Jackson National Life Insurance Review

Annuity products to supplement your retirement

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Jackson

Jackson

Our Take

Founded in 1961, Jackson National Life Insurance is based in Michigan. Despite its name, the company no longer offers life insurance products. Instead, it specializes in fixed and variable annuities to help Americans in their retirement.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple annuity options

  • Online education tools available

  • You can supplement your retirement

Cons
  • Financial professionals and agents have an incentive to sell you products

  • Life insurance products not available

  • Annuities cannot be purchased online

Key Takeaways
  • Jackson National Life Insurance Company is based in Lansing, Michigan
  • In 2019, Jackson was the top seller of total annuities
  • The company offers variable and fixed annuity products only
  • Its life insurance policies are no longer available
  • Jackson is the founding member of the Alliance for Lifetime Income
Company Overview

The company is a subsidiary of Prudential PLC, a British insurer that isn’t affiliated with Prudential Individual Life. While the company is officially run under the name Jackson National Life Insurance Company, its marketing name is simply Jackson. 

Primarily selling annuities through financial advisors and brokers, Jackson specializes in variable, fixed, and fixed index annuities. In 2019, the Secure Retirement Institute reported that Jackson was the top seller of total annuities in the United States. 

Jackson is the founding member of the Alliance for Lifetime Income, a non-profit organization focused on educating people about the protected lifetime income offered in annuities.

  • Year Founded 1961
  • Kinds of Plans Annuities
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly
  • Customer Service Phone
  • Phone 877-565-2968
  • Official Website www.jackson.com
Important

Jackson National Life is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • Multiple annuity options: Jackson has multiple annuity products available, including fixed, variable, and fixed index annuities. 
  • Online education tools available: There are multiple tools, calculators, and resources you can use to calculate your income needs in retirement and plan for your future. 
  • You can supplement your retirement: With an annuity, you have a guaranteed income stream in retirement. They can be useful options to supplement your retirement savings. 

Cons Explained

  • Financial professionals and agents have an incentive to sell you products: Annuities are sold by some insurance agents, brokers, and financial professionals. They receive a commission based on the annuity sold, so they have a financial incentive to encourage you to purchase an annuity. 
  • Life insurance products are not available: Jackson no longer offers life insurance products. If you are looking for a term, universal, or whole life policy, you’ll have to work with another company. 
  • Annuities cannot be purchased online: You cannot get a quote or purchase annuities online from Jackson. Instead, you have to work with an insurance agent or financial professional. 
Important

Annuities funded with after-tax money are not subject to required minimum distributions.

Available Plans

Annuities operate differently than life insurance policies. Annuities are financial products that give you a guaranteed income stream during your retirement. With an annuity, you typically make monthly or lump-sum payments during its accumulation phase. Once it reaches its annuitization phase, the annuity issues regular payments to the account holder. 

Customers can purchase fixed, fixed index, and variable annuities through Jackson. However, not all of its annuities are available in all states. Online quotes are not available; you’ll have to contact an insurance agent or financial professional to get a quote and purchase an annuity. 

Fixed Annuity

Jackson’s fixed annuities are best suited for conservative investors. They typically have a lower level of risk than other annuities and provide a steady stream of income. 

Fixed annuities are insurance contracts that guarantee that Jackson will pay you a fixed interest rate on your contributions for a predetermined period. After your initial guaranteed term, renewal interest rates can vary annually. 

Fixed Index Annuity

A fixed index annuity’s income payments are related to the performance of a stock market index, such as the S&P 500. Fixed index annuities have more growth potential than fixed annuities, but tend to pose less risk than variable annuities. 

They usually have a guaranteed minimum return, but if your annuity performs well, you could earn a higher return. 

Variable Annuity

Variable annuities are long-term investment products that can offer potential tax-deferred growth. However, there is risk involved, and your investment can lose value. The interest rate of your annuity is linked to an investment portfolio. If your portfolio performs well, you can get higher payments. But your payments can decrease if the portfolio doesn’t perform well. 

Available Riders

Like life insurance policies, annuities typically allow you to add riders to your contract. Riders are provisions that can adjust your benefits, but adding riders to your contract can increase the annuity’s cost. 

Jackson offers the following riders for its annuities: 

Death Benefit

Available on variable annuities, the death benefit rider provides a payout if the annuitant—the person entitled to the annuity payments—passes away. The death benefit is usually equal to whatever amount is invested. 

Living Benefit

The living benefit rider is available on variable annuities and guarantees payouts while the annuitant is still alive. 

Annuity earnings are taxable as ordinary income when distributed and may be subject to a 10% penalty tax if you take withdraws before you reach age 59½.

Customer Service

With Jackson, you purchase annuities through an insurance agent, broker, or financial professional; you cannot purchase one yourself through its website, nor can you get quotes online. 

Annuity contract owners can contact Jackson with questions between Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. You can reach customer support at 800-644-4565. You can also use a secure email form to submit questions online. 

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a database of all customer complaints against insurance companies. Every year, the NAIC releases companies’ complaint ratios, a score that reflects the number of complaints they received relative to their market shares. 

The national complaint index is 1.0. A company that receives a high number of complaints relative to its market share will have a complaint ratio above 1.0, and a company with fewer complaints will have a ratio below 1.0. 

Jackson typically receives fewer complaints each year than would be expected for a company of its size. In 2019, its complaint ratio was 0.47, well below the national complaint index. 

Third-Party Ratings

In 2020, AM Best, the credit rating agency dedicated to the insurance industry, affirmed Jackson’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR). Jackson has an “A” (Excellent) FSR, recognizing the company’s strong operating performance. 

In the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Life Insurance Study, Jackson was ranked seventh out of 15 annuity providers, with a rating that was slightly below the industry average. The study took into account factors like companies’ product offerings, pricing, and communication with customers. 

Cancellation Policy

Jackson’s annuities are subject to a 10-day free look period, though the free look period can be longer in some states. During the free look period, you can terminate your contract without paying surrender fees, and you’ll receive a refund for the amount you paid. 

Once the free look period expires, your account may be subject to charges and penalties if you cancel, so read your contract carefully. 

Price

For pricing, Jackson’s annuities were ranked slightly below average by J.D. Power. Quotes are not available online, and you’ll have to contact an insurance agent or broker for information about fees on the annuities. 

Competition

While annuities provide income in retirement, life insurance is designed to protect your beneficiaries if you die. 

Because Jackson only offers annuity products, you are better off working with another company if you want a term, whole, or universal life policy. 

If you’re looking for a reputable life insurance company, consider State Farm. The company offers term, universal, and whole life policies, or you can select a policy that covers only your final expenses. 

State Farm was ranked the top individual life insurance company in the 2020 J.D. Power Life Insurance Study, with a rating of “above average” for its pricing and product offerings.

    Jackson   State Farm
Market Share  Top provider of total annuities Seventh-largest life insurance provider in U.S., 3.5%
Number of Plans 3 10
Dividends for 2020 Not applicable $600 million
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives Not applicable Not applicable
Service Method Financial professional, broker, insurance agent Agents, online
AM Best Rating A (Excellent) A++ (Superior)
J.D. Power’s Price Rank Fair Above Average
Complaints Trend 0.47 0.14
Verdict

If you’re looking for annuities to supplement your income, Jackson is a top provider of fixed, fixed index, and variable annuity products. The company also has riders you can add to your contract to adjust your benefits. 

However, annuities may not be enough to protect your family as you wish. You may consider getting a life insurance policy instead, or apply for both an annuity and a life insurance policy to provide for your long-term needs. 

How We Review Life Insurance Companies

Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative approach that analyzes each insurer on their stability and reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with that of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation. 

Learn more: Read our full Life Insurance Methodology.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. LIMRA. "Secure Retirement Institute: U.S. Annuity Rankings Reveal New #1 in 2019." Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  2. Annuity.org. "Annuity Fee and Commissions." Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  3. Annuity.org. "Required Minimum Distributions." Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  4. Alabama Department of Insurance. "How About Taxes?" Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  5. NAIC. "Jackson National Life Insurance Company." Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  6. Businesswire. "AM Best Downgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of Jackson National Life Insurance Company and Its Affiliates; Affirms Financial Strength Rating." Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  7. J.D. Power. "Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.

  8. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form S-1: Jackson National Life Insurance Company," Page 11. Accessed Jan. 15, 2021.