The Great Debate UK

Second rate annuities can harm your income


Bob Bullivant-Bob Bullivant is chief executive officer at Annuity Direct. The opinions expressed are his own.-

There are two distinct phases in building a pension – first comes the process of building up a pension fund – the so called accumulation phase. The next part is actually turning the money saved into an income for life – or pension, the so called decumulation phase.

When it comes to buying an annuity there are many things to consider and getting any of them wrong can have serious implications for your pension income. The first thing that needs to happen is a proper forensic review of your existing pensions. This will include a report on any penalties that might be imposed by your pension company.

These might include early retirement penalties or in the case of with profit funds market value adjustments. The report will also consider if you are entitled to a guaranteed annuity rate as part of the policy as guaranteed rates are often much higher than rates generally available in the open market. Older policies may also have life assurance cover or premium waiver benefit attaching to them and if so then the impact on the cover of taking the pension must be understood.