USAA Senior Bonus?

Just realized my USAA Senior "Bonus" is actually a distribution of funds taken out of my Subscriber's Savings Account balance, not a "bonus",  or allocation or extra benefit.  Any "bonus" money you recieve will be debited from your balance.  So what?  I as-sumed too much, I guess.   Mistakenly thought, after all these years of sticking with USAA, I would be rewarded with an extra 10% of my balance after 40 years. Wrong!  

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A "bonus" that isn't a bonus?  Somehow I'm not surprised.  That revelation alters my calculus about staying with USAA long enough to collect said "bonus".


"We've always been at war with Eastasia", I guess.

I may be halfway decent at simple math, but I failed calculus.  My bad for not understanding what the senior bonus really is.  All these years chasing that carrot only to find out it is a lemon.

The idea behind the Senior Bonus is to distribute money out of your Subscribers Account faster than normal thus putting more money in your pocket now vs when you close your accounts with us. So it does provide the benefit of not making you close all of your accounts to get your accumulated funds a little quicker. We figure that you've accumulated enough in the account that you should not have to have as much of it held back any more. I hope that is helpful.

Thank you for your prompt response.   The word "bonus" is misleading.  It should be called "optional distribution" or "optional withdrawal".  It's like calling an IRA account withdrawal an "IRA bonus".  I understand it gives me the flexibility to withdraw funds, but if I elected to retain the funds in my account, what is the bonus?  My balance would be the same as before.

I see your point about the wording. If you feel it to be misleading, let me know to have your feedback passed forwarded. Th Senior Bonus is not set up as an optional withdrawal. Once you reach your 40 years of membership mark, it is enacted automatically. There is little benefit of turning it off anyway. The funds in this account serve as a reserve in the rare event that claims have well exceeded our projections and what is not used for that becomes yours. It does not grow interest so you receiving it gives you the option of investing it, spending it, giving it or whatever you wish without worry of it being utilized by USAA. Once the funds are distributed to you, they become yours and no longer USAA's so in that sense, we've felt it fair to call it a bonus.

Again, I appreciate and am pleasantly surprised that you have responded.  However, I must disagree with your last statement.  As far as I can tell, the withdrawal of 10% of my balance IS optional (not automatic), since I can elect to "retain" the funds instead of applying them to my bill or checking account.  Secondly, if I retain the funds in my account, those funds will continue to earn 10% interest, correct?  A 10% return is hard to beat elsewhere.  No need to respond, as I shan't look a gift horse in the mouth, and will consider myself fortunate to keep receiving my "bonus" in one form or another.  Thanks to you and the awesome USAA Customer Service team!

I know you said no need to respond but I want to make sure that I'm not leaving you with any misconceptions. Subscriber's account does not earn interest. You can choose how to receive your dividend and Senior Bonus as credit to your bill, paper check or ACH deposit but there is no option to turn it off. That preference can be made on or you can call 800-531-8722. Have a good evening and thanks for your 40 year membership!

Again, I must respond to your last statement, for my and maybe other members' clarification.  You state that a member who is eligible for the Senior Bonus, when deciding how to distribute funds from their account, "cannot turn it off".  What is the "retain" option provided as one of the distribution choices?  If it is what I think it is, then we can choose to retain the funds in our account.  Those funds which are retained will then be used in computing the 10% bonus for the next year.  For example, if my balance is $10,000, I will be able to recieve a $1000 (10%) "bonus". If I elect to have that $1000 distributed, my account balance will be $9000, and will recieve a $900 "bonus" the next year.  If I elect to "retain" the funds, my account balance would remain at $10,000, and the next year I could recieve a $1000 bonus, and so on, correct? That would add up over the years. Not to sound critical, but you must not be a financial adviser.  Thanks for responding

Good afternoon @60something and we appreciate you reaching out to us via USAA's Community.  To better assist you in addressing your Senior Bonus questions and concerns, please reach out to our insurance specialists to further review and address on your behalf.  Thank you for your membership with USAA and we look forward to hearing from you soon.  ~Marco