income can last throughout the remainder of your lifetime, regardless of how long that may be.
However, before you go out and purchase the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll – or for that matter any annuity – it is really important that you first have a thorough understanding of the benefits that it may provide, as well as any possible drawbacks, as annuities can be very difficult to get out of once you get in.
Over the past decade or so, fixed annuities have become much more popular with people who are retired, as well as those who are approaching that time in their lives, as they can help to alleviate the concern about running out of money in retirement.
However, due in large part to this increased demand, many insurance carriers have been introducing new products – and unfortunately, this can make a product that is already somewhat confusing even more so. This can be the case for well-informed consumers, as well as many insurance and financial advisors!
With that thought in mind, unless the insurance or financial advisor whom you work with has a primary focus on selling annuity products, you really should do some additional research on these products, as they will oftentimes require that you deposit a large chunk of your savings into them.
That’s where the Annuity Gator comes in.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust
If this is the very first time you have visited our AnnuityGator.com website, then please allow us to personally welcome you here. We are a team of highly knowledgeable financial pros who are focused specifically on offering very in-depth and unbiased annuity reviews. We have been at this for quite a number of years now – much longer than our competitors – and because of that, we’ve become a go-to source for annuity information.
If you have been in the process of compiling more information on an annuity that you’re considering purchasing, then you have more than likely come across a lot of conflicting information about these products online. This really is not surprising, though, as there is a myriad of details available about these products. There is also a wide range of opinions about them, too.
While you’ve been online searching for additional annuity details, you may also have noticed that, while there are plenty of very good annuity-related websites out there, some of them will make some pretty bold claims with the goal of “luring” you in. These may include some or all of the following:
- Highest annuity payouts
- Lowest fees
- Guaranteed income for life
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Get an Annuity Quote Now!
Does this, by chance, look familiar?
Yet, while these claims might sound tempting, it is essential that you make sure that they are actually true prior to moving forward with making a long-term commitment on an annuity. Otherwise, it could be quite expensive to get out of the annuity if you realized down the road that it is not performing as you anticipated it to.
If you are wanting to learn more about the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll, you are certainly in the right place. In fact, our website is the only place on the Internet where you can get all of the intricate details about this annuity – both the positives and the potential drawbacks. That way, you will be well-informed about how it works.
Oftentimes, insurance and financial advisors offer annuities will paint a nice, rosy picture for you regarding the opportunity to earn a high return, while also keeping your principal safe in case of a market downturn. But unfortunately, these same advisors may also be conveniently leaving out some of the details that could be considered as drawbacks – which is information that any potential buyer needs to know!
Just to be perfectly clear here, we do want to state that we believe annuities can be a very good financial vehicle to have in your portfolio – but only provided that it fits in well with your other financial needs and goals.
With that being said, this annuity review is here to assist you with getting a better understanding of all of the small print so that you are more knowledgeable about the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll, and why it may or may not be right for you.
So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s dive in!
CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll at a Glance
|Product Name||MEMBERS Select|
|Type of Product||Fixed Annuity|
|Phone Number||(800) 356-2644|
Opening Thoughts on the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll
Founded more than 80 years ago by credit union leaders who were looking for an insurance and investment partner they could trust, CUNA Mutual offers a wide array of financial products to help its customer grow and protect wealth.
In fact, CUNA Mutual is self-described as “A financial services company serving financial institutions and their clients worldwide.”
As of year-end 2017, the company has over $20.5 billion in assets and had taken in roughly $3.5 billion in total revenue. Due in large part to its financial strength and stability, CUNA Mutual is rated highly by the insurance company rating agencies with an A from A.M. Best, an A2 from Moody’s Investors Service, and an A from S&P Global.
If you own a fixed deferred annuity, then the volatility of the stock market isn’t going to affect the amount of future income that you’ll receive from that product. So, for those who are seeking both safety and guarantees, this could very well be a good option. On the other side of the coin, it’s important that you not make a quick decision, only to find out later on that there are features about this annuity that make it a bad fit for your overall financial plan.
Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures…
This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. CUNA Mutual has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or insurance product, it is important that you do your own due diligence and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this review are the property of their respective owners.
For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be right for you, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How CUNA Mutual Describes the MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll
CUNA Mutual describes the MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll as a tax-deferred annuity that offers you the advantages of guaranteed interest rates, tax-deferred interest on your purchase payment, and a choice of guaranteed income payment options.
With this annuity, you can choose your guaranteed rate for a period of five, seven, or even for ten years. Once that time period has elapsed, you can receive another guaranteed rate for the same amount of time.
There are a couple of other features on the MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll from CUNA Mutual. These include gaining penalty-free access to your funds for various situations, such as:
- You being confined to a hospital or a nursing home for 180 consecutive days after issuing of the annuity, and/or
- You were diagnosed with a terminal illness, with a life expectancy of less than one year (in most states)
In addition, you may also be able to access your money penalty-free is your primary residence sustains damages that exceed $50,000 and you have applied for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). With this benefit, there are some states that are excluded – including hurricane-prone areas like Florida and Texas. So, make sure that you know whether or not your state is excluded before counting on this particular benefit.
Just like with other annuities, your growth within the account is tax-deferred. That means that you won’t have to pay taxes on the gains – at least until the time of withdrawal. And, when the time comes to annuitize the contract (i.e., convert the money over to an income stream), you will be able to count on ongoing cash flow for a set period of time, or even for the remainder of your life.
If you’d like to see even more details on the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll, you can take a peek at the product brochure HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might Pitch this Annuity
If you have already been approached by an insurance or financial advisor regarding the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll, it is likely that he or she keyed in on certain aspects of the annuity. These could be the guaranteed rate of interest for a set period of time, and/or the lifetime income feature.
However, whenever any type of guarantee is presented to you – particularly when it involves your money – when you look a little more closely, you may find that there are certain “tradeoffs” that you need to accept in order to attain those benefits. This is certainly the case with the MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll from CUNA Mutual.
For example here, the longer your interest rate guarantee period, the longer you will also be subject to surrender charges on the annuity. So, for instance, a five-year rate guarantee will also have five years of surrender charges. Likewise, ten years of interest rate guarantee will equate to ten years of surrender charges if you should take more than 10% of your contract value out of the annuity.
What About Any Fees on the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll?
Although annuities have often had a bad rap for being riddled with fees, the good news is that there are no contract fees, administrative fees, or up-front charges when you purchase the MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll. Because of that, all of your payments can go to work for you right away.
But that doesn’t mean that you’ll never incur a fee with this annuity. That’s because, if you need to access more than 10% of your contract value within the surrender period, you will be penalized with a surrender fee.
For instance, as mentioned above, the surrender charge periods correlate with the initial interest rate guarantee period. (That is unless you qualify for the nursing home or terminal illness waiver).
In addition to that, if you access your funds before turning age 59 ½, you could also incur an additional 10% IRS “early withdrawal” penalty. So, you could find that taking money out of this annuity may be an expensive endeavor.
Surrender Charges on the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll
|Charge % for 10 Yr||8||7||7||7||6||5||4||3||2||1||0|
|Charge % for 7 Yr||8||7||7||7||6||5||4|
|Charge % for 5 Yr||8||7||7||7||6|
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll
Although the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll may not be right for everyone, it could be a good fit for you if you are seeking:
- A set rate of interest for a guaranteed period of time
- Safety of your principal – no matter what happens in the market
- A guaranteed income stream – including a lifetime income option
Where it works the worst:
On the other hand, this annuity might not be a viable option if you:
- Want the potential for higher growth
- Need to access your money during the annuity’s surrender period
- Do not plan to use the lifetime income feature
There are many different factors that you should ideally consider when you are thinking about the purchase of an annuity. That’s because these products are a long-term commitment. Therefore, you should know how the annuity will produce a return, as well as how safe your money is inside the contract, and how (and when) the income from the annuity will pay out.
If you have been considering the purchase of a fixed annuity such as the MEMBERS Select Fixed Annuity ll from CUNA Mutual, then you can be assured that your money will be safe and that you will also be able to count on a steady stream of income for the rest of your life – regardless of how long that may be.
However, there may also be some additional items that you have not considered – and the only way to really know if a particular annuity is going to be right for you is to have it tested. We can provide this testing for you and can offer you a free, no obligation, spreadsheet with the results. So, if this is something that is of interest to you, then all you need to do is simply reach out to us here via our secure online contact form.
Still Have Questions? Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?
We realize that this annuity review was a bit on the long side, so for that, we truly appreciate you sticking with us here to the end. However, we feel that providing our readers a tad “too much” information is always better than not providing them with enough.
With that in mind, if this annuity review was helpful to you, then please free to share it and to forward it on to anybody else that you think may also benefit from it. Also, we know that the details about annuities – and other financial products, too – can and do change somewhat quickly. With that in mind, if you happened to notice anything in this review that needs to be corrected and/or updated, please let us know that as well, and we will get on the revisions right away.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to see information about?
If you would like to see reviews on any other annuity (or annuities), our team of annuity “geeks” will get on the ball and get them on our website. Just simply click here to let us know which product (or products) you are interested in seeing. And, be sure to check back soon.
The Annuity Gator
P.S If you would like to read more of our CUNA Mutual annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Single Premium Immediate Annuity
- Independent Review of the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Index Annuity
- Independent Review of the CUNA Mutual MEMBERS Future Income Annuity