An annuity is an important tool in the retirement sector, which allows you to draw your pension fund as regular income during retirement. Investing your hard earned life savings into an annuity is a very important decision indeed, and it is vital to shop around not only for the most suitable annuity type, but also for the most suitable annuity provider for you.
The biggest misconception when it comes to annuities is that one is required to set up an annuity with their pension provider. The truth is that thanks to the open market option, there is absolutely no need to be limited to your pension provider for an annuity. In fact, the Government is trying to encourage people to use the open market option and shop around for the best annuity deal before investing.
Annuity rates can vary very widely between providers. Also, the variety of annuity products available means that different annuities will have different rates even from a single provider. So a company that offers the best rates with one type of annuity may not necessarily do so with a different type of annuity.
The first step towards finding the right annuity, therefore, is to understand your own needs and find out what type of annuity works best for you. For instance, would you need a single life annuity, or a joint annuity? Would you rather have a guaranteed income for life, or invest in a higher risk investment linked annuity? Would you need a fixed annuity with fixed payments for life, or an escalating annuity? These are some of the questions that need to be answered before you can shop around for the best annuity quote.
Your pension provider is bound to offer a quote, and there is no reason why you should not consider this quote, as there is every possibility that it will not only be competitive but may even be better than the open market options. The point is not to limit your options, but to shop around and make an informed choice about this important step in life.
The Financial Services Authority has worked hard to ensure that pensioners have the right to exercise an open market option and shop around for annuity quotes. The FSA continues to encourage people to use this option and has also made it mandatory for your pension provider to remind you of this option while offering a quote. That you must purchase an annuity from your pension provider is a myth, but thankfully, one that is continuing to diminish rapidly.