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Independent Review of the Jackson National Perspective L Series Variable Annuity

What’s Covered in this Review

In this review, we will go over the following information on the Jackson National Perspective L Series variable annuity:

  • Product Typejacksonlife300
  • Fees
  • Current rates
  • Realistic long term investment 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.

You may initially notice, that like many other annuities, the Jackson National Perspective L Series variable annuity can perform well in certain situations. There are, however, other scenarios where it may not perform well – especially in light of what your particular goals for the annuity might be.

Annuity And Retirement Income Planning Information That You Can Trust

Possibly you may have stumbled across my website for the very first time and you don’t know much about us – but you have definitely come to the right place.

If you have been Googling “annuities,” then it is very likely that you’ve visited annuity marketing websites that make some or all of the following bold claims in order to just simply collect your contact information:

  • Highest Payouts
  • Lowest Fees
  • Top Rated A+ Companies
  • Guaranteed Income for Life
  • Get Your Quote Now!
  • Get 7-8% Returns with NO Market Risk

Sound about right?

What we have found is that none of these supposed benefits even matter, though, unless you truly know why it is that you are purchasing the annuity. In addition, when taking things a step further, many of these annuities can’t actually even offer you a 7 to 8% return in most cases.

Other websites are blatantly opposed to annuities. But, in reality, they don’t really even know how an annuity works!

The truth is that both of these approaches are inherently flawed – and neither of them benefit you in any way.

This website that you are on right now, however, is completely different. Here at Annuity Gator, we publish the most thorough, independent, and objective annuity reviews on the Internet – and we have been doing it for longer than many of the other websites out there.

That being said, we want you to be able to determine for yourself whether the annuity being reviewed makes sense so that you can ultimately decide whether or not it will fit your financial situation.

So, let’s go ahead and get started.

Jackson National Perspective L Series at a Glance

Product NamePerspective L Series Variable Annuity
IssuerJackson National
Type of ProductVariable Annuity
Standard & Poor's RatingAA (Very Strong)
Phone Number(800) 644-4565

Opening Thoughts on the Jackson National Perspective L Series Variable Annuity

In general, a variable annuity is designed to perform two key tasks. These include growing principal in the account, and producing income. But, the reality is that variable annuities are not typically all that great at producing retirement income. One of the main reasons for this is because of the risk that variable annuities can present to the investor, as well as to the insurance company that offers them.

Because the value inside of a variable annuity tends to fluctuate so much, it is not unusual for an insurance company to guarantee a lower amount of income from a variable annuity. This can be the case, even though the variable annuity offers the ability to earn more growth than will a safer option such as a fixed annuity.

So, for every dollar that you invest in a variable annuity, it could essentially promise you a lesser amount of income than a fixed annuity would for the same amount of deposit. Because of this, if your primary objective for the annuity is future retirement income, then a variable annuity may not be your best option.

With regard to using a variable annuity for the growth of principal, it can provide you with the opportunity for a high return. For example, in the case of the Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity, it offers more than 90 professionally managed investment options, along with tax-deferred growth. However, because of your exposure to the market, variable annuities also carry downside risk.

In addition, variable annuities will also typically charge a number of fees to their investors. For instance, what many variable annuity investors may not always initially realize is that in addition to the annuity fees that are charged, there are also fees charged within the investments (i.e., by the mutual funds) themselves that are inside of the annuity. Because of all the fees, in conjunction with the market volatility, it can make earning a high return in a variable annuity somewhat challenging.

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

This is an independent annuity review. Therefore, it does not include any type of recommendation to purchase or sell an annuity product. Jackson National has not endorsed this review in any way, and we do not receive any type of compensation for providing this review. The information is meant simply to be an opinion so that readers may view our personal perspective when determining the potential advantages and/or the drawbacks of this specific annuity product, as well as whether it may or may not fit in with their financial goals. Prior to purchasing any type of financial product or service, it is important that you pursue your own due diligence, as well as consult with a properly licensed and competent financial advisor before you move forward. In doing so, you may then more precisely ensure that the financial product or service that you are considering will fit in with your specific circumstances. All of the names, trademarks, and materials that have been used in this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.

Jackson National Perspective L Series Variable Annuity

How Jackson Describes The National Perspective L Series Variable Annuity

Jackson National has been in the business of offering insurance and annuity products for more than 50 years. Over time, even though the company has grown into a multi-billion dollar entity, it still prides itself on treating its customers like a family-owned business.

In 2015, based on LIMRA statistics, Jackson National was ranked $1 in new sales of variable annuity sales in the U.S. And, that same year, it was ranked as the 9th largest seller of fixed-rate deferred annuities in the U.S., according to LIMRA / Secure Retirement Institute.

Based on Jackson National’s website and annuity prospectus, the Perspective L Series annuity is described as being a variable annuity that allows investors to combine growth potential of the market, along with tax-deferral strategies and guaranteed withdrawal options into just one single custom retirement plan.

This annuity offers more than 90 professionally managed investment options that cover a wide range of different investment classes and styles. The annuity, as with all other types of annuities, also offers the tax-deferral of earnings – which can provide for compounding of growth over time.

The Perspective L Series allows investors to transfer their funds between different investment options on a tax-free basis, and there is also flexibility to select additional options, within certain guidelines.

In addition, the Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity also provides some additional optional benefits that can be chosen in order to “customize” the product to fit in more with an investor’s needs. These options include:

  • Enhanced death benefits
  • Guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits
  • Guaranteed return of premium benefit
  • Guaranteed death benefit for legacy protection
  • Automatic step-ups in order to lock in market gains on some living benefits

How Financial Advisors Might “Pitch” This Annuity

The Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity does offer a number of investment options to choose from – and therefore, it is likely that a financial advisor may key in on this aspect of the annuity when discussing it with a client. This is especially the case, as the variety of options that can be chosen within the annuity’s sub-accounts can allow the investor a well-diversified portfolio – depending on his or her financial goals.

It is also likely that another key selling point for this particular annuity would be the number of additional optional features that may be added to the vehicle in order to customize the income from it. These, however, will typically come with an additional premium cost.

It is important to note, though, that if you plan to use this annuity – or any variable annuity – as a source for guaranteed lifetime time, it should be very closely examined. This is because, due to the potential risk to principal in the market, there can oftentimes be an effect on the amount of income that you will actually end up receiving at the time of withdrawal. Given that, if income is, in fact, your primary reason for purchasing an annuity, there can be other annuity products that may be better suited for this.

Also, even with the well-diversified suite of investment options that are provided by the Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity, this vehicle will still have market exposure. So here too, you will also want to take into account just how much market risk you want to take, based on your goals, time horizon, and overall principal protection requirements.   If you’re wondering if this annuity is right for you, or if you have questions and need a little help getting pointed in the right direction; just reach out via our secure contact form here.

What About the Jackson National Perspective L Series Annuity’s Fees?

With regard to fees, a variable annuity will often be one of the more expensive financial products in the market. The Jackson National Perspective L Series variable annuity is no exception.

With this annuity, there is an annual Mortality and Expense Risk Charge of 1.55%, as well as an Administration Charge of 0.15%. Plus, the insurance company charges an annual contract maintenance fee of $35. There can also be any number of optional rider charges, depending on whether you have chosen one or more of these additional features.

In addition, the Perspective L Series has a four year surrender period, meaning that if you withdraw your funds within the first four years of owning the contract, you will pay a penalty. During the first year, this fee is 8%, This grades down to 5.5% in Year 4, and eventually goes to 0% after the fourth full year of contract ownership.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Jackson National Perspective L Series Variable Annuity

Where it works best:

  • When considering the Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity, it can typically work best when an investor wants to be invested for market growth – and wants the ability to diversify – and still wants the opportunity for retirement income in the future. This is because the contract provides the ability to invest in more than 90 different investment options, from a variety of different investment classes.
  • On top of diversification, you will still have the ability to receive tax-deferred growth. So, if an investor has already “maxed out” other tax-advantaged investment options such as an employer-sponsored retirement account and/or an IRA account, then this could also offer another avenue for obtaining tax-deferred growth of investment funds.
  • Likewise, variable annuities, just like any other type of annuity, can be good options for people who are worried about outliving their income or savings in retirement. This is because they can provide a guaranteed stream of ongoing income throughout the remainder of their holders’ lives. However, it’s still important to keep in mind that a variable annuity still may or may not be able to provide the income guarantee that an annuity owner wants or needs – especially in a volatile market environment.
  • Also, due to the fact that there are some fairly hefty surrender charges during the first several years of the Perspective L Series annuity contract, this vehicle needs to be considered as a longer-term financial endeavor.

Where it works worst:

  • For those who are not intending to use the income benefit on this annuity, then it may not be the ideal product, and other more suitable financial vehicles should ideally be considered. This is because, due to the high fees that can be incurred within the annuity, as well as via the mutual funds, it can be a very expensive way to invest in equities and there are definitely less expensive alternatives.

In Summary

When you are considering any type of financial product, it is important to determine just exactly what your overall goals are. For instance, in some cases, a particular financial vehicle might seem to offer both growth and income potential. But, after taking a much closer look at it, the opportunity may come at a high price.

In the case of the Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity, there are definitely some nice features about it, such as the ability to invest in more than 90 different investment options, along with the ability to diversify these investments based on your particular needs and objectives.

Also, this annuity does offer the ability to receive guaranteed lifetime income – which, for many retirees can be a big concern. However, this really needs to be weighed out by the potential risk to the principal inside of the annuity during the period of accumulation, based on market volatility.

With this in mind, the only way to truly know if this particular annuity will be a good fit for you is to have it tested. We offer this testing for free. So, just contact us and we can provide you with a better illustration of what this annuity may be able to return for you.


Have Questions on the Jackson National Perspective L Series Variable Annuity? See any Mistakes?

If you have any questions or concerns with regard to the Jackson National Perspective L Series annuity – or if you happen to notice that any of the information in this review does not appear to be correct, then please contact us.

Over the past several years, annuities have become much more popular with investors. This has primarily been due to their guaranteed lifetime income features. Because of this, there have been a large number of financial advisors pushing their clients to purchase annuities, regardless of whether the annuity even makes financial sense for these individuals.

But annuities can be confusing – and you really need to know just exactly what it is that you are purchasing with your hard earned retirement savings. You don’t want to make a costly mistake – especially one that you won’t be able to get out of once you get in.

Therefore, if an annuity does not make sense to you, it is extremely important that you know, and you say something, now. If, however, an annuity does make sense for you and your financial situation, then it can be a key component of your overall portfolio.

Likewise, if there are other investors who you may know that could possibly also benefit from an annuity, then please share this post with them. Nowadays, there are many people who are getting very conflicting information about these retirement products. Our goal, however, is to provide information about annuities in an objective manner so that people can understand them better.

Therefore, if you can help in spreading the word, then it can be extremely beneficial. For instance, if you have a Facebook account, then you can just simply click on the little “Facebook” icon in order to share this article so that more people can find it, and can hopefully benefit from it.

In addition, if you do happen to notice that any of the information in this review is outdated or out of place, then please contact us and let us know. Annuities, just like all other financial products, tend to change frequently. So, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the details that are regularly available on them. We are glad to make any updates and/or revisions that are necessary in order to ensure that the information here is clear and easy to understand.

If you’re wondering if this annuity is right for you, or if you have questions and need a little help getting pointed in the right direction; just reach out via our secure contact form here.


The Annuity Gator

  • Nichole
    5:38 PM, 23 March 2017

    I may have missed it but did you talk about the Optional benefit “Lifeguard Freedom with joint option”. How does this rider work?

    • Annuity Gator
      6:55 PM, 28 March 2017

      Hi Nichole – Thank you for your comment. That particular option was not discussed in the in-depth annuity review. The Lifeguard Freedom / joint option optional living benefit can provide you and a joint annuitant with an ongoing stream of income from the annuity. In many cases, variable annuity carriers will just simply offer one “set” option for this. But with the Jackson National Perspective annuity series that offers this benefit, you essentially can “pick and choose” the features that you want (which can, in turn, help you to reduce the amount of premium in terms of paying for the options that you do not want or need). In the case of this optional benefit, you can choose to receive a guaranteed lifetime income stream (without having to compromise the investment strategy that you have chosen in the annuity). You can also have the ability to choose how and when you make your income withdrawals – which can allow you to obtain the income when you need it, as well as to manage your tax liability when you are receiving your funds. As everyone’s situation can differ, this may or may not be the way that you ultimately want to go. We would be happy to discuss your specific goals so that we can help to point you in the right direction. You can contact us directly at (888) 440-2468. Best. -Annuity Gator Team

  • al weston
    10:53 AM, 20 September 2017

    I found the fund the wife and I are in on your site and with me retiring in 3 weeks I was wondering if I should change to a fixed annuity? Started with 113,000 in 2011 and now the guaranteed value is 175,839 and the actual value is 164,921. I believe I can get 4%/ year off the guaranteed value(about 7000/yr] Does this sound right and I know they take over $500.00 every quarter by cashing in shares. Does any of this money go to my financial advisor?

    • Annuity Gator
      2:38 PM, 26 September 2017

      Hi Al,

      Thanks for checking out the review and for your comment.

      My first thought would be that you shouldn’t change to a different annuity because you would lose your ‘guaranteed value’ – you’ve been paying a fee to have this benefit since you started your contract.

      Second, would be the question of taking the guaranteed income flow. Simply put, if the value is currently $164,921 and the income benefit is 4% of $175,839 or $7,033/yr before tax, it means that it will take 23.5 years for you to collect the same $164k in payments of $7,003.

      Once you’ve started taking the payment it’s not recommended that you ever make any withdrawals from the account in excess of the $7,003 per year or your benefits will be reduced permanently.

      The last bit is that the fees for the account will continue, which means that the combined drawdown of your income AND the fees will eat away at your account quickly.

      In your shoes, I would much rather have control of my money to be able to determine year by year what kind of income I need, instead of having the insurance company ration it out to me.

      Best case scenario is that you live a very long time and beat the insurance company at their own game. Even in that case, the returns down look spectacular.

      If you start that income this year and collect it for the next 30 years @ $7,003 per year you have a total of $210,090 of income.
      With your initial investment of $113,000 the overall rate of return on your money is less than 1% (.67%).

      I would look at reducing your fees by ditching this annuity. Take that money and invest it carefully, you don’t need much return (which means you don’t need to take big risks) in order to better what this contract can do for you.

      Start by looking for an advisor that is a fiduciary and fee only.

      If you need a referral let us know.


  • David
    11:54 AM, 13 March 2019

    Mr. Gator,
    I think you may have expressed an incorrect value pertaining to the L series annuity from Jackson regarding the expense and mortality annual percentage cost/charge. According to my understanding, the percentage charged on an annual basis is 1.10% and not 1.55%. The total annual percentage charge specifically to the L series should have a total of 1.25% (including the admin percentage of .15%).

    • Annuity Gator
      3:44 PM, 16 March 2019

      Hi David – Thank you for your message. We are currently in the process of updating our annuity review database, so will be able to make any of these necessary changes. If we can help further, please feel free to reach out to us directly at (888) 440-2468. Best! Annuity Gator

  • Catherine McEnroe
    12:26 PM, 17 July 2019

    My cousin asked me to help him understand his annuity. It is Perspective L Series Fixed and Variable Annuity with Autoguard 5. He bought it in 2007. There is a Remaining Guaranteed Withdrawal Balance of $55,045.65. The Guaranteed Annual Withdrawal Amount is $2,868.92. Does the GAWA last his lifetime or does it go away over time?
    Thanks so much.

    • Annuity Gator
      12:14 PM, 31 July 2019

      Hi Catherine– Thank you for your message.
      We would be happy to go more in detail on this annuity. In order to best support you, we would need some additional information from you. Rather than sending the info back and forth via email, it would be best to discuss by phone. Please feel free to contact us directly, toll-free, at (888) 440-2468 to chat with one of our annuity specialists or visit

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