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Annuities are one of the few sources of retirement income that can guarantee1 income for life. So no matter how you envision retirement, having the freedom to live life your way will depend, at least in part, on having a secure source of reliable income. Start planning for the future you want - and put our more than 170 years of experience to work for you.

What is an annuity?

Grandmother and granddaughter wearing sunglasses smiling

An annuity is a contract with an insurance company designed to help you accumulate funds for a long-term goal (like retirement) and/or protect you from the risk of outliving your savings.

Payments into deferred annuities grow tax-deferred, and their value can be withdrawn or converted into a guaranteed income stream for a specific duration of years or your lifetime2. Payments into income annuities also provide guaranteed income, either immediately or at a future date you choose.


Need more information?

Compare annuity options

Who should consider an annuity?

If you're looking to supplement your retirement income or guarantee income for the rest of your life, an annuity may be a smart choice for you. A MassMutual financial professional can help you understand all the details.

How do annuities work?

It really depends on the annuity. Some are designed to help you accumulate savings for long-term goals like retirement. Other annuities focus on providing a guaranteed income stream that begins either immediately or in the future.

Annuity Product Comparison

fixed annuity

variable annuity

fixed index

immediate income

deferred income
annuity (DIA)

features & benefits

  • Guaranteed fixed interest rate
  • Tax-deferred growth
  • Principal protection
  • Range of investment choices
  • Tax-deferred growth potential
  • Potential for loss in value
  • Interest is credited to an index account based in part on the performance of an external index
  • Tax-deferred growth
  • Market loss protection
  • Guaranteed income begins within 13 months of contract issue
  • Single purchase payment
  • Limited liquidity
  • Guaranteed income generally begins no earlier than 13 months after contract issue
  • Flexible purchase payments
  • No liquidity (limited exceptions on some products)


Tax-deferred accumulation

Tax-deferred growth or, if a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit is elected, meeting predictable income goals

Tax-deferred accumulation

Immediate income needs

Future income needs

death benefit protection


Depends upon annuity option chosen

Most DIA options provide for a return of purchase payment(s) if you die before income payments begin. After annuity income payments begin, any death benefit payable will be based on the annuity option you have chosen.

lifetime income option

MassMutual Ascend

Registered index-linked annuities

MassMutual offers registered index-linked annuities through our wholly owned subsidiary, MassMutual Ascend. These products provide competitive earning potential by allowing you to participate in market growth while limiting risk exposure.

What is the process for getting an annuity?

illustration of two figures in virtual meeting

When you work with a financial professional, you can expect:

    • Analyze
    • During your initial phone call, your financial professional will ask you questions to understand your financial goals and objectives.

    • Recommend
    • After looking at your entire financial picture, your financial professional will provide you with suggestions to fill in the gaps so you can choose the products best suited for your situation.

    • Purchase
    • If you're satisfied with their recommendations, they work with you to secure the products and services to help ensure your financial future.

    • Review
    • Your financial professional can work with you over time through periodic reviews to help you monitor the strategies in place, and their capacity to continuously meet your goals.

Contact a financial professional

Why MassMutual



we've been helping people secure their financial future and protect the ones they love

more than


of life insurance protection in force as of 12/31/23*

named for the


year in a row as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion according to the Disability Equality Index®



insurance and annuity benefits paid to policyowners and other customers in 2023*

1 Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

2 There is no additional tax-deferral provided when an annuity contract is used to fund a tax-qualified retirement plan. Investors should only buy an annuity contract for the annuity’s additional features, such as lifetime income payments and/or death benefit protection.

Taxable withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax and, if made prior to age 59 ½, may be subject to an additional 10% federal income tax.

The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Securities offered through registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC (MMLIS), Member SIPC® (, or a broker-dealer that has a selling agreement with MML Distributors, LLC (MMLD), Member SIPC®, or MML Strategic Distributors, LLC (MSD). MMLIS, MMLD, and MSD are subsidiaries of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001, Members FINRA (

Insurance products issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) (Springfield, MA 01111-0001) and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company (Enfield, CT 06082).