What Do Financial Strength Ratings Mean for You?

AM Best, Fitch affirm Thrivent’s ratings

< Back to magazine home

This article (PDF) | Current issue (PDF) | Archive

It’s common to do a little homework before making a significant purchase. You want an objective assessment so you can make the best decision possible.

It’s no different when you want to know if your financial organization is credible.

To do so, you can turn to evaluations provided by independent financial ratings agencies. Their ratings are like a report card and serve as an external verification of a financial organization’s strength and its ability to keep the promises it has made to clients and members. All companies are measured against the same requirements, so it’s a good benchmark for comparing financial health and strength.

There are several ratings agencies. Thrivent Financial is rated by AM Best and Fitch Ratings, both registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization. Each agency reviews Thrivent at least once a year, and sometimes twice.

"Our members rely on us to be strong and stable."
—Paul Zastrow

“The ratings agencies look at several areas to evaluate our financial health, including our business profile, operating performance, risk management and overall balance sheet strength,” says Paul Zastrow, who leads Thrivent’s corporate accounting team.

Once they’ve closely and scrupulously examined and analyzed these and other factors, the agencies then give a company a letter “grade,” or credit rating. By and large, these ratings are pretty close to the A-F range found in schools. For example, AM Best has six grades for entities it deems “secure,” from a top rating of A++ (Superior) to B+ (Good). Ratings below those are considered in the “vulnerable” range.

For more than 20 years, Thrivent Financial has earned the highest possible rating from AM Best: A++ (Superior), the highest of its 16 ratings (last rated May 2019). For more than a decade, Fitch Ratings has consistently given Thrivent very strong ratings—it was recently rated AA+ (Very Strong), the second highest of its 21 categories (last rated May 2019). Keep in mind that ratings reflect Thrivent’s overall strength and claims-paying ability but do not apply to the performance of investment products.

“Our members rely on us to be strong and stable,” Zastrow says. “We’re proud that we have received consistently high ratings from outside agencies. It demonstrates that we can deliver on the promises we make to our members and be there for them when they need it the most.”