1. A level stream of equal dollar payments that lasts for a fixed time. An example would be a person’s yearly allowance paid out from a lump sum of money he or she invests with an insurance company. This yearly payment continues for a set number of years or until the person’s death. The payout may begin at once or may start at a future date. 2. An insurance contract that provides for periodic income payments. Deferred annuities accumulate money and have the option to convert to a payment stream at a later date.