Costs and Fees of Annuities


An annuity is unique in its ability to guarantee income for life. This and other insurance features, such as death benefits, are included in the cost of an annuity. Ask your financial services professional to explain all of the costs associated with the annuity you are considering. These fees are spelled out in the annuity contract.

Withdrawal/Surrender Charges

Fees may be charged if you withdraw some (partial surrender) or all of your money (full surrender) from a deferred annuity in early years of the contract. These fees are commonly called surrender charges. Some companies refer to them as contingent deferred sales charges.

With most annuities, these charges decrease each year you own the contract and, after a period of time defined in the contract, disappear altogether. Some annuities waive these charges under special circumstances such as death, nursing home confinement, or terminal illness.

Fees for Optional Benefit Riders

There are many optional features available with annuities. Some features, living benefits in the case of variable annuities for example, carry additional fees. Read your contract or prospectus to learn about all fees associated with your contract.

Other Fees

Other fees or charges also may be applied for transactions, market value adjustments, contract fees, and—for variable annuities—portfolio management. Ask your agent or life insurance company for a description of applicable charges and fees.

Publications and Resources

A Woman's Guide to Annuities. Retirement tends to be a bigger challenge for women: lower lifetime earnings equal lower retirement income. Women also live longer than men and must make income last for a longer period of time. Annuities may help women overcome retirement obstacles.

The Individual Annuity: A Resource In Your Retirement. This guide has been prepared to help retirees understand what an individual annuity contract is, what options are available, and how the right choice might enhance retirement security.

Individual Annuities: Purchasing Tips. An annuity is a long-term financial contract. You should enter into an the annuity arrangement only after a thorough review of your personal finances and retirement goals. To help you better understand what to consider before purchasing, review these tips.