Seven out of 10 over 55s are not aware that they can enhance an annuity based on health or lifestyle conditions.
A nationwide survey of more than 750 people by Hargreaves Lansdown shows that while over half of annuities are eligible for a boost because of health or lifestyle, the majority of retirees are not aware of this.
Hargreaves’ figures put the average enhanced annuity uplift over the last 12 months at 14 per cent, and 56 per cent of all open market annuities arranged received some form of enhancement.
For high blood pressure or cholesterol the uplift may only be 1 per cent, but a ten a day smoker could receive 10 per cent, with uplifts for diabetes and strokes typically coming in at 14 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.
Other conditions that can quality for enhanced quotes include hypertension, respiratory or heart disease, cancer or neurological conditions.
Hargreaves senior analyst Nathan Long says: “Buying an annuity is still one of the only ways to ensure you won’t run out of money in later life.
“We’re used to any ailments or bad habits costing us more when we buy insurance policies, but the opposite is true when you apply for an annuity, in fact on average an enhanced annuity increases the pension payouts by 14 per cent.
“Even if you plan to keep your pension invested and use drawdown, getting an annuity quote can make sure you are making a fully informed decision.”