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Annuity Rates
This is a free guide to find the best standard pension annuity rates for you with up to 25% more income for the new Unisex annuity rates on a gender neutral basis applying to both males and females. Use the Free annuity quote service to compare this to a fixed term or flexible income annuity, a higher pension income if you are a smoker or up to 40% more income for impaired health.
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  Annuity rates table - standard
  Smoker rates table
  Outlook for rates 2024
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  15-year gilt yields
Annuity rates edge up 7 June 2024:
Annuity rates edge up with high gilt yields as UK inflation misses target
Annuity Rates Table - Standard

14 June 2024 last updated

Table 1 below shows standard pension annuity rates for a pension fund of £100,000 after the tax free lump sum of £33,333 has been taken from the full fund of £133,333 for a single and joint life based on a Central London postcode.


Record Rise in Annuity Rates:

The tables show percentage rise in pension annuity rates 'green box' compared to the historically low levels in December 2021, effectively a pay rise for pensioners taking benefits at retirement. The biggest monetary gain is for those aged 75 years, single life with level income and percentage rise of +36%, the monetary amount is the most at £2,474 pa. The biggest percentage gain is for those aged 55 years with 50% joint life and 3% escalation up +91% and the monetary amount is £1,811 pa.

 
 
Single Standard Basis
Age Level rate
no guarantee
Level rate +
10-year guarantee
3% escalation
no guarantee
55 £6,085 57% £6,054 57% £4,098 80%
60

£6,439

49% £6,388 48% £4,502 66%
65 £7,130 40% £6,973 38% £5,196 50%
70 £8,083 38% £7,760 33% £6,116 44%
75 £9,428 36% £8,668 28% £7,507 41%

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Joint Standard Basis
Age Level rate +
50% Joint Life
Level rate +
100% Joint Life
3% escalation +
50% Joint Life
55 £5,796 64% £5,563 67% £3,797 91%
60 £6,163 55% £5,876 57% £4,228 74%
65 £6,741 45% £6,237 44% £4,827 57%
70 £7,517 42% £6,859 42% £5,641 53%
75 £8,668 32% £7,833 36% £6,888 43%

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Table 1: Standard pension annuity on a single and joint basis for 1 June 2024


Table 1 Notes:

Annuity rates based on a central London postcode (other locations such as Peterborough or Liverpool could be up to 4% higher or Dundee and Newcastle could be 5% higher) using a purchase price of £100,000 - this assumes an original pension fund of £133,333 and after the tax free lump sum of £33,333 has been taken. Income is gross per year (before deduction of tax) and payable monthly in advance for the whole of the annuitant's life. No medical enhancements are included in these annuities. The pension annuity table is only a guide as annuities change frequently. Figures shown have been adjusted for Unisex annuity rates on a gender neutral basis and joint life rates assume both are the same age.
 

Outlook for rates 2024

This review is by Colin Thorburn the founder of sharingpensions.co.uk who has twenty years experience in financial services and is a specialist in pensions and annuities.
The following table shows where annuities should be relative to gilt yields although providers can take time to change annuities for marketing reasons:

What Next For Annuity Rates
Annuity Type Expected Change (short term)
  Standard basis
  annuity rates change 4.1% decrease possible
  Smoker basis
  annuity rates change 3.5% decrease possible
  Impaired basis
  annuity rates change 3.8% decrease possible


The latest annuity rates would need gilt yields to remain consistently at 4.35% for a change to occur across the board in the short term. Annuity rates are at a fourteen year high increasing up to 91% for certain ages and annuity features since the recent low in December 2021. Analysts have determined central banks have reached the end of interest rate rises although they will remain higher for longer. The US Federal Reserve and Bank of England decided to leave interest rates at current levels since September 2023 with inflation in the UK falling from 4.0% in January 2024 to 2.3% in May. The Swiss central bank was the first to cut interest rates on 21 March 2024 by -0.25% and the EU reduced interest rates by -0.25% on 6 June 2024. The Bank of England is expected to cut interest rates in August 2024 and this can drive gilt yields and annuity rates lower. Gilt yields reached a sixteen year high of 5.13% on 23 October 2023 and annuity rates are currently higher due to higher gilt yields as falling UK inflation missed the forecast.

We follow the progress of our benchmark annuity rate for a person aged 65 with a fund for £100,000 buying an annuity on a single life, level basis. Below shows the annuity rates and gilt yields up to the last seventeen years to date:

Annuity Rates Chart Annuity Rates Chart
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15-Year Gilt Yields 15-Year Gilt Yields
The 15-year gilt yields have a significant effect on annuity rates which we update daily.


Changes in the market


Find out more details:
Monthly analysis of annuities and gilt yields


Years 2022-24

The 15-year gilt yields decreased by -3 basis points to 4.62% during May 2024 with providers of standard annuities increasing rates by an average +1.10% for this month and rates may fall by -1.40% in the short term if yields remain at current levels.

For smoker and enhanced annuity providers have increased their rates by an average of +0.57% and rates may fall by -0.87% in the short term if yields remain at current levels.


Gilt yields reached a record high of 4.71% this year after the amount UK consumer price index (CPI) inflation reduce to 2.3% missing the forecast of 2.1%. In the US the economy remains strong and a series of poor Treasury auction demand sends government yields higher adding to the pressure for higher gilt yields. Analysts expect only two interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve from September 2024.

Gilt yields reached a high of 4.54% on 27 February 2024 with providers increasing standard annuity rates by an average of +4.62%. This is due to inflation data remaining high in Janaury 2024 from the US and UK suggesting interest rate will remain higher for longer.

Data shows central banks have reached the end interest rate rises and the 15-year gilt yields have reduced 65 basis points in December 2023 to 3.95%. This is due to inflation in the US reducing more than expected to 3.2% and in the UK reducing significantly from 6.7% to 3.9% in November. The Bank of England leaves interest rates unchanged in December 2023 at 5.25% and analysts expect the first interest rates decrease in June 2024.

The 15-year gilt yields reached 5.13% on 23 October 2023 the highest level for sixteen years although annuity rates reduced by -3.0% and are likely to remain volatile.

In April the 15-year gilt yields reduced by -41 basis points to 3.72% on 6 April 2023 due to the failure of US banks Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and European bank Credit Swiss.

The Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, increased base rates for the tenth time in a row on 2 February 2023 with a further rise likely. The 15-year gilt yields reduced from 4.02% at the start of the year to 3.49% on 3 February 2023 suggesting future a base rate rise has been priced-in and yields may have reached a plateau.

The Governor also expects inflation to fall quickly from June 2023 onwards and gilt yields are likely to fall as well. If so, there is unlikely to be much upward movement in annuity rates other than competition between providers and a risk of rapidly falling annuity income in the second half of 2023.

Gilt yields reached a high of 5.09% on 12 October 2022 following the mini budget on 22 September 2022 and rising 395 basis points over the year. Annuity rates increased dramatically by 20% on average in the last six weeks to 15 October 2022 with some annuities rising as much as 34% for the month.

During September 2022 yields increased 177 basis points from 3.19% to 4.96%, a fourteen year high, as investors were unconvinced the government can afford the proposed dramatic tax cuts. Intervention from the Bank of England on 28 September 2022 to buy gilts resulted in yields falling a record -73 basis points before rising to 4.84% by 11 October 2022.

Years 2019-21


In June providers raised standard annuity rates by 7.05% and enhanced annuities by 8.79%, the highest amounts on record for a single month. The Covid variant BA.4 and BA.5 of Omicron spread fast in the UK during early 2022 but hospitalisations are low and investors and no longer concerned about the economic impact.

Originally Pfizer and BioNTech announcement on 9 November 2020 successful trials of a vaccine with an efficacy level greater than 90.0% in preventing Covid-19. Just a few days later research from Moderna showed their vaccine produced efficacy levels of 94.5%.

Federal Reserve Intend to hold rates at a record zero percent and continue with the bond buying programme to support the economy until 2022. The Fed statement in August 2020 intends to allow inflation to exceed 2% before applying monetary policy.

Investors seek safe havens with 15-year gilt yields down 50 basis points for the month to an all time low of 0.162% on 9 March 2020. Yields remain volatile starting the year at 1.07% and reduced 91 basis points due to the combination of coronavirus threat to global growth and now the oil price war.

15-year gilt yields reached a low of 0.566% on 3 September 2019 after concerns over a no-deal Brexit, the US-China trade tensions and fear of recession. Since January 2019 providers have lowered annuities with standard annuity rates falling by -12.69% and gilt yields reduced 72 basis points to 0.71% at the start of September.

Equity markets recovered in February 2019 with the FTSE-100 index rising 652 points from 6,584 on 27 December to 7,236. Equity markets around the world have reduced with about $5 trillion in value wiped from the global stock and bond markets in October 2018.

Years 2014-18


Uncertainty in December 2018 over Britain's exit from the European Union with a deal acceptable to parliament and risk of a no deal is sending investors to the safety of gilts and bonds and yields reduced 27 basis points to 1.36%.

Investors are selling bonds and gilts sending 15-year gilt yields higher to 1.73% in September 2018. This could be due to Trump's $200 billion of trade tariffs on Chinese imports and the risk China could retaliate by selling its large Treasury bond holdings to push up the cost of US borrowing.

Concerns over Italy's political turmoil in May 2018 are driving investors to sell Italian bonds in faviour of safe havens such as US Treasury, German Bunds and UK gilts. The crisis has sent the 15-year gilt yields lower by 31 basis points from a high for the month of 1.81% to a low of 1.50%.

On 2 November 2017 the Bank of England increased interest rates to 0.5% up from the all time low level of 0.25% reached after the Brexit vote with 15-year gilt yields now at 1.62%, up 28 basis points since the low of 1.34% on 7 September 2017.

In June 2017 gilt yields were up 19 basis points was due to the European Central Bank (ECB) stating the factors suppressing inflation are short term implying the quantitative easing programme come to an end.

The 15-year gilt yields reached another all time low of 0.90% on 11 August 2016 following the Brexit vote sending standard and impaired annuity rates lower. UK credit rating reducing to AA, the governor of the Bank of England announced lower interest rates to 0.25% and £70 billion of quantitative easing has resulted in the 15-year gilt yields reducing.

Decreases in annuities during 2015 were due to economic uncertainty such as the falling oil prices, deflation in the Eurozone and the ECB starting a €1.1 trillion stimulus programme, poor economic data from China and high interest rates from Russia. This contributed to uncertainty and investors seeking safe havens such as government bonds and gilts.

Legal & General expect the UK annuity market to shrink in size from £12 billion to £2.8 billion following new pension rules from April 2015. This could see providers developing more flexible annuity products in the future or people considering flexible drawdown or fixed term annuities allowing them to take an income and to access their fund to consider their options again in the future.

The Chancellor at the time, George Osborne, announced radical changes for pensions in the 2014 Budget allowing people at retirement more freedom to take their benefits in any way they feel is appropriate. This includes being able to take the full fund as a lump sum less tax rather than buying a pension annuity.

Find our more: radical Budget changes for pensions


Annuities for 2024-2025:

Annuity rates reached an all time low in August 2016 after the Brexit vote. Gilt yields reached an all time low of 0.162% on 9 March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and annuity rates reached another low in January 2021 as the Covid-19 lockdown was in force. Yields recover in October 2021 with the successful vaccination programme.

Yields and annuities increased significantly in 2022 as central banks increase interest rates due to inflation and annuity rates increase further after the mini budget in September 2022. The 15-year gilt yields reached a high of
5.13% on 23 October 2023 and reduced to 3.95% by 31 December 2023 as analysts were expecting a fall in central bank interest rates in 2024.

With inflation rising slightly at the end of 2023, the US economy remaining strong and the UK economy avoids a recession, gilt yields are on the rise in 2024 with the first fall in interest rates expected later in the year. As a result providers are increasing annuity rates.

The Bank of England reduced base rates to 0.25% on 29 July 2016 after the Brexit vote and with improvements in the economy raised these back to 0.75% on 3 August 2018. Uncertainty with Coronavirus has seen the Bank of England reduce base rates to an all time low of 0.1% on 19 March 2020. With higher inflation for longer, base rates increased to 5.25% on 3 August 2023.

Equity markets:
Many pensioners remain investment in equities at retirement and changes in the FTSE-100 index can make a significant difference to the pension income they will receive, up or down. The FTSE-100 index reached a recent low of 4,993 on 23 March 2020 and is currently at 8,146 on 14 June 2024.

Purchasing an annuity can often take a month so to protect against volatility in the markets pensioners invested in equities should consider switching their fund to cash to avoid further decreases in their pension fund value or delay purchasing an annuity until the current crisis has stabilised.

15-year gilt yields:
Yields reached a low of 0.162% on 9 March 2020 and a high of 5.13% on 23 October 2023 with pension annuity rates at the highest level for fourteen years. Gilt yields for April 2024 changed from 4.65% to 4.62% or -3 basis points. On 14 June 2024 the 15-year gilt yields were at 4.35%.


Pension annuity

A pension annuity can be a fantastic way to ensure a pleasant retirement, and by comparing annuity rates it is possible for you to increase your pension income by up to 25%. Being financially prepared for retirement is extremely important for you to live a comfortable and secure life and to ensure such an existence many people choose to buy a pension annuity. It is important to remember that this is an investment that has to last you for the rest of your life, so comparing annuity rates is highly advisable before you make your choice.

It can be difficult for some people to look ahead and consider planning for a time when you are not working, but it is an essential consideration if you want to enjoy as lifestyle that allows you some financial freedom. A pension annuity could allow you just that freedom and put you in a far better position to enjoy a much happier retirement, with less to worry about financially. Nobody likes the idea that money worries will be a problem when they are older so taking action now could be one way to securing a much brighter future all round, so do have a good think about where you want to be.

What do the Best Rates Depend On?
There are a number of different factors that annuity rates depend on. For instance, the annuities will be different as mortality differs for a range of ages. Other factors that annuity rates are dependent on include the following:

Smoker/non smoker – annuities can vary significantly between smokers and non smokers   
Illness – illness is another thing that can have a noticeable effect on annuity rates
Care needs – annuity rates can also be affected if an individual has immediate needs such as care homes
Impaired health
Diabetes

Because annuity rates can differ so much it is essential to compare annuities on the market to find one that will suit your requirements, and you can do that here at Sharing Pensions.

Of course, whilst we do try to secure the best annuity rates that we can they are reliant on a number of external factors which are beyond our or your control. This could include things such as the value of government bonds and gilts, Bank of England base rates and other monetary factors such as quantitative easing. We know that you will be interested in seeing details about annuity rates and how they have performed historically and you can find this information on our website. Our website is very helpful in this respect and lays out all the information you could require in a simple and easy to read manner.


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