An investment vehicle offered by an insurance company. An insurance company will provide for a limited number (typically 30-60) of sub-accounts that are invested similar to mutual funds. These sub-accounts are usually operated to mimic the performance of Mutual Funds from a particular fund family or they may own the shares of underlying mutual funds. The annuity will have administrative and recordkeeping expenses, as well as M & E fees. Each sub account will also have an annual expense charge associated with the operation of that fund. It is not uncommon for an annuity company to also receive Sub TA fees from the mutual fund companies who operate the sub-accounts. If an annuity is not inside of a retirement plan it will still provide Tax Deferred treatment for investment gains. Most policies have Surrender Charges to withdraw funds (see the Surrender Charges definition).