Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A FRATERNAL BENEFIT SOCIETY?
A fraternal beneficiary society (“fraternal”) is a non-profit, mutual aid organization that: (1) insures members and their families against death, disease and disability, and (2) maintains an active assembly system.
Fraternal benefit societies bring together individuals with a common bond and provide them with the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to their local communities and American society. The common bond between members can be based on religious beliefs, gender, occupation, ethnicity, physical condition or value system. These unique organizations, many of which having been serving their members for over 100 years, offer members a variety of “fraternal benefits,” such as scholarships, educational publications, travel opportunities and discount programs. The altruistic efforts of fraternal benefit societies are primarily funded by the sale of life insurance and other financial services products to their members.
Many societies have their roots as mutual aid organizations – founded to serve the needs of immigrants and other underserved groups before the days of government and employer-based health care and retirement programs. Today the focus of fraternal benefit societies is less on “who we are” and more on “what we do.” For instance, fraternal society members have maintained and supported homes for the aged, undertaken Habitat for Humanity projects, provided welfare services, and gave material and financial assistance to the victims of many natural disasters.
All fraternal benefit societies must comply with state and federal regulations, with regard to their financial services, and must be licensed by the insurance department of the state or states in which they operate. Fraternal benefit societies are recognized as 501(c)(8), not-for-profit fraternal organizations, by the Internal Revenue Service.
WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU OFFER?
The National Slovak Society offers its members two types of life insurance coverage; permanent and term. Permanent plans of insurance build cash and loan values; while term plans offer the most protection for the lowest cost.
The National Slovak Society also offers its members two types of tax deferred annuities; qualified and non-qualified. Qualified annuities are funded with pre-tax dollars, while non-qualified annuities are funded with after-tax dollars.
WHAT IS A NSS ANNUITY?
It’s a contract between you and us that provides you with a guaranteed future income in exchange for payments you make to your account. It’s a long term way of planning for the future, particularly for your retirement. Both IRS Qualified and Non-qualified annuities are available in a NSS Annuity contract.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
All you need to do is to purchase either a life insurance policy or a NSS annuity. As long as you maintain an active policy with the NSS, you will remain a member of the Society.
DO I HAVE TO BE SLOVAK TO BECOME A MEMBER?
No, membership to the Society is open to anyone who purchases either a life insurance policy or a NSS annuity.
WHEN WILL ANNUITY STATEMENTS BE MAILED?
Annuity statements are mailed annually in January.
WHY SHOULD I PURCHASE A NSS ANNUITY?
There are three very good reasons for you to consider purchasing a NSS annuity:
- You will earn one of the most competitive interest rates in the industry and there will be no charges, unless you withdraw funds early;
- Purchasing a NSS annuity gives you membership in the oldest Slovak fraternal in the United States, complete with all the fraternal programs and activities it provides;
- A NSS Life fixed annuity is guaranteed positive investment growth, with a guaranteed minimum interest rate.
IS MY ANNUITY MONEY SAFE WITH NSS LIFE?
Annuity deposits are protected by the total resources of the National Slovak Society; with assets in excess of $1.45 Billion Dollars and growing. Information on NSS Life solvency can be readily obtained from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department or independent CPA firms who make annual audits.
IF I PURCHASE A NSS ANNUITY AND THEN DIE, WHO RECEIVES THE MONEY IN MY ANNUITY?
NSS Life annuities avoid probate. Upon death of the annuitant, the full value of the NSS annuity is paid directly to the beneficiary named in the contract. Delays, publicity and cost of probate are avoided.
CAN I PAY MY PREMIUMS ONLINE OR BY CREDIT CARD?
Currently, we are not set up to receive payments online or by credit card. We are hoping to make this available to our members in the near future. Please mail your payment to:
351 Valley Brook Road
McMurray PA 15317-3337
HOW DO I CHANGE MY BENEFICIARY?
WHEN WILL MY 1099 TAX FORM BE MAILED?
We are required by IRS regulations to have your 1099 tax form mailed out of our office by the end of January each year.
WILL I RECEIVE A 1099 TAX FORM?
All of our NSS annuities are tax deferred until withdrawn. You will only receive a 1099 tax form if you made a withdrawal from your NSS annuity.
WHY AM I RECEIVING A 5498 TAX FORM FOR LAST YEAR IN MAY?
A 5498 tax form shows any contributions that you may have made into your qualified annuity for the indicated tax year. Since the IRS permits previous year contributions into your qualified account up until April 15th, NSS Life is not required to mail out 5498 tax forms until the end of May each year.
CAN I ACCESS MY ACCOUNT INFORMATION ONLINE?
Yes, you can access your account information by going to our website at www.nsslife.org and clicking on the member portal icon. Then you can set yourself up as a new user.
WHAT IS A QUALIFIED ANNUITY?
A qualified annuity is funded with pre-tax dollars. An annuity which is funded with pre-tax dollars means that the contribution may be taken as a tax deduction on your tax return. When funds are withdrawn, the full amount of the withdrawal is normally taxable (exceptions to this rule are Roth IRAs.). Examples of qualified annuities are; Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Keoghs, and SEPs.
WHAT IS A NON-QUALIFIED ANNUITY?
A non-qualified annuity is funded with after-tax dollars. An annuity which is funded with after-tax dollars means that the contribution may not be taken as a tax deduction on your tax return. When funds are withdrawn, only the interest portion of the withdrawal is taxable. The IRS requires that all interest earned must be withdrawn prior to withdrawing the principal deposits.
WILL I HAVE A PENALTY WHEN I WITHDRAW FUNDS FROM MY NSS ANNUITY?
NSS annuities allow for a withdrawal of up to 10% of your total account value once each year without penalty. (Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to IRS early distribution penalties.) Please review your specific contract for additional information on applicable penalties.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IN ANY NSS ASSEMBLY OR REGION EVENT?
Yes, as long as you are a member with the National Slovak Society, you can participate in any activity or meeting that any other assembly or region may be holding.
WHAT IS AN ASSEMBLY?
An assembly is a group of NSS members from your designated area that holds meetings, elects officers, conducts social activities and sporting events as well as provides charitable support to the community. Without our assemblies, the NSS would not be considered a fraternal benefit society.
WHAT IS A REGION?
A region is a group of NSS assemblies from a designated area that holds meetings, elects officers, conducts social activities and sporting events as well as provides charitable support to the community.