Do Annuities Have Death Benefits?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Do Annuities Have Death Benefits?

Yes, most annuities have death benefits. However, there are exceptions. Specifically, “single-life only” and “joint and survivor annuitization payouts” do not offer death benefits.

Examples of Annuities with Death Benefits

  1. Fixed Annuities: Fixed annuities typically include a death benefit equal to the contract value or the total premiums paid.
  2. Variable Annuities: Variable annuities have death benefits that may even include growth components, protecting beneficiaries from market downturns.
  3. Indexed Annuities: Indexed annuities offer a death benefit that is the greater of the account value or a minimum guaranteed amount.

Annuities Without Death Benefits

  • Single-Life Only Annuities: These cease payments upon the annuitant’s death, offering no benefit to beneficiaries.
  • Joint and Survivor Annuities: Payments continue as long as one annuitant is alive but cease entirely after both pass away.

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Annuity Types and Death Benefits

Annuity TypeDeath Benefit Availability
Fixed AnnuitiesYes
Variable AnnuitiesYes
Indexed AnnuitiesYes
Single-Life OnlyNo
Joint and SurvivorNo (After both pass away)


Most annuities include death benefits, offering financial protection to beneficiaries. However, single-life only and joint and survivor annuities are exceptions. Understanding these differences is crucial for choosing the right annuity for your financial planning needs. 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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