Today’s review is on the Athene Ascent Pro Income Rider Index Annuity. The purpose of this review is to show you the strengths and weaknesses of this Annuity. To make an informed decision, it is important to consider all available facts.
- Product type
- Investment options that are available and their realistic long-term investment return expectations
- How it can best help your financial plan
- How it’s most poorly used as part of your financial plan
Athene Ascent Pro 10 Index Annuity Quick Facts
|Product Name||Athene Ascent Pro 10|
|Issuer||Athene Life Insurance Company|
|Type of Product||Index Annuity|
|S&P Best Rating||A+ “Excellent”|
Before we go into detail, here is an important legal disclosure.
This review of Athene Ascent Pro 10 Income Rider Index Annuity is an independent review at the request of readers. Intended to explain my perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular model annuity. This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Apollo Global Management has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do I receive any compensation for this review. Before purchasing any investment product be sure to do your own due diligence and consult a properly licensed professional, should you have specific questions related to your circumstances. This review is not intended to give specific advice and your adviser may know more about your circumstances to make an appropriate recommendation. All names, marks, and materials used for this review are property of their respective owners.
Before we go into the review, some information on Allianz
In 2021, Apollo Global Management announced the acquisition of life insurance company Athene Holdings for $11 billion. Prior to the merger announcement, Apollo owned 35% of Athene.
Apollo Global Management, Inc. is an American global alternative investment management firm. It invests in credit, private equity, and real assets. As of December 31, 2020, the company had $455.5 billion of assets under management, including $328.6 billion invested in credit, including mezzanine capital, hedge funds, non-performing loans and collateralized loan obligations, $80.7 billion invested in private equity, and $46.2 billion invested in real assets, which includes real estate and infrastructure. The company invests money on behalf of pension funds, financial endowments and sovereign wealth funds, as well as other institutional and individual investors.
There are a few ways that Agents might pitch Athene Ascent Pro Index Annuity
- No Rider cost
- Possibility for growth
- Principal protection
Fees for Athene Ascent Pro 10
As you can see above this annuity the surrender fees for this annuity are high for the first years of contract, that’s why it is extremely important that you understand the product before committing your money to it. Athene Ascent Pro 10 doesn’t have any rider fees because, by the time you purchase the annuity, the rider will automatically be added to your annuity.
However, does this mean it is good to purchase this annuity even if it does not have any rider fee? Well, later in this review we’re going to explain how the rider works for this particular annuity and you will decide by yourself it is worth it or not.
How does this Annuity Work?
Athene Ascent Pro 10 is designed to give you lifetime income and generate capital appreciation, or at least that’s what they make it seem. It is important to know that when you buy an annuity that “guarantees” you lifetime income there are negative aspects that come along with that.
Agents trying to sell you the annuity won’t mention these negative aspects, because they want the 6-7% commission for selling the annuity. With that said, fixed index annuities sometimes can a lot of value and protection to your portfolio allocation due to its principal protection, and in some cases capital appreciation.
The way the Athene Ascent Pro 10 works is like any other Fixed Index Annuity, your premium plus any interest you earn overtime, minus any withdrawals and charges, is your Accumulated Value.
There are two crediting strategies a fixed strategy provides a guaranteed annual rate of interest that is credited to your annuity daily and the indexed strategies which gives you the potential to earn interest based in part on the upward movement of a stock market index. Plus, it’s guaranteed that you will never earn less than 0% interest. You also benefit because any interest credits you earn are locked in and can’t be lost due to market downturns.
Investment Options and Strategies for the Athene Ascent Pro 10 Index Annuity:
- S&P 500
- Russell 2000
- BNPP Momentum 5 Index
- US Innovative Leaders 5 Index
- BNPP Momentum 5 Index
When it comes to investment options, typically fixed index returns are tight to an index, which is in this case is not the exception. You also have the possibility to select a fixed crediting option, however, in most cases that’s not the best option if you want to maximize your gains.
For the Athene Ascent Pro 10 Index Annuity, you have different types of indexes that you can choose from with different participation and cap rates. In the image below you can see the indexes available and their par and cap rates.
When it comes to fixed index annuities the cap and par rates are one of the reasons an annuity would not be your best investment option, since it will limit a lot of your capital appreciation over the years. Plus if you ever need the money it will most likely decrease your cash value leaving you with less income in the future.
It is always important to contact a Certified Financial Planner that can create a retirement income analysis for you and objectively come to a conclusion whether an annuity is the best option for you or not.
How do the Incomer Rider for Athene Ascent Pro 10 Index Annuity Work?
The Athene Ascent Pro 10 Fixed Index annuity has a built-in lifetime income withdrawal rider, which provides you with lifetime income even when your cash value goes to 0. What this basically means is that after you purchase this annuity, you don’t have the option to decide whether or not you want an income rider, it already comes with it and you have to pay the 1% that will potentially reduce your capped returns for this annuity.
Also, anytime you withdraw money from this annuity it will reduce the amount of the “guarantee income” that it offers. It is important to know that it is very probable that the lifetime income that you’ll receive from this annuity will not be sufficient as a complement income for your retirement, since it’s very hard for it to keep up with inflation.
Where does it work best:
- For those fearing a market downturn
- No Rider cost
- For those to keep up with inflation and not grow their money
Where does it least work:
- People who need liquidity
- For people looking to grow their money
Summary of the Athene Ascent Pro 10 Index Annuity
Athene Index Annuity is a low fee annuity with some good characteristics, however, the fact that you’re not able to choose whether you want the income rider, puts this annuity in a low rank among other similar products. Income riders are not for everyone and sometimes agents can sell you an annuity by just stating that you’ll have a “guarantee lifetime income” but as we’ve been explaining over the years on AnnuityEdu, sometimes income riders are not what they make them seem and it is important that you hire an expert that can get all the numbers right for you and compare your annuity against all other products in the market.