After a week in which consultant Towers Watson data showed that 12% of all annuities purchased are enhanced, Just Retirement, the market leading enhanced annuity provider, claims that data on lifestyle and health suggest that a much larger number could qualify for annuities that provide a significant boost to income throughout retirement.
Just Retirement has reviewed available data from a range of sources that, it claims, indicate between an estimated 55% and 65% of those retiring might have conditions that qualify them for an enhanced or impaired life annuity.
The General Lifestyle Survey 2008 shows that the proportion of people reporting long-standing illness rises from 39% for those aged between 45 and 64 to 67% for those aged 75 or above. A high proportion of the conditions reported are those that count for an enhancement, either on their own or in combination.
Commenting, Nigel Barlow, head of research at Just Retirement, said: “The General Lifestyle Survey, for those reporting a long-standing illness suggests that there are many people around the age of retirement who should be able to increase their income simply by completing a medical questionnaire and shopping around in the annuity market.
“According to the survey, 56% of people aged between 65 and 74 report a long-standing illness and 33% report a limiting long-standing illness. The sophistication of underwriting by enhanced annuity providers has improved dramatically over the past 6 or 7 years to take into account more combinations and lower levels of conditions. Many of these people might now qualify if only they knew about it.”