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Independent Review of the Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity

What will we be going over in this review of the new Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity?

In this review of the Stride fixed indexed annuity from Symetra, we will be going over the following important details:
  • Type of annuity
  • Fees
  • Rates
  • Realistic performance expectations
  • Where the annuity is best used
  • How the annuity is most poorly used

Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in. At Annuity Gator, we make the complex, simple.

Over the past several years, the fixed indexed annuity, or FIA, has become popular as a way to generate market-linked returns while at the same time keeping principal safe regardless of whether equities move up or down. Plus, like other annuities, the fixed indexed annuity can also provide an ongoing stream of income, either for a set period of time, or for the remainder of your lifetime – regardless of how long you need it. In order to stay competitive in the marketplace, more insurance carriers are adding fixed indexed annuities to their lineups – and are also adding various bells and whistles in order to make these annuities stand out. One example is the newly released Stride fixed indexed annuity from Symetra. But, prior to going out and making a long-term commitment to purchase this – or any other – annuity, it is important to have a good understanding of how the annuity works, and whether or not it will actually fit in with your short and long-term financial objectives. It is also essential that you separate the “hype” from the reality in terms of how fixed indexed annuities work. For instance, many people feel that FIAs offer a “best of both worlds” scenario. Why? Well, for one thing, these annuities provide the ability to attain a return that is linked to an underlying market index (or multiple market indices) such as the S&P 500. But, if the market index performs poorly, you don’t have to worry about losing your hard-earned principal. On top of that, the growth that takes place inside of the annuity is tax-deferred, meaning that there is no tax due on this gain until the time it is withdrawn – and that can allow for a nice compounding of your funds. The guaranteed income factor is nice, too, because this can help to alleviate the concern about running out of money while you still need it in retirement. But first, there are some things you need to be aware of, such as how much it could “cost” you to get out of an annuity if you discover after you purchase it that it really isn’t going to do what you want it to do. This is where the Annuity Gator comes in!

Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Advice that You Can Trust

If this is the first time that you have been to our website, we would like to personally welcome you here to We make up a team of experienced financial professionals who are dedicated to providing in-depth reviews of annuity products. We’ve been doing this for a number of years now – far longer than most of our “copycat” competitors – and because of that, we have come to be known as a highly trusted source of annuity information online. If you’ve been looking for information about annuities via the Internet, then it is likely that you have come across many conflicting details about these financial vehicles. This isn’t really very surprising, though, because there are a lot of opinions (both positive and otherwise) about these products floating around the Internet. Although there are actually many different websites online that focus on providing annuity products and information, there are some that will attempt to lure you in with some pretty bold claims like:
  •  Lowest fees
  •  Highest income payouts
  •  Guaranteed lifetime income
  •  Top-rated companies
Sound familiar? However, even though these claims do sound very appealing, it is really important that you know whether or not they are actually true. But with the help of Annuity Gator, you will be much better able to sort of the BS from the truth. In fact, if you’ve landed here on our site in search of more details on the new Symetra Stride annuity, then you are definitely in the right place. Dare we even say that our website is the only place where you can find out all of the information – the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. Knowing the whole picture, though, can help you in determining whether this product will be right for you. Just to be perfectly clear, here, a fixed indexed annuity can provide some nice benefits. This, however, is really only the case if the product fits in with your specific financial plans. With that in mind, you should also know why you’re going with the annuity – and why you are choosing it over a long list of other potential annuities that may be available to you. So, if you’re ready to learn more, let’s dive in!

The Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance

Product NameStride
Type of ProductSingle Premium Fixed Indexed Annuity
A.M. Best RatingA (Excellent)
Phone Number(800) 796-3872

Opening Thoughts on the Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity

Symetra is backed by more than $55 billion in assets (as of year-end 2019), and its parent company, Sumitomo Life, is one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan – and together, Sumitomo Life and Symetra, have total assets of over $300 billion. Established in 1957, Symetra offers a wide array of wealth protection and retirement products, including fixed and fixed indexed annuities, as well as term, permanent, universal, bank-owned, and corporate-owned life insurance. Due to its financial strength and stability, as well as its positive reputation for paying out policyholders’ claims, Symetra is highly rated by the insurer rating agencies. In addition to earning an A from A.M. Best, these ratings include an A from Standard & Poor’s, and an A1 from Moody’s. Over the past several years, due in large part to the continuous ups and downs of the stock market, the demand for fixed indexed annuities has increased substantially. One reason for this is because, in addition to keeping principal safe (in any market condition), these financial vehicles can also provide you with the opportunity to earn market-linked growth, as well as a set amount of income that could last you for the remainder of your lifetime. Yet, even though this might sound like a win-win-win situation, the reality is that if something sounds like it may be too good to be true, then it typically is – so you should ideally get as much in-depth detail as possible if you are considering committing to it for the long term.

Before we get into the gritty details, here are some necessary legal disclosures…

This is an independent annuity product review. It is not a recommendation to purchase or to sell an annuity. Symetra has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This annuity review is meant solely to be an independent review at the request of our readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and the negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to committing to the purchase of any type of insurance and/or investment vehicle, it is critical that you do your own due diligence, and that you also talk with a properly licensed professional if you have any questions that relate to your specific situation. All of the names, materials, and marks that have been used in compiling this annuity review are the property of their respective owners. For additional information on how to compare fixed annuities so that you can decide which may be the best one for you, click here in order to obtain our free annuity report.

How Symetra Describes the Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity

The Symetra Stride annuity is described as a single premium fixed indexed annuity product that offers growth potential that is based on three indexes – which includes the new Putnam Dynamic Low Volatility Excess Return Index. This index pursues attractive returns with a focus on controlling volatility and protecting against downside market risk. This particular index combines three different asset classes, including:
  •  Low-risk U.S. stocks
  •  U.S. Treasury bonds
  •  Cash
The Putnam Dynamic Low Volatility Excess Return Index follows a rules-based methodology and it dynamically adjusts its allocations to stocks, bonds, and cash in order to manage risk. It also seeks a consistent volatility level of 5%. Other indexed that you can choose from with the Stride annuity include the:
  •  JPMorgan ETF Efficiente 5 Index
  •  S&P 500 Index
The Symetra Stride with Signature Withdrawal Benefit was created specifically for independent financial professionals and insurance producers. This benefit offers both growth potential and guaranteed income. This benefit also offers guaranteed lifetime income via an optional guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit, or GLWB, which can be elected by annuity purchasers who are age 50 or over at the time they buy the annuity. For a bit of added flexibility, annuity holders who own the Stride annuity from Symetra may change the amount of their lifetime withdrawals at any time. There are also some added “bells and whistles” that are included with this annuity, including a:
  •  Nursing Home and Hospitalization Waiver – If you are confined to a nursing home or a hospital for at least 30 consecutive days, Symetra will waive your withdrawal charges and market value adjustments. The insurance company will also waive those charges and market value adjustments for up to 90 days after your release.
  •  Terminal Illness Waiver – If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness after your annuity contract is issued, Symetra will waive withdrawal charges and applicable market value adjustments after your first contract year.
  •  Death Benefit – Upon your passing, one or more named beneficiaries will receive the contract value of the annuity – which does not reflect any current withdrawal charge or market value adjustment – or the cash surrender value – whichever is more.
For additional details, you can check out the Symetra Stride fixed indexed annuity brochure here.

How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this Annuity

Today, people are living much longer than ever before – and, while that can be positive in many respects, it can also bring about the worry of outliving your income in retirement. With many people who are preparing for retirement being concerned about growing their savings, while at the same time keeping their principal safe, it is possible that an insurance or financial advisor would present this annuity as a vehicle for accomplishing both of those goals. Plus, there is also the option to choose income for life with this annuity. What the agent may or may not heavily focus on, however, is the “fine print” – which can more clearly explain some of the “tradeoffs” that you’ll need to make in order to garner some of the benefits. For example, there is an added premium charge to add the Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit. So, it is necessary to determine whether or not this additional cost will really enhance the benefit. In addition to that, the Stride annuity from Symetra comes with a rather lengthy surrender charge period of ten years. This means that if you withdraw more than 7% of the contract value over the first decade that you own the annuity, you will incur a penalty.

Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity Surrender Charge Schedule

Contract Year1234567891011+
Charge %99876543210

On top of that, if you are under age 59 ½ when you make a withdrawal, Uncle Sam will charge you with an additional “early withdrawal” penalty of 10% (of the withdrawal amount). So, the purchase of this (or any) annuity should always be considered a long-term financial commitment. This means that you definitely should not contribute funds that you anticipate needing for emergencies or other obligations over at least the next six years.

The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity:

Where it works best: This particular annuity will usually work the best for those who are looking for:
  •  The opportunity to obtain a higher rate of growth than that of a regular fixed annuity
  •  Safety of principal
  •  Lifetime income (in any type of market environment)
Where it works worst: Conversely, this particular annuity may not fare so well for those who:
  •  Want or need to access their funds penalty-free within the 10-year surrender charge period (and/or before they turn age 59 ½)
  •  Do not intend to use the guaranteed lifetime income feature

In Summary

There are many factors that should be considered before you commit to a long-term financial product like an annuity. If you are still leaning towards purchasing a fixed index annuity like the Stride annuity from Symetra, you can be assured that your principal will be safe from the ups and downs of the stock market. You can also have a future retirement income that you can count on. But in reality, the only way to really know if the Symetra Stride (or any) annuity is right for you is to have it tested. We can do this for you providing you with an in-depth and personalized spreadsheet showing how the annuity may perform given your specific parameters. In going this route, you could find that the Symetra Stride fixed indexed annuity fits the bill for you – or, you may also find out that there could be some other product(s) out there that work better for you and your particular situation. If you would like to move forward with “testing” this annuity for your specific needs – at no cost and no obligation – then just simply let us know here via our secure online contact form.

Still Have More Questions About the Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity? Did You Happen to Notice Any Mistakes in this Annuity Review?

We understand that this annuity review ran a bit on the long side. So, we thank you for sticking with us here to the end. However, when we are creating our reviews here at, we would much rather “err” on providing “too much” information for our readers rather than not enough. That way, you will be in a better position to make a truly informed decision as to whether or not a particular annuity product is right for you. In addition, we also know that annuity information can – and often does – change on a regular basis. So, if you happened to notice any details in this Symetra Stride annuity review that may need to be updated or revised, then please let us know that as well, and we will be happy to make any of the needed changes here. Likewise, if reading over this review caused even more confusion about this product, then please click here in order to let us know that too. Are there any other annuities that you would like to see reviewed on our website? If so, just let us know the name of the product (or products), and we will get right on it. You can access our extensive annuity review database through our website here. Best, The Annuity Gator   Independent Review of the Symetra Stride Fixed Indexed Annuity

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