If you have underlying health conditions you should talk to us

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of UK adults aged 55 and over are unaware that certain medical conditions could entitle them to a higher level of pension income through their annuity provider, according to research [1] from MGM Advantage.

 

The research also reveals that 70 per cent of retired people are potentially missing out on a higher income in their retirement because they are not taking advantage of the higher income offered by providers if they have underlying health conditions that would qualify them for an enhanced annuity. Qualifying conditions for an enhanced annuity include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes.

A higher level of income in retirement
Furthermore, 71 per cent of employed people aged 55 plus are also unaware that certain medical conditions could entitle them to a higher level of income once they have retired. Nearly four in five (78 per cent) women aged 55 plus and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of men aged 55 plus fail to understand that they could be eligible for higher income levels in retirement. These are people who are fast approaching retirement and should already be thinking about their retirement income options, especially when living costs and longevity are consistently rising.

Underlying health conditions
It is an unfortunate fact of life that as we get older, we are more at risk of getting underlying health conditions. If appropriate, those buying an annuity should have a health check and be sure to inform their annuity provider of any health conditions to see if they qualify for an enhanced annuity. The difference between a standard and an enhanced annuity can be significant and could make a real difference, particularly when the cost of living is squeezing finances.

Qualifying for a higher pension income
According to MGM Advantage, 40 per cent of UK adults aged 55 and over have or have had high blood pressure and 33 per cent have had high cholesterol, both of which are conditions that could qualify them for a higher pension income.

However, one in seven (14 per cent) of over 55s still working said it had been more than five years since they last had a health check, with a further 11 per cent not able to remember when they last had a test.

Getting the best annuity rate possible
To ensure you are getting the best annuity rate possible, you should also exercise the Open Market Option and shop around for the best annuity rate. MGM Advantage warns that people who do not mention any underlying health issue could risk losing out financially as enhanced annuities pay out on average 20.68 per cent more for men and 22.15 per cent more for women [2].

[1] The research was conducted online by Research Plus between 7-17 October 2011 with 2,086 UK adults aged 55 years and over, of which 1,261 were retired and 825 non retired.

[2] According to stats from the MGM Advantage Annuity Index September 2011.