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Buying your annuity

Important: The information on our website is not personal advice but we can offer advice if specifically requested. What you do with your pension is an important decision, which could be irreversible. Make sure you understand your options and check they are suitable for your circumstances: take appropriate advice or guidance if you are unsure. The Government's free Pension Wise service can help. It provides impartial guidance face-to-face, online or by phone - more on Pension Wise.

Buying an annuity: the process

1.

Get an annuity quote online - it takes just two minutes.

2.

Check if you qualify for an enhanced annuity. 75% of our clients do.

3.

Return your application to Hargreaves Lansdown.

4.

We'll set up your annuity at no extra cost to you.

Top tips for buying an annuity

Act quickly

  • Annuity quotes have a short shelf life
    They're guaranteed for a limited time - displayed on your quote. Your pension fund must be with the annuity provider within the quote expiry term to secure the annuity rate.

  • Annuity rates change regularly
    Rates can go up or down in future. However, once bought, an annuity is fixed for life. By setting up your annuity now you remove any uncertainty of future changes.

  • Time costs money
    Once you're ready to go ahead, every month you delay means you'll lose another month's income. This can be hard to make up again.

Annuity delay calculator

How long could it take to catch up on income lost by delaying your annuity?

Calculate the estimated cost of delaying your annuity

Choose wisely

Don't forget once you've chosen your annuity provider and set up your annuity you cannot change it for the rest of your life, so you must take your time and choose the best annuity for you and your family's needs.

Before you apply, double check your annuity quote to ensure all the details are correct (such as your postcode, marital status and date of birth). Changes to these details may change the amount and type of annuity payable. Read all the information carefully including the Key Features and Terms & Conditions of your chosen annuity provider. Your cancellation rights vary depending on the annuity provider you choose, and will be shown in their Key Features. Once your cancellation period has ended you won't normally be able to cancel your annuity.

Your annuity options

Could you get 50%* more annuity income?

Our clients increase their annuity income by as much as 50%* due to medical or lifestyle conditions - how much more could you get? Smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol are just some of the many conditions which could secure a better annuity income for your retirement.

Find out how you could boost your annuity

* In August 2016 alone 10 clients added over 50% to their income by declaring health and lifestyle. One client's income increased by 70%. The average increase was 21.39%, based on the top and bottom rate for each client. Actual increases will depend on your pension value and personal circumstances.

Check where your pension is invested

If your pension is invested in the stock market then its value will fluctuate and may rise or fall between the date you decide to take your benefits and the date your annuity is finalised. You may want to check where you're invested.

If it's invested in the stock market (most pensions are) consider switching it into cash to protect your fund from sudden falls, although this would mean you won't benefit from any market rises. There may be a charge or penalty for switching your investment other than on your retirement date and this should also be checked.

If you're unsure about the suitability of an annuity we can also put you in contact with one of our financial advisers for advice.

How long does it take to set up an annuity?

The time it takes to set up your annuity will depend upon the efficiency of your existing pension provider and how quickly they forward your pension fund to your annuity company. Some can take two or three weeks, others longer.

Our experienced team will speak to your pension provider on a regular basis and keep you up-to-date to ensure the process is as quick and seamless as possible.

How much does it cost to set up an annuity?

The annuity comparison service is free. If you decide to go ahead, we're normally paid a one-off commission directly from the annuity provider you choose once your annuity is in payment. Details of the commission can be found on your annuity quote. It's simple - we'll find you a competitive annuity and do all the work for you to get you a better retirement income.

Get a free instant annuity quote

Source: HL individual clients who purchased an annuity in 2015.