Product: Joint Life Annuity
“I wish I hadn’t delayed making my decision”
The ‘Leave’ result of the EU referendum in June 2016 sent shock waves rippling across the UK, having an immediate impact on many people. One of those people was Valerie Clift, who was in the middle of arranging her retirement income.
“I think most were expecting a remain vote to come out of the referendum… we certainly did,” explains Valerie. “If I had known what the outcome would be, I certainly wouldn’t have deferred my decision.”
Understanding annuity options
Valerie, a retired complementary therapist from Sussex, had started to plan her retirement income back in February 2016, knowing she could potentially get a higher income by shopping around.
“I wanted to ensure I had the best chance of boosting the amount of income I could get from my pension fund, so I decided to find out more about my options and who would be best to talk to. After seeing an advert on television, I started with the government’s site, Pension Wise.”
Because Pension Wise cannot produce annuity quotes, Valerie soon came to Retirement Line to find out how much income she could expect to achieve from her pension fund.
“She must have produced a thousand quotes!”
“I emailed Retirement Line about needing some annuity quotes, and shortly after I received a call from Laura, who had been designated as my consultant. My husband, Glenn, was in the same room as me so he listened on the phone too, as she talked me though everything and explained what she was going to do.”
“Laura was so helpful from the moment we first talked right until the end. She must have produced a thousand quotes for me! She was incredibly patient, and despite the huge amount of work we gave her to do, nothing was ever a problem for her.”
After discussing all their options with Laura, the couple decided on a Joint Life Annuity to ensure that Glenn would continue to receive an income from Valerie’s annuity, should she pass away first.
Remain vote predicted
As the Brexit vote was looming, Valerie chose to put the annuity arrangement on hold. With a remain vote predicted, she hoped the win might nudge up annuity rates. Unfortunately, the opposite happened.
“In September, after the market had pretty much stabilised again after the immediate rate crash, I asked for another quote to see how much income I could secure now. Unfortunately, the income I could achieve was lower than it was previously.
“I had already risked deferring once and didn’t want to risk another fall in rates, so we asked Laura to proceed. I really appreciated that she hadn’t pushed me to make a decision at any stage. Instead, she patiently waited for when I felt was the right time to go ahead.”
“I wish I hadn’t deferred, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.”
“I would recommend them to anyone”
Within a matter of weeks, Valerie started to receive her annuity income, which will continue to pay out for the rest of her and Glenn’s lives.
“Retirement Line, and in particular, Laura, were fantastic. I would recommend them to anyone approaching retirement. I do wish I hadn’t delayed making my decision, but I couldn’t fault the excellent service we received at every step of the way.”