What is an Annuity?

Annuities are contracts with insurance companies that are used to grow money for and during your retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Fixed annuities are a popular choice for investors who want to receive guarantees of principal, growth and income for and during your retirement.


When you need your funds you can opt to take a lump sum or to receive payments in a manner that best suits your needs or provide a death benefit to your beneficiaries.


The income you receive form an annuity can be paid out monthly, quarterly, annually or even in a lump sum payment. The size of your payments is determined by a variety of factors, including the length of your payment period. You can opt to receive payments for the rest of your life, or for a set number of years. How much you receive depends on whether you opt for a guaranteed payout or a payout stream determined by the performance of your annuity.