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

Centralising Your Pension Annuity Search

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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 Economic Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Association of British Insurers (ABI)

1. Pensions tax simplification is a flagship policy for the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) warmly welcomes the bold approach taken by the Government and the overall intention of the proposals. The introduction of one tax regime for all pensions should lead to simpler and less costly administration both for incoming contributions and outgoing claims. Complexity is one factor which puts employers off contributing to pensions[1] Simplifying the pensions tax regime is essential to encourage more employers to offer pensions and more people to save for retirement. PENSION BENEFIT RULES 2. Clause 155 and schedule 28 introduce a single set of rules relating to how pension benefits may be taken. However these provisions don't achieve the simplicity which should be the result of standard rules. The issues relating to these provisions are covered in more detail in Annex A. DEATH BENEFIT RULES 3. Clauses 157-158 and schedule 29 introduce new rules governing the payment of death benefits. We believe there are inconsistencies in these rules which will result in complexity for consumers and may mean it is uneconomic for providers to offer some types of product. The issues relating to these provisions are covered in more detail in Annex B. ENSURING SIMPLICITY 4. In our response to the Government's second consultation document, we urged the Government to retain simplicity as far as possible. To this end, it is important that the legislation is clear in terms of definitions. These issues are discussed in more detail in Annex C. SECONDARY LEGISLATION AND ACCOMPANYING CHANGES TO DWP LEGISLATION 5. While the Finance Bill includes 150 pages of provisions, there is a significant amount of detail which will be included in secondary legislation. We have been pressing the Government to see drafts of these regulations and expect to see them within the next few weeks. However, there are number of complementary changes to DWP legislation which are required to give effect to some of the tax simplification changes, for example, provisions relating to how pensions may be paid, and it is unlikely that we will see these changes before the Pensions Bill reaches the House of Lords. As such, it is difficult to comment on how some of the provisions might work in practice. In addition, it will be difficult for legislators to consider the legislation thoroughly if they don't have all the inter-linking provisions available to them. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS 6. The ABI is pleased that the Government has listened to the industry's recommendations in a number of areas, for example, by enhancing retrospective protection for the people who have already built up large funds. However the provisions appear to us to be overly complex—particularly in relation to tax free cash. We believe the Government should simplify these provisions or provide a simple guide on how the provisions work in practice. Annex A PENSION BENEFIT RULES 1. It is Government policy to encourage individuals to shop around to buy an annuity to meet their own individual needs. We support this objective and welcome the provisions in the Bill which enshrine the right of the consumer to shop around for an annuity, for example, the provisions in paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 28 include in the definition of a lifetime annuity, the requirement that the member had the opportunity to select the insurance company which provides the annuity. 2. The ABI believes that consumer understanding of annuities is the best way to ensure consumers identify the type of annuity which is right for them and are able to shop around to obtain the best deal. While we have worked with the FSA to help improve consumer understanding of annuities and facilitate shopping around, for example, through the FSA fact sheet "Your Pension: It's Time to Choose", we believe that unless the decumulation regime is simplified, further significant improvements are unlikely in either consumer understanding of the choices open to them, or to encourage consumers to shop around rather than simply accepting the annuity offered by the insurance company they have used to save for a pension. 3. However we don't believe the provisions in the Bill will result in the necessary simplicity. We believe that two options—lifetime annuities (allowing for consumer-led variability and together with a money back guarantee) and simplified unsecured income—would be easiest for consumers to understand. 4. Instead the Bill introduces further complexity in the form of short-term annuities (schedule 28, paragraph 6). Under the provisions of the Bill, a short term annuity is another form of unsecured income. In fact it has been described as a form of income drawdown for the mass market. However, income drawdown (or income withdrawal) is a product which is generally suitable only for those with large pension pots (£150,000+). This is because of the risks involved in the product, the need for consumers to take advice and relatively high charges. Short term annuities will involve many of the same risks, for example, the remaining capital is subject to both investment and interest rate risk and mortality drag, reducing the level of income they are likely to receive when they eventually come to purchase an annuity. There is also a risk that the terms available for a lifetime annuity at the end of the short term annuity may be worse than those which had been available at the outset, for example, because of age and annuity rate changes. 5. As the risks are similar for income drawdown and short term annuities, arguably consumers who buy short term annuities will need advice. Unless consumers take advice, we believe there is a high risk of mis-selling/mis-buying of short term annuities. This product is likely to appeal to those who don't want to buy an annuity, for example, because they perceive annuities to be poor value, but for whom the product is not suitable because they have a relatively small pension pot. Data collected by the ABI shows that more than 70 per cent of annuities bought in 2003 were worth under £20,000 whereas in the same time period, only 3 per cent of annuities were worth more than £100,000. 6. On the other hand, the provisions appear to reduce choice for consumers by removing the option of an annuity where the amounts paid vary according to the choice of the annuitant, rather than responding to market levels, and with the ability to include reductions in income. Instead, under the provisions of Schedule 28, para 3, an annuity has to be level, increasing, or falling only in line with market falls if it is an investment linked annuity. It is unclear why income variability should be permitted under unsecured income because of the nature of the underlying assets, but not permitted under an annuity which invests in the same assets. We are discussing this, and other issues, with the Inland Revenue. Annex B DEATH BENEFIT RULES 1. Further complexity is introduced into the rules under the provisions governing the payment of death benefits. 2. Annuities are (wrongly) seen by many consumers as a "poor deal". A person who buys an annuity and dies a short time later, would see the remaining capital, after payment of any dependant's pensions, returned to the provider. Many consumers are willing to pay an additional premium for a money back guarantee so that any unused capital can be returned to their estate on death. Providing for this will improve people's perception of annuities and we welcome the introduction of this facility by the Government. 3. The ABI has pressed consistently for return of capital post age 75 under value protected annuities. The provisions in the Bill introduce a protected lifetime annuity (in effect a money-back guarantee, paragraph 14 of schedule 29) but return of any unused capital after the age of 75 is not permitted. Unless this restriction is relaxed, the process of buying an annuity will remain complex and consumers will continue to find it difficult to identify the type of annuity that best meets their individual needs. One key complexity arises in relation to the decision which someone, say aged 67, has to make when they start their pension. It is also likely this continued complexity will deter consumers from shopping around in order to get the best deal. 4. The prohibition of the return of any remaining capital from a money-back guarantee after the age of 75 introduces further complexity. Money-back guarantees, without the age 75 limit, are the option most popular with consumers. Independent research commissioned by the ABI found that almost half of annuitants would be interested in being given the option to purchase a money-back guarantee and they would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for this guarantee[2]. 5. We appreciate the reasoning provided by the Government, that is that a pension is intended to provide an income in retirement as opposed to passing capital between generations. However, this principle has been diluted by the availability of products such as income drawdown and the introduction, in the Finance Bill, of money back guarantees. It is also inconsistent with the introduction of flexible retirement and Government proposals to encourage individuals to work for longer. In addition, the increase in the minimum retirement age to 55 reduces the window of time during which individuals can make decisions and plan for their retirement. At a time when both life expectancy and length of working lives are increasing, it is inconsistent and introduces additional complexity to impose such an arbitrary restriction. 6. Further complexity arises in the provisions relating to the payment of lump sum death benefits (clause 158 and schedule 29). Different tax charges arise according to the type of lump sum death benefit which has been paid. There are five types of lump sum death benefit of which two (a defined benefits lump sum death benefit and an crystallized lump sum death benefit) are not subject to a tax charge. The remaining three types of lump sum death benefit (pensions protection lump sum death benefit, annuity protection lump sum death benefit and unsecured pension lump sum death benefit) are subject to a tax charge of 35 per cent on the administrator. The ABI would like to see consistency in the tax treatment of lump sum death benefits. 7. The situation becomes more complicated still as a result of the provision that for the purposes of lump sum death benefit rules, a promise to pay a set amount on death, for example, through life insurance, is a defined benefits lump sum death benefit. As a result, a lump sum paid out under a life insurance policy held within a pension would not be subject to tax but the payment of an annuity protection lump sum (under a money back guarantee annuity) would be subject to a tax charge (payable by the scheme administrator). This in turn adds to the complexity for consumers who want to buy value protection—it may be more tax efficient for them to buy a decreasing term assurance policy alongside their annuity rather than a money back guarantee, but in order to make the decision they are likely to need advice. In addition, using a decreasing term assurance policy in order to achieve value protection is making use of a device which dilutes the simplicity of the reforms. 8. The differing tax treatment could also mean it is uneconomic for providers to offer some types of product, such as money back guarantee annuities, as there are other, better, options elsewhere in the tax regime, in this case through decreasing term assurance policies. 9. Further inconsistency is evident in the rules governing the death benefits which can be paid from an alternatively secured pension fund. Under paragraphs 18 and 19 of schedule 29, The Bill appears to permit reallocation to non financial dependants, as a result it appears to offer inheritance options after age 75. The amount reallocated then comes within the lifetime allowance of the non financial dependant, but escapes any inheritance tax at the point of reallocation. In our view, this is inconsistent with the prohibition on the return of capital after age 75 under money back guarantee annuities. While we believe return of unused capital should be allowed after age 75, we believe a consistent approach should be taken across products. Annex C ENSURING SIMPLICITY 1. However there are areas of the Bill where the provisions, and the intention, are unclear. For example, in paragraph 2 of schedule 28 the definition of a scheme pension appears to relate principally to a defined benefit scheme but under the provisions of clause 155 a scheme pension may be paid by a money purchase scheme. We are concerned about whether there is adequate protection for consumers in a situation where, what is in effect a defined benefit pension is being paid by a defined contribution, or money purchase, scheme. We are also concerned that there is potential for consumer detriment in terms of the basis for valuation used depending on whether the consumer chooses an insurance company to provide a lifetime annuity or the scheme pays a pension. 2. In addition there are provisions in the Bill, which the Sub-Committee might wish to consider, where the drafting is unclear and could be open to interpretation. Examples of this can be seen in paragraph 3(3) of schedule 29 relating to the amount of tax free cash which may be taken and paragraph 7 of schedule 29 (trivial commutation lump sum). We understand that the policy intention here is that the ability to take a trivial commutation lump sum is limited to individuals where the aggregate of all of their pensions is less than 1 per cent of the lifetime allowance, however this is not clear from the drafting of the Bill. In our view, the reference to the value of the member's pension rights in relation to trivial commutation lump sums, for example, paragraph 7(1)(b), need to be expanded to make clear that it refers to the pension rights from all schemes. 3. Other examples of provisions where further clarity would be helpful include: — Clause 156 and schedules 29 and 31—there does not appear to be any provision here for tax free cash to be taken when a short term annuity is selected. It would be helpful if this was made clear. — In schedule 29, paragraph 10(2) it is not clear what the implications are if a lump sum is not treated as a winding-up lump sum (because it exceeds 1 per cent of the lifetime allowance). — The meaning of schedule 29, paragraph 12(3) is unclear. 4. In addition, Clause 192 of the Bill carries forward the current exemptions from Inheritance Tax (IHT) applicable to payments from approved pension schemes. However the experience of the industry is that there is some confusion over when IHT is and is not applicable to payments from a pension scheme. This has resulted in some unreasonable outcomes on post retirement lump sum payments which have been taxed both as earned income and under IHT. We believe the Government has missed an opportunity to clarify when IHT will and won't be applied to such payments. This would help to simplify pensions and retirement planning for both consumers and providers. 29 April 2004 1 Twenty eight per cent of employers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "complexity stops employers contributing to pension schemes", Frank Research for the ABI, April 2001. 2 Annuities-the consumer experiences, a research report by Julie Stark, October 2002. © 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