Annuity Withdrawal Penalty Exceptions

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

What Are Annuity Withdrawal Penalty Exceptions?

Penalty-Free Withdrawal

Penalty-free withdrawal allows you to withdraw a portion of your annuity funds without facing a penalty. Usually, this is a fixed percentage of the annuity’s value annually. For example, some annuities allow a 10% yearly withdrawal without penalties.

Return of Premium Provisions

This provision enables you to withdraw your premiums without facing penalties. If the value of the annuity dips below the total premiums paid, you can withdraw an amount equal to the premiums without incurring penalties.

Bailout Provisions

Bailout provisions trigger when the annuity’s return falls below a specified level. If the return drops below this threshold, you can withdraw funds or terminate the annuity without a penalty.


Some annuities allow you to take out a loan against the value of the annuity. While not technically a withdrawal, this lets you access funds without triggering a surrender charge. However, interest on the loan may apply.


Commutation lets you exchange future payments for a lump sum today without penalties. This is useful if you need a large sum immediately rather than smaller, periodic payments.

Health-Related Waivers

If you face a serious health issue, such as a terminal illness or the need for long-term care, health-related waivers allow penalty-free withdrawals from your annuity.

Crisis Waivers

During significant personal crises, like a natural disaster or a severe financial hardship, these waivers permit withdrawals without penalties, acknowledging the extraordinary circumstances.

Annuity Withdrawal Excetions

Overview of Annuity Withdrawal Penalty Exceptions

Exception TypeDescriptionTypical Use Case
Penalty-Free WithdrawalLimited annual withdrawals without penalties.Short-term financial needs.
Return of PremiumWithdraw premiums paid without penalties.When annuity value decreases.
Bailout ProvisionsWithdraw when returns fall below a set level.During low performance of the annuity.
LoansBorrow against the annuity’s value.Access funds without selling the annuity.
CommutationConvert future payments to a lump sum.Immediate large sum requirement.
Health-Related WaiversWithdraw for serious health issues.Medical emergencies or long-term care.
Crisis WaiversWithdraw during personal crises.Natural disasters or severe financial hardship.


Understanding the various annuity withdrawal penalty exceptions is crucial for managing your financial planning effectively. Each exception type serves a specific purpose, from managing short-term financial needs to addressing health crises. Knowing these can help you make informed decisions about your annuity funds. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, 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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