You may be wondering why the former American Express annuity program has a different name. This is because the American Express Financial Advisors decided to adopt the name Ameriprise Financial to handle the company’s financial services and financial planning business. Ameriprise Financial started operating on August 1, 2005. Under the umbrella of Ameriprise Financial is another brand called RiverSource. This brand handles the annuity, insurance, asset management and outside distribution.
You may be asking, what is an annuity anyway? It is a financial product that you buy either by lump sum or in regular installments that you can withdraw upon its maturity. Your money earns interest and can provide you with a steady cash flow when you have retired. The payout can be structured to suit your individual preference.
1. There are several types of annuities being sold by RiverSource such as deferred annuities, immediate annuities, variable annuities and fixed annuities. All have terms and conditions on when you can withdraw your investment. All are geared to provide you with a steady income after you have retired. Do note that these are considered income and therefore taxable, after you have withdrawn your funds, much like an IRA.
2. Verify what are the withdrawal provisions and conditions of your annuity contract before making your claim as this will impact on your original investment. For example, if your annuity has a SecureSource®20 or a SecureSource Stages® rider, any withdrawal that you make while the annuity is in the waiting period will set your benefit values to zero for the length of time it will take for your plan to mature. Your benefit amounts will be re-established based on the value of your contract at that time once the waiting period ends.
3. Fill up a withdrawal form for the amount you want to claim. You can either make a partial withdrawal or a full withdrawal.
4. If it is a full withdrawal, send the original request form by mail, with your original signature affixed to the request form to:
RiverSource Life Insurance Company
829 Ameriprise Financial Center, Minneapolis, MN 55474
5. Partial withdrawals for Required Minimum Distribution apply to Traditional, Inherited IRAs and SEPs. If you have a fixed contract, you can make partial withdrawals on interest that your plan has earned.
6. You can also set up a Systematic Withdrawal Option by filling up a form. You have some withdrawal options to choose from. A systematic withdrawal means that you are setting up a specified monthly amount to be withdrawn from your plan. You can choose a fix amount to be received monthly. If this exceeds your free withdrawal limit, a withdrawal fee will be charged. You can also choose to withdraw only the interest earnings subject to the plan’s terms or you can elect to avail of the penalty-free withdrawals by getting just the minimum amount monthly.
There are several types of withdrawals that you can avail of when your RiverSource annuity plan has matured. Be sure to consult with your financial advisor to help you draw up a withdrawal strategy that will work best for your or your heirs. Bear in mind that your investment is tax deferred until you start withdrawing funds from it.