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A contract sold by insurance companies that is bought by means of a single lump sum payment usually providing a monthly income payment for the annuitant's life. The amount of the monthly income payment varies according to the performance of the underlying portfolio of investments. A stipulated rate of return (assumed interest rate/assumed investment return) is assumed when the insurer calculates the initial income payment to the annuitant. If the underlying portfolio produces a net return greater than or less than the stipulated rate of return, the income payments will rise or decline accordingly.