Can You Cash Out an Immediate Annuity?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Understanding Immediate Annuities

An immediate annuity is a contract with an insurance company where you make a lump sum payment in exchange for regular income payments that start almost immediately. It’s typically used as a retirement income strategy.

Limitations on Cashing Out Immediate Annuities

  • No Direct Cashing Out: Generally, you cannot “cash out” an immediate annuity. Once you have purchased an immediate annuity, the lump sum you paid is no longer accessible as a lump sum.
  • Commutation Benefit Exception: Some immediate annuities have a “commutation benefit.” This allows a portion of the annuity to be cashed out, but this feature is uncommon.

Alternatives: Deferred Annuities with Immediate Income

  • Deferred Annuity with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit: This type of annuity allows you to invest a sum of money (deferred annuity) and then start receiving income immediately if the policy permits. Unlike immediate annuities, some of these products might allow for cashing out under certain conditions.

Strategies to Avoid Penalties

  • Penalty-Free Withdrawals: Many annuities offer options for penalty-free withdrawals, which are limited to a certain percentage of your account value annually.
  • Waivers: In certain situations like terminal illness or long-term care needs, annuities might offer waivers that allow you to withdraw funds without surrender charges.


Cashing out an immediate annuity is generally not an option, except in rare cases where a commutation benefit is included. Consider deferred annuities with immediate income options or utilize penalty-free withdrawals and waivers to access funds without incurring surrender charges. Understanding these options can help you manage your annuity effectively. For personalized advice tailored to your financial situation, contact us today for a free quote.

Request A Quote

Get help or a quote from a licensed financial professional. This service is free of charge.

Contact Us

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

Scroll to Top