by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
Question: "I have a structured settlement from an accident settlement that says, " years certain and life", or "lump sum certain". What does that mean?"
Years Certain or Period Certain with structured settlement annuity, simply means the number of years that the structured settlement payments will be paid regardless of whether or not the payee of the structured settlement annuity (or retirement annuity) survives the entire payment schedule.
In some cases, the number of years certain is referred to as the number of years guaranteed although such usage may be misleading because when there is a years certain and life the payee is guaranteed to receive payments for the rest of his or her life.
A 2017 legal decision examines the use of "guarantee" in settlement documents from another angle. In a lawsuit against the United States arising from the ELNY shortfall, plaintiffs argued (unsuccessfully) that a period certain period, referred to as a guaranteed period, meant the United States guaranteed the payments when the document expressly said they didn't.
For more information on the types of structured settlement payments available please contact me at 888-325-8640 for structured settlement quotes.