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Lincoln Financial Group Annuities Review

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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.

Lincoln Financial Group was founded in 1905, and it has grown exponentially since its inception. In fact, as recently as 2013 and 2015, the company was named the best life insurance company in the U.S. by World Finance Magazine. Variable, fixed and immediate annuities are all available through Lincoln Financial Group, in addition to life insurance policies. Consider working with a financial advisor if you need help deciding what type of annuity to open.

Annuity Fees Annuity Type Minimum Initial Premium More Information
Lincoln MYGuarantee Plus Find an Advisor

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  • No annual contract fees
Fixed annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Fixed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Lincoln New Directions® Find an Advisor

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  • No annual contract fees
Fixed indexed annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Fixed indexed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Lincoln Insured Income Find an Advisor

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  • No annual contract fees
Immediate annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Immediate annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Lincoln Investor Advantage® B-Share Find an Advisor

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  • $35 annual fee
  • 0.95% mortality and expense risk and administrative charges
  • 0.48% - 3.72% annual fund operating expenses
  • Various rider fees
Variable annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Variable annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Lincoln OptiBlend® Find an Advisor

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  • No annual contract fees
Fixed indexed annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Fixed indexed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium


In 2020, Lincoln National Corporation ranked 188th on the Fortune 500 list. To further illustrate the company’s financial strength, here are its rankings issued by the top four rating companies: A+ (second highest of 16) by A.M. Best; A+ (fifth highest of 19) by Fitch; A1 (fifth highest of 21) by Moody’s; and AA- (fourth highest of 21) by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

Lincoln MYGuarantee Plus

The MYGuarantee Plus fixed annuity from Lincoln Financial Group has a maximum issue age of 85 and a minimum initial payment of $10,000, which is standard for the annuity market. Like any other fixed annuity, account holders are given a prespecified interest rate for a five-, seven- or ten-year initial guarantee period. You can choose which term length you prefer depending on your personal financial situation. Generally speaking, the longer the term you select, the better the rate you receive.

The death benefit associated with this annuity allows beneficiaries to receive the full accumulation value of the contract upon the annuitant’s death. Taxes will apply to this payment, and it is only available before the contract has been annuitized.


There are no annual fees associated with the Lincoln MYGuarantee Plus annuity. But Lincoln Financial does institute withdrawal fees, which are listed below:

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

If you absolutely need to withdraw money from your account, Lincoln Financial allows customers to take out up to 10% of their accumulation value annually. Should doing this pull your account value below $5,000, the company may view it as a full withdrawal, though.

The IRS may charge you a 10% income tax surcharge if you begin payments from your annuity before 59.5 years old. You’ll also need to pay standard income taxes.

Realistic Return Expectations

The interest rate of your contract will vary depending on how much you invest with Lincoln Financial. For those who invest $100,000 or more, the rate will be “premium,” according to the company’s paperwork. Below are the rates currently offered as of February 2021:

  • 5-Year Term: 1.05%
  • 7-Year Term: 1.15%
  • 10-Year Term: 1.25%

Lincoln New Directions®

The maximum issue age for the Lincoln New Directions® annuity is 85 years old, with an opening premium of at least $10,000. This is a fixed indexed annuity, meaning you’ll receive an account that earns interest at a fixed rate along with up to three others that earn interest according to the performance of separate market indexes. For the former, your fixed rate will be guaranteed for either a six- or eight-year period, depending on which version of the annuity you open. After this time period passes, annuitants will be handed a new rate once a year.

When it comes to the indexed accounts, they will each follow a different iteration of the S&P 500 index. More specifically, these are the “1 Year S&P 500 Performance Triggered,” the “1 Year S&P 500 Cap” and the "1 Year S&P 500 7.5% Daily Risk Control Participation." 

  • The 1 Year S&P 500 Performance Triggered index earns interest based on the value difference between two set points in time that are exactly a year apart.
  • The 1 Year S&P 500 Cap index utilizes a cap rate, meaning that over any one-year period, returns can only go as high as a certain amount.
  • The 1 Year S&P 500 7.5% Daily Risk Control Participation index is heavily focused on volatility, using algorithms to rebalance the index in an effort to hit certain volatility targets.

Lincoln Financial allows annuitants who meet certain conditions to take out money from their contract value if they are placed in a nursing home or have a terminal illness. The standard death benefit for this annuity affords beneficiaries a payout equal to the greater of the contract value and the guaranteed minimum cash surrender value (GMCSV) at the time of the contract holder’s death, minus any withdrawals.


You will not be charged an annual fee if you open a New Directions annuity with Lincoln Financial. Although there are withdrawal fees, they only apply to withdrawals that surpass the allotted 10% that the company affords you annually. If you go past this, here’s what you can expect to pay:

Withdrawal Fee Schedule
Term Length Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8
6-Year 9% 8% 7% 6% 4.75% 3.50% 0%  
8-Year 9% 8% 7% 6% 4.75% 3.50% 2% 0.75%

For annuitants younger than 59.5 years old, withdrawals may be subject to a 10% income tax surcharge. You’ll still need to pay standard income taxes as well.

Realistic Return Expectations

Because this is a fixed indexed annuity, your returns will be based on both a fixed interest rate from Lincoln Financial, as well as the three S&P 500 indexes listed above. For these indexes, returns are impossible to gauge, as they are entirely reliant on market performance.

For the fixed account, here are the rates as of February 2021:

  • 6-Year Term: 1.00%
  • 8-Year Term: 1.00%

Lincoln Insured Income

As a single-premium immediate contract, the Lincoln Insured Income annuity calls for at least a $25,000 opening payment, unless you choose a period certain contract, which shrinks the minimum to $10,000. A similar policy applies to the maximum issue age, which goes as follows:

  • Lifetime-based payment options: 80 years old
  • Lifetime-based payment options with a minimum guaranteed amount of payments: 85 years old
  • Period certain: 95 years old

To clarify, a period certain contract ensures that you’ll receive payments for a specific amount of time. Should you pass away during this time frame, the payments will continue to your beneficiaries. If you choose another option, the death benefit is dictated by what you chose.

Upon issue of your contract, you can add on a free cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), though this will decrease your initial scheduled payment. COLAs come in the form of either a 1%, 2% or 3% annual compound increase beginning on the first anniversary of your payment start date.


Immediate annuities usually don’t come with annual fees, and the Lincoln Insured Income annuity is no exception. The same goes for withdrawal charges. However, if you withdraw before age 59.5, you'll be subject to a 10% income tax penalty from the IRS.

Realistic Return Expectations

The payments of an immediate annuity are difficult to gauge without knowing the specifics of your financial situation. However, what we do know is that you can defer them for up to 12 months, with payments coming in monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual variations.

Lincoln Investor Advantage® B-Share

The Lincoln Investor Advantage® B-Share variable annuity offers annuitants access to a plethora of investment funds and products. This selection includes dividend-centric funds, stock funds, bond funds, real estate investment trust (REIT) funds and more. You have complete control over which investments to include in your portfolio.

Should your contract be jointly owned upon your death, the death benefit will be paid to your co-owner. If this person happens to be your spouse, they can also choose to continue the contract instead of receiving payment. Otherwise, your designated beneficiary will receive the death benefit.

The only exception to the aforementioned death benefit policy is if you choose to annex the earnings optimizer death benefit onto your contract. This rider comes with an extra fee, but affords you some protection by providing your beneficiaries a death benefit that’s equal to the greater of:

  • Your current contract value
  • The sum of all your purchase payments (minus withdrawals)
  • Your current contract value on the date your death claim is approved, plus an additional amount equal to a predetermined enhancement rate multiplied by the lesser of your contract earnings or your earnings limit


If you open an Investor Advantage B-Share annuity, you’ll need to pay a $35 annual fee, unless your account’s value is $100,000 or higher. There’s also a 0.95% combined administrative and mortality and expense risk fee that’s due annually as well.

Annuitants that add riders to their contract will need to pay for them annually. For example, the account value death benefit comes with a 1.35% fee. If you select the earnings optimizer death benefit, your rate will vary from 0.40% to 1.70%, depending on your age at issue.

If you withdraw more than 10% of your account’s value during your first five years of ownership, you’ll be subject to a withdrawal fee. They go as follows:

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

You’ll be charged a 10% income surtax if you withdraw money from your account before you turn 59.5 years old. The IRS also requires you pay the standard income tax on top of this.

Realistic Return Expectations

Because variable annuity returns are based on the investment decisions you make, they are nearly impossible to predict. Lincoln Financial offers annuitants a large selection of funds to invest in that each differ in securities choices and management styles.

Lincoln OptiBlend®

The Lincoln OptiBlend® annuity is a fixed indexed contract, which means it comes with a fixed interest account and an index-following account that offers a choice of four different index strategies. These include the 1 Year S&P 500 5% Daily Risk Control Spread, the 1 Year S&P 500 Performance Triggered, the 1 Year S&P 500 Cap and the 1 Year S&P 500 Participation. You are given full control of how much of your money is allocated to each account/strategy.

Should you pass away before you annuitize this contract, Lincoln Financial will pay out your remaining contract value to your beneficiaries. Otherwise, the death benefit payout will be affected by which annuitization payout option you choose (life only, life with a guaranteed period, life with installment refund or life with cash refund).

To open this annuity, you'll need to have at least $10,000 ready to invest in it. The maximum issue age is 80. You also have three iterations of this annuity to choose from, each with a different initial guarantee period for your fixed rate. Your choices are a 5-year, 7-year or 10-year term.


There are no annual or rider fees associated with this annuity. There are, however, withdrawal charges you'll need to contend with if you take out more than 10% of your contract's value before it's annuitized.

Remember that if you withdraw money from your annuity before you turn 59.5, the IRS will hit you with a 10% income surtax. This is in addition to your standard income tax rate.

Realistic Return Expectations

When it comes to the index-related returns of this annuity, there is no way to project out what you might earn. That's because these returns are entirely reliant upon the performance of the market. On the other hand, here are the annuity's fixed rates as of February 2021:

  • Lincoln OptiBlend 5: 1.00%
  • Lincoln OptiBlend 7: 1.00%
  • Lincoln OptiBlend 10
    • $10,000 minimum: 1.00%
    • $100,000 minimum: 1.25%

Ways to Work on Your Retirement Savings

  • A financial advisor can help you put together a retirement income plan and determine what role annuities can play in your 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 just five minutes. Get started now.
  • Many Americans use a 401(k) through their employer to save for retirement. If you have your own 401(k) account, SmartAsset’s 401(k) calculator can help you figure out exactly how much your money could grow over the coming years.

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