DEFINITION of 'Joint-Life Payout'

One of two options normally available for retirees to choose as the method of payout for their employee retirement benefits. The joint-life payout option allows the retiree to receive benefits during the remainder of his/her life and guarantees income for another person after he/she has died, most often this other person is the retiree's spouse. Unless the retiree's statements explicitly states the joint-life payout, the default payout option is the single-life option.

BREAKING DOWN 'Joint-Life Payout'

In contrast, a single-life option will pay out benefits to a retiree starting at retirement, but the payouts cease upon the retiree's death. Choosing a payout option is an important decision and several factors should be taken into consideration, such as health, anticipated life expectancy and family's financial circumstances.

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