Annuities - compare annuity rates

  - Make the most of your retirement income and be sure to shop around to get a better rate.
We’re here to help you make the right decision:
• Compare annuity rates from annuity providers to get the income that suits you
• Free, indicative quotes, available online, or by phone
• Boost your retirement income if you qualify for an enhanced annuity
Annuity Service
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01737 233 435
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*Lines are open Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays, 9am to 8pm. Calls are charged at local rates and may be recorded or monitored

The Moneyfacts Annuity Service is provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited.

Shopping around for an annuity can seem daunting, but if you wish to benefit from a guaranteed income for life, an annuity could be the way forward.

Once you’ve chosen your annuity, there’s no turning back – so making the right decision is essential. Here’s how the Moneyfacts Annuity Service can help you.

Take full advantage of the Open Market Option

It is a common misconception that you can only purchase your annuity from your pension provider.  However, if you shop around you could increase your retirement income.  

You may also know that once you buy an annuity, it can’t be cancelled, so the decision to buy an annuity is final.

What income you will get from your pension pot will vary based on a number of factors including how big your pot is, to which options you decide to include in your annuity. These include whether you want an income that increases over time or not, and whether you want to ensure any dependents have some income should you die before them.

We can help you shop around

The Moneyfacts Annuity Service is a non-advised comparison service that could help you get up to 40%* more retirement income.

Our Online Annuity Planner will also assist you while shopping around for a better annuity rates providing help with the following:

  • Comparing quotes from a variety of annuity providers
  • Establish whether you qualify for any ‘enhancements’ due to health and lifestyle which could further improve your retirement income
  • Understand all the options you have to help protect your income against inflation, extend payments to your dependents etc
  • Show the effect that taking each option will have on your income

Do you qualify for an enhanced annuity?

Providers of standard annuities offer different rates largely based on age. But many people – estimate nearly 60%** –  may have a condition that could qualify for enhanced annuity rates.

If  you qualify for an enhanced annuity,  you could increase your pension income by as much as 40%* (depending on your health and lifestyle). To help you make the right decision, Moneyfacts Annuity Service can help you by comparing annuity rates from standard and enhanced annuity providers quickly and easily.

There’s a range of health and lifestyle conditions that are considered by enhanced annuity providers. 

Answer the following questions to see if you qualify for an enhancement:

  1. Are you a smoker?
  2. Do you have high cholesterol?
  3. Are you overweight?
  4. Do you have serious or life-threatening medical conditions?
  5. Do you have raised blood pressure?
  6. Have you ever been hospitalised?

If you feel you might qualify for another condition it is worth giving us a call or visiting the Moneyfacts Annuity Service.

Make sense of the new rules announced in the 2014 Budget

In the March 2014 budget, the Chancellor announced sweeping proposals to the ways in which you can access your pension savings from April 2015. There were some interim rules for accessing small pots, as well as changes to taxation of death benefits, however the biggest change is to allow people over age 55 to withdraw the whole of their pension fund as one lump sum. 

The new rules will not only bring new freedoms and choice to use your pension pot as you wish, but also the need for careful planning, to ensure that you have sufficient income for the whole of your retirement. For many people looking for a secure lifetime income, an annuity will still continue to provide the guarantees being sought after in retirement.

Receive 25% of your fund tax-free

You are usually permitted to take up to 25% of your pension fund at the start of your retirement as a tax free lump sum. This is known as the Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS).

If after April 2015 you choose to take your entire pension pot or pots as a lump sum, this will not increase your tax-free entitlement. Therefore your tax-free entitlement will remain at 25%.  The remainder will be taxed as income at your marginal rate, which could potentially mean being taxed at 40% if your pension pot is large.

Interim rules for small pots

Under new rules following the March 2014 budget, if your pension pots across all your arrangements total £30,000 or less, and you are aged 60 and over you, can take the whole of it as a lump sum, which is an increase from £18,000. Small pots up to £10,000 can also be taken as a lump sum (up to three such pots). This is known as 'trivial commutation'. To find out more, visit

If you do choose to take your entire pension pot or pots as a lump sum, this will not increase your tax-free entitlement. Therefore your tax-free entitlement will remain at 25%.  The remainder will be taxed as income.

You can also leave your pension invested using a product called a drawdown pension. A drawdown pension allows you to draw some income from your pension fund as an alternative to taking out an annuity. The maximum income you can take is set currently within government limits, although the March 2014 budget statement proposed to remove these limits from April 2015. 

Taxation of death benefits

The Chancellor has also proposed changes to the taxation of death benefits on pension funds, currently at 55%, from April 2015.

The changes apply to drawdown pensions, and annuities that have “value protection” included as an option. This means that on death before age 75, a lump sum benefit from a drawdown or value protected annuity will be paid to any beneficiary tax free. If death occurs after age 75, the proposal is to reduce the tax from 55% to 45%, and then to marginal rate tax from 2016/2017.

If a dependants pension has been chosen rather than a lump sum, to continue the income in the event of death, the income will then be tax free for annuities and drawdown, however if  death occurs after age 75 it is still subject to the marginal rate of tax . 

Guide to buying an annuity

Our partner Just Retirement has created a guide to buying an annuity. The guide will help you to consider the financial choices that can lead to your money going that bit further in retirement.

The guide will help you to:

  • Plan for your retirement
  • Understand your savings,
  • Explain the options you have to provide an income in retirement.

Click here to download your FREE guide to buying an annuity

Try our free online Annuity Planner

Our handy online tool takes you through your choices in retirement, helps you learn about annuities and compare the latest annuity rates from a range of providers.

Once you’ve chosen, we’ll manage the entire process on your behalf, ensuring you receive the retirement income you deserve hassle free.

Click here to try Moneyfacts Annuity Service

*Source date: 09/09/2014. 40% is achieved by comparing the lowest standard annuity rate against the best enhanced rate for a person who is overweight, has been diagnosed as having Diabetes Type 2 with complications, has suffered a heart attack requiring surgery in the last six months and is taking a total of four medications daily. Quotes are based on a RH2 7RT postcode, for a 65 year old individual with a pension pot of £25,000 with a 5 year guaranteed period, no escalation and no value protection, which have been obtained from a representative sample of providers via Just Retirement Solutions Limited. The comparison is based on rates available via the open market option only and it should be noted that smaller increases will be achieved for less serious medical or lifestyle conditions.

** Just Retirement Research April 2013

What next?

Annuity service reviews - we asked customers who used the Moneyfacts Annuity Service, during 2012, what they thought of the website and whether we helped them get more income in retirement. Click here to read their testimonials.

Annuity jargon guide - we've compiled a jargon buster for some of the common terms you are likely to hear.

More annuity guides Limited (Registered in England and Wales, No. 6615303). Registered office: Moneyfacts House, 66-70 Thorpe Road, Norwich NR1 1BJ. Limited is authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Moneyfacts Annuity Service is provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited. Registered office: Vale House, Roebuck Close, Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RU. Registered in England No. 05125701. Just Retirement Solutions Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Please note your call may be monitored and recorded. 

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