Guidestone Warning

Email Received from Guidestone Warning of potentially deceptive practices regarding insurance and investments.

 From: Joel Rister [

Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 11:30 AM
To: Jimmy Smith
Subject: GuideStone-issued warning of potentially deceptive practices in your area
Importance: High

GuideStone has received reports from participants at churches, associations and even state convention offices in at least four (4) states that certain insurance agents claim to be offering—on behalf of GuideStone—new investment options “through”, “administered by” or “as a part of the Church Retirement Plan at” GuideStone.  More than one of these agents has claimed to be associated with an Arkansas company named Ministry Benefit Advisors.

GuideStone is not affiliated in any way with Ministry Benefit Advisors or any insurance agent offering indexed annuities, nor do we endorse  the products sold by any of these agents. 

Deferred annuities (specifically equity-indexed annuities or fixed-indexed insurance products) may not be suitable for every investor.  These insurance products are complex, often accompanied by high sales commissions.  Investments are usually “locked in” for a period of 8-10 years or longer, with substantial surrender fees if withdrawals exceed a set amount such as 10% per year.  Though equity-indexed annuities are “linked” in some way to returns of an index (i.e. S&P 500®), the insurance company may limit participation rates or cap interest rates…thereby limiting returns.

Please note that as a denominational pension board, GuideStone can designate a portion of retiree distributions as minister’s housing allowance.  (See IRS Revenue Ruling 75-22.)  GuideStone will not be able to designate housing allowance on distributions from an insurance company.  Should an agent state that housing allowance is available through his company, please ask for details on how this is done and request specific references in IRS regulations or revenue rulings that support these claims.  Products described above are not administered under the Church Retirement Plan offered through GuideStone, which does not allow for other vendors.  Some have been told incorrectly that they can “wrap” the indexed annuity plan under the Church Retirement Plan.

Should you be approached by or receive any printed material from an agent that claims he is (a) representing GuideStone, (b) working closely with GuideStone or (c) offering a product endorsed or administered by GuideStone, please contact GuideStone directly at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) between the hours of 7 AM and 6 PM Central Time.  If you have questions about your retirement plan, investment options or minister’s housing allowance in retirement, please call us at the number above, email us at or visit our

 Joel Rister

Managing Director – Marketing & Support Services

Business and Marketing Division

 GuideStone Financial Resources

2401 Cedar Springs Road

Dallas, Texas 75201-1498

214-720-4633  Office

2140458-9015 Cell

866-692-6327  Fax

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