Five steps to boost retirement income from your pension pot

7027606047_cac49c3b79_t21Retirement annuities have been much in the news lately.

According to recent reports, many of the estimated 400,000 people per year in the UK who purchase annuities are not aware of the best deals available to them. Only a mere 13 % apparently realised they could possibly do better than their first offer from an insurance provider.This is not a new problem – see link below :

Thankfully, there is extensive information out there to help pensioners obtain the best rate of income for their needs in return for their hard saved pension pots. The industry watchdog, the Association of British Insurers,(the ABI), has recently highlighted the disparity between the best and the worst annuity providers by publishing a much acclaimed ‘name and shame’ list. Some rates were up to 46% better than the worst.Retirees can help themselves with possibly the most important financial decision of their lives, and significantly boost their income for life. Four tips to help boost your income from an annuity are:

1. Don’t accept the first quote you receive. This might be from the provider with whom you saved your pension pot,or perhaps a suggestion from an online brokerage. As with most important purchases today ,you need to shop around for the best deal to suit you.You may be considerably better off this way.

2. Be sure to ask for and receive a guaranteed quote from a provider and not merely an indicative one. The latter might be attractive to you but it could be more than the income amount you eventually receive. So avoid this disappointment.

3.Make sure all your personal details have been included when applying for an annuity. Always fully declare the full state of your health which, if poor,could entitle you to an enhanced income. In this case, where a person is not likely to live as long as would normally be expected statistically an insurer will often be prepared to raise the annual income payable under an annuity.

4. On taking appropriate professional advice: don’t pay over the top for advice. Advisers say around 1.5 % of the pension pot is about right, but up to 3%, often without real advice given, is probably not. You can try , the financial adviser website as a place to start your search.

5. Finally, having taken advice, it may be that taking a full annuity does not best meet your needs. Instead you may consider drawing down the whole or part of your pension fund gives you more control over your income and future investment. Note there are some restrictions to this option under regulations which limit the amount you can withdraw in this way. Your adviser can help with this.

Other useful (and unaffiliated) links to go to for information are:

National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF)

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Citizens Advice Bureaux(CAB)


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