Annuity Company Ratings

Annuity company ratings are important to buyers because annuities aren’t backed by the federal government, but rather by the insurance companies that issue them. If you purchase an annuity from a low-rated insurer, you could lose your money.

  • Written By
    Kim Borwick

    Kim Borwick

    Financial Editor

    Kim Borwick is a writer and editor who studies financial literacy and retirement annuities. She has extensive experience with editing educational content and financial topics for

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Emily Miller
    Emily Miller, Managing Editor for

    Emily Miller

    Managing Editor

    Managing editor Emily Miller is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience as a researcher, writer and editor. Throughout her professional career, Emily has covered education, government, health care, crime and breaking news for media organizations in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Texas. She joined the team in 2016.

    Read More
  • Financially Reviewed By
    Thomas J. Brock, CFA®, CPA
    headshot of Thomas J. Brock, CFA, CPA

    Thomas J. Brock, CFA®, CPA

    Investment, Corporate Finance and Accounting Expert

    Thomas Brock, CFA®, CPA, is a financial professional with over 20 years of experience in investments, corporate finance and accounting. He currently oversees the investment operation for a $4 billion super-regional insurance carrier.

    Read More
  • Updated: June 19, 2023
  • 4 min read time
  • This page features 9 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked partners with outside experts to ensure we are providing accurate financial content.

These reviewers are industry leaders and professional writers who regularly contribute to reputable publications such as the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Our expert reviewers review our articles and recommend changes to ensure we are upholding our high standards for accuracy and professionalism.

Our expert reviewers hold advanced degrees and certifications and have years of experience with personal finances, retirement planning and investments.

Why Trust
Why You Can Trust has provided reliable, accurate financial information to consumers since 2013. We adhere to ethical journalism practices, including presenting honest, unbiased information that follows Associated Press style guidelines and reporting facts from reliable, attributed sources. Our objective is to deliver the most comprehensive explanation of annuities and financial literacy topics using plain, straightforward language.

Our Partnerships, Vision and Goals

We pride ourselves on partnering with professionals like those from Senior Market Sales (SMS) — a market leader with over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry — who offer personalized retirement solutions for consumers across the country. Our relationships with partners including SMS and Insuractive, the company’s consumer-facing branch, allow us to facilitate the sale of annuities and other retirement-oriented financial products to consumers who are looking to purchase safe and reliable solutions to fill gaps in their retirement income. We are compensated when we produce legitimate inquiries, and that compensation helps make an even stronger resource for our audience. We may also, at times, sell lead data to partners in our network in order to best connect consumers to the information they request. Readers are in no way obligated to use our partners’ services to access the free resources on carefully selects partners who share a common goal of educating consumers and helping them select the most appropriate product for their unique financial and lifestyle goals. Our network of advisors will never recommend products that are not right for the consumer, nor will Additionally, operates independently of its partners and has complete editorial control over the information we publish.

Our vision is to provide users with the highest quality information possible about their financial options and empower them to make informed decisions based on their unique needs.

Credit rating agencies, such as AM Best and Standard & Poor’s, provide transparency to consumers and promote integrity among annuity providers.

These agencies are monitored at the state and federal levels.

According to the National Council of Insurance Legislators and its Model Act to Support State Regulation of Insurance by Requiring Competition Among Rating Agencies, “protecting consumers and ensuring the safety and soundness of insurance companies in the United States have been the prime objectives of state insurance regulation for over 150 years.”

In addition, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act instituted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Credit Ratings to ensure that credit rating agencies delivered accurate credit ratings to the public.

What Do Financial Strength Ratings Mean?

In its Guide to Best’s Financial Strength Ratings, AM Best defines its financial strength rating (FSR) as “an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations.”

Although AM Best and other credit rating agencies do not endorse any particular annuity product, these agencies provide consumers with their assessment of an insurance carrier’s financial solvency, which is a critical factor in deciding whether or not to purchase an annuity from an insurer.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission updated their list of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs) in 2022. The “big four” — which in addition to AM Best, include Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch — are on the 2022 NRSRO list.

The SEC’s Office of Credit Ratings “assists the Commission in executing its responsibility for protecting investors, promoting capital formation, and maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets through the oversight of credit rating agencies registered with the Commission as ‘nationally recognized statistical rating organizations’ or ‘NRSROs.’”

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

How soon are you retiring?

Step 3
Step 4

What is your goal for purchasing an annuity?

Select all that apply

Annuity Rating Agencies

Credit rating agencies are independent entities bound by the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act of 2006, which Congress enacted “to improve ratings quality for the protection of investors and in the public interest by fostering accountability, transparency, and competition in the credit rating agency industry.” Profiles for each of the “big four” are outlined below.

AM Best

AM Best’s methodologies analytical expertise, research and data to develop insight for rating annuity companies. These allow the nationally recognized statistical rating organizations company to form its opinions regarding an annuity company’s financial strength and soundness.

Standard & Poor’s

Since Poor’s Publishing Co. issued its first rating in 1916, Standard & Poor’s has been providing credit ratings to bolster transparency in the capital markets. The company employs analysts in 28 countries to assess global factors and trends that affect the financial stability of annuity companies worldwide.


Moody’s credit rating represents its opinion of the solvency of an annuity company using established rating categories and based on information from insurers and their agents and other credible, unbiased sources.


In 1923, Fitch developed the ‘AAA’ to ‘D’ ratings scale. The company assigns an IFS rating to the insurance organization to offer independent, forward-looking opinions and research. Fitch sets itself apart through its “strong local experience and credit market expertise,” which offers transparency to annuity issuers and consumers.

Annuity Carrier Ratings

The following is a list of annuity carriers and their AM Best financial strength rating as of’s last update. Be aware that these ratings may change over time. For the latest rating, access

Life Insurance and Annuity Carriers AM Best Rating
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company A- (Excellent)
American National A (Excellent)
Americo A (Excellent)
Athene A (Excellent)
F&G Annuities & Life A- (Excellent)
LBL (Liberty Bankers Life) B++ (Good)
National Western Life Insurance Company A (Excellent)
Nationwide A+ (Superior)
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance A+ (Superior)
Oxford Life Insurance Company A- (Excellent)
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company A+ (Superior)
Transamerica A (Excellent)
United of Omaha Life Insurance Company A+ (Superior)
AIG A (Excellent)
Global Atlantic Financial Group A (Excellent)
John Hancock Life Insurance Group (AMB# 069542) A+ (Superior)
Lincoln Financial Insurance Group (069556) A+ (Superior)
MetLife Global Benefits A (Excellent)
Midland National Life Insurance Company A+ (Superior)
Mutual of Omaha A+ (Superior)
New York Life A++ (Superior)
Pacific Life A+ (Superior)
Prudential A+ (Superior)
Sagicor A- (Excellent)
TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company A++ (Superior)

Join Thousands of Other Personal Finance Enthusiasts

Get personal finance tips, expert advice and trending money topics in our free newsletter.
Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: June 19, 2023