How We Picked Them

We evaluated annuity companies licensed to sell products in all 50 states, ultimately only featuring those that fit our strict criteria. To be included on this list, providers must have:

  • An A- or better Financial Strength Rating from AM Best.
  • Ranked above the industry average in at least one of the two most recent editions of the J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking.
  • Over $5 billion in direct premiums sold.

Editor’s Choice: Best Overall Annuity Company of 2024

4.7

Annuity.org Star Rating

Our Take

Thanks to its variety of strong annuity products and positive feedback from agents, Lincoln Financial retains its title from 2023 as Annuity.org’s pick for the best overall annuity company of 2024.

Pros

  • Wide variety of options 
  • Strong customer satisfaction

Cons

  • In-depth product information not always readily available through website

More Insights and Experts’ Takes:

With fixed, fixed index and variable offerings, the Philadelphia-based company sells high-level products that appeal to a broad range of customers.

“I have a dozen clients in [variable annuity] Level Advantage,” Nick Pangakis, a financial advisor with Capitol Financial Solutions, told Annuity.org. “We’ve always had a good relationship with them.”

Standout offerings from Lincoln Financial include the OptiBlend® FIA, which offers the choice of nine indexes to link the annuity to.

Best Fixed Index Annuity Provider

4.65

Annuity.org Star Rating

Our Take

Allianz is a strong standout for fixed index annuities, and it’s not hard to see why. The company offers eight different FIA products, each equipped with different goals and benefits in mind.

Pros

  • Superb financial strength 
  • No annual fees on many FIA products

Cons

  • Customer Satisfaction score dipped slightly last year

More Insights and Experts’ Takes:

“Allianz is best known for the quality of its fixed index annuity,” CPA Mark Stewart told Annuity.org. These products offer plenty of index options to choose from and most have no annual fees.

The company is also a hit with agents and customers alike.

“Allianz is awesome,” John Stevenson, owner and advisor at Stevenson Retirement Solutions, told Annuity.org. “They’re A+ rated. A lot of my clients like that and they’re willing to accept a little bit lower of an income because of that. Customer service is awesome, probably some of the best that I’ve been able to have.”

Best MYGA Provider

4

Annuity.org Star Rating

Our Take

Combining industry-leading customer satisfaction scores with MYGA rates well above that of some key competitors, F&G stands out. The company sits atop the most recent edition of the J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction Index and boasts a strong NAIC Complaint Index Score, too.

Pros

  • Industry leader in customer satisfaction
  • Stronger MYGA rates than some other highly rated companies

Cons

  • Online product information could be stronger

More Insights and Experts’ Takes:

“I have never had a bad experience with them, and I do have a couple of happy clients with them,” Pangakis said of F&G. “That’s always been a good experience.”

In addition to its strong customer satisfaction, F&G also advertises MYGA rates in 2024 that out-clips other companies with strong financial strength ratings.

The company’s Secure MYGA includes benefits such as riders for terminal illness and nursing home confinement, the ability to pay out the account value as a death benefit and rates that exceed 5%.

Best Provider for Strong Financial Strength

5

Annuity.org Star Rating

Our Take

For customers who place a premium on financial strength, few annuity providers excel more than MassMutual. The company, which was founded in 1851, holds a prestigious A++ rating from AM Best, making it one of the safest and strongest companies available to work with. 

Pros

  • Superb financial strength
  • Strong income annuities 

Cons

  • No major cons 

More Insights and Experts’ Takes:

“They have a great name,” Pangakis said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.”

MassMutual sells several types of strong products, including income, fixed and variable options. Its Stable Voyage annuity, for example, provides a conservative way to generate income in retirement paired with manageable surrender fees and a variety of payout options.

The company also advertises registered index-linked annuities through its MassMutual Ascend subsidiary.

“I do recommend them for the MassMutual Ascend product because of their ability to lock in higher caps for that seven-year period,” Stevenson said.

Best Variable Annuity Provider

4.6

Annuity.org Star Rating

Our Take

Nationwide outshines other companies when it comes to variable annuities, selling more variable products than any other type of annuity. And these products are not modified clones of each other either; each variable product comes with its own features to help make it unique.

Pros

  • Strong variety of variable annuities offered
  • Great financial strength 

Cons

  • Not as good at generating income as some competitors

More Insights and Experts’ Takes:

Nationwide’s variable annuities, like the Destination Architect 2.0, include low-fee options that advertise just 0.40% in total fees.

On top of their strong variable offerings, Nationwide is also a well-regarded, financially sound company.

“Nationwide stands out,” Aamir Chalisa, general manager at Futurity First Insurance Group, told Annuity.org. “They’ve got amazing customer service, a very high rating and have been around for a number of years. We see a lot of clients asking for that.”

Purchasing an annuity is a significant financial decision and should not be rushed. As time consuming as the process may be, shopping for an annuity should be separate from buying. Before you buy, make sure you have a complete understanding of the options and tradeoffs for each aspect of the available products. Any new financial product should complement your financial strategy and your goals. Review the financial standing of any company under consideration and seek confirmation from independent sources.

Other Annuity Providers We Considered

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

American Equity is an industry leader in the development and sale of fixed index 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.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A-
  • Products Available: Fixed index annuities, Fixed annuities, Immediate annuities

American National Insurance Company

Texas-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.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A
  • Products Available: Fixed deferred annuities, Single premium immediate annuities, Indexed deferred annuities

Athene

Athene is a new company — having been established in 2009 — but quickly became a major player in the annuity space. The company’s premiums sold exceeds $20 billion and it sells a number of products.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A
  • Products Available: Fixed index annuities, Fixed annuities, RILAs, Immediate 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 S&P Global Ratings.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • Products Available: Fixed index annuities, Multi-year guaranteed annuities, Single premium immediate annuities

Mutual of Omaha

Founded 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.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • Products Available: Immediate annuities, Deferred annuities

New York Life

New 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.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
  • Products Available: Fixed deferred annuities, Variable annuities

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance

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.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • Products Available: Fixed index annuities, Multi-year guaranteed annuities, Single premium immediate annuities

Pacific Life

California-based Pacific Life was founded in 1868. In 1955, it became the first company west of the Mississippi River to computerize its operations.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • Products Available: Fixed annuities, Fixed index annuities, Variable annuities

Prudential

Prudential 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.

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • Products Available: Variable annuities, Indexed variable annuities, Fixed annuities, Fixed index annuities

Purchasing an Annuity

Most annuity purchasers are either nearing retirement or in their mid-career planning for retirement and 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 company.

“I try only to deal with rated A and A+ companies,” Pangakis said.

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, and it’s a growing business. Total annuity sales in 2023 topped $385 billion. While there are many providers, the largest firms tend to account for the vast majority of those sales.

Generally, each company sells at least 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.

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

How soon are you retiring?

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

What is your goal for purchasing an annuity?

Select all that apply

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, most annuities in America are purchased from:

  • Annuity distributors, including large brokerage firms known as wirehouses, like 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.

One advantage of working with a third party is that you may be exposed to an annuity option that is better suited for you than the one company you were focusing on.

“That’s where I feel my partner and I add the most value for the client,” Pangakis said. “We’re not just loyal to one company. We’re truly going out there and saying, ‘here’s the top five options out there.’”

If you purchase an annuity from a distributor or independent agent, you will typically 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’d likely do it through the agent or company who sold you the contract.

Selecting the Right Annuity Company for You

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 provider.

“The security of your guarantee is only as good as the financial stability of the insurance company,” said Principal Financial Analyst Stephen Kates, CFP®. “It is important to view the independent ratings of any companies you are considering.” A good annuity provider should have a strong rating from AM Best or one of the other credit rating agencies.

Another factor many people consider when choosing an annuity company is customer satisfaction. You can use third-party review sites such as Trustpilot or the Better Business Bureau to understand how well a company treats its customers.

You can also check the company’s annual NAIC Complaint Index results. With 1.0 representing an average expected number of complaints, a score below 1.0 is preferable. A Complaint Index score of 0.1, for example, means the company receives one-tenth as many complaints as expected of the average provider in the insurance market.

When selecting an annuity provider, it’s important to think about your priorities. If you already know which type of annuity you want to buy, consider providers that specialize in this type of annuity. Or think about which features are most important to you and find out which providers offer those benefits.

It’s critical to remember that not all annuity companies make sense for all people, and the best option will depend on your circumstances above all. Pangakis recalled a time that he presented a Nationwide product to a client, and it wasn’t competitive at all with what they were looking for.

“But then two days later for a guy who was a few years older, it was the best one,” he said.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing an Annuity Company

  • Which type of annuity am I most interested in?
  • How much do I want to invest in an annuity?
  • How important is customizing my contract to me?
  • Do I want to get lifetime income from my annuity?
  • Do I want to add riders to my contract, such as death benefits or long-term care waivers?

Most annuity companies provide detailed information on their products on their websites. Some even allow prospective customers to download product brochures that list annuity rates, features and fees. A provider’s website can be a great resource, but you may also consider researching providers on other sites like personal finance or retirement planning blogs for a less biased perspective.

You may also solicit help from an expert who is independent of the annuity sales process when choosing which company to purchase from. Called independent fiduciaries, 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 insurance companies or banks and will put your needs first.

Understanding Our Methodology

To determine our picks for the best annuity companies of 2024, Annuity.org’s independent editorial team carefully considered insurance providers with licenses to issue annuity contracts across the country. Our superlatives are based on in-depth research into major purchase considerations from our readers’ perspectives.

Annuity.org uses a strict and fact-based methodology to determine which companies qualify for our rankings. 

To be considered, a company must:

  • Be licensed to sell annuities in all 50 states. 
  • Have an A- or better Financial Strength Rating.
  • Have sold over $5 billion in direct premiums in 2023.
  • Rank above the industry average in at least one of the two most recent editions of the J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction Index.

In addition to the set criteria, Annuity.org also spoke to multiple agents to gather information on their experiences with different annuity providers. Their real-world knowledge helped inform our superlatives and understanding of which companies best stand out for customers.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) publishes its Complaint Index scores annually to compare an individual company’s performance to other companies in the insurance market. Our editorial team took the latest available NAIC Complaint Index scores into consideration when evaluating our featured providers.

We also considered other factors, including the number of annuity products offered by the company and the strength of those products. Our featured companies are based on publicly available company information and nationwide feedback, not on any individual annuity product.

Because annuity plans and providers vary by location, an independent insurance agent can best help you find a suitable plan in your area.

Learn more about our broader Editorial Guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions About Annuity Companies

What’s the best type of annuity to buy?

The best type of annuity to buy depends on what you want to get out of the annuity. Fixed annuities offer guaranteed growth but lower rates, while variable annuities have greater potential for growth along with some exposure to market volatility. Indexed annuities offer a mix of both exposure to market growth and downside protection.

Who issues annuities?

Annuities are issued by insurance companies. Some of the most popular annuity providers include Athene Holdings, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Financial Group, TIAA and Allianz Life.

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.

Which annuity company offers the best rates?

As of April 2024, some providers with the highest fixed annuity rates included CL Life and Atlantic Coast Life.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: June 12, 2024
Annuity agent on a phone call
Learn About Top Annuity Products Get a Free Annuity Quote from a Licensed Agent
Annuity rates on a screen
Find Today's Best Annuity Rates Compare Today's Best Annuity Rates
Annuities Explained PDF on a tablet
Get Your Annuities Explained PDF Download Your Free Annuities Explained Guide