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What Is a Joint and survivor annuity? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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A form of pension fund payment in which the retired participant gets a check every month. When the participant dies, the spouse continues to get a monthly check equal to one-half of the benefit for the rest of his or her life.

As a financial instrument, an annuity is one that protects against market and longevity risks by accruing interest on a tax-deferred basis. Many people, including lottery winners, pensioners, and those who have received structured settlements, use annuities to ensure a steady stream of income now, in the future, and even after their deaths.

Upon the demise of the annuity owner, annuity payments may or may not cease. A death-benefit provision in annuities allows the owner to designate a beneficiary to receive the greater of all remaining funds or a predetermined minimum.

It is possible to leave an annuity to a loved one by naming them as a beneficiary.

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