The Financial Services Authority was the regulator of the financial sector in the UK, and the watchdog for service providers, companies and organisations working within the finance industry. The FSA recently experienced a major re-haul and two new bodies were put in its place – The Financial Conduct Authority and The Prudential Regulation Authority. As such, annuities regulated by the FSA, popularly referred to as FSA annuities are now known as FCA annuities.
It is very important to ensure that the annuity provider you choose is properly regulated by the industry watchdog. A company that is accountable to the regulatory body is always a safer bet than one that is not. For the past years, this was the FSA, and so it became important to choose providers regulated by the FSA or FSA Annuities. Today, since the FCA has replaced the FSA as the industry watchdog, it is important to make sure that the annuity provider you choose is an FCA annuity.
The FSA had been facing criticism recently for its failure to predict the lending crisis, as well as its failure to prevent the recurrent economic bust. The FSA has also come under fire due to its inability to control risky investment practices by banks. The FCA has regulatory, investigative and enforcement powers that purportedly make it efficient at regulating the entire financial sector and ensuring that customers are protected. Today, annuities that were once touted as being FSA annuities will now become FCA annuities.
You can find more information about different types of annuities, as well as information about different providers by exploring online resources. There are a number of websites that offer useful information, as well as advice about different annuity products. You can also find free and useful tools like online calculators that you can use to work out the maximum income an annuity can generate for you.
You can find information about different annuity companies and providers by exploring company websites. This will also tell you if the company is FSA/FCA approved and if it is accountable to the regulatory body. FCA/FSA annuities offer additional protection since they are obliged to follow the regulations made by the industry regulator.
Just like the FSA, the work of the new FCA includes providing information about fraud prevention, consumer action, as well as about different products and services. In order to protect yourself and commit to a reliable company, always make sure that the annuities you select are FSA annuities, now FCA annuities.
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.