Quarterly Annuity Update with Kirk Sarff | Q4 2019

October 1, 2019

Disclaimer: Interest rates change often. This article will be updated on a quarterly basis, but rates may change between those updates. At any time, you can review current annuity rates here, and you can download our 5-Year Annuity Tip Sheet, which is updated regularly, here.

Quick Note! We did a special quarterly update in December 2019 that reviewed the entire year as well as a few notes on what's to come in 2020. Check out that end-of-year review here!

During the first week of September, almost all of the carriers we have dropped their rates. Some were more significant than others, but they all dropped. That's just the atmosphere of the annuity market right now.

Even though annuity rates are down a bit right now, there are still some excellent options for your clients.

Whether they're looking for a 5-year MYGA, something shorter term, or even a Fixed Index option that allows for some bigger gains, there are still products that are competitive and will fit their needs.

Our Top MYGAs

In the MYGA landscape, our Top 3 without a doubt are Equitable, Sentinel, and ACL. That hasn't changed at all during 2019.

We still hold KSKJ, especially with older folks who appreciate the full account value at death. Even though their rates are a little lower, they have nice built-ins.

Here are a few details about these companies and why you should consider them as we get into 2019's fourth quarter.

Equitable's 5-Year MYGA – Secure Savings Elite

Equitable's 5-year that has all the built-in features is down to 3.75% (down from 4.0% earlier this year). That's quite a significant drop, but when I look at the annuity landscape, it's still competitive. 

That said, we've shifted a bit to Equitable's other 5-year product called Secure Savings Elite, which has remained at 4%. It doesn't have any withdrawal privileges unless you put in a rider.

The 5% penalty-free withdrawal after Year 1 rider is 0.6%, which puts the interest rate at 3.94% — that's still very competitive.

There are other riders you can add to the product to make it RMD-friendly as well as some other features your client might like, but of course those all have a cost.

Get Contracted with Equitable

Sentinel and ACL 5-Year MYGAs

Sentinel and Atlantic Coast Life (ACL) are very similar in what they're offering right now.

Both of their 5-year MYGAs are at 3.85%. ACL structures theirs a bit differently with a higher first-year rate, but when you average the 5 years, it's the same as Sentinel at 3.85%.

In addition, both carriers offer extra features like free withdrawals a la carte.

With Sentinel, you don't have to do the suitability, which saves the agent a lot of time and headache. Sentinel also has the e-app, which is another plus.

So those two companies are also very popular right now.

Get Contracted with Sentinel

Get Contracted with Atlantic Coast Life

KSKJ's Rocket Annuity

KSKJ’s Rocket Annuity is also something to take a look at. If it’s a deposit of $100k or more, the rate is at 3.35% (down from 3.45%).

Even though the rate is down, we're still writing this product. It's still in play because of the great features it has, including:

  • Access to the money if you go to a nursing home
  • Full account value at death
  • 13% free withdrawal after Year 1
  • RMD-friendly

It's a great product, and especially with our older customers – you can write it up to age 90.

Get Contracted with KSKJ

Shorter-Term MYGAs

In our last quarterly annuity update, Liberty Bankers Life was the star of shorter-term MYGAs, but their rates have dropped from 2.95% to 2.75% on the 3-year, and they're just not as competitive as Equitable is right now.

Equitable's short-term MYGA is at 3.1% for only a 2-year term, so it's less of a commitment for your client, and it's at a better rate.

If you visit our Annuity Rates web page that's updated constantly, you'll see the best annuities highlighted, and that can help narrow down your options depending on which carriers you're contracted with and what's available in your state.

(Not sure on state availability? Just get in touch with me, Kirk Sarff, and I'll help you out. Call us any time at 888-780-7676.)

Equitable's Teton Fixed Index Annuity (FIA)

The Teton FIA from Equitable is getting a lot of traction. They have a 7, 10, and 14-year option, and while their fixed rates dropped slightly from where it started, it didn't drop much. Their caps and par rates also dropped slightly but not significantly.

[Check Current Interest Rates In the Equitable Annuity Portal]

This is a great product to promote to people who want a chance at a bigger gain. Equitable holds a webinar every Monday at 10:30am CT if you ever want to attend one of those (check out our new Events Calendar).

We also have developed some sales materials and tools for agents who want to get into the Teton product:

Plus, I do want to remind you that FIAs are a little more than double the commission of a MYGA. When looking at the 14-year, it’s really almost 4 times the commission of a MYGA. That should be the kick in the pants you need!

Future Outlooks

Annuity business has been very strong. Equitable has surpassed their personal goal by a long shot. We’ll see what October brings and if any companies drop their rates or if they hold.

I also feel like we’re getting very close to an e-app for Equitable. The e-app will eliminate a lot of mistakes and will help the speed of their processing. It’s in the trial stage right now, but it’s very close. That’ll give us more momentum going forward.

If you read these updates each quarter, you know this is coming, but make sure you're asking those additional questions. It all goes back to the CNA.

If they have money in the turbulent market and want to steady the ship, that's a MYGA sale. In the bank accumulating no interest? Let's explore.

It's not complicated at all. We're happy to help.
 5-Year Annuity Tip Sheet

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Annuity sales are a huge opportunity for independent agents in the senior market. If you want to learn how to sell annuities to seniors, you've come to the right place!

Check out our complete guide here: The Ultimate Guide to Selling Annuities In the Senior Market

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