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History of annuities


An annuity is a financial product that’s designed to protect and grow your money, and then provide a stream of guaranteed income.

Annuities date back to the Roman Empire. During that time, the idea of guaranteed income was known as an “annua.” Annua is Latin for annual stipends. In exchange for making a one-time payment, Roman citizens would receive lifetime payments each year from the annua.1

In the United States, annuities held a small share of the U.S. insurance market until the 1930s. Two developments contributed to their growth. Concerns about the stability of the financial system drove investors to products offered by insurance companies, which were perceived to be stable institutions. The group annuity market for corporate pension plans began to develop in the 1930s.2 With these two factors, the annuity market grew more rapidly.

Today, annuities are the only products that provide guaranteed lifetime income, other than pensions. At MassMutual Ascend, we are committed to going above and beyond – so when it comes to your financial future, the impossible feels possible. As a leading provider of annuities, we see our products as more than just contracts. Our annuities are transparent and easier to understand, so you always know what to expect.

Talk to your financial professional to find out how an annuity could fit into your portfolio! Or, head to our Annuity insights page to learn more.


This content does not apply in the state of New York.




2 National Bureau of Economic Research 

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