ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is an Equity Indexed Annuity

Updated on March 13, 2011

Learn about Equity Indexed Annuities

If you are considering buying or purchasing an equity-indexed annuity, this will explain what equity-indexed annuities are and provide resources for obtaining additional information. It provides a good understanding for thebeginner and a basic review for the more experienced investors.

What is an equity-indexed annuity?

An equity-indexed annuity is a special type of contract between you and an insurance company. During the annuity accumulation period, when you make either a lump sum payment or a series of payments, the insurance company credits you with a return that is based on changes in an equity index, such as the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price Index. The insurance company typically guarantees a minimum return. Guaranteed minimum return rates vary. After the accumulation period, the insurance company will make periodic payments to you under the terms of your contract, unless you choose to receive your contract value in a lump sum.

Can you lose money buying an equity-indexed annuity?

You can lose money buying an equity-indexed annuity, especially if you need to cancel your annuity early. Even with a guarantee, you can still lose money if your guarantee is based on an amount that’s less than the full amount of your purchase payments. In many cases, it will take several years for an equity-index annuity’s minimum guarantee to “break even.”

You also may have to pay a significant surrender charge and tax penalties if you cancel early. In addition, in some cases, insurance companies may not credit you with index-linked interest if you do not hold your contract to maturity.

What are some of the contract features of equity-indexed annuities?

Equity indexed annuities are complicated products that may contain several features that can affect your return. You should fully understand how an equity-indexed annuity computes its index-linked interest rate before you buy. An insurance company may credit you with a lower return than the actual index’s gain.

Some common features used to compute an equity-indexed annuity’s interest rate and return include:

Participation Rates. The participation rate determines how much of the index’s increase will be used to compute the index-linked interest rate. For example, if the participation rate is 80% and the index increases 9%, the return credited to your annuity would be 7.2% (9% x 80% = 7.2%).Interest Rate Caps. Some equity-indexed annuities set a maximum rate of interest that the equity-indexed annuity can earn. If a contract has an upper limit, or cap, of 7% and the index linked to the annuity gained 7.2%, only 7% would be credited to the annuity.Margin/Spread/Administrative Fee. The index-linked interest for some annuities is determined by subtracting a percentage from any gain in the index. This fee is sometimes called the “margin,” “spread,” or “administrative fee.” In the case of an annuity with a “spread” of 3%, if the index gained 9%, the return credited to the annuity would be 6% (9% - 3% = 6%)

Another feature that can have a dramatic impact on an equity-indexed annuity’s return is its indexing method (or how the amount of change in the relevant index is determined).

Some common indexing methods include:

Annual Reset (or Ratchet). This method credits index-linked interest based on any increase in index value from the beginning to the end of the year.Point-to-Point. This method credits index-linked interest based on any increase in index value from the beginning to the end of the contract’s term.High Water Mark. This method credits index-linked interest based on any increase in index value from the index level at the beginning of the contract’s term to the highest index value at various points during the contract’s term, often annual anniversaries of when you purchased the annuity.

Before you decide to buy or purchase an equity-indexed annuity, you should understand how each feature works and what impact, it may have on the annuity’s potential return.

Are equity-indexed annuities registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission?

Equity-indexed annuities combine features of traditional insurance products (guaranteed minimum return) and traditional securities (return linked to equity markets). Depending on the mix of features, an equity-indexed annuity may or may not be a security. The typical equity-indexed annuity is not registered with the SEC.

DisclaimerThe content of this page is not affiliated with the company names or products discussed, listed, presented or shown. The information provided is for general information purposes only and without warranties of any kind. Company names and products shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)