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Retirement - Annuity Plans

Annuities provide a guaranteed stream of income after retirement. These plans help you accumulate money for the future, typically once you retire. An annuity plan is a type of financial product that provides a stream of income to an individual over a specified period of time, typically in retirement.


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Annuity Plans
Francis Rodrigues Francis Rodrigues

Francis Rodrigues has a decade long experience in the insurance sector, and as SVP, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, HDFC Life, manages the online sales channel, as well as digital and performance marketing. He has had hands-on experience in setting up sales channels and functional teams from scratch over a career spanning 2 decades.

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Vishal Subharwal heads the Strategy, Marketing, E-Commerce, Digital Business & Sustainability initiatives at HDFC Life. He is responsible for crafting and ensuring successful implementation of the overall organisation strategy.

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What Are Annuity Plans?

An annuity plan is a type of financial product that provides a stream of income to an individual over a specified period of time, typically in retirement. Essentially, it is a contract between you and an insurance company. You agree to make a lump-sum payment or a series of payments to the company. In return, they provide guaranteed periodic payments.


You can select from a range of annuity plans based on your requirements. You can choose between immediate and deferred annuities, both of which offer fixed or variable returns. Annuity plans are an efficient retirement planning tool since they provide guaranteed income to help you meet your financial obligations once you retire. Annuities also help mitigate longevity risk, which is the risk of outliving one's savings. You can get a steady income stream for the rest of your life with an annuity plan.


Many people find annuities complex, often opting for other retirement plans instead of them. Here, we'll help you make sense of annuities and help you better understand how they can help you during retirement.

Annuity Plans

How Does Annuity Work?

Annuities provide a guaranteed stream of income after retirement. These plans help you accumulate money for the future, typically once you retire. You can make a series of payments or a lump-sum payment to an insurance company to purchase an annuity. The company invests the money you provide on your behalf to build up a corpus for the future. When you buy an annuity, you select how frequently you want to receive payments, the amount, and for how many years you should receive them. Most annuity plans today provide life-long payments. When you want to start receiving payments, you will get the original investment plus interest minus fees the company requires to manage the plan for you. You can categorise annuities into fixed and variable annuities. Fixed annuities provide a fixed rate of return. Variable annuities invest in a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and the returns depend on the performance of the underlying investments.

Benefits of Annuity

When you purchase an annuity plan, you enjoy several benefits.

Lifetime Income with Annuity Plans

Lifetime Income

As India's life expectancy increases, people are concerned about outliving their savings. Annuities offer a lifetime income stream, alleviating these worries. These plans can be structured to provide regular payouts for a specific period or the remainder of your life.

Guaranteed and Secure - Benefits of Annuity Plans

Guaranteed and Secure

Investments in stocks and bonds depend on market fluctuations, making it difficult to predict how much you will get. Annuities provide a guaranteed rate of return and a guaranteed stream of income. These plans offer peace of mind for retirees concerned about market volatility and potential investment losses.

Additional Benefits - Benefits of Annuity Plans

Additional Benefits

Annuities also offer additional features and benefits. Firstly, they provide tax-deferred growth. So, individuals can invest and build a corpus without paying taxes until they start getting payouts. Tax-deferred growth increases the value of the investment over time, making it beneficial for individuals who want to build a significant corpus for their retired life. These plans also offer a joint-life option, which means you can secure your spouse's retired life through the annuity, ensuring they maintain their financial independence, regardless of what happens to you.

Features of Annuity Plans

Let’s better understand the features of annuity plans.
Safe Investment Option - Annuity plans

Safe Investment Option

Insurance companies regulated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) offer annuity plans, making them a safe investment option. Insurance companies must meet certain financial requirements to fulfil their obligations to annuity holders, providing an additional layer of security.

Financial Security with Annuity Plans

Financial Security

Annuities provide a guaranteed stream of income, ensuring financial security. Unlike other investment options, such as stocks or bonds, annuities offer a guaranteed rate of return and a guaranteed income stream after retirement.

Financial Flexibility with Savings Investment plans

Flexibility in Payouts

Annuities allow individuals to choose a payout option that best suits their needs. Some plans allow individuals to receive payments for a specific period, such as 10 or 20 years. Other policies offer regular payouts for the rest of the person's life. The flexibility in payouts lets individuals choose what suits their retirement needs.

Types of Annuity Plans


Deferred Annuity

Deferred annuity plans provide a regular stream of income payments to an individual at a future date. Assume a 30-year-old makes a lump-sum payment to purchase a deferred annuity plan on 1st January 2020. They want to retire at 60 and only require payouts from 2050. The insurance company will invest the payment provided by the 30-year-old in various assets like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The goal of the investment will be to generate returns. After the deferral period, on the predetermined date, the individual starts receiving regular payments from the annuity. They may receive a fixed amount at regular intervals or a variable amount based on investment returns.


Immediate Annuity Plans

Immediate annuity plans provide a regular stream of income payments to individuals immediately after they make a lump-sum payment to the insurance company. The company invests the amount in various assets to provide monthly or annual payouts to the individual. The payment amounts depend on the individual's age, interest rate, and the time of purchase. Immediate annuities allow individuals who have saved up a corpus a quick and easy way to get a guaranteed income for life. The plans help alleviate concerns about outliving savings or financial obligations after retirement. You can structure your immediate annuity plan to increase the payment amounts over time to deal with inflation.

Annuity Plans Based on Returns

Both deferred and annuity plans allow you to select between variable and fixed annuities.

Variable Annuity

Variable annuities provide the potential for investment growth while ensuring a guaranteed income stream in retirement. With a variable annuity, an individual typically makes a lump-sum payment to an insurance company, which invests the funds in various investment options, such as mutual funds or stocks. The value of the investment account within the variable annuity fluctuates based on the performance of the underlying investments. Some plans allow individuals to choose how their funds get allocated among various investment options. Some variable annuities also offer a fixed account option, which provides a guaranteed rate of return not tied to the performance of the underlying investments.


Fixed Annuity

A fixed annuity provides a guaranteed income stream to individuals after they retire. With a fixed annuity, an individual typically makes a lump-sum payment to an insurance company, which then guarantees to pay a fixed rate of return on their investment, regardless of market conditions. The insurance company invests the funds from the fixed annuity in low-risk assets, such as bonds or other fixed-income investments. The individual is guaranteed to receive a fixed rate of return on their investment for a period ranging from a few years to several decades. At the end of the accumulation phase, the individual receives regular income payments from the fixed annuity.

Factors to Consider Before Investing in Annuity Plans in India

Annuity plans provide financial security once you retire. Before purchasing one, you must consider some crucial factors.

Category of Annuity plans in India

Category of Annuity

You can get various annuity plans in India, such as immediate or deferred, and fixed or variable annuities. Each one offers unique features and benefits. You must consider your retirement goals and financial obligations and select a plan to help you meet them.

Financial Commitment - Investing in Annuity plan

Financial Commitment

Annuity plans typically require a significant financial commitment, such as a single lump-sum payment or a series of regular premium payments. You must carefully consider your financial situation and budget to ensure you can fulfil the financial commitment required for the annuity plan.

Age and Health Requirements for investment in Annuity plan

Age and Health Requirements

Annuity plans may have age and health requirements, such as minimum and maximum age limits or medical underwriting requirements. Check each insurance company's criteria to determine if you are eligible for the annuity plan.

Options for Payout - Annuity Investment

Options for Payout

Annuity plans offer different options for payout, including how long the payments will last, such as for a certain number of years or the rest of your life. Evaluate your financial goals and needs and determine the best payout option accordingly.

Tax Impacts - Investment in Annuity Plans

Tax Impacts

Annuity plans allow tax-deferred growth. However, once you start receiving the payments, you will have to pay taxes on the income based on your salary bracket. You must understand these tax implications to determine the cost and benefit of the annuity plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 What is the annuity rate?

The annuity rate is the rate at which an insurance company or financial institution will provide regular payments to an individual in exchange for a lump sum or regular premium payments. The annuity rate depends on several factors, including the individual's age, life expectancy, and prevailing interest rates when the annuity is purchased. The annuity rate determines the amount the individual will receive from the plan. It can vary depending on the annuity type and the specific terms of the annuity contract.

2 Is an annuity a good investment?

Whether or not an annuity is a good investment depends on individual financial goals, circumstances, and risk tolerance. These plans can provide a guaranteed income stream in retirement, which can benefit individuals looking for a reliable source of income. You must carefully consider the features and costs of an annuity before making a decision.

3 How is the annuity calculated?

The calculation of annuity payments depends on several factors, including the amount of the initial investment, the length of the annuity payment period, and the interest rate used to calculate the payments. The specific formula used to calculate annuity payments can vary depending on the type of annuity, whether it is fixed or variable, and the annuity terms. You can use an annuity calculator to help estimate annuity payments.

4 Is there a limit on an annuity?

In India, there are also certain limits and regulations related to annuities. For example, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) sets guidelines for annuity plans offered by insurance companies in India. These guidelines may include limits on the minimum and maximum ages at which an individual can purchase an annuity, the maximum premium amount, and the maximum and minimum annuity payment amounts.

5 At what age should I buy an annuity?

The ideal age to buy an annuity depends on various factors, including retirement goals, current financial situation, and life expectancy. Generally, individuals approaching retirement can purchase an annuity. Typically, individuals between the ages of 55 to 75 purchase these plans.

6 How do I buy an annuity?

To buy an annuity, you typically need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Assess your retirement income needs and goals.

Step 2: Evaluate the annuity options available.

Step 3: Select the ideal plan for your needs.

Step 4: Complete the application process.

Step 5: Make the required payments to purchase the plan.

Step 6: Start receiving payments from the annuity.

7 Are annuities good for senior citizens?

Annuities can be a good option for senior citizens looking for a guaranteed source of income in retirement. An annuity can provide regular payments for the rest of your life, which can help supplement other sources of retirement income.

8 What happens to my annuity if I die?

If you have a single-life annuity, the payments will stop if something happens to you, and the insurance company receives the remaining funds. If you have a joint-life plan, your beneficiary gets the payouts after you pass away. Some annuities also have a death benefit rider. It provides your beneficiary with a payout.

9 When can you withdraw money from an annuity?

Your insurance company and chosen annuity plan dictate how and when you can withdraw money from an annuity. It’s best to check the policy documents to better understand your options. You may have to pay a penalty or fee for early withdrawals.

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We at HDFC Life are committed to offer innovative products and services that enable individuals live a ‘Life of Pride’. For over two decades we have been providing life insurance plans - protection, pension, savings, investment, annuity and health.

  1. As per Income Tax Act, 1961. Tax benefits are subject to changes in tax laws.
  2. Amount of guaranteed income will depend upon premiums paid subject to applicable terms and conditions.
  3. Available only under ‘Life Annuity with Return of Purchase Price on diagnosis of Critical Illness’ option.
  4. In the case of Joint Life annuities the payout continues till either of the lives chosen in the policy is alive.

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