Single vs Joint Annuity

12th October 2011

When it comes to deciding what type of annuity to take out, it’s important to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of various alternatives so that you can make an informed decision. In the current marketplace there are a wide variety of different annuities suited to each individual and depending on your situation, you may find that you prefer one to another.

As a single or a couple, deciding which type of annuity to take out can have a huge impact on your retirement income, so it’s worth taking into consideration a range of factors before you make a purchase.

Single Annuity

Single Annuity is an individual pension payment plan which pays retirement income to one individual.


Single annuities offer a range of benefits to clients, but the most commonly sought after is the generally higher payouts, as compared to a joint life annuity. These payouts are higher because they will payout for the life of both the applicant and the survivor. Many people elect to choose a single life annuity as their partner may already have their own private pension cover and may therefore not need any form of income protection.


For a couple, if the holder of the primary pension annuity is to die, it could potentially leave the partner with very little income aside from any savings they already have. Many single annuities do not offer any form of protection to partners left behind and this could leave them in dire financial straits if measures have not already been put in place to ensure their security.

Joint Annuity

A joint annuity is taken out between two people, usually a couple, and ensures a pension payout to both parties, even after the death of one member.


One of the main reasons that people choose to take out a joint annuity is to ensure that their partner is cared for in the case of an unexpected death. Joint annuities give both parties a pension pay out even after the death of one party, this can offer a great deal of relief to a partner who may already be struggling to come to terms with their loss.


The payouts are generally lower than that of a single annuity as it’s predicted that the payout period will be longer over the lifespan of two people as opposed to one. In addition, in many cases both parties may be forced to undergo medical health examinations and this can have an impact on the payout amount, especially if one person is in a great deal of better health than the other.


Whether you choose a single or joint life annuity, the choice is entirely yours. But as your pension payout will become such a crucial aspect of your life, it is worth giving a little thought to how you would like it to be arranged.

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