We are a top-tier retirement income provider specializing in fixed index annuities. Our products are designed to protect principal and guarantee income. We are an American-owned and operated company headquartered in the heart of the Midwest, where we help fund more than half a million retirements across the country.
Our commitment to product integrity and excellent customer service helped establish us as a leading issuer of fixed index annuities. “The One Who Works for You®” serves as more than a company tagline, it is our business philosophy. We were founded on a people-first culture, where excellent service is paramount and you can expect personal, courteous and timely solutions from our team.
Find out more at www.american-equity.com.
A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.
- 2,443,427 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
I have been a customer of American Equity since January of 2009. My wife also opened an account during the same month. In 2008 I took early retirement and rolled over my employer 401k into the Bonus Gold annuity. At the time the US economy was a disaster and the stock market was in a free fall. I received a 10% bonus upon opening the account and my money was much safer than the market. I slept well at night and still do... I became knowledgeable in how the annuity works and the annual investment options that were available.
I was especially pleased with the Lifetime Income Benefit Rider option. I have been quite happy with American Equity and whenever I have reached out - via email or over the phone the experience has been productive and has fully met my expectations. I knew what I was getting into when I opened the annuity. There have been no surprises or confusion and I thank Chuck ** - my agent from the Tucker Advisory Group for being a straight shooter and spending many hours explaining the program to my wife and myself. AE= top notch!
Andrew, American Equity is delighted to read that you are pleased with the benefits of your annuity contract and with your interactions with your agent and the company. We work hard to provide great service and products and appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with others!
Very knowledgeable sales agents, helpful throughout the entire process. The ability to collect payments for the rest of your life was most important. Setting up options for payouts were explained and easy to setup. Monthly payments arrive promptly on the day of the month you choose. Have never had a problem.
Robert, American Equity is delighted to read your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience.
I was recent retired and wanted my money somewhat safe and I would never lose money and would make a minimum of 6%. It seems to never make more than 6% even though the market is sky rocking. We looked at moving and this is where the surprise came in. We were never told that it was like a 16 year contract. If we take our money out before than we would lose a big share of our investment. I ask the representative at the time about this and he said we could take our money out anytime we wanted but omitted the important detail about the huge penalty we would have to pay. Very dishonest in my world.
Tried to contact the company to ask this question and the person would deflect from the question about this and said I will have to get back to you and to this time no return phone call. At my age why would me or anyone sign a 16 year contract on their savings. If I had read these reviews I would have used a different company as I would suspect other people would have.
James, we are sorry to hear about your experience and it is important that we understand your concerns. Someone from our company will be following up with you shortly.
Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.
Months prior to obtaining this annuity, my husband and I met with the representative 5 or 6 times. We discussed our business and were convinced to believe that this person was actually concerned about situation. As time went on the topic changed to this annuity. We ended up losing our business but this didn't stop the rep from pushing us in to something we did not understand completely or couldn't afford. We need that money to get back on our feet after our business loss. For us to take a partial amount out of the annuity will kill us with interest and fees. If we surrender the policy, we will lose half of the money that my husband worked hard for. We haven't heard from our representative since the transaction, which I see is commonplace in many of the comments.
Thank you for sharing your comments. Someone from our company will be in contact with you shortly.
My husband passed away so we called in November to get correct initial investment and gains. The amounts provided were incorrect. Received a letter correcting the error in December, then filed for the payout. They send the wrong amount as the amounts in the account were never corrected. That also stated check was sent in mid December and it was never mailed. Called in early January to inform them the check was incorrect and was assured it would be addressed and a new check for Delta would be sent before the end of January. This did not happen. They filed with IRS incorrect paperwork as well.
I called in February to see why they filed incorrect amount to IRS to get status on if they mailed the check. At this point they claimed they had no notes, and there was no issue. And did not owe me any money. Interesting, as I have date and name of who I spoke to that confirmed their errors on each occasion. And they owe me money and new Tax documents. I have been getting the runaround now for 2 months.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with American Equity on February 7th about your concerns. We are happy we were able to resolve this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need anything in the future.
Have had an annuity for around three years - was told by my rep after me and my wife both purchased an annuity there would be yearly reviews and he would keep in touch. I have never heard one word from him since time of purchase. Overall plan seems to be doing okay but I would rate my representative at total zero.
Hello William, we are sorry to hear about your experience with your agent! We appreciate your feedback and would like to make things right. Someone from our resolution department will be contacting you to assist you.
Realized made huge mistake buying gold annuity from this co. Return very low and contract very long compared to other annuity on the market who perform at a much better rate and give you more flexibility to manage your account. Was convinced by sleazy agent that this was a great deal.
We are sorry to hear about your recent experience Ted. We value your feedback and will be in contact with you shortly.
I contacted American Equity to ask about surrendering my account due to financial hardships because of having to bury my dad. AE contacted me and basically told me that I was out of luck until 2030, unless I wanted to pay the surrender charges which are outrageous. It is horrible to be tied into something and have no way out... And for the percentage it's gaining, I may as well have my money under a mattress. I will not put another penny into this company.
Updated on 11/07/2018: My final words on this trainwreck of an annuity. In my last review in August I expressed my dismay with this product. My prediction of another 0% yearly was wrong. It turned out to be $945 or 3/4 of a percent, WOW! Unfortunately my 11 month summary showed a surprising $7300 return. I then was on the S&P watch for the next month. I watched it dribble down next to nothing and there was nothing I could do. This happened to me 4 years ago as I watched a 11% return drop to 6%. What's the point of the 11 month summary anyway.
In a bad year you know a month early if you're getting no return. In a year that's shows a decent return. You have to cross your fingers like I did and hope for the best or in this case the worst. When they say after your comments you will be contacted it doesn't mean they will help you, just explain what you already know about the product. That you signed etc. Nothing about improving it. She did point out in years I received on return there were indexes that were positive that I could have picked. Now besides lucky it helps to be psychic. I was happy to see some comments where people received a 10% plus 2018 return for the month their annuity started. I guess I also picked the wrong month to buy too. My guess is that their next year won't be nearly as good. The good news for me is only 4 years left on this poor investment and I look forward to getting my 10% out yearly. Thank all of you who read this for taking the time!
Original Review: October 19th 2012 I bought S&P stock index annuity Contract number **. Broker showed me impressive ten-year graph and mentioned the next day he was giving a client the good news of a 12% return for the year. I know returns aren't guaranteed but it was definitely implied, if not why show me anything. As the S&P has almost doubled my return stands at 19%. I expect no return this year so that will be 3 out of 6 years of no return. The broker should have greatly stressed how one or 2 bad months could completely destroy your yearly returns but he didn't. This has all happened in a raging bull market. My expectations for the next 4 years are zero. But not for the horrific surrender charges I'd gladly take my cash and put it into a 3% CD. The product seems like a win for American Equity and the broker but for the investor, it's all about luck and I've had none. I'm sure there are many others with similar stories, Thanks for letting me vent.
Thank you for sharing your comments. Someone from our company will be in contact with you soon.
We tried to make a request for a simple withdrawal of a portion of our account. The first person we spoke to after waiting over 10 days gave us an uneducated response delaying the deposit even longer. The person processing the withdrawal made a 20% error upward to the amount we requested and then taxed the higher amount. All paperwork submitted to American Equity was correct. Their incompetent employees made the errors.
Wen, We are sorry to hear about your experience and thank you for bringing it to our attention. Someone from our office will be contacting you shortly.
This might be fine for younger people who are coming in at a time of low interest rates, but I was confused by Matt ** on this and am stuck with an awful contract, having turned over fixed 3% annuities into this risky low-return disaster. Now I'm stuck with it.
Brenda, We're sorry to hear about your experience. Thank you for your feedback and the time you took to speak with us about your recent review.
My parent owned two annuities from American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. One was a Deferred Annuity that transferred to my siblings and myself without complaint. The second Annuity (I suspect it was a SPIA - Single Premium Immediate Annuity) was annuitized during while my parents were living. Upon the death of each parent, I was appointed as the executor of each Estate. As the Executor I have the duty to collect all funds, file all taxes, and distribute all residual property. Upon the death of my mother (predeceased by my Father) the payments ended. This could possibly be appropriate if the contract was written as such. But the contract could have included a payout for a specific (or minimum) time period.
Today I called American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company to request information regarding the documentation they would require in order to provided the needed details. I was told that they would supply a copy of the contract and/or history only if I have a Court order. I explained that I have a letter of Qualification (issued by the court) showing that I am the individual that has been appointment the court to settle the affairs of the Estates. I was told that this was not adequate. And I need a Court Order before any information would be provided.
I question the origin of the requirement and the Representative stated that it was Company Policy. The representative is willing to tell me verbally that the contract has been closed (i.e., no more payments) but is unwilling to send supporting documentation. This puts me in a bind in two ways. (1) I cannot support with written evidence that I did my duty of collecting all funds of the Estate(s). And (2) The final individual income tax return should possibly include a deduction for the tax loss on this annuity.
Unrecovered Investment in Annuity: A retiree who contributed to the cost of an annuity can exclude from income a part of each payment received as a tax-free return of the retiree's investment. If the retiree dies before the entire investment is recovered tax free, any unrecovered investment can be deducted on the retiree's final income tax return.
Why would a company have a policy of requiring a court order if a person can support that the court assign that same person the duty of collecting all funds, taxing the tax returns, and other duties? There was another complaint about this requirement by another dissatisfied executor. If you buy an American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company's annuity you might be creating a hardship on your children. What do they have to hide? My next call will be to the Virginia Insurance Commissioner.
Sam, we appreciate the time you took to tell us about your experience. It was our pleasure to work with you following your review and we are happy we were able to come to a resolution. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need anything in the future.
American Equity author review by Jim Blankenship
American Equity is an annuity provider that sells multiple types of annuities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They are a publically-traded company that is American-owned and operated.
Product options: American Equity offers a variety of products so that it can meet the all customers’ needs. Their products include traditional fixed annuities, fixed index annuities, flexible premium annuities, single premium annuities and immediate annuities.
Financial strength: Both A.M. Best Company and Standards and Poor have given American Equity an A- rating. The company manages more than $40 billion in assets.
Educational resources: Interested consumers can visit the American Equity website to access several resources. The website offers calculators to help consumers understand the benefits of different types of annuities and a list of helpful links so that consumers can learn more before investing with any company.
Responsive service: American Equity customers can expect a prompt response to their phone calls and contracts are usually issued less than three days.
Consumer guidance: American Equity can offer assistance at any stage of consumers’ annuity purchase, from understanding what an annuity is to receiving the payouts from their annuity.
American Equity Company Information
- Company Name:
- American Equity
- 6000 Westown Parkway
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (888) 221-1234