19 June 2013

Fixed Term Annuities

With standard annuities generally offering poor value at present it is certainly worth looking at alternatives. One such is the "Fixed Term Annuity" - also called various other things (because they are not actually annuities at all!).
Here's some key points:
  • You could take the tax-free lump sum from your pension, but not take any income
  • You could take a pre-defined income for, perhaps, 5 years and then look at annuities again to see if rates had improved
  • If you have health concerns you might get a better annuity rate in 5 years time
  • Guarantees are available on the value at the end of the fixed term
  • Some investment growth may be possible depending on the product
  • If you die during the term, the death benefits available to beneficiaries are likely to be better than for a standard annuity
In summary, it's about keeping your options open - something which standard annuities don't let you do.
Professional advice is certainly needed when considering these products (you probably couldn't buy one without), but they are an increasingly important option in the difficult process of getting maximum value from pensions.

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