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How frequently do you want your annuity payments to be made?

Written by the Retirement Line Team

Choose for your annuity income to be paid monthly or less often

As the UK's largest pension annuity broker*, we help you ‘shop around’ for the highest annuity income. We compare the UK’s best annuity rates, quotes and providers on your behalf without obligation.

Our Annuity Specialists also help you understand your annuity options. They provide information and guidance so you can make an informed decision about your retirement income.

Annuities provide you with a guaranteed income from your pension pot, with a range of features to meet your needs and circumstances. Among your options when buying an annuity is the frequency of your annuity payments. 

This guide will help you understand your options when it comes to choosing your annuity payment frequency. If you’d prefer to speak to one of our Annuity Specialists, simply call 0800 652 1316 or request a call back. You can also find out how much annuity income you might receive with our free annuity calculator. 

Click here for your free, no-obligation annuity quote

How does a pension annuity work?

An annuity lets you turn your private pension or defined contribution company pension savings into income. You can choose to take your income for the rest of your life, or for a fixed term.

A benefit of the annuities we arrange from leading annuity providers is that they guarantee stable, guaranteed retirement income from your pension pot. Once your annuity is set up, your income is unaffected by changes in interest rates or the stock market.

Are annuities paid monthly or yearly?

There may be more flexibility on annuity payment frequency than you think. You aren’t restricted to just monthly or yearly payments. Instead, you typically have four options when it comes to receiving your annuity payments:

  • Monthly

  • Quarterly 

  • Half-yearly

  • Annually

Your initial thought may be to set up your annuity payments for a monthly retirement income, especially if you are used to receiving a salary this way. You may also feel that a monthly income is suitable if you anticipate using some or all your annuity payments to pay your monthly bills.

But it’s worth thinking about other annuity payment options before deciding. If your other income sources cover your monthly needs for example, you may choose to take your annuity payments on a different schedule. Each payment should be bigger, so you might choose to use your annuity income for luxury purchases or less frequent bills.

Are all four annuity payment options available to everyone?

You may find that not all these annuity payment frequency options are available to you. If your total annual annuity income is relatively low, the annuity provider may restrict your choices. 

As an example, someone whose annuity payments add up to £60 per year may not have the option of taking £5 per month. They may have to take their payment less frequently.

Are annuity payments made in advance or arrears?

As well as choosing your annuity payment frequency, you can also choose to be paid in advance (ahead of the period) or in arrears (at the end of the period). The timing of payments can impact the amount you receive, so this is something else to think about.

Taking payments from your annuity in advance

If you choose to take payments from your annuity in advance, you would receive the first payment when the annuity is set up. So, with an annuity set up on the first of the month, you would receive your payment on or soon after that date. Further payments would follow on the first of each month, if you choose monthly annuity payments

Taking payments from your annuity in arrears

If you choose to take payments from your annuity in arrears, you will receive your first payment sometime after the annuity starts. With a monthly payment frequency for example, it would be about a month after the annuity is set up.

Your choice affects how much annuity income you receive

Whatever the frequency of your annuity payments, you will receive the highest annuity income if you choose to be paid in arrears, rather than in advance. It’s also true that you will get a higher annuity income by choosing to be paid annually in arrears than you would monthly in arrears. 

Something else to be aware of is that annuities paid in arrears can be set up on a ‘with proportion’ basis. This means that should you pass away between payments, a final payment would be made that covers the number of days from your previous payment to your death. 

Why not ask one of our Annuity Specialists to provide you with annuity quotations? These can illustrate the different amounts payable for the various annuity payment frequencies. They can also show the difference between level payments that remain unchanged throughout your annuity, and payments that increase each year to track changes in inflation.

Call our friendly UK-based team on 0800 652 1316 or request a callback and we will be happy to produce competitive annuity quotes from leading providers.

Can I change my annuity payment frequency?

You won’t usually be able to change your annuity payment frequency option once your annuity is set up. This is why it’s important to think about the frequency and make an informed decision from the outset.

However, there is some flexibility if you choose to take a fixed term annuity with a Guaranteed Maturity Amount, where you leave some of your pension savings available for future access. This option lets you set up another annuity with these savings when the fixed term ends. In that case, you will be able to choose a different payment frequency for the new annuity if you wish.

Speak to an Annuity Specialist today

At Retirement Line, we pride ourselves on providing a jargon-free and impartial annuity service. Our Annuity Specialists can provide you with quotes from the leading UK annuity providers. These can show your options for different annuity payment frequencies if you wish.

You could also benefit from our preferential annuity rates. We secure these due to our position as the UK's largest pension annuity broker* and the close relationships we have with the UK’s leading annuity providers. We also have a Best Quote Guarantee as extra reassurance that we can secure you the highest annuity income¹.

For a free, no-obligation annuity quote, try our annuity calculator. If you’d prefer to speak with an Annuity Specialist directly, you can call us on 0800 652 1316 or email us at

Click here for your free, no-obligation annuity quote

Read more about your annuity options

A range of other options are available to you when you arrange an annuity through Retirement Line:


¹ Terms & conditions apply

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