The annuity market has attracted a great deal of publicity over recent months, particularly with average incomes falling.
Research by Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts found that the average standard annuity income for a 65-year-old male dropped by 11.5% in 2012, reflecting the biggest annual fall since 1998, when annuity income fell by an average of 13.7%.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced this week that it is to conduct a review into the selling of annuity plans to ensure consumers are receiving a fair deal and are being encouraged by providers to shop around for the best product.
Recent reports have revealed a growing number of unscrupulous cold-calling companies enticing people to release money from their pensions.
It is thought tens of thousands of people have unwittingly fallen foul of these firms, pledging to be 'pension liberation schemes' since 2008, with the Pensions Regulator and HM Revenue & Customs issuing fresh warnings to both consumers and the perpetrators of such schemes.
A spokesman for the Revenue said: "HMRC will take firm action to detect and pursue those who deliberately bend or break the rules including those offering schemes to access pension savings other than as intended by parliament."
It is vital to remember that any form of advice on pensions and investments should only ever be provided by an independent financial adviser.
Learn about your annuity options. For help compare annuity quotes online or call the Moneyfacts Annuity Service:01737 233435
If you believe you have been the victim of such a company and wish to complain, you may be able to take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Please take time to read our guide: How to complain about a financial services provider.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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