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Best Annuity Companies

Choosing the right annuity provider can be a daunting task with so many options available, yet with the across-the-board support of Annuity Educator, undertaking this venture has never been so simple. By leveraging our platform, you’re able to compare the financial strength ratings and customer service scores of all the best insurance companies. The evaluations provided through our database are sourced by industry-leading third-party agencies, such as A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and many others. As a result, we offer an unbiased assessment to help you better distinguish insurers that excel in fulfilling obligations, which makes them all the more likely to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Best Overall: North American Company for Life and Health

4.5
Rating from Annuity Educator

Best for being confident in your financial future

The North American Company for Life and Health Insurance is a prominent force in the annuity market. With over 135 years of experience, the company holds an A+ rating from A.M. Best, S&P Global Ratings, and even Fitch Ratings, reflecting its strong track record in meeting the diverse financial needs of a broad clientele. As of December 2022, it was reported that North American managed more than 459,000 life insurance plans and over 219,000 annuity policies, with $569 million paid in death claims.

North American Company for Life and Health-logo
Rating from Annuity Educator
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.

Pros

  • Long-standing history of financial strength
  • Assorted range of life insurance and annuity products
  • Privately owned; shielded from pressures to prioritize short-term earnings and stock price
  • Seasoned customer service reputation
  • Commitment to aiding communities and empowering employee growth

Cons

  • Limited brand recognition in comparison to larger insurers
  • A few customer complaints regarding policy information and handling claims

Why we chose North American

We selected North American Company for Life and Health Insurance due to its exceptional financial ratings, variety of product offerings, and commitment to long-term stability. With solid customer approval scores, the company has seen sustained success in the retirement planning sector. Its private ownership structure allows for a focused emphasis on the interests of policyholders in the long run.

Third-party ratings

A.M. Best: A+
Fitch: A+
S&P: A+
Comdex: 89

Types of annuities

FIA, MYGA and SPIA

Riders

For income

2nd place: Athene Annuity and Life Company

4.5
Rating from Annuity Educator

Best for no-charge income and death benefit riders

Athene Annuity and Life Company is a top-tier insurer known for its financial strength, boasting an A rating from some of the finest rating agencies: A.M. Best, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s. Initially founded in 2009, Athene became the sole leading provider of fixed-indexed annuities in 2020 by besting every other insurer in total sales numbers across the entire U.S. With an emphasis on retirement savings products, Athene offers a wide-ranging selection of fixed-indexed and other income annuities, securing the financial future of countless American retirees.

Athene Annuity and Life Company-logo
Rating from Annuity Educator
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.

Pros

  • Outstanding financial strength ratings from many major agencies
  • Various fixed-indexed annuities offered, as well as an array of other annuity products
  • Ranked the no.1 provider of fixed-indexed annuities in 2020
  • Low complaint index–calculated through customer reviews–standing at 0.10 in 2021, which is far below the industry average
  • High employee satisfaction

Cons

  • Relatively young company, having been founded in 2009
  • Limited product offerings beyond annuities

Why we chose Athene

Athene Annuity and Life Company is amongst our top picks due to its impressive financial strength ratings, diverse annuity product offerings, and position as the leading provider of fixed-indexed annuities in the U.S. market. Each one of these factors reinforces Athene’s reputation as a reliable and well-managed insurer, having consistently been able to fulfill obligations to its clientele, ensuring financial stability in their golden years.

Third-party ratings

A.M. Best: A
Fitch: A+
S&P: A
Moody's: A1
Comdex: 82

Types of annuities

FIA, RILA, MYGA and SPIA

Riders

For income and legacy

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3rd place: Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG)

4.5
Rating from Annuity Educator

Best for financial stability

Corebridge Financial Inc., previously known as AIG Retirement Services, is a major financial services company specializing in annuities, life insurance, asset management, and retirement solutions. Officially founded (under its current name) in 2022, the company has a long history dating back to 1926, when it was referred to as the American General Insurance Company. As of 2022, the company carries $350 billion in assets under management, over 8,000 employees, and reportedly earned $26.7 billion in revenue and $8.1 billion in net income, showcasing its large operational scale.

Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG)-logo
Rating from Annuity Educator
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.

Pros

  • Expansive corporation with $350 billion in assets under management and more than 8,000 employees
  • Solid financial performance over the years
  • Long history and brand recognition from predecessor companies
  • Various insurance, annuity, and retirement products to choose from

Cons

  • Recently spun off as Corebridge Financial in 2022, making it quite new as a separate public company
  • Limited data on its current financial strength ratings due to its latest status

Why we chose Corebridge (AIG)

With a great history going back almost a century, Corebridge Financial Inc. stands out thanks to its comprehensive diversity of product offerings across the insurance, annuity, and retirement solutions sectors. Furthermore, the company is backed by the sheer size of its operations, making it a top choice in terms of reliability. Having existed through predecessor firms like American General since 1926, Corebridge is no stranger to the financial services industry, with extensive experience as a state-of-the-art insurer.

Third-party ratings

A.M. Best: A
Fitch: A+
S&P: A
Moody's: A2
Comdex: 80

Types of annuities

FIA, Fixed, MYGA, SPIA and VA

Riders

For income

4th place: Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company

4
Rating from Annuity Educator

Best for creating a predictable income stream

Fidelity & Guaranty Life, more commonly referred to under its acronym F&G, specializes in providing annuities and life insurance policies across the U.S. Founded in 1959, F&G now has over $35 billion in assets under management. Selling its products through independent agents and financial professionals alike, the company offers various fixed and fixed-indexed annuities, as well as term life insurance products. With a mission to guide its clients towards financial stability in retirement, F&G is among the Sammons Financial Group and its subsidiary, North American Company for Life and Health Insurance.

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company-logo
Rating from Annuity Educator
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.

Pros

  • Over 60 years of experience in the annuity and life insurance market
  • Known for its financial strength, with more than $35 billion in assets under management
  • Great variety of products, including an innovative fixed-indexed annuity model
  • Distribution through a nationwide network of financial experts
  • Part of the well-established Sammons Financial Group

Cons

  • Limited brand recognition in comparison to other larger insurers
  • Current financial strength ratings are not publicly displayed

Why we chose F&G

With a lengthy history of meeting the demands of its clientele, we chose F&G Annuities and Life due to its financial strength in providing annuity and life insurance solutions to retirees. As a part of the reputable Sammons Financial Group, the company has a wide variety of products tailored to meet the distinct needs of its customer base.

Third-party ratings

A.M. Best: A
Fitch: A-
S&P: A
Moody's: A3
Comdex: 71

Types of annuities

FIA, MYGA and SPIA

Riders

For legacy

5th place: American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

4
Rating from Annuity Educator

Best one-stop shop for annuities

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company specializes in supplying fixed and fixed-indexed annuities to retirees across the U.S. Founded in 1995, the company empowers its clients to fulfill their retirement objectives with financial comfort and peace of mind. Being a large-scale provider with $58 billion in assets under management as of late, the company offers an assortment of traditional fixed annuities as well as fixed-indexed annuities that provide both principal protection and credited interest.

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company-logo
Rating from Annuity Educator
Ratings based on price, customer service, coverage, and financial strength.

Pros

  • Nearing three decades of experience with a particular emphasis on annuities
  • $58 billion in assets under management, reflecting its reliability as a top-tier provider
  • Diverse fixed and fixed-indexed annuity offerings
  • Clear disclosure of fees and charges for each one of its products
  • In 2022, the company was ranked no.1 in Customer Satisfaction for annuity providers by J.D. Power

Cons

  • Not many product offerings besides annuities
  • A few negative reviews when it comes to customer service experiences

Why we chose American Equity

American Equity is amongst our best annuity company picks as its distinct focus on fixed and fixed-indexed annuities allows for a more tailored approach to retirement planning. Offering principal protection, tax-deferred growth, and opportunities for index-linked growth, American Equity’s $58 billion in assets under management are proof of its consistent rise in the annuity market.

Third-party ratings

A.M. Best: A-
Fitch: A-
S&P: A-
Comdex: 56

Types of annuities

FIA, Fixed and SPIA

Riders

For income

Top Fixed (MYGA) Annuity Providers

Name Rating
New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation New York Life A++
Pacific Life Insurance Company Pacific Life A+
Midland National Life Insurance Company Midland National A+
Athene Annuity and Life Company Athene A
Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG) Corebridge (AIG) A
Americo Financial Life and Annuity Americo Financial A
Oceanview Life and Annuity Company Oceanview A
Aspida Life Insurance Company Aspida A-
American Life & Security Corp. American Life B++
ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity ELCO B++

Top Indexed Annuity Providers

Name Rating
MassMutual Ascend Life Insurance Company MassMutual Ascend A++
North American Company for Life and Health North American A+
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America Allianz A+
Nationwide Life Insurance Company Nationwide A+
Athene Annuity and Life Company Athene A
Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG) Corebridge (AIG) A
Global Atlantic Financial Group Global Atlantic A
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company SBLIC A-
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company F&G A
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company American Equity A-

Safest Annuity Companies Based on AM Best Rating

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All Annuity Providers Sorted by Name

Name AM Best Fitch S&P Moodys Comdex Year Founded
Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York A+ A+ 96 1982
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America A+ A+ Aa3 96 1896
American Century Life Insurance Company American Century Life Insurance Company - - 1940
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company A- A- A- - 56 1995
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York A- A- A- 49 1995
American Life & Security Corp. American Life & Security Corp. B++ B++ - 1960
American National Insurance Company American National Insurance Company A A A 76 1905
American National Life Insurance Company of New York American National Life Insurance Company of New York A A A 76 1953
Americo Financial Life and Annuity Americo Financial Life and Annuity A A A3 70 1946
Americo Legacy Marketing Group Americo Legacy Marketing Group A - A A3 - 1946
Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. A A 79 1887
Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. of New York A A 79 1887
Aspida Life Insurance Company Aspida Life Insurance Company A- A- 55 2021
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York A A+ A A1 82 1965
Athene Annuity and Life Company Athene Annuity and Life Company A A+ A A1 82 1909
Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1925
AuguStar Life Insurance Company AuguStar Life Insurance Company A A- A Baa1 69 1909
Brighthouse Life Insurance Company Brighthouse Life Insurance Company A A A A3 76 1863
Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY A A 79 1997
CL Life and Annuity Insurance Company CL Life and Annuity Insurance Company B++ B++ 48 1978
Capitol Life Insurance Company Capitol Life Insurance Company A- A- - 1906
Clear Spring Life and Annuity Company Clear Spring Life and Annuity Company A- A- - 1985
Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG NY) Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG NY) A A+ A A2 80 1850
Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG) Corebridge Financial Inc. (AIG) A A+ A A2 80 1919
Delaware Life Insurance Company Delaware Life Insurance Company A- A- A- 55 2013
ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity B++ B++ 39 1946
Eagle Life Insurance Company Eagle Life Insurance Company A- A- A- 56 2011
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company EquiTrust Life Insurance Company B++ A- B++ - 1996
Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company A A A1 82 1859
Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America A A A1 - 1859
Farmers Life Insurance Company Farmers Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1997
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company A A- A A3 71 1959
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company of New York Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company of New York A A- A 71 1959
First Security Benefit Life Insurance & Annuity Co of NY First Security Benefit Life Insurance & Annuity Co of NY A- A- A- 56 1995
First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York First Symetra National Life Insurance Company of New York A A 74 1990
GBU Financial Life GBU Financial Life A- A- - 1892
Global Atlantic Financial Group Global Atlantic Financial Group A A A A2 75 2004
Greek Catholic Union of the USA Greek Catholic Union of the USA - - - - - 1892
Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company A- A- 56 1926
Heartland National Life Insurance Company Heartland National Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1965
ISDA Financial Life ISDA Financial Life - - 1960
Ibexis Life & Annuity Insurance Company Ibexis Life & Annuity Insurance Company A- A- - 1937
Integrity Legacy Marketing Group Integrity Legacy Marketing Group A+ AA A+ Aa3 96 1888
Integrity Life Insurance Company Integrity Life Insurance Company A+ AA A+ Aa3 96 1888
Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company B++ BBB- B++ 39 1960
Jackson National Life Insurance Company Jackson National Life Insurance Company A A A A3 74 1961
Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York A A A A3 76 1998
Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company A- A- - 1958
Life Insurance Company of the Southwest Life Insurance Company of the Southwest A+ A+ A1 90 1955
Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York A A+ A A2 80 1996
Lincoln National Life Insurance Company Lincoln National Life Insurance Company A A+ A A2 80 1905
Manhattan Life Insurance Company Manhattan Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1850
MassMutual Ascend Life Insurance Company MassMutual Ascend Life Insurance Company A++ A++ Aa3 94 1851
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company A++ AA+ A++ Aa3 98 1851
Midland National Life Insurance Company Midland National Life Insurance Company A+ A+ A+ 89 1906
Minnesota Life Insurance Company Minnesota Life Insurance Company A+ AA A+ Aa3 96 1880
Mutual of Omaha by United of Omaha Mutual of Omaha by United of Omaha A+ A+ A1 90 1909
Nassau Life Insurance Company Nassau Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1851
Nassau Life and Annuity Company Nassau Life and Annuity Company B++ - B++ - - 1851
National Integrity Life Insurance Company National Integrity Life Insurance Company A+ AA A+ Aa3 96 1968
National Life Group National Life Group A+ A+ A1 - 1848
National Western Life Insurance Company National Western Life Insurance Company A A 71 1956
Nationwide Life & Annuity Insurance Company Nationwide Life & Annuity Insurance Company A+ A+ A1 90 1981
Nationwide Life Insurance Company Nationwide Life Insurance Company A+ A+ A1 90 1929
New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation A++ AAA A++ Aaa 100 1845
North American Company for Life and Health North American Company for Life and Health A+ A+ A+ 89 1886
Oceanview Life and Annuity Company Oceanview Life and Annuity Company A A - 1965
OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. A+ A+ - 1877
Oxford Life Insurance Company Oxford Life Insurance Company A A - 1965
Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company A A 74 1961
Pacific Life Insurance Company Pacific Life Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ Aa3 95 1868
Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ Aa3 93 1847
Polish Roman Catholic Union Polish Roman Catholic Union - - 1873
Principal Life Insurance Company Principal Life Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ A1 90 1879
Prosperity Life Group Prosperity Life Group A- A- - 2009
Protective Life Insurance Company Protective Life Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ A1 93 1907
Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ 94 1907
Pruco Life Insurance Company Pruco Life Insurance Company A+ AA- A+ Aa3 95 1971
Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey A+ AA- A+ 94 1982
Prudential Insurance Company of America Prudential Insurance Company of America A+ AA- A+ Aa3 95 1875
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company A++ A++ A1 91 1907
Revol One Insurance Company (formerly Pavonia Life) Revol One Insurance Company (formerly Pavonia Life) B++ B++ - 1980
RiverSource Life Insurance Co of New York RiverSource Life Insurance Co of New York A+ A+ A1 90 1972
RiverSource Life Insurance Company RiverSource Life Insurance Company A+ A+ A1 90 1894
Royal Neighbors of America Royal Neighbors of America A A - 1895
SILAC Insurance Company SILAC Insurance Company B+ B+ - 1935
Sagicor Life Insurance Company Sagicor Life Insurance Company A- A- - 1954
Securian Life Insurance Company Securian Life Insurance Company A+ AA A+ Aa3 96 1880
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company Security Benefit Life Insurance Company A- A- A- 56 1892
Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1948
Sons of Norway Sons of Norway - - 1895
Stellar National Life Insurance Company Stellar National Life Insurance Company B++ B++ - 1978
Symetra Life Insurance Company Symetra Life Insurance Company A A A1 79 1957
The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company A++ A++ Aa1 99 1860
The Ohio State Life Insurance Company The Ohio State Life Insurance Company B+ B+ - 1906
The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts A A 71 1907
The Standard Insurance Company The Standard Insurance Company A A A1 82 1906
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Thrivent Financial for Lutherans A++ A++ Aa2 100 1902
Transamerica Life Insurance Company Transamerica Life Insurance Company A A A1 82 1928
TruStage™ TruStage™ A A A2 - 1935
United Life Insurance Company United Life Insurance Company A- A- 59 1962
Upstream Life Insurance Company Upstream Life Insurance Company - - 1912
Western & Southern Life Assurance Company Western & Southern Life Assurance Company A+ AA A+ Aa3 96 1888
Western United Life Assurance Company Western United Life Assurance Company B++ B++ - 1963
Wichita National Life Insurance Company Wichita National Life Insurance Company B+ B+ - 1957
Woman’s Life Insurance Society Woman’s Life Insurance Society - - 1892

What Is an Annuity?

Annuities are financial products that deliver a regular income stream over a set period, typically aimed at retirees. It involves a contract between the investor and the insurance company, where the annuitant makes a lump sum contribution or periodic payments to fund the annuity, and in exchange, the insurer promises to deliver consistent payouts to the annuitant, either for a fixed term or for life. An annuity’s end goal is to convert your retirement savings account into future income, potentially accumulating in value over time, depending on the annuity type you choose.

Types of Annuities

Annuities come in a variety of types, predominantly including fixed, variable, fixed-indexed, immediate, and deferred annuities. Your choice between these options will impact the returns you receive from the initial investment. Let’s take a look at each annuity type in more depth:

Choosing the Right Annuity

Selecting the annuity option best suited to your needs involves considering several factors, such as financial objectives, risk tolerance, and retirement timeline. Whereas fixed annuities may be the right pick for those seeking steady income with zero risk, variable annuities might be better for those willing to take on more risk in exchange for profit potential. Additionally, it is indispensable to understand the terms, fees, and potential penalties associated with each annuity type before making a decision.

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Why Choose an Annuity for Retirement?

With a reliable income stream often lasting until the end of your life, annuities serve as a guarantee against longevity, ensuring you don’t outlive your retirement savings. On top of that, they can also offer tax-deferred growth within the annuity, meaning taxes are not applied to any earnings until withdrawals are made. Certain annuities also offer riders or death benefits, allowing you to further tailor the investment to your needs and providing financial protection for any beneficiaries you may have.

How Much Does an Annuity Cost?

An annuity’s cost is likely to fluctuate depending on the type of annuity in question, the total sum of your contribution, and the specific conditions of the contract. Fixed annuities typically require a lump-sum payment upfront, while variable annuities may be more lenient, often permitting periodic contributions. Essentially, the total cost of an annuity is the amount you decide to invest, although this amount is likely to be returned to you over time. However, it is pivotal to acknowledge the fees and charges linked with each annuity product, as this can add to the total cost of an annuity.

Annuity Fees and Penalties

Annuities often come with various fees and charges attached to the contractual agreement, including mortality and expense risk charges, administrative fees, and investment management fees, as well as potential tax penalties and surrender charges if funds are withdrawn early. Before buying an annuity, it is crucial to carefully review these fees and penalties to see how they may impact your returns.

Are Annuities a Good Investment?

Whether or not an annuity is a good investment will depend on your individual circumstances and financial objectives in retirement. Whereas annuities pride themselves in supplying a constant income stream and tax-deferred growth, they may also come with high fees and limited liquidity. Evaluate the pros and cons and how each one may impact your unique financial situation.

Where to Buy Annuities

Annuities can be purchased through various channels, including insurance companies (most popular method), financial advisors, and online platforms. Researching and comparing the different annuity providers is an essential part of the process to find the exact product befitting your needs.

How To Choose an Annuity Company Suited to Your Preferences

When deciding which annuity company to go with, consider factors like financial strength ratings, customer service reputation, product offerings, and fees & charges. Look for companies with high ratings from independent agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. Such ratings reflect the annuity providers’ ability to meet their financial obligations to their clientele.

Key Questions to Guide Your Annuity Company Selection

Frequently Asked Questions About Annuity Companies

How can I know if an annuity company is financially stable?

To determine whether an annuity provider is financially stable, you can verify its financial strength ratings from impartial rating agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s, or even Standard & Poor’s. The ratings from such agencies are generally accurate, factoring in crucial aspects like customer service and the ability to meet contractual commitments.

Can I withdraw funds from my annuity before the surrender period is completed?

Although some annuities do allow for early withdrawals, surrender charges, and tax penalties may apply in doing so. Review the conditions of your annuity contract before making an early withdrawal, as this could significantly influence your anticipated returns.

What happens to my annuity if an insurance company faces bankruptcy and can no longer fulfill its obligations?

In the event of an insurer’s bankruptcy, annuitants are generally protected by state guaranty associations, which provide coverage up to certain limits. The exact level of protection is likely to vary by state, however.

What is the taxation method used for an annuity investment?

Annuity payouts are generally taxed as ordinary income, yet the precise taxation process depends on how the annuity was initially acquired. If purchased with pre-tax funds, the whole sum of your annuity’s value will be taxed upon withdrawals. On the other hand, if the annuity was bought with after-tax funds, only the earnings portion of the investment would be taxed during the payout phase.

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