Menu burger Close thin Facebook Twitter Google plus Linked in Reddit Email arrow-right-sm arrow-right
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Guggenheim Life and Annuity Review

Your Details Done
by Updated

This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company is a subsidiary of Guggenheim Partners, a global investment advisory firm that has roughly $310 billion in assets under management (AUM). Guggenheim Life and Annuity offers a range of annuity products, but it does not directly offer life insurance policies.

If you're considering buying an annuity as part of your retirement income plan, consider first consulting with a local financial advisor.

Annuity Fees Annuity Type Minimum Initial Premium More Information
ProOption Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity Find an Advisor

Read Review

  • No annual contract fees
Multi-year guaranteed annuity $5,000

Annuity Type

Multi-year guaranteed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Provider Single Premium Immediate Annuity Find an Advisor

Read Review

  • No annual contract fees
Immediate annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Immediate annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Highlander Find an Advisor

Read Review

  • No annual contract fees
  • 0.90% annual fee for lifetime withdrawal rider
Fixed indexed annuity $5,000

Annuity Type

Fixed indexed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Highlander 7 Find an Advisor

Read Review

  • No annual contract fees
Fixed indexed annuity $5,000

Annuity Type

Fixed indexed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium


A.M. Best rated Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company a B++ (Good) on its financial strength scale, judging the company's financial outlook as "stable."

ProOption Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity

The ProOption Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity lets you choose between three different opening rate periods that last five, seven and ten years, respectively. Guggenheim offers a guarantee that rates will increase during this first period, though renewal periods do not receive the same guarantee.

This annuity comes with a simple death benefit that affords your beneficiaries your account’s full value if you pass away before you annuitize. The contract’s included return of premium feature offers a complete return of your premium payment if you surrender your contract during the payment deferral period.

For qualified accounts, the minimum initial premium is $5,000. However, this jumps to $10,000 for non-qualified accounts. Either way, the maximum issue age is 90.


The ProOption Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity does not have any annual contract or benefit rider fees. There are early withdrawal fees, though, if you take out more than the 10% you’re allowed during your second year of ownership and beyond.

Withdrawal Fee Schedule
Term Length Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11+
5-Year 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 0%          
7-Year 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0%      
10-Year 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 1% 1% 0.75% 0%

The IRS charges annuitants a 10% income surtax if they take out money from their annuity contract before the age of 59.5. That's in addition to the income taxes you'll pay on withdrawals.

Realistic Return Expectations

The returns you could see with this annuity depend on a number of factors, including how much you invest, when you invest it, what rate guarantee period you select and what rate Guggenheim gives you.

Provider Single Premium Immediate Annuity

The Provider Single Premium Immediate Annuity has a maximum issue age of 95 years old and a $10,000 minimum initial premium. It comes with a monthly cost of living adjustment (COLA) of between 1% and 15%, which Guggenheim lets you pick. This is done to ensure your payments keep pace with inflation.

Five different income options are available with this annuity, including:

  • Life only: Payments last for your life, but they stop when you pass away.
  • Certain period only: You receive payments solely for a 5- to 20-year period.
  • Life and certain period: Payments will continue for a specified period of 5 to 20 years. If you pass away before the period is over, your beneficiary will continue to earn those payments for the remainder of the period.
  • Joint life and 100% survivor: Payments go to both you and your spouse; if one of you passes away, the surviving spouse continues getting payments. If you both pass away, payments end.
  • Joint life and 100% survivor with guaranteed period: As long as either you or your spouse are alive, payments will continue to one or both of you for a specified period of 5 to 20 years. If this period has yet to end before you both pass away, your beneficiary will be the heir to your payments.


Like most immediate annuities, there are no annual fees or withdrawal fees to worry about with the Provider Single Premium contract.

Annuitants that withdraw from their account prior to turning 59.5 years old will receive a 10% income surtax from the IRS, on top of standard income taxes.

Realistic Return Expectations

Immediate annuities don’t earn "returns" in the sense of your money growing in the market. However, depending on which income option you choose and how long you and your spouse live, you might wind up getting more than you put in.


The Highlander fixed indexed annuity from Guggenheim comes with a fixed account and an indexed account. The company will pay you a certain interest rate on the funds you place in your fixed account. Meanwhile, the indexed account earns interest based on the performance of a few S&P 500 indexes that you get to choose from. This annuity is available to those below the age of 80 with at least $5,000 to invest.

One of the major benefits of the Highlander contract is a 4% account value bonus. This means that the premiums you add to your account’s value over your first year as contract holder will earn a 4% boost.

This contract also comes with an optional Lifetime Withdrawal Rider. For an extra fee, this will allow you to withdraw a minimum amount of from your annuity for as long as you live. This will ensure that you cannot outlive your money.


Although there are no annual contract fees with the Highlander annuity, a 0.90% annual fee accompanies Guggenheim’s Lifetime Withdrawal Rider. This extra benefit is optional, though.

You’re allowed to withdraw as much as 10% of your contract value annually with this annuity. If you go beyond that mark, prepare to pay fees according to the following schedule:

Withdrawal Fee Schedule
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11+
10% 9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0%

All withdrawal charges are waived upon the contract holder or joint owner’s death.

The IRS levies a 10% income surtax on any annuitants that take withdrawals before reaching age 59.5. You’ll also be on the hook for standard income taxes.

Realistic Return Expectations

Fixed indexed annuities are customizable in that you get to decide what index you want to follow and how much money you allocate to your fixed and indexed accounts. This allocation, and the performance of the market index you choose, will dictate what returns you'll see.

Highlander 7

If you’re looking into the Highlander 7 fixed indexed annuity with a qualified account, the minimum initial premium is $5,000. For non-qualified account holders, this minimum jumps to $10,000. You need to be 80 years old or younger to open an account.

This annuity comes with a fixed account that earns at a fixed rate for a one-year period, with rates renewing annually. You’ll also get an indexed account which will hold funds that follow the performance of one of a few S&P 500 indexes. Annuitants can allocate as much of their premiums to each account as they see fit.

Here are a couple of other benefits this annuity offers:

  • Nursing home care: If the annuity owner is placed in and confined to a nursing home for at least 90 consecutive days, Guggenheim offers full, fee-free access to the funds in the account.
  • Terminal illness: The full account value is available without fees to any annuity owners who are either deemed terminally ill by a doctor or are diagnosed with a critical illness, like a heart attack.


You won’t have to worry about any annual fees with the Highlander 7 fixed indexed annuity. There are fees for withdrawals over the 10% you’re allotted annually, though. These fees shrink every year you own your account.

Withdrawal Fee Schedule
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8+
9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 0%

Guggenheim waives all withdrawal fees following the death of the contract holder or joint owner.

You will encounter a 10% income tax penalty if you withdraw funds from your annuity before turning 59.5 years old. You’ll also need to pay your standard income tax rate.

Realistic Return Expectations

The interest rate your fixed account will earn is dependent on how much you invest and when you open your contract with Guggenheim. On the contrary, the returns associated with your indexed account are based on what index you choose to follow. In turn, the potential returns of the Highlander 7 annuity change depending on the specifics of your accounts.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • A financial advisor can be a big help in organizing annuities and other elements of a retirement income plan. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Don’t forget to include Social Security payments in your long-term retirement income projections. SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator can help you figure out what you can expect to receive.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Best Places for Small Business Owners

SmartAsset analyzed data to find the best places for small business owners in the country. This interactive map shows the best counties for small business owners in the U.S. and in each state. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any county to learn about that region's small business statistics.

Rank County Small Business Returns Small Business Income Income Taxes

Methodology Which places are best for small businesses owners? To answer this question, we considered three factors: the proportion of people in a county with small business income, how much business income those people reported and the amount of tax a potential resident must pay on their income.

To determine how attractive a region is for small business owners, we compared the number of tax returns that report small business income compared to the total tax-filing population of the region. Next, we compared the total amount of small business income to the overall amount of income reported in each region.

Small businesses are typically incorporated as pass-through entities, meaning that the business owners pay income taxes on the company profits rather than the company itself paying income tax. Because of this, income taxes can play a major role in determining the financial success of a given small business. To determine income tax burdens across counties, we used the national median household income. We then applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for each location.

These three factors were then indexed and equally weighted to yield our small business index. Places with the highest small business index are the places which ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), US Census Bureau 2018 American Community Survey, Government Sources, SmartAsset