What will we be covering in this annuity review?
In this review of the Security Benefit Life ClearLine annuity, we’ll be going over the following information:
- Type of annuity
- How the annuity works
- How an advisor might “pitch” this annuity to you
- Charges and fees
- Where the annuity may be a good fit
- Where the annuity may not be a good fit
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 a fixed index annuity, it could be because you want the opportunity for market-linked growth, but without subjecting your hard-earned principal to the constant ups and downs of the stock market.
Stock market fluctuations – like the ones we have recently seen due to the Coronavirus pandemic – are not a very welcome event, particularly as you are planning for your retirement. In fact, depending on how much you have invested in equities, situations like COVID-19 and the 2008 recession could put a major damper on your retirement lifestyle…and not necessarily in a good way.
With that in mind, it is important that you have a plan in place sooner rather than later. This includes determining the best retirement income strategy and then putting the pieces all together.
The good news is that you can still obtain expert guidance with regard to which annuity – if any – is a good fit for you. Otherwise, you could make an expensive mistake. In fact, in keeping with social distancing requirements, you can actually learn a great deal about annuities, as well as compare a wide range of different products side-by-side.
Stick with us here and we’ll show you how.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can Trust
If you have never been to our website before, please allow us to officially welcome you here to AnnuityGator.com. We are a team of annuity experts who have a primary focus on providing highly comprehensive, and unbiased, annuity reviews online.
We have been doing this for quite a long time now – far longer than our competitors have – and because of that, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information. We’ve also had some “copycats” try to duplicate our offerings. The way we see this, though, is that imitation is surely the highest form of flattery.
If you have been in the process of seeking an annuity, it is likely that when doing any research online about them, you have come across some highly conflicting details. This really is not all that surprising, though, as there are a lot of annuities available in the market today, and there are many opinions, both positive and negative, about them.
You may also have attended an annuity seminar or workshop where the presenter offered you a free dinner or lunch, as well as information regarding the Security Benefit ClearLine fixed indexed annuity, or some other similar financial product. Your attending that seminar may even have been the ultimate catalyst that brought you here to our site in search of additional annuity information.
While there are many other good websites out there online that are focused on annuities, you may have found in your quest for information that some of these websites will try luring you in by making some fairly bold claims, like having the lowest fees, and offering the highest annuity income payouts.
But, even though these claims might sound really enticing, the reality is that prior to you making a commitment on any annuity, it is important for you to find out whether or not these claims are really true, just as you would do prior to purchasing any other high-dollar item.
This is where the Annuity Gator comes in!
If you are in the market to learn more about the Security Benefit ClearLine fixed indexed annuity, then you are certainly in the right place. In fact, we dare say that our website is the only place on the Internet where you can find all of the in-depth details about this annuity – which includes the good, and the bad. That’s because we feel that knowing the whole story about an annuity is the only way for consumers to make a truly well-informed decision about whether or not it is the right product for them.
Oftentimes, when a financial or insurance advisor is presenting a fixed indexed annuity to his or her clients, they will provide a nice rosy picture of how the annuity can offer the best of all world, meaning that the product has the ability to offer a nice return, along with safety of principal – as well as income for life. But in doing so, the advisor may neglect to provide details about areas that could be considered drawbacks.
With that in mind, if you are seriously thinking about purchasing the Security Benefit ClearLine annuity, you should know just exactly what you are getting into. One of the top reasons for this is because getting out of an annuity can be somewhat difficult – as well as very expensive, due to the surrender charges that are incurred.
Just to be completely clear here, we do want to state that we feel annuities can be a good financial vehicle for many investors – as long as it fits in well with both their short- and long-term financial goals.
So, if you’re ready to begin this review, let’s go ahead and dive in!
The Security Benefit Life ClearLine Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||ClearLine Annuity|
|Issuer||Security Benefit Life|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A- (Excellent)|
|Phone Number||(800) 888-2461|
Opening Thoughts on the ClearLine Annuity from Security Benefit Life
For more than fifty years, Security Benefit Life Insurance Company has focused its expertise solely on the retirement industry. (Although the company actually traces its beginnings all the way back to the year 1892).
Through a combination of product innovation, exceptional investment management, and a unique distribution strategy, this company has become a recognized leader in multiple retirement markets, including:
- Overall fixed annuity sales
- Bank marketed fixed annuity sales
- The K-12 education market
- Overall fixed index annuity sales
As of mid-2020, Security Benefit Life held more than $41 billion in consolidated assets under management, and statutory revenue of nearly $5 billion. The company is highly rated through the insurer ratings agencies, which includes a(n):
- A- from A.M. Best
- A- from Standard & Poor’s
- A- from Fitch Ratings
Due in large part to the increased volatility of the stock market over the past decade or so, the demand for fixed indexed annuities – which are always backed by insurance companies – has been steadily increasing. This is due mainly to the fact that these types of annuities provide you with the opportunity to obtain a higher return than fixed annuities or other fixed products, while at the same time, providing you with safety of principal when the market is down.
However, even though this may sound like a great product, sometimes if something sounds too good to be true, it is. With that in mind, it is important that you take some precautions prior to purchasing a fixed indexed annuity so that you don’t find out too late if it isn’t a good fit for you.
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. Security Benefit 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. Before purchasing any type of insurance and/or investment 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 situation. All of the names, marks, and materials that were used for this annuity review are the property of their respective owners.
For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be the best for you and your financial circumstances, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How Security Benefit Life Describes the ClearLine Indexed Annuity
According to Security Benefit Life, the ClearLine Annuity is described as a fixed indexed product that offers the choice of three indexes to track, as well as a fixed account option.
The company states that the ClearLine Annuity can help you to grow your retirement savings, but without investing directly in the stock market. Rather, you can receive interest credits, based on a portion of the increase of a financial market index. But, you are at the same time guaranteed not to lose money, even in the event of a downward moving market (or market correction).
An optional Rising Income Rider may also be included with the ClearLine annuity, through which you are guaranteed a stream of retirement income payments for life that may increase each year in order to help keep pace with rising inflation.
You can also access up-to-date ClearLine Annuity rates by going HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Salesperson Might “Pitch” this Annuity
If you’ve talked with an insurance or financial advisor about the ClearLine fixed indexed annuity from Security Benefit Life, it is possible that he or she keyed in the opportunity for growth, coupled with safety from market downturns.
Today, people are living much longer than ever before – and, while that can be positive in many respects, it can also bring about the worry of outliving your income in retirement. With many people who are preparing for retirement being concerned about growing their savings, while at the same time keeping their principal safe, it is possible that an insurance or financial advisor would present this annuity as a vehicle for accomplishing both of those goals. Plus, there is also the option to choose income for life with this annuity.
What the agent may or may not heavily focus on, however, is the “fine print” – which can more clearly explain some of the “tradeoffs” that you’ll need to make in order to garner some of the benefits.
For instance, the index-linked growth is “capped” or limited, based on the crediting strategy you choose. So, even if the underlying market index you’re tracking has a stellar performance, your return will really only reflect a portion of it.
In addition, while the insurance company promotes that you’ll have some “liquidity” with this annuity, the truth is that you can only withdraw up to 10% of the contract’s value during the surrender penalty – otherwise, you’ll be charged a fee.
You can access all of the details regarding the Security Benefit ClearLine annuity by going HERE and then downloading the product brochure and/or the Fact Sheet.
Fees?! You Mean there are Fees with the ClearLine Annuity?
In a word, yes…at least there could be – and they may be quite high, depending on what you do with the money you have contributed to this annuity. In the case of the Security Benefit ClearLine fixed indexed annuity, there is no up-front sales commission deducted from your initial contribution.
(Note here that if your advisor is fee-based, meaning that he or she charges an advisory fee to manage your annuity contract, then you may need to pay this charge – and it could be taken directly from your annuity’s account value).
If you opt to add the Rising Income Rider, there is an annual charge of 0.05% for this. So be sure that you are aware of how – and how much – this added charge could impact your annuity’s overall value, as well as the income you receive.
There is also a 7-year surrender charge, during which time, if you pull out more than 10% of the contract’s value in any of those years, you will incur a surrender fee. The ClearLine annuity’s surrender fee starts out at 5% in Year 1, and then it gradually reduces from there.
Security Benefit Life’s ClearLine Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule
So in all, a surrender fee, plus taxes – and with the possibility of an additional 10% IRS early withdrawal penalty if you are under the age of 59 ½ – you could end up netting quite a bit less than you put into the ClearLine annuity if you surrender it early.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Security Benefit ClearLine Fixed Index 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 than that of a regular fixed annuity
- Safety of principal
- Lifetime income
Where it works worst:
Conversely, this particular annuity may not fare so well for those who:
- Want or need to access their funds penalty-free within the first several years of the contract (during the surrender period).
- Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature.
There are a number of different factors that should ideally be considered before you commit to a long-term financial product like an annuity. If you are still leaning towards purchasing a fixed index annuity like the ClearLine annuity from Security Benefit Life, you can be assured that your principal will be safe from the ups and downs of the stock market, as well as that you will have a future retirement income that you can count on.
But in reality, the only way to really know if this particular annuity (or for that matter, any annuity) is right for you is to have it tested. We can do this for you and provide you with an in-depth and personalized spreadsheet that shows you how the annuity may perform given your specific parameters.
In going this route, you could find that it fits the bill for you – or, you may instead find out that there may be some other products out there that work better for you and your particular situation.
If you would like to move forward with “test driving” this annuity for your specific needs – at no cost and no obligation – then just simply let us know by contacting us here via our secure online contact form.
Still Have More Questions About this (or any other) Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?
We understand that this annuity review was a bit on the long side. So, we certainly want to thank you for sticking with us here to the end. However, when we are creating our reviews here at AnnuityGator.com, we would much rather “err” on providing our readers with “too much” information rather than not enough. That way, you will be in a better position to make a truly informed decision as to whether or not a particular annuity product is right for you.
In addition, we also know that annuity information can – and often does – change on a regular basis. So, if you happened to notice any details in this review that may need to be updated or revised, then please let us know that as well, and we will be happy to make any of the necessary changes here.
Likewise, if reading over this review caused even more confusion about this product, then please click here in order to let us know that, too.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed in our annuity review database on our website?
If so, just let us know the name of the product (or products), and we will get right on it.
The Annuity Gator
P.S. If you would like to read more of our Security Benefit Life annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Secure Income Fixed Indexed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Foundations Fixed Index Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Rate Track 5-Year MYGA Fixed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Life Secure Income Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Rate Track 7-Year MYGA Fixed Annuity.
- Independent Review of the Security Benefit Total Value Annuity.