Two Types of Annuities
There are only two general type of annuities Fixed and Variable. Variable annuities have the "investment" account separated from the general insurance fund of the insurance company. This separate investment is usually a sub account like a mutual fund. This investment will have stock market exposure and in turn might lose value. Variable annuities you are taking on more risk so you should enjoy the higher return potential. Fees on variable annuities are usually higher than fixed annuities as there are more "moving parts" which cost more annually. Anywhere from 1% to as high as 3.5% annually are the rider ans expense costs of variable annuities.
Fixed annuities have two categories income and slow growth. The growth types are Indexed and deferred fixed annuities. There is no annual costs except income riders and most have a limit to there growth potential. Think of these as a bank account return plus 1% -2% a year in growth. The income riders are very powerful for income in retirement. Some major carriers are Transamerica and Allianz. Income annuities are simply a personal pension for life. Deposit in exchange for monthly income. You set the income start date along with some options like COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments), and return of deposit on death. The IRS in 2014 establish in the tax code an income annuity for IRAs that allows you to defer your RMD (required minimum distribution) until age 85 with a QLAC (Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract). QLAC gives lifetime income usually around age 80 along with deferring RMD and those income taxes.