Equity Indexed annuities are fixed annuities that earn interest or provide benefits that are linked to an external equity index. One of the most commonly used indices is Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index (the “S&P 500”), which is an equity index. The value of any index varies from day to day and is not predictable.
These products typically include a participation rate or monthly cap rate that determines how much of a gain in the index will be credited to the annuity.
An equity indexed annuity helps protect against loss of principal and credited interest from market declines. The cost of this protection is part of the future potential index-linked interest. An index annuity does not eliminate uncertainty, but simply removes the risk of loss from the equation, improving the odds of receiving a competitive return by making it less likely that one will try to time the market by buying and selling at the wrong times.
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Equity indexed annuities are not suitable for all investors. Possible surrender charges and the combination of caps and participation rates associated with a particular product are factors that should be considered prior to purchasing an equity-indexed annuity. Equity indexed annuities are long-term, tax deferred investment vehicles designed for retirement purposes. Surrender charges, IRS taxes and penalties may apply. Early surrender from an equity indexed annuity may result in some loss of principal. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company and are not FDIC insured.