4

Annuity.org Star Rating

American General Life

American General Life Insurance logo
Our Take

American General Life’s annuities offer fixed, indexed and variable options, with many offering beneficial features. The drawback is that most of these features are only available as additional riders to your contract for an additional fee.

Pros

  • Variety of annuities offered
  • Backed by a large and financially secure company

Cons

  • Rebranding and division of subsidiaries can be confusing 
  • Strongest annuity features often available only through riders

Products Offered by American General Life

American General Life offers several different annuity products that are broken down by type. Some annuity providers focus on a few specific types of annuities while offering many variations of those types.

The offerings Corebridge presents are a bit different. Typically, Corebridge offers just one or two products for each type of annuity but has products from many different annuity types.

Fixed, indexed and variable options are available.

Fixed Annuities

Corebridge Financial advertises two types of fixed annuities that are issued through American General Life.

The first is the Assured Edge Income Builder® fixed annuity, which is designed to provide a guaranteed stream of fixed income. It’s a solid product that includes many of the hallmark offerings of fixed annuities, such as the ability to withdraw up to 10% of the contract value without facing charges, and provisions to account for a move to a nursing home or the development of a terminal illness.

Pro Tip

The Assured Edge Income Builder® annuity allows you to change who is covered by the annuity (accounting for divorces, marriages, etc.) as long as you have not activated income.

Also offered is the American Pathway® fixed annuity, which advertises guaranteed interest rate periods and guaranteed interest earnings.

Indexed Annuities

When it comes to indexed annuity options, Corebridge offers one choice: the Power Series Index Annuity. While it is just one product, it is offered with two different riders that can alter it significantly.

The first option is the Lifetime Income Max® rider, which guarantees a 10% income credit for every year before you start withdrawals. The product allows you to withdraw up to 7.35% per year for life and is also a great choice for those comfortable waiting a long time to start receiving payments since your income base is guaranteed to grow 10% each year.

Your other rider option is the Lifetime Income Plus Multiplier Flex®, which allows your income to continue to grow even after you begin taking withdrawals. 

Adding this rider means your interest earned can be matched until you are 95 or when your contract value is completely depleted. Credits offered can also be equal to double the interest earned before you begin taking payments.

While both riders offer big-time benefits, they do come with a cost. Each choice is available for a 1% annual fee on your income base.

Variable Annuities

The variable annuity issued through American General Life is known as the Polaris. One useful feature available through its Polaris Income Plus Daily Flex Rider is the ability to take advantage of daily step-ups, as opposed to the more common monthly or annual step-ups.

This gives customers a better shot at capturing a market high and seeing the value of their annuity grow even more. 

Customers have the choice of three different income options when they purchase a Polaris Variable Annuity, with different annual withdrawal rates being available depending on the age that you start taking income.

Polaris Income Options for Single Life Coverage

Age Withdrawal Amount Option 1 Withdrawal Amount Option 2 Withdrawal Amount Option 3
60 to 64 5.00% 5.00% 4.00% for life 
65 to 74 6.75% 7.75% 5.40% for life
75+ 7.25% 8.25% 5.70% for life
Source: Polaris® Variable Annuity with Polaris Income Plus Daily Flex®
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About American General Life

Understanding exactly what American General Life is and how it plays a role in your annuity purchase can be a bit confusing. Simply put, American General Life is the issuing company for annuities that are advertised and sold by Corebridge Financial.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that Corebridge itself recently rebranded and was previously known as AIG Life and Retirement. While it changed its name in 2021, it is still part of the larger AIG company. 

AIG is a massive multinational corporation, so Corebridge and American General Life have a strong and stable financial backing.

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Credit Ratings

Credit ratings for annuity providers can help determine a company’s financial strength and stability — an indication that it will be around to guarantee payments to you in the future. Different rating companies use different scales.

American General Life Credit Ratings

Rating Company Credit Rating
AM Best A
Fitch A+
S&P A+
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What Customers Are Saying About American General Life

From a customer satisfaction perspective, American General Life appears to be around the middle of the pack. Under the AIG brand, it scored very well in the 2022 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Index Rating for annuities, ranking near the top of the industry.

American General did come in much closer to the industry average in the 2023 customer satisfaction index, and was far below competitors like MassMutual or F&G.

It’s NAIC Complaint Index score also leaves something to be desired. This metric measures consumer complaints concerning a company’s footprint in the marketplace, and American General Life logged nearly twice as many complaints as expected for a company of its size.

The NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) tracks consumer complaints that each state’s insurance commission receives each year. These are used to compile a company’s NAIC Complaint Index.NAIC Complaint IndexDetermined by dividing the company’s share of complaints in the U.S. market by the company’s share of premiums in the U.S. market. The National Complaint Index is always 1.00, so a score of 2.00, for example, is twice as high as expected in the market.

NAIC Complaint Index for American General Life

All Policy Types 0.37
Individual Annuities Only 1.82
These numbers indicate that American General Life receives fewer complaints than the industry average for all insurance policy types but higher than average for individual annuities specifically.

American General Life Pros & Cons

A pro to American General Life is the variety of annuity types that it offers, speaking to the diversity available from working with a large company. Some competitors specialize more heavily and drill down on one or two specific types of annuities.

But American General Life provides robust offerings across a few different categories.

There are drawbacks for consumers to consider, many of which come from the company’s confusing identity. 

If you purchase an annuity, you are doing so through American General Life. But brochures, rates and offerings are available from and branded as Corebridge products.

Corebridge’s recent rebranding from AIG Life and Retirement may also cause confusion.

“Companies that aren’t new and companies that have rebranded are pretty urgent to get back on the field and get noticed by building a brand reputation again,” Ryan Cicchelli, owner of the Safe Investing Expert, told Annuity.org “You have to look at their financials and liability […] I’m not saying don’t buy them, I’m just saying make sure you and your financial professional understands them.”

American General Life’s potential offerings are also somewhat limited. The company’s brochures for their various annuities tout many impressive benefits, but these are largely only available through add-ons to your contract that you must pay for.

Companies that aren’t new and companies that have rebranded are pretty urgent to get back on the field and get noticed by building a brand reputation again. You have to look at their financials and liability […] I’m not saying don’t buy them, I’m just saying make sure you and your financial professional understands them.

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Provider Rating Methodology

Annuity.org created a fact-based methodology to analyze the strength, security and reach of different annuity providers. We assessed companies based on their availability, the number of direct premiums sold, their AM Best Financial Strength Rating and their NAIC Complaint Index score.

Providers received a rating on a five-star scale for each of these categories, with the complaint index and financial strength ratings weighed as the heaviest variables. Then, using a weighted average, each company was assigned an overall star rating.

Top-Ranked Annuity Providers

Provider Annuity.org Star Rating
Mass Mutual 5 star rating
New York Life 5 star rating
Pacific Life 5 star rating
Midland National 5 star rating
North American 5 star rating
Western & Southern 5 star rating

Our Rating Panel

Annuity.org expert panel for providers pages

The Annuity.org editorial team spoke with several different annuity experts to learn more about what is important to customers when searching for a provider and what factors make a company reliable. While Annuity.org designed the methodology, these experts provided feedback during the process and consulted on what factors we should leverage to best help prospective buyers compare providers. 

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: February 2, 2024
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