- Financial Planning
- Personal Insurance
- Business Insurance
- Savings & Investments
- Wealth Preservation
What is an annuity?
An annuity is a contract between an insurance company and a pension scheme member in which an insurance company provides a regular income in exchange for a lump sum.
The amount that you are paid as part of your regular income is dependant on the insurer's estimation of how long you will live, the annuity rates, and the amount of your pension fund.
What are the advantages?
- Provision of a regular income upon retirement
- Choice of annuities available to suit your needs - Joint life annuities available
- Income paid at intervals to meet your needs
The advantages and benefits will depend upon the type of annuity you select. We recommend that you research this subject very closely and consult us prior to selecting an annuity to ensure that you get the one that best meets your needs and circumstances.
What are the disadvantages?
- Lower rates on annuities for women, due to increased expected life span, however from 21 December 2012 insurers will not be able to discriminate between male and female annuity rates based on sex alone following a ruling by the ECJ on 1 March 2011 - although rates based on postal codes (where they live) may continue.
- Falling annuity rates could reduce the amount that you receive from your pension
- Not very flexible, and unless you have selected a flexible scheme, you could be tied to the policy
The disadvantages will also depend upon the type of annuity you select. We recommend that you research this subject very closely and consult us prior to selecting an annuity to ensure that you get the one that most suits your needs and circumstances.
If you do decide to buy an annuity upon retirement, you should ensure that you check policies, rates, restrictions, and benefits very carefully, and if necessary seek advice from an independent financial adviser. Investing in the wrong annuity scheme could cost you a great deal in annual income, so make sure that you look into this subject carefully before you make any commitment.
Please note that the rules on gender specific annuity rates (the first of the disadvantages) will change on the 21 December 2012 following a ruling by the European Court of Justice on the 1 March 2011. From this date insurers will not be able to discriminate between male and female rates based on sex alone - although rates based on postal codes (where people live) may continue.
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