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Symetra Annuity 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.

Symetra Life Insurance Company has been around for over half a century. The company is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, but it operates secondary branches in 20 other cities around the U.S. Life insurance policies, employee benefits and annuities are the main products that you can purchase through Symetra. If you have questions about what type of annuity would be best for you, consider working with a financial advisor.

Annuity Fees Annuity Type Minimum Initial Premium More Information
Symetra Edge Plus® Find an Advisor

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  • No contract fees
Fixed indexed annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Fixed indexed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Symetra Trek Find an Advisor

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  • No annual fees
Index-linked annuity $25,000

Annuity Type

Index-linked annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Symetra Custom 5 Find an Advisor

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  • No annual fees
Fixed deferred annuity $25,000

Annuity Type

Fixed deferred annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Advantage Income Find an Advisor

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  • No annual fees
Single-premium immediate annuity (SPIA) $10,000

Annuity Type

Single-premium immediate annuity (SPIA)

Minimum Initial Premium


As of Dec. 2021, Symetra manages $60.3 billion in assets and has more than 2,000 employees. The company has also received solid financial strength ratings from the three most prominent rating entities, as of 2022. A.M. Best rated it an “A” (3rd highest of 16 grades), Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rated it an “A” (6th highest of 21 grades) and Moody’s rated it an “A1” (5th highest of 21 grades).

Symetra Edge Plus®

The Symetra Edge Plus® fixed indexed annuity comes in five- and seven-year variations, with the former giving you access to your money in five years and the latter in seven. The minimum opening investment for this contract is $10,000, and the maximum issue age is 85 years old.

As this is a fixed indexed annuity, you’ll receive both a fixed account and an indexed account. The rate associated with the fixed account will be determined by Symetra. The indexed rate, however, will be determined by which of the six offered indexes you pick (and the ensuing performance of that index).

Your index options include ones tracking the S&P and MSCI EAFE indexes, as well as a JPMorgan ETF index. Rather than invest your money directly into these indexes, your returns are based on their performance.


The fees associated with the Edge Plus annuity are fairly limited. In fact, there are no contract fees involved in owning this product. However, if you want to take advantage of the enhanced death benefit rider, you’ll need to pay a 0.90% annual fee.

You can withdraw up to 10% of your annuity’s value per year without incurring withdrawal fees. If you surpass this amount, these fees will apply:

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

As is the case with all annuities, annuitants that withdraw from their account prior to turning 59.5 years old will incur a 10% income surtax from the IRS, on top of standard income taxes.

Realistic Return Expectations

The interest rate you receive with this annuity will vary depending on a number of factors, such as how much money you invest and when you open your account. Unfortunately, Symetra does not publicly release its fixed interest rates. The returns associated with the six indexed accounts will depend on the market and are therefore difficult to predict.

Symetra Trek

The Symetra Trek index-linked annuity has a minimum initial purchase of $25,000 and a maximum issue age of 81 years old. Contract holders will own both a fixed account and an indexed account. At least $2,000 must be allocated to each account at any one time.

The fixed account adheres to a one-year term with an interest rate determined by Symetra. There are five indexes you can invest in, including:

  • S&P 500® Index Point-to-Point
  • Russell 2000® Index Point-to-Point
  • NASDAQ 100® Index Point-to-Point
  • MSCI Emerging Markets Index Point-to-Point
  • PIMCO Equity Fusion Index Point-to-Point

The strongest free features of this contract are its two downside protection benefits. You can only choose one of them, though. Here’s how they work:

  • 10% Floor: If your index investment declines in value, you will take on the first 10% in losses, and Symetra will cover anything beyond that.
  • 10% Buffer: Should the index you invest in experience a decline, Symetra will protect you from the first 10% in losses.


If you own a Trek contract, you will not be required to pay any annual fees. The only way you will encounter a fee is if you take out more than the allotted 15% of your contract value or total interest earned annually. This is a generous percentage, as most annuities start imposing fees after you’ve taken out more than 10% of your contract value. 

The fees below apply to any withdrawals over that amount:

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

Don’t forget that if you begin taking withdrawals from your account before you turn 59.5, you’ll not only need to pay income taxes, but also a 10% income surtax.

Realistic Return Expectations

Symetra does not release any fixed rates or index caps/participation rates for this annuity contract. However, the specifics of your returns will be determined by a number of factors, such as your age, gender, state of residence, premium size and more.

Symetra Custom 5

The Symetra Custom 5 fixed deferred annuity calls for a minimum initial premium payment of $25,000. If you’re looking to add the guaranteed return of purchase payment benefit onto your contract, the maximum issue age is 90 years old. For all other contracts, the maximum issue age is 85.

As the annuity's name infers, contract holders will receive a five-year interest rate guarantee period. Symetra will list a minimum rate for you in your contract. Once the interest rate guarantee period is over, your rate will renew on an annual basis.


The Custom 5 annuity is a low-cost product, as contract holders are not required to pay any annual fees to retain their ownership. When it comes to premature withdrawals, though, you’re only entitled to 10% of your contract value annually. Should you go above and beyond that limit, the following withdrawal fees will apply:

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

Annuitants who withdraw from their account may be required to pay a 10% income surtax levied by the IRS. This is in addition to normal income tax rates.

Realistic Return Expectations

The fixed interest rates Symetra pays for this annuity change depending on the size of your initial payment. Generally speaking, the larger the deposit, the better the rate you'll receive.

Advantage Income

The Advantage Income contract is a single-premium immediate annuity, which is sometimes referred to as an SPIA. You can be as old as 90 to open an account as long as you have at least $10,000 ready to invest. As far as payouts go, you can choose from single life and joint life options, with or without a period certain. You can also wait as long as 13 months to begin receiving payments.

Because this annuity is all about income, annuitants can decide to increase their payouts by up to 6.5% annually in an effort to help with inflation. Also, after your first three years of ownership, you can take out up to 30% of your future guaranteed and life-contingent payments every three years.

The death benefit comes with three options:

  • Life with installment refund: Your beneficiaries will continue getting payments until the total payout is equal to your purchase payment.
  • Life with cash refund: Rather than payments, your beneficiaries will receive a lump-sum payout.
  • Commutation to Beneficiary option: With this, your beneficiaries can change your contract’s remaining guaranteed payments into a lump-sum payment.


There are no withdrawal, annual, administrative or mortality and expense risk fees with this annuity.

The IRS may levy a 10% income tax penalty on annuitants who take withdrawals prior to turning 59.5 years old. This is in addition to paying the standard income tax rate on your withdrawals.

Realistic Return Expectations

Like any immediate annuity, the returns you receive are based entirely on the amount of money you put in, the payout option you choose and whether or not you take advanced payments.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • Putting together a retirement income plan on your own can get complicated, which is why many people choose to work with a financial advisor. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Don’t forget to take Social Security payments into account as you consider what kind of income you’ll need in retirement. If you don’t know what you’re in line to receive, check out SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

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