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An annuity is an agreement for one person or organization, typically a life insurance company, to pay another person a series of guaranteed payments. One of the major benefits of annuities is that they offer tax-deferred growth of earnings, allowing the assets therein to compound at a faster rate than if taxes on gains were imposed.

Generally speaking, there are two types of annuities - fixed and variable:

  • Fixed annuity - the insurance company guarantees the following: your account will earn a minimum rate of interest; periodic payments will be a guaranteed dollar amount; and these periodic payments will last for a certain amount of time.

  • Variable Annuity – assets placed in the annuity are invested among a range of different investment options, generally mutual funds. The rate of return and the amount of the periodic payments one eventually receives vary depending on the performance of the investment options selected.
Annuities also offer a number of other features such as death benefits, living benefits, and other guarantees to make the products more attractive to investors. Some of these features are included within the standard costs of the annuity, while others – referred to as a Rider - may carry an additional fee.

Annuities can be an excellent investment solution for some individuals, not such a good idea for others. Advisors need to exercise prudent suitability standards when making recommendations to clients about the use of annuities as a retirement savings vehicle.

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Examination Requirements

Each exam varies, depending upon the course:
  • ARe 143/144, ARM 56, AIAF 114: Eighty-five computer-administered, objective (multiple-choice) questions. Time allotted: 2 hours.

  • ARe 145: Students must answer 5, 10, or 15 multiple-choice questions on each article, and one must correctly answer 150 questions to complete the course. There will be at least 40 articles available from which to choose.

  • CPCU 520 and 540: Computer-administered essay. Time allotted: 3 hours.
National exams are given at local testing centers during the following two-month windows:
  • January 15 - March 15
  • April 15 - June 15
  • July 15 - September 15
  • October 15 - December 15
Contact Prometric testing centers at 800-266-3232 for more information or to schedule your exam; Exam fees will apply.

Ethics Requirement

Those pursuing the ARe designation must pass a 50-question exam in the Ethical Guidelines For Insurance Professionals online module. This module is offered by the Institutes at no charge. If you wish to earn CE credits for passing the 50-question, objective, online exam included with it, there is a nominal $5 administrative fee.

Additional Requirements

Candidates are not required to meet experience or education requirements to attain this designation.

Continuing Education Requirements

A designee is not required to fulfill any annual continuing education requirements, nor are there any annual fees for a designee to maintain the designation.
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