An annuity allows a customer to deposit money (premiums) with an insurance company that can earn interest and grow on a tax-deferred basis with the agreement that the insurance company will then provide a series of payments back to the customer at regular intervals.
People typically purchase annuities to provide or supplement retirement income they will receive from Social Security, pension benefits, investments and other sources. You can convert your annuity into a stream of income that can then be paid over a fixed period or for your lifetime. You can take withdrawals of varying amounts when you need the income.
Provides income payments that normally begin within a year after the premium is paid.
Provides income payments that begin later, often after many years. Deferred annuities are designed for long-term savings purposes.