History Of Annuities
October 23, 2019 by Annuity Museum
Annuities, in one form or another, have been around for over two thousand years. In Roman times, speculators sold financial instruments called annua, or annual stipends. In return for a lump sum payment, these contracts promised to pay the buyers a fixed yearly payment for life, or sometimes for a specified period of term. The Roman Domitius Ulpianus was one of the first annuity dealers and is credited with creating the first life expectancy table.
During the Middle Ages, lifetime annuities purchased with a single premium became a popular method of funding the nearly constant war characterized that period. There are records of a form of annuity called a tontine. This was an annuity pool in which participants purchased a share and, in turn, received a life annuity. As participants died off, each survivor received a larger payment, until finally, the last survivor received the remaining principal. Part annuity, part lottery, the tontine offered not only security but also a chance to win a handsome jackpot.