GCU offers fixed, deferred annuities as well as Single Premium Immediate Annuities, and a unique, no time limit Option A Contract. All GCU Deferred Annuities share the benefits of:
• Principal backed by the GCU asset base.
• NO sales charges paid by the annuitant.
• NO annual fees.
• NO membership fees.
• 100% of deposits are credited to the annuitant’s account.
• No self-management of funds.
• Lifetime and retirement income options.
• Most may be used as qualified plans.
• Various options available upon maturity.
At present, GCU offers the following annuity contracts
1. Option A
2. One Plus Four
3. Triple Advantage
4. Five Year Advantage
5. Flex 8
6. Option B Annuities (SPIA’s)
Because GCU is a “Membership Organization”, you’ll see many benefits (some contractual, and some provided by decree of its Board of Directors).
• Death Benefit Waiver: many companies DO NOT waive surrender charges if the annuitant passes away while the contract is still in its surrender charge period! GCU offers the DBW on the One Plus Four, Triple Advantage, Five Year Advantage, and Flex 8 annuities!
• Long Term Care Waiver: By Board Decree on the 5 and 8 year annuities. Annuitant must provide evidence of being in a qualifying LTC facility. Home care is not included in this. Still, a MAJOR selling point!
• Terminal Illness Waiver: Again, by Board Decree on the 5 and 8 year annuities. Diagnosis by a licensed physician that the annuitant has less than 12 months to live.
• Annuitization Waiver: The annuitant may convert to a GCU Option B SPIA during the surrender charge period. GCU will waive any applicable surrender charges provided that the SPIA is for a period of 5 years or longer.
• Please be aware that in cases where a benefit is not contractual, but is by “Board Decree”, those benefits could be discontinued in the future on a “go forward” basis. However, contracts sold at the time that these benefits were still in effect will NEVER lose that benefit, and GCU will honor it for the life of the contract. The benefits that are specific to each contract are clearly detailed on the Annuity Disclosure Form that accompanies each annuity application.
• Due to the way its by-laws are structured with regard to membership, GCU contracts do not permit co-annuitants on a deferred annuity application. Co-annuitants are possible with the Option B Single Premium Immediate Annuities where a Joint & Survivor settlement option has been elected. (In these cases, the primary annuitant on the Joint and Survivor SPIA is the GCU Member.) Also, the annuitant MUST be a person.
• In situations where another company’s annuity is set up with co-annuitants, be aware that such an account CANNOT be transferred into GCU. It would require the existing account to be changed to a single annuitant PRIOR to being transferred to GCU. This would also hold true for jointly owned contracts. They must be changed to a single-owner contract prior to being transferred to GCU. Existing contracts need to transfer (1035 Exchange) to GCU on a “like to like” basis.
• GCU membership is extended ONLY to the annuitant/insured, and never to any assignee (owner). Membership is individual and does NOT extend to any family member. In the case of a husband and wife, if they both wished to be members, it would require 2 separate contracts with each listed as the annuitant/insured on their respective contract.
Some GCU Annuities have age limitations. You’ll see those issue ages in the individual product descriptions. In each case, GCU will go by the “age at LAST birthday”. Therefore, a client who is 80 years, 11 months old, is, for qualification sake, still 80, and thus eligible for the Flex 8. All life insurance is based on the “age closest birthday”. Hence, someone that turned 80 on February 1st, is rated as being 81 on August 1st that year.
Single Premium Immediate Annuities are calculated on the “age closest birthday” method.
Maximum Deposits – New Applications (All Maximums are Per Annuitant, per Calendar Year)
Option A, One Plus Four, and Triple Advantage (Qualified AND Non-qualified)
GCU has imposed maximum contributions – on a COMBINED basis - for deposits (per calendar year) into the Option A, 1+4, and 3 Year contracts. An annuitant who puts the maximum annual deposit limit into any ONE of these 3 contracts would NOT be able to add to, or open another Option A, 1+4, or 3 year contract during that calendar year.
Five Year Advantage and Flex 8 – Non Qualified Accounts
Maximum annual calendar year contributions for these two contracts are set each year, and subject to change at any time, by the GCU Executive Finance Board
Five Year Advantage and Flex 8 – Qualified Accounts (Traditional IRA, Simple, SEP)
At this time, the GCU has placed NO restriction on the amount that can be deposited into a qualified Five Year Advantage or Flex 8 Contract.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DEPOSIT MAXIMUMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME BASED ON THE BUSINESS NEEDS OF THE ORGANIZATION.
All GCU Deferred Annuities, with the exception of the Option A, may be used for qualified accounts. (Based on age qualifications) GCU will not, under any circumstance, accept qualified money into an Option A.
401K, 403B Plans, existing Traditional IRA’s, etc., will transfer into a GCU Annuity as a Traditional IRA, and will require that the annuitant receive and sign a Traditional IRA Disclosure.
Roth IRA’s may be transferred or started new, and will require that the annuitant receive and sign a Roth IRA Disclosure.
With the exception of the GCU Option A, all other deferred annuities may also be used for:
1. Simple IRA’s
2. SEP IRA’s
These qualified plans do NOT require a disclosure form to be signed by the client as part of the GCU Annuity application process.
Conversions of a Traditional IRA to a Roth
1. Annuitants should ALWAYS check with their Tax Advisor PRIOR to performing this conversion.
2. Existing Traditional IRA’s
a. Currently with GCU
i. May be converted to a Roth. Conversion requires a new application, Roth Disclosure, and all necessary supporting forms.
ii. The Roth account will go into a NEW CONTRACT at the current new issue crediting rate for that particular deferred contract.
b. Currently with another company
i. You can NOT transfer an existing Traditional IRA account from another company into a GCU Annuity as a Roth.
ii. In the case of a client who has an existing Traditional IRA with another company, and wishes to convert the account to a Roth with GCU, their options are:
1. Convert the existing Traditional to a Roth with the current company, and then transfer the Roth to GCU.
2. Transfer the existing Traditional IRA to GCU as a Traditional IRA, and then convert the GCU Traditional IRA contract to a Roth.
a. This would require TWO applications being taken
i. One for the Traditional IRA transfer.
ii. One for the Roth conversion.
b. Both applications would require a qualified plan disclosure form.
First reporting of a death claim may be done by contacting our Member Service Team:
• By Phone: 855-306-0607
• By Email: MemberServices@gcuusa.com
Claims form may also be found at your Agent Portal, in the Forms Section.
GCU does permit the continuation of an existing annuity (with the exception of Option A’s) in cases where the spouse is the beneficiary. Continuation is only available to the surviving spouse.
Power of Attorney
All POA’s MUST be approved by GCU Counsel PRIOR to a contract being produced, or any contract changes being made. GCU will submit them to their legal department, and then advise if they are or are not acceptable.
• By Mail: Attention Member Services
• By Fax: 724-495-3421, Attn: Member Services
• By Email: MemberServices@gcuusa.com
(Terms of Service and sale are subject to change)