When evaluating the numerous fixed annuity products on the market, Annuity FYI looks for a) features of the fixed annuity itself; and b) the company issuing the annuity.
Criteria we use in evaluating the annuity are:
- The highest rates for all possible guarantee periods.
- Strength of the renewal rate history.
- Correlation of rate period and surrender period, e.g. we don’t favor annuities that offer a three-year guarantee with a six-year surrender period.
- Higher penalty-free withdrawal amounts
- Plans with market value adjustments (MVA). The presence of an MVA doesn’t make the plan bad or good, you just need to know that it exists.
Criteria we use in evaluating the insurance company issuing the annuities and riders are:
- High safety ratings of the issuing company — almost all fixed annuities are in the general accounts of the issuing company, so strong safety ratings are critical.
- Company management, customer service, and ease of account access.