People could be losing out on their pension

Nia Williams

September 20, 2010

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.”

Sign up to our daily email