Athene Ascent Pro 10 Review

Athene Ascent Pro 10 Review Featured Image: Coworkers celebrating a colleague’s retirement in the office

Independent Athene Ascent Pro 10 Review

The Athene Ascent Pro 10 is a 10 year fixed index annuity with a lifetime income rider built into the contract. There is an annual fee of 1.00% for the rider and it is not optional. 

If you are looking for an indexed annuity designed for accumulation you may want to bounce right now to my Athene Performance Elite 7 Review or any of my annuity reviews of shorter-term index annuities without any riders or fees.

Athene Ratings

Athene Life and Annuity is Rated A by AM Best and is one of the largest providers of fixed and fixed indexed annuities in the United States. In fact, Athene was #1 in total individual U.S. Fixed Index Annuity Sales in 2020. The insurer trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ATH.” 

Read our 10 Best Fixed Index Annuity Report to learn more about how Athene, as well as the other top, indexed annuity companies.

Athene Annuity RatingsRating
A.M. Best Rating A
Fitch Ratings A
Comdex 78
Standard & Poor's A

Safe Accumulation & Lifetime Income

The Ascent Pro 10 can help you reach your retirement goals.

The Athene Ascent Pro 10 is a fixed index annuity that offers you the potential to grow your retirement savings and create a guaranteed income stream to last a lifetime.

Guaranteed income: The built-in Ascent Income Rider allows you to create a guaranteed stream of income that can last as long as your retirement. The amount you receive can increase the longer you wait to start income payments.

Growth potential: Pursue additional growth with Interest Credits that are based in part on the performance of an external market index.

Protection from downside market risk: Your money is not directly exposed to the risks of the stock market or individual stocks.

Tax deferral: Annuities provide the advantage of tax-deferred interest accumulation. You don’t pay taxes on any growth until you withdraw money.

A death benefit: Your annuity can offer your loved ones a quick source of funds to settle matters after your death. Your beneficiary is guaranteed your annuity’s full Accumulated Value or Minimum Guaranteed Contract Value, whichever is greater.

Athene Ascent Pro 10 Reviewed: Specs

Minimum Premium
$10,000.00

Maximum Premium
$1,000,000.00

Contract Length
10 Year Annuity

Company Rating (A.M. Best)
A (Excellent)

Maximum Issue Age
Age 80

Accepted Funds
401k, Cash, IRA, Non-Qualified Money, Pension Plan, Qualified Retirement Plans, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, TSA 403b

Insurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company

Premium Type
Single Premium

Annuitization Required
No

Annual Penalty-Free Withdrawals
10%

Death Benefit
Lump Sum, Spousal Continuation

Surrender Charge Waivers
Nursing Home, Renewal Rate Bailout Waiver, Terminal Illness

Annual Fees
Income Rider Fee (1.00%)

Cancellation Policy

20-Day Free Look Period (most states; some states provide 30 days)

Liquidity Options
10 % Annual Penalty-Free Withdrawals

State Availability
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

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Ascent Pro 10 Features

Athene Ascent Pro 10 can help create a guaranteed income payment that will last as long as you do. It’s built-in income rider lets you grow your Income Base at a guaranteed rate over time. 

Then, when you’re ready, you can start a guaranteed stream of income to last throughout your retirement. 

Understanding the rider’s three distinct phases can help you make the most of your annuity’s income potential.

#1. Growth – Your Income Base will grow each and every year you defer lifetime income payments at a guaranteed rate (up to 20 years).

You do not want to make withdrawals from this annuity if your intention is to turn on lifetime income. This is because any withdrawals in the growth phase because your income base will be reduced on a pro-rata basis (if you withdraw 5% your income base reduces 5%0.

#2. Income – This phase begins when you start taking Lifetime Income Withdrawals, which reduce your annuity’s Accumulated Value. It ends when the Accumulated Value reaches zero. Withdrawals in excess of the Lifetime Income Withdrawal amount will reduce future Lifetime Income Withdrawals and in some instances will terminate the rider. 

#3. Extended Income Guarantee – If your annual Lifetime Income Withdrawals (and not an Excess Withdrawal) reduce your Accumulated Value to zero, you’ll continue to receive the Lifetime Income Withdrawal Amount for the rest of your life. You are also still eligible for increasing income if you elect one of the Increasing Income Options.


Please refer to the Certificate of Disclosure for a complete description of the phases and how they work.

Income Rider Explained

Below are all of the different income rider options available in the Athene Ascent Pro 10. This is definitely one of the strengths of the Ascent Pro 10. 

NOTE: One of the advantages of the Ascent Pro 10 income rider is that you only need to select between Option 1 and Option 2 at issue. You are not required to choose the specific income payout until the time you begin income. The payment choice of each option are:

1. Level

2. Earnings-Indexed

3. Inflation-Adjusted

The difference between option 1 and option 2 is option 1 will have a higher guaranteed available annual lifetime income. This is because your get a 20% bonus applied to your income base on day one vs. a 15% income base bonus with option 2.

In addition, option 1 guarantees your income base will increase by 10% simple each year (yrs 1-10), and option 2’s annual income base increase is 8% simple (years 1-10).

Option 2, however, applies 200% of all interest you earn to the income base in addition to the 8%.

Option 2 will provide a higher annual lifetime income at some point (given you live long enough).

Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider – Option 1 with Level Income

Annual income payment does not change once you begin taking lifetime income.

  • Simple rollup rate
  • 10% in years 1-10
  • 5% in years 11-20
  • Rollup period: 20 years
  • Income Base Bonus: 20%
  • Fee: 1.00% annually
  • Fee base: Benefit Base Before Withdrawal

Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider – Option 1 with Inflation-Adjusted Income

  • Simple rollup rate
  • 10% in years 1-10
  • 5% in years 11-20
  • Rollup period: 20 years
  • Income Base Bonus: 20%
  • Fee: 1.00% annually
  • Fee base: Benefit Base Before Withdrawal

Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider – Option 1 with Earning-Indexed Income

  • Simple rollup rate
  • 10% in years 1-10
  • 5% in years 11-20
  • Rollup period: 20 years
  • Income Base Bonus: 20%
  • Fee: 1.00% annually
  • Fee base: Benefit Base Before Withdrawal

Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider – Option 2 with Level Income

Annual income payment does not change once you begin taking lifetime income.

  • Simple roll-up rate
  • 8% in years 1-10
  • 4% in years 11-20
  • Plus 200% of Interest Credits
  • Rollup period: 20 years
  • Income Base Bonus: 15%
  • Fee: 1.00% annually
  • Fee base: Benefit Base Before Withdrawal

Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider – Option 2 with Earning-Indexed Income

  • Simple roll-up rate
  • 8% in years 1-10
  • 4% in years 11-20
  • Plus 200% of Interest Credits
  • Rollup period: 20 years
  • Income Base Bonus: 15%
  • Fee: 1.00% annually
  • Fee base: Benefit Base Before Withdrawal

Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider – Option 2 with Inflation-Adjusted Income

  • Simple roll-up rate
  • 8% in years 1-10
  • 4% in years 11-20
  • Plus 200% of Interest Credits
  • Rollup period: 20 years
  • Income Base Bonus: 15%
  • Fee: 1.00% annually
  • Fee base: Benefit Base Before Withdrawal

Pros and Cons of the Athene Ascent Pro 10

Pros:

Cons

  • The premium bonus can be misleading as it is only applied to the income base and not the account value.
  • Does not provide the highest guaranteed lifetime withdrawal amount in most situations.
  • 10 Year Contract term is quite a long commitment if you aren’t planning to use it for a lifetime income.
  • The income rider is mandatory with an annual fee of 1.00%

Athene Ascent Pro 10 Review: Final Thoughts

The Ascent Pro 10 is a very solid option if your objective is lifetime income and you don’t necessarily need or want the highest possible guaranteed annual income payment.

Based on my analysis and running 100’s of guaranteed income calculations, this is a very good, if not the best index annuity, if you want increasing lifetime income payments.

If you are looking to invest a portion of your fixed-income portfolio into an indexed annuity, and you believe inflation is real and meaningful, the Athene Ascent Pro definitely warrants consideration.

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