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Weiss Ratings: 10 Best Low-Cost Variable Annuities

Weiss Ratings: 10 Best Low-Cost Variable Annuities 2014

JUPITER, Florida (April 10, 2014) - Today, Weiss Ratings released its annual 10 Best Variable Annuity list. To help consumers sort through the many variable annuity choices, Weiss Ratings reviewed over 155,000 annuity offerings to find the 10 best low-cost variable annuity products.

Weiss Ratings looked for variable annuities with no initial sales charge also known as a front-end load, below average costs, a wide selection of mutual fund subaccounts with good performance, issued by insurance companies with a Weiss Financial Strength Rating of A (excellent), B (good) or C (fair).

The Best Low-Cost Variable Annuities - 2014

Variable Annuity

Name of Insurer

Front-End Load Surrender Charge/Years Applies Number of Funds Number of Strong Funds Financial Strength Rating
Discover Premier (NYSE:Q) - 0.50

Pruco Life Insurance Co

None None 35 13 C+
Discover Premier (Q) - 0.65

Pruco Life Insurance

None None 35 11 C+
Empire Fidelity Personal Retirement Annuity H

Empire Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co.

None None 59 46 B+
Fidelity Personal Retirement Annuity H

Fidelity Investments Life Insurance co

None None 59 46 A-
Retirement Advantage

Allianz Life Ins Co of North America

None None 78 57 B
Retirement Pro

Allianz Life Ins Co of North America

None None 78 57 B
TIAA Access 1

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America

None None 47 25 A-
TIAA Access 2

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America

None None 47 21 A-
TIAA Access 3

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America

None None 47 15 A-
Vanguard Variable Annuity

Monumental Life Insurance Co

None None 17 13 C+
Click to enlarge

Data source: Weiss Ratings. Morningstar Principia Pro 2013 fund data and performance. Weiss Financial Strength rating is based on Q3 2013 data; A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak; Plus sign=top of grade range; Minus sign=bottom of grade range. Note: List is in alphabetical order.

Consumers can also find the 2014 Weiss Ratings' lists of Best Variable Annuities with Guaranteed Withdrawal Benefits and Worst Variable Annuities at WeissRatings.com.

About Weiss Ratings

Weiss Ratings is the nation's leading independent provider of financial strength ratings on U.S. and global banks, credit unions and insurance companies as well as sovereign debt ratings. It also distributes independent investment ratings on publicly traded companies, mutual funds, and ETFs. Weiss accepts no payment or other compensation for its ratings from rated institutions. WeissRatings.com is a destination site to help consumers and professionals make informed financial decisions.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.