Is there a GAR in your possession? Just to be safe, have you checked? What is a GAR, exactly? So, if you have a retirement fund, you need to hold on to it with both hands since it could be a method to double or even treble your income.
We know someone who got very, very lucky. This man contacted his financial advisor, despite the fact that many others had lost out (and others had no idea). Because he believed his current pension plan was underperforming, he sought to move his funds to a new one. After doing some research, the advisor swiftly returned the client’s phone and instructed him to avoid moving the pension in any way. It’s fine to leave it there.
What’s all the buzz about? Due to the fact that the advisor had discovered information that the client was unaware of. The pension plan provided a 12-percent guaranteed annuity rate (GAR). He was immediately aware of what this signified and realized what he was about to throw away because he was well-versed in financial matters.
The question of what the GAR does and whether or not 12 percent is good may still be on your mind. ‘A lot’ and ‘Oh, yes.’ are the responses.
What is an Annuity Rate That is Guaranteed?
Let’s begin by defining an annuity rate. For those who don’t know, an annuity provides you with a steady income for the rest of your life. The sum is always the same, and there is no limit to the amount of money that can be saved. The annuity has been the most popular retirement choice for years because of its certainty (at least until pension freedom happened).
In recent years, annuity rates have dropped significantly. The amount of annual income you receive is determined by the annuity rate. If you’re in good health, your age, and where you reside all have a role in how much you’ll be able to get for your money.
What if you had a pension fund worth £133,333 and took your 25 percent tax-free lump sum of that? An annuity can be purchased with the remaining £100,000 in your account. If you’re 65 and in excellent health, you can currently receive a no-frills annuity that pays roughly £5,000 a year. About 5% of the £100,000 is accounted for here. There is a reduced interest rate for additional features, such as a joint life annuity (to cover your spouse as well) or an annuity that rises with inflation.
The current annuity rate is rather low. However, in the 1980s, they were far higher… The old guaranteed annuity rates are thrilling because of this.
What are the Advantages of a Set Annuity Rate?
Some pension plans include GARs, which ensure that you can purchase an annuity at a specific percentage rate. Typical interest rates given are between 9% and 11% (sometimes higher), which is approximately twice the best rate most consumers can get on the open market. You’d get £11,000 annually instead of £5,600 a year with the 11 percent GAR outlined above, a difference of £108,000 in 20 years of retirement (i.e. better by more than the original value of the pension pot itself).
With-profits pensions, also called as retirement annuity contracts or Section 226 policies, are the most common type of pension that includes a GAR. These pensions were taken out before 1988.
How do I Know Whether I Have GAR?
Finding out if you have a guaranteed annuity rate is not always simple. It’s imperative that you thoroughly review your policy documents, or better yet, have a financial advisor do it for you. An annuity’s guaranteed interest rate may not be mentioned at all, so seek for terms like “benefits” or “preferential” or “guarantee.” Another option is to ask the service provider directly.
Sadly, some service providers aren’t going to go out of their way to remind you about your GAR because it will cost them a lot of money. To encourage you to switch to their newer, more beautiful, but non-GAR pension plan they may even send you letters in the mail. If you have a healthy skepticism, you may benefit from it here.
Don’t Let This Opportunity Pass You
Restrictions may be in place on when you can take advantage of your pension plan’s guaranteed annuity (GAR). If, for example, you are required to acquire an annuity on your 60th birthday, no other date will suffice. Others may have a more lenient window, such as a few months or perhaps just a minimum age requirement, but you should be aware of any restrictions ahead of time.
The Question is Whether or Not a GAR is Always Better
Most of the time, a GAR will outperform current annuity rates. You may be eligible for an enhanced annuity if you are in bad health that could shorten your life expectancy, in which case you may be able to get a better rate.
GARs and the Freedom of Pensions
It is now feasible to cash in your pension fund or reinvest it rather than purchasing an annuity, as a result of pension independence. You should verify that your pension includes a GAR before making any decisions in this area. It’s possible to lose a significant sum of money if you cash it out instead of getting the annuity. As you get closer to retirement, it’s a good idea to seek out third-party financial counsel.