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Variable Annuity Calculator

Contributing to a variable annuity creates long term tax-deferred growth. Use this calculator to see how a variable annuity might fit into your retirement plan.

Your variable annuity could be worth ANNUITY_TOTAL_AF_CHARGE at retirement.

According to your inputs, your variable annuity could be worth ANNUITY_TOTAL_BF_TAX at retirement. SURRENDER_INFO If, at that time, you withdrew the entire amount, the balance after taxes would be ANNUITY_TOTAL_AF_TAX. If you had put this savings into a taxable account it would be worth TOTAL_TAXABLE at retirement. **GRAPH** It is important to note that you only pay taxes on the amount you withdraw, the remaining balance will still earn interest that is tax-deferred. Very few people need to withdraw the entire balance in one lump sum. By making withdrawals gradually, or by making use of certain loan provisions available to many annuities, you can further increase the value of this tax-deferred investment.
Variable Annuity Results
Total contributionsTOTAL_CONTRIBUTIONS
Annuity total before taxesANNUITY_TOTAL_BF_TAX
Annuity total after surrender chargesANNUITY_TOTAL_AF_CHARGE
Annuity total after taxesANNUITY_TOTAL_AF_TAX
Total if this were a taxable accountTOTAL_TAXABLE

How is this different than an IRA?

A variable annuity is an investment product designed to provide long term, tax-deferred savings. Over a period of years, a variable annuity can create sizable tax savings. In this respect an annuity is very similar to an IRA.

With a variable annuity you do not receive a tax deduction on the money you deposit, but you don't pay taxes on any interest earned until you begin making withdrawals. This is similar to making non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA. This is considerably less attractive than contributing to a Roth IRA. Unlike IRAs (both Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs) there are no annual contribution limits or income limits. Generally speaking, it is usually to your advantage to maximize your IRA contributions before you contribute to a variable annuity.

Your input values

Input Summary
Starting balanceSTARTING_BALANCE
Annual contributionANNUAL_CONTRIBUTION
Current ageCURRENT_AGE
Years until retirementYEARS_UNTIL_RETIREMENT
Age of retirementAGE_OF_RETIREMENT
Expected rate of returnRATE_OF_RETURN
Current tax rateCURRENT_TAX_RATE
Retirement tax rateRETIREMENT_TAX_RATE

Variable annuity balances by year


Variable Annuity Calculator Definitions

Variable annuity
A variable annuity is an insurance product designed to provide long-term, tax-deferred savings. You do not receive a tax deduction on the money you deposit, however, you pay no taxes until you begin making withdrawals. There are no annual contribution limits or income limits. A variable annuity could be a good option if you wish to increase your tax-deferred savings. This calculator assumes that you make your contribution at the beginning of each year.

Variable annuity contracts will have different rules, restrictions and expenses that will vary by insurance company and by product within an insurance company. To fully understand a variable annuity, make sure you fully understand all options, restrictions and expenses for your specific variable annuity before you enter into such a contract. This calculator is not designed to describe a specific insurance product and should be used as a general illustration of the tax-deferred feature of a variable annuity.

Starting balance
Initial amount to contribute to your annuity. The starting balance is assumed to be contributed immediately and beginning earning a return.
Surrender charges
Surrender charges are a percent of the annuity balance you will be charged if you withdraw your annuity balance early. The actual surrender charges vary widely from annuity to annuity. Make sure to check with your investment adviser if you are unsure of the surrender charges that may apply to your particular annuity.
Current age
Your current age.
Withdrawal age
Age you wish to start taking money out of the annuity. This calculator assumes that the year you begin withdrawals, you do not make any contributions to your annuity. So if you begin at age 65, your last contribution would have happened when you were actually age 64.
Annual contribution
The amount you will contribute to your variable annuity each year.
Expected rate of return
The annual rate of return you expect for your variable annuity. This calculator assumes that your return is compounded annually and your contributions are made at the beginning of each year. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500® (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending Dec. 1st, 2015, had an annual compounded rate of return of 7.76%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 through to Dec. 2015, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.5% (source: Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that Separate Account investment funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Insurance products may additionally include mortality, expense risk charges, cost of insurance, administrative, and surrender charges that will have a significant impact on the total rate of return for the investment.

Current tax rate
Your current marginal tax rate you expect to pay on your taxable investments. Use the table below to assist you in estimating your federal tax rate.
Filing Status and Income Tax Rates 2016*
Tax RateMarried Filing Jointly or Qualified Widow(er)SingleHead of HouseholdMarried Filing Separately
10%$0 - $18,550$0 - $9,275$0 - $13,250$0 - $9,275
15%$18,550 - $75,300$9,275 - $37,650$13,250 - $50,400$9,275 - $37,650
25%$75,300 - $151,900$37,650 - $91,150$50,400 - $130,150$37,650 - $75,950
28%$151,900 - $231,450$91,150 - $190,150$130,150 - $210,800$75,950 - $115,725
33%$231,450 -$413,350$190,150 - $413,350$210,800 - $413,350$115,725 - $206,675
35%$413,350 -$466,950$413,350 - $415,050$413,350 - $441,000$206,675 - $233,475
39.6%Over$466,950 Over$415,050 Over$441,000 Over$233,475
*Caution: Do not use these tax rate schedules to figure 2015 taxes. Use only to figure 2016 estimates. Source: 2015 Rev. Proc. 2015-61
Retirement tax rate
The marginal tax rate you expect to pay on your investments at retirement.
Years until retirement
Number of years before retirement.
Annuity total before taxes
Total value of your variable annuity at retirement before taxes.
Annuity total after taxes
Total value of your variable annuity at retirement after taxes are paid.
Total taxable account
Total value of your savings, at retirement, if your annual contribution is deposited into a taxable account.

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