Similar to these products, MYGA's offer the annuitant, a guaranteed, fixed rate of interest for a specified period of time, often 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. This rate is fixed for the entire term of the contract.
One of the many competitive advantages that MYGA's offer over bank CD's and Treasury Bills is that interest earnings can grow tax-deferred, meaning that no current tax liability is due on interest earnings until withdrawn. In contrast, holders of bank CD's and Treasury Bills have to pay income tax on interest as it is earned, regardless of whether it is withdrawn or not. This gives the MYGA a distinct advantage if the annuitant wants the certainty of a guaranteed, fixed rate of return, but doesn't need current income.
Like most annuities, MYGA's have early withdrawal penalties known as "surrender charges," however, these types of policies generally offer the annuitant some limited liquidity options when it comes to making withdrawals. For example, should the annuitant need to make a lump sum withdrawal or want to use the MYGA to provide monthly income, he or she can typically withdraw the greater of their interest earned or 10% of the surrender value each year, without penalty.