Annuities can provide a great way to ensure that you’ll have ongoing income in retirement.
With so many annuity companies doing away with defined benefit pension plans, an annuity that pays you an income for life could even be considered as your personal pension plan.
In addition to guaranteeing you an income, though, annuities can provide a whole host of other benefits, too, such as:
- Tax-deferred growth
- Death benefit
- Penalty-free access to funds if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or need to reside in a nursing home
But not all annuities are the same. In fact, there are many types of annuities available – and some of these can come with a long list of “bells and whistles.” So, while they all fall under the annuity product “umbrella,” different annuities are designed to perform in different ways.
Because of that, you need to make sure that you’re moving forward with an annuity that provides you with the benefits you’re looking for.
Otherwise, it could be quite costly to get out of the wrong annuity (and even more costly if you end up keeping it!)
In addition to the actual product, it is also important that before you buy an annuity, you ensure that the insurance company offering it is financially stable and that it has a good reputation for paying its claims.
At Annuity Gator, our mission is to educate consumers about how annuities work, and how to choose the best annuity for specific objectives. We’ve been providing in-depth annuity reviews for many years now, and we’ve become a highly trusted source of annuity information online.
In addition to analyzing individual annuity products, though, we also take a close look at insurance companies that offer annuities. Here are our picks for the top annuity companies in 2019.
Top Annuity Companies for 2019
If you’re looking for a variety of annuity products that are backed by some of the most highly rated insurance carriers in the U.S., then look no further than our top annuity company picks for 2019.
Allianz Life Insurance Company is a well-regarded entity in the insurance and financial services arena. This company was initially established back in 1890, and since that time, it has grown into a large conglomerate with more than 85 million customers in roughly 70 countries around the globe.
As of June 2019, Allianz is the world’s 5th largest asset manager, the world’s 2nd largest company in the diversified insurance industry (based on assets), and the largest company in the diversified insurance industry, based on market value.
This company has maintained a very positive reputation, with an A+ Better Business Bureau grade, as well as high ratings from the insurer ratings agencies, including (as of mid-2019):
- A+ from A.M. Best
- AA from Standard & Poor’s
- A1 from Moody’s
Athene USA is a somewhat newer name for an acquisition of a long-established life insurance carrier that has a century-old track record in the insurance and financial services industry. This company’s life insurance offices are based out of Delaware, Iowa, and New York. Athene USA serves customers in all 50 of the United States.
As of mid-year 2019, Athene held nearly $133 billion in total assets, with more than $113 billion in invested assets, and over $1 billion in excess capital. This company is known for its strong balance sheet, as well as good, solid capitalization levels and significant earnings base.
Athene has also earned numerous awards and accolades, including (as of June 2019) being ranked as the #2 insurer for retail fixed indexed annuity sales. With more than 856,000 annuity and insurance policies in force, Athene primarily markets its offerings via financial professionals across the United States.
AXA is one of the largest companies in the world. After more than two and a half decades in the insurance and financial services arena, AXA offers its products and services in 64 countries and has more than 107 million clients.
A few years ago, AXA crossed the Euro 100 billion mark for the first time in the company’s history. This 2% growth over the following year was achieved while also keeping a focus on profitability.
The company offers a wide array of insurance, investments, and annuities. Today, the AXA brand remains the #1 insurance brand worldwide, and it is still part of the Top 3 Financial Services brands.
Brighthouse Financial is one of the largest providers of annuities and life insurance in the United States. This company specializes in products that are designed to help protect what investors have earned, and then to ensure that it lasts.
As of mid-2019, Brighthouse held approximately $216 billion in total assets and more than $86 billion in its general investment accounts. With more than 2 million customers, Brighthouse holds in excess of 2.5 million life insurance policies and annuity contracts.
Due in large part to its financial strength and stability, Brighthouse has earned high ratings from the insurer rating agencies. These include a(n):
- A from A.M. Best
- A from Fitch Ratings
- A3 from Moody’s Investor Service
- A+ from Standard & Poor’s
Jackson National Life Insurance Company has been in operation since 1961. Since its inception, this company – which began as a family-owned entity in Lansing, Michigan – has grown into a multi-billion dollar insurance carrier.
In fact, within a relatively short time for an insurer, Jackson National became the second-largest seller of annuities in the U.S. in 2018 (according to LIMRA), as well as the #1 seller of variable annuities in the United States. It is also the seventh-largest life insurance carrier, based on its total statutory assets (based on research from SNL Financial).
As of mid-2019, Jackson National holds some of the top ratings from the insurer rating agencies, including an A+ from A.M. Best, a AA- from Fitch Ratings, an A1 from Moody’s Investors Service, and a AA- from Standard & Poor’s.
How to Review an Annuity Company’s “Report Card”
Before you purchase any type of insurance product – including an annuity – it is recommended that you check the ratings of the carrier. There are five independent insurance company rating agencies, including A.M. Best, Fitch, Kroll, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s.
An insurance company’s ratings can give you an idea of the carrier’s financial strength and its claims-paying reputation. And just like with any other “report card,” the higher the grade, the more stable the company. (Note that not all rating agencies will provide a grade for all insurance companies).
When you are purchasing an insurance policy or annuity, it is typically recommended that you stick with carriers that are rated with an A or better. Here are the ratings for our top annuity companies:
Wondering if an Annuity is Right for You? Or, Are There Other Conservative Investment Strategies that Might Work Better?
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Other Top Annuity Carriers for 2019
Want to know more about other insurance carriers that offer annuities?
The companies listed below are highly rated insurance carriers that offer fixed, variable, and/or fixed indexed annuities to meet a wide range of financial needs – both before and during retirement.
You can take a peek at the best 2019 annuity company runners up here:
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company
Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company
CUNA Mutual Group
Eagle Life Insurance Company
Edelman Financial Services (Coming soon)
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Farm Bureau Financial Services
Fidelity & Guaranty Life
Fidelity Investments (Coming soon)
Foresters Financial (Coming soon)
ForeThought (Coming soon)
Global Atlantic Financial Group (Coming soon)
Great American Financial Resources.(Coming soon)
Great-West Financial (Coming soon)
Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company (Coming soon)
Guardian (Coming soon)
Horace Mann (Coming soon)
Jefferson National (Coming soon)
Knights of Columbus (Coming soon)
Lincoln Financial Group (Coming soon)
Mass Mutual (Coming soon)
MetLife (Coming soon)
Midland National Life Insurance Company (Coming soon)
Securian Financial (Coming soon)
Mutual of Omaha (Coming soon)
National Western Life Insurance Company (Coming soon)
Nationwide (Coming soon)
New York Life (Coming soon)
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (Coming soon)
Northwestern Mutual (Coming soon)
OneAmerica (Coming soon)
Oxford Life Insurance Company (Coming soon)
Pacific Life (Coming soon)
Penn Mutual.(Coming soon)
Principal (Coming soon)
Protective (Coming soon)
Prudential (Coming soon)
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Coming soon)
RiverSource Investments (Coming soon)
Royal Neighbors of America (Coming soon)
Sagicor Life (Coming soon)
Sammons Institutional Group (Coming soon)
Charles Schwab (Coming soon)
Security Benefit (Coming soon)
Sentinel Security Life (Coming soon)
Symetra (Coming soon)
TIAA (Coming soon)
The Standard (Coming soon)
Thrivent Financial (Coming soon)
Transamerica (Coming soon)
USAA (Coming soon)
VALIC (Coming soon)
VOYA Financial (Coming soon)
W&S Financial Group Distributors (A member of Western & Southern Financial Group) (Coming soon)