During the 5-year period that ended Sept. 30, index annuities produced higher returns than bank certificates of deposit, and a much higher return than a typical S&P 500 index fund.

Advantage Compendium Ltd., St. Louis, has published figures supporting that conclusion in its latest index annuity return study.

From Sept. 30, 2004, to the end of the latest quarter, a benchmark S&P 500 index fund with an 0.18% expense ratio produced a 0.95% annualized return, according to Advantage.

A typical 5- year bank CD produced a 3.58% annualized return over that period, and the average index annuity tracked by Advantage produced a 4.12% annualized return.

“Index annuities did what they were supposed to do: Be a safe money place with the potential for more interest,” Advantage says.