Chancellor George Osborne took the opportunity during his recent Budget announcements to unveil yet more pension freedoms, the majority of these due to take effect from April 2015. From April 2016, the Government will allow individuals who are already in receipt of an income from an annuity to potentially trade this in for cash or to move into a more flexible income drawdown arrangement. For clarity, annuities are a form of insurance or investment allowing the payment of an income to an individual typically for the rest of their life and have previously been very inflexible.
Mr Osborne is quoted as saying that “people should have freedom to choose how they use their savings – we will give five million people access to their annuities”. The Financial Conduct Authority will be tasked with creating a regulated secondary market with further details of how this will work to be announced in due course.
This will be a very specialist area involving the giving-up of an income entitlement for a cash sum and therefore anyone considering the sale of their annuity should seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified advisor. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Oliver.