What is a Partial Surrender or Withdrawal?

Life insurance policy owners are allowed to withdraw some or all of the cash that is in the cash value portion of their permanent life insurance policies. By withdrawing only some of the cash, the policy owner would be making a partial surrender or a partial withdrawal.

This partial surrender or withdrawal may come from the accumulation value or the amount of the death benefit relating to the policy. If the policy owner withdraws funds from the cash value portion of the policy, he or she may not have to pay taxes on all of these funds. This is because the portion of the withdrawal that is considered a return of premium will not be taxable.

As an example, if the policy owner paid a total of $20,000 in premiums into the policy, and they have a total of $25,000 in total cash value, then they can decide to withdraw $23,000 and only $3,000 of that amount will be taxable. If the policy owner withdraws less than what they have paid into the policy, then they will not be hit with taxes at all on the withdrawal.

It is important to note that a partial surrender or withdrawal of a life insurance policy will lower the cash value of that policy – and, even though it is not typically required that these funds be repaid, if the insured dies while there is still an unpaid cash value balance, then the amount of that unpaid balance will be charged against the death benefit that is paid out to the policy’s beneficiary.

There may also be additional costs involved when taking a partial surrender or withdrawal, such as processing and administrative fees from the life insurance company. It is important to be aware of all potential charges that could be involved prior to moving forward with any type of withdrawal in a life insurance policy.