(redirected from tontines)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial.
Related to tontines: Tontine Annuity


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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
tontines have since been replaced by life insurance and similar
We believe that the time has come to revive tontines as a way of
For example, tontines could be used to create "tontine
investors, but unlike traditional tontines, tontine annuities would
Tontine health insurance would pay a cash bonus to those who turn out to be right in their belief that they did not really "need" insurance after all.
Tontine life insurance emerged in the United States in the mid-19th century and became a resoundingly successful alternative to traditional life insurance.
Tontine life insurance was wildly popular and companies selling tontine policies became the largest financial institutions of their day.
A tontine health insurance policy would pay a deferred dividend to a policyholder who maintains his or her health insurance for a specified period--we suggest three years, but this is an arbitrary number that could easily be changed based on market research.
In a tontine annuity, mortality-gain distributions would not be paid out immediately when other members die.
Our approach is to make "monthly tontine-annuity distributions" to surviving members that are designed to cancel out the age-related increase in mortality-gain distributions inherent in simple tontine funds like the one in Figure 1 (i.e., the backloading).
It turns out that a tontine annuity constructed in this way closely resembles an actuarially fair variable annuity (i.e., one without insurance agent commissions or insurance company reserves, risk-taking, and profits).
For example, Table 6 shows a sample monthly statement for a member of a tontine annuity who lives through the first month after turning age 65 and who had exactly $250,000 in his account at the end of the prior month.