One of the most attractive features of an annuity is its tax-deferred status. Generally, you won’t pay any income tax on the interest or earnings until you start taking withdrawals in retirement (age 59½ or later). Qualified and nonqualified annuities are taxed differently. Qualified annuities (such as annuities in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or an IRA) are typically purchased with pre-tax money, so withdrawals are fully taxed as ordinary income. It’s important to understand that purchasing an annuity in an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan provides no additional tax benefits than those available through the tax-deferred retirement plan.
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