Many of us retiring today have a good idea of how we would like to access our pension savings, but with so much information available online, it can be tempting to task ourselves with the job of hunting for the best deal alone, rather than seek any guidance.
Here, we explain why that could do more harm than good.
Searching for a better rate
Many people now use comparison sites when it comes to renewing our car insurance, energy tariffs and so on. So, when it comes to our retirement income, you might feel well equipped to search for a competitive annuity rate yourself, right?
Well, don’t be too sure.
Comparison sites can make some tasks easier, but arranging the most favourable annuity is best dealt with by a specialist for many important reasons.
Specialist annuity brokers like Retirement Line have access to the UK’s leading providers, including some very competitive ones who do not deal directly with the public. By searching around yourself, you could miss out on these specialist annuity providers and the potential for a higher income.
You could also miss out on the preferential annuity rates that an annuity specialist like Retirement Line can achieve for you, from the volume of annuity business they arrange.
Furthermore, the companies you seek quotes from directly, including those who currently hold your pension fund, may not offer enhanced annuities. These could entitle you to a larger income for life if you have a history of poor health, or if you are a smoker, for example.
A specialist, on the other hand, will find out if you qualify for enhanced terms, which could see you being offered potentially 75 per cent more income!
Don’t put yourself at risk
By doing the shopping around yourself, you also risk missing out on any ‘safeguarded benefits’ that you could lose, or risk incurring certain penalties, if you were to transfer your policy to a new provider.
We wouldn’t want you to be disadvantaged by missing out on valuable benefits, which could exceed what you might achieve on the open market, so we will explain what it all means and check on your behalf to see if you would actually be better off remaining with your existing company.
A specialist annuity service with no direct fees
There could be a great deal of options available to you at this point, and understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each is essential if you want to make the right decision for you. It can be hard to do this, however, without specialist guidance.
After speaking to our friendly annuity specialists, you will be sent a free personalised pack explaining the different types of annuities available to you, plus the best quotes we have found during our searches for you.
You can ask our Retirement Line annuity specialists as many questions as you like to ensure you are making a fully informed decision. Rest assured, irrespective of how much time we spend assisting you with information about your options and annuity quotes, there is no charge or any obligation for you to use our service.
If you decide to proceed and buy an annuity through ourselves, there is no direct fee to pay as we will receive commission from your chosen provider, which is taken into account in the income you are offered.
When should I request my annuity quote?
Around six months before you are due to retire, your existing provider will send you a ‘wake up pack’ detailing the amount of income you would receive from the most basic of annuities if you stayed with them.
Remember! This income is based on your existing provider’s own rates and may not be competitive.
At this point, by exercising your right to the “Open Market Option”, you should instruct Retirement Line to shop around for a better deal for your retirement income using our panel of leading providers, including those that do not deal directly with the public.
Retirement Line will encourage you to have a check up to see if you have any undiagnosed medical conditions which may qualify you for an enhanced annuity - discovering them after your annuity is in place is too late for you to enjoy an extra income!
Already close to retiring? Don’t worry – our specialist team will work quickly to help you have your retirement income arranged in time for your retirement. It takes around 6 – 8 weeks on average for us to arrange an annuity, but can be as fast as 3 weeks in some cases.
It takes a matter of minutes to check
If you know when you need your retirement income to start, then getting things arranged sooner rather than later could prevent you from having to accept the standard offer made to you by your existing provider.
At Retirement Line, we can tell you in minutes if we could get you a better deal for your retirement income, and if you wish to proceed then we can arrange everything on your behalf with our hassle-free service.
Retirement Line work on a non-advised basis, providing factual information to enable you to make your own informed decision.