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401(k) plan 
A savings program that allows employees to set aside tax-deferred income for retirement, thereby reducing current federal taxes.

403(b) plan
A retirement savings program, similar to a 401(k), offered to employees of certain employer groups, such as public education institutions or nonprofit organizations.

457 plan
A retirement savings program that allows state and local government employees to set aside tax-deferred income for retirement.

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Accelerated death benefit
A life insurance policy benefit that allows policyholders to receive part of their death benefit in advance if they're diagnosed with a terminal illness. Also called terminal illness benefit.

Accumulated value
The amount of an investment plus any interest earned by the money.

Accumulation period
The period when contract owners make contributions to their annuity and build up its value. 

After-tax dollars
The amount of money left after federal income taxes have been withheld.

A person entitled to receive payments from an annuity.

The conversion of money in an annuity into a stream of regular lifetime income payments.

A financial product designed to pay out a series of periodic payments in exchange for the owner's payment of a premium.

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The Barrier only provides protection if losses are within the Indexed Interest Barrier at the end of each interest term. If losses exceed 15% at the end of each interest term, the owner will experience the full amount of the loss.

The person or legal entity named to receive a death benefit.

The Buffer represents the maximum negative Index Return that will not result in a negative Adjusted Index Return for a given Interest Term. It provides limited protection against negative Indexed Interest. The Buffer does not protect you from any Indexed Account Charge.

Buffer Plus Rate
The Buffer Plus Rate percentage is added to any negative Index Return, which could result in positive interest. If the Index Return is positive or zero, interest credited equals the Buffer Rate percentage plus any index gain above the Buffer Rate percentage subject to the Par Rate or Cap shown.


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The Cap represents the maximum Adjusted Index Return that can be credited under an Indexed Account for an Interest Term. It limits the potential positive Indexed Interest that may be credited during an Interest Term. For any Indexed Account with both an Indexed Interest Cap and an Indexed Participation Rate, the Adjusted Index Return will be limited by the Indexed Interest Cap.

Cash surrender value 
The amount you will receive if you surrender your contract. The Cash Surrender Value equals your Contract Value minus any surrender charge and any applicable taxes payable by us and not previously deducted.

Cash value
See cash surrender value.

Certificate of insurance*
A document that is provided to each person insured by a group insurance plan that describes (1) the coverage that the master group insurance contract provides and (2) the group insured's rights under the contract.

(1) A provision in a medical expense insurance policy requiring the insured to pay a percentage of all allowable expenses remaining after the insured pays the deductible. (2) A basic type of proportional reinsurance, suitable for life, annuity, health, disability income, and long-term care coverages, in which a direct writer and a reinsurer proportionately share the obligations of a policy, including paying the death benefit and the nonforfeiture values, and establishing the policy reserve.

Contingent beneficiaries
The person or entity named to receive a death benefit in the event that the primary beneficiary is unable to receive it.

Convertible term insurance policy
A term life insurance policy that can be converted to permanent insurance.

A specified, fixed amount that managed health care plan members must pay for specified medical services at the time the services are received.

Current allocation
Current allocations as of last renewal.

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Death benefit 
The amount that will be paid to named beneficiaries upon death of a contract owner, or in the case of a non-natural owner, the annuitant.

A flat dollar amount of eligible expenses that an insured must pay before the insurer begins making any benefit payments under an insurance policy. (1) In medical expense insurance policies, the deductible usually applies to the total of eligible medical expenses incurred during a period of time, such as a year. Other types of policies, such as property-casualty coverages, may have a per incident deductible. (2) In stop-loss insurance, the dollar amount of claims that an employer must pay for any individual in a stated period of time before the stop-loss insurer reimburses the employer for any excess amount. Also known as an individual deductible or a specific deductible.

Deferred annuity
A type of annuity that delays payments until the contract owner chooses to receive them.

Disability income insurance (DI insurance)
Insurance designed to compensate an insured person for a portion of income lost because of a disabling injury or illness. Benefit payments are made either weekly or monthly for a specific period during the insured's disability. 

Payments made from deferred annuities during the distribution period.

Dollar cost averaging
An investment strategy that seeks to minimize risk by investing a fixed amount at regular intervals, regardless of the market's ups and downs.

Dual Trigger Rate
The rate of Indexed Interest that is credited to an Indexed Account at the end of an Interest Term if the Index Return is positive, zero, or negative within the Buffer.

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Early withdrawals
Withdrawals from a deferred annuity made before the owner reaches age 591/2.

Electronic funds transfer (EFT)
The transfer of funds between accounts by electronic means, such as wire transfer, ATM and computer.

See rider.

Evidence of insurability
Documentation of an insurance applicant's physical fitness.

Explanation of benefits (EOB)*
In medical expense insurance, a document that may be sent by an insurer to a patient explaining what was covered for a medical service, and how payment amount and patient responsibility amount were determined.

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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)*
Federal legislation in the United States that requires companies with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius to grant eligible employees an unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks for family and medical emergencies, including childbirth, adoption, and illness of a child, spouse, parent, or the employee.

Financial planner
An investment professional who helps clients achieve their long-range financial goals.

Fiscal year
A 12-month accounting period over which a company budgets its spending.

Fixed annuity
An annuity that guarantees to pay a fixed amount of money for a specified period of time.

Flexible premium
A premium payment method that allows the amount and frequency of payments to be varied at the payer's option.

The Floor limits the losses that the customer could experience to 10% at the end of each interest term. Losses in excess of 10% are assumed by Symetra Life Insurance Company. If the index has fallen by 10% or less, the indexed account value will decline by that percentage.

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Grace period
The length of time following the premium due date that payment may be made without penalty.

Guaranteed death benefit
The minimum amount that will be paid upon the insured's death regardless of the policy’s cash value at that time.

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)*
U.S. federal legislation that sets forth requirements that employer-sponsored group insurance plans, insurers, and managed care organizations must meet in providing individual and group health insurance.

Health savings account (HSA)*
A tax-advantaged account in which an individual can accumulate money to pay for qualified medical expenses.

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Immediate annuity
See income annuity.

Income annuity
An annuity purchased with a lump sum designed to provide a guaranteed income stream for a certain number of years or for life. Also called immediate annuity.

Indexed Account Base Value
For each Indexed Account in which you invest, your Base Value is an amount used to calculate (i) your Indexed Account Value on the first Business Day of the Interest Term; (ii) your Interim Value on each other Business Day of the Interest Term (except the last Business Day); and (iii) your Indexed Interest on the last Business Day of the Interest Term. Your Base Value is not a cash value under the Contract.

Indexed Account Value Change
The Indexed Account Value Change represents the change in the interim value from the start of the interest term to the previous business day. Calculates as [Current Indexed Account Balance ÷ Indexed Account Base Value] - 1.

Indexed account value ($)
The indexed account value represents the daily value of the Indexed Account. This value is used in calculating your Indexed Account Value on any Business Day during an Interest Term except for the first and last Business Days of the Interest Term.

Individual retirement arrangement (IRA)
A tax-deferred savings plan used by individuals to earmark a portion of their income for retirement. 

In-network provider*
A term used in the United States to describe medical care providers in a managed care plan who have a contract with the insurer to accept rates discounted from the "usual and customary" charges the insurer pays to out-of-network providers.

The person or organization for which an insurance policy is issued.

The insurance company that promises to pay losses or benefits to the insured.

See individual retirement arrangement.

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Joint life insurance
Insurance that covers the lives of two or more persons with the death benefit payable on the first death, the second death or upon each death.  

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Key person
Any person who possesses a unique ability essential to the success of a business and whose death or disability would cause the business a significant financial loss.

Key-person insurance
Insurance that a company purchases to protect itself from financial losses that occur when a key employee dies or becomes disabled.

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The termination of an insurance policy because of nonpayment of premiums.

Level term life insurance
An insurance policy with a premium amount that remains the same throughout the term.

Limited benefit medical insurance
A medical plan that offers a limited or reduced set of benefits compared to major health plans.

Long-term disability income insurance
Insurance that provides disability income benefits after short-term disability income benefits terminate. 

Lump sum
A single payment for the total amount due, as opposed to several smaller payments or installments.

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Minimum distributions
See required minimum distributions (RMDs).

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Participation Rate
The Participation Rate represents the percentage of any positive Index Return that will be credited under an Indexed Account for a given Interest Term. For any Indexed Account with both an Indexed Interest Cap and Indexed Participation Rate, the Adjusted Index Return will be limited by the Indexed Interest Cap.

Pension plan
A plan under which an employer or employee organization makes regular contributions into an account to provide covered employees with income that begins at retirement.

Period-certain annuity
An annuity that guarantees benefit payments for a designated period of time, regardless of whether the annuitant lives or dies.

Permanent life insurance
Life insurance that provides coverage throughout the insured’s lifetime, provided premiums are paid.

In group insurance, the employer or other organization that decides what kind of coverage to purchase for the group, negotiates the terms of the group insurance contract, and enters into the group insurance contract with the insurer.

Policy term
The period of time during which a term life insurance policy provides coverage.

The ability of employees to retain insurance coverage when they leave the previous employer's benefit plan.

A collection of investments owned by an individual or organization designed to meet their financial goals.

Pre-existing condition*
(1) For purposes of individual health insurance, an injury or sickness that occurred or manifested itself within a specified period before the policy was issued and that was not disclosed on the application for insurance. (2) For group health insurance, a condition for which an individual received medical care during a specified period, such as three months, immediately prior to the effective date of coverage.

(1) In insurance, a specified amount of money an insurer charges in exchange for the coverage provided by an insurance policy or annuity contract. (2) In reference to bond prices, the amount by which a bond's current market price exceeds its par value.

Pre-tax contributions
Contributions to a tax-advantaged account made with money on which income taxes haven't yet been paid.

Primary beneficiary
Person(s) who is first in line to receive the annuity death benefit.

The amount an insurance company pays to settle an insurance policy.

A legal document used by companies offering securities for sale that contains most of the information included in the issuer’s registration statement.

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Qualified retirement plan
A retirement plan established by employers for their employees that must meet complex legal requirements to be eligible for federal income tax benefits.

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Required minimum distributions (RMDs)
The amount that Traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRA owners and qualified plan participants must begin withdrawing from their retirement accounts.

Remaining Required Minimum Distribution
Remaining required minimum distribution value after any withdrawals have been taken this calendar year.

Return Lock
A feature that allows you to lock an indexed account value during the interest term, based on the current value as of the Return Lock Date or a predefined target. The actual return lock value may be higher or lower than the current value or target.

An amendment or addition made to a contract that expands or limits its benefits. Also called an endorsement.

Risk tolerance
The degree of financial risk that an investor is willing to handle.

Roth IRA
An individual retirement arrangement (IRA) featuring nondeductible annual contributions and tax-free growth.

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Single-premium policies
A life insurance policy or annuity contract purchased by payment of a lump sum.

Stop loss insurance
Insurance purchased by employers with self-funded health plans that protects them against potentially catastrophic medical claims.

Surrender charge or withdrawal charge
A charge imposed for prematurely withdrawing all or part of an annuity.

Surrender value
See cash surrender value.

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Tax-deferred basis
Investment income on which taxes aren't paid until money is withdrawn.

Terminal illness benefit
See accelerated death benefit.

Term life insurance
Life insurance that provides coverage for a specified number of years.

Third-party administrator (TPA)
An organization that administers group benefit plans for employers.

Trigger Rate
If at the end of the Interest Term, the Index Return is 0% or greater, the Adjusted Index Return equals the Indexed Interest Trigger Rate. If the Index Return exceeds the Indexed Interest Trigger Rate percentage, your Adjusted Index Return will equal the lower Trigger Rate percentage. The Indexed Interest Trigger Rate limits the potential positive Indexed Interest that may be credited for a given Interest Term.

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Universal life (UL) insurance
A form of permanent life insurance that offers flexible premiums, adjustable death benefits and the ability to make withdrawals from the cash value.

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Variable annuity
An annuity under which the accumulated value and periodic payments fluctuate according to the value of underlying investments.

Variable life insurance
Life insurance with payment amounts based on the performance of the underlying investments chosen by the policyholder.

Variable universal life (VUL) insurance
Life insurance that combines aspects of variable life insurance and universal life insurance. The death benefit and cash value can fluctuate based on the performance of the underlying investments.

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Withdrawal charge
See surrender charge.

Withdrawal charge for a full withdrawal
Charge for fully surrendering the annuity during the withdrawal charge period. This does not apply to the free withdrawal amount available.

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Terms with an asterisk come from the LOMA Glossary © 2023 and appear on this Site by special permission of LL Global, Inc. and are subject to LOMA’s Terms and Conditions. LL Global, Inc. makes no representation or endorsement, express or implied, regarding this Site, its owner or its products or services. LL Global, Inc. is not related to the owner of this Site in any way and use of this Glossary does not indicate a sponsorship, endorsement or affiliation with or by LL Global, Inc.

Life insurance and annuities are issued and employee benefit plans are insured by Symetra Life Insurance Company, 777 108th Avenue NE, Suite 1200, Bellevue, WA 98004, and are not available in all U.S. states or any U.S. territory.