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Pension benefits

Higher income annuity


Poor health can be good for you � pensioners with medical conditions and smokers could get guaranteed pay rise for life. But too many missing out, warns Rockingham Retirement

- Pensioners losing out because they do not declare they have a medical condition
- Impaired annuity can add significant income based on lower life expectancy

PENSIONERS are missing out on substantial sums in pension benefits because they do not disclose their health conditions to advisers, warns independent retirement income specialist Rockingham Retirement.

Rising incidents of diabetes and high blood pressure � linked to more and more people becoming overweight � means that more pensioners should be able to buy an impaired annuity.

A snapshot survey conducted by Rockingham Retirement revealed* that up to 70 per cent of people applying for an annuity are unaware they can maximise their chances of getting a higher income by revealing any medical conditions.

�Many people simply do not realise they can significantly increase their retirement income if they have an illness or smoke,� said Rockingham Retirement managing director Steve Hunt.

�Take the example of a Mr Smith, a lifelong smoker with Type 2 diabetes: this typical profile candidate could increase his �3,162.84 a year pension income to �3,714.12 a year (based on a typical �50,000 pension fund) - an increase of over 17%.

�In other words, Mr Smith has qualified for a 17% pay rise, for the rest of his life. We have a number of clients whose incomes have increased by over 100% - and all because of a health condition.

�Yet we regularly see examples of people � most of whom desperately need higher income � taking what they are offered from their original pension company,� added Hunt.
�More often than not this will not include any enhanced rates for smoking or illnesses. And those that do �seek advice� do not go to a specialist retirement income broker; it is a bit like going to your GP to have open heart surgery,� he said.

Generally, the more serious the condition, the more money the applicant should get. Those suffering from non-insulin dependent diabetes and occasional angina - two very common conditions suffered by those in their mid-60s - could boost pension income by more than �2,000 a year with an impaired product.

�The actual rates payable do depend on the actual illness and the severity of the condition, but if you don�t ask you don�t get,� said Hunt.


�These increased rates are applicable because of a shorter life expectancy, and the fact that any annuity payments are anticipated to be payable for a lesser period of time. It makes sense. What does not make sense is that so many people are in the dark about the fact that they can do so much better by shopping around for the best deal.�

Rockingham Retirement recently conducted a survey of its clients, where it found that it had typically increased clients� incomes by more than 30 per cent by trawling the market.
�Our research shows that we can typically increase the level of annuity income by about �1,000 a year on the average pension fund, but a major problem is getting the message to people that they do not have to take the first deal they are offered,� said Hunt.


Rockingham Retirement, which has long campaigned for faster pension transfer times, recently announced the scrapping of its standard �195 administration fee to convert all pension funds of �20,000 and under to an annuity.

�We can always be relied upon to search for the highest annuity rates on the market, and we guarantee to find the highest income possible � at no cost - regardless of the fund size,� added Hunt.

Consumer enquiries: 0800 1444 144




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