Annuities are a highly popular way of making sure you have enough income to live off of in retirement. You can cash in your pension and receive an annuity, which grants you a set payment per month in retirement.
Unfortunately, there was a huge scandal toward the end of 2014 that carried into 2015 involving annuities. It came to light that over the past several years, around 600,000 people used their pensions to purchase annuities that didn’t take their health and lifestyle into account.
Why is this a big deal? Those in poor health upon retirement are typically eligible for “enhanced” annuities which grant, on average, a third more in income. The increase is due to lower life expectancy. Each person affected is expected to be eligible for £20,000 to £50,000 in redress.
While annuity providers and advisers have been reviewing their records, it’s imperative you call your pension company to see if you’re eligible to recoup your losses. Don’t leave it up to your insurer to reach out to you – after all, they weren’t looking out for you to begin with.
The following characteristics are typical for those affected:
If your pension has a guaranteed rate, or you can’t prove that you were never asked about your medical conditions or lifestyle, you’ll be less likely to win in court. Additionally, if you purchased your annuity via a trusted financial adviser, chances are you’re not eligible.
Ultimately, your adviser or provider is supposed to provide adequate guidance in helping you choose the annuity that’s appropriate for you. They should act in your best interests and give you all of your options. That means looking to maximize your income in retirement.
If you were affected, by now you should have received an automatic payment from your insurer as compensation for the loss in income. You might have also received a boost in the monthly payments you receive.
If you haven’t received anything and believe you’re entitled to compensation, you can reach out to your insurer so they can investigate. Alternatively, you can get help and assistance from us to do it for you. We specialise in helping people recover their money from mis-sold products, including annuities. If you’d like to find out more about how we can assist you, you can call for free on 0800 840 7292 or pop your details into the short form and we’ll contact you.
The best thing you can do moving forward is look out for yourself. Do your own research into investment matters to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of. You want to get the most out of your annuity as possible so you can continue to live the life you planned for in retirement.
This is also why having a trusted financial adviser on your side is worth the money. If you’re overwhelmed by doing the research, they will act in your best interests to match your situation up with the most suitable financial products.
When it comes to your money, especially in retirement, you want to do everything in your power to ensure it stays safe. Annuities are irreversible – once they’re sold, you’re locked in. Always do your due diligence when making such important investment decisions.
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