As fewer individuals obtain pensions upon retirement, retirement annuity plans are more and more enticing choices. Such annuities are designed to function “retirement paychecks.” Together with Social Safety and different retirement financial savings, a retirement annuity plan can present a snug revenue when you cease working.

Retirement Annuity Plans

The IRS defines an annuity plan as “a sequence of funds beneath a contract made at common intervals over a interval of a couple of full 12 months.” Annuities are both mounted or variable. Within the former, the annuity proprietor receives a particular quantity. Within the latter, the quantity could fluctuate.

Annuity contracts are purchased individually or with the assistance of your employer. You possibly can decide whether or not your funds are made month-to-month, quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly.

How Does it Work?

A retirement annuity plan is an insurance coverage contract. It guarantees to pay a specific amount of revenue for a specified interval. That interval is usually for the remainder of your life. It’s excellent news in case you dwell a very long time. If you happen to die earlier, it’s not that good on your heirs.

A lot will depend on the contract phrases. Funds cease upon your demise. If the contract features a loss of life profit, the particular person named could inherit the remaining payouts. Minors can’t obtain annuity loss of life advantages earlier than reaching maturity. If the contract doesn’t include a loss of life profit, the insurance coverage firm retains future funds.

With annuities, the insurer swimming pools your cash and that of different buyers.

Retirement Annuity Plan vs. 401(ok)

Your 401(ok) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan through which your contributions develop on a tax-deferred foundation. These plans usually spend money on mutual funds. And are managed by a significant monetary providers group.

It’s attainable to roll over a 401(ok) or IRA into an annuity tax-free. For many individuals, this makes retirement budgeting less complicated. Relying upon the annuity sort, they don’t have to fret about inventory and bond market fluctuations affecting retirement revenue.

As with 401(ok)s or IRAs, you’ll find yourself with a ten p.c early withdrawal penalty if taking out cash earlier than the age of 59.5.

Taxes and Retirement Annuities

In case your annuity is funded with monies on which taxes weren’t beforehand paid, it’s known as a professional annuity. Many individuals fund such annuities from their tax-deferred IRAs or 401(ok)s. Funds from that annuity are taxable. Nonetheless, if you are going to buy your annuity with both a Roth IRA or Roth 401(ok), funds should not taxable. That’s as a result of Roth IRAs and 401(ok)s are funded with monies on which you might have already paid tax.

What in case you take out a lump sum on a professional annuity? You’re then topic to tax on the distribution’s taxable portion. That might find yourself placing you in a better tax bracket.

Understand that it’s essential to develop a withholding technique for the taxable portion of your payouts.

Retirement Plan Annuity vs. Pension

When you’ve got a wholesome pension, you possible gained’t want a retirement annuity. You have already got a assured retirement revenue stream. The cash you’ll in any other case use to fund your annuity may in all probability go towards different retirement investments. That offers you extra flexibility than tying up your funds in an annuity.


A retirement annuity plan ensures a lifetime revenue if that’s what you need. You’ll obtain the designated revenue every month. That is much like a pension. You possibly can defer paying taxes on the annuity till you begin receiving revenue.

Relying on the plan, you’ll be able to organize for survivor choices. The most typical is a joint and survivor spousal choice.


Maybe the best downside of a retirement annuity plan? It’s sophisticated. There are such a lot of sorts of annuities. This, paired with the varied options, make understanding precisely what you’re entering into a little bit complicated.

Annuities are marketed primarily by insurance coverage corporations. Gross sales commissions are steep. Some run as excessive as 10 p.c. Ten p.c of your lump sum fee is some huge cash.

Annuity bills are excessive. That’s very true of variable annuities. The mixed bills of insurance coverage expenses, funding administration charges and rider could whole 3.25 p.c or extra. That’s an enormous chunk out of your retirement nest egg.

If you wish to exit your annuity contract, good luck. Early give up expenses can eat up 10 p.c or extra of the contract’s worth. The give up quantity share declines annually. When you’ve got an annuity for seven or eight years after which wish to give up it, a give up cost could now not apply.

Selecting a Retirement Annuity Plan

The contract for a set annuity states the rate of interest on the annuity quantity. For instance, if you are going to buy a $100,000 annuity with a 5 p.c rate of interest, you’ll obtain $5,000 yearly. The monetary entity managing the mounted annuity makes all administration choices.

Fastened annuities embrace:

  • Quick annuity: This annuity is bought with a lump sum. Because the title implies, funds start instantly. As an example, a $1 million quick annuity bought for a 65-year-old feminine offers a lifetime month-to-month revenue of roughly $4,115.61.
  • Deferred annuity: Once more bought with a lump sum, however funds are deferred for a selected time.

Not like mounted annuities, variable annuities wouldn’t have a set rate of interest. These annuities have better development potential. There’s additionally the chance of dropping cash. Not like mounted annuities, you’ll be able to select from a wide range of funding choices. The “sub-accounts” are mainly mutual funds accessible inside the annuity. On this approach, variable annuities are akin to IRAs.

Maybe essentially the most important challenge concerned in selecting a retirement annuity plan is guaranteeing that you simply perceive it.

Retirement Annuity Plan Concerns

A retirement annuity plan could or could not show the only option on your retirement. In fact, it’s essential to think about your revenue wants, targets and threat tolerance. Carry out your due diligence earlier than signing a contract. Learn the contract fastidiously. If you happen to discover it complicated, ask a third-party monetary adviser to assessment it earlier than making a dedication.