Accrual of Interest
The process where interest builds over time.

Accumulation Phase
Period of time where an annuity grows in cash value before payments are distributed.

The person who receives annuity benefits based on their life expectancy.

When annuity benefits are converted to income through a series of periodic payments.

Annuity Beneficiary
The person who receives benefits if the annuity owner dies.

Annuity Contract
Legal agreement between an insurance company and the person who purchases the annuity.

Annuity Issuer
The insurance company that sells the annuity, and pays its benefits.

Annuity Owner
The person or party that purchases the annuity and pays premiums.

Annuity Products
Investment options used as retirement plans or personal injury settlements.

Annuity Provider
Insurance companies that offer certain guarantees and options for retirement income.

An investment with money-back guarantees that provides periodic payments with interest over a period of time. They often provide additional income after retirement.


Better Business Bureau
A nonprofit organization devoted to assisting businesses and protecting consumers.

Legal agreement representing a loan that earns interest.

The person or legal firm active in arranging a financial exchange between a buyer and seller.

Immediate funds from selling an annuity.


Capital Gains
The difference in profit or loss when an asset, like an annuity, is purchased or sold.

Career Agents
Insurance company employee.

Cash Advance
Money that is accessible before it is earned.

Cash Value
The amount of money that can be withdrawn from an annuity after surrender charges are subtracted from total value of the annuity.

Catastrophic Injury Case
Deals with clients who have serious injuries that result in long-term consequences.

CBC Settlement Company
Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, this settlement purchasing company partners with Annuity.org. It was founded in 2004 and holds an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Certificates of Deposits (CDs)
An insured financial product, consisting of money deposited and held for a fixed period of time during which the sum earns interest. It is similar to a savings account.

The person in a lawsuit who is making a claim.

Combination Annuity
Made up of two annuities; one paid out immediately, one paid out later.

An award, often in the form of money, given to make up for a loss.

The process where investments earn interest.

Contribution Limits
The maximum amount you can contribute to a retirement fund.

Payments made to a fund.

Court Approval of Best Interest
Necessary judgment in order to sell annuity payments


Legal award, often monetary, to compensate for injuries.

Death Benefit
Part of some annuity contracts, guaranteeing payments will go to beneficiaries if annuitant dies.

The person or entity sued or accused in a legal matter.

Deferred Annuity
Annuity payments are delayed until the owner opts to receive them.

Postponed; in taxes, to be paid at a later date.

Emptied of funds.

Direct Funder
Provides annuitants money directly, rather than negotiating between parties.

Disability Advocate
Trained to get disability claims approved.

Payments from an annuity.


Early Withdrawal Penalty
IRS fee of 10 percent for withdrawals made by those under 59 ½.

Employer-Sponsored Retirement Account
An account that is able to grow tax deferred.

Equity-Indexed Annuity
A combination of a fixed and variable annuity.


Factoring Companies
Purchases settlements and provide short-term access to money.

Factoring Transaction
Formal name for selling a structured settlement.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The Congress-run agency responsible for supervising and insuring stability of financial institutions.

Fixed Annuity
A contract where the payment amount and time period of distribution are both fixed.

Flexible Premium
Following the first premium payment, both the amount and frequency of deposits in this annuity can change.


Guaranteed Income Security
An annuity benefit of receiving lifetime disbursement of payments.

Guaranteed Payments
Annuity contracts that specify payments will be made whether the annuitant is living or deceased.


Hidden Fees
Costs that are not disclosed upfront.


Immediate Annuity
Begins paying you within a year, rather than after a long-term accumulation phase; also known as an income or single premium immediate annuity (SPIA).

Income Tax
A government tax contingent upon how much money is earned annually.

Independent Broker Dealers
Firms responsible for trading securities.

Indexed Rate Annuity
A fixed annuity with an option of choosing a declared interest rate or one based on an outside stock index.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)
A type of savings account offering major tax benefits.

Economic term describing the increase in cost of goods and services as time passes.

Injured Party
The person or group of people suffering from an adverse circumstance in a lawsuit.

Installment Refund Annuity
The contract stipulates that if the annuitant dies before all income benefits are paid, a beneficiary will receive the difference.

Interest Rate
The amount charged or paid for using money.


Life Contingent Payment
A payment from a structured settlement that is discontinued upon the death of the annuitant. There are no beneficiaries of annuities with life contingent payments.

Life-with-Period Certain Annuity
Type of annuity that has smaller payments, but guarantees a specified amount of payments. If the annuitant dies before the period ends, payments will go to a beneficiary. If the annuitant outlives the payment period, there will still be payments until the annuitant dies.

The ability to easily access money.

Lump-Sum Payment
A one-time payment, rather than a series of payments.


Monetary Settlement
A lawsuit resolution resulting in a payment.

Money Market Accounts
Based on interest rates from traded loans between banks and other institutions.

Mortality Credits
Based on how long one lives, money accumulates which can be transferred from the annuitant to a beneficiary.

Mutual Funds
Professionally managed investment accounts used with securities such as stocks, bonds and other assets.


National Association of Settlement Purchasers
Serves the public by providing information on the practice and regulations of secondary market of settlement purchasers.

National Structured Settlement Trade Association
A resource to settlement claimants and professionals who work with accident survivors and dependents.

Nonqualified Annuities
This type of settlement is used when claims for damages fall outside the usual scope of physical injury, sickness or wrongful death.


Partial Purchase
Choosing to sell only a portion of annuity payments.

The person receiving annuity funds.

Payment Stream
Annuity income that is paid out, typically in a series of payments.

Payout Phase
The second phase of annuity life where payments are made.

a defined, long-term financial vehicle sponsored by a company to guarantee income to retired workers later in life.

Periodic Disbursement
Payments made at regular intervals.

Periodic Payment Settlement Act (PPSA)
Signed into law in 1982, this act promotes the use of structured settlement by providing certain tax benefits.

Personal Injury Lawsuit
Legal matter that may result in an agreement that is paid in a lump sum or structured settlement.

The party who initiates a lawsuit.

A regular payment made to keep insurance coverage active.

Present Value
The current cash value of an annuity, as calculated using a specific discount rate.

The amount that is originally invested, not including subsequent interest.

The legal process of handling a deceased person’s estate.

A statement adding to the specifications of a law or contract.


Qualified Annuities
The traditional structured settlement for physical injury or sickness claims.


A provision added to a contract.


Approved by an official.

Secondary Market Annuity (SMA)
An annuity purchased from the original owner, then transferred to a third party, which may then sell payments at a discount.

Secondary Market
The competitive industry where annuity payments are purchased in return for lump-sum cash payments.

Financial instrument that can be used as a tradable asset.

Single Premium Annuity
Purchased with a lump-sum payment, instead of a series of payments. It is also known as an immediate annuity.

State Lottery Commission
State-run lottery regulatory agencies.

Structured Settlement Protection Act (SSPA)
Passed in 1997, these state-defined laws originated in Illinois and regulate the secondary market.

Structured Settlement
A legally agreed upon settlement, paid in the form of an annuity, or schedule of continuing payments.

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

Systematic Withdrawal
Method of annuity distribution where deferred annuity payments can be scheduled at regular withdrawals instead of a guaranteed income stream.


Describes income that can grow free of taxes.

Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
Allowed structured settlement use for workers’ compensation cases.

Time Value of Money
The changing value of money based on earned interest and inflation over time.

Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights
Must be approved by a judge.


Variable Annuity
Value based on fluctuating interest rate from various smaller investments.


Wire houses
Brokerage firms which buy and sell financial securities.

Taking money out of an account.

Workers’ Compensation Claim
A lawsuit regarding work-related injuries or loss of income; usually result in a structured settlement.

Wrongful Death Claim
A lawsuit regarding death liability; usually result in a structured settlement.

Wrongful termination
A lawsuit regarding illegal employment termination; usually result in a structured settlement.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: October 21, 2020