What will be covered in this annuity review?

In this annuity review, we will be going over the following details regarding the Prudential SurePath Annuity:

  • Type of product
    Independent Review of the Prudential Premier Retirement B / HDI v3.0 Annuity
  • Fees
  • Realistic short and long-term expectations
  • Who may be a good candidate for this particular annuity
  • Who this annuity may not be a good fit for

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 considering the purchase of an annuity because you are seeking additional tax-deferred growth, protection of principal (in any market environment), and a lifetime income stream, then the Prudential SurePath annuity, which is currently being offered through TruChoice Financial Group, could be a good option for you.

It’s possible that you have seen annuities advertised, and you may even have been contacted by your insurance or financial advisor about purchasing an annuity. That’s because annuities can provide you with a guaranteed stream of income in retirement. And, if you own a deferred annuity – meaning that the income won’t begin for a while – you can also get tax-deferred growth on the funds that are inside the annuity.

But, before you run out and purchase just any annuity, it is really important that you know how they work – and how they may or may not work for your specific financial objectives. That’s why this annuity review – and all of our in-depth reviews that are in our database – is here.

We review the good, bad, and yes, even the downright ugly because knowing the whole story allow you to make better purchasing decisions regarding financial products. In fact, this is particularly important with annuities, because these financial vehicles will typically have surrender fees if you decide to cancel the annuity within the first several years of owning it.

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information You Can Trust

If you have never been to our website before, please allow us to officially welcome you here to Annuity Gator. Who exactly are we?

At Annuity Gator, we make up a team of experienced financial and annuity professionals who focus on providing in-depth, and unbiased, annuity reviews on the Internet. We have been at this for quite some time now – far longer than our competitors have – even though there are now a number of “copycat” websites that are popping up.

If you’ve spent any amount of time online looking for annuity information, you may have come across some highly conflicting details about these financial tools. That really isn’t all that surprising, though, as there are many varied opinions about these types of products.

There are also a fair number of annuity-related websites that will try to lure you in for the purpose of giving them your contact information. They’ll oftentimes do so by stating some pretty bold claims, like:

  • Lowest fees
  • High income
  • Top-rated annuity carriers
  • Income stream for life

Look familiar?

Yet, while these claims might sound truly enticing, it’s important to be aware of whether or not they are actually true.

The reality is that the more “bells and whistles” an annuity has, the more “fine print” you are likely to see. And fixed indexed annuities do in fact have a fair amount of moving parts. So, while there are definitely some nice features that you can garner with these types of annuities if you aren’t sure what to anticipate, how will you know that you’re getting the best return on your money?

Oftentimes, you don’t…

But if you’ve come here in search of more details about the Prudential SurePath annuity from Prudential, you are definitely in the right place. So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s dive right in!

Prudential SurePath Annuity at a Glance

Product NameCertainty Select
IssuerEquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Type of ProductMulti-Year Guaranty Annuity
S&P RatingBBB+ (Good)
Phone Number(866) 598-3692

Opening Thoughts on the Prudential SurePath Annuity

Prudential has been serving individual and institutional customers for more than 140 years. The company offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, investments, and annuities.

As of mid-2019, Prudential (or “Pru” as it is oftentimes referred) holds more than $1.45 trillion (with a T) assets under management and has roughly $4 trillion (again, with a T) of gross life insurance in force worldwide.

This financial powerhouse has earned a number of awards and accolades, such as being ranted 1st in the Insurance Life and Health category of Fortune magazine’s 2019 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, and 1st in the Insurance category of Forbes and JUST Capital’s 2018 JUST 100 list.

As the largest life insurance carrier in the United States (based on total admitted assets), Prudential has a good reputation for paying out claims to its customers. So, going with an insurance product – including an annuity – from Prudential can certainly allow you to sleep better at night, knowing that you can count on benefits like income from a Prudential annuity. This includes fixed index annuities like the SurePath.

These types of annuities are oftentimes touted as the “best of all worlds,” because they allow their owners a way to secure a positive return in good times and to hang on to their principal value during market downturns.

But it is essential to know all of the in-depth details about a fixed indexed annuity you are considering before you move ahead with depositing a large chunk of your money into one – as it can be difficult, and costly, for you to get out if you later realize that it really isn’t the best option for you.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures we need to provide…

This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Prudential 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 details on how you can compare annuities so that you can determine which one may be right for you, to instantly download our free annuity report.

How Prudential Describes the SurePath Annuity

Prudential describes the SurePath annuity as a single premium fixed indexed product that is designed for helping you to secure your financial future. With this annuity, you have the opportunity to grow your account value without exposure to the unpredictable ups and downs of the stock market.

The SurePath annuity from Prudential is a relatively new product, and currently is only being offered via select financial professionals, beginning in mid-June 2019. As a fixed indexed annuity, this annuity offers you the ability to earn tax-deferred growth (which means that you won’t have to pay tax on the gain until the time of withdrawal).

Return is based in part, or in full, on the performance of an underlying market index, such as the S&P 500. There is also a fixed account option where you can allocate some (or all) of your funds within the annuity.

Fixed index annuities like Prudential’s SurePath can also protect your principal. That’s because, in an upward moving market, your account is credited with a positive return for the period – usually up to a stated cap, or maximum. But, if the underlying index performs poorly in a given contract year, then you won’t incur a loss. Rather, your account will simply be credited with a 0%.

This annuity actually offers an impressive number of index tracking options. The indexes that you can choose from include the:

  • Goldman Sachs Voyager 1-Year Term with Participation
  • Goldman Sachs Voyager 3-Year Term with Participation
  • MSCI EAFE 1-Year Term
  • MSCI EAFE 1-Year Term with Participation
  • MSCI EAFE 3-Year Term
  • MSCI EAFE 3-Year Term with Participation
  • S&P 500 1-Year Term
  • S&P 500 1-Year Term with Participation
  • S&P 500 3-Year Term
  • S&P 500 3-Year Term with Participation

Prudential offers the SurePath 10 and the SurePath 7 fixed index annuity options. These products both work in essentially the same manner, other than the length of the rate guarantee period, as well as the length of the surrender charge. In this case, for instance, with the SurePath 7, your fixed-rate and your surrender period will run for 7 years. Likewise, the SurePath 10 provides the rate guaranteed for 10 years, but you are also locked into a ten-year surrender period whereby if you withdraw more than 10% of your contract’s value during that time frame, you will incur a withdrawal charge.

It is important to understand, too, that some of the index options in this annuity will only “participate” in a certain percentage of the gains from the underlying index. For instance, if the participation rate is 80%, then your annuity will only be credited with 80% of the return on the index. As an example, if your participation rate is 80%, and the underlying index returns 5% for the period, then your annuity would be credited with 4% (5% x 80% = 4%).

There are some other key features to consider with the SurePath annuity. In this case, there are a number of different income options – including a guaranteed income for life alternative. So, if you (and your spouse or partner) are concerned about running out of income in retirement, then this annuity could allow you to sleep better at night, knowing that your income will last for your entire lifetime.

There are some other “bells and whistles” associated with the SurePath annuity, too, such as a death benefit, and access to funds penalty-free in the event of certain situations (such as being diagnosed with a terminal illness). You may also qualify to receive a 5% income bonus, which can help you to jump-start your incoming cash flow when the time is right.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity

Because people are living so much longer today than ever before, having enough income in retirement has become a top concern for many retirees. With that in mind, the guaranteed income concept of the SurePath annuity is most likely where an insurance or financial advisor would focus on when presenting this product to clients or prospects.

An additional aspect is the beneficiary protection that is provided by the death benefit. Here, in the event that the annuitant passes away before receiving all of the contract value back, a named beneficiary can receive the funds, without them having to pass through probate.

But even with all of these awesome features, you really need to be careful, as there are some “tradeoffs” you may need to make with this product. For instance, even though you have the ability to obtain a positive return based on the performance of an underlying index (or indexes), the upward potential may be capped, depending on which index option(s) you choose. So, if the market is flying high, you may be kept closer to the ground if your earnings are reduced by the participation rate.

What About Fees on the SurePath Annuity from Prudential?

There is also a fairly long surrender period with this annuity, depending on whether you go with the ten-year or the seven-year rate period. So, it’s always a good idea to consider this – or most any – annuity as a long-term financial commitment. Otherwise, you could find that you’ll have a whole lot less to put in your pocket if you opt to cancel the contract during the surrender period.

On top of that, in addition to a surrender fee and taxes on the gains, if you make withdrawals prior to turning age 59 ½, you could also get hit with an additional 10% “early withdrawal” penalty from the IRS.

With that in mind, be sure that the money you contribute to this annuity isn’t something that you’ll need to access any time soon for an emergency, or you could be really disappointed by the amount you actually net out.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Prudential SurePath Fixed Indexed Annuity

Where it works the best:

Although this fixed indexed annuity offers many nice benefits, it will typically work the best for those who are seeking the following attributes:

  • Safety of principal
  • The opportunity for additional, index-linked growth, which can provide a higher return than a regular fixed annuity
  • Guaranteed income for life

Where it works the worst:

Conversely, there are some areas where this product may not be the best option. That may be for people who:

  • Will need access to more than 10% of the contract’s value within the 7-year or 10-year surrender period
  • Do not intend to use the lifetime income feature

If you are still considering the purchase of the SurePath annuity from Prudential, but you’re currently on the fence regarding whether or not it will be right for you, we can help you to “test” it using our specialized software, based on your specific scenario, at no cost or obligation to you.

Just let us know if this is something that you are interested in doing, and we’ll get on the case right away!

In Summary

There is a number of key criteria that need to be considered when you are planning for your future retirement income. And, when it comes to using annuities for either your primary income stream or even for filling in any retirement income “gaps,” it is essential that you know just exactly what you can anticipate. That’s because a different amount of income than you were planning on can make a big difference in your retirement lifestyle and on your life!

When it comes to the Prudential SurePath fixed index annuity, you can certainly be assured that you’ll have a stream of income you can count on for life – as well as for your spouse or partner’s life, too. That being said, though, there could also be a better alternative out there for you that is a much better fit for your financial goals.

If you do still have any questions or concerns about this annuity, or you would like us to compare it against other potential options for you, feel free to reach out to us directly through our secure online contact form.

Do You Have Any Additional Questions About this Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?

We realize that this annuity review may have run a bit long. But quite frankly, we would much rather that you have “too much” information on this product than to not have enough. So, if you found this annuity review to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and to share it with other people who could also find value in it. (And, if you found it to be confusing, please also let us know that, too.)

In addition to that, we are aware that information regarding annuities can, and often does, change. So, if you happened to notice anything in this review that should be updated or revised, let us know and we will be happy to make the necessary edits.

Any other annuities that you would like to learn more about?

If so, just give us a shout and let us know, and our team will get to working on them right away.


The Annuity Gator

P.S If you would like to read more of our Prudential annuity reviews here are some links to check out:

Independent Review of the Prudential SurePath Annuity