Primerica Review – Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme

Primerica uses multilevel marketing (MLM) business model to distribute and sell financial products.

This means Primerica doesn’t hire sales agents. If you get invited to a ‘Job Interview’, you are coming to a business opportunity meeting.

Primerica offers everyone an opportunity to start their own MLM business selling insurance and financial services as an independent agent of Primerica.

However, the majority of Primerica agents earned little or nothing.

You must have lots of questions about the Primerica MLM business.

You want to know, ‘is Primerica a pyramid scheme?’

Let begin our Primerica review to find out.

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Primerica Review

Since Primerica is an mlm business opportunity, many of my readers and investors have asked, ‘Is Primerica a pyramid scheme?’

Under US laws, Primerica is not a pyramid scheme. The mlm legality issue has been discussed in our popular article, MLM vs Affiliate Marketing. I suggest you read the article to understand more.

However, before investing in this mlm business opportunity, we also need to know, ‘Is Primerica mlm business opportunity profitable?’

In this Primerica Review, together, we will be looking at the Primerica compensation plan, the Primerica agent commissions structure, and Primerica income disclosure statements to determine the profitability of this business opportunity.

But first, let get to know Primerica business model.

(You can skip this section if you already know about Primerica.)

What Is Primerica?

Primerica is a multi-billion dollar financial services company located in Duluth, Georgia.

The company is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRI.”

Arthur Williams Jr launched this company in 1977 with the mission “to help families earn more income, become properly protected, and achieve financial independence,”

Primerica adopts the mlm business model to promote and sell all types of insurance products, Legal Protection Program, investment products, ID theft protection, Debt Consolidation, and Financial Needs Analysis.

Primerica 2018 annual report reviewed the company generated $1.89 billion in global revenue, insured approximately 5 million lives and managed over 2 million client investment accounts.

The company reported 130,736 active licensed independent representatives at the end of 2018.

However, the average earning for all active representatives in 2018 is only $6,069. This data should be a little concern for anyone interested in starting a Primerica business. I’ll explain later.

How Does Primerica Work?

Now you have the idea of Primerica business opportunity, let discuss how does Primerica work.

There has been reported that many Primerica sales representatives using the unethical tactic of promising a ‘job interview’ to invite unsuspected job seekers to attend the business opportunity meeting.

When job seekers arrive for an interview, they are coerced into signing up and pay fees to become an independent sales representative.

If this happened to you, you should contact the Primerica office to request for a refund of the application fee and report the agent.

This is not how Primerica works.

How to Become A Primerica Agent?

The process of becoming a Primerica agent is simple.

  • You can request for an Independent Business Application (IBA) by contacting a Primerica office near you, or from an active agent of Primerica.
  • You complete the IBA, pay a fee of $99, and submit to a background check.
  • Once your background check is clear, you can start the training to become a licensed sales representative for Primerica.

Professional Licensing Requirements

  • The first license that you need is the insurance agent license.

Once you become a licensed insurance agent, you can receive commissions from selling Primerica insurance products.

  • You also then need to pass the securities licensing exam to become a licensed securities agent to sell financial products, such as mutual funds.

It usually takes three months for an individual to complete the licensing training and pass the state exam to become a licensed sales representative of Primerica.

This means you will not make money for at least three months after starting your Primerica business.

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Primerica Start Up Costs

There are several costs that you must consider when starting this financial services business with Primerica.

The minimum startup costs are:

  • Application Fee – $99

This fee covers the costs of background check and 2 days insurance pre-licensing class.

  • Insurance Licensing Test Fee – $147.55 (FL)

The test fee varies by each state. I use the state of Florida, but you have to check with your own state to find out the actual cost. This cost is above $100.

  • Insurance License (Appointment) Registration Fee – $60.00 (FL)

This is the first year fee to register your insurance agent license with your state. There is also a license renewal fee every year, for Florida is $20. You should check with your state to find out the total cost.

  • Primerica Online (POL) – $25 per month

This is the fee for using the Primerica website. This gives the sales representative full access to tools and resource, such as the commission statements and the client account tools. This fee increase as the sales representative gets promoted. The POL monthly fee is required.

Based on the estimated costs above, the minimum Primerica Start Up Cost is $331.55. This cost can be more or less depending on the state you are licensed.

You still have to pay the $25 technology fee each month.

Additional costs:

  • Securities Licensing Process – $500 – $1,000

This is an estimated cost to become a licensed securities agent. You should check with your state for the actual cost of each securities exam.

There is a license renews annually and is approximately $500 and up, depending on the state registration.

The startup cost to launch this mlm business is inexpensive.

As you can see, most of your costs are related to licensing. This Primerica business opportunity requires a lot of studies and exams.

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Once you are a licensed sales representative of Primerica. You might like to know how can you make money with Primerica?

Let’s find out

How Do Primerica Agents Get Paid?

To find out how do Primerica agents get paid, we need to look at the Primerica compensation plan, or Primerica commission structured.

Primerica adopts an unilevel commission structured. This means that your own customers and referrals will be on the first level.

Primerica agents get paid 2 ways: commissions on personal sales and override.

PositionDirect SalesOverride
Sale Representative25%0
Senior Representative


District Leader


15% – 25%
Division Leader


10% – 35%
Regional Leader


10% – 45%
Regional Vice President


25% – 70%
Senior Vice President


15% – 85%

Primerica agent also gets paid commissions on Investment Products. However, the commission structure is a little tricky to understand.

  • Licensed agents get paid 30% from the dealer commission.

The commission works this way: Primerica, the dealer, gets paid 4.5% from the sale of a mutual fund. You receive a 30% commission from the 4.5% that Primerica gets paid or 1.35%.

  • Commissions for financial products are little. Therefore, most Primerica sales representatives prefer selling insurance products over investment products.

To earn override commissions, you have to reach the senior representative level. The preferred level that Primerica encourages all agents to achieve fast is District Leader.

Like all mlm business compensation, the agent gets promoted to a new level after meeting certain requirements.

Here is the Primerica promotion guideline if you are interested.

The Primerica compensation plan only tells us how Primerica agents make money.

We need to know the actual earnings to determine profitability. We can find this information in the 2018 Primerica earnings disclosure statement.

Two most important data to us are the number of new recruits and the average annual earnings commission.

Primerica 2018 Sales Representatives

Primerica review new recruits

According to the table above, the total new recruits for 2018 is 290,886.

But only 48,041 passed the exam to become a licensed sales representative.

  • This information tells us that over 83% of new Primerica business owners fail before they even qualified to earn commissions.
  • Or, we can say that less than 17% of new recruits pass the first exam to become a licensed sales representative.
  • The success rate for the Primerica business opportunity is low.

Many people launched this mlm business without thinking about the difficulty of these licensing exams.

They waste their investment dollars for nothing in return.

You need to carefully evaluate your chances of passing these tests before investing.

This table also tells us Primerica has a total of 130,736 active licensed agents at the end of 2018. Now let see how much they make.

Here’s the earnings disclosure statement.

Primerica earnings disclosure

According to the earning statement above, the average earnings for all Primerica sales representatives is only $6,069 a year.

  • This means the majority of Primerica agents earned $6,069 or less in commissions for the entire year. This is before taking out tax and business expenses.
  • Taking out taxes and expenses, most Primerica mlm businesses generate ZERO profit.

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Can You Make Money with Primerica?

Looking at the Primerica compensation plan together with the earnings disclosure statement, we must agree that it’s very difficult to make money with the Primerica business opportunity.

The licensing exams are the biggest hurdle to achieve success with this business.

A large number of Primerica businesses failed before even making a sale.

To make money with Primerica, you must have a strong background and experience in financial planning.

This mlm business opportunity is not for everyone, especially for those having problems with tests.

Even when you pass all the licensing tests, making money with Primerica is not easy when the annual average earning is less than $7,000.

Primerica financial data tell us that the chance of making a profit with this business opportunity is low.

Is Primerica a Pyramid Scheme?

No, Primerica is not a pyramid scheme under the laws, because when you are investing $99 in this business, you receive a service, 2 days pre-licensing class.

An mlm opportunity is not a pyramid scheme when it promotes and sells products or services, not just memberships. This is mlm a legal definition. You can read this article MLM vs Affiliate Marketing to learn more.

After reviewing the Primerica financial information, whether Primerica a pyramid scheme or not is irrelevant to our investment decision.

The financial data show us that this mlm business opportunity is NOT PROFITABLE.

It is not a good investment.

How I Make Money Investing in Business?

Before I make an investment, I carefully study the business opportunity by looking at the financial information, the compensation, and the business model.

I am looking for a PROFITABLE business.

We invest in a business to make money. If the financial tell us this opportunity is a looser, we move on.

It is nothing wrong to make a mistake in investing. Cut your losses and move on.

This is how I found success with my current online business.

Making money online is much easier comparing to mlm marketing.

There is no recruiting, no face-to-face selling, no tests or exam to worry, and the initial cost of investment is low.

I started my business with these 10 Free Online Training Lessons. You only need a computer and an internet connection to learn this business. It’s free, no payment required.

I make more money in a month than a licensed sales representative of Primerica made the whole year.

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My people accused Primerica a pyramid scheme because they lost their investment.

But from our Primerica Review, we discovered the Primerica business opportunity is not profitable to start.

Most recruits lost money not because Primerica is an mlm opportunity, but because they failed to pass the licensed insurance agent exam.

Your chance of success with this mlm business is ZERO!

3 thoughts on “Primerica Review – Is Primerica A Pyramid Scheme”

  1. I have been a Primerica agent for almost 5 years now. I would like to correct some of the misinformation you have here. There are many individuals out there who hate us for the simple fact we believe in term life insurance and not cash value. For 44 years we have made a dent in the evil act of selling cash value insurance. To some of us, this is a crusade to right an injustice. If you truly understand term and cash life and had a loved one die with a cash value policy, you’ll get the crusade part. Just some background on me; spent three years part-time by my choice and then went full time. I am now a Division leader.
    Primerica was created with the mindset of part-timers who could transfer to full-time. Many life and investment companies require you to be full-time and have your licenses already. Primerica is not an MLM, we are a brokerage. The definition of a brokerage is “a company that buys or sells goods or assets for a client”. We educate middle-income Americans and assist in any financial problem they may have. The definition of MLM is “a strategy some direct sales companies use to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors who are paid percentages of their recruits’ sales.” That does not happen; I have never been paid any percentage of my agents’ sales. I do get paid an incentive to train my agents properly when they take care of a client. Primerica pays me out of their pocket extra cash called an override. My agents get paid 100%. MLMs get paid to recruit, I do not. I have never been paid to recruit. I get the opportunity to recruit. The difference is how one looks at owning a business. To you try to open a business by yourself by a bank loan and hope it survives? Pay a million dollars for a franchise? Or build a business within a business that will help you create an independent franchise for you? Every company recruits, the differences are how one goes about it; do you post a job online or recruit face to face?
    The $6069 is a misleading number. Primerica is a do-it-yourself work; you don’t work, you don’t make money. 80% of all Primerica agents are part-timers working 10 hours or less a week. The $6069 is derived from the $793.4 million (2018 compensation to all fields agent) that was paid out to all 130,736 active licensed agents and divided by that number. This will give you $6069 per person. My first year was about $3000/year part-time. 2nd year was about $8000/year. My third year was $10,000/year. I average about $30,000 a year now. 60% of the money comes from residues from my investments over this time frame. Now investments are where the money is at.
    Now there are some scumbags in Primerica unfortunately. Please report them and we will get rid of them. I was shown the opportunity twice by two shady guys and I walked away. There was something off about those guys so I left the interview. The last gentleman I sat down with was down to earth and showed me a great way to own my own business. I was never pressured or coerced into signing anything or even doing a financial plan. This opportunity is probably the least stressful job I’ve ever had.
    The licensing time and money you can make are slightly incorrect. We have three products that you need no license for that can make money with right off the bat. You should have your life license in your 1st 30 days. I had mine in 10 days. It is up to you and you alone to study and take the test. Part of the $99 is to put you into a classroom that teaches how to pass the life exam the 1st time. The investment test does average take 90 days. It took me a year. Those tests are no joke. The Investment SIE (ethics test), Series 6 & 63 costs a total of $2000 which Primerica pays for. Only a handful of companies do that. We also have a training bonus. By law, you cannot be paid on life or investments without a license so we pay out a training bonus. You complete certain tasks that are beneficial to you, you make cash. My bonus was $300 and I was part-time (15 hours/week), made $650 that 1st month. Granted the bonus now is way bigger and more lucrative than back then. The test fee (Texas it’s $40) is refunded once you pass the exam. There is no registration fee that you have to pay, Primerica takes care of that. Now every 2 years you must take continuing education courses that run about $40. Every year you do have to pay a federal license fee for your investment license, not cheap.
    The fee for the online website does not go up the price. It stays $25 bucks. Now when you become an RVP, a broker, you do pay more. You are an actual business owner. I have never paid more than $25 and I am Division Leader. Not quite an RVP yet, working on it. The website gives you access to everything you need to run your business, training videos, your own website, life mock-up exams, allows access to your investment license, and also investment software. Over $2500 worth of content for $25, good deal.
    Sell life over investments? Are you nuts? The percentage is smaller but the out pay is higher and no chargebacks. Chargebacks are universal across life companies, if a client cancels the policy in a certain amount of time you have to pay back the money they gave you. Investments don’t do that and I have never had a life policy pay me $7500 dollars for 2 hours of work. Do one old 401k rollover per month and you are making good money. I’ll take investments over insurance any day. Not everyone needs life insurance but almost everyone needs retirement, emergency funds, and college money
    For profitability please see the above statements. Not everyone is full time and not everyone works. No one will force you to get your license, no one will force you to get clients; it is up to you. Granted I am there to help but its’ your business. Working a commission-based job or opportunity requires you to get off your ass and hustle. That is the name of the game.
    Wasting money on getting an investment license? Are you smoking your socks? The investment license is a bitch because you can’t have idiots screwing up somebody’s retirement plan and that is why the test is hard and the pay is good. I have almost $2000 coming in each month from my residues (money I make whether I work or not) that I make from my investment and my agent overrides. Hell, I’ve been paid by Primerica to invest my own money into stocks, mutual funds, and such.
    Taxes and expenses? I haven’t paid taxes in over two years. Thanks to the Democrat tax breaks that are given out, I am able to write off almost everything I spend my money on. You name it; I got a tax write-off on it. Owning your own business or being a contractor is awesome. I have a buddy who made about $25000 a year (2020) working as an employee and paid taxes. That is the power of being self-employed or owning your own business.
    You don’t need any background in financing. Hell, I was an infantry Marine before doing this. My last job was cleaning bathrooms and air fresheners. Don’t be a wuss and just study and pass. I am slightly dyslexia and I passed. No excuse.
    There is no guarantee in any business. No matter what type of business not everyone who joins Primerica will succeed, but everyone has a chance to succeed. Like the online business opportunity which is placed on your website. There is no guaranteed that you or anyone else will make money. Being self-employed or an employee means that 100% of your money comes from your efforts. Having a business means 100% of your money comes from other’s efforts. I like that. I create a business where my previous actions with my clients keep paying me and my training of my agents keeps paying me long after I stop seeing clients and recruiting. Create a business that can run without you there, an example would be a McDonald’s owner. He as a Manager, staff, and cleanup crews to take care of everything. He is at the beach while the business is making him money. That is the goal of building a business: passive income. Primerica excels at this. You will find no better outlet to build a business with the people that you want to. I hope this clarifies some misinformation about Primerica. Semper Fi, Always.

    • Hi Jack,
      I can see you are passionate about Primerica. The fact you love this company doesn’t mean it’s not an MLM. Primerica calls itself a Multi-level MArketing Company. Even Wikipedia classifies the company as an MLM.
      The sad part of your story is after more than three years of building a business you only make $30,000 a year. This is not a good business.
      You can easily make more than $100K a year as an affiliate marketer after 3 years. You work at home, no boss, and no traveling around selling life insurance.
      I don’t care what you say, Jack. MLM is not a profitable business opportunity.

    • Hi Jack,
      I can see you are passionate about Primerica. The fact you love this company doesn’t mean it’s not an MLM. Primerica calls itself a Multi-level MArketing Company. Even Wikipedia classifies the company as an MLM.
      The sad part of your story is after more than three years of building a business you only make $30,000 a year. This is not a good business.
      You can easily make more than $100K a year as an affiliate marketer after 3 years. You work at home, no boss, and no traveling around selling life insurance.
      I don’t care what you say, Jack. MLM is not a profitable business opportunity.


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