Clarifying annuity insurance


Q. Your April 2 column contains an answer to a fellow who mentions “The state I live in only insures annuities up to $250,000 and I’d like the remainder of my TSP balance to be insured by purchasing a second annuity from a different provider.”

Do some/all states insure annuities? That’s significant to me: I’d been anxious about purchasing a lifetime annuity from MetLife upon retirement since Tammy Flanagan mentioned that the annuity is not at all guaranteed, so that if MetLife goes bankrupt the annuity could be lost.

Can you provide an answer, perhaps in a future column?

A. Annuities are insurance contracts that are regulated by the state in which they are purchased. Each state has different regulations governing the insurance that is sold to its residents, but most provide for some sort of pool or fund that is intended to help make insured parties whole if an insurer can’t meet its obligations. You should contact the insurance commission for the state where you purchase or will purchase the annuity to learn about the law and programs that apply to your purchase.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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