Good news for prospective annuity buyers, especially amid recent signs that the economy is slowing markedly and could begin acting turbulent as the year winds on.
Two Athene fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) – Athene Agility 7 and Athene Protector 5 – have caught our attention. Both have abbreviated surrender schedules of seven and five years, respectively, both of which are lower than average. This is a significant plus if the performance of the annuity is disappointing you for some reason, or, more likely, a more attractive product comes along.
“The ability to break loose from an annuity sooner rather than later, without penalty, is a good thing” says one annuity sales agent. “Who doesn’t like more options?”
Each Athene annuity also offers relatively generous investment terms and at least one above-average benefit in addition to a truncated surrender period.
Agility 7, which is especially attractive, offers a free guaranteed income rider with attractive terms – no rollup, but a handsome upfront bonus and 5% a year for a 65-year-old single person and 4.5% for a married couple with one person of the same age.
That bonus is 25% on the income base, compared to a norm of 10% to 20%. And Agility 7 offers a competitive participation rate on the BNP Paribas Index of 115% over two years, point-to-point. This index invests in bonds and some commodities, as well as stock indexes. (Agility and Protector also offer competitive terms on participation in the S&P 500.)
Protector offers a roughly similar participation rate on BNP Paribas – 110% one year point-to-point – and a better deal for annuity beneficiaries at a reasonable price. For 40 basis points a year, the annuity will give beneficiaries 100% of the cost of the annuity even if withdrawals have been taken, a better deal than average.
Protector, unlike Agility 7, does not offer an income rider.
The minimum investment on both annuities is $10,000.
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