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What Happens to the Money in an Annuity When You Die?

Jan 18, 2023

Blueprint Income Team

What happens to the money in an annuity when you die depends on the type of annuity and the options chosen. If you have an immediate or longevity annuity and pass away, the contract will terminate unless you include a refund at death (a.k.a. cash refund or death benefit).

Including the refund at death ensures that a beneficiary receives the premium paid less any income payments the owner had received prior to death. For a fixed, variable, or indexed annuity, the cash value of the contract will typically be given to the beneficiary upon death of the owner. In some limited instances, the death benefit of a fixed, variable, or indexed annuity will be slightly less than the cash value if the owner passes during the period when a surrender charge would have otherwise applied.

To get real-time personalized annuity quotes with our annuity calculator click here.

If you’re interested in reading more, here are several articles on immediate annuities.

Blueprint Income Team

We are a team of finance, insurance, and actuarial professionals working to make it easier for everyone to achieve a steady and comfortable retirement. We write about annuities (the good and the bad) and provide strategies to help Americans prepare for retirement.


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