Annuity123 is dedicated to providing Americans with unbiased information about retirement, answering the tough questions you want to know.

With hundreds of articles on every retirement planning topic you can think of, peace of mind is just a click away.

What Happens To My Fixed Annuity When I Die?

Richard Ericson

A little boy runs into his grandpa and says, “Can you make a sound like a frog?”  Grandpa replies, “of course I can make a sound like a frog.  Why do you ask?”  The boy says, “Grandma says when Grandpa croaks we can all go to Hawaii.”  Grandma and Grandpa knew their money was protected and safe in Grandpa’s indexed annuity.

There are many common questions that I am asked by investors as they learn about indexed annuities.  “What happens to my fixed annuity when I die?” is one of the most critical. First and foremost, 100% of the remaining assets will pass on to your beneficiary.  Although contract verbiage may vary from insurance company to insurance company, all of the assets in the contract value at the time of your passing will pass on to your beneficiary.

As the owner of the policy, you get to choose to whom the remaining assets will pass to.  You can choose both primary as well as secondary beneficiaries and the percentage you wish to provide to each.  Organizations may also be the beneficiary if you choose.  The beneficiary can change as your circumstances and or desires change over the years.  On any current investment or insurance policy, please review your beneficiary and update if appropriate.

The beneficiary also has multiple options on the dispersement of the funds.  Options do vary if the beneficiary is a spouse, or someone else.  Two of the most common distribution methods include a lump sum payment, or taking payments stretched out over a longer period of time.  As an example, if you are the beneficiary of $1 million dollar IRA annuity, stretching the payments out over several years may benefit you so you don’t have to pay taxes all in one year.

The taxation of an annuity is based upon the tax structure of the investment when it is created.  For example, if you have $500,000 in an old 401K or IRA, the assets are qualified by the IRS, and will be taxed at ordinary income rates at the time they are distributed whether by the owner, or the beneficiary.  Roth annuities also may be set up, and the distribution to the owner or beneficiary is then tax free.

Once again, your financial goals and purposes have flexibility with an Indexed Annuity.  Your assets will be protected, while they are growing.  For some investors, passing their wealth on for legacy purposes is their goal.  Equity Indexed annuities again allow this to happen.  This will happen as a result of the owner passing, and can be enhanced with the use of an enhanced death benefit rider.  In recent years, some carriers have added an option for those investors who don’t anticipate utilizing the assets in their annuity for income for themselves, but rather want to pass on as much as possible to their heirs.  Enhanced death benefit riders may vary, but generally speaking, the insurance company will guarantee a certain percentage of growth, and the death benefit is guaranteed to be a certain amount.

It’s only one question, but it’s an important question, “What happens to my fixed annuity when I die?”  There is safety and protection in knowing your indexed annuity will grow, provide income, and 100% of the remaining value will pass on to your beneficiary.

Click here to see more articles from Richard Ericson.

About the Author:

Richard Ericson was born and raised in Salt Lake City, played quarterback for Weber State University and coached football at the Division One level for 10 years at Weber State and Utah State Universities as offensive coordinator. He now coaches individuals on how to invest safely in their retirement plans. He has had his own radio program and was featured in Fox Business News emphasizing risk-free investments. Rich’s expertise is working with business owners utilizing advanced tax strategies to reduce risk and build tax-favored and tax-free wealth. Rich received his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and his Master’s Degree in Education from Weber State University. He is currently licensed to sell Property & Casualty, Life and Health insurance, as well as annuities. With his expertise in analyzing risk, Rich is well qualified to help individuals evaluate their opportunities to reduce tax, legal, and market risk.

Richard strongly believes that money which grows consistently and without risk is the safest investment for his clients’ retirement income. “Playing the ‘Wall Street Game’ with your sacred money is a sure way to run out of money when you need it the most,” warns Rich. He further states, “If you want to play the stock market game with 30-40% of your wealth, that’s fine, as long as you have enough money in safe, guaranteed investments to meet your retirement goals.”

He can be reached at (303) 749-5853 or


Annuity123 does not offer insurance, investment, or tax advice.  You should always seek the guidance of qualified and licensed professionals concerning your personal insurance, investment, or tax matters.  Annuity123 is simply a platform allowing retirement planning professionals to help educate the community on various retirement planning topics.  Annuity123 does not directly support or take responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the content displayed in the articles themselves or any feedback that may get added in the Comments section from the community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *