5

Annuity.org Star Rating

RiverSource

Our Take

RiverSource’s strong track record of financial stability, customer satisfaction and wide availability make this provider a great choice for customers looking to buy a variable, immediate or registered index-linked annuity.

Pros

  • Widely available
  • Strong customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings
  • Low minimum premiums

Cons

  • No fixed annuity offerings

Products Offered by RiverSource

RiverSource offers three types of annuities: variable annuities, immediate annuities and registered index-linked annuities (RILAs).

RiverSource’s Variable Annuities

RiverSource’s three variable annuity products include the RAVA Apex®, the RAVA Vista® and the RAVA 5 Access®. The RAVA 5 Access® is available as an inherited nonqualified stretch provision exclusively for beneficiaries of nonqualified annuities.

  • RAVA Apex® has a minimum premium of $5,000 for qualified annuities and $10,000 for nonqualified contracts. Fees for this annuity include a mortality & expense (M&E) fee ranging from 0.75% to 1.50%, a $50 contract administrative charge and subaccount management fees that vary by fund. Apex® includes a standard death benefit of the original premium amount less any withdrawals, and owners can opt for more generous benefits for an additional fee.
  • RAVA Vista® has a minimum premium of $2,000 for qualified annuities and $5,000 for nonqualified contracts. Fees for this product include an M&E fee ranging from 1.00% to 1.55%, a $50 contract administrative charge and subaccount management fees that vary by fund. Vista® has a seven-year surrender period, a standard death benefit that includes the return of purchase payments and over 120 subaccounts that owners can choose from.

RiverSource’s Immediate Annuity

SecureProvider is RiverSource’s single premium immediate annuity (SPIA). This product comes with four payout options: guaranteed period, life or joint life, life or joint life with guaranteed period, and life or joint life with cash refund. 

Owners can further customize their SPIA with payment accelerations, a provision that allows owners to “receive up to six monthly payments during the guaranteed period in a lump sum that would have otherwise been paid out over time.” Those who select a joint life SPIA can opt to receive more income at the start and either half or two-thirds income to the survivor.

SecureProvider also offers the Annual Payment Increase option. This rider increases the annuity’s annual payment by 2%, 3% or 4% per year to reduce the impact of inflation.

RiverSource’s RILA

The third type of annuity RiverSource sells is a registered index-linked annuity or RILA, which RiverSource refers to as a structured annuity. 

RiverSource’s RILA is the RiverSource Structured Solutions 2. This annuity has a minimum premium of $10,000 for qualified or nonqualified contracts and surrender periods of either three years or six years.

Owners can allocate the funds in their RILA across over 100 indexed accounts based on five well-known equity indexes and an ETF. The annuity includes a buffer against losses when the index’s returns are negative, though it is still possible to lose money with this type of product. If you are looking for a fixed annuity with no market risk, then other providers can fill this need.

RiverSource Structured Solutions 2 also offers two options for locking in the value of the annuity’s index segments. Owners can choose the automatic lock, which instantly locks in the segment’s value when the rate of return reaches a specific point; or the elective lock, which allows the owner to lock in a segment’s value at any time before maturity.

For clients who struggle with limited funds and saving difficulties, an annuity that allows for smaller initial contributions and offers flexibility in choosing the type according to their needs can serve as a valuable complement to other investments. This is because it instills a commitment to contribute on a monthly basis automatically over a period of time, thereby building a fund that can provide income in the future. It is very important to thoroughly evaluate the rates, fees and alternatives to safeguard your assets when initiating the annuity. Contributing smaller amounts while younger helps establish the habit of saving for retirement while simultaneously protecting the asset.

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About RiverSource

RiverSource is an insurance, annuities and investment products brand owned by Ameriprise Financial. The company originated in 1894 in Minneapolis, Minn., but did not take on the Ameriprise name until 2005, the same year it introduced the RiverSource brand. At that time, Ameriprise served more than 2.7 million clients, including individuals, businesses and institutions.

In 2023, RiverSource sold nearly $4 billion in individual annuity premiums, comprising 1.15% of the U.S. annuity market, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). RiverSource sells annuities and life insurance in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

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Credit Ratings

If you’re buying an annuity, it’s important to know about credit ratings for annuity providers. These ratings represent the financial strength and stability of the provider, and therefore, how likely the provider is to be able to fulfill its obligations in an annuity contract.

RiverSource Credit Ratings

Rating Company Credit Rating
AM Best A+ (Superior)
Fitch A-
S&P A+ (Strong)
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What Customers Are Saying About RiverSource

RiverSource earns generally positive customer satisfaction ratings. The company received no consumer complaints to state insurance commissions in 2023, and only one complaint each year in 2022 and 2021, according to the NAIC.

The NAIC tracks consumer complaints each state’s insurance commission receives each year. These are used to compile a company’s NAIC Complaint IndexNAIC 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 RiverSource

All Policy Types 0.26
Individual Annuities Only 0.00

These numbers indicate that RiverSource receives significantly fewer complaints than the industry average.

RiverSource ranked well on the J.D. Power 2023 Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking, which measures the overall customer satisfaction of annuity providers. The company scored 820 points based on a 1,000-point scale, placing it above the study average of 800 points and in sixth place overall.

RiverSource Pros & Cons

RiverSource could be an excellent provider choice for certain annuity customers, but this company may not be the right choice for everyone. Before purchasing an annuity from any provider, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the company and its offerings.

Pros

  • Widely available: RiverSource sells annuities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
  • Strong customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings: RiverSource holds excellent ratings from industry organizations in customer satisfaction and financial strength.
  • Low minimum premiums: Some of RiverSource’s annuity products have lower minimum premiums than most other providers.

Cons

  • No fixed annuity offerings: RiverSource does not offer the safest and most popular type of annuity, the fixed annuity.
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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 amount 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.

Annuity.org’s Top-Ranked Providers

Provider Annuity.org Star Rating
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Midland National 5 star rating
North American 5 star rating
Western & Southern 5 star rating

Our Rating Panel

Annuity.org expert panelists for annuity provider 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: May 15, 2024
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