The “accumulation phase” refers to a period of time where the owner/annuitant can deposit or invest premium dollars into the annuity, and withdraw lump sums from it. In fixed annuities, the insurance company issuing the annuity credits the policy with a fixed interest rate, and your funds grow tax-deferred. Because the earnings are not taxed, this can help you accumulate retirement savings faster.
When you “annuitize” an annuity, you turn a lump sum of money into an income stream. The period of time over which payments are made is referred to as the “annuity period.” In most cases, annuity holders have several options for choosing how frequently, and how long, they want to continue to receive payments from their annuitized contract.