Today’s review is about the Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity. The purpose of this review is to show you the strengths and weaknesses of this Annuity. In order to make an informed decision, it is important to consider all available facts such as the following:
- Product type
- Investment options that are available and their realistic long-term investment return expectations
- How it can best help your financial plan
- How it’s most poorly used as part of your financial plan
Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity Quick Facts
|Product Name||Foreinvestors Choice|
|Issuer||Global Atlantic Financial Group|
|Type of Product||Variable Annuity|
|Standard & Poor’s Rating||“A-” (Strong)|
|Phone Number||(866) 645-2449|
Before we go into detail, here is an important legal disclosure.
This review of Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity is an independent review at the request of readers. Intended to explain my perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular model annuity. This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Equitable has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do I receive any compensation for this review. Before purchasing any investment product be sure to do your own due diligence and consult a properly licensed professional, should you have specific questions related to your circumstances. This review is not intended to give specific advice and your adviser may know more about your circumstances to make an appropriate recommendation. All names, marks, and materials used for this review are property of their respective owners.
About Global Atlantic:
Global Atlantic was founded at Goldman Sachs in 2004 and separated as an independent, privately held company in 2013. Moreover, Its success is driven by a unique heritage that combines deep product. And distribution knowledge with leading investment and risk management capabilities, alongside a strong financial foundation.
Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited, through its subsidiaries, offers a broad range of retirement, life and reinsurance products. The Company provides a variety of options to assist in custom strategies. Mainly for protection, accumulation, income, wealth transfer and end-of-life needs.
There are a few ways that Agents might pitch Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity.
- Tax-deferred growth
- Tax-burden protection
- Low fee
Is any of this True?
Global Atlantic Foreinvestors does offer you tax-deferred growth like most variable annuities. They claim to be a low fee variable annuity, however, after reviewing the fees in the prospectus of this annuity we have found that this might not be the case. Keep reading and find out the real fees on it.
They do have tax-burden protection. However, it is a rider that comes with a fee, in some cases it might be worth it, but not in all situations.
Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity Fee Breakdown:
Surrender Value Charges
L-share and C-Share option options have no surrender charge.
Surrender charge for B-Share: 5% max annual withdrawal
|M&E + Administrative Fee||1.00% + $50||1.15% + $50||0.30% – 0.50% + $50|
|Registered Investment Advisor Withdrawal Fee (optional L-Share)||0%||0%||1.25%|
|Fund Facilitation Fee||0.50%||0.50%||0.50%|
|Fund Expense Fee||0.24% –2.37%||0.24% –2.37%||0.36% –2.37%|
|Earnings Protection Benefit Rider||0.50%||0.50%||0.50%|
|Lifetime Spending Account Rider||1.00%||1.00%||1.00%|
|Aprox. Fees Without Riders||2.7%||2.85%||3.25%|
|Aprox. Fees With Riders||4.2%||4.35%||4.75%|
How does Foreinvestor Choice Variable Annuity Work?
The Global Atlantic Foreinvestor Choice is a deferred variable annuity. So this means the gains you accumulate during the annuity period are not going to be taxed upon withdrawal. However, most annuities work this way, so what makes this one more appealing than other ones? if there’s the case? Before answering this question lets see how this annuity works.
This Variable Annuity has 3 different fund options that you can choose to invest: 1) B-Shares 2) C-Shares 3) and L-Shares.
This is a type of share that is available to buy in mutual funds. Usually, in a variable annuity this type of shares have a higher surrender charge. Also the fees might be much higher than any other type of shares.
Typically, this type of shares doesn’t have a surrender value, however, fees might be higher. Than B-shares and L-shares, which is the case for this variable annuity. The class C Shares are a class of mutual fund and it is, the different between this front-end load type of share is that fee charges are paid at the purchased date and with back-end load assesses charges when investors sell shares.
This type of shares are often found on variable annuities and the purpose of it is to allow investors that are looking to withdraw their money in a shorter period of time. The L-Shares annuities typically have a surrender term of 3-4 years, however, for the Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity, there is no surrender charge if you decide to invest in this type of shares.
Info About B-Shares, C-Shares And L-Shares For This Annuity:
Also, this type of annuity usually comes with a greater M&E fee. However, the agent may try to tell you that this is not the case for this annuity. And it’s the lowest fee one among the three options. But if you look closely at the fees, you can find out that the M&E being the lowest fee of the three does not mean that this one is the lowest fee share class. Because they add you a RIA Fee of 1.25% if you decide to withdraw your funds. So, as you can see this annuity has no clear fees. And you have to be careful since you might be buying this type of shares class because of its low fee. But when you add all the fees it can be the highest one among all options.
The real issue with buying mutual funds in a variable annuity is that usually they come with higher fees. And if you buy them by yourself outside of an annuity. Hence you can look for the same funds that this variable annuity offers and see that they might be lower fee if you buy them separately from this annuity.
Global Atlantic Foreinvestors Choice Variable Annuity Riders
Earnings Protection Benefit Rider
This rider allows the beneficiary to receive a death benefit equal to the contract value plus 35% of contract growth that would help as a tax relief when the money is withdrawn.
For example, if the starting amount of your contract is $100,000 and it has grown to $130,000, by the time of the annuitant death, there’s going to be added an additional 35% on the profits ($30,000) that would be equal to $10,500.
As this has the purpose to act as tax-burden protection, however, what they don’t tell you is that that amount is going to be taxed as well, it is not an after-tax credit. So, after the 35% bonus, the contract value will be $140,500, assuming that the income tax is the same as the bonus (35%) the final amount received by the beneficiary will be $91,325, that means that it would be protecting you from about $10,825 ($91,325 – minus 35% of annuity contract value which is $80,500) or 8.33% in income tax savings.
However, it is important to remember that you have to add the fee chargers in case you buy this rider which is just 0.5% per year, that would be approx. $2,600 in case the person died at year 5 of the contract. So, the real benefit of this rider would be $8,225 which is still a good option in case you have this annuity. Also remember that in the case that there is no growth in the annuity contract, this rider will be useless, also any withdrawals made prior to the death will affect the numbers.
While Lifetime Spending Account Rider
This Rider is an optional withdrawal benefit that allows you to have a structured payout with integrated longevity insurance, or in other words lifetime annual payments. While you have to keep in mind that the payments are not fixed, and they may fluctuate based on the performance of your contract value. Also, any withdrawal made will affect the lifetime benefit of this rider.
This Annuity works Best:
- Different share annuity classes
- Tax-burden protection option
- Tax-deferred growth.
- Optional Lifetime Benefit
This Annuity Works Worst:
- Clear and Honest Fees
- Those who need liquidity.
- Principal Protection
Hence, not to miss the summary.
After reviewing the Global Atlantic Foreinvestor Choice Variable Annuity, so we can say that it is not a low fee. As they claimed it to be. However, it has a good option rider that you might be reconsidered buying. In case you have this annuity with a surrender schedule. Annuities are a long-term commitment. In some cases, it makes sense to have one, but not in every case.
It is important that you do your research before buying an annuity. That’s why we encourage you to contact a Certified Financial Planner. Who can run the numbers for you and show you different scenarios. Thus you can use from to spend peaceful retirement without the hardship of worrying. So no thoughts of how high fees will affect your retirement income.