Nassau Life Insurance Company Review

Plan for retirement with annuities and Medicare supplemental insurance

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Nassau

Nassau

Our Take

Nassau Life Insurance Company issues Medicare supplemental insurance and a range of annuities for retirement planning purposes. The company no longer sells term or final expense life insurance policies to new clients. While other companies have better financial strength ratings, Nassau may be a good option for people looking to purchase annuities thanks to the company’s strong reputation for customer service. 

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Annual free withdrawals offered with all plans

  • Flexible payment options

  • Multiple allocation options

  • Riders available to customize your annuity

Cons
  • Limited customer service hours

  • Interest rate on fixed accounts may change after one year

  • Single-premium plans only

  • Fixed-index annuities won’t perform as well as the stock market

Key Takeaways
  • Nassau Life Insurance sells fixed and fixed-indexed annuities with riders available for many plans. The company does not sell life insurance or variable annuities. 
  • Nassau Life Insurance has a B+ (Good) financial strength rating from AM Best. While that’s not a bad rating, many other life insurance companies have achieved better scores. 
  • Nassau Life doesn’t provide information about pricing or commission fees online. Before purchasing an annuity, ask an agent about commission fees, which may be built into the contract.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1851
  • Kinds of Plans Annuities, Medicare Supplement Insurance
  • Number of Plans 6
  • Payment Options Varies by plan
  • Official Website NFG.com

Nassau Life Insurance Company ceased selling life insurance products last year and now offers annuities and Medicare supplement insurance. We researched Nassau Life’s financial strength, customer satisfaction, customer service options, website tools, available plans, and available riders to help you compare the life insurance policy options that Nassau offers with the competition. 

Company Overview

Nassau Life Insurance Company, formerly Phoenix Life & Annuity Company, was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Hartford, CT. The company acquired Foresters Life & Annuity Company in 2020 and also stopped accepting new life insurance applications in 2020. Nassau is still servicing existing policies, however, including life insurance policies issued by Foresters. Nassau also offers Medicare supplement insurance, which is designed to fill in gaps in Medicare coverage. 

Nassau does not currently offer annuities in MA or ME, and in other states, product options may vary. The Nassau Simple Annuity may be purchased online, but you’ll need to contact an agent for details or to apply for another one of Nassau’s annuity contracts. If you’re seeking a life insurance policy, you’ll need to contact another company. 

Nassau has more than $27 billion in assets and serves more than 500,000 contract holders and policyholders. 

Available Plans

Nassau offers six different annuity products with different features. Note that not all plans will be available in every state. 

Nassau Growth Annuity

This single-premium annuity lets you choose to allocate your account to the S&P 500 index, the Smart Passage SG index, and/or a fixed interest rate. You’ll also be able to select from several crediting strategies, such as applying a cap or participation rate to index gains. You can also pay a strategy fee to increase your participation rate. Interest is guaranteed to never be less than 0%. 

You can choose a surrender charge period of seven or 10 years, during which you will be entitled to a free annual withdrawal of up to 10% of the contract value. In most states, if the contract was issued before age 80, surrender charges are waived if you become confined to a hospital or nursing home per the terms of the policy. Your surrender value and death benefit will never be less than your paid premium minus any withdrawals and rider fees. There are also two options for guaranteed lifetime income riders available with this plan. 

Nassau Personal Income Annuity

With this single-premium annuity, you can choose to allocate your account to the S&P 500 index, the CS Tactical Multi Asset index, and/or a fixed interest rate. You’ll have seven payment options to choose from when your contract reaches maturity. You’ll also be able to choose from several crediting strategies, and interest is guaranteed to never be less than 0%. This plan also offers two options for guaranteed lifetime income riders that each come with bonuses on the benefit base. 

This contract comes with a surrender charge period of 10 years (nine years in CA), during which you’re allowed an annual free withdrawal of up to 10% of the contract value. In most states, if you are under 80 at the age of issue, surrender charges will be waived if you become confined to a hospital or nursing home per the terms of the policy. The surrender value and death benefit will never be less than 87.5% of your accumulated premium less withdrawals and rider fees. 

Nassau Personal Protection Choice

This single-premium indexed annuity comes with seven payment options after contract maturity and can be allocated to the S&P 500 index, the CS Tactical Multi Asset index, and/or a fixed account. You can choose from a variety of crediting strategies and interest will never be less than 0%. In most states, if you are under 80 at the age of issue, surrender charges will be waived if you become confined to a hospital or nursing home per the terms of the policy.

This annuity has a 10-year surrender charge period (nine years in CA), during which you can take annual free withdrawals of up to 10% of the contract value. You can choose between two guaranteed lifetime income riders that each come with bonuses on the benefit base. You can also select the care protection rider, which provides an enhanced benefit if you enter a nursing home or need at-home care, and the family protection rider, which provides an enhanced death benefit. 

The Nassau Personal Protection Choice annuity offers a unique set of riders that allow it to serve some long-term care and life insurance needs along with providing income during retirement.

Nassau Personal Retirement Choice

With this single-premium fixed-indexed annuity, you can allocate your account to the S&P 500 index, the CS Tactical Multi Asset Index, and/or a fixed account. You can choose from a variety of crediting strategies, and your interest rate will never be less than 0%. You’ll also get a bonus added to your initial premium to kickstart growth. 

There is a 12-year surrender charge schedule during which you can take a free annual withdrawal up to 7% of the contract value (10% in some states). In most states there are no surrender charges should you become confined to a hospital or nursing home per the terms of the policy. You can also add a guaranteed lifetime income benefit rider for an additional fee. 

Nassau MyAnnuity 5X, 7X

This single-premium, multi-year guaranteed annuity is available for issue ages 0-85 with a minimum premium of $10,000 and a maximum of $1 million. You can choose to forego the 10% annual free withdrawals in exchange for a higher return. Choose from a five- or seven-year surrender charge schedule and a five- or seven-year guarantee period. 

This plan comes with seven fixed annuity payment options and the death benefit is equal to the contract value. 

Nassau Simple Annuity

This single-premium, multi-year guaranteed annuity comes with the option of a four- or six-year guarantee period. It’s available for issue ages 18-85 and the premium range is $5,000 to $1 million. You’ll be entitled to a free withdrawal of up to 5% of the contract value each year. 

You can annuitize after your first contract year, with seven different payment options to choose from. This plan also allows for nursing home and terminal illness surrender charge waivers and spousal continuation. 

Available Riders

Many of Nassau’s policies come with optional riders which allow you to customize an annuity contract to meet your needs. Most riders come with a fee that is typically a percentage of the contract value. 

Amplified Income Rider

At age 50 or older, you can exercise this rider to receive a fixed annual benefit for the duration of your life. It costs 0.25% of the income benefit base and provides for 150% of the interest credited to the contract value to be added to the income benefit base for up to 15 years. 

This rider is only available with the Nassau Growth Annuity.

Amplified Income Rider Plus

Also only available with the Nassau Growth Annuity, this rider costs 0.95% of the contract value and adds 3% simple interest roll-ups to your income benefit base in addition to providing for 150% of the interest accrued to be added to the contract value for up to 15 years. 

The Income Rider

This rider is available with Personal Income, Personal Protection Choice, and Personal Retirement Choice annuities. It guarantees fixed income payments for the duration of your life. For the Personal Income and Personal Protection Choice plans, this rider includes a roll-up feature that can give you a bonus on your Income benefit base while you wait to exercise the rider. 

Care Protection Rider

Available with the Personal Protection Choice annuity, this rider can be exercised after the second contract year. It allows you to access up to 250% of your income benefit should you become confined to a nursing home and up to 175% of your income benefit if you need help with at least two out of the six daily living activities, with the amount you can access based on the age at issuance. 

Family Protection Rider

Available with the Personal Protection Choice annuity, this enhanced death benefit rolls up every year until you exercise your income or care rider. Roll-ups are credited annually for 10 years until you reach age 85. The rate is 10% for issue ages 70 and under and 5% for issue ages 71-85. 

Customer Service: You Have Options

Nassau has a live chat feature that provides quick responses to many questions. There are also online forms available for updating your policy. If you need further assistance, you can fill out this online form or call 1-800-541-0171 on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Note that we experienced long wait times when trying to reach Nassau’s customer service department. 

The company website also has a live chat feature available.

Customer Satisfaction: Positive Reviews

Nassau Life Insurance is not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, but the company had a lower-than-average number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in 2020 given its share of the market. There were a total of five complaints, resulting in an index of 0.79. The industry average is 1.00, and anything below that is favorable. 

Financial Strength: B+ (Good)

Nassau Life Insurance received a B+ (Good) financial strength rating from AM Best, an independent rating agency focused on the insurance industry. AM Best ratings are important because they speak to an insurance company’s ability to pay claims or provide income payments. While B+ is a good score, we generally recommend insurance companies that score in the “A” bracket, and there are plenty of those companies to choose from.

Cancellation Policy: Varies

Most new annuities come with a 10- to 30-day "free look" period, depending on the state, during which you can cancel the contract and receive your premiums returned. Nassau doesn’t list its cancellation policy online, so it likely varies by state. Once the free look period is over, the surrender value varies by policy type. 

With the Nassau Growth Annuity, you can have your paid premiums (minus any withdrawals or rider fees) returned to you at any time after the surrender charge period. 

Price of Nassau Life Insurance: Your Choice

The price of your annuity will depend on your age at issuance and how much income you want to receive during retirement. Unlike with a life insurance plan, your premium won’t vary based on your health status. All plans require a single premium payment, however, and minimums and maximums apply. 

Nassau Life Insurance Company doesn’t list every detail about its products online, and minimum and maximum premium information is missing for some plans. Be sure to ask your agent for details if the information isn’t available online. 

How Nassau Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Unlike some annuity providers, Nassau doesn’t sell life insurance policies. The company’s financial strength rating also isn’t up to par with other annuity providers. However, customer service reviews on third-party websites are overwhelmingly positive, something that is uncommon in the industry, and Nassau does provide good policy information online, along with an online chat for potential customers to get more information. Some other annuity providers are less clear about what they offer until you call. 

Nassau Life Insurance vs Guardian Life Insurance 

Both Nassau Life Insurance and Guardian Life Insurance offer annuities designed for retirement planning. Both companies offer optional riders and plans that come with free annual withdrawals. And, the complaint indices with the NAIC for both companies indicated a lower-than-average number of complaints. However, there are several differences between these companies:

  • Nassau offers fixed-index annuities, while Guardian offers immediate, fixed, and variable annuities. Guardian also offers life, disability, and health insurance, but does not specialize in Medicare supplement insurance like Nassau. 
  • Guardian requires that you apply with an agent, while Nassau offers an annuity that can be purchased online. 
  • Nassau provides more policy details online than Guardian. 
  • Guardian has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, while Nassau Life has a B+ (Good) financial strength rating from AM Best. 

While Guardian has a better reputation for financial strength and many more products available, Nassau may be the right choice for people looking for fixed-index annuities. 

Read our full Guardian Life Insurance review

Insurer AM Best Rating  NAIC Complaint Index  J.D. Power Score  Types of Products 
Nassau B+ 0.79 Not Rated Annuities; Medicare Supplement Insurance
Guardian  A++  0.71  Below Average  Life, Disability, and Health Insurance; Annuities; IRAs; Investments 
Final Verdict

Nassau Life Insurance Company offers several fixed-indexed annuities with some attractive riders and has a great reputation for customer service, which may make it a good fit for some applicants. However, Nassau doesn’t offer the range of products you can get from other insurance companies, and Nassau’s financial strength rating isn’t up to par with other insurers. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a life insurance policy, Nassau is no longer accepting new applications.

Methodology

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.