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Many more people can qualify for an enhanced annuity than you might imagine. While poor health is the main reason other factors such as smoking, drinking and your lifestyle, as well as the health of your spouse, can have an impact. We always check with every customer to see if they would qualify for an enhancement.

'Extremely pleased with the personal service received and the 30% increase in pension that you found for me ! Excellent. Thank you'.
Mr Brian Perkins - Tamworth   10 out of 10

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Enhanced Pension Annuities - What are they ?

The first point worth making is that there is no difference between 'Impaired Annuities' or 'Enhanced annuities. They are the same thing with different companies using different terms. In very simple terms if you have a medical or lifestyle situation that could cause you to have an 'impaired' life expectancy, this could result in the annuity you are offered being 'enhanced'.

Many people are unaware that they can get an enhancement on their annuity based on their health and or lifestyle. Our on-line quote request forms capture key information to test whether you would qualify for enhanced annuity rates. If you answer all of the questions we will be able to identify if you qualify for an enhanced annuity. If you prefer you can call us on 020 33 55 4827.

Just like a standard pension annuity, your entire pension fund is exchanged in return for a tax free lump sum and an income for life, known as an annuity.

If you are in poor health or even a smoker, you may qualify for enhanced annuity rates, which means you will have more monthly income.

Not all providers offer enhanced rates. It is vital to shop around.

You need to first find out which providers offer enhanced annuities and then find out which one will offer you the most monthly income.

That's where we come in, We will do all the work for you.
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Enhanced Pension Annuities - What you need to decide ?

In our experience one of the biggest decisions people get wrong is believing that they won't qualify for an enhancement. They consider themselves to be in reasonable shape and not much different to other people, therefore it isn't even wroth considering. This would be a mistake.

Our on line quotation form will ask a series of questions, so of which may seem irrelevant to you, however if you take the time to answer all the questions on our webform (it takes most people less than 2 minutes), we will be able to identify if you are likely to qualify for an enhancement.

If is also worth remembering that even if you are in excellent heath and don't smoke or drink, if you are planning to include your partner in your annuity, their health and lifestyle could also earn you an enhancement.

While the annuity providers will reserve the right to check in your health, in our experience the majority of cases proceed without any need to get a medical report or attend a medical.

As with a standard Pension Annuity there are many features to an annuity, all of which will impact on the monthly income you will receive.

You need to decide on: a level or index linked benefit, a pension for your partner, a guaranteed period, paid in advance or arrears, as well as a number of other features. Full details appear at the bottom of the page.

Once you have decided on the features you want, you need to make sure all the annuity providers quote on exactly the same basis, otherwise it will be difficult to identify which annuity is the best for you. This is EXACTLY what we do. We then present our findings to you, so that you can make an informed decision.

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Enhanced Pension Annuities - how we help

We simplify what can be a very confusing and time consuming process. We will be able to identify if you will qualify for enhanced rates and then help gather the required information to present in a way that should help you get the best enhancement possible.

if a provider is going to offer you enhanced rates, we can find them.

We want our customers to make fully informed decisions about a very important aspect of their financial planning. We provide free brochures and guides, and of course this website.

Every customer who asks us to provide quotes will also receive a comprehensive information pack that tells you everything you need to know about annuities in general, as well as enhanced annuities. All of this is FREE without any obligation to use us.

We do all the work in collating the various quotes required, from all the UK annuity providers.

We then present all our findings to you in an easy to understand report. This means your time is spent on making the important decisions and not on managing a vast array of paper.

If you decide to use our services, we will do all of the work for you so that arranging your annuity becomes a stress free pleasurable experience.

For help please call us on 020 33 55 4827, or use our on line form

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Enhanced Annuity - What Are They ?
Many of the technical aspects of an impaired life annuity are the same as a standard pension annuity. Therefore much of the detail later on this page is identical to the content on the Pension Annuity page. We have reproduced it as we are keen that you have all the relevant information you need. When you approach a company to request that they give you an income for life in exchange for your pension fund, they will make some assumptions about how many years they think you have to live. Based on this, they will offer you a guaranteed monthly income.

If you have suffered from a serious illness, it could have an impact on the annuity providers assessment of your potential longevity. In such circumstances the annuity provider could offer you an increased income.

An impaired Life annuity is therefore an enhanced annuity.

It is worth mentioning that not all annuity providers offer enhanced payments. Some of the major annuity providers use the same calculation for everybody, irrespective of their health. It is important not to overlook these providers as they may still offer you the largest monthly income.

Common conditions that qualify for an impaired life annuity are :

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart Condition
  • Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Angina
  • Kidney Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Leukaemia
  • Hodgkins Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Multiple Scleroses
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Parkinson's Disease

If you have a condition that is not on this list you may still qualify for an enhanced Annuity.

If you are a smoker, this may also qualify you for an enhanced annuity. If you have smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day for the last 10 years, you may benefit from a smoker’s enhanced annuity. When enquiring about a smokers annuity it helps if you can let us know what you smoke and for how long. If you have been smoking for many years have you always smoked the type of tobacco and the same quantity. If you are smoking significantly less than you used to, it is worth making us aware of this.

People drinking around 36 units of alcohol a week may also qualify for an annuity increase. You may (or may not !!) be surprised to hear that some of people working at Platinum regularly drink more that 36 units per week. Now before you run away from doing business with a bunch of 'alcoholics' you may change your opinion if you realise that is less that two glasses of wine with your meal every day !!. It is surprising just what will get you an enhancement.

When you contact us, please make us aware if you feel you may qualify for an enhanced annuity, as we will need to spend a little more time with you to make sure we present your case correctly to the annuity provider.

While the annuity provider will quote based on the information you have provided, the annuity provider may require further medical evidence from your doctor so that they can fully understand your condition. This may create a small delay before the annuity payment is confirmed. It is vital that your doctor confirms your medical condition as an impaired annuity in payment can still be reduced if your medical records subsequently don't support the information you provide.

Below is the content from our Pension Annuity page. We have repeated it here as, with the exception of the assessment of your health, an impaired health pension works in exactly the same way as a pension annuity.


Pension Annuities - What Are They ?

This is the most common way for people to take an income in retirement.

The conditions around a standard pension annuity will equally apply if you are taking an enhanced annuity.

During their working life many people save towards their retirement by using a personal pension as a saving plan. When they come to retire, they sell the pension fund to a company in exchange for a monthly income for life. This is called an Annuity. You do no have to take the annuity you are offered by your existing pension provider, in fact you may be offered more income from an alternative provider. It is therefore essential that you shop around before accepting the annuity offered by your current provider.

Many people however can get confused about how their plan works and are unaware that the pension may be more flexible than they realise.

Some common misunderstandings are :

  • The pension can only be taken when they reach either the state retirement age (typically 65), or the retirement age indicated in the pension contract.
  • When they take an income from their pension, they have to take the income offered by their current provider.
Most pensions can be taken as early as age 55 or as late as age 75. Your needs may determine at what point between these two ages it is worth taking your pension.

It may be that you need more income before you completely retire, therefore taking your pension early may be an option. Obviously the monthly income paid will be lower, the earlier you take your pension. Our opinion is that you should only take income from your pension early if it is essential to your needs.

It may be the case that when you reach your selected retirement age, you have sufficient income from other sources. You could therefore decide to take your pension at a later age, as the monthly income will increase the older you are when you take your pension.

In the case above, you may want to protect your fund value by moving it into a cash or deposit fund. This should protect you from any downturns in the investment market.

You may also want to just take your Tax Free Cash and leave the rest invested for later. See our Tax Free Cash only section.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has criticised some pension providers for not making it sufficiently clear to customers that they have the right to shop around for the best annuity. The FSA’s own assessment is that shopping around for your annuity could increase the monthly income you receive by as much as 30%.

Of course you need to ensure that when you are comparing quotes from various providers, the quotes are all on the same basis. While a quote that offers £550 per month may appear to be better than one that offers £500, you may change your mind when you learn that the annuity offering £500 will increase with inflation and pay your spouse a pension when you die.

There are many features you can add or take away from an Annuity. These will all impact upon the monthly income offered. We will discuss these features later in the section entitled "What you need to decide".

The important thing to remember with a standard Pension Annuity is that the monthly income is guaranteed for life. Unless you select an investment backed annuity then the basis of the monthly income will not change and your income will continue to be paid, even if you live to a ripe old age.

Let’s hope you do !
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Pension Annuities - How We Can Help

There can be no doubt that exercising your open market option and shopping around for the best pension annuity has to be a sensible and prudent thing to do. However it can be both time consuming and confusing.

We will do all this work for you and then present you with the results in a simple easy to understand format. You are not under any obligation whatsoever to take up any of the quotes we present to you, and you will not be charged a fee.

We will ensure that all the quotes are on a like for like basis. If a provider quotes on a different basis, it can have a major impact on the figures and you could end up selecting the wrong annuity. While providers are generally efficient, we have known the odd mistake to be made.

Our standard annuity service is without advice. We will indicate what provider is offering you the highest annuity as well as show you the quotes from other providers. That way we can demonstrate that we have done our job as promised to you.

The quotes you receive will be personalised to you and will be guaranteed for a period of typically 30 – 45 days (depending on the provider).

You can ask us to start this process for you by either calling us on 020 33 55 4827 or answering a few simple questions on our Request Quotes page.

Upon receiving your instruction, we will ask for your permission to contact your existing pension provider to obtain an annuity quote.

We will ask you to give us written authority to speak to your existing pension provider to see if your pension contract has any special conditions which could indicate that it is best for you to stay with your existing provider. Without this written authority, your pension provider will not be able to give us specific information about your pension.

We will make you aware of what your existing provider is offering so that you can make an informed decision.

We can of course obtain quotes purely based upon the information you provide. In such cases we are sure you understand that we could not be held responsible if you moved away from a pension that offered enhanced rates or guarantees.

We will need to get an understanding of the features you require from your annuity, for example: do you want the income to be guaranteed for a period, even if you die; would you like your partner to continue to get a pension if they should outlive you; and so on. Obtaining this information from you should not take more than a few minutes.

You are of course welcome to call us as often as you like, in fact many of our customers enjoy phoning us as they know we will make time for them and ensure all their questions are answered.

Even if you don’t call us, we will keep you informed during every step of the process and keep you regularly updated.

Pension Annuities - What You Need to Decide

You have a number of things to consider, the most important of which is “do I need to take an annuity now?” Remember doing nothing is a real option and may be the best one for you.

It is also worth remembering that the decision you make now will be irreversible once you have made it, and it is likely to have a financial impact on you for many years to come.

There are a number of features that you may want to include within your annuity. It should be remembered that as you add features to your annuity, the amount paid in monthly income is likely to go down, but you may consider some features too important to leave out.

Level or Index Linked

It is possible for an annuity provider to agree to either give you the same income for the remainder of your life, known as level payments, or for the monthly income to increase each year in line with a specified percentage, or an index such as the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The benefit of an index linked annuity is that as the monthly payment will increase each year, either by a fixed percentage, or an index such as the retail price index (RPI). It is hoped, but not guaranteed, that these annual increases are roughly in line with inflation. If this objective is achieved then the purchasing power of your annuity should be more or less the same, several years after you have taken your annuity. While this is an attractive option, the initial monthly payment for an index linked annuity will be significantly lower than the payment offered for a level annuity. In our experience, it can take up to 10 years before the monthly payment from an index linked annuity catches up with the payment offered from a level annuity. Again, It can take a further 8 -9 years before the increase in annuity payments makes up for the income lost in the first 10 years. This means that on pure monetary terms it can take on average 18 years before the decision to take and index linked annuity becomes financially viable. in our experience, this results in more people selecting a level annuity.

Spouse’s / Partner Pension

You can request that in the event of your death, your annuity provider continues to make a monthly payment to any surviving spouse or partner.

In most cases, the amount paid to a surviving partner tends to be about half the amount paid to the original annuitant. Unless the pension fund is particularly low, most couples tend to choose this option. You can select 100% for your partner if you wish.

If your pension fund contains a “protected rights” element, then the part of the annuity that relates to the protected rights amount, will automatically include a spouses pension. See Below.

Guaranteed Period

Annuities offer you an income for life in exchange for your pension fund.

So if your pension fund is worth £100,000 and you die 3 months after taking your first payment, will the annuity provider keep the rest of the money? If you choose not to have a guaranteed period or spouses pension, then the answer is yes.

It is possible to choose a guarantee period, which is typically 5 or 10 years. Most providers offer these year guarantees.

The guarantee will ensure that if you die during the guarantee period, the pension will continue to be paid in full until the guarantee period expires. After this point it will either stop, or if a spouse's pension has been selected, it will pay out at a lower level as described above.

Payable in advance or arrears

The vast majority of people choose to have their payments in arrears. This tends to be a simpler option which can also result in a slightly higher payment.

Payment in advance could be beneficial for people taking their annuity payments quarterly or annually.

With or Without Proportion

Most people tend not to worry too much about these options. This option only applies to annuities paid in arrears.

If you choose the "With Proportion" option, this means that if you die midway through a payment period (most people do!!), then rather than pay the estate nothing, the estate will receive payment for the proportion of the payment period that the annuitant was still alive.

To keep it simple; if an annuity paid in arrears pays £1000 per month and the annuitant dies exactly half way through the payment period, the estate will receive £500.

If the "Without Proportion" option is selected, then either nothing or the spouse's pension would be paid.


This is intended to be used where a spouse’s pension is selected.

The intention of "Overlap" is to pay an immediate spouse's pension, on top of any pension payable as part of a guaranteed period.

For example, an annuity is taken for £1000 per month with a 5 year guarantee. The annuitant dies after 2 years. The guarantee period will ensure that £1000 per month is paid for the remaining 3 years, and from year 6 onwards £500 per month goes to the surviving partner.

If the Overlap option is selected, then the spouse's pension also becomes immediately payable. This means that for the remaining 3 years of the guarantee period £1,500 per month will be paid. At the end of the guarantee period, the payment will reduce to £500 (the original partner’s pension).

Please remember that each additional feature you choose to add to your annuity will decrease the amount you receive as a monthly payment.

Protected Rights

In April 2012 the government cancelled "Protected Rights' options on pension. This means that even if part of your existing pension plan includes protected rights funds, you do not have to adhere to the previous protected rights rules when taking an income from this element from your pension.

In very simple terms you don't have to worry about protected rights anymore, however for those of you who are interested the section below explains what this element of your pension used to mean.

People in employment (but not the self employed) will have some of their National Insurance contributions directed into something known as the Second State Pension (previously known as SERPS).

It was possible to have those National Insurance contributions diverted from the Second State Pension into a private pension. This was known as “Contracting Out”.

Any contracted out payments sitting within a personal pension plan were known as protected rights. As these amounts were intended to replace some benefits offered by the State, the government applied some conditions about how this element of the pension was taken.

Protected Rights annuities had to offer a 50% spouse’s pension and a 5 year guarantee.

Since pension rules changed in April 2006, people who had contracted out could also take 25% of their protected rights fund as a tax free lump sum. If they remain within the state system, the whole amount is used to provide income.

While your pension plan may still show some of your fund as being "protected rights" now you can use it just like an ordinary pension plan. You can chose any range of benefits that best suit you.

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