equity-indexed annuity(redirected from Equity index annuity)
An annuity with an interest rate linked to the performance of an equity index. Most annuities pay the interest rate stated in the contract, but an equity-indexed annuity pays a minimum interest rate, with the possibility of a higher rate depending on the performance of the relevant stock or equity index. Each plan uses a different methodology in determining how the higher interest rate is calculated. Common features in its calculation include a participation rate, which determines how much of the annuity is linked to the index, and the rate cap, which sets a maximum interest rate on some plans. Many equity-index annuities use the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Stock Price Index (S&P 500) as their benchmark.
A contract with an insurance company that promises periodic payments keyed in a specified manner to a stock market index. Unlike variable annuities, equity-indexed annuities specify a guaranteed minimum return that is typically 3%. These contracts may also specify an upper limit (cap) on the return that is paid. Indexing methods vary, and surrender charges often apply to early withdrawals.