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Impaired-Life Annuities

An annuity is the contract between a member of a pension scheme and an insurance company. The member hands over the whole or part of their pension fund to the company when they retire. The company will then pay out an agreed income to the pensioner for the rest of his or her life. This income may either be the same amount throughout the pensioner’s life, or may have automatic increases built in which are sometimes based on changes in the retail price index.

How Are Impaired-Life Annuities Different from General Annuities?

People who suffer, or have suffered, from certain conditions, such as various types of cancer, heart conditions, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, high blood pressure and some other chronic conditions, can be considered to have a reduced life expectancy as a result of their illness.

Because someone in this situation can generally be expected to live for a shorter period, the income from their pension will be paid at a higher rate per year. This reflects the shorter term over which the pension is likely to be paid and, of course, the higher income can make a real difference to people who may have considerable expenditure on travel, home modifications and other allied costs related to their condition

How Do I Arrange an Impaired-Life Annuity?

All annuity providers will request a detailed report from your GP or consultant in order to clarify your medical situation and ensure that your application is correctly completed. This is important not just to deter anyone trying to claim fraudulently, but also because medical conditions are often complex and it is vital that all details are described and explained accurately.

Do All Providers Offer Impaired-Life Annuities?

No, some do not. It is vital that anyone who may be in a position to claim an impaired-life annuity chooses an appropriate provider before they retire. Comparative tables of providers are available and it is recommended that you take advice on this from an independent advisory service.

It is also vital to know and remember that the provider that administers your pension fund may not necessarily offer the best annuity rates and also may not offer any impaired-life annuities at all.

Does This Mean I Have to Consult an Independent Financial Adviser?

This is generally the case as most providers will not accept potential life-impaired annuity business other than through an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). It is also a good idea to talk to an IFA about any kind of annuity before making a decision.

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