Annuity rates in the US: which is best for you?
Delve into the basics of annuity rates in the US and learn about the different annuity types, how they are calculated, and which providers are top-rated.
Many annuity types exist, each with different investment benefits and long-term advantages.
Depending on the contract, annuity investment may be made in lump sums or periodically.
In 2023, the US had 686 life insurance and annuities businesses
The current best rate for a fixed annuity is 6.05% for a 5-year term.
A financial advisor can work with you to create a personalized retirement plan and ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.
What is an annuity?
An annuity is a financial product tailored to give the policyholder a reliable and consistent income stream, particularly during retirement.
Policyholders pay a lump sum at the start of the contract or make periodic payments depending on the contract. The period of contributing to an annuity is called the accumulation phase.
By understanding annuities, you’ll be able to select the perfect one for stability and reliable income during your retirement years.
What are the five different types of annuities?
Many types of annuities exist, and understanding their differences allows you to choose the type best aligned with your goals.
The following are examples of five different types of annuities:
Immediate annuities: Immediate annuities are typically funded by a significant, once-off contribution when opening the account, and the policyholder should begin receiving payments within the first year of contributing.
Deferred annuities: Also called longevity annuities, this investment option includes a specified waiting period before you begin receiving payments. During this accumulation period, your money grows and remains untaxed.
Fixed annuities: These offer a fixed interest rate and minimum payout and are unaffected by stock market fluctuations. Instead, they grow steadily at a rate that the insurance provider determines.
Variable annuities: The interest rates on variable annuities change with market fluctuations. These annuities are also variable because you can choose where or how your contributions are invested, e.g., low-, moderate-, and high-risk investment options.
Indexed annuities: Indexed annuities are like a hybrid between fixed and variable annuities. Your contributions are linked to one or more market indices' returns. However, the minimum payouts on indexed annuities are typically guaranteed, much like a fixed annuity.
How are annuity rates calculated?
Annuity rates are calculated using several factors, including age, gender, life expectancy, and current interest rates. Insurance providers use actuarial calculations to determine the sustainable payout that ensures financial viability.
Despite accounting for different factors, a person's age and life expectancy directly affect their payout rates, with older individuals typically receiving higher annuity rates. Furthermore, prevailing rates impact the returns from invested premiums.
If you want to know how to calculate an annuity and require a personalized estimate, consider using an online annuity calculator.
By determining a forecast and assessing pertinent factors, you can make a more informed decision about securing a retirement income that aligns with your unique circumstances and financial goals.
What are the five best annuity rates in the US?
The top five annuity providers in the US offer competitive rates and diverse options for retirees seeking financial security.
What's important to understand is that there is no one-size-fits-all rate across the different annuity types, and the rates the insurance providers offer will differ based on many factors.
However, the best-fixed annuity rates per term (e.g., 1-year, 2-year, 7-year) are frequently updated.
Currently, the best annuity rates in the US are as follows:
Who are the best annuity providers in the US?
Annuity providers are rated by different independent bodies, including AM Financial Strength Rating and Standards & Poor's Global Financial Strength Rating.
The Comdex rating system compares how insurers score among four major credit rating agencies, giving a score out of 100.
The table below shows the five top-scoring annuity providers according to Forbes:
|Forbes Advisor rating (/5)
|AM Best rating
|S&P Global rating
|Comdex rating (/10)
|Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual)
|USAA Life Insurance Company
|New York Life Insurance Company
|Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
What is the best annuity rate for you?
Before selecting the right annuity, you should carefully consider your circumstances and the factors that will affect finding the best annuity rates.
Factors guiding your decision should include:
It's strongly recommended that you seek the assistance of a financial advisor to help you navigate the complexities and make an informed choice aligned with your situation.
Get expert financial advice
Understanding annuity types and rates requires a nuanced understanding of your options and the implications of each choice.
However, while knowing how annuity rates are calculated is crucial, it’s always best to seek professional financial advice to ensure you’re making the most of every financial opportunity.
Your retirement deserves careful planning, and a financial advisor can help you to secure a financially stable future.
To gain personalized insights and expert financial guidance, let Unbiased match you with a financial advisor who can tailor recommendations best suited to your needs.
Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.