Annuities are long term investment vehicles designed to help investors save for retirement and involve certain contract limitations, fees, expenses, and risks. With a variable annuity the investment returns in and principal value may fluctuate so that the investment, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the original cost, this may result in a loss of principal. As with many investments, there are fees, costs, expenses, and risks associated with annuity contracts. All guarantees including the death benefit payments are dependent upon the claims paying ability of the issuing company and do not apply to the investment performance of the underlying funds in the variable annuity. Assets in the underlying funds of a variable annuity are subject to market risks and fluctuate in value.