Instant annuities (occasionally known as earnings or payout annuities), are fairly simple – essentially a mirror image of a life insurance coverage policy. Rather than paying normal premiums to an insurer that tends to make a lump-sum payment upon your death, with an annuity you give the insurer a lump sum of money in return for normal earnings payments till you die. (Really, you've a number of choices, such as payments to get a specified time period – say, ten or 20 years – or payments which will continue for so long as you or your spouse is alive.)
Because the name suggests, instant annuities begin paying out immediately, so they are are often utilized by individuals currently in retirement. A deferred annuity may also be converted into an instant annuity.