What Is an Annual Annuity?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

What is an Annual Annuity?

An annual annuity is a financial product designed to provide regular income payments to an individual, typically once per year. It involves an initial investment, either through a lump sum or a series of payments, and in return, the annuity holder receives yearly disbursements. These payments can begin immediately or at a specified future date, and they often continue for the life of the annuitant or for a predetermined period.

What Is Annual Annuity Meaning

Examples of Annual Annuities

  1. Retirement Annuity: A person invests a lump sum upon retiring, receiving yearly payments for the rest of their life.
  2. Education Annuity: Parents invest in an annuity to fund their child’s education. They receive annual payments over a set number of years to cover tuition fees.
  3. Estate Planning Annuity: An individual sets up an annuity to provide annual income to their heirs over a certain period after their death.
Annual Annuity Meaning

Benefits of Annual Annuities

  • Stable Income: Provides a predictable and stable source of income once a year.
  • Financial Planning: Helps in long-term financial planning, especially for retirement.
  • Tax Benefits: Can offer tax advantages, as the investment growth is tax-deferred.
What Is Annual Annuity

Drawbacks of Annual Annuities

  • Inflexibility: Once invested, funds are typically locked in for a period and cannot be easily accessed without penalties.
  • Return Rates: The return on investment may be lower compared to other investment options.
  • Fees and Charges: Annuities can come with high fees and administrative charges.
What Is An Annual Annuity

Comparison of Annual Annuity with Other Annuity Types

FeatureAnnual AnnuityMonthly AnnuityVariable Annuity
Payment FrequencyOnce a yearMonthlyVaries with market performance
Investment GrowthGenerally fixedFixed or variableDependent on underlying investments
SuitabilityLong-term, risk-averse investorsThose needing regular incomeInvestors comfortable with market risk


Annual annuities offer a straightforward, predictable income stream, particularly beneficial for retirement planning. However, it’s essential to weigh their inflexibility and potential lower returns against your financial goals. Considering both the pros and cons, annual annuities can be a valuable component of a balanced financial plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you pay taxes on annuity income?

Usually, the portion of your pension or annuity payments subject to federal income tax will have tax withheld. However, you can opt out of having income tax taken out of your payments or decide how much tax to have withheld.

Can you cash out an annuity?

It is possible to cash out an annuity before the contract is annuitized, but there may be a surrender charge if it is done before the end of the deferred annuity term. Once the term is complete, the annuity can usually be cashed out without penalty.

How safe are annuities?

Annuities are safer than stocks and bonds due to their low-risk nature. They offer fixed rates and guaranteed income, making them a secure option in certain situations.

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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