Financial Freedom Account (FFA) Product Site

Financial Freedom Account is a tax sheltered variable annuity1,2 developed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”) to provide a retirement savings vehicle for employees of public schools, colleges and universities, nonprofit hospitals and nonprofit organizations under IRC §501(c)(3). Financial Freedom Account variable annuity is designed to help individuals accumulate assets for retirement. It can also provide a stream of income throughout their retirement years.

What is a variable annuity?

A variable annuity is a long-term retirement savings vehicle specifically designed to help individuals save for retirement, providing them with a stream of retirement income that they cannot outlive.Although a variable annuity may be an appropriate choice for some people as part of an overall retirement portfolio, it is not suitable for everyone. Please read the prospectus thoroughly and completely before investing.

A variable annuity offers the following advantages:


Individuals pay no income tax on contributions until the money is withdrawn from their account (unlike Roth contributions which are deducted after tax withholdings).1,3

Periodic payments

Individuals can elect to receive periodic income payments that continue for their lifetime (and the lifetime of their spouse).4

Range of underlying funding options

The underlying funding options available in a variable annuity typically invest in stocks, bonds, money market instruments or some combination of the three.3

Death benefit

If the individual dies before income payments begin, the individual’s beneficiary is guaranteed to receive a specified amount. The beneficiary will get a benefit from this feature if, at the time of death, the account balance is less than the guaranteed amount.2

FFA Features

Funding Options


Automated investment strategies


Minimum contributions




Income for life


Death Benefit


Minimum Distribution


Fees & Charges


Loan Provision

  • Asset Allocation Portfolios
  • “Fund-of-Funds”
  • Index Portfolios 
  • Fixed Interest Account
  • Portfolios that invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Note: Monies allocated to the investment divisions are not guaranteed and bear the risk of loss

The Equity Generator®

The Equity Generator is a dollar cost averaging strategy that involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating price levels. Participants should consider their ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.6

No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or prevent a loss.


None. If no purchase payments are made for over 36 months and the account balance is under $2,000, MetLife may cancel the certificate, if permitted by law, by paying the account balance less any outstanding loans. If applicable, early withdrawal charges may apply. No certificate will be terminated due solely to negative investment performance.

Unlimited free transfers are available among the variable funding options. Transfers from the Fixed Interest Account may be partially restricted or subject to a withdrawal charge if competing funding options are available as determined by MetLife. Additional restrictions may apply to transfers among the investment divisions. See the prospectus for details.

For a stream of income for life guaranteed by MetLife, all or part of the certificate may be converted.

Assuming income has not started, the standard death benefit is the greatest of:

  • Account balance;
  • Total purchase payments less withdrawals (including any applicable withdrawal charges);
  • Highest account balance on 12/31 following the end of any fifth certificate anniversary less withdrawals, fees and charges since that 12/31 date. In each case, the amount is reduced by outstanding loans, where loans are permitted by plan.

The minimum distribution generally required each year once individuals reach age 72, or when they retire, whichever is later, by federal income tax rules can be calculated and forwarded from the Financial Freedom Account by enrolling in MetLife’s automated required minimum distribution service. Failure to take required minimum distributions for a year will result in a 50% penalty tax on the amount of the shortfall. MetLife will guarantee the calculation for this annuity against Internal Revenue Service (IRS) penalties for this annuity (based upon the information provided). May not be available in all markets.

Administrative Fees
The administrative fee is included in the Separate Account charge.

Annual Separate Account Charge
0.95% (as a percentage of the average account balance in the Separate Account).

Withdrawal Charges
No certificate withdrawal charge applies to withdrawals made from the Separate Account investment divisions. No certificate withdrawal charge applies to withdrawals made from the Fixed Interest Account as long as no competing funding choices (as determined by MetLife) are also available. If additional competing funding choices become available, MetLife may impose a withdrawal charge of up to 7% on each contribution to the Fixed Interest Account.4

The amount that may be borrowed, the interest rate charged, the loan repayment schedules and loan application fees are described in the loan application form and the certificate (TSA only). Loan availability may be subject to the provisions of the employer’s plan.

These fees and charges mentioned above do not include investment management fees and other expenses of the funding options under the certificate. For more information please refer to the:

Initial Summary Prospectus (“ISP”) - which is provided to clients at point of sale. 
The Updating Summary Prospectus (“USP”) which is provided to in-force clients as  part of their annual prospectus mailing.
Statutory Prospectus (full prospectus) is available for more detailed inquiries.

The information contained in this document is intended to be informational in nature and should not be considered a recommendation or individualized advice.

1. There is no additional tax deferral advantage to funding a qualified retirement plan with an annuity such as FFA. All accounts under qualified plans, including section 403(b) plans and IRAs, are eligible for tax deferral. There should be reasons other than tax deferral, such as the opportunity for lifetime payouts and the other benefits offered under the FFA certificate, for purchasing an annuity certificate under the qualified retirement plan.

2. May not be available in all states.

3. Ordinary income taxes generally apply at withdrawal. Withdrawal charges may also apply. Withdrawals prior to age 59½ before separation of service are generally prohibited. Where allowed, distributions of taxable amounts are generally subject to ordinary income taxes and, if made before 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. In the case of 457(b) governmental plans, the 10% federal income tax penalty may apply to distributions of amounts rolled over from another type of qualified retirement plan or IRA. Consult a tax advisor to determine whether an exception to these tax rules may apply. Withdrawals reduce the death benefits.

4. While the investment divisions and their comparably named portfolios may have names, investment objectives and management which are identical or similar to publicly available mutual funds, these portfolios are not those mutual funds. The portfolios most likely will not have the same performance experience as any publicly available mutual fund.

5. SECURE Act 2020: Under the legislation, distributions to individuals who are not the surviving spouse of the employee (or IRA owner), disabled or chronically ill individuals, individuals who are not more than 10 years younger than the employee (or IRA owner), or child of the employee (or IRA owner) who has not reached the age of majority, are generally required to be distributed by the end of the tenth calendar year following the year of the employee or IRA owner’s death.

6. Purchase payments go into the Fixed Interest Account, where they earn an interest rate guaranteed by MetLife and are protected from investment risk. Then each month, an amount equal to the accrued interest earned in the Fixed Interest Account is transferred into one investment division of individuals’ choice. The guarantees associated with the Fixed Interest Account are subject to the claims-paying ability and financial strength of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

7. Ordinary income taxes generally apply at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 591/2 before separation of service are generally prohibited. Where allowed, distributions of taxable amounts are generally subject to ordinary income taxes and, if made before 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. In the case of 457(b) governmental plans, the 10% federal income tax penalty may apply to distributions of amounts rolled over from another type of qualified retirement plan or IRA. Consult a tax advisor to determine whether an exception to these tax rules may apply. Withdrawals reduce the death benefits.

Financial Freedom Account variable annuity products are offered by prospectus only. To obtain a prospectus, please contact MetLife at the service center number reflected on your enrollment materials. Individuals should carefully read the product prospectus and consider the product’s features, risks, charges and expenses, and the investment objectives, risks and policies of the underlying portfolios, as well as other information about the underlying funding options. This and other information is available in the prospectus, which individuals should read carefully before investing. Product availability and features may vary by state. All product guarantees, including optional benefits, are subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

The amounts allocated to the variable funding options are subject to market fluctuations so that, when withdrawn, they may be worth more or less than their original value. There is no guarantee that any of the variable funding options will meet their stated goals or objectives.

Like most annuity certificates, MetLife’s certificates contain charges, limitations, exclusions, holding periods, termination provisions and terms for keeping them in force.

MetLife and/or its affiliates (“MetLife”) receive fees for providing administrative and recordkeeping services. The fees may be deducted directly from the Participant’s account, be paid for by the Employer, be paid from the Plan assets and/or paid from the fees deducted from Participant account values allocated to the mutual funds available under the Plan. The fees can vary based upon the mutual funds that are available in the Plan and Plan Participants’ asset allocations. Because different mutual funds pay different rates of compensation and rates of mutual fund compensation are subject to change from time to time, compensation received by MetLife varies based on the rates of compensation in effect from time to time. MetLife may receive a finder’s fee from certain fund companies, which is additional compensation to MetLife. MetLife may also impose separate transactional fees for certain Participant elected transactions that will be charged directly to Plan Participants unless paid by the Employer or the Plan. MetLife may increase the annual administrative service fee charged to Participants’ accounts. MetLife may also pay a portion of the fees it collects to an entity that is designated as a directed trustee or directed custodian of the Plan; or to a third party administrator, or third party investment advisor. MetLife may receive payments for administrative services provided under the third party investment advisory services. MetLife also receives compensation for administrative services on annuities that are issued by unaffiliated insurance companies. MetLife also receives fees with respect to annuities it issues, according to the terms of the annuity contracts and prospectuses, if applicable. If you would like more information on the compensation that MetLife receives, contact your Employer. MetLife may realize a profit from any of the fees described above.

If you are buying a variable annuity to fund a qualified retirement plan or IRA, you should do so for the variable annuity’s features and benefits other than tax deferral. In such cases, tax deferral is not an additional benefit of the variable annuity. References throughout this material to tax advantages, such as tax deferral and tax-free transfers, are subject to this consideration.

Any discussion of taxes is for general informational purposes only, does not purport to be complete or cover every situation, and should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. Clients should confer with their qualified legal, tax and accounting advisors as appropriate.

Distributions of 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) salary reduction contributions allocated to an account, and any earnings on such contributions, are generally not permitted prior to attaining normal retirement age under the retirement plan except under certain circumstances, such as an individual’s severance from employment with the employer sponsoring the plan or the individual’s death, disability or hardship (or 457(b) unforeseeable emergency) as permitted by the plan. Distributions of contributions and any earnings may also be restricted as defined in the plan documents. Contact the plan administrator to determine when and under what circumstances the individual may request a distribution from the plan.