What We Will Cover in this Annuity Review

In this annuity review, we will be covering the following details regarding the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity:

  • Product type
  • Independent Review of the Pacific Life Pacific Frontiers ll, 1 Year Guarantee Fixed AnnuityFees
  • Current rates
  • Realistic long-term return expectations
  • How this annuity is best 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 in the process of looking for a financial vehicle that can provide you with the security of principal, as well as an ongoing stream of income in retirement, then the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity may be a viable option for you. That’s because this annuity offers safety from market ups and downs, as well as other guarantees that have been built directly into the contract.

But prior to moving forward with the purchase of this, or any other annuity, it can be extremely advantageous to have a deeper understanding of how fixed deferred annuities work, and how they may – or may not – work well with your particular financial objectives, both now and in the future.

Over the past decade or so, annuities have risen substantially in popularity. One reason for this is because they can offer a guaranteed income stream during retirement – and because of this and other benefits that they provide, the number of financial advisors who offer annuities has also risen a great deal.

Unfortunately, though, some of the advisors who offer annuities may not always be presenting them in the proper manner. Not that they are trying to do their clients wrong, but more so because annuities can be somewhat confusing.

In turn, without the proper training and experience, some advisors may not be presenting annuities the way that they should be presented. They may also not be able to answer all of the more in-depth questions that you may have – but that is necessary in order to make a well-informed annuity purchase decision.

Even for very well-educated consumers, there are many annuities out there in the market – and particularly those that provide more “bells and whistles” – that are difficult to comprehend. Yet, when you are considering the purchase of any annuity, steps should be taken to ensure that you have a firm grasp on what it is that you are buying – particularly because you could be plunking down a substantial amount of your overall retirement savings. Also, annuities are always considered to be a long-term financial vehicle. Once you have purchased one, it can be difficult – and quite costly – to get out if you happen to change your mind.

This is where the Annuity Gator comes in!

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust

If this is the first time that you have stopped by our website, we would like to personally welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of experienced financial professionals who are dedicated to providing you with non-biased and comprehensive annuity reviews. We’ve been offering in-depth annuity reviews for many years on our site, and because of that, we have become a trusted source.Independent Review of the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity

We have been doing this far longer than our competitors have – so over time, there have been a number of “copycat” website that has sprung up around the Internet. Our feeling is that imitation is definitely the best form of flattery!

If you have been seeking information regarding annuities online, it may be that you have run across some conflicting details about these products. This, however, is not entirely surprising, as there are a lot of details, as well as many opinions about annuities and how they work.

Although there are certainly a number of good websites out there on the Internet that is devoted to marketing their annuities, the reality is that some of these sites may try to lure visitors in by making claims such as:

  • Highest income payouts
  • Lowest Fees
  • Top-rated annuity carriers
  • Guaranteed income for life
  • Get your quote now!

Does this look familiar?

But even as enticing as these claims appear to be, it is important that you really know what it is that you are putting your money towards because in this case, it can have an effect on your retirement lifestyle – and ultimately your life in the future.

If you are here on our website in search of additional details on the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we have no shame in telling you that our site is the only place where you will be able to find all of the intricate details about this annuity – which includes not only the rosy positive information but also the items that may be considered to be drawbacks.

Why do we do this?

Well for one, we feel that knowing the whole picture, rather than only part of it, is the only way for you to make a truly well-informed decision as to whether or not this (or any) annuity is really right for you.

Just to be perfectly clear here, we do want to state our belief that annuities can – and often are – very good products to add to one’s overall portfolio. This, however, is only the case if the annuity fits in with your other financial-related needs and goals.

This annuity review is here to assist you with better understanding all of the annuity fine print so that you have a deeper understanding about whether or not the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity is right for you.

Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity at a Glance

Product NameSingle Premium Deferred Fixed Annuity
IssuerThrivent Financial
Type of ProductDeferred Fixed Annuity
A.M. Best RatingA++ (Superior)
Phone Number(800) 847-4836

Opening Thoughts on the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity

Pacific Life has more than 145 years of experience in helping its clients to grow and protect wealth. The company works with individuals, families, and businesses – and it provides a long list of financial and insurance products.

As of year-end 2016, Pacific Life held roughly $143 billion in total assets, and for the year 2016, it paid out $2.3 billion in insurance and annuity benefits to its clients, policyholders, and beneficiaries.

The company has received very high ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including a(n):

  • A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company
  • A+ (Strong) from Fitch Ratings
  • A1 (Good) from Moody’s Investor Service
  • AA- (Very Strong) from Standard & Poor’s

Pacific Life, at the end of 2016, stood as the #1 seller of indexed universal life and universal life sales, and it was the 8th largest company in terms of total life insurance sales. The company also ranks as #13 in terms of variable annuity sales, and the #16 largest fixed annuity seller.

Back in the early 1900s, average life expectancy was only in the neighborhood of 41 years old. Over the past 110 years, though, things have changed. In fact today, many people are living well into their 80s, 90s, and beyond. But, while this can allow you to spend more time enjoying your retirement years, it can be quite difficult to do without enough income.

A fixed deferred annuity can, however, help you to solve for this problem because this type of annuity will continue to pay out an income stream for the remainder of your lifetime, as well as that of a loved one if you choose. Yet, even with these nice features, you really need to know more about how the annuity actually works, and what you may need to give up in return for attaining these guarantees.

Before we get into the in-depth details, we have some legal disclosures to present…

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Pacific Life has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This annuity review is meant solely to be an independent review at the request of our readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and the negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to committing to the purchase of any type of insurance and/or investment vehicle, it is critical that you do your own due diligence, and that you also talk with a properly licensed professional if you have any questions that relate to your specific situation. All of the names, materials, and marks that have been used in compiling this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.

For more details on how to compare fixed annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you,  in order to obtain our free annuity report.

How Pacific Life Describes the Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity

According to Pacific Life, the Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity is a long-term contract between you and the insurance company that helps:

  • Grow retirement income through the power of tax deferral
  • Lock in guaranteed interest rates for a term that you choose
  • Convert your assets into guaranteed lifetime retirement income

When you initially purchase the Expedition fixed deferred annuity, you will get an immediate credit enhancement. This means that a percentage of your purchase payment will automatically be added to your contract value. The amount of the credit enhancement is determined at the time of issue, and it can vary, based upon the initial guaranteed period that you choose.

As an example, if you initially contribute $100,000 into the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity, and the immediate credit enhancement is 1.25%, then your beginning contract value would be $101,250.

You are also able to choose from two initial interest rate guarantee periods – either 5 years or 7 years. This means that your rate will be locked in for at least the duration of the rate guarantee period – regardless of what occurs in the market, or with interest rates in the overall economy.

The interest rate that you are eligible for will depend in part on the amount of your initial purchase payment. These “banded” rates mean that the more you put into the annuity, the higher your initial interest rate will be.

In this case, there are two interest rate breakpoints. One is if you deposit between $25,000 and $99,999 and the other is if you contribute $100,000 or more. You may also deposit more, provided that you request to do so within 90 days of the contract issue. In this case, if the additional funds cause the total amount of purchase payments to exceed the breakpoints, then the crediting rate may be adjusted.

The Expedition annuity also allows you the opportunity to earn a higher interest rate (in certain cases) if rates rise. By adding the optional RateAdvantage feature (which is only available at the time of issue), you can choose to make a one-time increase of your initial guaranteed interest rate to a higher rate.

There are some other features on this annuity, such as a death benefit in the event that the owner or sole annuitant dies. In this case, a spouse who is a beneficiary may continue the contract. Or alternatively, if death occurs before the annuitant starts to take income,

For more of the in-depth details, as well as the small print information, you can check out the Pacific Life Pacific Expedition Deferred Fixed Annuity literature HERE.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might Pitch this Annuity

Given that life is filled with so many uncertainties, when you have the opportunity to receive a guarantee, it can be a nice benefit – particularly when they have to do with your financial options.

With that in mind, when it comes to the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity, it is likely that an insurance or financial advisor would key in on the fact that you can obtain a guaranteed rate of interest for a set period of time, and that you can also count on a set amount of income from this annuity in the future.

However, whenever you have a guarantee presented to you, you could also find that there are certain “tradeoffs” that you need to accept in order to attain those benefits. This can be the case with the Pacific Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity.

Here, for instance, 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, seven years of interest rate guarantee will equate to seven years of surrender charges if you should take more than 10% of your contract value out of the annuity.

Plus, while guaranteed interest rate period can be nice, and can provide you with some predictability, this isn’t necessarily always a good thing for other reasons, too. For instance, what if rates rise and you miss out on the opportunity of earning more on your money?

You could opt for the RateAdvantage feature on the Expedition annuity. But, while this optional feature allows you the possibility of getting a higher rate down the road, if you take a close look at the fine print, choosing this option will result in an initial guaranteed interest rate that is lower than those who do not choose this feature.

Does that really make much sense?

Only if you are the offering insurance company!

On top of that, according to Pacific Life, “The amount of the rate increase will be subject to a maximum, known as the Maximum Anniversary Rate.”


It is important to note that the credit enhancement that you receive is not counted as a part of your purchase payment. So, if you need access to your money and you surrender the annuity contract, while you are guaranteed to get back at least your total purchase payments (minus any fees and/or withdrawals), the enhancement amount is not included. In addition, the amount of the credit enhancement that you receive is considered to be earnings and is there for considered to be taxable upon withdrawal.

Also, while tax-deferred compounding can indeed help to grow and compound your money exponentially, this is a feature that is found on all annuities, so that really doesn’t make the Expedition fixed deferred annuity from Pacific Life stand out.

What About Any Fees on the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity?

You may also need to be mindful of any fees that are associated with this annuity. Here, even though you are allowed to withdraw up to 10% of your purchase payment(s) in the first year, and 10% annually during the remainder of the withdrawal charge period, you could incur surrender charges if you take out more than that.

In this case, the duration of the surrender charge period will be the same as the interest rate guarantee period, as follows:

Contract Year

Under $50,000$50,000 to $99,999$100,000 to $249,999$250,000 and over
With Bonus2.90%3.20%3.30%3.40%
Without Bonus2.40%2.70%2.80%2.90%

Note that if you make such withdrawals prior to you turning age 59 1/2, then you could also incur an additional 10% “early withdrawal” charge from the IRS. Also, annuity withdrawals and other distributions of taxable amounts from the contract – including the death benefit payout – will be subject to ordinary income tax.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity

Where it works the best:

The Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity, while not for everyone, could be a good option if you are seeking:

  • A guaranteed rate of interest for a set period of time (in this case, either 5 or 7 years)
  • Safety of principal, regardless of what happens in the market
  • A lifetime income that you can count on

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

In Summary

There is a myriad of factors that you should ideally consider when you are thinking about the purchase of an annuity. These should include but are certainly not limited to, how the annuity produces its return, how safe your money will be while inside of the contract, how the income will pay out, and whether or not there are any other features that will be beneficial to you now and/or in the future.

If you’ve been considering the purchase of a deferred fixed annuity such as the Pacific Expedition, then you can certainly 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.

But there could also be some 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 know that this annuity review went a bit on the lengthy side, and for that, we do appreciate you sticking with us through it thus far. That being said, though, we feel like it is much more beneficial to provide readers with “too much” information than with not enough.

Therefore, if you feel that you got some benefit from reading this annuity review, then please feel free to share it and to forward it to anybody else who you also feel might benefit from it as well.

Also, we realize that 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?

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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

Independent Review of the Pacific Life Expedition Fixed Deferred Annuity