Financial lingo can seem like a foreign language, and annuities have their own unique product-specific vocabulary.

Annuity.org has released a new, comprehensive glossary of financial terms to define complex financial terminology.

Kim Borwick, author of the glossary and senior editor for Annuity.org, explains, “Jargon and technical language permeate most industries, but when it comes to people’s money, the language used by financial experts, insurance carriers and investors can create a barrier between the average person and their own money.”

By and large, Americans do not understand what annuities are — nor how they work. Annuity.org created this glossary to help visitors decode the jargon in one accessible space.

Why Is Financial Literacy Important?

A recent LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study found that only 25 percent of consumers could correctly answer at least seven out of 10 annuity-specific questions. When asked about financial products and investments, less than 10 percent of Americans deemed themselves highly knowledgeable.

In a National Foundation for Credit Counseling financial literacy survey conducted in March of 2020 by The Harris Poll, 78 percent of respondents agreed that they would benefit from professional insight and answers to everyday financial questions. When asked about retirement savings, 23 percent reported that they were “not confident at all” that they were saving enough.

Harry N. Stout, president of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, explains in a recent Think Advisor article, “The time is right to educate consumers about annuities so that they understand how these products work — their benefits and restrictions. Today’s annuity products directly address many of the key financial and lifestyle risks our aging population is facing. We need to let the annuity genie out of the bottle.”

Consumers should build a solid foundation of financial knowledge to make informed decisions about their portfolios and retirement savings. By understanding the verbiage, people can be better equipped to reach their financial objectives.

What Makes Our Glossary Unique?

The team at Annuity.org strives to educate readers through relevant, reliable information about annuities and structured settlements.

Annuity.org’s Glossary of Financial Terms serves as an easy-to-navigate resource for readers to quickly access terms. The glossary is unique because many of the definitions link to comprehensive related pages on the website that provide additional context.

Other companies offer similar resources to define terms and topics related to their product offerings, but their entries are often limited to their business lines. We at Annuity.org take pride in the depth and breadth of the information we provide, and, as part of our strategy to advance our mission, we partner with expert reviewers whose experience and specializations ensure the trustworthiness of our content.

According to Borwick, “Our team has conducted thousands of hours of research and enlisted the expertise of highly experienced financial experts, many of whom are consumer advocates or fiduciaries, to ensure that our glossary is accurate and comprehensive and avoids the use of industry slang or shorthand to define financial terms.”

Defining Terms from A to Z — or A to Fees

Consider this: you are interested in securing an annuity product, but you want to learn more about the associated charges. The contract denotes your annuity’s fees in terms of basis points and surrender charges, rather than a specific figure or percentage. You think to yourself, “What on earth is a surrender charge?”

Surrender Charge: A fee for withdrawals made before the end of the surrender period.

The glossary includes annuity terms — as well as common investment and financial terms — in alphabetical order with clear, easy-to-understand definitions. Intuitive navigation elements simplify the search process.

Using Glossary Navigation Elements for a Seamless Experience

  • Alphabetical menu “jump-to” links: Click the letter that begins your search term.
  • Featured Terms box: Quickly find the most commonly searched annuity terms.
  • Search Box: Annuity.org’s main search box will provide a link to the glossary if the term has an entry.

Definitions also include related words or synonyms, acronyms and practical applications to the terms if applicable.

Annuity.org will continue to build upon its glossary in its commitment to enhancing and promoting financial literacy for its valued readers.

“Your money, like your health, is one area where blind trust is not an option,” says Borwick. “We at Annuity.org believe that strengthening financial literacy is the path to financial health. And being able to speak and understand the language is crucial.”

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: March 15, 2021

4 Cited Research Articles

Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.

  1. Borwick, K. (2021, March 2). Email interview with Annuity.org.
  2. LIMRA. (2020, April 27). Secure Retirement Institute Study: Most Consumers Baffled By Annuities. Retrieved from https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/news-releases/2020/secure-retirement-institute-study-consumers-baffled-by-annuities/
  3. National Foundation for Credit Counseling. (2020, March 23). 2020 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey. Retrieved from https://www.nfcc.org/wp-content/themes/foundation/assets/files/NFCC_Discover_2020_FLS_Datasheet%20With%20Key%20Findings_Clean.pdf
  4. Stout, H.N. (2021, February 12). Annuity Literacy: The Time is Right. Retrieved from https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/12/annuity-literacy-the-time-is-right/