After-Tax Retirement Annuities (ATRA)

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

What is an After-Tax Retirement Annuity (ATRA)?

An After-Tax Retirement Annuity (ATRA), also known as a nonqualified annuity, is a versatile financial tool designed to enhance your retirement planning. This investment option is funded with after-tax dollars, offering unique benefits and considerations.

Key Features of ATRAs

Tax-Deferred Growth

One of the primary advantages of an ATRA is its tax-deferred growth. This means that the earnings on your investment grow tax-free until you make a withdrawal. Unlike traditional IRAs or 401(k)s, you don’t pay taxes on the principal, only on the earnings upon withdrawal.

No Contribution Limits

ATRA does not have annual contribution limits, making it an attractive option for individuals who have maxed out their contributions to other retirement accounts like IRAs or 401(k)s. This allows you to invest additional funds towards your retirement without restrictions.


ATRA offers flexibility in terms of investment options and withdrawal timings. You can choose from a variety of investment choices based on your risk tolerance and financial goals. Additionally, ATRAs can be tailored to meet your specific retirement needs, providing a steady stream of income when you need it.

What Is An After-Tax Retirement Annuity

Considerations for ATRAs

Early Withdrawal Penalties

Withdrawals made before the age of 59½ are subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. This is in addition to the regular income tax on the earnings. It’s important to plan your withdrawals carefully to avoid these penalties.

Higher Fees

ATRA often has higher fees than other investment products. These fees can include administrative costs, mortality, and expense risk charges, and investment management fees. It’s crucial to understand these costs and how they impact your overall return on investment.

Estate Planning

ATRAs can be valuable tools in estate planning. Since they allow for the deferral of taxes on earnings, they can help manage the tax impact on your estate. Beneficiaries can receive a tax-efficient income stream, making ATRAs a strategic option for wealth transfer.

Ideal Candidates for ATRAs

High-Income Earners

Individuals who have already maxed out their contributions to other retirement accounts and are looking for additional ways to save for retirement can benefit from ATRAs. The lack of contribution limits provides an opportunity to grow your retirement savings significantly.

Long-Term Investors

Those who have a long investment horizon and can benefit from the tax-deferred growth potential of ATRAs will find this option appealing. The compounding effect of tax-deferred earnings can significantly enhance your retirement savings over time.

What Are After-Tax Retirement Annuities

What We Recommend

ATRA can be a powerful addition to your retirement strategy, especially if you have maxed out other retirement accounts and seek additional tax-deferred growth opportunities. However, it’s essential to consider the fees and potential early withdrawal penalties. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you determine if an ATRA is suitable for your specific financial situation and retirement goals.

If you need personalized advice on whether an After-Tax Retirement Annuity is right for you, contact us for free advice or a quote. We’re here to help you make informed decisions about your retirement planning.

Get Help With After-Tax Retirement Annuities

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

Contact Us

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

Scroll to Top