Can I Cancel an Annuity and Get My Money Back?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Cancelling an Annuity During the Free-Look Period

Yes, you can cancel an annuity and get your money back during the free-look period. This period is specific, usually about 10 to 30 days, depending on your state and the insurance company. You can review the annuity contract and decide if it meets your needs during this time. If you cancel within this period, you can get a full refund of the money you invested.

Cancelling an Annuity After the Free-Look Period

Generally, after the free-look period, you cannot cancel an annuity and get all your money back immediately. Annuities are designed for long-term investment; early withdrawal can lead to penalties. These may include surrender charges, fees for withdrawing funds from an annuity before a certain period, typically 5 to 10 years. Additionally, if you are under 59½ years old, you might face a 10% federal tax penalty for early withdrawal.

The Return of Premium Feature

Yes, if your annuity contract includes a Return of Premium (ROP) feature, you may be able to get your money back under certain conditions. The ROP feature ensures that if you cancel your annuity contract after the free-look period but before the end of the surrender charge period, you can receive an amount equal to the premiums you paid minus any withdrawals you have made. This feature is not standard and may require higher fees or different terms within your annuity contract.


Understanding your annuity’s terms is crucial before deciding to cancel. Consider the free-look period, potential surrender charges, and the presence of any special features like Return of Premium. These factors will determine if and how much money you can get back from your annuity. For specific advice tailored to your situation, consult a financial advisor. 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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