One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An annuity shared by subscribers to a loan or common fund, the shares increasing as subscribers die until the last survivor enjoys the whole income.
- ‘If you own a house with others in a tontine - so that on death your share goes automatically to the others - where do you stand with regard to inheritance tax?’
- ‘Here one finds the treatment of joint annuities on several lives, the inheritance of annuities, problems about the fair division of the costs of a tontine, and other contracts in which both age and interest on capital are relevant.’
- ‘The later we leave it, the more the pension becomes a tontine in which the survivor takes all.’
- ‘Cash self-help groups function like tontines, which have been documented in other areas of West Africa.’
- 1.1 A scheme for life insurance in which the beneficiaries are those who survive and maintain a policy to the end of a given period.
Mid 18th century: from French, named after Lorenzo Tonti (1630–95), a Neapolitan banker who started such a scheme to raise government loans in France ( c 1653).
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