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Annuity vs. Perpetuity: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
An annuity is a series of payments made for a fixed period, while a perpetuity is a stream of payments that continues indefinitely.
Annuity vs. Perpetuity

Key Differences

An annuity involves regular payments for a specific period, whereas a perpetuity involves continuous payments with no end date. This fundamental difference highlights how annuities are time-bound, while perpetuities are eternal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
The present value of an annuity is calculated based on its term length, but for a perpetuity, it is calculated assuming an endless series of payments. This distinction underscores the impact of time on the valuation of these financial instruments.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
Annuities are commonly used in retirement plans and insurance settlements, offering financial stability over a known period. Perpetuities, however, are rare and mostly theoretical, used in certain types of bonds or trusts with no maturity.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
Annuities are sensitive to the interest rate over their term, whereas perpetuities are more influenced by the perpetuity rate, reflecting their long-term nature. This difference highlights how interest rates impact these two financial tools.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
Annuities are exemplified by pension payments or car loans, which have a clear end date. In contrast, perpetuities are exemplified by consol bonds or certain types of trusts, which go on indefinitely, reflecting their perpetual nature.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Duration

Fixed and finite
Infinite and ongoing
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Dec 07, 2023

Payment Calculation

Based on a specific term
Based on an infinite time horizon
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Dec 07, 2023

Common Usage

Retirement funds, insurance settlements
Rare, often theoretical or in consols
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Dec 07, 2023

Financial Impact

Tied to the term length and interest rate
Influenced predominantly by interest rate
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Examples

Pension payments, car loans
Consol bonds, perpetual trusts
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
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Annuity and Perpetuity Definitions

Annuity

A financial product providing fixed payments for a set period.
Her annuity plan guarantees monthly payments for 20 years.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Perpetuity

A series of equal payments that continue infinitely.
The charity was set up to receive funds in perpetuity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Annuity

An insurance product that pays out income over time.
After retiring, she relied on an annuity for steady income.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Perpetuity

An annuity with no end date, continuing forever.
They established a scholarship fund in perpetuity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Annuity

A sequence of equal payments at regular intervals.
The annuity he purchased provides annual payments for his retirement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
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Perpetuity

A financial instrument that pays a constant stream of cash flows indefinitely.
The university received a gift in perpetuity, ensuring ongoing funding.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Annuity

A fixed sum of money paid to someone each year.
The trust fund set up an annuity for the beneficiaries.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Perpetuity

A constant stream of income with no maturity.
The family trust was arranged to provide income in perpetuity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Annuity

A contractual financial investment with periodic returns.
Their annuity investment will start paying out when they turn 60.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Perpetuity

The quality or condition of being perpetual
"The perpetuity of the Church was an article of faith" (Morris L. West).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Annuity

The annual payment of an allowance or income.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

Time without end; eternity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Annuity

The right to receive this payment or the obligation to make this payment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

The condition of an estate that is limited so as to be inalienable either perpetually or longer than the period determined by law.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Annuity

A contract or agreement by which one receives fixed payments on an investment for a lifetime or for a specified number of years.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

An estate so limited.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Annuity

A right to receive amounts of money regularly over a certain fixed period, in perpetuity, or, especially, over the remaining life or lives of one or more beneficiaries.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

An annuity payable indefinitely.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Annuity

A sum of money, payable yearly, to continue for a given number of years, for life, or forever; an annual allowance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

(uncountable) The quality or state of being perpetual; endless duration; uninterrupted existence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Annuity

Income from capital investment paid in a series of regular payments;
His retirement fund was set up to be paid as an annuity
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

(countable) Something that is perpetual.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

A limitation intended to be unalterable and of indefinite duration; a disposition of property which attempts to make it inalienable beyond certain limits fixed or conceived as being fixed by the general law.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

An annuity in which the periodic payments begin on a fixed date and continue indefinitely.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

The quality or state of being perpetual; as, the perpetuity of laws.
A path to perpetuity of fame.
The perpetuity of single emotion is insanity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

Something that is perpetual.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

Endless time.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

The number of years in which the simple interest of any sum becomes equal to the principal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

Duration without limitations as to time.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

The property of being perpetual (seemingly ceaseless)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Perpetuity

A bond or other financial product with endless payments.
The government issued a perpetuity bond to raise funds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is the present value of a perpetuity determined?

It's calculated assuming an infinite series of payments.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are annuities commonly used?

Yes, particularly in retirement plans and insurance settlements.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

How is the present value of an annuity calculated?

It's calculated based on the term length and interest rate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can an annuity be for any duration?

Typically, annuities have a fixed and pre-determined duration.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What is a perpetuity?

A perpetuity is an endless series of payments, continuing indefinitely.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do annuities vary in amount?

No, annuity payments are usually fixed and equal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What is an annuity?

An annuity is a financial product offering fixed payments for a set period.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What's a practical example of an annuity?

Pension payments or car loans are common examples.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is it possible to sell an annuity?

Yes, annuities can often be sold or transferred.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are perpetuities common in financial markets?

They are rare and mostly theoretical or used in specific types of bonds.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can you give an example of a perpetuity?

Consol bonds or perpetual trusts are examples.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is there any end to perpetuity payments?

No, perpetuity payments are designed to continue forever.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Who typically buys annuities?

Annuities are often purchased by individuals planning for retirement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can a perpetuity be sold or transferred?

It depends on the terms of the perpetuity; some may allow transfer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Who would be interested in a perpetuity?

Investors looking for long-term, steady income streams might consider perpetuities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can the amount in a perpetuity change?

Generally, perpetuity payments are constant and unchanging.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are perpetuities used in estate planning?

Rarely, as they are more theoretical and less common in practice.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are annuities affected by interest rate changes?

Yes, annuities are sensitive to interest rate changes during their term.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Does the interest rate affect perpetuities?

Perpetuities are influenced by the perpetuity rate, reflecting long-term rates.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can annuities be part of an estate plan?

Yes, they can be incorporated into estate planning for income distribution.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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