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I've been reading some material on the different types of Annuities and am curious about some of the fine print. All of the companies include the standard language about their pay-out promises being contingent upon their abilities to pay.

That statement as always puzzled me. The way it reads it sounds as though they are saying, "give us your money and we may or may not give it back to you, and that decision is left to our sole discretion." Does it only apply to the promises they made with respect to potential growth and the length of time the company can extend the annuity, or does it mean that my principal could be in jeopardy and interest earned?
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