What is an annuity?
An annuity is usually an income stream for life purchased with the funds accumulated in a money purchase occupational scheme, personal pension, FSAVC or SIPP. Annuities are provided by insurance companies and once purchased cannot be altered or amended. Annuities can be purchased on a joint or single life basis, joint life policies provide a spouse’s pension should the policy holder die before their spouse. Single life annuities die with the policy holder. Annuities usually carry a minimum pay-out period should the annuitant die early. This is typically 5 years.
Annuity payments can either be level or escalation. Level annuities remain the same throughout the lifetime of the annuity. Escalation annuities increase annually at a predetermined rate; either a fixed percentage or linked to an index of inflation.
Have I been mis-sold?
Reasons why people may claim their annuity was mis-sold:
- I took an annuity from my existing pension fund provider but I was not made aware that by shopping around using the Open Market Option (OMO) I might secure a larger annuity.
- My pension provider’s policy carried a valuable guaranteed annuity rate, moving to another provider resulted in this benefit being lost.
- I was suffering from a pre-diagnosed illness or condition that was likely to impair my life expectancy. I was not asked any questions about my health when I purchased the annuity as a result I failed to secure an enhanced annuity on health terms. An enhanced annuity being larger as the expectation would be that it would be paid over a shorter term.
- My pension fund provider did not offer ill health annuities, they were made aware of my condition but only provided a standard annuity.
- I was a current or recently quit smoker but was not asked about this when I bought the annuity. Smokers get an annuity premium based on reduced life expectancy.
- My previous occupation was not taken into consideration when I was sold the annuity, e.g. I worked with asbestos, was a coal face worker, was regularly exposed to noxious chemicals or radioactive nuclear material.
How can Rightside help you?
Rightside have experts on-hand to check whether the advice that you received was suitable for you and that you were treated fairly. If not, we will submit a claim against the advisor on your behalf. A successful outcome could potentially result in compensation being paid for losses incurred.
If you feel this has affected you, contact us on 01392 574376 or complete the request a callback to discuss how Rightside could assist you. Alternatively, speak to an agent through our live chat.
Top providers we can help with
The Prudential Assurance
Allied Dunbar Assurance
Sun Life Assurance
Co-operative Insurance Services
Frequently Asked Questions
I retired early due to ill health. I wasn’t told that I may be entitled to a larger income from my pension.
Retirees or their spouses who smoked, took regular medication e.g. blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetic’s, those who were overweight and even those who reside in certain high-risk post code regions may qualify for what’s called an enhanced annuity. If you simply took the annuity offered by your pension provider, you may have been financially disadvantaged by doing so.
How to get started
Complete a short online form or call us on 01392 574376
Talk to an expert advisor to discuss your potential claim
We will send you an information pack for you to return
We will start processing your claim
All complaints that we deal with can be made without charge directly to the provider. You can also complain directly to the Financial Ombudsman and Financial Services Compensation Scheme for free.