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annuity n

pl: -ities
[Medieval Latin annuitas , from Latin annuus yearly]
1 : an amount payable at regular intervals (as yearly or quarterly) for a certain or uncertain period
2 : the grant of or the right to receive an annuity [his will included annuities for several old friends]
3 : a contract (as with an insurance company) under which one or more persons receive annuities in return for prior fixed payments made by themselves or another (as an employer)

annuity cer·tain
pl: annuities certain
: an annuity payable over a specified period even if the annuitant dies

annuity due
pl: annuities due
: an immediate annuity in which the payment of the benefits is made at the beginning of each payment interval rather than at the end

contingent annuity
: an annuity whose starting or ending date depends on the occurrence of an event (as the death of the annuitant) whose date is uncertain

con·ven·tion·al annuity
: an annuity under which the annuitant receives a specified minimum amount at each payment compare variable annuity in this entry

deferred annuity
: an annuity in which payment of benefits is delayed until a particular time (as at retirement) compare immediate annuity in this entry

group annuity
: a pension plan paying annuity benefits at retirement for all eligible persons under a single master contract usually issued to an employer for the benefit of its employees

im·me·di·ate annuity
: an annuity purchased with a single premium in which payment of benefits begins within the first payment interval (as within a year) compare deferred annuity in this entry

joint-and-survivor annuity
: an annuity payable as long as any of the two or more annuitants remains alive called also joint-and-last-survivor annuity joint and survivorship annuity joint life and survivorship annuity compare joint life annuity in this entry

joint life annuity
: an annuity payable only until the death of any of the annuitants called also joint annuity compare joint-and-survivor annuity in this entry

life annuity
: an annuity payable during the annuitant's lifetime and terminating at death called also straight life annuity

life income-pe·ri·od cer·tain annuity
: an annuity that guarantees a minimum number of payments even if the annuitant dies before the minimum amount is paid or a minimum number of payments plus income for life if the annuitant is still alive after the minimum amount is paid

refund annuity
: an annuity in which payments to the annuitant or to the annuitant's estate or to a beneficiary are guaranteed to equal at least the amount of the premium paid for the annuity

straight life annuity
: life annuity in this entry

var·i·able annuity
: an annuity that is backed primarily by a fund of common stocks and whose payments go up or down depending on how well the stocks perform compare conventional annuity in this entry variable life insurance at life insurance

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.