What is an Annuity?
An annuity is the simplest retirement option. It's a type of insurance that guarantees to pay you a regular, secure income for the rest of your life - no matter how long you live. That way you have peace of mind that your pension income will never run out. Pension Annuities can be purchased using your accumulated pension fund at retirement.
The decision on your pension income at retirement is one of the most important decisions you will be faced with in your lifetime. Your retirement is a very long "holiday", therefore it's imperative that you explore all the opportunities and ensure that making the most of your money is left to the experts.
How much money will I receive when I buy an Annuity?
Annuity providers will all base their decisions on how much they will pay you on many factors, including your age, the size of your pension fund and which annuity optional benefits you have chosen to include. Some Annuity providers will also take your health and lifestyle conditions into account which can often result in a higher level of income.
What are Enhanced and Impaired Life Annuities?These types of annuity will take account of any health or lifestyle conditions that you may have. For example, where you live, whether you smoke, are overweight, have high blood pressure and any current or previous medical issues. By taking all these factors into account, they will make assumptions on your life expectancy.
An estimated 40% of people retiring could qualify for an Enhanced Annuity - giving them up to a possible 40% more income. So if you circumstances are likely to reduce your life expectancy, you may qualify to receive a higher income in retirement.
Don't hesitate to tell your annuity provider if you have a medical condition. If you're not sure whether a condition you have is relevant, tell them anyway. Something you may consider irrelevant could actually give you the higher income you want.
Income Drawdown/ Pension ReleaseAs an alternative to an immediate annuity purchase, you can choose to release your pension funds using income drawdown .
Income drawdown lets you control your own income instead of getting a regular, set sum from an annuity provider. You are able to access your full retirement savings and invest and withdraw money as you wish, instead of being tied to an annuity. With income drawdown you also retain ownership of your pension fund and can therefore pass remaining funds on when you die. Using income drawdown as a first option can give you time to make a final decision on how to fund your retirement - for instance you might eventually choose to purchase an annuity at a later date.
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