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Independent Review of the Prudential C Series Variable Annuity

What is covered in this annuity review?Prudential_Retirement

In this annuity review, we’ll be covering the following information on the Prudential C Series Variable annuity:
  • Product Type
  • Fees
  • Rates
  • How the Annuity Is Used
  • How the Annuity 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.

You may find it to be clear as you go over this annuity review that the Prudential C Series variable annuity – as many other annuities – will be able to perform well in certain situations. But, there will be other scenarios where this annuity won’t be the clear cut option. This will be especially the case, depending on what your goals are for the annuity.

Annuity and Retirement Education That Can Be Trusted

It’s possible that you may have found this website and that you aren’t certain what we do – or even why we might be reviewing this annuity. The good news is, however, that if you are seeking information about annuities, then you have landed in the right location. In fact, if you have been doing any type of research on annuities on the Internet, then it is likely that you have come across various sites that have made claims regarding annuities for the sole purpose of collecting your contact details. For instance, these websites may have suggested that the annuity products they recommend provide features such as:
  • High Payouts
  • Low Fees
  • 7-8% Returns
  • No Market Risk
But the reality is that if you have been to sites that this that make these types of claims, then you need to be careful before you move forward with purchasing an annuity from them – or anyone else who makes such similar claims, especially if the provider of that annuity does not really know why you are purchasing the annuity in the first place. This is because your goals for the annuity can make a big difference in the type of product you should go with. In addition, many of the annuity products that are featured on these websites are not even able to make good on their claims of a 7-8% return in most situations. At, we offer annuity reviews that are independent, thorough, and objective. This is because we want you to determine for yourself whether the annuity that is being reviewed will truly make sense for your portfolio. We have also been offering these types of annuity reviews for many years – far longer than most of the copycat websites. So, with that in mind, let’s go ahead and get started.

Prudential C Series Variable Annuity at a Glance

Product NamePrudential C Series Variable Annuity
Type of ProductVariable Annuity
Standard & Poor's RatingAA- (Very Strong)
Phone Number(855) 366-5312

Opening Thoughts on the Prudential C Series Variable Annuity

In general, a variable annuity is supposed to offer two key benefits to its holder. These include the growth of principal and the production of retirement income. But, the truth is that a variable annuity is not really all that great at producing retirement income. One reason for this is because of the risk that a variable annuity can present to the investor, as well as to the insurance company that offers it. Because the value that is inside of a variable annuity tends to move up and down so much on a regular basis, it is not uncommon for the offering insurer to guarantee a lesser amount of income from a variable annuity. This can often times be the scenario – even though variable annuities offer the ability to earn more growth than will a “safer” alternative such as a fixed annuity product. So, for each dollar that you put into a variable annuity, it very well may promise you a lower amount of income than will a fixed annuity – for the same amount of your deposit. For this reason, if your main objective for purchasing an annuity is future retirement income, then a variable annuity is not likely to be the best alternative for you. In regards to purchasing a variable annuity for growing your principal – here, these vehicles can offer you an opportunity for high return. For instance, with the Prudential C Series variable annuity, you are able to create a customized portfolio with various combinations of the 61 different investment options that are offered through this annuity. There are a variety of different investment alternatives, covering various asset classes. Yet, because the C Series annuity is variable, you will still run the risk of downside market performance. In addition, it can also expose investors to numerous fees, many of which investors may or may not even be aware of. For instance, investors in variable annuities will often times not only be exposed to the fees that are associated with the annuity itself such as a front-end load, administrative charges, and other rider fees, but also to those that are included in the mutual fund investments that are inside of the variable annuity. Given all of the fees to contend with, and then add to that the regular bouncing around of the market, it can become quite challenging to make a high return when funds are invested in a variable annuity.

Prior to moving on to the annuity details, there is some legal information that needs to be disclosed here…

This is an independent annuity review. Therefore, there will be no recommendation here for buying or selling an annuity product. Prudential has not endorsed this annuity review. The information that is being presented here is for the purpose of providing an opinion so that readers can view our personal perspective when making a decision regarding whether or not the annuity being discussed will fit in with their specific portfolio. Before you purchase any type of financial product or service, it is always a good idea to pursue your own due diligence and to also consult with a licensed and competent financial advisor. Doing so can help you to better ensure whether or not the product or service being considered may be a fit for your financial goals. All of the names, trademarks, and materials used in this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.

How Prudential Describes the Series C Variable Annuity

The Series C variable annuity is one of Prudential’s Premier Retirement annuities, and it is described by Prudential as being a potentially good option for the “unpredictable investor who needs asset liquidity for withdrawals.” This annuity offers approximately 60 different professionally managed investment options. These cover a wide range of different classes and styles, so investors can create a portfolio mix to suit their style, as well as their long-term goals. Just like other annuities, the Prudential Series C variable annuity allows for tax-deferred growth inside of the account. That means that there is no tax due on the gain until the time of withdrawal, which can allow for compounding of the growth over time. In addition, this annuity also offers other features that may be beneficial to an investor such as a guaranteed death benefit, which can help in leaving a legacy. The annuity’s living benefits can protect retirement income if the investor should be diagnosed with a terminal illness and/or have to reside in a skilled nursing facility for a certain length of time.

How Financial Advisors Might “Pitch” this Annuity

The C Series annuity is one of several in the Prudential “Premier Retirement” annuity series. Of these annuities, this particular annuity is one that allows for more liquidity than many other similar annuities – and because of that, it is likely that a financial salesperson would key in on this as one of its primary selling features. Because this annuity has no surrender charges, though, it has higher annual insurance fees – so, if you really sit down and “do the math,” if you hold the annuity for the long term – as most annuity holders should ideally do – then your total payout in fees could be quite substantial over time. This annuity also offers 60 different investment options to choose from so that investors can essentially build and “customize” a portfolio to meet their particular needs. These options encompass many different asset classes. This, too, is likely to be discussed by a financial salesperson when pitching the C Series annuity. If considering this particular annuity, though, it is important to keep in mind that, even with all of the different investment options, because it is a variable annuity, there will still be exposure to market risk. So, be sure to consider just how much risk tolerance you are comfortable with prior to moving forward.

What About the Fees?

When it comes to variable annuities, these particular products have been known to be on the more expensive side of the financial product spectrum. One of the reasons for this is because variable annuities have fees in and of themselves, as well as fees that are charged by the investments that are within the annuity. Taking the Prudential C Series annuity, even without a back-end surrender charge, there are still a number of fees to be aware of, including:
  • Annual Maintenance Fee of $50 or 2%, whichever is less;
  • Annual Mortality & Expense Risk Charge of 1.80% during the first 9 annuity years, and 1.30% after the 9th annuity year;
  • Annual Administration Charge of 0.15%;
  • Additional Optional Living Benefit Charges;
  • Total Annual Portfolio Operating Expenses of Between 0.59 – 2.11%.
In addition to the fees that are associated with the annuity itself, there will also be management fees charged by the investments that are found within the annuity. As an example, within the Prudential C Series annuity, just one of the investments, the AST Academic Strategies Asset Allocation Portfolio, charges a net annual fund operating expense of 1.47%. Given all of these fees, in conjunction with the constant volatility of the market itself, it can be somewhat challenging for an investor to obtain a high return when invested in a variable annuity.

Our Take on the Prudential C Series Variable Annuity

Where it works best: When looking at the Prudential C Series variable annuity, it can typically work best for those who are seeking investment growth, yet also want to have the ability to have future retirement income. This is because it allows the opportunity for investment in approximately 60+ funds, from a number of different asset classes. Investors also have the ability to obtain tax-deferred growth. So, if other accounts such as an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan and/or an IRA have already been “maxed out,” then this could still offer room for additional tax-advantaged growth, with no maximum contribution limits (in a non-qualified account). In addition, just like with other types of annuities, a variable annuity can be a good option for those who are looking for a way to obtain ongoing income in retirement, without worry of outliving savings. Where it works WORST: If you do not plan to use the income benefit on this annuity, then there may be other alternatives that could be considered – especially if you are just simply seeking investment growth on your funds. This is because, given the many fees that are charged in variable annuities, there are other, less expensive, ways to invest.

In Summary

When considering any type of financial product or service, it is always a good idea to first determine what your overall goals are. For instance, in certain circumstances, a particular product might seem to provide both growth and income potential. But, once you have reviewed the product more in-depth, you may find that the opportunity comes at a high price. In the case of the C Series annuity from Prudential, this product does offer some nice features, such as no back-end surrender charges for withdrawing funds once they have been deposited. Also, the annuity offers the ability to have lifetime retirement income. However, because this is a variable annuity, funds in the account will still need to be weighed out by the potential risk of market volatility – especially because this can, and often does, have an effect on how much income can be received in the future. Overall, the only way to truly know if this particular annuity will be right for you is to have it tested. We can provide you with this test for free. So, contact me and we can offer you with a better illustration of what this annuity may be able to return for you.

Have Any Questions on the Prudential C Series Annuity? Notice Any Mistakes on this Review?

Do you have any questions regarding the C Series variable annuity from Prudential? If you do, we would be happy to help. Did you notice if there was any information that needs to be revised or updated regarding the annuity in this review? If you did, then please contact us and let us know, and we would be happy to revise it as needed. Over the past several years, annuities have become quite popular – due in large part to the fact that they can provide investors with a guaranteed income in retirement. Because of this, many financial sales people have been pushing annuities on their clients – regardless of whether or not the annuity is right for the client. Annuities can be confusing products, though. And, prior to getting into an annuity, you really need to know just exactly what it is that you are getting into – especially as you will be placing a large amount of your retirement savings into the financial vehicle. Also, these are long-term financial products that can typically be difficult to get out of once you have gotten in. Given that, if an annuity that you are considering does not make complete sense to you, then it is important that you ask questions. However, if an annuity does make sense for your financial situation, then it could be one of the best additions to your overall portfolio. If you happen to know of other investors who could also benefit from an annuity, then please feel free to share this review with them. Today, there are many consumers who are getting conflicting and confusing information about annuities. Our goal is to offer information about these products that help people to better understand them. That way, investors can decide whether or not an annuity really makes sense for them. So, if you are able to help in spreading the word, it could be really beneficial. For instance, if you have a Facebook account, you could click on the Facebook icon here and share the article so that more people are able to find it – and in turn, hopefully, they can benefit from it. Also, if you do happen to notice that any information in the review needs to be updated, please contact us and let us know. As with any other financial product, annuities will often be changed – and it can be difficult to keep up with these changes. We are always happy to make the necessary revisions on this site so that the information is fresh and easy to understand for readers. Prudential-C-Series-Variable-Annuity

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