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L Share Annuity Class

L Share Annuity Class

What Is the L Share Annuity Class?

The L share annuity class is a rendition of a variable annuity that starts paying out sooner than most yet has somewhat high administrative costs. It is intended for investors who need to have the option to start pulling out funds from an account after a nearly short period of time. Other share classes offered by variable annuities are A share, B share, C share, O share, and X share annuity classes.

How the L Share Annuity Class Works

A variable annuity, as a general rule, is a long-term investment vehicle set up by an insurance company for an investor planning for retirement. The investor pays an annual premium fee, which is invested in any combination of assets like stocks, bonds, and money market funds.

The wealth that gathers from these investments is tax-deferred until the money is removed, and the value of the variable annuity is related with the performance of the underlying investments.

Notwithstanding the premium paid, the annuitant — or purchaser of the annuity — likewise pays a mortality risk and expense (M&E) fee to repay the insurance company for the risk that the annuitant will outlast their life expectancy. The insurance company makes guaranteed annuitized periodic payments to the annuity investor.

Variable annuities are regulated by state insurance regulators, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Special Considerations

The L share is generally valuable to investors who need access to their investment funds after just four years without being punished. Think about the accompanying model. A standard variable annuity with a $100,000 initial investment offers a growth rate of 10% north of five years.

The surrender period is eight years under the standard contract with annual MEA fees of 1.1%. Following five years, the investment develops to $153,157.90, however the annuitant can't access the funds without being punished for an additional three years.

An annuitant with a L share annuity class with a four-year surrender period and annual MEA fees of 1.90% will see that the investment value following five years is $147,614.30, lower than the standard annuity contract above. However, the annuitant can pull out a portion of these funds during this time, which wouldn't be imaginable under another annuity class. So the annuitant will pay higher administrative fees however has prior access to the income.

Advantages and Disadvantages of L Share Annuity Class

The L share annuity class offers a few advantages versus other annuity classes, including prior access to funds and no sales charge.


There are different share classes available in variable annuities, one of which is the L share class. The L share class contrasts from other annuity classes in terms of surrender charges, administrative and expense fees, and the M&E fee schedule. The surrender period is the period of time during which an annuitant may not pull out funds from the account. In any case, a surrender charge or penalty will be applied.

The L share class has a surrender period of three to four years, which shows that the owner might begin pulling out money following three or four years, depending on the financial establishment's contractual agreement. On the other hand, the average surrender period for a variable annuity is six to eight years, which makes the L share annuity an advantageous option.

One more advantage of the L share class is that it doesn't have an upfront sales charge like the An and O share classes. The front-end sales charge associated with A shares is a fee paid when share purchases are made and is deducted from the investment amount of the portfolio. O share classes charge a premium-based sales charge equivalent to a fixed percentage of the invested amount of an account.


In any case, there are disadvantages to L share annuity classes. L share annuity classes offer a somewhat higher mortality risk and expense (M&E) charge compared to other variable annuity classes. The M&E charge is a percentage of the annuitant's account value and is a continuous cost that proceeds with even past the surrender period.

The higher the percentage, the more modest the value of the investments. M&E charges for variable annuities normally range from 0.9% to 1.95%, with L share class fees in the higher range of that reach.

The administrative and distributive fees are the charges for servicing and distributing annuity payments. A portion of these charges connect with the cost of transferring funds among accounts and the cost of getting ready month to month statements and confirmation reports.

Variable annuity administrative fees range from 0.0% to 0.6% annually with L shares offering the higher percentage of the account value. A few financial institutions consolidate the M&E and administration fees into one and classify the combination as a MEA fee, meaning annual mortality and expense fee and administrative charge.

Different fees that might be charged under the L share annuity class incorporate an annual service charge and fees for special elements like long-term care insurance and a stepped-up death benefit.

Investors must peruse the contractual agreements thoroughly to be aware and comprehend what costs will be associated with their annuity accounts.


  • L share annuities are a class of variable annuity that takes into consideration shorter surrender periods, regularly 3-4 years.
  • Other variable annuity classes regularly have surrender periods of up to at least 10 years.
  • Nonetheless, the benefit of prior access to pull out funds from the annuity without penalty accompanies higher administrative charges.