Minnesota Life Products

Group Term Life

Group Term Life insurance provides protection for a specific period of time. It pays a benefit only if the insured dies during the term. There is no cash value buildup in a term life insurance policy. Group Term Life insurance provides a base level of protection that can be enhanced by personal savings, individual life insurance and Social Security benefits. Employer-paid basic coverage fills an immediate need for protection at no cost to employees.

» What are the types of insurance?
» Watch a video about Term Life insurance to learn more.

Group Universal Life 

Group Universal Life (GUL) combines the protection of life insurance with the option to build savings through a cash value account that earns a fixed rate of interest. Money accumulated in the cash value account can be used for any long-term financial goal, in the form of loans or withdrawals*, for buying a house, retirement funds, education, etc.

*Outstanding loans and withdrawals will reduce both cash value and death benefit.

» What are the types of insurance?
» Universal Life: Designed with the future in mind (pdf, 1.73Mb)
» Watch a video about Group Universal Life insurance to learn more.

Uses of GUL

GUL insurance gives employers the ability to customize a program to meet unique benefit needs. For example, GUL can be used to:

  • Supplement a basic, employer-paid term life plan
    GUL is portable insurance protection that — unlike term life plans — won't reduce or terminate at retirement. Plus, it allows employees to accumulate tax-deferred cash value that earns a competitive rate of interest.
  • Enhance the coverage of an existing supplemental employee-paid plan
    GUL provides an economical alternative to an existing supplemental term life insurance plan.
  • Create an executive carve out program
    GUL can be used in a carve out plan for partners or executives. Portability to age 100 is a valuable feature for these types of groups, especially post-retirement. The cash value account allows highly-paid employees to make additional contributions when they have maxed out other savings programs.
  • Provide post retirement insurance
    Through the cash value account, employees can fund post-retirement insurance needs during their working years.
  • Provide a corporate-owned life insurance plan that funds future liabilities
    A corporation can own life insurance on its employees and use the accumulated cash value to fund future liabilities.

Features of GUL

  • GUL offers a flexible death benefit and a cash value account with a fixed rate of return.
  • Employees decide whether or not to make additional premium contributions to the cash value account and how these contributions will be invested.
  • The cash value in a GUL policy accumulates tax-deferred; a policyowner doesn’t pay taxes on the interest accumulated unless more money is withdrawn from the policy than has been paid in, including premiums paid by the employer.
  • Contributions to cash value may be made any time through regular payments (see Dollar Cost Averaging) and/or lump-sum payments. We test every contribution against IRS limits and will notify the policyowner if the contract is in danger of becoming a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) and what that means for the policy’s tax status.
  • The Guaranteed Account offers a guarantee of principal as well as a minimum rate of return. The interest rate and guarantees for the Guaranteed Account are based solely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Minnesota Life.
  • Employees can access money in the cash value account – by loan or withdrawal — at any time for any reason without penalty (minimum loan or withdrawal amounts and service fees may apply). Loans and withdrawals will reduce both the death benefit and the net cash value.
  • GUL will remain in force to the maximum age. If the cash value is sufficient, it can be used to pay premiums. The policy may lapse, however, if there is not enough cash value to pay the premium.
  • We provide full administrative and compliance support, including prospectus and statement delivery, Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) testing and assigned owner record keeping.
  • Employees can manage their GUL insurance transactions and cash value contributions online.

GUL interest crediting rate

» What is the GUL interest crediting rate?
» How is the rate determined?
» How is the rate applied?
» Historical interest crediting rates
» Why do we use this method? 

What is the GUL interest crediting rate?

The interest crediting rate is the rate of interest Minnesota Life credits to the account value of a GUL life insurance policy. 

How is the rate determined?

Each month, Minnesota Life sets a “new funds” crediting rate. This rate reflects yields currently available in the market vs. an index rate.  

How is the rate applied?

Any money contributed to the cash value portion of a GUL policy during a particular month will earn the rate established that month for the next four years. At the end of four years, interest will then be credited at the current rate for that month.

This method of interest crediting ensures that the rate reflects market conditions at the time the funds are deposited.

Why do we use this method?

Our interest crediting method is designed to credit interest in a way that is competitive, equitable and responsive, with the goal of providing policyowners with superior long-term results. The intent is to balance relative stability in crediting rates with the need to respond to changes in market conditions.

GUL historical interest crediting rates

Rate as of January 1 Highest rate during year
Stated Equivalent yield on
a taxable investment*
Highest rate
credited during year
Equivalent yield on
a taxable investment*
2014 3.00% 4.17% N/A N/A
2013 3.00% 4.17% 3.00% 4.17%
2012 3.00% 4.17% 3.00% 4.17%
2011 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2010 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2009 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2008 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2007 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2006 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2005 4.00% 5.56% 4.00% 5.56%
2004 4.25% 5.90% 4.50% 6.25%
2003 5.00% 6.94% 5.00% 6.94%

The crediting rate is guaranteed never to fall below 3%.
*Equivalent yield on a taxable investment assumes a 28% marginal tax rate.

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Variable Group Universal Life 

Variable Group Universal Life (VGUL) combines flexible life insurance with the option to invest in a variety of investment options and a Guaranteed Account.

» What are the types of insurance?
» Universal Life: Designed with the future in mind (pdf, 1.73Mb)
» View the current VGUL prospectus (pdf, 2.1Mb)
» View investment account options (pdf, 200k)
» View investment account options online   
» Investment terms

VGUL is distributed through Securian Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. 400 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55101, 1-888-237-1838.

Uses of VGUL

VGUL insurance gives employers the ability to customize a program to meet unique benefit needs. For example, VGUL can be used to:

  • Supplement a basic, employer-paid term life plan
    VGUL is portable insurance protection that — unlike term life plans — won't reduce or terminate at retirement. Plus, it allows employees to accumulate tax-deferred investment values that earn potential market returns.
  • Enhance the coverage of an existing supplemental employee-paid plan
    VGUL as a voluntary benefit can enhance an existing supplemental term life insurance plan – often at less cost than individually written contracts.
  • Create an executive carve out program
    VGUL can be used in a carve out plan for partners or executives. Portability to age 90 is a valuable feature for these types of groups, especially post-retirement. The investment account allows highly-paid employees to make additional contributions when they have maxed out other savings programs.
  • Provide post retirement insurance
    Through the investment account, employees may be able to fund post-retirement insurance needs during their working years.
  • Provide a corporate-owned life insurance plan that funds future liabilities
    A corporation can own life insurance on its employees and use the accumulated value in the investment account to fund future liabilities.

Features of VGUL

VGUL offers the opportunity to "individualize" protection through a flexible death benefit and a variety of variable investment subaccount options. Please keep in mind that the primary reason to purchase a life insurance product is the death benefit.

  • Employees decide whether or not to make additional premium contributions to the cash value account and how these contributions will be invested.
  • The cash value in a VGUL policy accumulates tax-deferred; a policyowner doesn’t pay taxes on any earnings in the investment account unless more money is withdrawn from the policy than has been paid in, including premiums paid by the employer. Since it is primarily an insurance product, VGUL does contain fees and expenses such as management fees, fund expenses, distribution fees and mortality and expense changes.
  • Contributions to the investment account may be made any time through regular premium contributions (see Dollar Cost Averaging) and/or lump-sum payments. We test every contribution against IRS limits and will notify the policyowner if the contract is in danger of becoming a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) and what that means for the policy’s tax status.
  • A wide array of subaccount options offers the potential for more favorable returns than an interest bearing account. The investment subaccounts are managed by some of the most familiar names in the investment business.
  • A Guaranteed Account is also available, offering a guarantee of principal as well as a minimum rate of return. The interest rate and guarantees for the Guaranteed Account are based solely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Minnesota Life which are important, however, have no bearing on the performance of the investment options.
  • There is no fee to transfer money among subaccounts or between the variable subaccounts and the Guaranteed Account. (There are limits on how much money can be moved in or out of the Guaranteed Account in a year.)
  • Employees can access money in the investment account – by loan or withdrawal — at any time for any reason without penalty (minimum loan or withdrawal amounts and service fees may apply). Loans and withdrawals will reduce both the death benefit and the net cash value.
  • Variable Group Universal Life will remain in force to the maximum age. If the cash value is sufficient, it can be used to pay premiums. The policy may lapse, however, if there is not enough cash value to pay the premium.
  • We provide full administrative and compliance support, including prospectus and statement delivery, Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) testing and assigned owner record keeping.
  • Employees can manage their VGUL insurance transactions and investment transfers online.

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Group Universal Life and Variable Group Universal Life combination plans

What is a combination plan?

Group Universal Life (GUL) and Variable Group Universal Life (VGUL) presented as an integrated package provides the employer an opportunity to meet multiple employee needs in one plan.

» Universal Life: Designed with the future in mind (pdf, 1.73Mb)

Advantages of a combo plan

Group Universal Life and Variable Group Universal Life combine life insurance protection with the ability to accumulate funds on a tax-advantaged basis in either a cash value account or investment option. Please keep in mind that the primary reason to purchase a life insurance product is the death benefit.

  • Insurance protection
    Unlike traditional life insurance policies, the failure to make a premium payment will not cause a GUL or VGUL policy to lapse. There is no requirement to pay premiums as long as the net cash value is sufficient to cover the monthly deduction. Coverage is also portable while the plan remains in force.
  • Two death benefit options are available to the employer (all those insured must be covered with the same option)
    Under the level death benefit option, the death benefit is equal to the face amount of the insurance and remains level over the life of the plan. With the increasing death benefit option, the death benefit is equal to the face amount plus the net cash value and will vary with the performance of the underlying investment subaccounts.
  • Cash value accumulation
    Additional premium contributions are funds contributed in excess of the cost of insurance. These can be periodic or lump-sum payments. Additional contributions are voluntary and flexible — they can be increased, decreased, skipped or stopped at any time. Money in the cash value account of GUL or the investment option of VGUL accumulates on a tax-deferred basis.
  • Employees earn a competitive rate of return on contributions to the GUL cash value account. Our contract guarantees the interest-crediting rate will never fall below three percent.
  • Employees may earn a potentially higher rate of return with the investment option in VGUL. The investment subaccounts offer a variety of potential risks and rates of return so that employees can individualize their investments to help meet personal financial objectives. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed, may be worth more or less than originally invested. Plans may be designed to include a Guaranteed Account that offers a fixed rate of return guaranteed to never fall below three percent. The guarantees for the Guaranteed Account are based solely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Minnesota Life, which are important; however, they do not have any bearing on the performance of the investment options. 

Uses of VGUL/GUL combo plans

Group Universal Life and Variable Group Universal Life — presented together as an integrated package — offer a unique advantage for your benefits program. This package provides your employees the opportunity to choose the product that best fits their needs:

  • Employees looking for basic insurance protection can select GUL and pay only the cost of insurance.
  • Employees who want insurance protection and the ability to accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis can select GUL and make additional contributions to the plan. A premium tax and expense charge is deducted from additional contributions.
  • Employees interested in insurance protection plus individualized investment choices can select VGUL. The product provides an opportunity to accumulate cash value with a variety of options to suit an employee's risk and return objectives. Since it is primarily an insurance product, VGUL does contain fees and expenses such as management fees, fund expenses, distribution fees and mortality and expense charges.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a portfolio and the variable insurance product carefully before investing. The portfolio and variable insurance product prospectuses contain this and other information. You may obtain a copy of the prospectus from your representative. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

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Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage provides a benefit if bodily injuries result in a covered person’s death or dismemberment as a result of an accident.

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Critical Illness Insurance

Help at a critical time. Group critical illness insurance can help an insured prepare financially for an unexpected life event. When diagnosed with a condition covered in the policy, the lump-sum benefit can be used any way the insured chooses to cover expenses such as child care, mortgage payments or out-of-pocket medical costs. Not available in all states. Policy provisions vary by state.

Employers and producers: For more information call our National Sales Office at
1-800-646-LIFE (5433)

» View product brochure

Critical Illness brochure

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How does VGUL compare to individual variable life insurance contracts?

  • Underwriting for VGUL uses an experience approach (as a group) vs. individual underwriting
  • VGUL administration and billing systems are designed for groups
  • VGUL provides more flexibility in pricing, plan design and administration
  • Illustrations can be provided on a composite basis for employers
  • Employers enjoy lower up-front fees than individually written insurance contracts