Unbiased Athene Agility 10 Review

The Athene Agility 10 has quickly become one of the best-selling indexed annuities and for good reason. This 10 year fixed index annuity comes with many features built-in for free; however, as great as it is it isn’t for everyone. 

In this Athene Agility 10 Review we will cover:

 

Athene Ratings

Athene annuity logo
 

Athene Annuity and Life Insurance Company is a financially solid insurer and a major player in the U.S. annuity market. In the table below you’ll see that Athene is rated A with AM Best has a Comdex score of 78.

Athene Financial RatingsRating
7700 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A (3)
Fitch Ratings (21 possible)A (6)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)78
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)A (6)

When evaluating an annuity it is always important to consider the insurer’s financial strength because an annuity’s guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. In addition to considering the financial strength of a prospective insurance company, I find it useful to look at where an insurance company is ranked in overall U.S. Index Annuity Sales.

Athene passes both of these “eyeball” tests with strong financial ratings and coming in #2 in overall index annuity sales each of the past 3 years.

So without further ado; let us dive into our Athene Agility 10 Review. 

Athene Agility 10 Product Highlights

Athene Agility 10 is a fixed index annuity that offers new innovative indexes exclusively available from Athene Annuity and Life Insurance Company. The Agility 10 also boasts a 20% initial premium bonus to the income rider “benefit base”. 

Agility 10 Fees

Despite all of its features, there are no fees associated with Athene Agility 10 Annuity.

Athene Agility 10 Annuity Reviewed

As we start to dive in I’d like to mention that this annuity review is simply that, an independent review. It is not a recommendation to purchase this annuity and this review has not been endorsed by Athene, nor are we being compensated or affiliated with them in any way. 

The Athene Agility 10 is a fixed index annuity with a 10-year contract term. One of the things we really like about the Athene Agility 10 right off of the bat is that it has 5 different market indexes available from which you can earn index interest.

What is even better than the 5 available indexes is the fact that four of them have “Un-Capped Crediting Methods” options.

The four stock market indexes with uncapped interest crediting strategies are:

In addition to the uncapped strategies, they also offer the S&P 500 annual-point-to-point strategy with a cap. If you don’t want to allocate all of your premia to an index interest crediting strategy there is a declared rate strategy that is paying 1.30% for the first year. 

Athene Agility 10 Enhanced Income Benefit:

Double your withdrawal amount with the Enhanced Income Benefit. What if you’re confined to a Qualified Care Facility, such as a nursing home? As long as you meet eligibility requirements, your Maximum Lifetime Income Withdrawal amount will be doubled until your Accumulated Value is reduced to zero. 

The Enhanced Income Benefit Rider is automatically built into your annuity contract at no additional charge.

To qualify for the Enhanced Income Benefit, the person for whom Lifetime Income Withdrawals are based must be confined to a Qualified Care Facility for 180 out of the last 250 days. If qualifications are met, the Lifetime Income Withdrawal amount will be doubled.

There is no Enhanced Income Benefit Limit Period as long as the eligibility requirements are met and the Accumulated Value is greater than zero. Not available in all states.

Enhanced Death Benefit

The Benefit Base is paid out in equal payments over the currently declared Death Benefit Payout Period. The Death Benefit Payout Period is currently set to five years and is guaranteed not to exceed ten years.

Benefit Base Growth

The Benefit Base is equal to the Initial Premium, plus the Benefit Base bonus amount. On each Contract Anniversary, the Benefit Base will be credited 175% of the dollar amount credited to the Accumulated Value. During the Income Phase, the Benefit Base will continue to grow by 175% of the dollar amount credited to the Accumulated Value.

Agility 10 Annuity Rates & Crediting Strategies

Agility 10 has 4 available indexes to select from and three of the indexes offer the opportunity for uncapped index interest. It also has multiple index crediting strategies to choose from included Annual Point to Point and 2 Year Point to Point with a Participation Rate.

In addition to the participation rate, it also offers Annual Point to Point with a cap and a fixed interest bucket.

BNP Paribas Multi-Asset Diversified 5 Index

  • 2-Year No Cap Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Par Rate) 
  • 1-Year No Cap Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Par Rate) 

Nasdaq FC Index

  • 2-Year No Cap Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Par Rate) 
  • 1-Year No Cap Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Par Rate) 

Al Powered US Equity Index

  • 2-Year No Cap Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Par Rate) 
  • 1-Year No Cap Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Par Rate) 

S&P 500®

  • 2-Year Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Cap)
  • 1-Year Point-to-Point Index Strategy (Cap) 

Fixed Account 

1-Year Guaranteed Rate

Download: Athene Agility 10 Rates & Product Guide

Exclusive Stock Market Indexes

After researching the available indexes, and running hypothetical backtests for all of the caps, and participation rates for all 5 indexing strategies my two favorite indexing options are the Nasdaq FC Index and AiPex index with a participation rate. Here are very summaries of these two indexes:

The Nasdaq Fast Convergence Index is designed to improve participation rates in an index-linked product. By systematically monitoring market moves and rebalancing throughout the trading day, FC technology aims to more efficiently control the realized volatility of an index.

The AiPex Index is the first-ever U.S. Equity Index Powered by artificial intelligence and uses the IBM Watson Brain. It scores the 1000 largest companies by analyzing millions of pieces of information per day to select the best 250 stocks.

Agility 10 Reasonable Rate of Return Expectation

Below we will look at the historical rate of returns for Agility 10.  Again, hypothetical illustrations are not guaranteed ran a hypothetical using both of these indexes, and here are the average annual returns for the best, worst, and most recent 10 year period. 

These rates of returns assume 50% allocated to the AiPex Performance Index and 50% allocated to the Nasdaq FC Index using the annual point to point with participation rate strategy (rates as of 10.11.2020). 

As you can see in the tables below the average annual interest rate credited would have been:

  • 3.63% for the Most Recent 10 Year Period
  • 3.96% for the Highest 10 Year Period
  • 2.78% for the Lowest 10 Year Period
 
Athene agility 10 hypothetical back test chart

Athene Agility 10 Pros and Cons

Athene Agility 10 Pros:

  • 5 Different Indexes to choose from
  • Uncapped crediting options available on 4 of the indexes
  • Annual point to point and two-year point to point options available for diversification
  • Innovative AiPex and Nasdaq FC Indexes
  • Highly Rated and Experienced Issuing Company (Athene)
  • Enhanced Death Benefit
  • Enhanced Income Benefit
  • All riders are built-in at no cost (no fees)
 

Athene Agility 10 Cons

  • The hypothetical Rate of return on back-testing is not as good as other annuity products, including Athene’s own Performance Elite 7
  • You must wait at least 10 years to turn on the lifetime income rider

Athene Agility 10 Review Final Thoughts

The Athene Agility 10 is not a great annuity if your objective is safe accumulation. Because it has a competitive income rider built-in at no cost the cap, and participation rates are lower than they are on Athene’s other annuity products. Besides, the Agility 10 comes with a 10-year surrender schedule and we normally suggest staying in the 5 to the 7-year range for accumulation annuities.

If you are younger and plan to turn these assets into a lifetime income beginning 10 or more years in the future – the Agility 10 is a great product.

Also, if you are older and have a bucket of money you plan to pass on to your beneficiaries this is a good option because it has an enhanced death benefit built-in at no cost.

Bottom Line: I would not recommend the Athene Agility 10 if your objective is simply safe accumulation. However, if you plan to turn this portion of your portfolio into a lifetime income stream, Agility 10 is quite possibly the best option available (Allianz 222 also get’s a consideration). 

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