Qualified vs. Non-Qualified Funds

Source of Funds - Qualified vs. Non-Qualified

The term Qualified (when applied to Immediate Annuities) refers to the tax status of the source of funds used for purchasing the annuity. These are premium dollars which until now have "qualified" for IRS exemption from income taxes. The whole payment received each month from a qualified annuity is taxable as income (since income taxes have not yet been paid on these funds). Qualified annuities may either come from corporate-sponsored retirement plans (such as Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution Plans), Lump Sum distributions from such retirement plans, or from such individual retirement arrangements as IRAs, SEPs, and Section 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, or Section 1035 annuity or life insurance exchanges. Generally speaking, insurance companies use male/female (sex-distinct) rates to price qualified annuities in situations where the purchaser and/or owner is a corporation. When the annuity is being purchased by an individual, annuity rates are generally unisex. Some states, however, require that unisex rates be used for all qualified annuities.

Non-qualified immediate annuities are purchased with monies which have not enjoyed any tax-sheltered status and for which taxes have already been paid. A part of each monthly payment is considered a return of previously taxed principal and therefore excluded from taxation. The amount excluded from taxes is calculated by an Exclusion Ratio, which appears on most annuity quotation sheets. Non-qualified annuities may be purchased by employers for situations such as deferred compensation or supplemental income programs, or by individuals investing their after-tax savings accounts or money market accounts, CD’s, proceeds from the sale of a house, business, mutual funds, other investments, or from an inheritance or proceeds from a life insurance settlement. While most insurance companies apply their male/female (sex-distinct) tables to non-qualified annuities, some states require the use of unisex rates for both males and females.