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AIG Annuities Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

AIG, or American International Group, has been in the annuity, insurance and investment sphere since 1919 and has clients in around 80 countries worldwide. Founder and U.S. citizen Cornelius Vander Starr actually opened up the company’s first branch in China. Before long, though, AIG called New York City home in 1926.

Annuity Fees Annuity Type Minimum Initial Premium More Information
Assured Edge Income Achiever Find an Advisor

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  • 0.95% annual fee
Fixed annuity $25,000

Annuity Type

Fixed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

American Pathway® Fixed Annuity Find an Advisor

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  • No annual charges
Fixed annuity $5,000

Annuity Type

Fixed annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

American Pathway® Immediate Annuity Find an Advisor

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  • No annual charges
Immediate annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Immediate annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Polaris Platinum III Variable Annuity Find an Advisor

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  • $50 annual contract fee
  • 0.46% - 2.11% professional money management fee
  • 0.15% - 0.40% death benefit fee
  • 1.25% - 2.50% living benefit fee
Variable annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Variable annuity

Minimum Initial Premium

Polaris Retirement Protector® Find an Advisor

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  • $50 annual contract maintenance fee
  • 0.46% - 1.98% professional money management fee
  • 0.25% optional death benefit fee
  • 1% - 2.50% Polaris Income Plus rider fee
Variable annuity $10,000

Annuity Type

Variable annuity

Minimum Initial Premium


Based on its stature within the financial world, it should come as no surprise that AIG has received numerous awards in the industry. In 2020 alone, AIG won the Best Individual Life Insurance award from Cover Excellence Awards, as well as Outstanding Insurer of the Year by LifeSearch Awards.

Assured Edge Income Achiever

If you’re looking to open an annuity as early as age 50 in an effort to increase your future retirement payments, the Assured Edge Income Achiever annuity is your top choice at AIG. The basis for this growth is the guaranteed lifetime income amount (GLIA) that’s determined by multiplying your eligible premium and your age based on AIG’s scale. The younger you are, the lower the percentage.

But the major benefit of this annuity comes from the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB). This invaluable perk will increase your GLIA by 6% for every year that you can manage to stave off taking a withdrawal. There is a fee for this, but if used correctly, the financial gains could heavily outweigh this.

You can open this annuity as either an individual or joint account, although GLIA rates are lower for joint annuitants. It also comes with a death benefit that's equal to the greater of your contract value and your minimum withdrawal value. This annuity will maintain a tax-deferred status for you so your money can continue to grow tax-free. The maximum issue age for this product is 80, and the minimum investment is $25,000.


This annuity automatically includes a GLWB, but it doesn’t come without an annual fee of 0.95%. This is charged from the value of your contract on every anniversary.

AIG allows up to 10% withdrawals during the first 10 years of your contract’s life, but anything above that amount is subject to a withdrawal fee. This opens at 9% for your first year, and falls a percentage point nearly every year after that.

Annuitants who take money from their annuity prior to turning 59.5 years old run the risk of being charged an income surtax of 10%.

Realistic Return Expectations

The longer you wait to take withdrawals from the Assured Edge Income Achiever, the higher your lifetime income will be. So the earlier you open this annuity, the more time you’ll leave yourself to earn additional income.

American Pathway® Fixed Annuity

The American Pathway® Fixed Annuity offers the ability to accrue interest on a tax-deferred basis, meaning the IRS will not be able to charge you taxes until you begin receiving payments. This particular contract comes in two different iterations: the American Pathway Fixed 5 Annuity and the American Pathway Fixed 7 Annuity.

The American Pathway Fixed 5 Annuity offers a guaranteed fixed interest rate for a one-, three- or five-year term, whereas the American Pathway Fixed 7 Annuity offers a guaranteed period that can last for one, three or seven years. You have the freedom to choose which works best for your retirement plans. Once this initial term ends, your fixed rate will be renewed annually for continuing one-year terms.

If you want to ensure that your investment is protected, you can choose to add on the optional return-of-premium guarantee. While there is no fee for this promise, your opening interest rate will be lower than normal.

A death benefit is a part of this package, as is a withdrawal charge waiver should you be put in extended care for 90 days or longer or be diagnosed with a terminal illness. If you leave your death benefit to your spouse, he or she can either take a full withdrawal or take over as the new account holder. All other beneficiaries must choose between income payments or a full withdrawal.

There is a 85-year-old maximum issue age for this annuity.


There is no sales charge or annual fee associated with this annuity. There is a withdrawal charge, though, if you take a payment higher than the approved amount during your first five or seven years as a contract holder. These fees start at 9% and lower every 12 months until they finally reach zero when the sixth and eighth years arrive, respectively.

Age 59.5 is the cutoff date for the IRS’ sizable 10% income tax hike on early withdrawals from retirement accounts. So if at all possible, wait until you’re at least that old to receive payments.

Realistic Return Expectations

AIG does not release annuity interest rates online, so it would be best to call the company to learn more about its current rates.

American Pathway® Immediate Annuity

If you want the benefits of an annuity but it’s a bit too late to get a traditional one, the American Pathway® Immediate Annuity is a perfect option. It comes with a maximum issue age of 90. You can make anywhere from a $10,000 to $1 million initial premium payment to get started and payments will begin within the first year of your contract’s life. Income distributions can be paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually, and if you want, AIG will send all or part of them to another party, such as a family member.

Even though this is far from a traditional annuity, it will still maintain a tax-deferred standing so long as it’s funded with previously tax-deferred assets. Furthermore, to help account for inflation or other increasing life costs, AIG allows annuitants to expand their payments by 1% to 5% on each income start date anniversary.


There are virtually no extraneous fees with this annuity. And because the whole purpose of this contract is to grant you withdrawals on an immediate basis, there are no early withdrawal charges.

Should you start receiving annuity payments before you reach age 59.5, the IRS may tack on a 10% income surtax. This could be a devastating burden, so try to avoid it in any way you can.

Realistic Return Expectations

The returns associated with the American Pathway® Immediate Annuity are extremely subjective based on your personal situation. Contact your financial advisor or AIG directly to find out what your payments could look like.

Polaris Platinum III Variable Annuity

The Polaris Platinum III Variable Annuity allows you to build a portfolio of investments that will help you earn for your eventual retirement. But because of the inherent risk that comes with putting money in the market, you may not feel as secure as you would with a fixed annuity. On the other hand, the chance to earn better returns is significantly higher, so long as the investments you select work out. 85 is the maximum issue age of this annuity, and the minimum investment is $10,000.

AIG offers Polaris Income Plus Daily® and Polaris Income Plus®, two separate income protection benefit riders, at an extra cost if you want additional insurance for your invested assets. You must add these on at the time of your purchase, and only those age 45 or older will be eligible. Each of these benefits have a single- and joint-life option, with joint-life fees being slightly higher.

There are also two death benefits to choose from, and you must pick one. The Return of Purchase Payment Death Benefit leaves your beneficiaries with what you gave in purchase payments, minus withdrawals. The more expensive option is the Maximum Anniversary Value Death Benefit, which pays out the highest value of your contract prior to your 83rd birthday.


The most prevalent charges listed for this annuity are its 0.46% to 2.11% professional money management fee and $50 contract maintenance fee. While the former is unavoidable, the latter is waivable should your contract be worth at least $75,000.

The death benefits include fees of 0.15% and 0.40%, with the highest rate reserved for the Maximum Anniversary Value benefit. For the Polaris Income Plus® rider, single and joint annuitants will owe 1.25% on an annual basis. The Polaris Income Plus Daily® Flex rider comes with the same fee.

There is a seven-year window that follows the creation of your contract during which you will be charged for withdrawals made past the 10% allotted annual amount. The rate opens at 8% and drops a percentage point for each year that passes. When your account is eight years old, all withdrawals are fee-free.

The withdrawal fee schedule listed above isn’t the only cost that could accompany early distributions. An IRS policy indicates that any annuitants who take withdrawals from an account before age 59.5 may find themselves subject to a surcharge income tax of 10%.

Realistic Return Expectations

There are a ton of different investment opportunities available at AIG, and they are offered through the company’s money managers, including Fidelity and Morgan Stanley. They’ve been divided up by asset classes like “Large Growth,” “Small and Mid Cap,” “Foreign and Global Stock,” “Emerging Markets” and more. Returns are therefore unpredictable, as they are reliant on future market performance.

Polaris Retirement Protector®

The Polaris Retirement Protector® annuity is a variable contract that combines the perks of a portfolio of investments and any subsequent returns with the safe and lower-risk nature of an annuity. There are more than 100 investment options that annuitants can select from to help grow their assets tax-deferred. This means that until you begin taking payments from your contract, the IRS won’t touch your money. This annuity carries a maximum issue age of 85 and minimum investment of $10,000.

The standard death benefit that comes with this annuity is the greater of your contract value or your net purchase payments. However, if you chose to annex the Polaris Income Plus rider to your contract, this death benefit will instead be the greater of your contract value or your purchase payments, minus any withdrawals before the rider was terminated.

If you so choose, you can upgrade your death benefit to the Maximum Anniversary Value Death Benefit for an extra fee. Should you go this route, things will work basically the same as the standard death benefit, only your beneficiary's payout in this case will be the greater of your contract value, net purchase payments or the maximum anniversary value on any of your contract anniversaries prior to your 83rd birthday.


There’s a wide range of fees involved with this annuity, likely because of the return potential it possesses. It all starts with a $50 annual fee that AIG will ignore if your contract surpasses $75,000 in value. If you decide to upgrade to the Maximum Anniversary Value Death Benefit, you’ll face another 0.25% annual fee. The contract's optional living benefit, called the Polaris Income Plus rider, will cost you anywhere from 1% to 2.5% annually.

During the first five years of your contract’s life, AIG will let you withdraw up to 10% of your contract value each year. But should you move past that limit, a declining withdrawal charge schedule beginning at 8% will take effect. After that half a decade passes, all withdrawals are free.

The IRS charges annuitants a 10% income surtax if they begin taking payments before age 59.5. You shouldn’t waste your retirement money if you don’t have to, so wait as long as you can before accepting distributions.

Realistic Return Expectations

AIG has partner relationships with a number of massive money managers, like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, T. Rowe Price and even more. These financial institutions and advisory firms combine to form a portfolio of varied equity, fixed-income/cash and asset allocation-focused investments. Because the returns associated with these portfolios are based on market performance, long-term gains are largely unpredictable.

Tips for Choosing an Annuity

  • Annuities are extremely complicated products that can be hard to understand and evaluate if you’ve never been exposed to anything like them before. The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool can set you up with three fiduciary advisors in your area who have ample experience in these situations to help you make your final decisions. Get started now.
  • Research is the most important factor in the choosing of any financial product, and annuities are no different. With the abundance of online information at an all-time high, there’s no excuse for not knowing all the options laid out before you.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Best Places for Small Business Owners

SmartAsset analyzed data to find the best places for small business owners in the country. This interactive map shows the best counties for small business owners in the U.S. and in each state. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any county to learn about that region's small business statistics.

Rank County Small Business Returns Small Business Income Income Taxes

Methodology Which places are best for small businesses owners? To answer this question, we considered three factors: the proportion of people in a county with small business income, how much business income those people reported and the amount of tax a potential resident must pay on their income.

To determine how attractive a region is for small business owners, we compared the number of tax returns that report small business income compared to the total tax-filing population of the region. Next, we compared the total amount of small business income to the overall amount of income reported in each region.

Small businesses are typically incorporated as pass-through entities, meaning that the business owners pay income taxes on the company profits rather than the company itself paying income tax. Because of this, income taxes can play a major role in determining the financial success of a given small business. To determine income tax burdens across counties, we used the national median household income. We then applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for each location.

These three factors were then indexed and equally weighted to yield our small business index. Places with the highest small business index are the places which ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), US Census Bureau 2018 American Community Survey, Government Sources, SmartAsset