Guaranteed Income - Annuities

Certainty in retirement

Certainty in retirement

When approaching retirement you need to decide what you want to do with the pension you have built across the years. Annuities provide you with the assurance of regular and guaranteed income.


A guaranteed income for the rest of your life

To apply call 0845 279 8897


Why choose an annuity


You can buy an Annuity with the money you have saved into your pension. You’ll receive a guaranteed taxable income for the rest of your life.

Buying an annuity might suit you if:

You like the security of knowing that you have a guaranteed regular income for the rest of your life

You want to receive your pension income at the same time as taking your tax-free lump sum.

How much income will you get?

The income you'll get will depend on a number of factors. The most important ones are:

  • The amount of money you have in your pot available to buy the annuity
  • Your age
  • Annuity rates
  • Your residential postcode
  • The options you choose - for example, will the annuity include regular increases, or continue to be paid to your dependants when you die

The Standard Life difference

  • You’re supported by our award-winning customer service. We’ll take you through the transition from having a pension pot to receiving an income - smoothly and easily
  • An annuity is a long term decision so it’s good to know you’re in experienced hands. Established in 1825, Standard Life provides life assurance, pensions and investment management to over 6 million customers worldwide.

Buying a Standard Life annuity with a pension plan from someone else

If you hold a pension plan elsewhere, you can still buy your annuity from Standard Life, this is known as an Open Market Option. If you want, you can take your tax-free lump sum from your existing pension provider, and then use the remainder of your pot to buy an annuity from us.

Buying an annuity needs careful thought as once it's set up you can’t make any changes. We strongly recommend you get financial advice to make sure you choose the option that's best for you. There may be a charge for this advice.


To apply call 0845 279 8897


To apply call 0845 279 8897




One of the main benefits of an annuity is that you can build in options to make it really suit your needs and work for you in retirement.

Options to consider include:

  • How often the payments are made - this could be monthly, every three months, every six months or every year
  • When your payments will start - you can have them paid in advance so you'd get the first payment as soon as the annuity was set up, or in arrears where the first payment would be made one 'payment period' after we set up your annuity. For example, if your payments are to be made monthly in arrears, the first payment would be one month after your annuity was set up
  • An income that increases each year - by a fixed percentage, up to 8.5% per year
  • An income that protects your buying power - by increasing and decreasing in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Be aware that RPI can go down as well as up, so your income could go down
  • An income for your wife, husband or civil partner - they will still get an income if you die before them
  • An income for another adult  - who is financially dependent on you, your children or a child with special needs. We may be able to help you set up an income for them if you die first
  • Guaranteed payments - for a set period of time. If you die within that time, payments will continue to the end of the guarantee period. You can normally choose a guarantee period of up to 10 years
  • Enhanced Annuity - Do you smoke or have any health problems that might affect your life expectancy? If you do you may be eligible for extra income available with an Enhanced Annuity.

With the exception of the Enhanced Annuity, adding more options generally reduces the amount of income that you get initially


To apply call 0845 279 8897


To apply call 0845 279 8897




You can choose a Standard Life Annuity if:

  • Any tax-free lump sum you want to take has already been paid to you
  • The amount being used to buy the annuity would otherwise be used to provide a retirement income
  • The rules of the pension plan allow this kind of purchase

If your pension plan is already invested with Standard Life, there are no minimum or maximum limits on the pension pot value. If your pension plan is with another provider, the minimum amount is £5,000 and the maximum is £500,000.

Pension pot value more than £30,000? Our Self Invested Personal Pension could offer you greater flexibility.

Income tax

The income you receive from your annuity will be taxed under the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system.

You can find out more on the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Laws and tax rules may change in the future. The information here is based on our understanding in April 2014. Your personal circumstances also have an impact on tax treatment.

Are you old enough?

You cannot normally buy an annuity before age 55. There are special rules to allow pensions to be paid before age 55, due to ill health, for certain conditions and certain professions.


To apply call 0845 279 8897


Document downloads

Key features PDF (191kb)

2014 Budget update - annuities and pensions

On 19 March, the Chancellor announced major changes to UK pensions and annuities.

Find out if you qualify for extra retirement income

Find out if you qualify for extra retirement income

Call us on 0845 606 0027

Are you an existing Standard Life pension customer about to retire? If you have health problems or are a smoker you may be eligible for extra retirement income with our new Enhanced Annuity. Call us for a quote today.