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.
When it comes to the time to think about retiring and beginning to plan a future after retirement one of your biggest worries will no doubt be how to make the money you have spent years saving last for as long as you will need it. This is a serious worry and it may simply be the case that your retirement pension will not be enough to get you through. With this troubling thought being more common and unfortunately more realistic, it is all the more important to know all the ways to make your money stretch as far as possible and an impaired life annuity can be helpful here.
An impaired life annuity is one of a number of different kinds of annuities that you can choose from. An annuity in general is calculated by the insurance company according to your life expectancy. The longer you are expected to live, the smaller your income will be. There are however exceptions to this. When you first look into annuities you may come across an annuity calculator, it will give you an idea of the annuity rate you can expect.
But it will ask you a number of questions to get to that answer; questions about your age, gender and general health. And this is the trick. More than a third of people are eligible for an impaired life annuity but do not even apply. If you are a smoker, if you are overweight, if you have a history of cancer or heart disease, if you are on prescription medication or have been hospitalised recently then you are in all likelihood eligible for an impaired life annuity.
Because the medical condition that you have will decrease your life expectancy, the regular income that you can expect to get will be greater. The actual income will depend on your current state of health and will need to be assessed, usually through a financial advisor independent of your annuity provider. It can be quite a lengthy process to apply for an enhanced life annuity, which is why most people shy away from it, but it could make a huge difference to your monthly income at a time when any small difference is very much needed. Do not miss out, make the effort and give yourself that little bit extra to get you through your retirement without all the financial hassles that usually come with it.
When after years of working you reach the age when you begin to think about retiring and what this might mean for your financial future and your future in general, you will no doubt begin to think about retirement schemes, investments and the possibility of taking out an annuity. Annuity schemes are run by insurance companies and each insurance company will have a variety of annuity options that you will have to choose from, should you opt for taking out an annuity.
Before you can understand annuity options, you first have to understand how an annuity works. When you retire, and you decide to take out an annuity, you exchange the whole of your pension for the guarantee of a regular income. You can decide how regularly you want to receive your income; monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. Clearly there can be many variations to an annuity and one of the annuity options that you will need to decide between will be between a fixed annuity and an index related annuity.
The first annuity option, the fixed annuity, will give you a fixed income each month. This amount will not change over time. Alternatively you can choose an index related annuity which is tied to the stock market and will fluctuate accordingly. Another annuity option to think about is an enhanced annuity. Many people do not even think about applying for an enhanced annuity but it can give that little bit extra to get you through the month.
An enhanced annuity, as an annuity option, is for people who smoke, are overweight, who are on prescription medication or have been recently hospitalised. You can also of course apply for an enhanced annuity if you have a chronic illness. With this option, because your life expectancy will be less, your annuity will be higher.
Not everyone will be granted an enhanced annuity, but it is well worthy applying. You will also have to decide whether you want to take an annuity as a single person, or with your spouse or partner. And within this option there are a few more to explore. With an annuity there are many choices, not only what annuity provider you choose to go with but also the various annuity options that are also available. This is so that you can get the most out of your savings, and so that you will have financial stability well into your retirement.
If you are about to retire, or are at least at the stage when you are beginning to think about retiring, then you will quickly realise that you need to do everything in your power to make the most out of your pension. In most cases people have saved since their first job, and now that retirement is looming, there is a worry that what has been saved will not be enough. This is a common worry and for some, the answer to this quandary will be enhanced annuities.
With annuity rates at an all-time low, it is well worth investigating the possibility of effecting an enhanced annuity plan. This is a particular kind of annuity which offers a larger annuity for people with medical conditions that could limit their life span. As many as 70% of people are missing out on a higher annuity just because they don’t think about applying for enhanced annuities, and they work in the same way as a normal annuity.
Enhanced annuities and annuities in general might seem difficult to understand but really they are a bit of a gamble between you and the annuity provider, about how long you can live. When you decide to buy an annuity, enhanced annuities or otherwise, you use the lump sum of your pension in exchange for a regular and guaranteed income that you will receive for the rest of your life. The annuity is calculated on how long the annuity provider expects you to live, and this is why with an enhanced annuity you can receive a larger income.
So, how will you know if you are eligible for an enhanced annuity? If you are a smoker, or take regular prescription medication or have been hospitalised recently, then you should certainly apply for enhanced annuities. The sum you will receive will be determined by the current state of your health and how you live. Should you be overweight, have high cholesterol, or blood pressure then you can also receive about 7% more income than a healthy person.
There are a number of variables and it will be up to you to find out about them and then apply for enhanced annuities; if in fact, this is what you decide to do. Enhanced annuities can be extremely useful in getting you through the difficult patches, and so it is wise to take advantage of what is available as much as possible.