Q:

What is a 50 percent joint and survivor annuity?

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Quick Answer

A 50 percent joint and survivor annuity is a financial product that distributes a specified monthly payment to the product’s joint owners, or annuitants, while both are living, and half the amount to the surviving annuitant after one annuitant dies. The half payments continue until the surviving annuitant also dies.

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Full Answer

Annuities are sold by financial institutions that accept and grow funds from an individual or individuals and then distribute a stream of payments to the annuity’s owner or owners after annuitization at some point in the future. Annuities are often used as a source of income after retirement.

Another type of joint and survivor annuity is a joint and two-thirds annuity. It reduces the amount of payment to the surviving annuitant to two-thirds of the original payment amount after one of the annuitants dies.

Joint and survivor annuities are often purchased by married couples who wish to ensure the surviving spouse continues to receive payments for life. This differs from annuity products payable for a fixed period of time, in which case it is possible for the surviving annuitant to outlive the payments.

If one wishes to choose a person other than a current spouse as the joint annuitant, the person that is chosen must be either a former spouse or someone who could reasonably anticipate obtaining financial benefit from the chooser’s continued life, such as an adopted or blood relative.

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