Active senior woman having discussion with agent about her retirement investment plan
Dylan Huang

Dylan Huang     |   
 SVP, Head of Retail Annuities

The concept of an annuity has been around since Roman times. During the reign of the emperors, it signified a contract that provided annual payments over time. Even since the early days of the United States, deferred payments were used to help develop the government. Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, bequeathed sums of money to the state governments of New York and Pennsylvania for deferred payments to be made for decades following his passing. A shrewd thinker, Franklin understood the logic and benefits of spreading out payments over time and establishing a forward-looking strategy.

In our modern times, annuities still do just that: an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company in which you make a lump-sum payment—or series of payments—in exchange for regular disbursements, beginning either immediately or at some point in the future. Depending on how you would like this arrangement structured, these retirement income payments could be a set amount ("fixed") or have the potential to grow your income ("variable"). An annuity is the only financial product that can provide you with a guaranteed lifetime income and protect you from outliving your savings. 

There are different types of annuities, with each designed to address different client needs. For example, do you want income now or can you hold off on receiving payments until later? Let’s take a closer look at the main types of annuities that can help to protect you against investment risk and other retirement risks, like inflation or the sequence of returns risk which can erode your standard of living in retirement. 

If you’re looking for a way for your savings to potentially grow in the stock market and are willing to accept some risk that returns will fluctuate, variable annuities (VAs) could be the right solution for you. The value of a variable annuity is based on the performance of an underlying portfolio of investments selected by the annuitant (annuity owner or issuing insurance company). Variable annuities have the advantage of letting you control your portfolio by choosing the sub-accounts into which these investments are placed. Variable annuities provide exposure that may be needed to potentially grow your retirement nest egg.

With an income annuity (sometimes known as an immediate annuity), you can receive a pension-like payout that helps you maintain the lifestyle you’ve earned. You can receive your guaranteed* payments as soon as one month after you’ve finalized the paperwork. For those that like the comfort of knowing exactly how much income they’ll get each to spend each month, an income annuity could be a good fit. 

As the name implies, a deferred annuity begins dispersing payments at a future date chosen by the annuity owner. If you prefer not to put your money into the market, these types of annuities provide a steadier, more predictable growth approach to your savings. Another benefit is that your premiums grow tax-free leading up to the time when you start receiving payouts. 

Simply put, there are a range of options available to help you achieve your financial goals. Because everyone has different ideas about what they need and are comfortable with when it comes to retirement, talking to a financial professional can help you figure out what’s best for you and your level of desired risk. To learn more about annuities, see Annuities.

*All guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer.

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About the author

Dylan Huang is the Senior Vice President and Head of Retail Annuities for New York Life. He is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s second largest profit center, with sales of $13.1 billion in 2017. Under Dylan’s leadership, New York Life has developed innovative, income-focused solutions to help Americans achieve retirement security. The company is the industry-leading provider of lifetime income annuities.

Dylan began his career at New York Life as an actuary in 2001, advancing to leadership roles of increasing scope in the company's Life Insurance, Annuity, and Corporate Finance divisions. He most recently led New York Life’s Retirement Solutions organization.

Dylan is a recognized thought leader in the retirement industry. He is noted for the products he has introduced, such as the Guaranteed Future Income Annuity, which helped transform the deferred income annuity category into a mainstream solution for pre-retirees, and Mutual Income, designed to offer consumers the opportunity to directly participate in the company’s mutual structure through dividends. He is a patent-holder for products developed under his leadership. Dylan is also known for his award-winning research on how guaranteed lifetime income improves retirement portfolios, is often interviewed by the media for his insights on the retirement market, and has published articles in industry trade journals. In 2016, Dylan was named one of LIMRA’s 25 Rising Stars of Retirement Under 40.

Dylan holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Dylan is a member of the board of directors at the Insured Retirement Institute and the advisory board of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income at The American College. Dylan also sits on the board of Virtual Enterprises International, an organization dedicated to career development for middle and high school students. Dylan lives in New York City with his wife, Angela, and their two boys, Owen and Oliver.