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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Kiplinger’s: Don’t Cash Out Money-Losing Variable Annuities

Kimberly Lankford from Kiplinger's has some advice for people who are considering cashing out their variable annuities that have lost money over the past few years: don't, especially if your variable annuity has an income guarantee. When you cash out a variable annuity with a guaranteed minimum income benefit, you are only entitled to the current value of your investment; whereas if you keep it, you have the right to a yearly withdrawal of your initial investment (or even a percentage of the... Read More

Annuities With Longevity Protection Could Save Your Retirement

In the Wall Street Journal, Anne Tergensen highlighted a new trend in annuities: longevity policies. Unlike standard annuity products, this investment only begins payouts at a certain advanced age (usually 80 or older). When payments do begin, annual payments are higher. As a result, you may be able to maintain a similar standard of living during your golden years. Due to interest compounding, you can amass a significant sum with a smaller initial investment than a regular... Read More

TIAA-CREF Guarantees Fixed Annuity Holders Equal Income in 2009

The Insurance and Financial Advisor recently reported good news for TIAA-CREF clients with a TIAA Traditional Annuity. An executive VP from the company confirms that the guaranteed fixed annuties will provide payouts in 2009 that are equal or greater to the income recieved in 2008. According to TIAA, it can afford to offer steady returns in a fluctuating market because the Traditional General Account backing the annuities is extremely diversified (no more than 1% in a single investment)... Read More

Top 5 Bank Annuity Providers in First 3 Quarters of 2008

The Michael White-Symetra Bank Fee Income Report was recently released, revealing the banks that earned the most combined income in mutual fund and annuities fees during the first three quarters of 2008.Bank of America ($1.42 billion) Wachovia Wells Fargo U.S. Bank JPMorgan ChaseAccording to the Retirement Income Journal, Q1-Q3 2008 saw a nearly 14% increase in bank annuity fees and commissions, although it was down 18% in the third quarter. Income from annuity and mutual fund... Read More

Insurance Companies Sue SEC Over Indexed Annuity Regulation

Following up on a post from last month, a coalition of insurance companies has filed a lawsuit against the Security and Exchange Commission over the new rule that classifies indexed annuities as securities. According to the Coalition for Indexed Products' lawyer, Eugene Scalia, Rule 151A violates securities laws that give individual states (not the SEC) jurisdiction to regulate annuities. OM Financial Life Insurance, American Equity Investment Life Insurance, National Western Life Insurance,... Read More

Kiplinger’s: Don’t Worry About AIG Annuities

In Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, Kimberly Lankford advised individuals with annuities or life insurance policies from AIG to sit tight. Despite the well-publicized struggles of its other divisions, the life insurance subsidiaries are mostly unaffected and currently have an A rating from A.M. Best (under review with negative implications).  State capital requirements mean that AIG has enough money in reserve to pay claims.Variable annuities from AIG (e.g. the Vanguard variable... Read More

Nationwide Downgraded By Fitch

Nationwide has had several of its companies' annuity safety ratings downgraded by Fitch Ratings. Fitch puts the blame largely on the privatization of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company's (NMIC) life insurance operations, which resulted in decreased capital availability and flexibility. Investment losses in 2008 and predicted for this year also contributed to Fitch downgrading Nationwide. Important rankings from the Fitch press release:The Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings for... Read More

Annuity FYI Fixed Annuity Alert: Are Annuities Safe?

We have been updating our Annuity FYI In The News section with a flurry of recent articles related to the the economic crisis, from major financial sources such as Money, Fortune, Kiplinger's, and The Wall Street Journal.  Everywhere, we see this question raised: Are Annuities Safe Nowadays? Below we've summarized some of the latest articles on the subject.  If these are of interest, click here, and you will be sent an annuityfyi.com Article Request page, where you can request links to the... Read More

Should You Buy A Fixed Annuity or a CD?

An article by Mark Czachowski, which recently appeared in the Effingham Herald, gives a good overview of the similarities and differences between certificates of deposits (CDs) and fixed annuities. While they are both judged to be relatively low-risk investments, neither is for everyone.A CD is issued by a bank and insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) for up to $100,000 per depositor. CDs offer lower interest rates than annuities, but are better for short-term... Read More

Are Your Annuities Protected?

In the December issue of Fortune, Walter Updegrade soothes the concerns of some consumers worried about their annuity investments. Despite the struggling financial markets, so far no major life insurance company has gone under. Even AIG's insurance subsidiaries have remained largely unscathed!State insurance departments will liquidate an insurer in the worst-case scenario, and your level of protection will depend on the type of annuity you have and how much you've invested:Variable... Read More

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