Is the River Source Variable annuity backed by the State Guaranty Association?

There are 2 parts of a variable annuity that are relevant when considering what, if any, protections are provided by state guaranty associations.

First, a variable annuity has what is referred to as a general account.  The general account contains the fixed investments.  The general account is an asset of the insurance company, so the funds in the general account are subject to credit risk or the claims paying ability of the insurance company.

As explained on the NOLGHA (the National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations) website, a variable annuity contract with general account guarantees will be eligible for guaranty association coverage.

Guaranty association coverage varies by state, so check your state department of insurance website or the NOLGHA website to determine what limits apply in your state.

The second part of a variable annuity consists of the separate accounts. Separate accounts are where the subaccounts or mutual funds are and the separate account is considered an asset of the policyholder rather than the insurance company.  As a result, separate account assets are not backed by state guaranty associations.  However, since the assets are owned by the policyholder, they are not considered at risk should the insurer become insolvent.