What is a variable annuity?

Variable annuities are long-term, tax-deferred investments designed for retirement, involve investment risks and may lose value. Earnings are taxable as ordinary income when distributed. Individuals may be subject to a 10% additional tax for withdrawals before age 59½ unless an exception to the tax is met. Add-on benefits are available for an extra charge in addition to the ongoing fees and expenses of the variable annuity.  There is no guarantee that a variable annuity with an add-on living benefit will provide sufficient retirement income.