Research from Just Retirement indicates that an estimated 60% of people could be entitled to an Enhanced Annuity however they are unaware of their entitlement.

But don’t you have to be ill to qualify for an Enhanced Annuity? Well, that all depends on your definition of “ill”.

There are many things which can lead to an increase in the Annuity rate you qualify for from medical issues, to height / weight ratio and smoking status; even your postcode and precious employment status can make a difference when it comes to Annuity rates.

Just Retirement believes that there are more than 1,500 conditions which might qualify you for an Enhanced Annuity, so what one person might not consider to be an illness, might in fact qualify them for an Enhanced Annuity.

Herein lies the problem. Many people do not bother checking whether they qualify for an Enhanced Annuity and simply buy a normal Lifetime Annuity, compounding the error often not even bothering to use the Open Market Options.

As an Annuity cannot be altered once it is purchased, not checking whether you qualify for an Enhanced Annuity can be an expensive mistake to make. With Annuity rates falling during 2010 and industry experts predicting further Annuity rate falls, squeezing as much income as possible from your pension pot has never been more important.

When the time comes to buy an Annuity, follow two golden rules:

1. Take advice from a suitably qualified IFA.

2. Always get your adviser to check whether you qualify for an Enhanced Annuity rate; you only get one bite at this cherry and you wouldn’t want to miss out!