Union Plus

Union Plus is brought to you by Union Privilege, established by the AFL-CIO to provide consumer benefits to members and retirees of participating labor unions. Learn More
Don't miss out on valuable offers! Learn about all your eligible benefits by providing your union information Never Show Again Close
Union Plus
Union Benefits Locator

Tell us who you are

Select Your Union

Select Your Occupation

Union Plus Annuity Program

  • print
  • text size +
Union Plus Annuities

The Union Plus Annuity Program Difference:

  • Specially-priced annuities for union members with no agent fees or commissions that help give you more monthly income for every savings dollar.
  • Income Annuities are a reliable and affordable way to help ensure you have enough income to cover living expenses in retirement.
  • Monthly payments are based on fixed annuity payout rates guaranteed by American General Life Insurance Company (AGL) except in New York, where issued by The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (US Life), one of the nation’s leading providers of income annuities.
  • To discuss whether an Income Annuity would make sense for you, call an Annuity Specialist at 1-877-244-1539.
     

Guaranteed Income for Life1


Regular monthly income from a pension and/or Social Security is great, but it may not be enough to cover your essential expenses in retirement. Because of market ups and downs, retirement income from your savings and investments can't always be counted on to fill the gap.

Now there's a way for union members to gain greater income security in retirement through a fixed annuity. Union Plus has arranged a low-cost Income Annuity Program, which allows you to convert a portion of your savings into guaranteed, steady income for the rest of your life.*

1Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance companies. 
*In exchange for the higher income and lifetime guarantees offered by the Income Annuity, you permanently convert principal to an income stream. Guaranteed lifetime income payments are available depending upon option chosen.

 

If you've used this benefit, would you recommend it?

Contact an Annuity Specialist

American General Companies

Call 877-244-1539 (Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET) to speak with an experienced, non-commissioned Annuity Specialist. They’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide a quote.

Program Features

  • Annuities specially-priced for union members with no agent fees or commissions that can give you more monthly income for every savings dollar.
  • Fixed Income Annuities are a reliable and affordable way to help ensure you have enough income to cover living expenses in retirement.
  • Benefit from higher monthly income than your savings might generate outside an annuity.
  • Obtain income immediately, or schedule it to begin when you retire.
  • Choose from payment options that include lifetime income; lifetime income with a survivor benefit; income for a specific period only; a refund of principal if you die early, and inflation protection.

FAQs

How do income annuities work?
An income annuity allows you to permanently convert a portion of your savings (a single, lump-sum premium) into a guaranteed income stream you can't outlive, depending on the option you choose. The Union Plus Program features fixed income annuities whose payments stay level, unless you elect an inflation adjustment or a regular annual increase.

In return for your sum of money (the premium), the insurance company issuing the annuity guarantees to make payments to you and/or your designated beneficiary for a certain amount of time, such as for the rest of your life, your and a loved one's life, or a specified number of years. Income annuities begin making these payments immediately, or within a short period of time.

How much income can I receive from an income annuity?

Four factors determine your annuity income:

  1. The amount of your premium. The more money you put into an income annuity, the more monthly income you'll receive.
  2. Current annuity rates. The higher the rate, the higher your monthly payment will be. This rate is determined when you buy your annuity, based on factors such as the current rates of corporate bonds and long-term Treasuries. Your payment will also include some returned principal, not just interest.
  3. The amount of agent fees and commissions you pay. The Union Plus program eliminates this expense for union members, maximizing your monthly income.
  4. The income option you choose. You can choose guaranteed payments that continue for the rest of your life, your and a loved one's life or for a specified number of years. You may also choose how often you receive annuity payments -- on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis.

For a specific income quote, call 1-877-244-1539. 

How do I know how much reliable monthly income I need?
First add up all your fixed, nondiscretionary monthly expenses, such as mortgage or rent, groceries, insurance, and so on. Then subtract your expected monthly Social Security benefit and/or pension benefit. Whatever remains is spending that needs to be covered by another source of reliable income.

How much of my savings should I consider putting into an annuity?

You'll want to reserve part of your savings for discretionary spending and unexpected needs. Many retirees also want to keep some money invested for growth, either for their own future needs or for a legacy. All in all, it's wise to put no more than 50% of your savings into an income annuity.

What about inflation?
The income annuity provides payments that stay level or you can select either an inflation-adjustment or a fixed annual increase (from 1% to 5%) option. The inflation-adjustment option adjusts the payments (up or down) each year on January 1st for changes in the non-seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index - U ("CPI") as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Or you can select a fixed annual increase option, which will steadily increase your income payment by a fixed 1% to 5% (whichever you select at time of purchase) each year on your annuity anniversary. These are both good ways to help protect your purchasing power from inflation.

Are there other kinds of annuities?
Yes, variable annuities generate income based on the performance of underlying "subaccounts" (specially managed funds) that you select. When your subaccounts are performing well, it's possible that you could earn more than you would with a fixed annuity; but your income might fall drastically in the event of a market downturn. Since people typically wish to avoid income uncertainty in retirement, the Union Plus program features only fixed annuities that provide a guaranteed monthly payment no matter what happens in the market.

Delayed income annuities can provide a guaranteed income stream for as long as you live and also offers a delayed start feature. A delayed start means that you purchase an annuity today but do not begin receiving payments until some time in the future (at least 12 months from the time of purchase).

Deferred annuities are called "deferred" because you generally do not start payments immediately.  There is an accumulation period during which you can either make single or multiple contributions, depending on the type you select.  Withdrawals generally are allowed during the accumulation period although surrender charges may apply.  At the end of your deferral period, you may choose to receive a lump sum payment or you can annuitize by converting the accumulated value into a stream of payments.

American General can provide immediate income annuities, delayed income annuities, and deferred fixed annuities.

Haven't consumer advocates raised concerns about annuities?
The concerns are due to a small number of commissioned agents that use questionable tactics to sell high-expense index and variable annuity products to senior citizens when those particular products were not a suitable investment choice for the individual's financial situation. This scenario does not represent the majority of annuity purchases.

All annuities offered through the Union Plus program are offered with no commission or agent fees, which results in higher monthly income than members may be able to obtain on their own. Additionally, as part of each annuity purchase, you are required to complete a suitability questionnaire to determine whether an annuity is a good fit for your income needs. The annuity contracts also include a "free look" period between 10 and 20 days after purchase.  The contract owner may cancel the contract and receive a full refund during this free look period.

Can I buy an income annuity with savings from my IRA or company retirement plan?
Yes, you can purchase the annuity with tax-deferred assets rolled over from an IRA, a Roth IRA, or a retirement plan such as a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 account. You can also purchase with after-tax money from mutual fund assets, or a savings or checking account, and you can transfer from an existing annuity (known as a 1035 exchange). The method you choose to fund your annuity may have tax consequences. Consult your tax advisor to determine the best strategy for your individual situation.

How is annuity income taxed in retirement?
Part of each payment is considered to be earnings and part as a return of your original premium. If your premium was transferred or rolled-over from an IRA or other tax-deferred account, the entire amount of each payment will be subject to income tax. If you paid the premium with money that was previously taxed, you'll owe income tax only on the part of the payment that's considered earnings. Please consult a tax advisor to see how this might affect your overall tax liability.
 
How soon can payments begin?
When you purchase an income annuity, you choose the date on which your annuity payments will begin. Payments can start 1 to 12 months after the date your contract becomes effective, which is the date we receive your purchase premium. You may also choose how often to receive annuity payments: monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

Can I make withdrawals from an income annuity?
No. Once you purchase an income annuity, there are no withdrawal provisions. However, you receive higher payments from an income annuity than you would with many other programs because of this feature: in exchange for permanently converting your principal into an irrevocable income stream, your payments can be higher than if you selected an annuity with a withdrawal feature.

Who issues income annuities through Union Plus?
Annuities are provided through AGL and US Life insurers, which are among the largest providers of income annuities. These insurers cover more than 1,000 groups, distribute more than 100,000 monthly income payments each quarter, and have been in business for more than 150 years.

How can I get an income quote?
Call 1-800-538-6381 and ask for a quote on the premium you have in mind. Your quoted annuity payment amount may be locked in for seven days, or longer in certain circumstances. You may generate as many quotes as you like.

How can I find out more?
The knowledgeable team of non-commissioned Annuity Specialists is ready to provide comprehensive support and personal service. Call 1-877-244-1539 or email retirementannuities@americangeneral.com with any questions you may have on the Union Plus Annuity Program and how it can help your retirement planning.

How do I buy an annuity through the Union Plus Annuity Program?
To discuss whether an Income Annuity would make sense for you, call an Annuity Specialist at 1-877-244-1539.

Consumer Tips

Rethinking Retirement: Focus on Income You Can Count On

After 27 years as a public high school teacher, Harry Sawyer was looking forward to a more relaxed life in retirement. But his monthly pension of $1,100 a month after taxes and health insurance was less than he and his wife, Liz, needed to cover their regular monthly bills.

Fortunately they had both invested in individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The big question: how to transform their IRA into income that could be counted on, month after month, whether the market was up or down.

As baby boomers keep marching into their 50s, 60s and 70s, this dilemma will become more and more common. For many retirees, the answer will be an income annuity.

An income annuity allows you to convert a sum of money from your savings (the premium) into a lifelong series of steady, guaranteed income each month, depending upon the option you choose.1 It's a reliable and affordable way to help make sure you will have the income you need to cover living expenses in retirement.

That's why Union Plus is offering union members an Annuity Program with more features and lower costs than similar programs offered through AARP and other sources. Free of agent fees or sales commissions, annuities offered through this program may provide higher monthly income than you may be able to generate on your own.  In exchange for these higher payments, an income annuity permanently converts your principal to a guaranteed income stream.

Make a plan for reliable income
During your working years, the emphasis is on growing your retirement savings. Once you retire, your strategy needs to shift to from growing to maintaining. (See the Union Plus Retirement Planning Center for recommended steps to take.) But the income has to be sustainable, so you don't outlive your money.

That's where income annuities really shine. You can ensure your savings last for the rest of your life, your and a loved one's life, or a specified number of years. Your income will vary depending on which annuity option you choose.

Four reasons to consider an income annuity:

  1. Consistency. The payment is guaranteed, and you can count on being paid every month.
  2. Stability. Your income won't depend on the stock market and its ups and downs.
  3. Simplicity. You don't have to study financial reports, monitor a portfolio, or buy and sell investments. Look for your monthly deposit into your checking/savings account each month.
  4. Control. An American General income annuity purchased through the Union Plus Annuity Program isn't at risk in the market, since it is a fixed annuity product purchased by you.  It's like having a retirement paycheck.


How much income can I receive from an income annuity?
Four factors determine your annuity income:

  1. The amount of your premium. The more money you put into an income annuity, the more monthly income you'll receive.
  2. Current annuity rates. The higher the rate, the higher your monthly payment will be. This rate is determined when you buy your annuity, based on factors such as the current rates of corporate bonds and long-term Treasuries. Your payment will also include some returned principal, not just interest.
  3. The amount of agent fees and commissions you pay. The Union Plus Annuity Program eliminates this expense for union members, maximizing your monthly income.
  4. The income option you choose.  You can choose guaranteed payments that continue for the rest of your life, your and a loved one's life or for a specified number of years. You may also choose how often you receive annuity payments -- on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis.


Would an income annuity be right for you?
First, estimate the amount of reliable monthly income you need by adding up all your fixed, nondiscretionary monthly expenses, such as mortgage or rent, groceries, insurance, and so on. Then subtract your expected monthly Social Security benefit and pension benefit. Whatever remains is spending that needs to be covered by another source of dependable income.

If you can easily pay your expenses out of savings, you may want to postpone buying an annuity. Just be sure not to wait until your savings are too depleted to generate the steady income you need. In any case, it's highly likely that you shouldn't plan to tie up more than 50 percent of your savings in an annuity. You'll want to reserve the rest for discretionary spending, unexpected needs and growth.

What will you need to maintain your standard of living?
To find out how much income an annuity purchased through the Union Plus Annuity Program might provide,call 1-877-244-1539 and speak with an experienced, non-commissioned annuity specialist. They'll answer your questions and help determine if an income annuity is the best way for you to create sustainable income in retirement.

1 Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the life insurance company.

2American General Life Companies, www.americangeneral.com, ("American General") is the marketing name for a group of affiliated domestic life insurers.

American General Life Companies insurers offer a full line of life insurance, annuities, accident & health products and worksite benefits to serve the financial and estate planning needs of its customers throughout the United States. 

This contract is not insured by the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board or any similar agency. The contract is not a deposit or other obligation of, nor is it guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or depository institution. 

Eligibility

The program is for United States residents and is not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, or Canada.

Who is eligible?

  • Dues-paying labor union members of participating unions
  • Retired union members
  • All active or retired union members may apply for annuities, which can provide an income benefit for themselves and/or a loved one.

Customer Service

For information on accounts, products or services, contact American International Group, Inc. (AIG):

  • Phone: 1-877-244-1539 (8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time)

We realize that sometimes you may need help with a concern about using a Union Plus program. The Union Plus Member Advocacy Program, staffed by OPEIU Local 2 members, is here to help you resolve any problems. Contact us at 1-800-472-2005 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET, weekdays) or online at UnionPlus.org/Customer.

Disclosures

Annuities issued by:

American General Life Insurance Company
2727-A Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019

Immediate Income Annuities
Master Contract Number 11EGAN403
Individual Contract Number 16EIAN0403
Certificate Number 14EGAN403

Income Annuity
Master Contract Number 11EGAN699
Certificate number 16EGAN699

Fixed Deferred Annuity
Master Contract Number 08113
Individual Contract Number 08118
Certificate Number 08114
Extended Care Rider Form Number 04049C, 04049P

The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York
One World Financial Center, 200 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281

Immediate Income Annuities
Master Contract Number 21EGAN403
Certificate Number 24EGAN403

Income Annuity
Master Contract Number 21EGAN200
Certificate Number 26EGAN200

AGL does not solicit business in the state of New York. USL is licensed to do business in the state of New York. Annuities and riders may vary by state and are not available in all states.

Issuing companies AGL and US Life are responsible for financial obligations of insurance products and are subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). Union Privilege is a separate and unrelated entity.

Union Plus is a registered trademark of Union Privilege, the non-profit organization established to create and oversee member benefit programs for working families. All other marks are owned by American International Group, Inc.

The underwriting risks, financial and contractual obligations and support functions associated with products issued by American General Life Insurance Company (AGL) or The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (USL) are the issuing insurer's responsibility.

This contract is not insured by the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board or any similar agency. The contract is not a deposit or other obligation of, nor is it guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or depository institution. American International Group, Inc. and its affiliates do not give legal or tax advice.


Explore Union Plus