A variable annuity is a long-term contract between you and your insurance company that combines investment and protection features into one financial product, designed to help provide you with retirement income.

Benefits of a variable annuity:

  • Tax Deferral  - Ability to grow your assets tax deferred
  • Professional Management - Access to professional investment management
  • Lifetime Income - Ability to create income that's predictable, sustainable and potentially increasing through optional benefits 
  • Protection - Help protect your retirement assets from potential market downturns 
  • Legacy - Death Benefit and Legacy options that allow you to determine how assets are distributed to your beneficiaries.

Purchases & Withdrawals

There are two types of variable annuities: qualified or nonqualified. If you purchased it through an IRA or qualified plan it will not provide any additional tax advantages (beyond that of the plan.) Nonqualified annuities avoid income tax fees until distributions are made.

Withdrawals come first from any contract gains and can reduce the death benefit, optional benefits, and contract value. Taxable distributions are subject to ordinary income tax and, if made prior to age 59 1/2, may also be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Certain qualified retirement plans require distributions to begin by age 70 1/2.

When considering an annuity for use in an IRA or other tax-qualified retirement plan, it is important to note that there is no additional tax-deferral benefit, since these plans are already afforded tax-deferred status. Thus, an annuity should only be purchased in an IRA or qualified plan if some of the other features of the annuity are of value, such as access to specific portfolio choices, the ability to have guaranteed payments for life and other guaranteed benefits, and you are willing to incur any additional costs associated with the annuity to receive such benefits. See the prospectus for details.

Products and features may not be available in all states.


Guarantees are dependent on the claims-paying ability of the issuer.

Comments on taxation are based on John Hancock’s understanding of current tax law, which is subject to change. Please consult your tax advisor for guidelines specific to your situation.

Contact your financial advisor or call 800-344-1029 for more information, including product and fund prospectuses that contain complete details on investment objectives, risks, fees, charges, and expenses as well as other information about the investment company, which should be carefully considered. Please read the prospectuses carefully prior to purchasing. The prospectuses contain this and other information on the product and underlying portfolios.



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Annuities are issued and administered by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), Boston, MA, 02116 which is not licensed in New York. John Hancock Distributors LLC, member FINRA, is the principal underwriter and an affiliate of the insurance companies.