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A fixed sum payable each year for a number of years, either following a certain event or else for a definite period of time. Annuities may be purchased, e.g. an assurance company might be approached and asked how much it would be necessary to pay now to guarantee the payment of £1,000 per year, either for the next, say, twenty years or for life, starting at a given age. A person receiving an annuity is known as an annuitant.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.