What is an annuity?
Annuities are lifetime income plans you purchase.
When it’s time to retire, you have some additional options—options that can change your finite savings into a monthly, lifetime income called an annuity. An annuity is a guaranteed income plan you purchase. The monthly payments you receive are based on the dollar amount you choose to purchase. The annuity will provide monthly payments for your lifetime. The annuities DRS offers are administered by Washington state with investments provided by the Washington State Investment Board.
Is an annuity right for me?
Annuities can provide guaranteed income for your life. And they offer security through a set monthly income which can increase annually if you are eligible for a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). However, flexibility is not a feature of annuities. Once you set it up, an annuity doesn’t allow you to change the income amount. Once you begin receiving monthly payments, you cannot cancel the annuity.
With annuities, you take money out of market risk and use it to give yourself a monthly lifetime income. Annuities are the only investment withdrawal option that guarantee you will not outlive your account balance.
How do annuities affect my taxes?
Each year you’ll receive a statement that shows the taxable amount of your annuity. DRS is required to withhold a certain amount of federal taxes. If you would like more tax withheld, complete a W-4P form. Without a W-4P, the tax withholding will follow IRS guidelines, using a filing status of single with no adjustments.
For more information about taxes, review IRS Publication 575. You might want to consult a tax advisor when considering purchasing an annuity. DRS and the record keeper are not authorized to give tax advice.
Considering an annuity?
If you are considering purchasing an annuity offered through your plan, be sure to let us know when you request your official retirement estimate. This will allow us to include an annuity estimate along with your retirement estimate.