PRINCETON, N.J. -- Rates paid on fixed annuities fell farther through mid-October, to 4.81% according to Kenneth Kehrer Associates.

This is the lowest point annuity rates have seen since the Princeton firm began following annuity prices in May 1988.

The latest drop follows declines to 4.93% in mid-September and 5.05% in mid-August.

The average bonus rate paid to new annuity holders fell as well, to 5.60% in mid-October from 5.69% the month before.

Only three annuity products increased their rates, while 21 lowered them. The rates for 19 annuity products were unchanged from mid-September to mid-October.

Kenneth Kehrer Associates calculates the average rates by surveying leading annuity companies.

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