ReliaStar was founded in 1885 in Minneapolis as Northwestern National Life Insurance Company. The company was successful in the U.S. financial services sector selling a diverse range of products, including group insurance. For decades, ReliaStar sold a variety of individual life insurance policies and annuity products.
ING Group, now known as Voya Financial, acquired ReliaStar in 2000. ReliaStar is now a subsidiary of Voya Financial.
It wasn’t until 2018 that Voya sold off most of its annuity policies to Venerable Holdings. In 2021, it also divested its individual life insurance products to Resolution Life U.S.
Voya now focuses on selling annuities and group life insurance plans to institutional and corporate clients, such as employers.
When evaluating options from an annuity provider, it’s a good idea to look at credit and financial strength ratings from third-party agencies. An excellent financial strength rating tells you that a company is financially stable for the foreseeable future, and credit agencies consider it likely to fulfill its contractual obligations to policyholders.
AM Best, a reputable rating agency, gave ReliaStar a financial strength rating of “A,” or “Excellent,” and an “A+” for excellent credit. The insurance issuer received a similarly favorable score of “A” from Fitch Ratings.
For ReliaStar, these are affirmed credit ratings rather than upgrades, meaning the company has historically held a positive rating.
ReliaStar Life Insurance Company Credit Ratings
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ReliaStar also generated a low number of average consumer complaints as compared to its peers, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which has a database that tracks complaints against U.S. insurance companies.
Annuity Products Offered by ReliaStar
Neither ReliaStar nor Voya Financial offer any annuity products directly to consumers after Voya sold off the business segment to Venerable. However, as mentioned earlier, Voya continues to sell annuities to institutional and corporate clients. Voya also has a contract to manage Venerable’s variable annuities.
It’s important to note that those who purchased a ReliaStar annuity in the past still hold their annuity and they are either collecting payments or hold the right to collect future payments. The same is true for people who bought annuities from Voya. Both companies once sold a diverse line of products.
Voya Variable Annuities
The Voya Advantage Century variable annuities are for qualified plans such as Roth and traditional IRAs, as well as 403(b)s. The plan provides up to 76 variable or fixed investment options.
If you purchase this Voya annuity, you are investing mostly in mutual funds. The account accrues interest to generate retirement income for future use. Voya variable annuities are ideal for legacy planning and include the option to add a death benefit payable to your loved ones.
Investors were able to schedule their variable annuity payouts in the following ways:
- For their entire lifetime
- For life with a fixed 10-year period during which, if they died, then a named beneficiary will continue receiving income for the rest of the period
- Monthly, semi-annually or other options
Variable annuity accounts’ value can suffer in the event of a market downturn. Before investing in the annuity, determine whether you are willing to take financial risk.
Voya Fixed Annuities
Because Voya fixed annuities aren’t exposed to market volatility, they are a stable investment option for investors interested in a reliable long-term stream of income after retirement. However, it’s important that you review any applicable restrictions before deciding how you want to invest in a fixed annuity. For example, it’s often impossible to prematurely withdraw cash from your account without attracting a penalty.
Voya Indexed Annuities
A Voya indexed annuity is linked to a market index that guarantees its growth momentum and provides downside protection. The Voya Quest series includes multiple annuities of this type, which grow investors’ funds in tandem with the performance of a linked index, such as the S&P 500.
With Voya indexed annuities, you can choose a surrender period of five, seven or 10 years, after which you’re eligible to receive your scheduled payouts without attracting a penalty. You can also purchase an optional rider to modify your annuity into a lifetime stream of income.
Lock In Fixed Annuity Rates as High as 6.4%
Voya’s annuity clients can manage their account details online. To access this portal, you must first sign up by providing your identification information, including Social Security number.
If you’re interested in learning about retirement planning and financial wellness before purchasing any annuity, you can sign up for Voya Learn. This digital resource streams live and on-demand video content covering a broad array of finance topics, from setting up an emergency fund to savings strategies.