What is going to be covered in this review?
In this annuity review, we will be discussing in detail the following information that pertains to the Lincoln Life Insurance Company’s Level Advantage B Share Annuity:
- Product type
- Fees / charges to look out for
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term performance and return expectations
- How this annuity is best used
- Who may want to consider a different option
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 thinking about the purchase of an annuity because you are seeking tax-advantaged growth, as well as the opportunity to obtain a regular stream of income in retirement, then the Lincoln Life Insurance Company’s Level Advantage B Share annuity could be a good option for you.
However, before running out and purchasing this annuity sight unseen, you really should get a good understanding of its benefits and potential drawbacks, because you don’t want to find out down the road that it isn’t doing what you anticipated it to do for you.
Getting out of an annuity, once the “free look” period has elapsed, can be quite costly. So, it’s always best to know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign on the proverbial dotted line.
This is where we can help!
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If this is the first time you’ve landed on our website, then please allow us to personally welcome you here to Annuity Gator. We make up a team of knowledgeable financial and annuity pros who are focused specifically on offering very in-depth and unbiased annuity reviews. We’ve been at this for quite some time now – and much longer than our competitors. Because of that, we have become a recognized go-to source for annuity information.
If you have been in the process of compiling more information on an annuity that you’re considering purchasing, then you have more than likely come across a lot of conflicting information about these products online. This really is not surprising, though, as there is a myriad of details available about these products. There are also a wide range of opinions about them, too.
It’s also possible that you have attended a seminar about annuities recently, where the presenter there discussed the ins and outs of the Lincoln Level Advantage B Share annuity or some other similar financial product. It could even have been your attendance at that seminar that has ultimately led you here to our website in search of additional information.
While you’ve been online searching for additional details, you may also have noticed that, while there are a number of very good annuity-related websites out there, some of them will make some pretty darn bold claims about their products, primarily with the goal of “luring” you in so you give them your contact information.
These claims may include some or all of the following:
- Highest annuity payouts
- Lowest fees
- Guaranteed income for life
- Top-Rated Annuity Companies
- Get an Annuity Quote Now!
But, even though these claims may initially sound enticing, it is critical that you verify their validity before you move forward with buying any annuity. In doing so, you may have to read through a plethora of annuity fine print – or you could just read on right now.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the Level Advantage B Share annuity, then you have certainly come to the right place. In fact, dare we say that this is the only place on the Internet where you will be able to get all of the key details on this annuity – both the good and the bad. This, in turn, can assist you with making a much more well-informed decision about whether or not this annuity fits in with your overall financial goals.
Oftentimes, the financial and insurance advisors who offer annuities – and specifically fixed indexed annuities – like to paint a nice, rosy picture for you regarding the opportunity to earn a higher return, while at the same time, keeping your principal safe in case of a market downturn.
But unfortunately, these same advisors may also be conveniently leaving out some of the details that could be considered as drawbacks – which is information that any potential buyer needs to know!
One reason for this knowledge is so that you can anticipate how the annuity may (or may not) perform in certain situations. Another is that, once you have committed to an annuity, it can be extremely difficult – and expensive (due to surrender charges) – to get out of it if you change your mind.
Just to be perfectly clear, we want to state for the record that we do believe that annuities can be a very viable method of saving and producing retirement income – provided that the product is appropriate for the investor.
This annuity review is here to assist you with getting a better understanding of all of the small print so that you are more knowledgeable regarding the Level Advantage B Share annuity and why it might work for you in terms of attaining your retirement savings and income goals.
So, if you’re ready to proceed, let’s dive in!
The Lincoln National Life Level Advantage B Share Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Level Advantage B Share Annuity|
|Issuer||Lincoln National Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Indexed Variable Annuity|
Opening Thoughts on the Lincoln National Level Advantage B Share Annuity
Lincoln has been in the business of helping its customers grow and protect wealth since 1905, when a group of business leaders in Fort Wayne, Indiana, came together to create a life insurance carrier that was based on dependability, honesty, and service.
As of year-end 2018, Lincoln National is the 4th largest life and health insurer in the U.S., based on revenue. The company is also ranked as #205 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list (also based on revenue), and as #24 based on assets. Likewise, Lincoln is ranked as #316 on the 2018 Barron’s 500 list, based on the most revenue growth and cash returns.
On December 31st, 2018, Lincoln reported more than $238 billion, and 2018 operating revenues of roughly $4.4 billion. Lincoln Life is also ranked as the #2 seller of universal life insurance, #3 in total life insurance sales, and #1 in variable universal life insurance sales.
The company ranks #3 in variable annuity sales, #12 in fixed indexed annuity sales, #16 in total fixed annuity sales, and #8 in total annuity sales. It also stands in the #8 position in terms of 401k market assets, and #5 for 403(b) employer-sponsored retirement plan market assets.
Due to its financial strength and stability, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company has received high ratings from the major insurance carrier rating agencies, including a(n):
- A+ from A.M. Best
- A+ from Fitch
- A1 from Moody’s Investor Services
- AA- from Standard & Poor’s
While variable annuities have taken somewhat of a back seat to other, safer, alternatives like fixed and fixed indexed annuities over the past decade, there is a definite niche for these products – particularly with those who are seeking the opportunity for a higher rate of return, as well as the tax-deferred growth of assets.
Lincoln has hit somewhat of a sweet spot with its Level Advantage indexed variable annuity, given the product’s balance of growth opportunity and principal protection. We’ll touch on all of these components shortly.
Before we get into the gritty details, here are some necessary legal disclosures…
This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Lincoln Life Insurance Company 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 additional information on how to compare variable annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here in order to obtain our free truth about variable annuities report.
How Lincoln Life Insurance Company Describes the Level Advantage B Share Annuity
According to the prospectus for the Lincoln Life Insurance Company’s Level Advantage B Share Annuity, the product is described as an individual variable and/or index-linked deferred annuity contract. With the variable account, Lincoln Life Insurance Company can allocate your annuity funds to one or more “sub-accounts”, based on your investment choices.
The indexed accounts provide a return that is, in part, based on the performance of an index that you select. The return may be positive or negative and is referred to as the performance rate. The performance rate does include a cap, which refers to the maximum percentage amount that you can earn during the indexed term. The protection level is the percentage of any negative index performance that the insurance carrier will absorb. You may allocate all or a portion of your purchase payments into one or more indexed segments of indexed accounts.
There are some other bells and whistles that can come along with this annuity. For instance, with the i4LIFE optional income rider, you can assure yourself of lifetime income for the remainder of your lifetime – and also the potential for rising income in order to help keep pace with future inflation.
For the product fact sheet, you can go HERE.
Or, if you would like access to the full consumer product brochure, go HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor May Pitch this Annuity
If you’ve been presented the Lincoln Life Level Advantage B Share annuity by an insurance or financial advisor, they may have heavily promoted the product’s flexibility. For instance, while you do have the option of getting a market-like return on your money, you may also be able to lock in a set level of protection, which could help to provide you with some protection of principal.
Also, as with other annuities, there are income options available on this product. So, this could provide a great way to supplement other retirement income that you may have, such as Social Security and/or a pension.
Yet, while the Level Advantage B Share annuity might initially sound like a great, all-in-one product, there are some things that you also need to know. For instance, the lifetime income rider has an added charge, which could end up impacting the overall return that you get during the accumulation period.
Similarly, there is also an additional cost to add the guarantee of principal death benefit. This option guarantees that your named beneficiary (or beneficiaries) will receive at least the full amount of your initial investment into the annuity.
On top of that, even though you can opt for a certain level of protection from market loss, unless you go with the 100% option, there is still the chance that you will risk losing a significant sum of your funds in this annuity.
Also, as with many indexed annuities that are on the market today, the Lincoln Level Advantage imposes a “cap,” or maximum, on the growth that you are able to earn for an indexed term. What this means is that regardless of how high the underlying index(es) perform, the cap will limit – or basically place a ceiling on – the total amount that you can actually earn.
Are There Fees on the Lincoln Life Insurance Company’s Level Advantage B Share Annuity?
Like most other annuities, there will be some fees that you need to be aware of with this annuity. In this particular case, there is a product charge applied to the daily net asset value in the sub-accounts for the death benefit that you choose. The product charge consists of a mortality and expense risk charge, and an administrative charge as well.
In addition, there is also a charge for any riders that are applicable to your annuity contract. And the biggie is the surrender charge that you may incur if you withdraw a certain amount of your funds during the annuity’s surrender period.
For a full and detailed rundown of the charges and fees that are associated with the Level Advantage B Share Annuity from Lincoln Life, you can check out the product prospectus HERE.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Lincoln Life Level Advantage B Share Annuity
Where this annuity works the best:
This annuity may be a good option for someone who is seeking market-linked growth, but at the same time wants to lock in at least some amount of protection in case of a significant market downturn. It can also be a potential vehicle for receiving income in retirement.
Where it works the worst:
If you have a low tolerance for risk, then the Lincoln Life Level Advantage Advisory product might not be a good fit. Likewise, if you do not intend on using the income feature on this annuity, there could be some better alternatives out there for you.
When considering any type of financial investment, it is essential that you determine first what your overall goals are. That way, you will be in a much better position to go through the process of eliminating the options that won’t fit in with your plan.
In the case of the Lincoln Level Advantage indexed variable B-share, there are definitely some very beneficial features, such as a number of investment options, as well as the ability to diversify your holdings within the annuity contract.
Plus, you can also obtain tax-deferred growth of your money – which in turn, can allow your funds to grow and compound exponentially over time. And, you can count on at least some amount of regular income down the road.
But, in order to really know if this particular annuity will be a good fit for you is to have it tested. We can do this for you. The calculator and resulting spreadsheet are free. So, if you are interested, please let us know and we will be happy to run the figures for you.
Do You Have Any More Questions About this Annuity? Did You Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?
Admittedly, this annuity review was a bit lengthy. So, because of that, we want to express our appreciation for you sticking with us here to the end. Our thoughts are, though, that we would much rather provide you with “too much” information than not enough.
If you did feel that this annuity review was helpful, then, by all means, please feel free to forward it on to anyone else that you think might also benefit from it. Alternatively, if this review brought forth even more questions, then please also let us know.
Also, as many humans do, we can at times make mistakes. So, if you happened to notice any mistakes in this review, please send us a message here via our secure online contact form so that we can make the corrections as soon as possible.
Any other annuities that you’d like to see reviewed?
If there are any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed, please let us know that, too, and we will get our team of qualified annuity “geeks” on the case and have more reviews available on our website soon.
The Annuity Gator
P.S If you would like to read more of our Lincoln annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the Lincoln Financial MYGuarantee Plus Fixed Deferred Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Covered Choice 5 Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Lincoln OptiChoice Fixed Index Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Life ChoicePlus Assurance Fee Based Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln ChoicePlus Assurance Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln National Life Core Income Built with iShares Variable Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln Financial Lifetime Income Edge Fixed Index Annuity
- Independent Review of the Lincoln American Legacy Variable Annuity