Here’s everything you need to know about our Lifetime Annuities & Scheme Pension – key features, how it works, helpful links, guides and brochures.
What is it?
The Lifetime Annuity and Scheme Pension are annuity policies providing a guaranteed lifetime income. Depending on your circumstances, you can choose to provide an income and/or lump sum after your death to a spouse/partner or other beneficiaries.
You must be aged 55 or over with pension savings held in a UK registered pension scheme. The minimum required is £10,000 after taking any tax-free cash lump sum.
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You can transfer funds from a UK registered pension scheme to buy a Lifetime Annuity. We’ll hold your pension savings until all monies from the transfer(s) are received. At this point we will pay out a tax-free cash lump sum of up to 25% of the transferred amount.
If the transfer is coming from a drawdown plan, we won’t make a tax-free payment as you would have received it from your existing pension plan.
Income payment options
You can choose to have your income payments:
- Remain at a fixed level for the remainder of your lifetime
- Increase by a fixed percentage every year (between 0.1% and 10%)
- Vary in line with the Retail Prices Index
- Vary in line with the Retail Prices Index but capped at 5% or 2.5%
- Paid into your bank account on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis
- Paid in advance, where the first payment will be paid as soon as possible after we’ve set up the policy
- Paid in arrears, for example if you choose monthly, it will be paid at the end of the first month
An enhanced annuity provides a guaranteed income for life. Enhanced annuities work on the assumption that your life expectancy is reduced because of your health and lifestyle choices. By this we mean whether you have a medical condition like cancer or a heart problem, or whether you’re a smoker or overweight – it could be a combination of these factors. Because of this, your income is often higher than what you’d receive if you didn’t have medical issues or you had a healthier lifestyle.
We’ll take the above into account before we can calculate your proposed income. You’ll need to complete a health questionnaire before you apply to see if you qualify for an enhanced annuity.
Your income will stop when you die unless you opt to include death benefits. You can choose one of the following options:
- Payments to a second annuitant - Choose a joint income plan where we’ll pay up to 100% of your income to a second annuitant following your death
- Guarantee payment period - Choose a guaranteed period (from one month to 30 years) which guarantees how long we will pay your income, even if you die during the term
- Annuity protection - Choose annuity protection which pays a lump sum if you die before your 75th birthday. This is a way of protecting your original investment less any income already received.
We can pay any charges you incur from your financial adviser for advice or services from your pension money before it’s applied to the annuity. However, we must have your written instructions to do so.
Tax on your income
We’ll tax your annuity income at your marginal income tax rate once we receive a tax code from HMRC or you provide a valid P45 certificate. If we don’t receive this, we’ll apply a temporary, emergency tax code.
The amount of tax you pay will depend on your total income from all sources and your personal allowance.
Tax on death
If you die before your 75th birthday, your beneficiary(ies) will receive a tax-free lump sum or tax-free income.
If you die from age 75 onwards, we’ll tax the payments at your beneficiary’s marginal rate of income tax.
Risks to consider
Just so you’re aware, we’re unable to change the terms of your annuity policy once we’ve set it up.
Your income will stop when you die, unless you opt to include death benefits. Inflation will reduce the spending power of your income, especially if you haven’t chosen a rising income. Other annuity providers may provide you with a better outcome.
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