As of 2016, Washington-based Symetra Life Insurance Company sells four broad types of annuities: fixed deferred annuities, fixed indexed annuities, fixed variable annuities and income annuities. Each category addresses different investment goals, according to Symetra.Continue Reading
Symetra's fixed deferred annuities can be purchased through either single lump-sum payments or scheduled payments, explains the company. The company guarantees a minimum return for three, five or seven years, varying by product. After that time, the rate can be reset, but it never drops below the initial interest rate. Products purchased through periodic premiums are guaranteed for at least one year.
Indexed annuities place the investor's capital in vehicles such as indexed mutual funds, rather than simply offering a guaranteed but conservative rate of interest, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. This provides greater opportunity for returns, but also a risk of loss. Symetra's indexed annuity contracts set the minimum return at zero, so investors cannot lose money in down markets. In exchange, most contracts cap the gains during strong market years. One exception is the LINK annuity, which uses a different formula for regulating risk and therefore needs no cap.
Symetra's variable annuity contracts, like others of this type, contain a portfolio that can be invested in a range of conventional financial vehicles. These offer the highest potential for gain, but can also lose money. These are all "deferred" annuities, which means their payout phase takes place at a specified time after the purchase, notes the Texas Department of Insurance. They're intended primarily for long-term investment, and most place restrictions on access to the investor's money during the term.
Symetra's income annuities are for investors at or near retirement. They're intended to provide immediate income, and are purchased with a single lump-sum payment. These can be structured to pay out for a specific term, or for life.Learn more about Financial Planning