Provide an income that is guaranteed for life

Annuities can provide you with a guaranteed income payable for either the rest of your life or a fixed number of years. The level of income that you will receive from an annuity depends upon several main factors including the size of the investment, age, health and the prevailing annuity rates at the point of annuity purchase.

If you have a defined contribution pension scheme such as a personal pension, then you have a number of different choices when you decide to start drawing retirement benefits. One of these is to buy an annuity to provide you with a guaranteed income, either for the rest of your life or for a fixed number of years.

Remember, you don't have to buy an annuity to provide retirement benefits, but an annuity can help to provide certainty of income in the future. You can also build in a continuing income to a surviving dependant (such as your spouse) should you die. You can also decide to use part of your pension pot to purchase an annuity and the rest to take as a tax-free cash lump sum  and / or to provide an income in other ways (including taking some income as a lump sum).

Annuities are provided by insurance companies and there are many different types available, all have different options that you can select as well. Some annuities may be more suitable than others for your particular circumstances.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested.