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An annuity is a type of insurance which enables the policyholder to enjoy a regular income in exchange for a lump sum of cash which is commonly built up through a pension scheme. Once the annuity has been bought, the income is fixed, the contract cannot be reversed – the pension fund becomes the permanent property of the annuity provider.
The level of income that you will receive from an annuity depends upon several main factors:
In general, with all else being equal, the older an annuitant the higher the income which can be secured. Furthermore males usually receive a higher income than females due to generally having a shorter life expectancy.
Annuities, in the main, are supplied by Life Assurance Companies. The underlying ‘annuity fund’ is usually invested in fixed interest investments, such as long term government gilts in order to maintain the guaranteed income and ensure regular income payments are made to annuitants.
Annuities can be set up to provide different benefits / options:-
There are many different options available to you when purchasing an annuity, so it pays to get professional advice at such an important time.
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