Stay on top of the latest news & trends affecting the annuity industry. The AnnuityFYI annuity blog is regularly updated with original articles covering products, insurance company news and financial expert’s commentary. Whether you are an annuity owner or financial professional, Annuity FYI’s blog will keep you informed.

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Moody’s To Lower Hartford Financial’s Ratings

MarketWatch reports that Moody's has lowered its ratings for Hartford Financial. The annuity provider's life insurance business was downgraded to A1. This means Hartford no longer is high-credit-quality. Future downgrades could be forthcoming, since Moody's also has a negative outlook for Hartford. A Hartford representative blames the credit crunch for making it harder to hedge against future losses in variable... Read More

Immediate Annuities: Best Kept Secret

On The Huffington Post, Dan Solin writes that immediate annuities are a less publicized yet suitable investment for retirees or those about to retire. He cites evidence that people who invest in an immediate annuity as part of their retirement portfolio are less likely to outlive their savings, a big concern for baby boomers.Several companies offer immediate annuities, including:Vanguard Fidelity Charles Schwab TIAA-CREFWhile these products can be appropriate for many... Read More

WSJ Suggests Fixed Immediate Annuities for Retirees

In a Wall Street Journal article, Shelly Banjo and Kristen McNamara highlighted the advantages of fixed immediate annuities. Like standard fixed annuities, they are generally safe investments for retirees. Unlike them, these products begin making payments soon after you deposit a lump sum and provide an income stream with little delay.The top immediate annuity rates in the market are around 4.75% to 5.40%, which seems to be a decent return when compared to a 10-year Treasury note or 5-year... Read More

Hartford To Launch Variable Annuity With Lifetime Benefit in May

An article in the Retirement Income Reporter states that this May, Hartford Financial is planning to launch a new variable annuity product with a guaranteed lifetime benefit. While a lifetime benefit can be quite appealing to individuals nearing retirement, there is a catch in this offering.Hartford has also announced that in order to keep costs low enough to appeal to consumers, this annuity will have some "constrained features"; said constraints are unknown at this point. These limits... Read More

New Investment Fund Added to Pacific Life Variable Annuities

Pacific Life and GEAM are collaborating on a variable annuity product for the first time. As of February 1st, Pacific Life has begun to offer the GE Investments Total Return Fund in its variable annuity platform, according to a press release. The fund from GE Asset Management Inc. is intended for investors who are looking for a long term, transparent product that seeks the highest total return with prudent investment risks. Such a product seems to fit the needs of baby boomers close to... Read More

Top 10 Bank Holding Companies in Annuity Fee Income

The Insurance and Financial Advisor's Bob Graham has reported on the recent results of the Michael White-Symetra Bank Holding Company Fee Income Report. The findings apply to the first three quarters of 2008, and the top 10 bank holding companies (in terms of annuity and mutual fund income) for that time period are as follows:Wachovia (since bought by Wells Fargo) JPMorgan Chase Bank of America Citigroup Wells Fargo Bank of New York Mellon Taunus National City SunTrust... Read More

Sales of Immediate Annuities Soar for New York Life

Matt Ackerman of Bank Investment Consultant recently reported that sales of immediate annuities have risen over the past several years. For example, New York Life's immediate annuity sales increased by 34% in 2008. As of December 31st, immediate annuities make up $1.2 billion in the firm's assets.While immediate annuities have been around for decades, New York Life only resumed its marketing of them a few years ago. These products, which turn an investor's lump sum into an steady income... Read More

A.M. Best Downgrades Nationwide Rating

A recent press release by A.M. Best announces that they have revised their rating of Nationwide Financial Services to negative. Nationwide's rating had been stable.A.M. Best says that the downgrade are is largely due to the fact that the firm's financial performance is heavily based on the equity markets. Its products include variable annuities and variable life insurance, the former of which has been hit severely by the stock market's fall. Nationwide's line of variable annuities is... Read More

New York Life Sells Over $1 Billion Of Income Annuities in 2008

The Retirement Income Reporter recently published an article highlighting New York Life Insurance Company's selling a total of $1.2 billion of income annuities during 2008. About $850 million was sold through New York Life's own career agency. Over $100 million worth of AARP Lifetime Income annuity programs, which are provided by the company, were sold. Another $350 million of annuities were sold through partnerships with... Read More

Tips for Buying Annuities from Money Magazine

Walter Updegrave, editor of Money magazine, recently wrote about the conventional wisdom of annuities being a safer investment and wondered if that is still true today. He believes that an annuity continues to be a good option, but that you need to keep several guidelines in mind when you compare annuities.Number one on your checklist is to make sure that the insurer you buy your annuity from is healthy and solvent. If an insurance company fails, you will lose whatever money you put in it.... Read More

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