What Happens To My Prudential Annuity When I Die?

Your annuity may have been set up with either a guarantee period or a joint life option, or both, so that your money doesn’t go with you when you pass away. Your loved ones will receive a steady stream of income for the rest of their life as a result of this arrangement.

Does an annuity pension die with you?

The pension fund that was used to purchase your annuity will be lost if you pass away. However, there are a number of steps you may take to guarantee that your pension or annuity resources are still available to a beneficiary.

What happens to a living annuity on death?

In pre-retirement products (such pension, provident, preservation, and retirement annuity funds), the final choice rests with the trustees of the retirement fund, whereas in a living annuity, you determine who receives the payout.

It is the responsibility of the trustees of a retirement fund to distribute your benefits in the event of your death prior to retirement under the Pension Funds Act. Trustees are expected to carry out the following three responsibilities:

The first step is to identify and locate all of your relying parties. Dependents include your spouse, children, and anybody else who can be demonstrated to be financially reliant on you at the time of your death, as well as those who are entitled to your maintenance or who may become so in the future.

Investigate how to share the reward and make a decision. Your ‘nominees’ will be considered as well. It is possible to nominate someone who is not a dependant, such as an acquaintance, to be considered by your retirement fund’s trustees along with all of the other qualified dependants that you have designated. Not everyone who is nominated gets the whole or partial benefit of the award.

As a last step, determine how the benefit will be provided. For example, if it will be paid directly to a dependant, or to a legal guardian of an underage dependant, or to a trust for the benefit of such an underage dependant.

The Act permits trustees at least a year to look for dependants, and the procedure may take longer to finalize, for example, if the dead member left behind more than one family unit. A money market fund is used to hold the benefit throughout this period.

Dependants and nominees have a variety of alternatives for receiving their benefit. A cash lump amount (from which tax may be deducted), a living or guaranteed life annuity, or a combination of a cash lump sum (from which tax may be deducted) and a living or guaranteed life annuity are all possible options.

It is possible to move your retirement fund investment into a product that will provide you with an income in retirement, such as a living or guaranteed life insurance policy, when you retire. A living annuity’s most important feature is that it can be passed on to your loved ones. This is in contrast to life annuities, which typically expire when the holder dies.

There are several options for receiving your living annuity’s death benefit, including a lump sum, transfer to another annuity or both. The first R500 000 of a cash payment may be exempt from tax.

Can I cash in my annuity with Prudential?

Get a lifetime income that you can count on (also known as an annuity)

Your pension fund can be used to buy a lifetime of income. Lifetime income is guaranteed, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of money again. Income tax may be owed on these payments.

Tax-free withdrawals of up to 25% of the money you transfer into a life-income guarantee are possible in most situations. Do this from the beginning and accept the rest as a source of income. Before you acquire an annuity, have a look at these annuity tips.

Take a flexible income or cash flow (also known as drawdown)

Tax-free cash withdrawals are available in most situations for up to a quarter of the money transferred into a flexible cash or income plan. At the beginning, you’ll need to accomplish this. As a result, you can dip in and out of the rest at your convenience.

With this option, you can also establish a regular source of income. You may be taxed on any money you take after the first 25%. The balance of your money can be invested in whatever fund or funds you like, allowing it to grow. However, just like any other investment, it could lose value and you could end up with less money than you invested.

It’s also a good idea to take your money in the form of cash.

You can do this all at once, or in smaller installments, with the rest of your pension money remaining intact.

Each payment will be tax-free if you don’t take your tax-free cash up front and choose smaller lump payments. The rest will be added to your taxable income for the year and taxed as such.

4. A variety of choices

Even if you just have one pension pool, you don’t have to pick just one option; you can use any or all of them over time.

The pros and considerations of each choice should be considered before merging them. When merging plans, check with your providers to make sure you aren’t sacrificing any promises.

Leave it where you found it.

In the event that you don’t need to take any money out of your pension fund, you can leave it in your pension pot to give yourself more time to decide what to do with it or to give your pot a chance to keep growing – but while it’s invested, it could go down as well as up in value, and you might get back less money than you paid in.

Also, if you’re already contributing to your plan, you can keep doing so and possibly get a tax break. When you’re ready, you can decide how you want to get your money.

Please examine your terms and conditions or contact your service provider if you decide to do nothing.

Do annuities have beneficiaries?

A beneficiary can be named on your annuity, and this beneficiary may be entitled to receive the money in your annuity in the event of your death. Another alternative would be to pay out only while you’re alive and then stop when you pass away.

Do pensions end at death?

The term “private pension” refers to the type of pension you’ll have if you’ve set up your own, such as a SIPP or self employed pension. defined benefit and defined contribution are the two basic categories. In the event of your death, your beneficiaries will be able to receive a certain amount of your pension, depending on the type you have.

Death benefits for defined contribution pensions are governed by your age at death and whether or not you have already begun taking your pension.

If you die before the age of 75 and have not begun taking your pension, it can be passed on to your heirs tax-free. An annuity can be purchased with the proceeds of the deceased’s private pension plan’s final payments, which can then be withdrawn, invested, or all three. Beneficiaries have two years from the date of your death to file a claim for a death pension before tax is levied.

Whether or not your beneficiaries will be able to take action if you pass away before the age of 75 but have already begun taking your pension is determined by the method you choose to access your funds. A lump sum withdrawal from your pension will count as part of your estate, but if you’ve chosen drawdown, your beneficiaries will be able to access the rest of your pension fund tax-free, regardless of how much cash you have in your bank account. Drawdown payments, a lump payout, or the purchase of an annuity are all options.

It’s a little more complicated to get an annuity after death. An annuity can’t be handed on to a beneficiary if you’ve already started receiving payments before your death. Certain annuities, such as joint life, value protected, and guaranteed term, are eligible for pension transfer upon death. It is possible that your beneficiaries will be able to receive your future payments tax-free if you have one of these annuities, but it is important that they check with their annuity provider for details.

If you pass away after the age of 75, your heirs will be liable for paying income tax on whatever pensions you leave them. If they receive a substantial lump-sum death benefit, for example, they may find themselves in a higher tax bracket because this will be taxed at their marginal income tax rate.

Your pension provider will need to know the names and phone numbers of the people who will get your pension if you die. As a PensionBee customer, this may be done in a matter of seconds through your online dashboard.

The value of defined benefit pensions is tied to your income and the number of years you’ve worked for the company. When it comes to deferred compensation pensions, whether or not you were retired before your death is the most important rule to know.

2-4 times your salary will be paid out in the event of your death before retirement. If you die before the age of 75, your beneficiaries will not have to pay taxes on this money. The “survivor’s pension” that most defined benefit pensions provide to a surviving spouse, civil partner, or dependent child is taxed at the recipient’s marginal income tax rate.

If you are already retired when you die, your spouse, civil partner, or other dependent will get a reduced income from your defined benefit pension. In contrast to a personal pension, the criteria governing who is eligible for death benefits under a pension system are more tougher when it comes to defining who is considered a dependant.

Jointly owned annuity

Co-ownership vs. beneficiary status is a matter of semantics. An annuity that is jointly owned by a married couple will continue to pay the surviving spouse even if one of the partners dies. In other words, as long as one spouse is living, the annuity will continue to pay out.

There can also be a third annuitant (often a child of the couple) included in these contracts, who can be designated to receive a minimum amount of payments if both partners in the original contract die early. These contracts are sometimes called joint and survivor annuities. To see if you’ve inherited an annuity that falls under this category, you’ll need to do some research.

It’s important to remember that if an annuity is sponsored by an employer, the company is required to automatically implement a joint and survivor plan for married couples who retire together. This option should only be available with the written approval of the spouse.

Depending on the type of joint and survivor annuity you’ve inherited, your monthly payout will be affected in a variety of ways.

  • An annuity with a 100% survivor benefit. Even if one of the joint annuitants dies, the monthly annuity payout will stay the same. The money received is unaffected by the demise. If: This type of annuity was purchased, it is possible that:
  • The surviving family member wished to assume the debts of the deceased.
  • The surviving member of a married pair has expressed a desire to avoid job loss as a result of these obligations being shared.
  • Survivor annuity of 50%. The surviving annuitant receives just half (50 percent) of the monthly payment made to the joint annuitants while both were still alive. It’s possible that this type of annuity was chosen because the surviving spouse didn’t want to take on the financial commitments of the deceased partner because they were maintained independently by both partners (such as club memberships, individual insurance payments, hobby expenses, and so forth).

Spouse beneficiaries

In certain cases, an annuitant’s surviving spouse may be able to convert the annuity into their own name and assume responsibility for the original contract. Succeeding spouses in this situation are termed as “spousal continuation” and get all remaining annuity payments as scheduled.

When a primary beneficiary is unable or unwilling to accept the annuity, spouses may choose to take lump sum payments or decline it in favor of the contingent beneficiary, who will receive the annuity if the primary beneficiary does not.

The surviving spouse’s decision on how to proceed with the annuity will have an impact on the tax ramifications, although the annuity itself is not automatically treated as a taxable event. Depending on the nature of the annuity’s funds, cashing out a lump payment can result in a wide range of tax consequences (pretax or already taxed). However, if the spouse continues to receive the annuity or transfers the assets to an IRA, no taxes will be payable.

Minor beneficiaries

A kid being named as the beneficiary of an annuity may seem strange, but there are valid reasons for this. Some children with disabilities, whether physical or developmental, may require ongoing financial support in order to receive the care they require. A fixed-period annuity can also be utilized to help pay for the education of a future kid or grandchild.

It is illegal for anyone under the age of eighteen to receive money that has been left to them directly. The funds must be overseen by an adult, like a trustee. However, a trust differs from an annuity in that money placed in a trust must be distributed within five years and does not enjoy the tax benefits of an annuity.

As of the age of 18, a minor identified as the annuity’s beneficiary can access the inherited cash. After then, the beneficiary has the option of receiving a lump-sum payout.

Other beneficiaries

An annuity contract normally cannot be transferred to a non-spouse. When a contract includes a provision for a “survival annuity,” it is an exception. It’s important to keep in mind that if the intended recipient has a spouse, that individual must consent to any such annuity.

Payout options

Beneficiaries may be able to choose from a variety of payout alternatives depending on the annuity’s parameters. These are some of the most prevalent instances, but you’ll need to analyze the exact contract to get the full picture.

Distribution options explained

  • Contract value or a guaranteed sum are two examples of lump-sum distribution. It’s called a “bullet payment” in the context of a loan, rather than installments. A beneficiary who wants to make a large purchase, such as a home or a significant business venture, may find it advantageous to receive a lump sum payment. Because they must pay the IRS the entire taxable amount at once, there are tax ramifications.
  • As long as all the money is collected by the end of the fifth year, beneficiaries can defer claiming money for up to five years or split payments out throughout that period. Because the tax burden is distributed over time, this may avoid them from falling into higher tax brackets in any given year.
  • Stretch distributions – annuitized or “stretch” payments A “stretch provision” is exactly what it sounds like: a wiggle room. It’s a way for a beneficiary to spread out the payments from an inherited annuity throughout the course of his or her own life expectancy, as well as the associated tax repercussions. A non-spousal beneficiary has one year after the death of an annuitant to set up a stretch distribution.
  • Nonqualified stretch provision (stream of payments for life) — This format establishes a lifetime stream of income for the beneficiary. Typically, this method has the fewest tax consequences because it is built up over time.
  • In the absence of a beneficiary or annuity death benefit clause, any money remaining in the contract at the time of death may be returned to the insurer. With immediate annuities, which might begin paying out immediately following a lump sum investment without a predetermined term, this can be the case.

The contract’s full value must be withdrawn from the annuitant’s estate, trust, or charity within five years of the annuitant’s death.

Tax implications to Consider

  • If the annuity was funded with pre-tax or post-tax cash, the tax consequences will be impacted. Money that has already been taxed is not eligible for annuities. You don’t have to pay taxes on the annuity’s capital because it has already been taxed, so you don’t have to pay the IRS for it again. The only part of your income that is subject to taxation is interest.
  • On the other hand, an eligible annuity’s principle has not yet been taxed. As a rule, it’s been transferred from another retirement account. It is therefore necessary to pay taxes on both the interest and the principle when a qualifying annuity is withdrawn.
  • It is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service if an inherited annuity is used to pay taxes. All income that isn’t specifically tax-exempt is considered to be gross income for tax purposes. However, taxable income, which the IRS uses to determine how much you owe, is not the same as taxable income. Taxable income is the sum of your taxable and non-taxable incomes.
  • In the event that you inherit an annuity, you’ll be responsible for paying income tax on the difference between the annuity’s original principle amount and its current value. Taxes would be due to you (the beneficiary) if, for example, the owner paid $100,000 for an annuity and gained $20,000 in interest. The amount of taxes you owe and when you have to pay them depend on how and when you take money out of your annuity.
  • All lump sum payments are taxed at the same time, regardless of the amount. If you choose this option, you may find yourself in a higher tax rate for a single year because of the higher income you’ll have for that year.
  • It is taxed as income in the year that the payments are made. It is less probable that you will be moved to a higher tax rate in any given year if you, as the recipient, choose to receive payments over time.
  • As long as payments continue under a life annuity, the money isn’t taxed until it reaches a certain amount. (Always seek the guidance of a tax specialist.)


It is possible to avoid probate by naming an annuity beneficiary, which is a legal process that validates a will and names an executor to distribute assets. It takes a long time to complete probate, which is a common difficulty with legal proceedings. How long will it take? Probate takes an average of roughly 24 months, although smaller estates can be settled faster (often in just six months) and probate can be considerably more complex cases even longer.

However, the process can get mired down if there are disagreements between beneficiaries or the court needs to decide who should handle the estate.

By naming a specified beneficiary on an annuity, you can avoid probate. In the event of a legal dispute, the party specified in the contract has the upper hand. An individual, rather not just “the estate,” should be designated a beneficiary. Unless the estate is specifically mentioned in the will, courts will analyze the will in order to resolve any issues that may arise.

The decision of whether or not to name a contingent beneficiary should also be taken into account by annuitants. If there are valid concerns about the person designated as the annuitant’s beneficiary dying before the annuitant, this may be an option worth considering. When the annuitant dies, the annuity may be liable to probate if there is no dependent beneficiary. The benefits of designating a secondary beneficiary should be discussed with your financial advisor.

How do annuities work at death?

As to what happens to annuities after the death of the owner, it depends on the type of annuity and its payment plan. There are a variety of annuity payment plans to choose from. Some annuities terminate payments at the death of the “annuitant,” the annuity’s owner, while other annuities continue payments to a spouse or other annuity recipient for years after their passing.

On these alternatives, the purchaser of annuity makes them at the time of contract drawing up. The amount of the annuitant’s payout is influenced by the choices he or she makes.

Does an annuity form part of your estate?

Your beneficiaries receive any remaining investment value (ies). You will not be taxed on any of your remaining assets, including any retirement fund contributions that have not yet been repaid to you in the form of a tax-free lump sum or tax-free annuity income. An annuity or a mix of an annuity and a cash lump sum can be selected by your beneficiary(ies).

There are two scenarios in which your living annuity can come into your estate and be subject to your Will: If you have no designated beneficiaries or your designated beneficiaries are unreachable.

Do annuities go through probate?

Investments in the form of annuities are made available by insurance firms. However, annuities are meant to perform two primary functions—to generate an income stream during your lifetime and to transfer assets upon your death—and there are a wide variety of annuities available.

Regardless of the sort of annuity you have, the death benefit is not subject to probate. As soon as the insurance company receives a certified death certificate and the necessary paperwork, they will transfer your assets to your beneficiary.

Can you lose your money in an annuity?

Owners of variable annuities or index-linked annuities may suffer a loss of capital. There is no risk of losing money in any of these types of contracts: immediate (instant annuity), fixed (fixed-indexed), deferred (delayed income), long-term (long-term care) or Medicaid (long-term care).

Can you take all your money out of an annuity?

Is it possible to withdraw all of the money from an annuity? You can withdraw money from an annuity at any time, but be aware that you’ll only get a fraction of the contract’s value when you do so.

Can an annuity be cashed in?

An annuity can’t be cashed out or changed no matter how long ago you bought it, no matter how long ago you took it out. When you acquire an annuity, you will be given a 30-day cooling-off period by the supplier of your chosen product.

Change your mind and inform the annuity provider in writing of your decision not to purchase an annuity during this period.

This is not the same as cashing out your annuity, which is the only option. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to cash in an existing annuity once the cooling-off period has expired.

Why are annuities so inflexible?

It is because annuities were created to offer a fixed retirement income from the pension assets that each individual has saved up during their working life that they are so rigid and rarely cashed in.

In exchange for that guaranteed income, the annuity provider can use your pension money for their own investment purposes. It doesn’t matter what happens to your investments; a fixed-term or life annuity you purchased at the time of purchase will be yours for the rest of your life, if you choose that option.