Athene Ascent Pro 10 Review

Athene Ascent Pro 10 Annuity Review

Athene Ascent Pro 10 Annuity Review

Unbiased Review of the Athene Ascent Pro 10

The Athene Ascent Pro 10 is a 10 year fixed index annuity with a lifetime income rider built into the contract. There is a fee for the rider, however; and it is not optional. 

So if you are looking for an indexed annuity for accumulation you should probably consider the Athene Performance Elite or another shorter-term annuity without any riders or fees.

Athene Life and Annuity Financial Strength

Athene Life and Annuity are one of the largest providers of fixed and fixed indexed annuities in the United States. Athene trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ATH.” 

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)

Ascent Pro 10 Can Simplify Your Retirement

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.

Contract Specifics

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
Optional Income Rider Fee

Cancellation Policy

20-Day Free Look Period

Liquidity Options
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

Creating Lifetime Income with the Ascent Pro 10

Athene Ascent Pro can help you get there. Its built-in income rider lets you grow your income amount 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 – This is your opportunity to grow your rider’s Income Base. It begins when you purchase your annuity and ends when you start taking income or after 20 years, whichever occurs first. During this phase, all withdrawals will reduce the Income Base and the annuity’s Accumulated Value by the same percentage. Growth is referred to as “Accumulation” in your annuity contract. 

#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 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.
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

Basically, 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
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 roll-up 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
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 rollup 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 rollup 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 income base 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
  • 10 Year Contract term is quite a long commitment
  • 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 for our clients, this is a very good annuity for someone who wants a lifetime income with the potential for an annual pay raise based on the stock market performance.

If you are looking to invest a portion of your retirement savings with the objective of turning it into an income stream guaranteed for life, and you place a value on increasing income over a higher level payment, the Ascent Pro definitely warrants consideration.

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