10 Best Fixed Index Annuity Companies

10 Best Fixed Index Annuity Companies with 100 dollar bill being pulled from stock charts

Who are the Best Fixed Index Annuity Companies?

Fixed Index Annuities have increased in popularity over the last five years resulting in many more top-rated annuity companies entering the market. In this article, we’ll list the top ten best fixed index annuity companies based on total sales in 2019.

So without further ado let’s get started.

 

The 10 Best Fixed Index Annuity Companies

 

  1. Allianz Life of North America
  2. Athene Annuity & Life
  3. AIG Companies (American General Life Insurance)
  4. Nationwide Life Insurance Company
  5. American Equity Investment Life
  6. Lincoln Financial Group (LFG)
  7. Jackson National
  8. Global Atlantic Financial Group
  9. Pacific Life
  10. Great American Life Insurance Company

In This Guide

Best Fixed Indexed Annuity Companies by the Numbers

Each year the Secure Retirement Institute publishes total U.S. Individual Fixed Annuity Sales and breaks out the results for the top 20 Annuity Companies. 

In addition to overall annuity sales, they also break out the results by types of annuities including best fixed index annuity companies, fixed annuity companies, and top variable annuity companies as well.

In 2019 total U.S. Individual Fixed Index Annuity Sales were $73,500,000,000 and the top 20 annuity companies accounted for $64,555,688,000 of it, or 88%. 

One interesting note is that all of the top 10 best fixed index annuity companies in 2019 are top-rated annuity companies with an AM Best Rating of A or better, except for American Equity which is rated A-. 

On the contrary, the majority of the Best Fixed Annuity Companies in 2019 were lesser-rated insurance companies.

2019 U.S. Individual Fixed Index Annuity Sales

The table below lists the top 10 best fixed index annuity companies in order by the dollar amount of individual U.S. fixed index annuity sales in thousands. So for instance, Allianz Life’s total fixed index annuity sales were $8.36 Billion in 2019.

Source: Secure Retirement Institute* U.S. Individual Annuities Sales Survey

RankCompany nameIndexed
1Allianz Life $8,358,718
2Athene $6,122,393
3AIG Companies$6,026,956
4Nationwide$5,455,800
5American Equity $4,705,319
6Lincoln Financial$4,122,282
7Jackson$3,738,838
8Global Atlantic $3,607,134
9Pacific Life$3,321,109
10Great American$3,142,476

10 Best Fixed Index Annuity Companies

Allianz annuity logo - best fixed index annuity company 2016-2020

#1. Allianz Life

Allianz LifeRating
5701 Golden Hills Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55416
A.M. Best RatingA+
Moody's (21 rankings)A1 (5)
Comdex (percentile of all rated companies)94
Standard & Poor's (20 Possible Ratings)AA (3)
Athene annuity logo

#2. Athene

Athene Financial RatingsRating
7700 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A (3)
Fitch Ratings (21 possible)A (6)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)78
Standard & Poor's (20 possible ratings)A (6)
Aig logo

#3. AIG Companies

American General Life Insurance CompanyRating
A.M. Best Company (Best's Ratings, 15 Ratings)A (3)
Moody's (Financial Strength, 21 Ratings)A2 (6)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)A+ (5)
Fitch Ratings (Financial Strength, 21 Ratings)A+ (5)
Weiss (Safety Rating, 16 Ratings)B (5)
Comdex Ranking (Percentile in Rated Companies)82
Nationwide annuity logo - #4 indexed annuity company

#4. Nationwide

Nationwide Life & Annuity CompanyRating
One Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH 43215
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A+ (2)
Moody's (21 possible ratings)A1 (5)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)A+ (5)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)90
American equity investment life insurance company logo

#5. American Equity

American EquityRating
6000 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A- (4)
Fitch (21 possible ratings)A- (7)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)A- (7)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)60
Lincoln financial group annuity logo

#6. Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial GroupRating
1300 South Clinton St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A+ (2)
Moody's (21 possible ratings)A1 (5)
Fitch (21 possible ratings)A+ (5)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)AA- (4)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)90
Jackson national annuity logo

#7. Jackson National

Jackson National Life Insurance CompanyRating
1 Corporate Way, Lansing, MI 48951
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A (3)
Moody's (21 possible ratings)A1 (5)
Fitch (21 possible ratings)A+ (5)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)A+ (5)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)84
Global atlantic logo - top fixed index annuity company list 2020

#8. Global Atlantic Financial Group

Global Atlantic Financial Group Rating
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A (3)
Moody's (21 possible ratings)A3 (7)
Fitch (21 possible ratings)A (6)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)A- (7)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)75
Pacific life insurance company annuity logo

#9. Pacific Life

Pacific Life Insurance Company Rating
700 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A+ (2)
Moody's (21 possible ratings)A1 (5)
Fitch (21 possible ratings)AA- (4)
Standard & Poor's (Financial Strength, 20 Ratings)AA- (4)
Comdex (percentile of all rating companies)93

#1 Annuity: Pacific Index Edge

Great american annuity logo

#10. Great American (GALIC)

Great American Life Insurance CompanyRating
301 E Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
A.M. Best Rating (15 possible ratings)A+ (2)
Moody's (21 possible ratings)A2 (6)
Standard & Poor's (20 possible ratings)A+ (5)
Comdex (percentile of all rated companies)82

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Visit our online annuity store to shop and compare today’s best fixed index annuity rates and best fixed annuity rates. Or learn more about income annuities and how much an annuity would pay you per month.

Best Fixed Index Annuity Companies

Allianz Life, Athene, and AIG are the best-fixed index annuity companies. What I think is quite telling is each of these three has been in the top five each of the last five years, as you see in the table below.

Annuity Company20202019 20182017 2016
Allianz21111
Athene12223
AIG33445
Nationwide74337
American Equity95662

While I realize making a blanket statement that the annuity companies with the most fixed index annuity sales are the best annuity companies; in this case, it is my belief the numbers don’t lie. At least for the top four out of five spots.

The best annuity for you will be determined by your individual goals and objectives, but generally speaking, Allianz, Athene and AIG are the best fixed index annuity companies. 

Best Annuity Companies

The table below lists the best annuity companies based on total U.S. Individual Annuity Sales as reported in the Secure Retirement Institutes 2020 Annuity Sales survey. 

Annuity Sales are listed in Billions so, for example, Jackson National sold $17.92 Billion of Annuities in 2020. 

Total sales numbers include the annuity company’s fixed annuity, fixed index annuity, income annuities, variable annuity, and registered index-linked annuity sales. Structured settlements and group annuity sales are not included.

Annuity Company2020 Annuity Sales
Jackson National Life $17,923,072
AIG Companies $14,516,417
New York Life $13,735,311
Lincoln Financial Group $11,565,013
Equitable Financial $10,502,550
Allianz Life of North America $9,867,018
TIAA $8,619,000
Brighthouse Financial $8,357,188
Sammons Financial Companies $8,351,043
Athene Annuity & Life $7,838,129
Nationwide $7,561,500
Prudential Annuities $7,088,001
Pacific Life $6,944,644
Massachusetts Mutual Life $6,882,729
Global Atlantic Financial Group $6,700,026

Best Indexed Annuity Companies 2020

UPDATED 3/22/21: Athene Life and Annuity was the number one fixed index annuity company in 2020 surpassing Allianz Life; according to the Secure Retirement Institute’s 2020 U.S. Individual Fixed Index Annuity Sales Survey released March 9, 2021. 

The 3 top index annuity companies remained the same as in 2019; Allianz, Athene, and AIG. However, the order did change as Athene leap-frogged Allianz for the number one spot.

Allianz Life saw their index annuity sales decrease 40% from their 2019 numbers but still managed to hang on to the number two spot. AIG remained the 3rd best-fixed index annuity company in 2020.

The table below lists the top 20 fixed indexed annuity companies of 2020 based on U.S. Individual Fixed Index Annuity Sales according to the Secure Retirement Institute 2020 Annuity sales survey; in order (sales results are in Billions).

Annuity CompanyIndexed
Athene Annuity & Life Co.$5,846,106
Allianz Life of North America$5,016,919
AIG Companies$4,542,675
Sammons Financial Companies$3,743,678
Fidelity & Guaranty Life$3,458,101
Global Atlantic Financial Group$3,071,197
Nationwide$2,935,700
Security Benefit Life$2,882,395
Great American$2,348,040
American Equity Investment Life$2,338,390
EquiTrust Life$1,624,196
Delaware Life$1,601,571
Lincoln Financial Group$1,449,640
National Life Group$1,309,393
Protective Life$1,279,550
Bankers Life & Casualty$1,109,115
Symetra Financial$1,091,988
Pacific Life$1,012,959
Jackson National Life$1,000,778
Prudential Annuities$837,668

Best Fixed Index Annuity Rates 2021

This list of best fixed index annuity rates is based on the highest S&P 500 annual point-to-point with a cap crediting strategy.

There are many other indexes and crediting options available; too many to list them here in a single table. 

Visit our index annuity online store to view more best fixed index annuity rates for 2021.

Annuity CompanyFixed Index AnnuityRatingCapTerm
SILACDenali 14B+6.7514 yrs
Sentinel Security LifeAccumulation Protector PlusB++6.0010 yrs
SILACDenali 10B+5.5010 yrs
Great American Life (GALIC)American Legend 7 High BandA+5.257 yrs
SILACDenali 7B+5.007 yrs
Guaranty Income LifeWealthChoice 7B++5.007 yrs
Great American Life (GALIC)American Legend 7 High BandA+5.007 yrs
Fidelity & Guaranty LifeProsperity Elite 10 ProtectionA-5.0010 yrs
Fidelity & Guaranty LifeProsperity Elite 7 EnhancementA-5.007 yrs
American National (ANICO)Strategy Index Annuity PLUS 10A5.0010 yrs
Sentinel Security LifeAccumulation Protector PlusB++4.8010 yrs
SILACTeton 10B+4.7510 yrs
Guaranty Income LifeWealthChoice 5B++4.505 yrs
American Equity IncomeShield 7A-4.507 yrs
Oxford Life InsuranceSelect 10A-4.5010 yrs
Nassau Life and AnnuityNassau Growth Annuity 10 Group BB+4.5010 yrs
American General (AIG)Power 10 Protector High BandA4.5010 yrs
American General (AIG)Power 7 Protector A4.407 yrs
Great American Life (GALIC)American Landmark 5 High BandA+4.305 yrs
American General (AIG)Power 5 Protector High BandA4.305 yrs
Guggenheim Life and Annuity Highlander 7B++4.257 yrs
Guggenheim Life and Annuity ViStarB++4.2510 yrs
EquiTrustMarket Value IndexB++4.2510 yrs

What is a Fixed Index Annuity?

A fixed index annuity is a type of fixed annuity that credits interest based on the performance of an external market index rather than a guaranteed annuity rate.

An indexed annuity offers an opportunity to earn more interest when the markets perform and provide downside protection from a potential market downturn.

NOTE: You may also hear fixed index annuities referred to as:

  • FIA
  • Equity Indexed Annuity
  • EIA
  • Hybrid Annuity
  • Indexed Annuity

The below infographic illustrates where a fixed index annuity falls between a fixed annuity and variable annuity as well as other investment vehicles on the investment continuum.

Indexed annuities have increased in popularity largely because they offer the most growth potential of any investment that provides principal protection; especially where today’s CD rates are at.

 

Investment continuum chart illustrating where a fixed index annuity falls relative to other investment vehicles.

How Do Fixed Index Annuities Work?

The amount of interest you will earn in an fixed index annuity is based on the performance of an external stock market index.

You are not directly investing in the stock market and you can not lose money in a fixed index annuity due to stock market declines. 

Crediting Methods and factors are then applied to the index performance to determine your interest rate.

Annual Point to Point Crediting Method

Annual point to point uses the index value from only two points in time making it simple and straightforward to calculate.

Calculating index performance using the annual point-to-point method:

  1. Subtract the index at the end of the term from the value at the beginning of the term.
  2. If you have a positive number then the index performed and you divide it by the starting value to get the percent increase.

Annual point to point chart for index annuity crediting method

Step #1: 107,000(end) – 100,000(initial) = 7,000 positive change in index value.

Step #2 : 7,000 (end) / 100,000(initial) = 7% index performance.

Applying the Crediting Factors

There are three fixed index annuity crediting methods available in index annuities:

  1. Spread (Assume 2%)- index’s increase (7%) – spread (2%) = 5% interest earned.
  2. Cap – (Assume 5%) 100% of the index’s increase (7%) up to the cap(5%) = 5% interest earned.
  3. Participation Rate – (Assume 50%) The index’s increase 7% X  (50%) = 3.50% (the participation rate) = interest earned.
Recommended Reading

Fixed Index Annuity vs. Variable Annuity

The line chart below compares the sales of variable annuities (VA) and fixed index annuities (FIA) in the United States from 2006 to 2020. 

Variable annuities are represented by the blue line while the red line represents fixed indexed annuity sales.

Fixed index annuity sales vs variable annuity sales (2007 to 2020)line graph

As you can see, variable annuities have decreased in popularity significantly while fixed index annuities are becoming increasingly popular. 

VA sales decreased from approximately $185 Billion in 2006 to ~$100 Billion in 2020 while FIA sales increased from ~$75 Billion to ~$120 Billion during the same timeframe.

This is due in large part to the high cost and fees associate with variable annuities.

Typical Variable Annuity Fees

  1. M&E (mortality and expense) – average around .50%
  2. Sub-Account Fees – average 1.00%
  3. Optional Rider Fees (income rider or death benefit rider) – Average 1.00% each
If you are considering purchasing a variable annuity you may want to visit U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Variable Annuities: What You Should Know investor tips.

Fixed Index Annuity Fees

Fixed Index Annuity Fees
  1. No Sub-Account Fees
  2. No M&E Fees
  3. Death Benefit is Full Account Value – No Fee
  4. Optional Income Riders – Typically .95% to 1.25% annually

Best Uncapped Fixed Index Annuities

Allianz, AIG, and Athene have all been innovators in the indexed annuity space and I would attribute much of their success to that fact.

Specifically, they all have uncapped crediting strategies and offer proprietary volatility-managed indexes.

For more comprehensive information read our best stock market index options available in an index annuity guide which ranks the top indexes and crediting strategies based on historical hypothetical returns.

Best Indexes Available in an Index Annuity

Based on historical back-testing I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the best stock market indices available in a fixed index annuity with uncapped crediting options. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You may reallocate available funds at the end of each crediting period on your contract anniversary. You have 30 days to submit a re-allocation form and if you do nothing your allocations will remain the same as the previous year.

It is important to note that a fixed index annuity is an insurance contract issued by an insurance company and is not a security. As such, they will not generate equity-like returns. They are a good retirement savings vehicle that provides a safe and steady way to grow your retirement savings. 

You can not lose money in a fixed index annuity due to a potential stock market crash. A fixed index annuity can only decrease in value due to withdrawals or fees for optional riders.

Fixed Index Annuities do not have any fees in general; however, there are optional income riders, long term care riders, and death benefit riders that can be added to an index annuity for a fee. 

  • Gains are limited by a crediting method or “limiting factor”
  • Fixed index annuity contracts can be complex and difficult to compare
  • Indexed annuity contracts vary greatly from insurance company to company
  • They are highly customizable and typically require an experts assistance
  • Surrender penalties for withdrawals above the annual free withdrawal provision
  • Potential 10% IRS tax penalty for withdrawals prior to age 59 ½
  • Interest crediting factors (cap, participation rate and spreads) can change on the contract anniversary date.

An Uncapped Fixed Index Annuity refers to an indexed annuity with a crediting method that does not cap the interest your account can be credited in any given year. Instead of a cap, uncapped options use a spread or participation rate crediting method.

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