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How to compare annuity providers and maximise your retirement income



How to
compare annuity providers

and

maximise
your retirement income

annuities retirement

Most of us will not really start to
think about our retirement income until we are close to the date we plan to
retire from work. Even less of us will be familiar with the various
financial options that are available to us when we retire. For those of us
who are not fortunate to benefit from a final salary pension, the most
suitable option is more than likely to be purchasing an annuity.

What is annuity?

An annuity is a form of insurance
whereby an individual’s pension fund is exchanged for regular annual
payments, usually until the time they pass away. In most cases, whoever you
buy your annuity from will release 25% of your pension fund as a tax free
lump sum at the time of purchase.

The amount of money you will get
in annual payments from the remaining pension pot depends on a number of factors including:-

-Your age
-Your health
-Your location
-The size of your fund (savings)
-The type of annuity you buy

The Open Market Option (OMO)

There are several annuity providers in
the UK, including a number of the major insurance companies. However not all
providers offer the same annuity products or indeed the same annuity rates.
This means that it is vital you shop around between providers to see which
pension annuity provider has the best deal. This is known as the Open Market
Option. By comparing providers, you could increase your retirement income by
as much as 40%, should you be eligible for an enhanced annuity.

What is an enhanced annuity?

Enhanced annuities are offered to
those retirees who have a medical condition or lifestyle choice which is
likely to impact adversely on their life expectancy. So if you suffer from
any present or past medical conditions or if you drink/smoke on a regular
basis, you could be entitled to a much higher annuity income. This is
because the annuity provider calculates that you are likely to die sooner
than someone who is in good health, and thus they will have to pay out
income for a shorter number of years.

How much extra income can I get?

This really depends on the individual,
for more serious medical conditions such as heart attack or stroke, the
increase can be as high as 40%. However there are over 1,500 individual
medical conditions, which can qualify a person for annuity enhancement.

However, as mentioned, not all
providers offer enhanced annuities, so you can only be sure you are getting
the best deal by shopping around. Unfortunately in the UK, around 65% of
annuitants accept the first offer from their existing pension provider and
do not use the Open Market Option. This is despite estimates that more than
half of them could be eligible for higher rates. Moreover, once an annuity
is purchased it cannot be altered, so it is vital you make the right choice
first time.

Top tips for buying an annuity

Read thoroughly your pension
‘wake up’ pack
sent by your current provider 6 months prior to your
planned retirement date.

Compare providers by speaking to an annuity specialists or annuity
broker.

• If you are unsure as to the best way to proceed seek advice
from a Financial Services Authority (FSA) approved Independent Financial
Advisor. These can be costly so be sure to check charges beforehand.
 


Following changes
introduced in April 2015, in the UK you now have more choice and flexibility
than ever before over how and when you can take money from your pension pot. 
The
Money Advice Service
has a very clear and concise article on all the

options now available for using your pension pot.

IMPORTANT


This website endeavours to
provide general information in relation to various financial products. We
hope you find this information useful. In no circumstances
should the
information we provide be construed as Hints and
Things providing you with specific advice in relation to your own
circumstances, or on the suitability for you personally, of any advice, product or
service referred to in this article.

 

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