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After contributing for about a year to an annuity, I informed myself and wanted out. The insurance company (commercial union) did not want to let me out without the stiff penalties.

I was fortunate that the agent that had signed me up had never forwarded a copy of the actual contract of the annuity. I argued that they failed to inform me in detail of the conditions that applied to the contract (although in the end it was my responsibility). For this reason (and believe me, I did a lot of complaining), they allowed me to withdraw without the additional penalties.

I would suggest to first try and explain your situation (complain!) to avoid getting hit with the penalties. If this fails then work within the contract. Good luck!
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