18th March 2014
It takes just four minutes and 45 seconds to ‘enhance’ an annuity if you have a medical condition, while failing to do so could leave you with a permanent reduction in your pension income for the remaining years of your life, Hargreaves Lansdown has warned.
The firm says that up to 70% of the retiring population is eligible for an enhanced annuity yet just one in 20 of those buying an annuity directly from an insurance company do actually buy an enhanced annuity. This compares with over half of those who use the help of an IFA or annuity broker.
Tom McPhail, head of pensions research, says: “No one should buy an annuity without first completing a health questionnaire; this is a vital element of the shopping around process. It is disgraceful that some insurance companies are still not even offering enhanced annuities to their existing customers.”
Hargreaves Lansdown launched its own online annuity underwriting facility 12 months ago and has issued some facts and figures about its annuity customers. These are as follow:
It takes just 4 minutes 45 seconds on average to complete full online underwriting
The biggest increase in income quoted is 149% (male client in Renfrewshire)
The average increase in annual income: £1,347
The most common condition resulting in an enhancement is high blood pressure (47.52%)
The number of quotes run on Christmas Day were 64
Source: MGM Advantage
 Source: FCA