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Compare annuities

Make sure you're comparing like-for-like when comparing annuity quotes. How much income you will receive and how often will depend on the options you choose to 'shape' your annuity.

Shaping your annuity

As you approach your intended retirement date your pension provider will write to you outlining your retirement options. One of these options may be to buy an annuity.

The paperwork they send you will detail the annuity they are offering you and how that annuity is shaped. At this point you need to ask yourself what is important to you, so that you choose the income features which match what you want from an annuity.

Do you want... Feature Details
To have the income paid to someone else after you pass away? Joint-life annuity You can guarantee an income to your spouse, civil partner, or a dependant for the rest of their life.
Your income to increase annually with inflation? Inflation protection You can decide whether your annuity will pay a fixed income (which will decrease your purchasing power over time due to inflation), or one that increases annually to protect you against inflation.
To take a lump sum? Tax-free cash Usually you have the option to take up to 25% as a tax-free ‘lump sum’; the rest is taxed at your marginal rate. Alternatively you can add this sum to your annuity to provide a bigger income for life.
To receive your income: monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly? Payment frequency You choose the timings of your payments; monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. You can also choose when the money goes into your bank account – at the start (in advance) or the end (in arrears) of each period. Being paid ‘in arrears’ will give you the highest income, whereas ‘in advance’ will provide the lowest.
Payments to continue for a specific number of years even if you pass away? Guarantee period You can guarantee how long your annuity income will continue to be paid if you pass away sooner than expected.
To protect a percentage of your pot in case you die earlier than expected? Value protection You can choose this option to return a lump sum to your beneficiaries if you were to pass away without having received the full value of your pension pot.
To benefit from enhanced annuity rates due to reduced life expectancy? Enhanced annuity You can get higher rates if you have a reduced life expectancy due to a health condition or lifestyle choices.
Page last updated: Tuesday 19 July 2022