An annuity allows a customer to deposit money (premiums) with an insurance company that can earn interest and grow on a tax-deferred basis with the agreement that the insurance company will then provide a series of payments back to the customer at regular intervals.
People typically purchase annuities to provide or supplement retirement income they will receive from Social Security, pension benefits, investments and other sources. You can convert your annuity into a stream of income that can then be paid over a fixed period or for your lifetime. You can take withdrawals of varying amounts when you need the income.
There are generally two different types of annuities:
Provides income payments that normally begin within a year after the premium is paid.
Provide income payments that begin later, often after many years. Deferred annuities are designed for long-term savings purposes.
Indexed annuities do not directly participate in any stock or equity investments. Most indexed annuities permit owners to participate in only a stated percentage of an increase in an index, and also impose a “cap rate” that represents the maximum annual account value percentage increase allowed to contract owners. An investment cannot be made directly into an index.
- Interest is based on changes in a major index such as the S&P 500.
- Over the long-term, an indexed annuity may offer the potential for greater earnings than a fixed annuity but may have years, when the index is down, when no interest will be credited.
- Downside protection through minimum guarantees to ensure that your cash value will not decline due to decreases in the Index.
fixed interest rate annuities
- Deposits accumulate at fixed rate of interest set by the company.
- Have a guaranteed minimum interest rate that will be earned.