What is a fixed indexed annuity?


With today’s retirees living longer, more active lives, making sure you have adequate income for a lengthy retirement is more important than ever. A fixed indexed annuity (FIA) may help you map out a sound income plan for the years ahead.

Want guaranteed income? Consider a fixed indexed annuity.

A fixed indexed annuity is an insurance product designed for long-term retirement savings that can create a guaranteed stream of income or “retirement paycheck” to supplement your other income sources, such as Social Security, pensions, 401(k)/IRAs and personal assets. Plus, you have the potential to grow your income amount over time, while protecting any gains from loss due to market downturns.

"If you're worried you might outlive your savings, a guaranteed lifetime income option in an annuity can help."
— Adam Politzer,
Chief Product Officer, Athene

A 2022 study by Athene polled Americans on a range of retirement-related issues, including retirement savings strategies, thoughts on current market conditions, and awareness and understanding of annuities. The study found that over half of Americans (55%) are worried they will outlive their retirement savings, and two out of three consider guaranteed income an important feature when considering financial products for retirement. Adam Politzer, Chief Product Officer at Athene shares, “If you’re worried you might outlive your savings, a guaranteed lifetime income option in an annuity can help.”

FIAs may be ideal if you’re looking to:

  • Create a guaranteed “retirement paycheck”
  • Pursue growth potential with protection from market loss
  • Reduce the effects of low interest rates and inflation on savings
  • Provide income for a surviving spouse
  • Cover unforeseen expenses in retirement
  • Create a legacy for your loved ones

Who can benefit from a FIA?

How do fixed indexed annuities work?

FIAs earn interest based in part on any upward movement in one or more reference stock market indices, such as the S&P 500®. If the net change in the index over a given crediting period is negative, you would earn zero interest credits for that period, but never less than zero.

In order to provide that valuable protection, indexed interest credits are calculated using a formula that may include:

  • A cap (an upper limit on return)
  • Participation rate (the percentage of an index’s return credited to the annuity)
  • A percentage-based fee such as a spread

Important FIA facts:

  • Money in annuities grows tax-deferred*
  • FIAs offer higher potential returns than fixed rate alternatives
  • Any interest you earn is locked in and can’t be lost to future market downturns
  • Optional riders can offer guaranteed income, a death benefit or liquidity options

Is a fixed indexed annuity right for me?

FIAs are designed to meet a variety of needs and can be a valuable addition to your retirement plan to help you feel more confident about your financial future and be better prepared for life’s uncertainties. 

“Planning for a secure retirement requires a personalized approach, so it is important for financial professionals and their clients to consider savings vehicles that can provide growth and protection for both present and future financial needs,” says Mike Downing, Chief Operating Officer for Athene.

Explore if a FIA is right for your risk tolerance, goals and the lifestyle you hope to enjoy in retirement by speaking with your financial professional (Don't have one? We can help.). Since the key to a confident retirement is preparation, there’s no better time than the present to start planning. Searching for a financial professional? Get five tips for finding one that is right for you.

This information is brought to you by Athene — where unconventional thinking brings innovative annuity solutions that can help make your retirement dreams a reality.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

*Under current tax law, the Internal Revenue Code already provides tax deferral to qualified money, so there is no additional tax benefit obtained by funding a qualified contract, such as an IRA, with an annuity; consider the other benefits provided by an annuity, such as lifetime income and a Death Benefit.

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Annuities contain features, exclusions, limitations and availability that may vary by state and/or sales distributor. For a full explanation of an annuity, please refer to the Certificate of Disclosure or Prospectus (as applicable) and contact your financial professional or the company for costs and complete details. This material is a general description intended for general public use. 

Annuity contracts and group annuity contracts are issued by Athene Annuity and Life Company (61689), West Des Moines, IA, and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company (61492), Wilmington, Delaware, in all states (except New York), and in D.C. and PR. Annuity contracts and group annuity contracts are issued by Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York (68039), Pearl River, NY, in New York state. Payment obligations and guarantees are subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Insurance products may not be available in all states. These companies are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any individual or in any individual situation, and therefore nothing in this should be read as investment advice. This material should not be interpreted as a recommendation by Athene Annuity and Life Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York, or Athene Securities, LLC. Please reach out to your financial professional if you have any questions about insurance products and their features.

The term “financial professional” is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business with compensation unrelated to sales. Financial professionals will be paid a commission on the sale of an annuity.


Reinsurance contracts are entered into with Athene Annuity and Life Company (61689), West Des Moines, IA; Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company (61492), Wilmington, Delaware; Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York (68039), Pearl River, NY; and Athene Life Re Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda. Not all reinsurance products or structures offered are available in all jurisdictions. Reinsurers may not be licensed in all states. All transactions are subject to meeting a reinsurer’s underwriting requirements. Reinsurance products are not protected or guaranteed by state insurance guaranty associations or insolvency funds.