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I have reached retirement age and have a variable annuity with Hartford. I would like to get out of the annuity and roll over into a bank account IRA. I have held the product for 12 years and there is no penalty for withdrawal. Can I do this?

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There isn't a general reason why you should not be able to do this, but it is hard to answer without knowing the specifics of your variable annuity. I would start by calling Hartford and asking them how to go about rolling your money to a different IRA and what fees would be assessed.

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The extent that you would have problems would depend on if the annuity is considered Qualified or Non-Qualified. If the annuity is qualified that means that the money that was put into it has never been taxed and a rollover to an IRA is simple.

The possible issues here are tax issues and a CPA is likely the best person to answer this question.

Two other things to consider in such an event is the loss of any 'living benefit' or 'death benefit'. Variable annuities have been through quite the evolution in the last 15 years. Death benefits have been around longer than living benefits but both are usually based on some derrivitive of a 'high water' mark of the variable sub accounts. You might want to ask Hartford the question "...how will my living or death benefits be affected if I roll this over".

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