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What is an annuity? What is an annuity?

What is an annuity?

An annuity is a type of retirement income product that you buy with some or all of your pension pot to provide you and, if applicable, your spouse or partner, with a guaranteed income for life or a fixed period of years. How much income you get is determined by your age, size of your pot, the rates the annuity provider offers, and with lifetime annuities, any lifestyle, or medical conditions you may have.

Types of annuities

Conventional annuity

A conventional annuity is the standard type of annuity that pays you a guaranteed income for the rest of your life, regardless of how the interest rates or investment markets change. The rate you receive reflects the current market when you take out your annuity, and assumes you have no particular health or lifestyle conditions.

Fixed-term annuity

A fixed-term annuity pays you a regular income for a fixed period, between 1-25 years. You can choose the amount of annuity income that you receive and if you haven't consumed the whole amount at the end of your period, you accrue a guaranteed maturity amount, known in advance.

Enhanced annuity

An enhanced annuity is a lifetime annuity that takes into consideration important information about your health and lifestyle. Depending on your health conditions, you could qualify for up to 75% more annuity income than through a standard conventional annuity.

Annuity providers

Compare the best rates the market has to offer from the UK's leading annuity providers.

Scottish Widows
Canada Life
Legal and General

How it works

Step 1

Start your quote journey

Simply click 'Get Started' to begin your Money Service search for the best annuity quotes for your specific circumstances.

Step 2

Tell us what you need

Fill out some simple and straightforward details about yourself, so that we can prepare your initial annuity quotes.

Step 3

View the best rates

Get a personalised quote that's tailored to you, so you can compare your best annuity options.

Benefits and risks


  • Secure income
    With a lifetime annuity you can ensure you have a secure level of income for life, allowing you to budget more accurately.
  • Enhanced rates
    With an enhanced annuity, you could benefit from better rates and a higher income if you have qualifying medical conditions or lifestyle choices.
  • Benefits for your spouse or partner
    With an annuity, you could include benefits for your spouse or any nominated beneficiary on your death, if selected.
  • No investment risk
    You will receive a guaranteed income, which means there are no decisions to make about investments and no investment risk.


  • Can't amend your annuity
    It’s important to shop around for the best rate as once you have purchased your annuity, the contract typically cannot be changed.
  • Value of your income may reduce
    Inflation will reduce a level annuity over time and therefore reduce the real value of your future income.
  • No option to invest
    There isn't an opportunity to participate in future investments and therefore you won’t benefit from a growth in your pension fund.
  • No death benefits for single-life annuity
    A single-life annuity has no death benefits unless the appropriate option is included.

Why choose The Money Service?

By using our service, you can access

Best annuity rates

Best annuity rates

Enjoy preferential annuity rates from the UK's top pension annuity companies

Best annuity rates
Whole of market comparison service

Whole of market comparison service

Our selected specialist can compare rates from every leading UK annuity provider

What support is available?

Here are some of the ways our selected specialists can help:

Compare annuity quotes without obligation

Take as long as you need to make your decision, there's never any pressure to proceed

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Receive impartial annuity guidance from specialists authorised and regulated by the FCA

Free quote service

Compare the UK's best annuity quotes without any obligation

Expert annuity knowledge

Get information on annuity death benefits and the impact these can have on your income

What customers say

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Answering your questions

Still unsure of a few things? We've got you covered with a few simple answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

From the age of 55, you can purchase a pension annuity to convert your pension fund(s) into a guaranteed, regular income for life, which you can typically receive monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually. You don't have to be retired to purchase an annuity, but you could use it to top up your income. You also do not have to buy your annuity from the company you saved up your pension pot with and could get a better deal by shopping around.

You can find out if you're entitled to a higher income by answering some simple questions about your health and lifestyle. Some providers offer more competitive rates to those with specific health or lifestyle conditions, many of which are common in later life. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and even a history of smoking. Our selected annuity specialist has achieved higher incomes for over 85% of customers who purchased a lifetime annuity.

Various health conditions could qualify for a higher income. When getting an enhanced annuity quote, you will answer a series of health and lifestyle questions, so you must be as honest as possible.

Examples of health problems that could qualify for an enhanced annuity include:

  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • Chronic asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney failure
  • Multiple sclerosis

As well as health conditions, your occupation could also impact how much income you receive, for example, if your job involves a lot of manual labour or dealing with hazardous chemicals. You might also be able to get a higher income depending on your postcode and if you're overweight, or if you smoke regularly.

A conventional annuity ends when you pass away unless you include a spouse, partner or dependant in a joint-life annuity; or include additional death benefits, where you can nominate a beneficiary.

A beneficiary is someone you've chosen, someone married to you (including civil partners), or someone who is financially dependant or dependant due to disability at the date of your death.

If you have a fixed term annuity, you can use the maturity amount, if applicable, to invest in another annuity at the end of your term, such as a conventional or enhanced annuity, or alternatively invest in income drawdown. Another option is to take the cash as a lump sum, which will be subject to income tax at your marginal rate.

Purchasing an annuity is likely to be one of the most important financial decisions you make, as once you have arranged your annuity, your decision cannot usually be reversed. There are many different providers out there, and just because you’ve saved up for your pension fund with one or more providers, it doesn't mean you have to receive your retirement income from them. Different providers offer varying options and rates, so you should shop around for the best deal. Our selected annuity specialist has established trusted and long-standing relationships with the UK's top providers, which means they can secure preferential rates on your behalf.

Our selected annuity specialist is so confident that you won't get a better deal elsewhere that they offer a Best Quote Guarantee. They'll send you a £250 Marks & Spencer voucher if you receive a better annuity quote on a like-for-like basis from any broker or provider direct. Terms and conditions apply.

Get in touch

Call us today and a friendly annuity consultant will be on hand to help. Or request a callback and a member of the team will get in touch at a time that suits you.