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Annuity rates plunge to new lows: £100k pension pot gets £5k annual income

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Annuity rates have fallen by more than 3% in the past two-weeks following the result of the EU referendum.

Since the Brexit result, 14 negative rate adjustments have been announced, including from Aviva, Just Retirement and Retirement Advantage.

The best open market rate for guaranteed income for life (annuity) for a 65-year-old has fallen by 3.59%, meaning a standard terms policy offers an income of just £4,890 on a £100k fund.

More shocking is the fact that at the beginning of the year, someone five years younger at age 60 could have got a better deal than a 65-year-old today.

A 60-year-old in January 2016 with a £100k pot could have bought an income of £4,930 which means they would have potentially received five years’ worth of extra income paid at the same rate as the 65-year-old would get today.

In comparison to the rates offered eight years ago, a 65-year-old gets 37% less for their annuity as in July 2008, a 65-year-old with £100k could buy an income of £7,855. However, the average pension fund has risen 58.9%.

Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Annuity rates are disappearing off the bottom of the chart. Just six months ago a 60-year-old could get a better deal than the terms now being offered to a 65-year-old.

“Even though rates are now at historic lows, there is no certainty whether or when rates will go back up again. It is also important to note that in recent years, anyone who decided to delay buying an annuity may well be worse off today.”

So should you buy an annuity today?

McPhail said the answer is not to delay doing so just because today’s rates are lower than in the past.

“For many investors a mix and match strategy, putting some of their pension into an annuity and some into drawdown, may well be the best approach. As always, anyone buying an annuity should shop around for the best possible deal for their circumstances. It’s particularly important to provide health and lifestyle details to try and boost the income on offer,” he said,

The terms of a quote from an annuity company are usually guaranteed for between two and four weeks.

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