Kim Borwick, Financial Editor for Annuity.org
  • Written By
    Kim Borwick

    Kim Borwick

    Financial Editor

    Kim Borwick is a writer and editor who studies financial literacy and retirement annuities. She has extensive experience with editing educational content and financial topics for Annuity.org.

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Emily Miller
    Emily Miller, Managing Editor for Annuity.org

    Emily Miller

    Managing Editor

    Managing editor Emily Miller is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience as a researcher, writer and editor. Throughout her professional career, Emily has covered education, government, health care, crime and breaking news for media organizations in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Texas. She joined the Annuity.org team in 2016.

    Read More
  • Financially Reviewed By
    Michael J. Boyle, M.S.
    Michael J. Boyle

    Michael J. Boyle, M.S.

    Former Compliance Professional

    Michael J. Boyle began his career in the securities business in 2011 as a registered financial professional. Over his tenure, he’s worked with asset classes including equities, fixed income, CDs, mutual funds, futures, options and foreign currency.

    Read More
  • Updated: September 13, 2022
  • This page features 7 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Annuity.org partners with outside experts to ensure we are providing accurate financial content.

These reviewers are industry leaders and professional writers who regularly contribute to reputable publications such as the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Our expert reviewers review our articles and recommend changes to ensure we are upholding our high standards for accuracy and professionalism.

Our expert reviewers hold advanced degrees and certifications and have years of experience with personal finances, retirement planning and investments.

Cite Us
How to Cite Annuity.org's Article

APA Borwick, K. (2022, September 13). Annuity Companies & Providers. Annuity.org. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.annuity.org/annuities/providers/

MLA Borwick, Kim. "Annuity Companies & Providers." Annuity.org, 13 Sep 2022, https://www.annuity.org/annuities/providers/.

Chicago Borwick, Kim. "Annuity Companies & Providers." Annuity.org. Last modified September 13, 2022. https://www.annuity.org/annuities/providers/.

Why Trust Annuity.org
Why You Can Trust Annuity.org
Annuity.org has provided reliable, accurate financial information to consumers since 2013. We adhere to ethical journalism practices, including presenting honest, unbiased information that follows Associated Press style guidelines and reporting facts from reliable, attributed sources. Our objective is to deliver the most comprehensive explanation of annuities and financial literacy topics using plain, straightforward language.

Our Partnerships, Vision and Goals

We pride ourselves on partnering with professionals like those from Senior Market Sales (SMS) — a market leader with over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry — who offer personalized retirement solutions for consumers across the country. Our relationships with partners including SMS and Insuractive, the company’s consumer-facing branch, allow us to facilitate the sale of annuities and other retirement-oriented financial products to consumers who are looking to purchase safe and reliable solutions to fill gaps in their retirement income. We are compensated when we produce legitimate inquiries, and that compensation helps make Annuity.org an even stronger resource for our audience. We may also, at times, sell lead data to partners in our network in order to best connect consumers to the information they request. Readers are in no way obligated to use our partners’ services to access the free resources on Annuity.org.

Annuity.org carefully selects partners who share a common goal of educating consumers and helping them select the most appropriate product for their unique financial and lifestyle goals. Our network of advisors will never recommend products that are not right for the consumer, nor will Annuity.org. Additionally, Annuity.org operates independently of its partners and has complete editorial control over the information we publish.

Our vision is to provide users with the highest quality information possible about their financial options and empower them to make informed decisions based on their unique needs.

What Are The Best Annuity Companies?

Here is an alphabetical list of some of the main annuity issuers with the highest ratings in the $2.7 trillion annuity industry.

CompanyDescriptionCredit RatingProducts Available
AIG Logo SmallAmerican Equity Investment Life Holding CompanyAmerican Equity is an industry leader in the development and sale of fixed indexed and fixed-rate annuity products. It is licensed to sell in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The company’s primary focus is annuities, but it also manages investment spreads and risk to earn predictable returns.A-
  • Fixed indexed annuities
  • Fixed annuities
  • Immediate annuities
AIG Logo SmallAmerican National Insurance CompanyTexas-based American National was founded in 1905. A major provider of insurance and annuities, its products are distributed through career agents, independent marketing organizations and multiple line-exclusive agents, as well as direct distribution channels.A
  • Fixed deferred annuities
  • Single premium immediate annuities
  • Indexed deferred annuities
AIG Logo SmallAIG LifeAIG was founded in 1919. Its products and services include life and travel insurance, mutual funds, structured settlements and annuities.A
  • Indexed annuities
  • Variable annuities
  • Fixed annuities
AIG Logo SmallJohn HancockFounded in 1862, John Hancock operates today as a subsidiary of Canadian-based Manulife Financial. Its products include life insurance, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance and annuities. The company sells these products primarily through licensed financial advisors and a national network of independent firms.A+
  • Variable annuities
  • Fixed annuities
  • Immediate annuities
AIG Logo SmallLincoln Financial GroupLincoln Financial offers a diverse range of financial services including life insurance, retirement plans and annuities — fixed, fixed indexed and variable. The company is based in Philadelphia.A+
  • Fixed annuities
  • Fixed indexed annuities
  • Variable annuities
AIG Logo Small MetLifeMetLife is among the world’s largest providers of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, with 90 million customers in more than 60 countries. It was founded in 1868 and is based in New York City.A+
  • Variable annuities
  • Single premium deferred annuities
AIG Logo Small Midland National Life Insurance Company Founded as the Dakota Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1906, Midland National now services more than 1 million life and annuity policies. It also has an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s.A+
  • Fixed indexed annuities
  • Multi-year guaranteed annuities
  • Single premium immediate annuities
AIG Logo SmallMutual of OmahaFounded in 1909 and made famous by its long-time sponsorship of a popular Wild Kingdom television show, Mutual of Omaha offers deferred and immediate annuities.A+
  • Income (immediate) annuities
  • Deferred annuities
AIG Logo Small NationwideNationwide has more than 85 years of experience with retirement planning. The popular insurer paid over $18 billion in claims and benefits to members in 2021.A+
  • Variable annuities
  • Immediate annuities
  • Fixed annuities
  • Fixed indexed annuities
AIG Logo Small New York LifeNew York Life is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world and one of only three life insurers to hold the highest ratings from all four rating companies. Founded in 1845 as the Nautilus Insurance Company, New York Life sells annuities, long-term care insurance and mutual funds through its subsidiary NYLIFE Securities, a registered broker-dealer.A++
  • Fixed deferred annuities
  • Variable annuities
AIG Logo SmallNorth American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American)With a superior A+ rating from AM Best, North American offers a holistic portfolio of annuity and life insurance products to meet a range of needs among diverse policyholders.A+
  • Fixed indexed annuities
  • Multi-year guaranteed annuities
  • Single premium immediate annuities
AIG Logo Small Pacific LifeCalifornia-based Pacific Life was founded in 1868. In 1955, it became the first company west of the Mississippi River to computerize its operations.A+
  • Fixed annuities
  • Fixed indexed annuities
  • Variable annuities
AIG Logo SmallPrudentialPrudential sells life insurance, mutual funds, group insurance, retirement services, investment management services and variable annuities. The company was founded in 1876 and is based in New Jersey.
  • Variable annuities
  • Indexed variable annuities
  • Fixed annuities
  • Fixed indexed annuities
AIG Logo SmallTIAAThe New York State Legislature created the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund in 1918 to provide retirement income for college professors. Today, TIAA-CREF is the chief retirement vendor for people in the academic, medical and cultural professions. The company serves roughly 5 million active and retired employees. Since its founding, TIAA-CREF has paid more than $505 billion in benefits.A++
  • Fixed annuities
  • Variable annuities

*Credit ratings are provided by AM Best.

STEP 1
STEP 2
STEP 3

How soon are you retiring?

STEP 1
STEP 2
STEP 3

What is your goal for purchasing an annuity?

Select all that apply

Learn About Top Annuity Products & Get a Free Quote

Find out how an annuity can offer you guaranteed monthly income throughout your retirement. Speak with one of our qualified financial professionals today to discover which of our industry-leading annuity products fits into your long-term financial strategy.


STEP 1
STEP 2
STEP 3
Privacy & Contact Agreement

Purchasing an Annuity

Although you can purchase an annuity at any time in your life, most annuity purchasers are those nearing retirement or people in their mid-career planning for retirement who wish to protect their assets. Annuities are built to protect your money and secure future income for when you’ll need it most, so it’s important to purchase your annuity from a reputable provider.

Annuities are insurance products issued by insurance companies and sold by insurance agents and financial institutions. The same large corporations that sell life, home, automobile and other types of insurance in the United States also sell the majority of annuity contracts.

Hundreds of companies issue annuities in America, though the country’s major firms account for about 90 percent of all annuities sold each year.

Generally, each company sells one of the basic types of annuities:
Fixed
Fixed annuities preset the principal and minimum interest rate.
Variable
Payments change based on how investment options perform.
Indexed
Combine features of fixed and variable annuities.

Each type of annuity can be further tailored to meet the purchaser’s needs with different variations, such as indexed and flexible premium annuities.

Wendy Swanson, Retirement Income Certified Professional™, explains what to look for in an annuity provider.

Where to Buy Annuities

Although insurance companies must issue an annuity, not all annuity contracts are sold to the public directly via the issuing company’s own agents.

In fact, the majority of annuities in America are purchased from:
  • Annuity distributors, including large brokerage firms known as wirehouses, such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley
  • Independent broker-dealers, like Raymond James
  • Large banks, such as Bank of America
  • Mutual fund companies like Vanguard and T. Rowe Price, which are considered some of the most competitive companies because they offer lower fees
  • Thousands of independent agents, brokers and financial advisors across the country

If you purchase an annuity from one of these middlemen, normally you will continue to work with them directly as you manage your contract, even though you will also receive information from the insurance company from time to time.

For example, if you own a variable-rate annuity, you will receive quarterly statements from the insurance company regarding the contract’s underlying accounts. If you want to make changes to those accounts, though, you might do it through the agent or company who sold you the contract.

Selecting Annuity Companies

Unlike the checking, savings and money market accounts at your bank or credit union, annuities are not guaranteed by the FDIC or SIPC. Instead, the insurance company that issues the annuity backs the asset. Therefore, you should do considerable research about the company before choosing a purchaser.

Some factors to consider include:
  • Rating from an independent ratings company like Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, AM Best, Moody’s, and TheStreet.com
  • Death benefits
  • Surrender fees, should you choose to withdraw the funds early
  • Yearly fees and other administrative fees
  • Minimum guaranteed return
  • The provider’s financial health
  • Online reviews

You may also solicit help from an expert who is independent of the annuity sales process when choosing which company to purchase from. Called an independent fiduciary, these experts will help you understand the entire annuity process and listen to your goals before recommending which insurance company to work with and what type of annuity to purchase. This type of professional advice may be valuable to someone new to the annuity market because independent fiduciaries are not salespeople for the insurance companies or banks and will put your needs first.

Interested in Buying an Annuity?
Learn about the different types of annuities and find out which one is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Annuity Providers

What is an annuity provider?

Annuity providers can be insurance companies, independent brokers, banks and other financial entities. While many organizations sell annuities, only an insurance company can formally issue the annuity contract.

How do you choose the best annuity provider?

Research reputable providers with high ratings and compare the providers based on your financial needs. Look for providers with up-to-date listings on the best annuity rates and available products.

Can you buy annuities directly?

You can purchase an annuity directly from a reputable provider; however, most annuity purchases occur through an intermediary, such as an independent agent or financial advisor.

Wendy Swanson, Retirement Income Certified Professional™, explains who you speak with when you call Annuity.org.
Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: September 13, 2022

7 Cited Research Articles

Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.

  1. AM Best. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.ambest.com/about/
  2. Benz, C. (2022, April 2). How To Buy an Annuity. Retrieved from https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1003074/how-to-buy-an-annuity
  3. Keefe, J. (2016, November). Annuity providers. Retrieved from https://www.plansponsor.com/magazine/annuity-providers/
  4. Moore, S.J. (2022, August 31). Second Quarter 2022 Annuity Sales. Retrieved from https://www.winkintel.com/2022/08/second-quarter-2022-annuity-sales/
  5. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. (2022, February 28). Nationwide Reports Record Earnings in 2021 for Its Insurance and Financial Services Business. Retrieved from https://news.nationwide.com/nationwide-reports-record-earnings-in-2021/
  6. TIAA-CREF. (2022). Q4 2021 Facts and Stats. Retrieved from https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/f/facts_and_stats.pdf
  7. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2022, September 7). Annuities. Retrieved from https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/glossary/annuities