25 Must Ask Annuity Questions

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1 25 Must Ask Annuity Questions When Can I Buy An Annuity? Who Is The Best Annuity Provider? Why Do I Need Advice? 1. What is an Annuity? If you have a private pension when you retire you can purchase an annuity. In return for your pension pot you will receive a guaranteed regular income for the rest of your life. You do not need to stop working to start taking you pension. You do not have to take the annuity offered by your existing pension provider you can take an open market option. Annuity rates will vary between companies so you need to check which one offers the best rates 2. When can I buy an Annuity? The minimum retirement age is currently 55, and you normally do not have to stop working to taking you pension income. You may need to take your annuity by the age of 75 depending on the type of pension you have. 3. Is a Standard Annuity the best route for me? A standard annuity may be the most appropriate route however there our other options that may be better suited to your circumstances and requirements. It s best to seek financial advice to make sure you make the correct decision. We hope this guide answers some of those important Annuity questions. Contact us on for more information or to arrange for an Independent Financial Adviser to contact you. Make sure you make the right retirement decisions. This document does not constitute financial advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act If you require such advice, contact an Independent Financial Adviser. Information correct at time of going to press, February 2012.

2 4. Does where I live affect my income in retirement? Yes some areas of the country have lower average life expectancy than others. This could make a difference when you get a quote. 5. Do I have to take an annuity, and how long can I delay for? There are lots of alternatives to a standard annuity, including flexible or capped drawdown, or you can leave the funds in the pension if you don t need an income. An Independent Financial Adviser will be able to guide you though the options. 6. Can I pass my pension to my spouse when I die? Yes if you take out a joint life annuity, income payments will continue to be paid to your spouse on your death. 7. Can I guarantee my annuity income payments? A single life annuity can normally be guaranteed for a period of 5 or 10 years. If you die within this time the income will continue to be paid to your estate, or to the beneficiaries you nominated, for the remainder of the guarantee period. 8. Can my retirement income rise in line with inflation? You can choose an annuity that does link your income to a measure of inflation such as RPI. This measure may also fall so you may experience a reduction in income in this instance. 9.How much Tax-free Cash can I take? You can take a tax-free cash lump sum of up to 25% of the value of your pension fund. This is known as a 'Pension Commencement Lump Sum' (PCLS).

3 10. What is an open market option? When you reach retirement age insurers are required, if you are buying an annuity, to let you know you can exercise an "open market option". This means you are able to shop around to get the best annuity rate and that you do not need to take your annuity with your current pension provider. As rates between providers differ it makes sense to get advice and shop around. 11. What is an enhanced annuity? An enhanced annuity tends to be beneficial for people with unhealthy lifestyles, such as smokers, those with health problems, or more serious medical conditions such as cancer. The rates you receive from an enhanced annuity can be as much as 20 per cent greater than you would receive with a standard annuity because life expectancy is expected to be substantially less than average and therefore the total paid out by the annuity provider is also likely to be less. 12. What can I do if I have a small pension pot? If you pension pot is less than 18,000 (1% of the lifetime limit which is currently 1.8m) and you are aged between 60 and 75 you can take your pension as cash of which 25% will be tax free. 13. Can I change my annuity options? Once you purchase an Annuity, most cannot be changed in any way. This is why it is important to seek advice, shop around and make sure you select the right annuity for your circumstances. 14. Who is the best annuity Provider? There are a number of annuity providers who offer a range of products and rates. New products may be launched and the rates these providers offer will change over time in line with market conditions, so it is important that you seek expert financial advice to make sure you get the most up to date information.

4 15. What if I have a final salary pension scheme? If you have a salary-related or final salary pension, your retirement income is provided directly by your pension scheme. 16. What is an Investment Linked Annuity? An investment linked annuity allows you to continue to benefit from equity-linked investments whilst in retirement. This means that your income fluctuates up and down in line with market and investment conditions. An independent Financial Adviser will be able to tell you if this is an appropriate product for your circumstances. 17. Does my gender make a difference to my income payments? Yes women currently have longer life expectancies that men meaning that annuity providers usually give higher rates to men as they are not expected to live as long as a women. However this may be due to change as new legislation is being brought in which will not allow providers to discriminate by gender. 18. What impact will my health have on my income? If you are in poor health or a smoker it is important that you let your adviser and annuity provider know. These factors are taken to consideration work out your life expectancy and therefore the income you will receive. You may be eligible for an enhanced or impaired annuity. 19. What is Income Drawdown? 'Income drawdown' enables you to keep your money invested in your pension fund and still take an income. The amount of income you take will depend on your age and fund value. Income drawdown enables you to continue to invest your fund. There are risks that you fund will be reduced if investments perform badly or you take out too much income. The other risk is that annuity rates may have fallen by the time you wish to take out an annuity. It is critical to take Independent Financial Advice if you want to go down this route. 20. Will my retirement income be taxed? Annuity income is taxed just like any other income. That means you have a personal allowance that is an amount you can earn tax free, above that you pay 20% tax, and the next band is 40%. Visit Our Website: Us: Call Us:

5 21. Why do I need Financial Advice? Planning for retirement can be complicated, which is why it s important to ask advice from a qualified professional. Getting the right advice can help you choose the most suitable product for your circumstances and make the most of your money. 22. What is an independent Financial Adviser? An Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) can give advice on and has access to all product providers and are not restricted in the range of solutions that the can present to you, they are not limited or tied to any particular provider. Independent Financial Advisers offer true independent advice and are obliged to offer their clients the option to pay a fee for advice as an alternative to commission. Independent Financial Advisers are authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (F.S.A.). 23. Do I need to choose a specialist adviser? It would make sense to get an adviser who specialises in the retirement market. As with all specialists as they are working on that area consistently they will have a better understanding of the latest products, rates, rules and regulations. 24. How do I know my adviser is qualified to provide retirement advice? As well as being a qualified IFA, it s worth asking if they have the Pension Income Options J05 diploma or the old G60 advanced pension exam. A good measure of their professional qualifications also is whether they are a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute. 25. How can I pay for financial advice? Most advisers will offer you the following payment options for their advice. Fees: They may charge an hourly of fixed fee the amount will be dependent on the complexity of the advice. Commission: The adviser receives a commission payment from the product provider Commission and Fees: The adviser may charge you a fee but offset this payment against the commission they received from the product provider. Your first meeting is usually free and provides an opportunity to discuss the advice which will be provided and agree the payment structure. There is no obligation to continue with the adviser after this first meeting. We can help you find the most appropriate Independent Financial Adviser for your circumstances. Call us on Right Retirement acts as an introducer to Independent Financial Advisers who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Right Retirement.com is not authorised to and cannot give advice. We are also not liable for any financial advice provided by, or obtained through a third party.

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