Choosing an annuity is one of the most significant and important decisions of one’s life, as once chosen an annuity cannot be cancelled or reversed. An annuity converts your pension savings into a regular guaranteed income for a fixed period of time, or for as long as you live. There are many different types of annuities, and several annuity providers. It is therefore important to shop around and use the open market option before making a commitment. An enhanced annuity plan is a type of annuity scheme, which can pay a considerably higher income to those who qualify.
Recent research shows that a high proportion of pensioners could be eligible for an enhanced annuity plan, but are simply not aware of this. Therefore, by signing on to an annuity plan that pays significantly lower income than they could receive with an impaired or enhanced annuity plan, many people lose out on thousands of pounds per year.
An annuity is one of the most important, and often the sole source of income during retirement. It is therefore vital to make sure that you are getting the best deal and optimising your pension savings through an annuity. There are simple ways to check if you could qualify for an Enhanced Annuity Plan, but first let’s understand what an enhanced annuity is.
An impaired or enhanced annuity plan is available to those who have a shorter than average life expectancy. Based on this, insurance companies can afford to pay more, since the expected term of the annuity is shorter than in a conventional case. Insurers use the applicant’s health condition and lifestyle habits to determine whether they are eligible for an impaired annuity.
Some common health conditions that qualify for an enhanced annuity plan are heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity among others. Lifestyle habits include regular smoking. If you suffer from these or other health conditions or are a smoker, you may be eligible to receive a much higher income from your annuity than a conventional annuity.
An independent financial advisor can help you find out if you would qualify for an enhanced annuity. An IFA can also guide you through the pros and cons of each annuity type and help you make the right choice. You could also use a simple online tool available on many websites, to determine whether you qualify. Many annuity companies offer an enhanced annuity plan questionnaire or form to determine whether an applicant could potentially qualify for an enhanced annuity. The form generally consists of simple health and lifestyle related questions.