UK Annuities: FINANCIAL CONDUCT REGULATED SITES • QUALIFIED, TRUSTWORTHY ANNUITY ADVICE

Centralising Your Pension Annuity Search

BUT FIRST, SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT COULD BOOST YOUR RETIREMENT FINANCES Have you taken out a credit or store card, mortgage, secured loan, unsecured loan or hire purchase agreement in the last 10 years? If you have (or have had) a mortgage, loan or credit card with providers such as Barclaycard, Abbey, Santander, Littlewoods, MBNA, Halifax, HSBC, HBOS, Lloyds, Natwest, RBS or in fact any other credit provider, you may be able to reclaim up to £15,000 if you were sold PPI insurance - in most cases even if you have lost the paperwork. Learn more about PPI Claims now!


annuity comparisons Visit Open Annuities

You could increase your annuity by thousands. Make sure you recognise the best annuity advice when you get it. The more information about annuities you have, the more able you will be to recognise the best annuity advice when you receive it.
Visit Open Annuities Financial Services Register Number 530750


Annuity Plan Visit Pension Annuity Plan

You may be able to secure several thousand pounds more over your lifetime from annuity providers than your current pension provider. Many are unaware of this very important information. The more information you have, the more able you will be to recognise the best deal when you see it.
Visit Pension Annuity Plan Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuities plan Visit Annuities Plan

All fund sizes welcomed. Why should the annuity buyer be careful? Buying from your pension provider isn't always necessarily the best idea.
Visit Annuities Plan Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuity comparisons Visit Pension Annuity Planner

This company may be able to increase your standard pension annuity through enhanced annuities.
Visit Pension Annuity Planner Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Base

Using specialist annuity industry search software, an FCA registered Independent Financial Adviser will query top annuity and annuity alternative providers' databases to help you compare and choose which one is the best for you.
Visit Annuity Base Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuity comparisons Visit The Enhanced Annuity

Specialists in enhanced annuities. It is estimated that up to 40% of the UK population could boost their pension annuity income with an "enhanced annuity".
Visit The Enhanced Annuity Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Comparisons

Why would you use an automated annuity comparison website when an authorised, qualified pension consultant can advise you which is the best annuity for free with no obligation to buy? There are many reasons why you should not trust your future income to comparison tables on faceless sites. In some matters you need absolute certainty.
Visit Annuity Comparisons Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuities Extra

Pension annuities for those of us who are not in the best of health. If you've a health problem, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is, you'll stand an increased chance of a higher annuity income.
Visit Annuities Extra Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Simple Annuities

Finding an annuity does not have to be difficult. Pension annuity retirement finance experts with vast experience of annuities are waiting to help you. Compare pension annuities and annuity alternatives now.
Visit Simple Annuities Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit The Female Annuity

1000's of women retire every week in the UK. Compare annuities for women and their alternatives.
Visit The Female Annuity Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Pathway

Your simple pension annuity journey. How you might take the wrong annuity route and lose the annuity income that is rightfully yours.
Visit Annuity Pathway Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Just One Bite Annuities

How a pension annuity will affect your life. You will only get one bite of the annuity apple. Once you buy an annuity, there's no going back.
Visit Just One Bite Annuities Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Pension Annuities Plus

Your annuity income may increase if you have had certain conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma or high cholesterol. This is also true for smokers and for those who have worked in certain occupations. Get pension annuity comparisons now.
Visit Pension Annuities Plus Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Answers

Why should the pension annuity buyer beware and why do so many retirees ignore a much bigger annuity income? Compare annuities now.
Visit Annuity Answers Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Smokers Annuities

Your lifespan as a smoker and your annuity options. We're sorry to be blunt, but you most likely already know that smokers, in general, have shorter lifespans than non-smokers. Of course annuity providers are well aware of this unfortunate fact of life. Increase your annuity now.
Visit Smokers Annuities Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Key

Unlike some companies, all fund sizes are accepted. The Retirement Income Customer Hotline Limited may be able to boost your pension income by more than 40% compared with your current pension provider's offering.
Visit Annuity Key Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Buy an Annuity

Buying an annuity from your pension provider isn't always necessarily the best option! You might be able to secure several thousand pounds more over your retirement from annuity providers than your current pension provider.
Visit Buy an Annuity Financial Services Register Number 154622


annuity office Visit Annuity Office

We recognise our annuity clients as individuals, which is why we deal with every case on a one-to-one individual basis. Did you know for instance that your income may increase if you have had certain health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or asthma? This is also true for smokers and for those who have worked in certain occupations.
Visit Annuity Office Financial Services Register Number 483817


ANNUITIES: Annuities News


Pensions and Annuities Research:

Select Committee on European Union Written Evidence

Annuities / Memorandum by Standard Life Assurance Company

1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. As the largest mutual life assurance company in the European Community and the leading provider of private pensions in the UK, we believe that Standard Life can make both a knowledgeable and valuable contribution to your inquiry. 1.2. We market several types of product that could potentially be affected by the proposed directive. These are, life assurance, critical illness assurance, annuities and income protection (also known as permanent health insurance). 1.3. We strongly believe that the proposals will be to the detriment of all consumers, both male and female, as insurers will require higher margins to protect their funds against increased risk. At the same time, women will end up paying more for some financial products than they do at present and the proposals may also have an effect on women's ease of access to financial services. 1.4. Our response, addresses your four key questions but we cover these in a different order, beginning with annuities. 2. THE EFFECT ON ANNUITIES 2.1. The additional risk premia 2.1.1 The cost of insuring against any risk can be reduced if that risk can be more precisely defined. There is no need to build in as much risk premium (safety margin) that the risk may turn out to be different in practice from that which was initially predicted. 2.1.2. For example, if males received an annuity of £110 per £1,000 invested and females £100 per £1,000 invested then, if 50% of customers were of each gender, the conclusion might be that a fair unisex rate would be £105. However, the annuity provider now carries a risk that more females than males take out annuity contracts. If, at the extreme end, 100% of customers are female, then the annuity provider will make a loss of £5 per annuity instalment for each customer. 2.1.3. To counter this risk, even if the initial expectation was an equal number of customers of each gender, the annuity provider may only offer a rate of say £104 per £1,000 invested, to cover the additional risk that up to 60% of customers may, in practice, turn out to be female. If gender is allowed as a rating factor, no margin is required to protect against this adverse experience becaust it would be reflected in the pricing. 2.2. Additional underwriting cost .2.2.1. The Rapporteur's report to the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities encourages insurers to price annuities (and other insurances) based upon the lifestyle of the individual applying for an annuity. Underwriting each individual, although not infallible, would provide an accurate pricing mechanism for annuities. 2.2.2. However, this ignores the additional cost that would be added to the process. Most annuities are not currently underwritten and, if it were necessary to underwrite each individual, a cost of approximately £300 would be incurred. This would be uneconomic for smaller annuities so instead insurers would simply build additional margin into their rates per 2.1.3. In other words, this is not a practical proposal. 2.3. Potential market distortion 2.3.1. Another aspect of any change is the potential effect on competition within the market. 2.3.2. One feature of the annuity market in the UK is that many providers offer enhanced annuity rates to those who have saved for retirement through their pension products. Those providers whose customer base was predominantly male would be able to offer much better annuity rates to its customers. There are no rules that prohibit insurers from discriminating on the basis of occupation which can often act as a proxy for gender. 2.3.3. For example, National Farmers Union Mutual is a UK assurance company targeting agricultural workers, 80% of whom are male in the UK. B&CE Benefit Schemes provide pensions and life assurance for construction workers, 90% of whom are male in the UK. 2.3.4. Other annuity providers would also try to target males through their marketing campaigns, or may set up insurance companies catering only for specific occupational sectors. 2.4. Self-insurance 2.4.1. Annuity purchase will no longer be compulsory from 2006 and there is a real danger that those who feel disadvantaged by these proposed changes, because their personal risk profile is not reflected in the annuity rate offered, would choose not to insure at all. They would do so by choosing to take their retirement income using income withdrawal—an option now permitted beyond age 75 by the Inland Revenue's pensions tax simplification plans. 2.4.2. Following on from this, only those with higher personal risks (those likely to live longer) would seek to join the annuity pool. This would result in lower annuity rates for those who don't insure against the risk of living too long. Whilst these risks exist already to some degree, inability to use gender as a rating factor when it is known that men and women have very different life expectancy would make this problem much worse. 2.5. The effect on annuities—conclusion 2.5.1. The net result of all this activity is likely to be that the proportion of females to males seeking annuities on the open market could be as high as 80%/20%. This means that open market pricing is likely to be heavily skewed towards a female annuity population. Once the additional risk premium is built in, females may see a little benefit from unisex annuity rates and those males that are forced onto the open market will be significantly disadvantaged. 3. INSURANCE 3.1. Although the arguments in the previous section use annuities to illustrate what might happen, similar arguments can be applied to the markets for life assurance or health insurances too. 3.2. Applying unisex rates to financial services products won't always benefit women. For example, women currently pay less for term life assurance and motor insurance, whereas men obtain better rates on annuities. 3.3. Gender is only one of the many factors that insurers take into account in pricing risk. Indeed, underwriting for life assurance might also be seen as a form of `discrimination', but this time against the state of health of the individual. 3.4. How far should the `discrimination' argument be pursued? For example, another area of European social policy that is subject to anti-discrimination legislation is age. Should life assurers be required to remove age as a statistical factor in determining premium rates? This is clearly unworkable in the insurance market for the same reasons that removing a genuine risk factors such as gender have undesirable effects on the cost and availability of insurance products. 4. PENSIONS 4.1. An annuity is the financial instrument used to convert a person's retirement savings into their `pension'. In the UK, there are various rules over what sort of annuity can be bought with retirement savings as a condition of the tax relief received. For example, private pensions must not currently come into payment before age 50. 4.2. It may or may not surprise the Committee to lear that we already have unisex annuities in the UK. Private pensions savings accumulated from contracting-out must be applied to purchase a unisex annuity at retirement. 4.3. This rule applies to those who contract-out of the State Second Pension using a money-purchase scheme such as a personal or stakeholder pension. On the other hand, voluntary savings, whether from the employee or employer, can be applied to purchase a gender specific annuity. 4.4. The difference in rules between voluntary and contracted-out savings automatically requires an individual to purchase two different annuities with what is ostensibly one pot of money. This creates two problems. 4.5. Firstly, there is the problem of communication and understanding. How is the retirement saver supposed to understand why part of their pension pot must be applied to a unisex annuity and the rest to an annuity specific to their gender? Or why, when they vest their savings in one year they can buy a gender specific annuity, yet the following year they must buy a unisex annuity? In an environment where the Government is trying to simplify private pensions to encourage more people to save, this is an issue that is ready to be addressed. 4.6. The second problem is that the annuity provider must set up and maintain two records for two annuities. This increases the administration cost, which is ultimately passed on to the consumer in the form of lower annuity rates. 4.7. For the sake of simplicity and greater choice, all retirement savings should be allowed to accumulate as one pot subject to the same rules on conversion to an annuity at retirement. For the reasons noted in the discussion above regarding annuities generally, this single pot of retirement savings should purchase a gender-specific annuity. 5. FINANCIAL EFFECT ON WOMEN 5.1. The financial effect on women—annuities 5.1.1. According to the Association of British Insurers, the average pension annuity purchase price in the UK is £23,000. Based on annuity rates available on 7 April 2004, this amount would buy an inflation-linked income of £966 a year for a male aged 60 today[17]. A similar annuity purchased by a woman would produce an annual income of £8761. 5.1.2. Those arguing for unisex annuity rates may suggest that a fair rate would be half way in between that for a man and a woman. In practice, this is unlikely to happen as providers will building in risk premiums and there will be market distortions (see section above on annuities market). 5.1.3. Putting aside these technical arguments for a moment, the central annuity rate in this average example would be £921. In other words, the average woman would be £45 better off each year. Based on average life expectancy in the UK this 60-year-old woman would enjoy this extra income for 23 years[18]. 5.2. The financial effect on women—motor insurance 5.2.1. The proposed Directive also affects the price of other financial products that are bought by women—mainly life assurance and motor insurance. For both of these classes of insurance, women pay less. In the first case, this is because, over any given period, they are less likely to die than a man. In the second example, it is because they have fewer car accidents than men and the cost of these accidents is lower than those involving male drivers. 5.2.2. Taking motor insurance first, women pay much less than men until they are in their 50s, and after that about the same as men. For young women the saving is particularly large. Take 25-year-old Ford Mondeo drivers in the UK. The average male will pay £1,651 each year to insure themselves to drive this car and the average female will pay £1,469[19]. 5.2.3. Unisex rates would make this female driver £91 worse off each year. For younger females, aged 20 for example, the increase in premiums (for a Ford Mondeo) resulting from unisex rates would have been £973 a year19. 5.2.4. Women tend to benefit from lower motor insurance premiums for a period of about 30 years (from age 17 to around 50). This is longer than the 23 years that they would benefit from higher annuity rates. 5.3. The financial effect on women—life insurance 5.3.1. Moving now to life assurance, women currently pay around 20% less than men for this type of insurance19. Unisex rates would suggest that they would pay 12.5% more than they currently do. Based upon the average life assurance premium in the UK of £350 a year19, women would pay £44 more each year for life assurance. Women generally hold this type of cover between their mid 20's and mid 50's—again a period of about 30 years. 5.4. The financial effect on women—conclusion 5.4.1. It is very clear that, if the purpose of this Directive is to improve the financial wealth of women through abolishing gender as a rating factor for insurance products, it won't have the desired effect. Indeed it is quite likely to have the opposite effect. 5.4.2. These proposals simply result in a cross-subsidy from younger women and older men to older women and younger men. 5.4.3. Further, the loss of a genuine rating factor will increase the overall cost of insurance for the population as a whole, lead to individuals choosing not to insure when the price they are charged seems to high for their personal risk profile and make it harder for some people to access insurance products where they may no longer be economically served. 17 Source: FSA comparative tables, average across all insurers offering such annuities. 18 Source: Government Actuary's Department. 19 Source: The Association of British Insurers. © Parliamentary Copyright Keywords: Pension, Annuities, Annuity, Pensions Please note that the annuities and income drawdown information contained within the articles and general text on Annuities Central may not be intended for annuity consumer use, may no longer be current and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. It is very important that you don't use this annuity information in isolation to decide which annuity or annuity alternative to buy. Annuity comparisons and pensions information or opinions expressed are made as at the date of this publication and are subject to change without notice. Always seek the help of an annuity broker before you buy an annuity.

annuity comparisons Visit Open Annuities

You could increase your annuity by thousands. Make sure you recognise the best annuity advice when you get it. The more information about annuities you have, the more able you will be to recognise the best annuity advice when you receive it.
Visit Open Annuities Financial Services Register Number 530750


Annuity Plan Visit Pension Annuity Plan

You may be able to secure several thousand pounds more over your lifetime from annuity providers than your current pension provider. Many are unaware of this very important information. The more information you have, the more able you will be to recognise the best deal when you see it.
Visit Pension Annuity Plan Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuities plan Visit Annuities Plan

All fund sizes welcomed. Why should the annuity buyer be careful? Buying from your pension provider isn't always necessarily the best idea.
Visit Annuities Plan Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuity comparisons Visit Pension Annuity Planner

This company may be able to increase your standard pension annuity through enhanced annuities.
Visit Pension Annuity Planner Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Base

Using specialist annuity industry search software, an FCA registered Independent Financial Adviser will query top annuity and annuity alternative providers' databases to help you compare and choose which one is the best for you.
Visit Annuity Base Financial Services Register Number 530750


annuity comparisons Visit The Enhanced Annuity

Specialists in enhanced annuities. It is estimated that up to 40% of the UK population could boost their pension annuity income with an "enhanced annuity".
Visit The Enhanced Annuity Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Comparisons

Why would you use an automated annuity comparison website when an authorised, qualified pension consultant can advise you which is the best annuity for free with no obligation to buy? There are many reasons why you should not trust your future income to comparison tables on faceless sites. In some matters you need absolute certainty.
Visit Annuity Comparisons Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuities Extra

Pension annuities for those of us who are not in the best of health. If you've a health problem, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is, you'll stand an increased chance of a higher annuity income.
Visit Annuities Extra Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Simple Annuities

Finding an annuity does not have to be difficult. Pension annuity retirement finance experts with vast experience of annuities are waiting to help you. Compare pension annuities and annuity alternatives now.
Visit Simple Annuities Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit The Female Annuity

1000's of women retire every week in the UK. Compare annuities for women and their alternatives.
Visit The Female Annuity Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Pathway

Your simple pension annuity journey. How you might take the wrong annuity route and lose the annuity income that is rightfully yours.
Visit Annuity Pathway Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Just One Bite Annuities

How a pension annuity will affect your life. You will only get one bite of the annuity apple. Once you buy an annuity, there's no going back.
Visit Just One Bite Annuities Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Pension Annuities Plus

Your annuity income may increase if you have had certain conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma or high cholesterol. This is also true for smokers and for those who have worked in certain occupations. Get pension annuity comparisons now.
Visit Pension Annuities Plus Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Answers

Why should the pension annuity buyer beware and why do so many retirees ignore a much bigger annuity income? Compare annuities now.
Visit Annuity Answers Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Smokers Annuities

Your lifespan as a smoker and your annuity options. We're sorry to be blunt, but you most likely already know that smokers, in general, have shorter lifespans than non-smokers. Of course annuity providers are well aware of this unfortunate fact of life. Increase your annuity now.
Visit Smokers Annuities Financial Services Register Number 483817


annuity comparisons Visit Annuity Key

Unlike some companies, all fund sizes are accepted. The Retirement Income Customer Hotline Limited may be able to boost your pension income by more than 40% compared with your current pension provider's offering.
Visit Annuity Key Financial Services Register Number 460094


annuity comparisons Visit Buy an Annuity

Buying an annuity from your pension provider isn't always necessarily the best option! You might be able to secure several thousand pounds more over your retirement from annuity providers than your current pension provider.
Visit Buy an Annuity Financial Services Register Number 154622


annuity office Visit Annuity Office

We recognise our annuity clients as individuals, which is why we deal with every case on a one-to-one individual basis. Did you know for instance that your income may increase if you have had certain health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or asthma? This is also true for smokers and for those who have worked in certain occupations.
Visit Annuity Office Financial Services Register Number 483817