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We screen annuity options by Safety, Profitability, Flexibility, and Longevity.  Here are those comparisons.

Compare Safety Attributes of Various Annuities

SAFETY ATTRIBUTESSECONDARY MARKET ANNUITIESIMMEDIATE ANNUITIESFIXED ANNUITIESVARIABLE ANNUITIESINDEX ANNUITIESHYBRID INCOME ANNUITIES
How Safe Is This Product?Senior credit obligation, subject to claims paying ability of Issuing CompanySubject to claims-paying ability of Issuing CompanySubject to claims-paying ability of Issuing CompanySubject to claims-paying ability of Issuing CompanySubject to claims-paying ability of Issuing CompanySubject to claims-paying ability of Issuing Company
Where Is My Premium Invested?Issuing Company general account, funded by Qualified AssignmentIssuing Company general accountIssuing Company general accountMutual funds and equities as permitted under the contract- may go up or downIssuing Company general investment account, hedged by options for participation in a market index gain.Income Rider Payments backed by Issuing Company general account
What Guarantee Do I Have?Issuing Company Strength + Court Order + State Guarantee FundsIssuing Company Strength + State Guarantee FundsIssuing Company Strength + State Guarantee FundsIssuing Company Strength + State Guarantee FundsIssuing Company Strength + State Guarantee FundsIssuing Company Strength + State Guarantee Funds
  

Flexibility Attributes of Various Annuities

FLEXIBILITY ATTRIBUTESSECONDARY MARKET ANNUITIESIMMEDIATE ANNUITIESFIXED ANNUITIESVARIABLE ANNUITIESINDEX ANNUITIESHYBRID INCOME ANNUITIES
Can I change payout terms?NoNoYes- Utilize penalty free withdrawals or surrender- subject to penaltyYes- Utilize penalty free withdrawals or surrender- subject to penaltyYes- Utilize penalty free withdrawals or surrender- subject to penaltyYes- Utilize penalty free withdrawals or surrender- subject to penalty
Can I cancel a contract?NoNoYes, will be subject to surrender penaltiesYes, will be subject to surrender penaltiesYes, will be subject to surrender penaltiesYes, will be subject to surrender penalties
Can I take it out as lump sum?NoNoYes, will be subject to surrender penaltiesYes, will be subject to surrender penaltiesYes, will be subject to surrender penaltiesIncome benefits base and actual account value are not the same.
  

Profitability Attributes

PROFITABILITY ATTRIBUTESSECONDARY MARKET ANNUITIESIMMEDIATE ANNUITIESFIXED ANNUITIESVARIABLE ANNUITIESINDEX ANNUITIESHYBRID INCOME ANNUITIES
How does this compare to other annuities?More profitable than Fixed AnnuitiesMore profitable than Income Rider-type annuitiesLess Profitable Than SMA, less volatile that VADepends on market performance- may lose valueDepends on market performance, caps and participation. Will not lose valueGenerally, income payouts are lower than comparable investment in Immediate Annuity, but retain access to principal.
How Does This Compare to Other Safe Investments?More profitable than Treasuries, Munis, and Bonds, without principal riskMore profitable than Income Rider-type annuitiesMore profitable than CD'sLess profitable than direct equity investments, but includes some guaranteesLess profitable than direct investment in index, but has no risk of lossBetter Account appreciation than Immediate Annuities, Possibly less income than immediate annuities
  

Longevity Attributes of Various Annuities

LONGEVITY ATTRIBUTESSECONDARY MARKET ANNUITIESIMMEDIATE ANNUITIESFIXED ANNUITIESVARIABLE ANNUITIESINDEX ANNUITIESHYBRID INCOME ANNUITIES
Will this last as long as I Live?Payments are for fixed term.Yes. Income for LifeYes- Although, FA are used primarily for appreciation.Yes, however account value may go down with MarketsYes.Yes. Lifetime Income Options Available
What happens to my spouse?Payments are absolute and follow the terms of your will.Income will pass to spouse if Joint Life option is selectedAsset will pass per the terms of your willAsset will pass per the terms of your willAsset will pass per the terms of your willIncome will pass to spouse if Joint Life option is selected
What happens to my heirs?Payments are absolute and follow the terms of your will.Generally payments stop, however period certain options may apply.Asset will pass per the terms of your willAsset will pass per the terms of your willAsset will pass per the terms of your willRemaining Asset value will pass per the terms of your will.
 

“For all time periods and for all portfolios, the addition of the annuity leads to a decline in the portfolio failure rates.”