Immediate Annuities are normally purchased with a single premium payment. Annuity payments to the contract owner usually begin one period (monthly, annual, ect.) after the contract is issued. Popular payment periods include:
- Life Only: Regular payments are made for as long as the annuitant lives. When the annuitant's life ends, payments cease and no refund is made, even if the contract owner has not yet recovered the initial principal.
- Life with Term Certain: Regular payments are made for the life of the annuitant, or a specified number of years. If the annuitant dies before the specified term has passed, annuity payments continue to a beneficiary for the remainder of the term.
- Joint and Survivor: Regular payments are made over the lives of two individuals. When one dies, annuity payments (or a specified portion) continue to the survivor.
- Specified Period: Regular payments are made for a pre- selected number of years. If the annuitant dies before the specified period has expired, payments are continued to a named beneficiary for the remaining term.