Your money: Annuities special feature

Sales fall more than a third

The number of annuities sold fell by more than a third between the first and second quarters of 2014, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The figures reveal that 27,902 fewer annuities were sold in Q2 than in Q1 – a 37.5% fall.

The statistics show:

  • the total value of annuities sold fell from £2.5 billion in Q1 to £1.8 billion in Q2
  • 55% of people who bought an annuity purchased from their existing insurer rather than from a different provider
  • more people with pots under £5,000 bought annuities from a different insurer
  • the number of people buying income drawdown contracts increased by 55% on the quarter.

Yvonne Braun, head of savings, retirement and social care at the ABI, said:

“Although it is too early to determine how customer behaviour will continue to evolve between now and when the Budget reforms come fully into effect in April 2015, there are still a significant number of savers who will want the regular income provided by an annuity. We would expect that many will choose to annuitise later as a result of the new measures.”

Rates fall 2.6% in August

Annual income from standard annuities dropped 2.6% in August 2014, according to Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts.

Figures show that average annual income fell from £2,847 to £2,797 in August, equating to £1,540 less income over a 20 year retirement (based on a £50,000 pot for a 65-year-old).

This is the biggest monthly fall since August 2011 and it means standard annuity income is down by 3.2% in 2014.

Richard Eagling, head of pensions at Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts, attributed the “unusual” fall to a drop in gilt yields and a slump in consumer demand.

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