As people approach retirement, it’s natural that they spend a lot of time thinking about their future plans.  After all, it’s taken a lifetime to get there so it’s important to make the most of it.

If you have been saving into a pension, you should receive an offer from the pension provider a few months before your chosen retirement date.  This will quote the amount of income which they guarantee to pay you, in exchange for your hard earned pension fund.  All that you are required to do is ‘sign on the dotted line’ and return the form – the pension provider will do the rest for you.

However, in many cases this will not get you the highest possible level of income. Pension plans have an important feature called the Open Market Option, which gives you the right to shop around for the best deal; the better the deal, the higher your retirement income, and with lots of insurers fighting to get your business, it’s definitely worth seeing what else is available.

Annuities

The most popular retirement option is currently a lifetime annuity. These provide an income that is guaranteed for life, and based upon your age and the value of your pension fund.

Some annuity providers also offer enhanced annuities. These look at your individual health and lifestyle, and by doing so could allow you to secure a higher income. An estimated 60%* of people reaching retirement could qualify for a higher level of income than a standard annuity would provide.

Qualifying for an enhanced annuity could mean a significant increase in your retirement income. How much more you could receive depends on your individual health and lifestyle, but even relatively minor conditions such as high blood pressure or asthma could mean you are eligible for enhanced rates. This is also one of the rare cases where you could be rewarded for being a smoker, as this will also be taken into account.

You have nothing to lose

Our retirement review service is designed specifically to help you make the right choice and maximise the income you receive. We take a detailed look at who you are, what plans you have and what options may be suitable for you. It be may that buying an annuity is not the right option for you at all, as there are other retirement solutions available that can offer greater flexibility, and could be better suited to your needs. Here at Provisio we provide wholly independent advice, meaning we can help you to find the right solution for you, and we also manage the whole process on your behalf.

For more information and an initial discussion, please call us on 01462 687337. It will only take a few minutes of your time, but it could end up adding hundreds or even thousands of pounds to your retirement income, meaning you can afford to enjoy your retirement even more.

* Just Retirement Research, Q3 2012