Annuities can be used to help ensure a steady stream of income in retirement, as well as to help ensure that your spouse and/or designated beneficiary will be taken care of in the event of your death. Many types of annuities exist, and most of them include a death benefit option.
If you elect to annuitize your annuity contract, you are choosing to receive your payments on a schedule that can be based on a single or joint life expectancy (for you and your spouse, for example) or for a specified period of time. Once you begin receiving payments, most annuity contracts do not allow money to continue to be made to your heirs, other than your designated joint-life beneficiary, in the event of your death. However, if you die before annuitization begins, your designated beneficiary typically will receive a death benefit at least equal to the net premiums paid.
Some annuity contracts may offer refunds or guarantees, allowing your beneficiary to receive the remaining amount upon your death (the accumulated value or premiums paid, whichever is greater).
If you would like to use your annuity to help provide for your heirs, make sure to examine the contract closely for specific beneficiary allowances.
For information on current annuity rates, or to request an income rider illustration, please contact: