Many investors consider using annuities for retirement, but far fewer buy them or even know much about them, according to a Phoenix Companies survey.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said they would consider buying an annuity, citing reasons such as securing a predictable monthly income, leaving an inheritance and meeting  chronic care expenses, according to Phoenix, which sells annuities.

However, 53 percent of those polled said they were not familiar with annuities, and only 20 percent said they were actually planning to use them.

The survey of 1,004 adults aged 18 and older found that 25 percent of respondents said they would not consider purchasing an annuity for any reason.

Fifty-five percent of the resondents said they plan to rely on their retirement savings as a supplement to their pension and/or Social Security income.

“This is cause for concern because increasingly fewer people are covered by pensions and, in many cases, retirees need a lot more than the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit of $1,294,” said Mark Fitzgerald, national sales manager for Saybrus Partners, Phoenix’s distribution subsidiary.

Among non-retired survey participants, 36 percent said they either currently work with a financial professional or have done so in the past. Eighty-five percent of these respondents said they were confident they would be able to convert their retirement savings into a predictable source of monthly income, compared with 62 percent of non-retired respondents.