We use cookies to give you the best possible experience online. By continuing to use our website, you agree to receiving our cookies on your web browser. Visit our cookie policy page to find out more and how to change your cookie settings.

skip to main content


We help you convert the money you have built up in your pension fund into a regular, guaranteed income for the rest of your life.

  • Enhance your retirement with an annuity to suit your needs
  • Get a better retirement income if you're in poor health
  • Our experts help you make the best choices for you

You can phone us on 0800 756 8840

elderly couple riding on a green motorbike together next to LV green heart

Do I have to buy an annuity?

Once you buy an annuity, you can't normally change any part of it which is why you need to be sure before making the decision to buy an annuity. Below is some information that can help you understand if it is the right time for you to buy an annuity.

When should I start thinking about annuities?

The important thing is not to leave it till the last minute. You should receive annual forecasts from your pension provider and they should send you an annuity quote some time before you plan to retire.

It’s a good idea to start checking on your pension plans about 12 months before you plan to retire. If you have problems tracking any down, the Pensions Tracing Service should be able to help.

Once you’ve gathered this information - around six months before your retirement date - you should talk to an expert annuities adviser.

At LV= our advisers will be able to discuss your circumstances and retirement needs and advise you of the best course of action.

You should also receive an information booklet about your State Pension rights at least four months before you reach retirement age.

Do I have to buy an annuity?

No, you don’t have to take an annuity when you retire - there are alternatives. More importantly you don’t have to take the annuity your pension provider offers.

When the time comes to take your pension, your provider will send you an annuity offer. However, before you accept it, you should shop around, talk to one of our annuity experts and get a few alternative quotes.

If you have more than one pension plan you could have more than one annuity and take them at different times. Or you might be better off combining your funds into a single annuity. It depends on your personal and financial circumstances, the state of your health, and what you want from your retirement income.

What if I can't decide?

You may be able to opt for a ‘drawdown pension’ instead of an annuity. A 'drawdown pension' lets you take an income from your pension fund which will continue to be invested until you buy an annuity.

However, it's important to seek specialist advice if you're unsure if an annuity is right for you. They will talk to you about the other retirement products that are available to you and help you understand which one is best suited to your needs.

You can phone us

Call our UK-based advisers for more information or a quote:


0800 756 8840
Quoting offer code IELO

TextDirect: 18001 0800 756 8840

8.30am - 6pm Monday to Friday

Existing customer?

If you're a Financial Adviser please call:

0800 169 1111

TextDirect: 18001 08001691111

We may record and / or monitor calls for training and audit purposes.

Retirement Guidance

Pension Wise Logo

For guidance on your defined contribution pension we recommend Pension Wise, a free government service offering impartial guidance on your pension options.

To book an appointment call:

0800 138 3944

8am to 10pm everyday

Pension Wise won't recommend any products or tell you what to do with your money.

Retirement Wizard

Get professional online retirement advice to help you get the most from your pension pot.

Why choose LV=

  • Winner of the 2015 Gold Standards Award for individual pensions
  • UK's largest friendly society

Help and FAQs

View commonly asked questions and answers regarding our annuity products.

Get advice

Speak to one of our advisers who can make sure you have the right cover for your needs.

Call: 0800 587 3057