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APA Borwick, K. (2022, June 10). Annuity Companies & Providers. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from

MLA Borwick, Kim. "Annuity Companies & Providers.", 10 Jun 2022,

Chicago Borwick, Kim. "Annuity Companies & Providers." Last modified June 10, 2022.

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Why You Can Trust 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.

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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 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 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 Additionally, operates independently of its partners and has complete editorial control over the information we publish.

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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
American 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
American 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 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
John 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
Lincoln 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
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
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
Mutual 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
NationwideNationwide has more than 85 years of experience with retirement planning. The popular insurer paid over $16.9 billion in claims and benefits to members in 2020.A+
  • Variable annuities
  • Immediate annuities
  • Fixed annuities
  • Fixed indexed annuities
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
North 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
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
PrudentialPrudential 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
TIAA-CREFThe 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. In 2020, TIAA-CREF paid more than $3.6 billion to retired clients.A++
  • Fixed annuities
  • Variable annuities

*Credit ratings are provided by AM Best.

Christopher Magnussen | 1:20 How do I choose an annuity provider?
How do I choose an annuity provider? - Featuring Christopher Magnussen
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Chris Magnussen, licensed insurance agent at, explains how to choose an annuity provider.

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 annuities preset the principal and minimum interest rate.
Payments change based on how investment options perform.
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.


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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.

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

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
  • 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.

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
Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: June 10, 2022

6 Cited Research Articles 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.

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  4. TIAA-CREF. (2021). Q1 2021 Facts and Stats. Retrieved from
  5. The Wall Street Journal. (2008, December 17). How to select and shop for an annuity. Retrieved from
  6. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2011, April 6). Annuities. Retrieved from