What will we be covering in this annuity review for the Athene Amplify 2.0 Next Generation Registered Index-Linked Annuity (RILA)?
In this review, we will be going over the following features regarding the Amplify 2.0 index annuity from Athene:
- Annuity type
- Performance expectations
- How the annuity may be best used
- Where this annuity might not be a good fit
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in.
We make the complex, simple.
If the idea of a fixed indexed annuity is enticing to you because of the principal protection and growth potential – but you don’t necessarily like the “capped”, or limited returns – then the Athene Amplify 2.0 Next Generation Registered Index-Linked (RILA) annuity could be a potential option for you.
This annuity can provide you with returns that exceed those of the underlying index(es), while at the same time offering safety in any type of stock market environment and ongoing income in the future.
Fixed indexed annuities have become extremely popular over the past decade or so, particularly with those who are approaching retirement and are tired of watching the ups and downs of the market impact their lifestyle.
But before you go out and make a long-term purchase commitment with the Amplify 2.0 annuity from Athene – or for that matter, any annuity – it is absolutely essential that you obtain a good understanding of how the product works, and whether or not it would actually be a good fit for you given your specific objectives.
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We are a team of retirement income and annuity specialists who have a key focus on offering in-depth, and unbiased, annuity reviews on the Internet. We have been at this for quite a while now – much longer than our competitors. Although, there are now a number of “copycat” websites that are popping up. (Imitation is the highest form of flattery, though, isn’t it?)
Our primary mission is – and always has been – to provide information about annuities to consumers and financial advisors so that they know exactly what they may (or may not!) be getting into before it is too late.
Annuities can be highly complex – especially the ones that have a lot of moving parts like fixed indexed annuities (FIAs). So, it helps to have someone guiding you who is adept in how annuities work who can also pare down the massive amount of “fine print” into something that is more easily understood.
That’s where Annuity Gator really shines!
When looking for annuity information online, it is really important that you know who is truly trying to provide education for you on the products, and who is simply trying to sell you something… regardless of whether or not it is the right financial vehicle for you.
Sometimes it can be easy to get “lured” into some of the other websites out there in cyberspace – especially the ones that make bold claims, such as:
- Lowest annuity fees
- Highest income payouts
- Top-rated annuity carriers
- Generate an income stream for the rest of your life
Do these look familiar?
With all of that in mind, if you’ve ended up here on our website because you’re searching for more details on the newly-released Athene Amplify 2.0 FIA annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. In fact, we’ll even go so far as to say that ours is the only website where you’ll get all of the information that you need for making a truly well-informed decision.
So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s go ahead and dive in!
The Athene Amplify 2.0 Registered Index-Linked Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Amplify 2.0|
|Issuer||Athene Annuity and Life Company|
|Type of Product||Registered Index-Linked Annuity|
|A.M. Best Rating||A|
|Phone Number||(888) 266-8489|
Opening Thoughts on the Athene Amplify 2.0 Next Generation Registered Index Annuity
Athene Holding Ltd. and its subsidiaries issue, reinsure, and acquire retirement savings products that are designed for those who are seeking income funding mechanisms in retirement. The company was initially founded in 2009 – but, while it is still considered relatively new to the retirement income marketplace, it has definitely made a mark.
In fact, Athene Annuity and Life Company – which is a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd, delivers many innovative solutions that can help investors and retirees to reduce the worry regarding losses in the market and instead focus on what truly matters.
This firm is one of the largest providers of fixed and fixed indexed annuities in the United States, with more than $202 billion in total GAAP assets and high financial strength ratings from S&P, A.M. Best, and Fitch.
In January (2022), Athene announced the launch of the Athene Amplify 2.0, a registered index-linked annuity, or RILA, that offers next-generation accumulation potential, along with a level of downside protection in volatile market environments.
A RILA – which is also referred to as a buffered annuity, structured annuity, or variable indexed annuity – is generally used for long-term savings. These annuities offer a balanced approach for those who wish to grow assets in upward moving markets while also limiting the potential losses.
In a RILA annuity, funds can grow by earning “segment credits” that are based in part on the movement of an external stock index (or by more than just one). Unlike regular fixed indexed annuities, principal is not 100% secure. However, taking on some market risk, the “tradeoff” is that potential returns could actually be higher than those that are attained by the underlying index(es).
While it offers a lot of enticing features, though, this annuity – along with most other index-linked insurance products – also come with many “moving parts.” So, it is important that you understand how these annuities work, which in turn can provide you with more details on whether or not it will fit in with your unique short- and long-term financial and retirement planning goals and needs.
You can access our annuity buyers guide here for more information on how fixed index annuities work, and to help you determine whether or not this type of annuity would be right for you and your specific objectives.
Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures we need to provide…
This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Athene Life and Annuity Company has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or insurance product, it is important that you do your own due diligence and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this review are the property of their respective owners.
How Athene Describes the Amplify 2.0 Index-Linked Annuity
Athene describes the Amplify 2.0 annuity as one that can help you to take more control of your financial future by:
- Reducing market uncertainty
- Increasing growth potential
- Retiring on your terms
These “best of all worlds” features can help you to balance the need for both growth and protection, yet without having to maintain a large diversified portfolio of individual stocks and mutual funds.
This “buffer” feature offers the opportunity to capture gains when the underlying index(es) are up, and also provide a level of protection when they are down. (The protection level is referred to as the buffer).
For more details and examples on how various return/protection scenarios could work, you can access the product brochure on the Athene 2.0 Amplify annuity here.
The Amplify 2.0 is a 6-year annuity that offers investors several different time periods to choose from in terms of generating potential return and protection. In this case, while longer terms will typically offer higher rates of return, shorter terms can help with managing market fluctuations better.
With the Amplify 2.0 annuity, there are five index options you can choose from for tracking the performance. You can use just one, or instead opt for a combination of two or more. These indices are the:
- S&P 500 Index
- Nasdaq-100 Index
- Shiller Barclays CAPE US Mid-Month Sector TR Net Index
- Russell 2000 Index
- MSCI EAFE Index
There is also a one-year fixed segment option available on the 2.0 Amplify annuity from Athene. Here, you will receive a guaranteed rate of interest that is credited daily. Athene declares the guaranteed rate at the beginning of each segment term period.
As with other annuities, the growth that takes place in the Athene 2.0 Amplify is tax-deferred. This means that there is no tax due on the gains until the time of withdrawal. This can help the account value to grow faster – especially during periods when the underlying index(es) performs well.
The Amplify 2.0 annuity offers two unique crediting methods. With the “Milestone Lock”, you can enjoy enhanced growth along with “stepped up” protection of your principal and previous gains. With this option, you can capture index gains (subject to an upward limit such as a cap or participation rate) when the tracked index(es) perform in the positive, as various milestones are met. The milestone threshold is set at the beginning of the six-year term, and is guaranteed for the entire time period.
The other crediting option is referred to as the Performance Blend. In this case, you can diversify your risk and growth potential. The change in the underlying index(es) is used for determining the segment credits, and it is based on three diverse indices – the S&P 500, the Russell 2000, and the MSCI EAFE. What makes this option even more unique is that your exposure to each index is determined at the end of the time period, rather than at the beginning.
There are some other nice features associated with this annuity, too, such as a(n):
- Terminal Illness Waiver
- Confinement Waiver
- Death Benefit
To check out the Athene Amplify 2.0 product guide, go here.
Due to the numerous moving parts on this annuity, though, it can also help a great deal to have someone walk you through the various potential alternatives. That’s where Annuity Gator comes in. Our annuity specialists can answer questions for you, and even compare this annuity with others that you are considering – as well as annuities that you already own.
Because of the market-related aspect to this annuity, there is also a prospectus available that outlines more information on how the crediting methods work, the fees you could incur, and other pertinent details. You can review the prospectus for the Athene 2.0 Amplify annuity here.
How a Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” the Athene 2.0 Amplify Annuity
The Athene 2.0 Amplify annuity is unique in that it offers a nice amount of protection in volatile markets, while also providing the opportunity to generate a higher rate of return than the underlying market indexes. So, it is likely that a financial advisor who is pitching this annuity to you will focus on these best of both worlds features.
In addition, the tax-deferred growth of your money inside of the contract can also be a bonus – and it could even allow for an additional option for tax-advantaged accumulation, even if you have “maxed out” other alternatives like an IRA and/or employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k).
But even with all of these awesome features, you really need to be careful, as there are some “tradeoffs” you may need to make with this product. For instance, even though you have the ability to obtain a positive return based on the performance of an underlying index (or indexes), the upward potential is still limited. Plus, unlike regular fixed indexed annuities, the Amplify 2.0 annuity from Athene does not give you full downside protection.
In addition, you may also incur some added fees with this annuity as compared to a regular fixed indexed annuity, so it is important that you are aware of these, as they could have an impact on your overall return.
Athene 2.0 Amplify Annuity Fees
Just like most other financial and investment products, there are some fees that you need to be mindful of with the 2.0 Amplify annuity from Athene. These can include the following:
- Segment fees
- Withdrawal/Surrender Charges
The index-linked segment options include a segment fee that is equal to 0.95%. Athene deducts a segment fee amount daily from each of the index-linked segment options, beginning on the segment date.
If you make withdrawals from the annuity during the first six years, you could also incur a surrender, or withdrawal, charge. While the amount of the charge can differ by state, these fees are as follows:
Athene 2.0 Amplify Annuity Withdrawal Charge Schedule
|Withdrawal Charge %||8||8||7||6||5||4||0|
Note that you are allowed to take 10% of the purchase payment penalty-free in Year 1, and 10% of the contract value penalty-free in the following years during the surrender period.
For a full updated fee list on the Athene 2.0 Amplify annuity – as well as information on how the fees are calculated – you can refer to the prospectus HERE.
There is also a no-fee (NF) alternative of the Amplify 2.0 annuity, which can help investors with managing portfolio expenses. More details on how this version of the Athene Amplify 2.0 annuity works can be found in the product brochure HERE.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Athene 2.0 Amplify Next Generation Index-Linked Annuity
Where this annuity may work best:
Although this annuity offers many nice benefits, it will typically work the best for those who are seeking the following attributes:
- Some amount of principal protection
- The opportunity for additional, index-linked growth, which can provide a higher return than a regular fixed annuity
- Another option for tax-deferred growth if annual IRA and/or retirement contributions have been maxed out
Where it works the worst:
Conversely, there are some areas where the Amplify 2.0 annuity might not be the best option. That may be for people who:
- Will need access to more than just 10% of their funds within the annuity’s surrender charge period
- Are seeking full protection of principal
If you are still considering the purchase of the Athene Amplify 2.0 annuity, but you’re currently on the proverbial fence regarding whether or not it will be right for you, we can help you to “test” it, based on your specific scenario, at no cost or obligation.
Just let us know if this is something that you are interested in doing, and we’ll get on the case right away! We are also happy to compare the Athene 2.0 Amplify (the regular or no-fee version) annuity against an annuity that you already own. This could help to determine whether or not your current annuity is still on track with the short- and long-term financial goals that you have.
While there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are buying an annuity, one of the biggest concerns is making sure that the annuity is truly right for what you want – and need – it to do.
With regard to the Amplify 2.0 annuity from Athene, you can rest assured that you (and your spouse, if applicable) will have an income for life. But at the same time, depending on your other goals and needs, this product may still fall short – and there could be something else out there that is a better fit for you.
If you have any additional questions on this (or any) annuity product, Annuity Gator is here to help. We can also run side-by-side annuity comparisons in order to determine how various annuities might perform. So please feel free to contact us directly via our secure online contact form here.
Do You Have Any Additional Questions About the Athene 2.0 Amplify Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Review?
We realize that this annuity review has run long. But quite frankly, we would much rather that you have “too much” information on this product than to not have enough. So, if you found this annuity review of the Athene 2.0 Amplify index-linked annuity to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and to share it with other people who could also find value in it. (And, if you found it to be confusing, please also let us know that, too.)
In addition, we are aware that information regarding annuities can, and often does, change. So, if you happened to notice anything in this review that should be updated or revised, let us know and we will be happy to make the necessary edits.
Are there any other annuities that you would like to learn more about?
If so, just give us a shout and let us know, and our team will get to working on them right away. Be sure to check back often for any of the new reviews that are added to our massive annuity review database.
The Annuity Gator
P.S. If you would like to read more of our Athene annuity reviews here are some links to check out:
- Athene Ascent Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Ascent 10 Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
- Athene Income Select Bonus Fixed Index Annuity
- Athene Ascent 10 Bonus 2.0 Fixed Indexed Annuity with Ascent Income Rider Option 1
- Athene MYG 5 Fixed Annuity
- Athene MaxRate 7 Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity
- Athene Ascent Accumulator 10 Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Balanced Choice Level 10 Annuity
- Athene Agility 10-Year Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Agility 7-Year Fixed Indexed Annuity
- Athene Nasdaq FC Index