Non-qualified annuities offer considerable retirement security for middle-class Americans, a new survey suggests.

Non-qualified annuity owners show great assurance in their financial future despite the current recession and market downturns, finds the survey of more than 1,000 annuity owners nationwide conducted by the Gallup Organization and Mathew Greenwald & Associates for the Committee of Annuity Insurers, Washington.

A nonqualified annuity is not part of an employer provided retirement program, and contributions to such annuities are not income-tax deductible.

Among the survey’s findings:

–80% of annuity owners have annual household incomes below $100,000. Only 4% have annual incomes greater than $200,000, and 42% have annual incomes below $50,000.

–Over 90% of annuity owners believe they have done a very good job of saving for retirement. They also think their annuities contribute to a great extent to this preparedness.

–79% think that annuities are an important source of retirement security and make them feel more comfortable in times of financial uncertainty.

–83% intend to use their annuities to provide a financial cushion in case they or their spouses live well beyond their life expectancy.

–81% also intend to use their annuities to avoid being a financial burden on their children in later years.

The survey also found that 58% of nonqualified annuity owners are female. The average owner is a retired 70-year-old woman with a moderate income.

In fact, the CAI found, 69% of all annuities owners are retired, which is up from 58% in 2005. Owners’ average age also increased from 66 to 70 between 2005 and 2009.