What is an 'Immediate Payment Annuity'

An immediate payment annuity is an annuity contract that is purchased with a single lump-sum payment and in exchange, pays a guaranteed income that starts almost immediately. An immediate payment annuity is especially suitable for retirees who are concerned about outliving their savings. However, one disadvantage is that an immediate payment annuity is irreversible once it has been purchased. This may pose a problem should the annuitant need a large sum to deal with an emergency.

BREAKING DOWN 'Immediate Payment Annuity'

Another large drawback of an immediate payment annuity is that it is terminated upon death of the annuitant. This means that in the event of the annuitant's premature death, the size of the estate left to his or her heirs may be much smaller than it would have been if the immediate payment annuity had not been purchased. Since the annuity payments are terminated upon the death of the annuitant, financial planners do not recommend this type of annuity for retirees who are not in good health.

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