A single or joint annuity - The Money Advice Service

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    Financial journalist Paul Lewis explains the difference between a single and joint annuity.

    The Money Advice Service is set up by government and offers free and impartial advice, tips and budget planners for all life's money matters.

    We're here to help you make better financial decisions.


    The first thing you'll need to decide when buying a lifetime annuity is whether you want a single annuity where the payments stop when you die, or a joint annuity which will provide an income for someone else after your death.

    If anyone, say your partner or child, relies on you financially a joint annuity is likely to be the right choice as it will pay them an income for the rest of their life, or in the case of a dependent child, usually until the age of 23.

    However, where the income starts on or after the 6th April 2015 it can be paid to anyone you nominate whether or not they are your dependents.

    For example, you might want to leave an income to a carer, a brother, or sister, or an adult child.

    One thing to bear in mind though is that a single annuity pays a higher retirement income than a joint annuity because a joint annuity is usually expected to pay out for longer.

    So if the person you have in mind already has enough income to live on, for example, from their own pension, choosing a single annuity will give you a higher retirement income.

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