DEFINITION of 'Income Annuity'
Annuities designed to start paying income as soon as the policy is initiated. The income annuity is annuitized immediately, although the underlying income units may be in either fixed or variable investments. As such, the income payments may fluctuate over time.
An income annuity is typically purchased with a lump sum payment, often by people who are at or near retirement.
Also known as an "immediate annuity".
BREAKING DOWN 'Income Annuity'
Investors seeking income annuities should have clear picture of how much income will be received and for how long. Most annuities pay out until the death of the annuitant and some pay out until the death of spouse. Although the insurance product may be annuitized immediately, variable investments can allow for some principal protection by participating in equity markets.
Even if all income units are in fixed investments, there may be a provision allowing for a higher return if a specific benchmark index performs extremely well.