Annuity Settlement Options

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

What Are Annuity Settlement Options?

Annuity settlement options are ways in which you can choose to receive payments from an annuity. An annuity is a financial product that provides a steady income stream, typically used for retirement planning. Settlement options impact how and when you receive this income.

Annuity Settlement Options

Types of Annuity Settlement Options

  1. Life Annuity: Provides payments for the rest of your life. Payments stop upon your death.
  2. Joint and Survivor Annuity: Continues payments to a spouse or another beneficiary after your death.
  3. Period Certain Annuity: Guarantees payments for a specific period, e.g., 10 years. If you die before the period ends, your beneficiary receives the remaining payments.
  4. Lump-Sum Payment: You receive the entire annuity value in one large payment.
  5. Fixed Annuity: Offers a guaranteed payout amount periodically.
  6. Variable Annuity: The payout amounts vary based on the performance of investments chosen.


  • Life Annuity Example: John, 65, chooses a life annuity. He receives $1,000 monthly for life, but payments stop at his death.
  • Joint and Survivor Example: Mary and Tom select this option. Mary receives $800 monthly. After her death, Tom continues to receive $400 monthly.
Annuity Settlement Option

Choosing the Right Option

Factors to consider:

  • Life Expectancy: Longer life expectancy might favor a life annuity.
  • Financial Needs of Dependents: If providing for others, a joint and survivor annuity might be better.
  • Desire for Predictability: Fixed annuities offer stable income.
Annuity Settlement Options Retirement

Annuity Settlement Options

Option TypePayment DurationBeneficiary BenefitIncome Stability
Life AnnuityLifetime of annuitantNoneHigh
Joint and SurvivorLifetime of annuitantsContinues after first deathMedium to High
Period CertainFixed period (e.g., 10 years)Continues until end of periodHigh
Lump-SumOne-timeImmediate full payoutOne-time
Fixed AnnuityDepends on termsNone unless period certainHigh
Variable AnnuityDepends on termsDepends on investment performanceVaries
Annuity Settlement Options Risk


Choosing the right annuity settlement option depends on personal circumstances like life expectancy, financial needs, and preferences for income stability. Understanding each option helps in making an informed decision that suits your retirement goals.

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Settlement Options For Annuities

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if an annuity settlement option suits me?

An annuity settlement option may suit you if you want to convert your annuity investment into a reliable income stream tailored to your needs and goals. Consider your health, expected lifespan, dependents’ financial needs, and desire to leave an inheritance when deciding on the best option for you.

What happens if I select the wrong annuity settlement option?

Selecting the wrong annuity settlement option can have long-term implications and should be avoided. It is essential to understand all of your options and their implications before making a decision that will affect your retirement finances. If you have any questions or uncertainties, it is best to seek professional advice from a financial advisor

What should I do if I’ve selected an annuity settlement option and want to change it?

Depending on the terms of your annuity contract, it may be possible to change your existing annuity settlement option. However, it is essential to understand that there may be associated fees and taxes for making such a change. Consult your financial advisor or contract provider before changing your annuity settlement option.

What is a pure life annuity settlement option?

A pure life annuity settlement option is a form of insurance payout where the recipient receives a fixed income for life, regardless of how long they live. This gives the individual financial security during retirement, as the annuity payments continue until their death, providing a steady income stream.

What does a life income joint and survivor settlement option guarantee?

A life income joint and survivor settlement option guarantees a steady stream of income for the beneficiaries. This option ensures that the payments will continue for the lifetime of the surviving spouse after the policyholder’s death. It offers financial security and peace of mind for both individuals.

What is a pure life annuity settlement option?

A pure life annuity settlement option is a financial product that guarantees regular payments to an individual for the duration of their life. It provides a steady income stream, making it an attractive choice for retirees looking for stable retirement income. This option ensures financial security by eliminating the risk of outliving one’s savings.

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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