What is an annuity and do I need one?

Retirement planning is challenging for everyone, since it raises big questions about the future. How long will I live? How will the market perform? What will future interest rates be? How will the tax code change?

These factors have an even greater impact on women, who tend to live longer, often spend fewer years in the workforce and too often continue to earn less than men.

The good news is that there are small, manageable steps to facing these challenges. By better understanding long-term retirement products like annuities, you can make smart choices for yourself and your family.

Understanding annuities

The most import thing to understand about an annuity is that it is an investment in future income. An agreement between you and an insurance company, it lets you make contributions and, in return, get a predictable stream of income every month once you retire. And an annuity may let you to put aside more than you can with just a 401(k).

The money you pay toward your annuity is tax-deferred, so that you don’t get taxed on it until you start getting paid from it. This allows you to keep more invested, giving you the potential for greater growth.

Seamless transitions

Generally, money put into an annuity is designed for your retirement, not your heirs. But many families need additional protection. That’s why Equitable created a special feature that allows a spouse to take over the other partner’s contract and continue getting income from it (subject to age restrictions). 

Learn more about the Spousal Continuation feature

Whatever your questions about annuities and other retirement options, Equitable can help.

Annuities are issued by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY). Variable annuities are co-distributed by affiliates AXA Distributors, LLC and AXA Advisors, LLC, members  FINRA, SIPC.

Withdrawals from an annuity contract are taxable as ordinary income and, if made prior to age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax. Withdrawals may also be subject to withdrawal charges. Amounts invested in an annuity’s portfolios are subject to fluctuation in value and market risk, including loss of principal. There are fees and charges associated with a variable annuity contract, which include, but are not limited to, operations charges, sales and withdrawal charges, administrative fees, and additional charges for optional benefits. See the prospectus for complete details.

A deferred annuity is a long-term financial product designed for retirement purposes. It is a contractual agreement in which payment(s) are made to an insurance company, which agrees to pay out an income or a lump sum amount at a later date. Annuity contracts offer tax-deferred growth potential and optional features such as living and death benefits. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

What's the next step for you?

A financial professional can help you decide. Let's talk.

Find a financial professional

GE- 111812 (02/2016)