Usually, if you're a smoker, suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or another relatively minor medical condition you get penalised (for example, the cost of life cover is generally higher or not available at all). But with an annuity, it's the opposite - in fact, you could get an enhanced annuity which pays you more. It's because people that smoke or have health complaints often have a lower life expectancy - so their annuity ‘pot' is spread over fewer years. But even if you're still going strong at 100, your annuity keeps paying. It is guaranteed for your whole life irrelevant of any changes to your health after you take it out.
At Nationwide we ask all our annuity customers a few simple questions to see if they could qualify for enhanced rates, and many lifestyle and medical factors can normally be assessed without a requirement for a full medical examination.
Research shows that the majority of retirees could qualify for an enhanced annuity. Ensure you disclose any conditions or illnesses you may have been diagnosed with - from high cholesterol or blood pressure, through to more serious conditions such as heart conditions or cancer - as the annuity market takes into account over 1,500 conditions and lifestyle factors. So checking to see if you're eligible should be one of the first considerations of your retirement income plans.
It's important that you provide full details of any medical conditions you have suffered from and any ongoing symptoms or treatments that you are receiving. Remember to disclose as much information about your health as possible, as this may give you a higher level of enhancement. Annuity rates are based on you answering all questions accurately and honestly. Evidence may be required and its worth noting that if the condition cannot be verified (for example by your GP) the annuity provider has the right within six months to reduce your annuity.
The Nationwide Annuity Service will make the process of gathering any medical information we need to confirm your medical condition as easy as possible.
Please note that in relation to an enhanced annuity, you may sometimes hear the term ‘impaired' annuity (where someone has a life threatening health condition). We will always call this an enhanced annuity.