JUL 18: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
July 18, 2022
Rising interest rates herald the return of annuities, guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
The prolonged period of low interest rates we have been experiencing up until recently sort of took the bloom off the rose for interest-related investing, such as via GICs and their income-producing cousin, the annuity.
But, writes Rob Carrick in the Globe & Mail, the current rising interest-rate environment may give these old investment friends a new lease on life.
“Annuities are insurance contracts where you turn a lump sum of money over to an insurance company in exchange for a guaranteed stream of monthly income for as long as you live. In a world where a majority of workers do not have pensions, annuities address the fear of running out of money,” he writes.
Higher interest rates are great news for annuity buyers, because the higher rate means your annuity will provide a higher monthly payment.
“The improvements in monthly income from annuities over the past 12 months can be seen in the following examples of $100,000 annuities in a registered account, with payments guaranteed to last 10 years even if you die sooner (the money would go to your estate or beneficiaries),” the article notes. Data, the article tells us, was supplied by “ Rino Racanelli, an insurance adviser who specializes in annuities.”
Improvements for annuity income on $100,000 over just the pay year are quite impressive, the article notes. A 65-year-old woman would now get “$550.88 a month, up 15 per cent from $478.90 12 months ago,” Carrick writes. For men aged 65, it’s a jump to $589.75 a month, “up 15.6 per cent from $510.10 12 months ago.”
Carrick writes that some folks shy away from annuities because you have to give up a large lump sum to get the monthly payment. “Solution,” he writes, is to “use an annuity for just part of your retirement income.”
Racanelli tells the Globe that “interest in annuities has increased lately, but some people are waiting for higher rates to lock money in.”
The GIC was a “go-to” investment for boomer parents back in the 1970s and 1980s, when interest rates were in the teens.
“As of the end of June, GIC rates were as high as 4.15 per cent for a one-year term and five per cent for five years,” he writes.
With a GIC, your money is locked up for the term of the contract, typically, one, two, three, four or five years. You receive regular interest payments which compound, typically monthly, so your GIC can really only go up in value. Few people looked at the GIC when they only offered one or two per cent interest rates, but they are now becoming more popular, the article suggests.
Did you know that the Saskatchewan Pension Plan offers a variety of annuity options for retiring members? According to the Retirement Guide, you can choose either a life only annuity (pays you for life, no survivor or death benefits), a refund life annuity (life income for you, but there can be a payout to survivors if you die before receiving your total annuity purchase amount) and a joint and last survivor annuity – lifetime income for you, and lifetime survivor pension to your surviving spouse upon your death.
Annuities may make sense for some of your money at retirement – you’ll get a lifetime income stream and can choose options to look after your survivors. It’s just another way the SPP provides its members with retirement security.
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Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.