Business / Taxes / Annuity: Originally, an annuity simply meant an annual payment. That’s why the retirement income you receive from a defined benefit plan each year, usually in monthly installments, is called a pension annuity. But an annuity is also an insurance company product that’s designed to allow you to accumulate tax-deferred assets that can be converted to a source of lifetime annual income. When a deferred annuity is offered as part of a qualified plan, such as a traditional 401(k), 403(b), or tax-deferred annuity (TDA), you can contribute up to the annual limit and typically begin to take income from the annuity when you retire. You can also buy a nonqualified deferred annuity contract on your own. With nonqualified annuities, there are no federal limits on annual contributions and no required withdrawals, though you may begin receiving income without penalty when you turn 59 1/2. An immediate annuity, in contrast, is one you purchase with a lump sum when you are ready to begin receiving income, usually when you retire. The payouts begin right away and the annuity company promises the income will last your lifetime. With all types of annuities, the guarantee of lifetime annuity income depends on the claims-paying ability of the company that sells the annuity contract.

Annuity Principal

Business / Taxes / Annuity Principal: The annuity principal is the sum of money you use to buy an annuity and the base on which annuity earnings accumulate. If you’re buying a deferred annuity, you may make a one-time — or single prem MORE

Indexed Annuity

Business / Taxes / Indexed Annuity: An indexed annuity is a deferred annuity whose return is tied to the performance of a particular equity market index. Your investment principal is usually protected against severe market downturns, in MORE

Immediate Annuity

Business / Taxes / Immediate Annuity: You buy an immediate annuity contract with a lump-sum purchase. You begin receiving income from the annuity either right away or within 13 months. A fixed immediate annuity guarantees the amount of in MORE