Cash in your Annuity

Cash in your Annuity Newsletter 5

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Cash in my Annuity Newsletter 5
23 November 2015

Since our last newsletter at the start of September we have many people express an interest in selling their annuity and have registered for this news service. Sadly as existing subscribers will know, developments have been slow and in reality there is precious little new news.

As you may recall the original plan was to introduce the ability to sell your annuity, starting from the new financial year in April 2016. At the start of this year the date was put back a whole year, meaning that the first date that anybody can sell an annuity they currently hold will be 6th April 2017

It seems that some companies are interested in buying annuities, and many of these have experience of buying annuities in other countries such as the USA. With respect to UK companies, there currently seems to be very little appetite, with UK financial institution ‘Citywire’ doubting whether the market will even get off the ground.  The regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority has also made it clear that you will not be able to sell your annuity back to the company you bought it from. This has been done to protect customers.

While the regulator does not always explain its thinking in full, many believe this is to prevent customers who originally got a poor annuity deal when buying their annuity, getting an even worse deal when they sell it back. Personally we believe that irrespective of the deal the customer may be offered, the regulator is equally concerned that companies who could otherwise be required to compensate customers may attempt to buy back the business before it becomes a problem.

This is something that you should be aware of and, we would suggest, you should consider carefully the circumstances of how your original annuity purchase came about – particularly if you took the annuity offered to you by the pension company you had been saving with. The key points to consider are :

You had the right to ‘shop around’ for the best deal which can in some cases substantially increase the amount of money the customer received. I can recall getting one customer 50% more. Your pension provider had a duty to make you aware that you were not compelled to take your annuity from them. This is something many pension savers were unaware of, and the regulator expected providers to make this point clear to all customers. Did your provider do this ?

Likewise you may have got more income based on your lifestyle or health or the lifestyle or health of your partner if they were to be included on the annuity. Again significant increases can be achieved based on this information. Did your provider make you aware of this, or ask you for information on your health and lifestyle ? Alternatively did your pension company make you aware that these sorts of enhancements could be achieved, even if they did not offer such a service themselves ?    

If the answer to either of the questions above is “NO”, then you could be entitled to compensation from your pension company. This could be of greater value than any monetary amount you may receive from selling your annuity.

Hopefully in the New Year, we will be able to give you more information on providers and products that are being developed. This may enable you to start to form a reasoned judgement about whether selling your annuity is a good idea or not.

If you have any subject you would like covered in a future newsletter please let us know.

Important : Your annuity is designed to provide you with a guaranteed income in retirement. This income will continue to be paid for as long as you live. If you sell your annuity you may not have a sufficient level of income to sustain your lifestyle in retirement. It is likely to be the case that the value of the lump sum you receive will be less than you would have received if you had kept your annuity and died in line with your life expectancy at the time you took out your annuity.
We are an internet retirement business. We help people with all kinds of retirement issues, We take great pride in what our customers say about us.
Drawdown Testimonials

”Considerate, conscientious and confidence-inspiring”

From the start Bob and his team let us know that they understood our nervousness about deciding what to do with our pension fund.  We were never put under any pressure to make a decision; on the contrary,  the team were considerate of our need to take our time to think about what we were doing and be satisfied that we were doing the right thing.  It didn’t seem to matter how many questions we threw at them – they always replied promptly and in as much detail as necessary and they were always ready to help further.

Indeed, we were very impressed by just how conscientious they are.   We received emails and paperwork accompanying every step we took and it would be no exaggeration to say that no efforts were spared to make sure that everything was documented down to the last detail.

Bob and his team inspire confidence and do so in a way that is friendly and familiar.  We’re confident that we’ve found someone who understands what’s going on in the pension industry and is able to help us make our own decisions about how best to invest our fund.   And we’re happy that this person is someone who’s always very approachable  and ready  to do what he can to help his clients. 

Mr V. S. - Prague
January 2015
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Please Note : Some of the ideas and concepts discussed on this website are not yet law and may not become law. There is still the possibility that some or all of these changes could be altered or cancelled as the changes announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer have to be passed by Parliament. We cannot be held liable for any action taken by a customer in anticipation of the proposed legislation becoming law.
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