Do Annuity Payments Stop at Death?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Do Annuity Payments Stop at Death?

Life-Based Annuity Payments and Death Life-based annuities, specifically annuitized payments, generally cease upon the death of the annuitant. This means that if you have chosen a life-based annuity plan, the regular payments you receive from the annuity will stop when you pass away.

Exceptions and Variations

  • Lifetime Withdrawals from Income Riders: These are different from life-based annuities. Withdrawals under these plans may continue under certain conditions even after the annuitant’s death.
  • Other Annuity Types: Many non-life-based annuities offer options where the remaining payments or the annuity balance can be passed down. This could be in continuing payments to a beneficiary or a lump-sum payment.


  1. John’s Annuity: John has a life-based annuity. Upon his death, the annuity payments stop immediately.
  2. Mary’s Annuity: Mary chose an annuity with a death benefit rider. After her death, her beneficiary receives a lump-sum payment.

Comparison of Annuity Payment Scenarios After Death

ScenarioType of AnnuityPayment Continuation After DeathBeneficiary Benefit
John’s CaseLife-Based AnnuityStops at DeathNone
Mary’s CaseAnnuity with Death BenefitLump Sum PaymentYes


Annuity payments, particularly life-based annuitized payments, generally stop upon the death of the annuitant. However, other annuities may provide options for the remaining payments or the annuity’s balance to be transferred to a beneficiary either in continued payments or as a lump sum. Understanding the specifics of your annuity contract is crucial to know what happens to your annuity payments after your death.

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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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