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Three simple steps to a better retirement income

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1. Shop around for your retirement income

You can buy your retirement income from any provider. It doesn’t have to be with the company you had your pension plan with. The amount of income you get in retirement will vary between different companies, so it’s a good idea to find out what each one can offer you before making your decision. This is called shopping around.

2. Shop around for the right advice, guidance and support

When it comes to buying a retirement income, there are two main options:

· Buy through a non-advised service. You get your options explained and all the information you need to make your decision. For most people this is a very good way to buy a retirement income. You don’t get personal recommendations, but there’s a robust process in place to help you make a fully informed decision and select the right options to meet your needs.

 · Buy through an advised service. You get full, professional advice and recommendations from a qualified financial adviser. As you’d expect, buying through an advised service can cost more than buying non-advised, but new rules introduced this year aim to make the cost of full advice clear so people know what they’re getting and how much it will cost.

It’s important to get the right level of advice, guidance and support for your needs and your budget. Whether you choose an advised or non-advised route, make sure you understand what you’re getting for your money.

You should also ask about how the cost of advice could affect the amount of money you get in retirement - this could make a real difference over the years.

3. Tell providers about your personal circumstances

Providers work out how much retirement income they can offer you based on your personal circumstances. So use your annuity application form to tell them as much about yourself as possible. Some people – like those with poor health – will get a higher income as a result. But even if you don’t qualify for a higher income, there’s nothing extra you can say that will mean you get less. And remember to always give each provider the same information to make sure you get like for like quotes.

If you’re ready to retire, there’s lots of useful information right here on the retirement centre.


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