What is an annuity table?

1 min read by Unbiased team Last updated June 14, 2024

We explain annuity tables, how to read them, how to use them to calculate annuity payments, and their benefits and drawbacks.


  • Annuity tables feature time periods and discount rates, making it easy to calculate an annuity’s present value. 

  • You can use an annuity table to compare different annuities and make informed decisions about retirement planning. 

  • A financial advisor can help you use annuity tables, compare annuities, and create an effective financial plan for your future. 

What is an annuity table? 

An annuity table is helpful for calculating the present value of an annuity at a given time.  

Annuities can provide a guaranteed source of income and help you plan for your retirement.  

However, it’s not always easy to work out how much your annuity is worth or how much it will be worth in several years. This is where an annuity table comes in.  

You can use the table to make a simple calculation of your annuity’s value, allowing you to make informed decisions when it comes to planning for your retirement. The table includes the amount of money you have put into the annuity as well as how long it has been invested. 

There are different annuity tables for various types of annuities, including fixed, variable, and indexed annuities. 

How do I read an annuity table? 

The first step to using an annuity table is learning how to read it.  

The y-axis, running vertically from the top on the left of the table, indicates the number of payments.  

The x-axis runs horizontally from left to right at the top of the table and includes the discount rate. 

Using this annuity table for ordinary annuities from Annuity.org, let’s see how this works in practice, using some examples below. 

1 0.9901 1 1 0.9615 0.9524 0.9434
2 1.9704 2 2 1.8861 2 1.8334
3 2.941 3 3 2.7751 2.7233 2.673
4 3.902 4 4 3.6299 4 3.4651
5 4.8534 5 5 4.4518 4 4.2124
6 5.7955 6 5 5 5 5
7 6.7282 6 6 6 6 6
8 7.6517 7 7 7 6 6
9 8.566 8 8 7 7 7
10 9.4713 9 9 8 8 7
15 13.8651 13 12 11 10 10
20 18.0456 16 15 14 12 11
25 22.0232 20 17 16 14 13

How do I calculate my annuity payouts using annuity tables? 

Using a present value of annuity table is relatively simple.  

Find the number of payments of your annuity in the column on the far left. Next, find your discount rate in the row at the top of the table.  

When you’ve done that, find the cell where the two intersect. Multiply the number in that cell by the amount of money you receive each period to work out your annuity’s present value.  

The following two examples illustrate how to calculate your annuity payouts using annuity tables. 

Example 1:  

You have an annuity that pays you $1,500 per month at a 6% discount rate, and you have seven payments remaining. Find seven periods in the column on the left of the table and 6% in the row at the top of the table. The cell where they intersect has the number 5.582. Multiply this number by $1,500 to calculate a present value of $8,373. 

Example 2: 

You have an opportunity to buy an annuity that pays $60,000 per year for the next 25 years, with a discount rate of 6% or a lump sum payment of $760,000. You then need to work out which option would be best for you. To do this, find 25 years in the column on the left of the annuity table and 6% in the row at the top of the table. The cell where they intersect reads 12.783. Multiply the $60,000 payment amount by 12.783, and you will get $766,980. 

What are the benefits of using annuity tables? 

There are a number of benefits to using annuity tables. One of these benefits is that a future value annuity table makes it possible to calculate annuities’ future value quickly and easily. Another benefit is that you can use them to compare different annuities so that you can make informed financial decisions when planning for your retirement. 

Additionally, you can use an annuity table to calculate an annuity’s present value. The present value of the annuity table will illustrate the amount of money that you would need to invest today to ensure that the annuity has a specific value in the future.  

Annuity tables also have other slightly less common uses that can benefit some people. For example, if you win a lottery jackpot, you will be faced with the decision of receiving your winnings in the form of an annuity that offers regular payments or as a lump sum payment. You can use an annuity table to find out the annuity’s present value. If it’s less than the lump sum payment, it is probably a better idea to take the lump sum and invest it. 

What are the limitations of using annuity tables? 

As helpful as annuity tables are, they do have some limitations.  

One limitation is that tables assume that the interest rate remains constant over the annuity’s life and that payments are made regularly. However, in practice, interest rates usually fluctuate, and payments are not always made at regular intervals.  

Another limitation is that the assumptions about inflation and interest rates used to create tables are not always accurate. Lastly, annuities usually have fees and account taxes, which are not taken into account by tables. 

Get expert financial advice 

An annuity table can help you get a good idea of what various annuity options will be worth at a certain point in the future.  

This information can help you compare annuity options as part of your financial planning for your golden years. However, remember these tables’ limitations. Speaking to a trustworthy advisor can help you with your planning.  

Match with a financial advisor through Unbiased for expert financial advice and personalized guidance.  


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.