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Our Best UK Annuity Providers For 2024

Written by the Retirement Line Team
Last updated: 1st February 2024

Our annuity panel gives you access to all of the UK’s leading annuity providers - including the latest Moneyfacts Awards winner.

When you look at turning your private pension pot into an income with an annuity, you’ll find that there are several providers on the market. With different features and options available, it’s important to choose the best annuity provider and plan for you. 

Comparing plans from the best annuity companies can be time consuming, and some providers won't deal with you directly. This is why you may prefer to let an independent annuity specialist do the work for you. 

View the latest annuity rates here

 

At Retirement Line, we can search for plans from the UK’s leading annuity providers on your behalf. With our help, you’ll be able to compare the best annuity rates the market has to offer. We’ll even create a personalised annuity comparison table showing the highest annuity income available to you from each of the best annuity providers.

On this page:

Our team of Annuity Specialists search for plans across the UK's top annuity companies to secure you the best rates and guaranteed income - we even have a £250 Best Quote Guarantee¹. Simply get in touch and let us do the hard work for you.

You can use our free pension annuity calculator to see how much income you could secure with an annuity - or call us today on 0800 652 1316 or request a callback and one of our friendly team will be here to help.

Click here for your free, no-obligation annuity quote

How do I choose between annuity companies?

Choosing a provider that you’re happy with is especially important because once set up, you generally can’t change annuity providers. Your choice also involves making sure you have the type of annuity, with suitable features and options. But how do you decide which is the best annuity company and product for you? 

To find the best annuity provider and plan for your unique circumstances, our Annuity Specialists will find out what’s most important to you. Are you looking for an annuity provider who can offer the most income? Are you ready to commit to an annuity for life, or would you prefer some flexibility with a fixed term annuity? Do you want a single life or joint annuity? Will you take your full 25% tax free allowance from your pension pot, or less than this? 

Once we understand your priorities, we can present you with suitable plans and quotes from the top annuity companies. Our knowledge of the annuity market means we can provide guidance and the information you need to make an informed decision about your retirement income.

 Mike Warrall

 

Are annuity companies regulated by the FCA

Annuity providers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - the UK’s financial services watchdog. This is an independent organisation set up in 2013 to replace the Financial Services Authority. It’s a public body funded entirely by the fees they charge firms. The FCA is accountable to the Treasury and to Parliament.

Their role includes regulating the conduct of annuity providers to ensure they operate in an honest and fair way. Their strategic objectives include promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers.

The FCA has done considerable work to compel companies to act in the best interest of consumers. For example, the FCA now requires pension schemes to inform their customers how much they could gain from shopping around for an annuity. This is known as exercising your open market option.

 

Do annuity providers charge fees? 

Your annuity provider will charge you for setting up and running your annuity. However, instead of it being a cash fee, the charge will be reflected when they calculate your annuity rate and income. 

How much retirement income you receive will be variable from provider-to-provider. It’s based on the annuity rate that each provider offers you and several factors as well as charges, including:

  • The provider’s underlying rate (linked to gilt yields and interest rates)

  • Your age

  • The size of your pension pot

  • The annuity product and options you choose

  • Your health and lifestyle (if you are eligible for an enhanced annuity) 

 

Can I change my annuity provider? 

When your annuity starts you will typically have a cooling-off period during which you can cancel and apply with a different provider. This period is typically within 30 days, but please see your chosen provider’s ‘key features’ document or ask us for confirmation. 

Once you move beyond the cooling-off period, you usually cannot cancel your lifetime annuity or switch to another provider. This is why it is so important to carefully consider your options before committing to a lifetime annuity as a source of retirement income 

With fixed-term annuities however, some providers will let you end your plan before the end of the stated term. You can use the money available (the ‘transfer value’) to buy another annuity or alternative retirement income solution. You can also take it as a cash lump sum subject to income tax.

Here at Retirement Line, our Annuity Consultants will take all the time you need to explain what’s available from leading annuity providers so you can make an informed decision.

 

Can I qualify for a higher annuity income?

If you have a medical condition or have a history of smoking, for example, lifetime annuity providers may be able to offer you more income through an enhanced annuity. You could get up to 75% more money from your pension fund than with a standard annuity.

Over 1,500 common lifestyle factors and medical conditions could see you qualify for a higher rate, on account of the effect they can have on life expectancy. These range from smoking and high blood pressure to more serious conditions like heart disease.

If you don’t currently have a diagnosed medical condition, it may be worth getting a free NHS health-check for an up-to-date assessment of your health. This may then help you qualify for a higher income through an enhanced annuity.

Get in touch on 0800 652 1316 or request a callback and one of our trained Annuity Specialists will take you through a health and lifestyle questionnaire to find out whether you could get a higher income.

Click here for your free, no-obligation annuity quote

 

Meet the top annuity companies 

If you choose to take out an annuity through Retirement Line, we will obtain quotes from the leading UK annuity providers. You’ll be able to compare the rates and income they offer, as well as select the plan and product features best suited to your personal circumstances. 

You could also benefit from preferential annuity rates we secure due to our position as the UK’s number one annuity broker* and our close relationships with the UK’s leading annuity providers.

 

Aviva

Aviva is the world’s sixth-largest insurance group and the largest insurance services provider in the UK. Aviva is one of the leading providers of life and pension products in Europe and are growing their long-term savings businesses in Asia Pacific and the USA. Their main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance.

 

 Canada Life 

Founded in 1847, Canada Life is the oldest life assurance company in Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada Life operates in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and other countries. Canada Life is part of Great-West Lifeco Inc. which provides a wide range of retirement savings and income plans for individuals and families.

  

Just

Just is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange. They are a FTSE-250 company and a specialist in the retirement market. Their purpose is to help people achieve a better later life. So far over 650,000 customers have trusted them to manage around £25 billion of their pension savings, and thousands more are joining every year.

 

Legal & General

Legal & General is a leading provider of savings and investment products in the UK. Established in 1836, they have experience in every kind of economic climate. They currently have over seven million customers for their life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance and manage funds of over £320 billion.

  

LV

As the UK's largest friendly society LV offer a range of savings, investments and insurance products. When they started in 1843 as Liverpool Victoria, their goal was to give financial security and peace of mind to more than just a privileged few. Today it's much the same. As a mutual, they look after customers, not shareholders.

 

Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows enjoys a proud history. Established in 1815 as Scotland’s first mutual life office it’s expanded over the years to serve across the UK and today has over six million customers across pensions, annuities, savings & investments, life, critical illness and income protection. The Scottish Widows brand today is best known for its iconic advertising with a series of famous commercials that are still remembered today, and as the research team at IPSOS report, is recognised as one of the UK’s most trusted Life, Pensions and Investments providers.

 

Standard Life. Standard Life has been looking after their customers’ life, savings and retirement needs for nearly 200 years. Since 2018, Standard Life has been part of Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. Phoenix Group serves around 12 million customers and has over £250 billion in assets. In 2023, Standard Life will start offering annuities again after a period away from the market.

  

Who are the annuity provider award winners?

One of the most prestigious events for the pensions industry is the annual Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards ceremony. The top annuity companies are judged in the category ‘Best Annuity Provider’ through rigorous product monitoring and feedback from financial advisers. 

 

Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts
Awards Winners

 

2023

2022

Just

-

Best Annuity Provider
(Commended)

Canada Life

Best Annuity Provider
(Winner)

Best Annuity Provider
(Highly Commended)

Legal & General

Best Annuity Provider
(Highly Commended)

Best Annuity Provider
(Winner)

Scottish Widows

Best Annuity Provider
(Commended)

 

 

You can access annuities from all of the winners, and the UK’s other leading annuity providers, via Retirement Line’s annuity service

The Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards 2024 will be announced on Thursday 23 May 2024.

It’s reassuring to know that an annuity company you may be considering has won a prestigious industry award. But remember -  you choosing the best annuity for you is about looking at your personal circumstances and what’s available from a number of providers.

This is something we can help you with, thanks to our relationships with and access to the leading annuity providers, including all of the latest Moneyfacts Awards winners.   

 

Let us help you choose the right provider for you

Are you ready to start talking about your annuity? Would you like to find out how much retirement income you could receive, and which of the best annuity companies suit your needs? Or do you just need more annuity information at this stage?

At Retirement Line, our team searches on your behalf for annuity plans from the best annuity providers. UK-based Annuity Specialists in our friendly family firm are here to help with quotes from top annuity companies, and information and guidance on your options.

Call today on 0800 652 1316 or request a callback for the help you need today with no cost or obligation to proceed. 

Click here for your free, no-obligation annuity quote

 

Frequently asked questions

 

What is an annuity provider? 

An annuity provider is a company that you give some or all of your pension pot to, and in return they agree to pay you a guaranteed income for life or an agreed fixed term. UK annuity providers are insurance companies, since an annuity is a type of insurance.

 

How do I get a provider’s best rate? 

If the pension scheme that you have been paying into offers you an annuity, you can shop around to see if there is a better deal elsewhere. This is known as exercising your ‘open market option’.

Each annuity provider will offer you a personalised rate and income based on a number of factors. These include underlying economic factors, your age, and your health and lifestyle for lifetime annuities. 

Retirement Line not only shops around the top annuity companies for you, but we may also be able to secure you a preferential rate. This is because of our position as the UK’s number one annuity broker* and our close relationships with the UK’s largest annuity companies

 

Can I transfer my annuity to another provider? 

You will typically have a cooling-off period of 30 days in which you can cancel and apply with a different provider. You usually cannot cancel your lifetime annuity or switch to another annuity after this period. This option may however be available with a fixed-term annuity.

 

What happens if my annuity company goes bust?

You may feel that choosing the safest annuity company is important. However, whatever company you choose with us, you have protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This scheme pays compensation in the event of firms going bust. This includes product providers and financial advice firms. 

The scheme can pay 100% of your claim in the event of an annuity company going bust on or after 3 July 2015, with no upper limit. This is because annuities fall into the category of ‘contracts of long-term insurance’ that are eligible for 100% protection.

 

Who is the largest annuity company in the UK?

According to ADV Ratings, Aviva is the UK’s largest general insurance company and also the largest based on individual annuities. The company reports that it has over 15.5 million customers in the UK. 

 

¹ Terms & conditions apply

 

 

 

  • Aviva
  • Canada Life
  • Just Retirement
  • Legal & General
  • LV
  • Scottish Widows

Call now and talk to an Annuity Specialist about how we can boost your annuity income in retirement

0800 652 1316



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