Are Fixed Index Annuities Taxable?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Are Fixed Index Annuities Taxable?

Fixed index annuities are subject to taxation, but the specifics depend on how they are funded and withdrawn. Generally, the growth in a fixed index annuity is tax-deferred, meaning you don’t pay taxes on the earnings until you make withdrawals. When you do withdraw, the earnings portion of the withdrawal is taxed as ordinary income.

However, if the annuity is held within a Roth IRA, different rules apply. Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars, so the withdrawals, including the earnings, are typically tax-free if certain conditions are met.

Here’s a breakdown of the tax implications:

  1. Non-Roth IRA Fixed Index Annuities
    • Contributions: Made with pre-tax dollars (if within a traditional IRA) or after-tax dollars (if not in an IRA).
    • Earnings: Grow tax-deferred.
    • Withdrawals: Taxed as ordinary income. If made before age 59½, may also be subject to a 10% penalty.
  2. Roth IRA Fixed Index Annuities
    • Contributions: Made with after-tax dollars.
    • Earnings: Grow tax-free.
    • Withdrawals: Generally tax-free if taken after age 59½ and the Roth IRA has been open for at least 5 years.

Tax Implications of Fixed Index Annuities

Type of AnnuityContributionsEarningsWithdrawals
Non-Roth IRAPre-tax or after-taxTax-deferredTaxed as income
Roth IRAAfter-taxTax-freeUsually tax-free


Fixed index annuities offer tax-deferred growth, with taxation occurring at withdrawal for non-Roth accounts, while Roth IRA fixed index annuities can provide tax-free income under the right conditions. Understanding these differences is crucial for effective financial planning. Contact us today for a free quote.

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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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