DEFINITION of 'Guaranteed Death Benefit'
A benefit term that guarantees that the beneficiary, as named in the contract, will receive a death benefit if the annuitant dies before the annuity begins paying benefits. The benefit received differs among companies and contracts, but the beneficiary is guaranteed an amount equal to what was invested or the value of the contract on the most recent policy anniversary statement, whichever is higher.
BREAKING DOWN 'Guaranteed Death Benefit'
This benefit gives the annuitant peace of mind by guaranteeing that his or her beneficiary will be protected from down markets and decreases in account value. For example, if there is an economic downturn and the overall market falls by 20% when the annuitant dies, the beneficiary will still receive the full guaranteed amount as dictated by the terms of the annuity and death benefit.