An annuity pays a regular income in retirement for life. One of the key factors that needs to be taken into consideration when buying an annuity is whether you want an income just for yourself or one that would continue to pay out to someone else after you die.
With a single life annuity you receive and income until you die – after that the payments from the plan stop. This type of product would be suitable if you have no financial dependents or if your partner has sufficient pension benefits/savings to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle upon your death. The only circumstance in which an annuity would continue to pay out to a dependent within a single life annuity would be if you also opted for a ‘guarantee period’, this means that the annuity continues paying income for a set number of years after you take it out.
A joint-life annuity provides you with an income for life. Upon your death the income then transfers your spouse, partner or any other chosen beneficiary when and pays them a regular income for the rest of their lives. Alternatively it can be used to pay an income to your dependent child, usually until they are 23.
A joint-life annuity could be particularly suitable if your spouse or partner doesn’t have their own pension arrangements, or if their pension payments will not be enough to meet their financial needs. Upon your death, the income paid to the nominated beneficiary will be a proportion of the income you were getting just before your death.
You have to choose this proportion when buying your annuity. It could be for example 100%, two thirds or half your retirement income at the time of your death. The higher this proportion is set at the lower your retirement income will be.