What is an annuity period certain?  
An annuity period certain (more commonly referred to as annuity certain) is one in which a specified number of annuity payments (of a set amount) is provided for and guaranteed. The specified period over which the annuity payments are made is called the period certain. At the end of the period certain, the annuity payments cease, even if the annuitant is still alive. If the annuitant dies before the end of the period certain, the remainder of the annuity payments are paid to a beneficiary named in the contract by the annuitant.

The annuity payments are paid at regular intervals such as every year, half year, quarter or month. An annuity period certain may be immediate or deferred. Payments for an immediate annuity will commence one payment interval after the annuity has been issued. Payments for a deferred annuity will commence much later but as specified in the annuity contract. All else being equal, a deferred annuity will offer bigger or more payments than an immediate annuity.

Surrender values are also (usually) allowable at any time prior to the final annuity payment. Annuity period certain is useful when a person needs an income for a specified period of time.

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