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Income Annuities

An income annuity is a popular type of annuity that provides guaranteed lifetime income. Compare Annuities.

Overview An income annuity provides a consistent, reliable stream of income that is guaranteed for a specified period of time or life.
May be good for you if
  • You are already retired or nearing retirement.
  • You have a long life expectancy.
  • You are concerned about outliving your assets.
  • You are seeking a tax-advantaged income stream.
  • Your expenses in retirement are likely to be more than your income from your pension, Social Security, and other sources of retirement income.
  • You have a minimum of $10,000 available to invest.
How it works

You pay a portion of your retirement assets to an insurance company in return for a pension-like income, guaranteed for a certain period of time or for life.

  • Income payouts can begin immediately or can be deferred until a later date.
  • May provide the highest amount of guaranteed income for life, but is ultimately irrevocable and not a liquid investment.
  • Payments are comprised of a combination of principal and interest. The portion of each payment considered a return of principal is non-taxable; the portion derived from interest earned is subject to ordinary income tax rates.
Optional features
Available features include cost-of-living adjustments, coverage for spouse, partner, or beneficiaries and income guaranteed for a set period of time (no matter how long the annuity holder lives).
There are typically no front-end fees.
  • Purchase is generally an irrevocable contract — a lifetime purchase decision — with little or no access to funds.
  • An income annuity is typically utilized in order to maximize lifetime income, and is generally not designed for leaving a legacy for heirs.
  • Consult your tax advisor about possible tax implications.

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