Banyan: a streamlined solution.

Focused and powerful, our CDA offers a transparent path to consistent retirement income.

How will you spend your retirement? 

Build the retirement lifestyle you want with the support of Banyan, a new CDA from Merit. 

Guaranteed 5% annual distributions.1

Maintain access
to funds.

55 basis points.

1 Mentions of guaranteed income are subject to compliance with the terms and conditions of your contract.

Contingent deferred annuity — what’s that?

Contingent deferred annuities, also called CDAs, secure your retirement with a reliable income stream that lasts a lifetime. This kind of annuity offers flexibility, control, and protection so you can always access your money and capitalize on market returns.

Flexibility.

Your money is always within your reach. 

Control.

We make it easy to add Banyan to your existing portfolio.

Protection.

Your income stream stays consistent no matter the market condition.

How Banyan stands apart.

Benefits anyone can understand and everyone can get behind.

Limit risk and embrace growth.

Your income base locks-in, at minimum, at your issue date. If the market declines, your income won’t be affected. If it’s advancing, you can capitalize on those returns.

Keep working with your advisor.

We help make it easy to add Banyan to your existing portfolio. Maintain the relationship with your financial professional and keep your assets in your existing accounts.

Embrace transparent costs.

You pay 55 basis points annually and don’t have to worry about hidden costs, riders, or commission fees weighing you down. 

Banyan and you.

Designed as an essential component of a powerful retirement income strategy, Banyan guarantees a stable income floor that supports your ideal retirement.

For individuals.

Design your dream retirement. Secure it with Banyan.

Work with a financial professional to develop a plan that protects a portion of your retirement income.

For professionals.

Empower your clients with the support of Banyan.

Help your clients build an income floor that carries them through retirement.

Banyan at work.

A hypothetical example.

Picture this: you turn 60 and ask about securing a guaranteed retirement income strategy. With the help of your financial advisor, you add Banyan to your $300,000 account.

In seven years, you begin taking your 5% annual distributions. In the time since your issue date, your account balance has increased from $300,000 to $350,000. Since the value of your account at exercise date is greater than it was when you first added Banyan, you lock-in the income base of $350,000. Congrats!

In the next 25 years, you’re busy enjoying your retirement. Maybe you travel, spend time with loved ones, and try the things you never had time to do before. All the while, you’re collecting 5% annual distributions— in your case, $17,500 a year— from your account.

Over the years your account balance reduces to zero, but it doesn’t matter— whether you live for another 10 years or another 20, Banyan’s distributions continue for a lifetime. It’s peace of mind you can’t outlive.

An initial investment of $350,000 x 5% annual distributions = $17,500 distributions for life.

Issue Date

1

Your client adds Banyan to $300,000 of their overall retirement assets, locking in their income base.

Accumulation

2

During the next seven years, through market ups and downs, the account balance grows to $350,000.

Exercise Date / Distributions

3

Your client locks in the new income base of $350,000 and begins taking 5% annual distributions ($17,500 per year) until their account value reaches zero.

Covered Event

4

Banyan’s distributions continue for a lifetime. Your client continues to receive the same annual distributions until death.

Retire on your own terms.

Banyan offers flexibility, control, and protection so you can enjoy your retirement confidentially.

Fixed 5% annual distributions.

Collect 5% distributions every year.2 Your distribution amount is calculated from the account value on either your issue date or exercise date— whichever is greater.

Guaranteed for life.

Your annual distributions continue for life, even if the balance in your account reaches zero. It’s retirement income that lasts a lifetime.

Transparent cost.

Secure your retirement income for 55 basis points on the value of assets in your account charged annually. No hidden costs, complicated riders, or commission fees involved.

Flexibility and access.

We’ll never charge you for withdrawals and you can terminate your contract whenever.

Asset control.

We help make adding  Banyan into your existing portfolio simple, seamless, and nondisruptive. 

Downside protection.

Your income stream transcends the volatility of declining markets and rides the wave with advancing markets. 

2 Mentions of guaranteed income are subject to compliance with the terms and conditions of your contract.

Partner up.

Retire confidently with the guidance of a trusted financial professional.

Merit is part of a collaborative solution between you and your advisor. Working with a financial professional who understands you, your assets, and where you want to go will help you use our products with success and ease. 

Benefits of working with an advisor.

Personalized planning.

Your financial advisor will consider your assets, goals, and portfolio holistically and help you incorporate Merit’s products as part of a custom path to your ideal retirement. 

Uninterrupted control.

If you already have a trusted advisor, keep working with them and maintain full control over all your assets.

Empowered expertise.

Feel confident embracing guaranteed income in retirement with Banyan as an integral part of your diverse portfolio.

Frequently asked questions.

Find answers to the questions we get asked the most about Merit and our products.
How does Merit guarantee 5% income? What financial backing does the guarantee have?

As an insurance company, Merit is required to contribute to a reserve account which sets aside assets to be paid out in the future to cover policyholder claims. These reserves are managed by a third-party investment advisor, recognized for its expertise with insurance company assets, and are held in the Merit Life Insurance general account. The investments supporting the reserve are invested in a long-term conservative manner, composed mostly of investment grade bonds.

What happens if the account value falls?

Merit Life’s 5% guaranteed income is based on the higher of the account value at the time of your first distribution or the value of the account when the annuity was issued, increased for eligible contributions and decreased by the proportional impact of excess withdrawals. If the account value has fallen by an amount that results in your original value being the higher amount, that would be the basis for your 5% income amount.

Are there hidden fees such as surrender charges?

No. The only fee we charge is 55 basis points per year of your account’s value, charged quarterly. This fee is disclosed in the prospectus and cannot change for the life of the annuity.

How do I pay for the insurance guarantee?

The default method of payment is to have your wealth management firm debit your account for the annuity fee. You may also request to use bank drafting from an alternative source to pay the annuity fee. The prospectus suggests you consult with your tax advisor regarding payment of this contract.

Am I locked into the contract? Do I have access to my money (account)?

You are not locked into the contract and you may terminate this product at any time. There are no surrender charges for terminating the contract. Adding this protection to your account has no impact on your ability to access the money in your account at any point.

What if I change firms?

Merit allows an annuity to move, subject to the rules outlined in the prospectus, from one firm to another without penalty. However, in order to administer the business, Merit must have an operating agreement with the firm. For a list of approved firms, please contact 833.637.4854. If you should choose to transfer to a firm in which we do not have an operating agreement, the annuity will terminate, and no additional fees will be assessed.

How do I make a claim?

Merit will proactively reach out to the annuitant shortly before the expected covered event takes place. This will be done to ensure that we have all information needed to make timely payments. Upon successful completion of gathering the information, Merit will automatically start lifetime payments at the time of the covered event (assets are completely depleted from the account).

What happens if I make additional contributions?

If you make contributions into your account after the Issue Date, your income amount will increase after the two-year Vesting Period of that contribution.

Am I required to start withdrawals at two years and age 65?

Withdrawals are not required until the annuity holder reaches age 95.

How are excess withdrawals treated?

An Excess Withdrawal will reduce the Income Base and/or the Income Amount available each year before the Covered event.

What is the tax treatment of the benefit?

Merit believes that owning the annuity has no impact on the taxation of the account. As to lifetime income payments, we expect to report such payments as ordinary income. We suggest you consult with your tax advisor on potential tax treatment of this contract.

What happens to my assets if I pass away?

Your Merit annuity has no death benefit amount. The Merit annuity has no effect on the assets in your wealth management account. In the event of the annuitant’s death, the assets in the wealth management account would remain as part of your estate. If income payments had begun, those payments would cease at the time of death.

Looking forward starts now.