May 20, 2015 in Retirement

Should my annuity be paying me more?

Dear Senior Living Adviser,

Should I be paid interest on the interest portion of my annuity while the insurance company is making lifetime payments to me?

— Lisa Lifetime

Dear Lisa,

I would start by reading the fine print of your annuity. Other than that advice, here are some thoughts from an expert — David Littell, director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income at The American College:

“Annuities are specific contracts between the owner of the contract and the insurance company. There are many types of annuities, and the specific terms of the contract vary from product to product, making it very difficult to make any generalizations about how your policy works once you have begun to receive income.

“I would start by calling the company that issued the annuity to ask questions that you have about the specific terms of the contract. The home office is usually the best place for getting the details of how the product works, and (people there) should be able to answer your questions.”

There are so many different ways annuities can be structured, so there’s no way to answer your question without reviewing the annuity contract. As Littell suggests, start by calling the company headquarters for answers to your questions about your annuity. You’ll get your answers and ideally feel better about how your annuity is structured.

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