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Fixed Index Annuity

A fixed index annuity is a fixed annuity, that earns interest or provides benefits that are linked to an external equity reference or an equity index. The value of the index might be tied to a stock or other equity index.  The value of any equity index varies from day to day and is not predictable. When you buy a fixed indexed annuity you own an insurance contract. You are not buying shares of any stock or equity index.

What Are Participation Rates With No Cap?

The participation rate decides how much of the increase in the index will be used to calculate fixed index-linked interest. For example, if the calculated change in the index is 9% and the participation rate is 70%, the index-linked interest rate for your fixrd annuity will be 6.3% (9% x 70% = 6.3%).  Some annuities guarantee that the participation rate will never be set lower than a specified minimum or higher than a specified maximum. 

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF SOME OTHER FIXED INDEXED ANNUITY PRODUCT FEATURES?

Fixed Indexed Annuities credit interest using a formula based on changes in the index to which the fixed indexed annuity is linked. The formula decides how the additional interest, if any, is calculated and credited. How much additional interest you get and when you get it depends on the features of your particular fixed fixed indexed annuity. 

Cap in Interest Earned

While a cap limits the amount of interest you might earn each year, fixed annuities with this feature may have other product features you want, such as annual interest crediting or the ability to take partial withdrawals. Also, annuities that have a cap may have a higher participation rate. As of  , average annual caps are 4%.

Margin/Spread/Administrative Fee

In some annuities, the index-linked interest rate is computed by subtracting a specific percentage from any calculated change in the index.  This percentage, sometimes referred to as the "margin", "spread", or "administrative fee," might be instead of, or in addition to, a participation rate.  For example, if the calculated change in the index is 10%, your annuity might specify that 2.25% will be subtracted from the rate to determine the interest rate credited.  In this example, the rate would be 7.75% (10% -2.25% = 7.75%). In this example, the company subtracts the percentage only if the change in the index produces a positive interest rate.

Averaging

Averaging at the beginning of a term protects you from buying your fixed annuity at a high point, which would reduce the amount of interest you might earn. Averaging at the end of the term protects you against severe declines in the index and losing index-linked interest as a result. On the other hand, averaging may reduce the amount of index-linked interest you earn when the index rises either near the start or at the end of the term.

Interest Compounding

It is important for you to know whether your fixed index annuity pays compound or simple interest during a term. While you may earn less from an annuity that pays simple interest, it may have other features you want, such as a higher participation rate. 

WHAT WILL IT COST ME TO TAKE MY MONEY OUT BEFORE THE END OF THE TERM?

In addition to the information discussed in this Buyer's Guide about surrender and withdrawal charges and free withdrawals, there are additional considerations for fixed-indexed annuities. Some annuities credit none of the index-linked interest or only part of it if you take out money before the end of the term. The percentage that is vested, or credited, generally increases as the term comes closer to its end and is always 100% at the end of the term. 

Monlthly Point to Point

Change in index calculated for each month during the index term.  Each Monthly change is limited to the "cap rate" for positive changes, but not when the change is negative.  At the end of the index term, all monthly changes (positive and negative) are added.  If the result is positive, interest is added to the annuity.  If the result is negative or zero, no interest (0%) is added.
JEFFREY SCOTT McLEOD
NATIONAL LICENSED INSURANCE SALES PRODUCER #558629
ARKANSAS INSURANCE PRODUCER LICENSE #558629
McLEOD AGENCY, INC. ARKANSAS INSURANCE LICENSE #1651277

 *National Association Of Insurance Commissioners