Get informed with our glossary of terms.


The person on whose life the annuity income payments are based under the Plan.

Annuity Certificate

The individual policy contract between the Annuitant and the Insurer.


The beneficiary will be the person(s) who will receive money upon the death of the Annuitant. The Annuitant decides who the beneficiary will be.

Benefit Leveling

An option that may be available when plan participants elect to retire prior to the date they expect to begin receiving their Social Security retirement benefit payments. The periodic benefit payment amount under the annuity is temporarily increased until the date they indicate that they expect to begin receiving their Social Security Retirement benefit payments. It is then reduced thereafter such that their total combined income from the two sources will be approximately level over their lifetime.

Contingent Annuitant

A person who is entitled to receive periodic benefit payments under a Joint & Survivor Annuity after the death of the Annuitant if he/she survives the Annuitant. Unlike a Beneficiary, once a Contingent Annuitant is named the person cannot be changed. This is because the amount of the periodic benefit payments is based on the ages of both the Annuitant and Contingent Annuitant.

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

A COLA is a change in an Annuitant’s retirement income to account for increasing prices, based on either an index (I.E. CPI), a flat dollar amount or a defined percentage.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

A statistical estimate constructed using the prices of a sample of representative items, for example consumer goods and services such as transportation, food and medical care, whose prices are collected periodically.

Deferred Vested Annuity

Prior to commencing benefit payments, you have a deferred vested annuity. When you are ready to receive retirement income payments, the deferred vested annuity provides you with choices to receive these income payments.


Defined Benefit Pension Plan

Pays a retirement income based on your salary and how long you have worked for your employer.

Group Annuity Contract (GAC)

A contract where the Sponsors of a pension plan buy annuities for one or more members of the plan via an Insurance Company.


An optional feature that may be offered under a Joint & Survivor Annuity. If the Contingent Annuitant predeceases the Annuitant, the Annuitant's periodic benefit amount is increased to reflect the fact that there is no longer a Contingent Annuitant who will become entitled to periodic benefit payments when the Annuitant passes away.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

A type of court order, typically found in a divorce agreement, that recognizes that an alternate payee is entitled to receive a predefined portion of the individual’s retirement plan. In most cases, the QDRO allots a percentage or share of the value of the retirement benefit gained during the marital period to an alternate payee.