Will I Pay Taxes if I Exchange My Annuity for a Better One?

Financial PlanningIn my 33 year career, my clients have always been inquisitive of the tax consequences of an annuity exchange, or moving money from one account to another. As we review current and prospective clients’ annuity contracts and they come to realize that there may be a better solution, they all seem to want to know the answer to that all important question of “ Will I pay taxes if I exchange my annuity for a better one?” My answer is always the same: “No!”

Even though the IRS always seems to be taking taxes, it has allowed for all of us using section code 1035 of the Internal Revenue Code to transfer one annuity for another without incurring a tax situation.

Although it is a non-taxable event, we will always want to ask ourselves if it is a good move in the first place. Some of the questions we would want to ask to determine the answer to that question might be the following: Is there a better rate? Is there more upside potential in the crediting strategies of the new contract? If I need a guaranteed income in the future, does it have an income rider on the new policy? And ultimately we will need to ask if the new surrender charge period will adversely affect us?

It is also important to remember that even though it is tax deferred now after this exchange, there will be tax one day as you withdraw it or if passed onto your beneficiaries they will pay the taxes on the gain. The new contract carries on the old bases of the old contract.