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An organization of individuals who enter into an agreement to pool sums of money or something of value other than money, permitting the last survivor of the group to take everything.

The holders of tontine life insurance contracts enter into an agreement to pay premiums for a certain amount of time before they gain the right to acquire dividends. In the event that a policyholder dies during the tontine policy, his or her beneficiary will be entitled to benefits, but no dividends. The earnings that ordinarily would be used to pay dividends are accumulated during the tontine period and subsequently given only to policyholders who are still alive at the end of the term. This type of policy is known as a dividend-deferred policy. A number of states proscribe such policies.


n. a rare agreement among several persons, who agree that each will invest in an annuity and the last to die will receive the remaining assets and profits.


a scheme for raising money by which the lenders receive an annuity for life that increases as the other investors die until the last survivor receives the total of all the annuities.

TONTINE, French law. The name of a partnership composed of creditors or, recipients of perpetual or life-rents or annuities, formed on the condition that the rents of those who may die, shall accrue to the survivors, either in whole or in part.
     2. This kind of partnership took its name from Tonti, an Italian, who first conceived the idea and put it in practice. Merl. Repert. h.t. Dall. Dict. h.t.; 5 Watts, 851.