4 Year Fixed Annuity Rates April 2021
Fixed Annuity Buyers Guide
In this guide, we’ll explain what a fixed annuity, how they work, fixed annuity taxation, current annuity rates, the pros and cons and how to purchase a fixed annuity.
4 Year Fixed Annuity Rates
As of April 5th, 2021, our best 4-year fixed annuity rate is 2.55% issued by Oceanview Life and Annuity Company. The table below lists the best 4 year fixed annuity rates for February 2021.
|Fixed Annuity Compamy||Rating||Fixed Annuity|
|Nassau||B+||Nassau Simple Annuity||2.80%|
|Oceanview Life and Annuity||A-||Harbourview 4||2.55%|
|Oxford Life Insurance||A-||Multi-Select 4||2.25%|
|Guaranty Income Life||B++||Guaranty Rate Lock 4 ($250K+)||2.05%|
|AIG||A||American Pathway VisionMYG 4 ($100K+)||2.10%|
|Guaranty Income Life||B++||Guaranty 4 Annuity||2.00%|
|Sagicor Life Insurance||A-||Milestone MYGA 4 ($100K+)||2.00%|
|Guaranty Income Life||B++||Guaranty Rate Lock 4 ($10K+)||1.95%|
|Guggenheim Life and Annuity||B++||Preserve MYGA 4 ($250K+)||1.90%|
|Guaranty Income Life||B++||Guaranty Rate Lock 4 (Non MVA) ($250K+)||1.80%|
|Guggenheim Life and Annuity||B++||Preserve MYGA 4 ($5K+)||1.80%|
|AIG||A||American Pathway VisionMYG 4 ($10K+)||1.80%|
Today's Best Fixed Annuity Rates by Term
Below are today’s best fixed annuity rates by term.
|2 yrs||SILAC||B+||Secure Savings Elite 2||2.15%|
|3 yrs||Oceanview Life and Annuity Company||A-||Harbourview 3||2.20%|
|4 yrs||Nassau Financial Group||B+||Nassau Simple Annuity||2.55%|
|5 yrs||Western United Life||B+||Navigator Ultra||3.00%|
|6 yrs||Atlantic Coast Life||B++||Safe Haven 6||2.87%|
|6 yrs||Oceanview Life and Annuity Company||A-||Harbourview 6||2.75%|
|7 yrs||Western United Life||B+||Navigator Ultra||3.05%|
|8 yrs||Oxford Life Insurance||A-||Multi-Select 8||2.80%|
|9 yrs||Liberty Bankers Life||B++||Bankers Elite 9||3.00%|
|10 yrs||Guggenheim Life and Annuity ($250K+)||B++||Personal Choice Annuity 10||3.10%|
|10 yrs||Guggenheim Life and Annuity||B++||Personal Choice Annuity 10||3.00%|
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What is a Fixed Annuity?
A fixed annuity or multi-year guaranteed annuity (MYGA) is a type of tax-deferred retirement savings account that pays a guaranteed interest rate for a set period of time. Fixed annuities are often compared to Certificates of Deposit (CDs), and sometimes referred to as a “CD Type Annuity” because of the many similarities. Essentially, a fixed annuity is a CD sold by an insurance company instead of a bank.
One key difference is that the earnings from a fixed annuity are not taxed until you withdraw your money; whereas CD interest is taxed in the year it is earned – regardless if you spend it.
When you invest ina fixed annuity your money is not in the stock market so there is no stock market volatility like in a variable annuity. Because your principal and rate of return are guaranteed a fixed annuity may be a good option for you if you want a conservative investment that guarantees a higher interest rate than CDs.
NOTE: You may also hear a fixed annuity referred to as one of these names:
- CD type annuity
- Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity (MYGA)
- Single-Premium Deferred Annuity (SPDA)
- Traditional Fixed Annuity
- Flexible-Premium Deferred Annuity (FPDA)
How Does a Fixed Annuity Work?
With a fixed annuity, the insurance company guarantees both the rate of return (the interest rate) and the payout to the investor. The specified interest rate is set up front and so is the length of the contract. For instance, a 5 year fixed annuity with a 3.10% interest rate will pay 3.10% for 5 years guaranteed.
Although the word “fixed” might suggest otherwise, the interest rate on a fixed annuity can change over time. The rate of return can not change during the original guarantee period but it can change after the initial guarantee period has ended (5 years in our example above).
At the end of your initial guarantee period you will be offered a new interest rate which is called a renewal rate. You will typically have a 30 day window to decide whether or not you want to accept the renewal rate or transfer your money somewhere else. You are able to transfer to a new annuity without any tax consequences using a 1035 exchange.
Source: “Learn to Invest, Investment Types, Annuities, Fixed Annuities.” Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Visit FINRA’s Fixed Annuities Webpage
Fixed Annuity vs. CD's
Fixed annuities behave similarly to a certificate of deposit (CD). Each of them provides principal protection, meaning your account value will not decrease due to market performance.
A fixed annuity, or MYGA, guarantees a set interest rate for a specified period of time – just like a CD. However, Fixed annuity guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company and are not insured by the FDIC like a CD.
You can view your state’s guarantee association’s annuity coverage limit by visit our State Insurance Guaranty Associations page. The associations provide a safety net for their state’s annuity owners and guarantee policyholders continue to receive coverage.
|FIXED ANNUITY||CD (CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT)|
|SOLD BY||Insurance Companies||Banks|
|AMOUNT YOU CAN INVEST||$2,000 - $1,000,000||Essentially Any Amount|
|INVESTMENT DURATION||3 years - 10 years||3 months - 5 years|
|INTEREST RATES||Varies by insurer, term and investment amount. Typically higher than CDs||Varies by financial institution, term and investment amount.|
|LIQUIDITY||Varies by insurer and annuity. Usually either 10% of account value or accumulated interest annually.||Almost always accumulated interest.|
|GUARANTEES||Backed by the claims paying ability of issuing Insurer and by State Guaranty Funds.||Backed by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution.|
|DEATH BENEFIT||Asset passed directly to beneficiary without going through the probate process||Probate process required to pass asset to heirs|
Can I Exchange My Annuity for a New Fixed Annuity?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to exchange an annuity policy that you own for a new annuity policy without paying tax on the investment gains earned on the original contract. This can be a substantial benefit.
This rule is governed by Section 1035 of the Internal Revenue Code which is why these are called “1035 Exchanges.” Below is a direct link to the complete text of the code.
1035 Exchange Rules
There are a couple of important rules that must be followed in order to receive the benefits of a 1035 Exchange.
- The tax code says that the old annuity policy must be exchanged for a new policy – you cannot receive a check and apply the proceeds to the purchase of a new insurance policy.
- You can 1035 exchange from a life insurance policy to an annuity
- You can 1035 exchange from an annuity to a long-term care policy.
- You can not 1035 exchange from an annuity to a life insurance policy
Here is an example of an actual 1035 Exchange form you would need to complete to move from one annuity to another via a 1035 Exchange.
Advantages of a 1035 Exchange
The primary advantage of using a 1035 exchange to change your life insurance policy or annuity choices is to avoid triggering taxes on those transactions. There are different scenarios where exchanging policies or annuity contracts might make sense. For example, advantages of a 1035 exchange include:
- You need more life insurance coverage than you currently have
- You want to change the type of life insurance policy you have
- You’re looking for an annuity contract with lower fees
- You want to restructure your annuity payments
- You currently own a variable annuity and your risk tolerance has changed
As long as you’re exchanging contracts within the guidelines set by the IRS you all of the above events will be tax-free to you.
What to Consider When Buying a Fixed Annuity
Fixed annuities are the most simple of any annuity which also makes them the easiest to shop for. Below are a few features to consider other than the interest rate when you are considering a fixed annuity.
Duration: Typically the longer contract you purchase the higher your guaranteed interest rate will be. However, that is not always the case in today’s low-rate environment.
Liquidity: Most all fixed annuities have some type of annual free withdrawals, but the amount available varies by product. You’ll see most of the fixed annuities at our marketplace provide either:
Interest-only withdrawals annually, or 10% Free Withdrawals (10% of the previous years’ account value) annually.
Insurance Company’s Financial Rating: Insurance companies are assigned financial ratings by independent rating agencies and these ratings are very important to consider because they are an indicator of its ability to fulfill financial commitments. Usually, a lesser-rated insurance company will offer higher fixed annuity rates, but that is not always the case.
How is a Fixed Annuity Taxed?
The deciding factor on how your fixed annuity will ultimately be taxed depends ultimately on the money you used to buy it. Whenever a client asks us how are annuities taxed, our first response is where did you get the money to buy it?
Since we are talking about taxes there is no way to say with certainty exactly how your annuity will be taxed. Tax laws and tax rates can and do change all the time.
However, we can make very educated guesses about certain scenarios based upon how annuities have been and are taxed currently. First, we will look at the types of funds you can use to purchase an annuity and explain the differences in how they are taxed.
Roth IRA Annuity Taxation
If you purchase a fixed annuity with funds from a Roth individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth 401(k) it is very likely you won’t have to pay federal income tax at all on the money when you withdraw it from your annuity. That includes the principal and interest.
Firstly, an annuity purchased with qualified funds is considered a qualified annuity. Qualified funds are monies that you have never paid taxes on such as a traditional IRA or a traditional 401(k). It would be nice if the IRS would allow going from tax-deferred to tax-free but that is not the case.
When you begin to make withdraws from a qualified annuity you will pay normal federal income taxes. Meaning, 100% of your annuity is treated as ordinary income and 100% of the funds will be taxed when they are taken.
Qualified Annuity Taxation
A non-qualified fixed annuity is an annuity purchased with after tax-dollars such as money from a taxable personal savings or checking account or a personal brokerage account.
If you own a non-qualified annuity, you will only pay income tax on the gain in your contract but not the money you used to purchase the annuity. The money used to purchase a non-qualified annuity is considered the “basis”. Insurance companies keep track of your “cost-basis” which is the original amount used to purchase an investment.
This “cost-basis” is the amount of money on which you will not pay taxes because you’ve already taxes on it once. The interest earned will be taxed as ordinary income, with a few exceptions that we will discuss momentarily.
Lifetime Income Annuity Taxation
A 5 year fixed annuity can be converted to an income annuity at the end of the initial 5 year annuity contract period via annuitization.
There are really two types of income annuity payout options: lifetime or period certain. A lifetime annuity is an annuity that guarantees payments for as long as you are alive whereas a period certain annuity guarantees payments for a specified period of time.
Remember, if you own a non-qualified annuity you only pay taxes on the interest earned not the original cost basis. So to determine what portion of your monthly payments are taxable there is a calculation that needs to be done to establish what percent of each annuity is principal (or cost-basis) and what percent is interest earned.
These calculations establish your exclusion ratio, or in plain terms, the percent of each annuity payment that is exempt from income taxes. The method of determining the exclusion ratio varies depending on whether you have a period certain annuity or a lifetime annuity. Let’s look at an example for each.
Fixed Annuity Pros and Cons
Advantages of a Fixed Annuity
Fixed annuities are meant to be long-term retirement savings vehicles. They provide a safe, tax-advantaged way to earn a good return on savings needed soon. They are remarkably like CDs, with added benefits:
Fixed Annuities Provide a Guaranteed Rate of Return
Fixed annuities offer a set interest rate for the entire length of the contract term
A Fixed Annuity Grows Tax-Deferred
As a retirement savings vehicle fixed annuities receive preferential tax treatment from the IRS. Taxes on interest earned are not paid until distributions are made. For a fixed annuity, this means that interest will accumulate and compound without incurring annual taxes, as is the case for a CD.
Fixed Annuities Provide Principal Protection
Fixed Annuities offer a safe and steady way to grow your retirement savings protecting them from loss due to market fluctuations.
Fixed Annuities Provide Some Liquidity
Most fixed annuities provide some liquidity in the form of annual free withdrawals. The free withdrawal amount is often either interest earned or 10% of the previous year’s account value (if you are over age 59 1/2.
Fixed Annuities are Simple Products
Some types of annuities such as fixed index and variable are highly customizable with many options from which to choose. Fixed annuities are very simple and easy to understand and don’t offer additional riders for a fee.
Disadvantages of a Fixed Annuity
10% IRS Penalty on Withdrawals from a Fixed Annuity Made Before Age 59½
Fixed annuities are really meant to be used for retirement savings. The IRS issues a 10% penalty on gains withdrawn from a fixed annuity for account holders under age 59½.
A Fixed Rate Annuity Offers Few Income Options
To be classified as an annuity an insurance product must contractually guarantee the ability to convert your contract into a lifetime income. However, a fixed annuity is definitely the least expensive or most efficient annuity product to generate a lifetime income; they simply have guaranteed annuitization rates built into them. Most often we find new money rates are better than the annuitization rates built into an existing annuity.
Fixed Annuity FAQs
Yes. Insurance companies as a whole have a long history of stability, even through our nation’s most difficult economic times. Fixed annuities are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing insurance company so it is important to consider the financial strength of the issuing company.
A “CD Type Annuity” is a type of fixed annuity that guarantees a specified interest rate for a set number of years. They are also often referred to as a Multi Year Guaranteed Annuity.
When you purchase an annuity contract you are committing to leave your money there for the duration of your annuity (usually 2 to 10 years). However, most fixed annuities allow to take free withdrawals of interest earned or up to 10% free withdrawals annually (varies by annuity company and contract)
There are no fees for any of the fixed annuities listed on this page and in general, fixed annuities do not have any fees. However, there are some fixed annuity products that offer optional income riders, death benefit riders, or long term care riders for an additional annual fee.
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Annuities are distributed by My Annuity Store, Inc. Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the insurer. My Annuity Store, Inc. does not advise clients on the purchase of non-fixed annuity products. The information presented here is not of tax or legal nature and is not intended to be a recommendation to purchase a fixed annuity, fixed index annuity, variable annuity contract, registered index linked annuity (RILA), immediate annuity (SPIA), longevity annuity, or Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC).
The contract features described may not be current and may not apply in the state in which you reside. Annuities are issued by Insurance companies and contracts are ‘state-specific’. Insurance companies also change their products and information often and without notice. Annuities are subject to the terms and conditions of the specific contract issued by the insurer, are not FDIC or NCUA insured, are not bank guaranteed, may lose value, and are not a deposit. Please call (855) 583-1104 if you have any questions or concerns.
The information presented here is not a representation regarding the suitability of any concept or product(s) for an individual and it does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. It is important to read the prospectus carefully and consider your objectives, risks, fees and charges associated with the contract. You should always consult your own financial planning, tax, and legal counsel to determine if a fixed annuity, immediate annuity, longevity annuity, or Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract are suitable in your financial situation.