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Payment Guarantee Period

You can guarantee your Annuity for a specific number of years so it continues to pay the income for that time even if you die before then. The income is then usually paid to your spouse, partner or other dependent.

Joint-Life Annuity

This type of Annuity will pay out to you and then to your spouse or partner after your death (normally at a reduced rate, such as 50%).

Level Income Annuity

This pays out the same amount of pension income throughout your life, but does not increase in line with inflation.

Increasing or Escalating Annuity

This pays out an increasing amount of pension income during you life, either at a fixed rate (for example 3% or 5%) or a rate which is linked to inflation, known as RPI (Retail Prices Index). Although the index-linked Annuity pays out less than a level Annuity initially, over time it should exceed the level Annuity if you live long enough..

Value Protection

Value Protection: This is a lump-sum death benefit equivalent to the pension fund you used to buy the annuity, minus the income you've already been paid and will be paid to your estate or beneficiaries. This would be paid tax-free if you were to die before age 75 and taxable at your beneficiaries' marginal if you die post 75.

Tax-Free lump-sum

Under current rules, from age 55 you are allowed to withdraw up to 25% of you Pension Fund as a tax-free lump-sum.

Enhanced Annuities

You may be able to get an Enhanced Annuity if you smoke regularly or are overweight. Some companies offer higher rates to people who have followed certain occupations or people who live in certain parts of the country. It is always worth checking if you may be eligible for either of these options.

Impaired Life Annuities

Some companies specialise in offering Annuities that pay a higher than normal income if you have health problems that threaten to reduce your lifespan. These are called Impaired Life Annuities, and the relevant health problems might include cancer, chronic asthma, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis or stroke.

Income Drawdown

This is an alternative to buying an Annuity when you retire. Essentially it allows you to draw an income from your pension fund while the fund remains invested.

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