Your company may allow you to receive your 401(k) account balance as an annuity. Another option is to compare your company's annuity offer to a single premium immediate annuity available through an insurance company. The single premium immediate annuity must qualify as an individual retirement annuity. As long as you do a direct rollover, your 401(k) account retains its tax-deferred status.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The annuity contract must meet certain requirements to qualify as an individual retirement annuity. Check with the insurance company or your investment representative to make sure the annuity contract you purchase qualifies for a direct rollover.
Assuming all of your 401(k) contributions were made with pre-tax dollars, each payment from your company annuity, is taxable as ordinary income when received. If you made any after-tax contributions, a portion of each payment is received tax-free.*
*federally tax-free, may be subject to state and local taxes