An annuity allows a customer to deposit money (premiums) with an insurance company that can earn interest and grows 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 to supplement retirement income they will receive from Social Security, pension benefits, investments and other sources. You can convert your annuity also into a stream of income for life.
There are generally two different types of annuities:
Immediate – Provides income payments that normally begin within a year after the premium is paid.
Deferred – Provide income payments that begin later, often after many years. Deferred annuities are designed for long-term savings purposes.