March 2019: Top Rates Hold Despite Decreases from Many Insurers

Published March 1, 2019

Although top fixed annuity rates held steady in February, many insurers decreased their rates. Said differently, the insurers offering the very highest interest rates didn’t change rates, but the insurers who already weren’t the highest, reduced rates further. Check out the article below to learn more.

Click to download the March 2019 Annuity Intelligence Report.blueprint-income-annuity-intelligence-report-201903

Fixed Annuity Rates: What’s Really Happening?

The highest yielding fixed annuity products are from B++ or lower (according to AM Best) rated insurers. That’s nothing new. Lower rated insurers’ products should pay more interest in order to compensate for their lower rating. But there’s been an interesting trend that has emerged so far this year — the spread between the higher payout products from B++ or lower insurers to the lower payout products from A+ and A++ insurers has increased over the last few months. Let’s look at the 5 year fixed annuity to illustrate the point. Here’s the gap between the highest rate from any insurer and the highest rate from an insurer with a rating of A+ or better.

Highest 5 Year Rate
(rating of at least B)
Highest 5 Year Rate
(rating of at least A+)
Difference
December 2018 4.10% 3.65% 0.45%
January 2019 4.10% 3.50% 0.60%
February 2019 4.10% 3.40% 0.70%

So in December, going with an A+ or better carrier only cost you a 0.45% annual reduction in the rate. Now it’s up to 0.70%! That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right fit for you. Contact us to learn more about what financial strength ratings mean.

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Many of you have used our digital application to apply for one or multiple annuities. We’d love to hear your feedback! If you have any suggestions or recommendations for how we can make the application easier to use, please send an email to [email protected] with your thoughts.

  • Was the application easy or difficult to use?
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  • Were the questions clear, or did you need to follow up with our team?
  • What changes would have made using the digital application more pleasant?

The Latest from the Fed

Rates on long-term Treasury bonds did not move significantly as a result of Chairman Powell’s testimony earlier this week. The 10 Year Treasury yield continues to hover around 2.6% and the 30 Year around 3.1%. Coverage of Chairman Powell’s testimony is available here, here and here.

Forbes Article

Our CEO, Matt Carey, is a Forbes contributor. Here’s his most recent article about the top fixed annuity rates for 2019. Look for another article about the best available immediate annuities and longevity annuities soon!

Have a Question?

Please give us a call or email us at [email protected] We’d love to help! And if you’re interested, you can read some of our recent reviews here.

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Nimish Shukla

Nimish Shukla

Financial Planning Professional

Nimish has spoken with thousands of customers about retirement spending. As a CFA Charterholder and licensed fixed annuity producer he values the importance of building an income stream for retirement. In addition to his work at Blueprint Income he is also a regular contributor to Nerdwallet.

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