What’s Covered In This Review
In this annuity review, I will be discussing the following information regarding the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity:
- 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 have been pondering over whether or not you should move forward with the purchase of an annuity – especially because you’re seeking a nice rate of tax deferred growth, along with guaranteed income in retirement – then the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity could be a viable option for you.
However, that being said, before you run out and immediately purchase this product, it is important that you get a more in-depth idea regarding just exactly how this annuity works, and how it could help – or hinder – your short and long-term financial goals.
Throughout the past several years, with a large number of Baby Boomers that are planning for and reaching retirement, annuities have become quite popular. One reason is due to the guaranteed stream of lifetime income that they can provide.
Because of the appeal of annuity products to a large segment of the population, there are more financial advisors who are offering them to their clients. However, this may not necessarily be a good thing – primarily because, even if a financial advisor is working to do the best thing for their client, they may not always be giving you the entire picture about annuities.
On top of that, because of the growing desire for annuities now, insurance companies are constantly putting new and “improved” annuity products into the market place. Many of these feature a long list of bells and whistles, riders, and features, which also means that they will include pages of “small print” that is necessary to inform annuity buyers of how they work. Unfortunately, though, this fine print can often time make it even more confusing – and is about as much fun to read as having a tooth pulled!
With that in mind, it is key that you fully understand how an annuity that you’re considering will work – particularly because a retirement annuity may require that you commit a large chunk of your overall savings, and if you later decide that the annuity you bought into is not going to perform in the way that you had initially thought, then it can be quite costly to get out of it.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If you have never visited our website before, then we would like to personally welcome you here. At AnnuityGator.com, we make up a team of experienced financial pros who have a primary focus on providing you with both comprehensive, and unbiased, annuity product reviews.
We have been doing this for quite a few years now – and for much longer than our competitors have – and because of that, we have become well known as a fair and trusted source of annuity information.
In your own personal search for information about annuities, you may have come across many details about annuities online, and you may even find that much of the information you find about these products is conflicting. This is not completely surprising, though, as there are many annuities out there in the market place today, along with almost an equal number of differing opinions.
It’s possible that you may have also just recently attended a seminar about annuities. There, the presenter may have launched into a discussion of how and why the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity (or some other similar product) may be the ideal solution for all of your financial woes. It may even have been your attendance at that event that has ultimately led you here to our website.
It is also likely that before coming across the site you are on right now, that you visited other websites that have a mission of selling you an annuity. Many of these sites will make some pretty darn bold claims, with the sole purpose of getting you to give up your contact information. For instance, you may have seen some or all of the following claims being hailed:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- Lowest fees
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Highest Income Payouts
- Fast, Easy Annuity Quotes
Does this look familiar?
However, while these claims can easily make people think that annuities can solve all of their retirement planning needs, the reality is that they may not necessarily be all true. Given that, it is essential that you first verify these claims before you move forward with buying an annuity, just like you would do if you were considering any other “high dollar” product.
If you’re here now for the purpose of learning more about the Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity from Penn Mutual, you are in the right place. In fact, dare we state that this website is truly the only place on the Internet where you can find all of the in-depth details about this product (as well as other annuities).
This means that we won’t just be stating the sun-shiny advantages, but also the areas of the annuity that can be drawbacks. In doing so, though, our feeling is that knowing the entire picture is really the only way to make a well-informed decision about whether or not you should move forward.
If you have already been presented with the Premier Foundation Plus annuity by an insurance or financial advisor who will earn a commission from the sale, it is probable that he or she put a full court press on stressing the good points, and possibly only glossed over all the rest.
Just so that we are perfectly clear here, though, we do want to stress that we believe that annuities can offer many great features – as long as they are a good fit for your overall financial goals. Given that, this annuity review is here to provide you with a more in-depth look at all of the details on the Paragon Plus 14 fixed index annuity.
So if you’re ready to move forward, let’s get started!
Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Premier Foundation Plus|
|Issuer||Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|S&P Rating||A+ (Strong)|
|Phone Number||(800) 523-0650|
Opening Thoughts on the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity
Penn Mutual has been in the insurance arena since 1847 – and the very next year, the company paid out its first death claim. It has been providing individuals and families with financial security ever since.
In 1888, the company began to offer annuities, making it one of the forerunners in this particular area. Over time, Penn Mutual has grown and expanded, and today the company offers a long list of insurance and financial products and services.
Penn Mutual is considered to be very financially stable, and because of that, it has earned high ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including:
- A+ (superior) from A.M. Best (as of March 2017)
- Aa3 (Excellent) from Moody’s Investor Services (as of October 2016)
- A+ (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s (as of December 2016)
Penn Mutual also has a Comdex score of 92 (out of a possible 100).
Due in large part to the continued volatility in the market today, fixed indexed annuities have become very popular products for those who are seeking the safety of their principal, along with the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return than with a regular fixed annuity. Plus, due to the fear of running out of money in retirement, these products can help to ease concern with their guaranteed lifetime income feature.
But, even though this can at first sound like a best of all worlds scenario, it is still vitally important that you first determine exactly what a fixed indexed annuity can and cannot do – and how it may or may not be in your best interest when considering your overall financial goals. One of the biggest reasons for this is because, once you have committed to an annuity, it can be quite difficult – as well as expensive – to get out of it.
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. Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company 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 Penn Mutual Describes the Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity
Penn Mutual Insurance Company describes the Premier annuity as a type of retirement plan that includes the following benefits:
- Strong retirement savings growth potential
- Protection from loss in a down market
- Guaranteed income throughout retirement
- Income that can keep pace with inflation and market growth
- Flexible access to savings when it is needed
With the Premier Foundation Plus, you’ve got the option to go with either a “classic design,” or alternatively with a design that can offer you more diversity.
For example, with the classic design option, you have access to an unmanaged index of 500 large caps, domestic stocks that come from a broad range of different industries. (This index is considered to represent the stock market in general).
Alternatively, if you go with the annuity’s “maximum diversity” option, your underlying index would consist of small, mid, and large cap stocks that are from a wide range of developed and emerging markets worldwide – which includes the United States and Canada.
For retirement income purposes, the annuity offers you the opportunity to further “customize” the contract by adding one of two living benefit riders. These include the:
- Guaranteed Growth Withdrawal Benefit – This rider guarantees the amount used in calculating what you will receive in retirement will continue to grow until after your withdrawals begin.
- Inflation Security Withdrawal Benefit – This rider will automatically apply inflation adjustments that are based on positive changes in the Consumer Price Index. Here, you can receive inflation protection before and during your retirement years, no matter what occurs in the market.
In addition, there is also a standard death benefit included on the Premier Foundation Plus indexed annuity, which can provide survivors with the remainder of the contract value.
How Insurance or Financial Advisors May “Pitch” This Annuity
If you’ve been approached by an insurance or financial advisor who has shown you this annuity, it is likely that he or she has focused in on the highlights of the product, such as its ability to provide higher index-linked returns, while at the same time keeping your principal safe from negative market movements.
Unfortunately, they may also have left out some of the other elements of this annuity that could be considered drawbacks. (This is especially the case if they are a commissioned sales person and stand to make a nice commission on the sale of this annuity).
As an educated consumer, you have probably noticed that insurance and financial services firms do a very good job of ensuring that their products sound very attractive. For instance, based on the above points regarding the Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity from Penn Mutual, you may have felt that this is the ideal annuity for you.
But, when you take a bit of a closer look at this product, you may find that there are some features that will not work to your advantage. For example, even though you can obtain index-linked growth on the funds that are in the account, this return is actually computed based on a cap. This means that there is actually a maximum rate that you will be able to return – even if the underlying index has a super-stellar performance in a given time period. In addition, your return will also exclude dividends, which in turn, can end up providing you with a lower amount than the actual index on its own would get.
What About the Fees on the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus?
You may also run into some fees if you purchase the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus indexed annuity. For example, the optional riders will carry an additional cost each year – which in turn, can affect what you ultimately return from the annuity.
Plus, similar to most other annuities, there is also a surrender charge on this product – which means that you can be hit with additional fees if you want or need to withdraw more than 10 percent of the contract’s value in any given year during the annuity’s surrender period. In the case of the Premier Foundation Plus, there are ten full years of surrender charges as follows:
With this in mind, it is important to understand that this – or any – annuity purchase should be considered as a long-term endeavor. Otherwise, your money could be locked up for quite some time before you can take it out penalty-free.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus Indexed Annuity
Where it works best:
This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
- The opportunity to obtain a higher rate of growth
- Safety of principal
- Lifetime income
Where it works worst:
Conversely, the Penn Mutual Premier Plus Indexed Annuity may not fare so well for those who:
- Want to fully participate in market gains
- Want or need to access their funds penalty-free within the first 10 full years
- Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature
There are numerous key criteria that need to be considered when you are trying to determine whether or not a particular annuity – or any annuity, for that matter – will be right for you – or even if any annuity is the best option for your retirement funds.
If you are considering a fixed indexed annuity, you can be secure in knowing that your principal will be safe from the ups and downs of the stock market, as well as in that you will have a future retirement income that you can count on.
The only way to truly know if this annuity may be right for you is to run the Penn Mutual Premier Foundation Plus fixed index annuity calculator. We can provide you with a much more detailed and personalized peek at how this annuity may perform, based upon your specific parameters. And, once we have run these numbers for you, we will provide you with a personalized spreadsheet with your information at no charge.
What you may find after that is, even though this annuity has a number of nice benefits, it could still fall a tad bit short – and that there may also be some better options out there for you.
If you do have any additional questions or concerns regarding this – or any other – annuity, please feel free to reach out to us via our secure contact form here.
Have Any Additional Questions? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes?
While we realize that this annuity review was a bit long in nature, we believe that it is far better to provide you with more details than not enough. That way, you can make a well-informed decision about this, and whether or not it may be right for you.
With that in mind, if you did find this annuity review to be beneficial, then please feel free to forward it on to anyone else that you think might also benefit from it, as well. Also, we know just how quickly information about annuities and other financial products can change. Therefore, if you happened to notice any mistakes in this annuity review, please let us know that, too so that our team can take care of the updates and any revisions.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed?
No problem! Just send us the name of the annuity (or annuities) that you want to know more about, and our team of annuity “geeks” will get on the case – so be sure to check back soon for additional reviews.
The Annuity Gator