The insurer has improved its rate by £140 to £7,150 per year for a male aged 60 with level escalation purchasing a £100,000 annuity.
Alexander Forbes says Norwich Union’s rate displaced Aegon Scottish Equitable from the top position, as it improved its rate by £116 for an equivalent client to £7,144 per annum.
Legal & General remains top of the table for men’s index-linked annuities with its rate unchanged at £4,065, while Prudential is in the lead for women’s inflation-linked annuities with an improvement of £42 to £3,717 per annum.
But Alexander Forbes says that overall, inflation-linked annuity rates continue to disappoint with income remaining below the levels seen at the start of the year.
LV= is offering the leading rate for smokers annuities at £7,998 per year for a male aged 60 with level escalation on a £100k purchase, but Reliance Mutual is in the lead for joint lives.
Alexander Forbes director David Marlow says: “Intense competition is continuing to drive the annuity market, with further increases in level annuity rates this month and signs of life at last in the inflation-linked market.
“Where rates go from here however is very dependent on future interest rate movements – while the headline figures continue to rise we’re also beginning to see some providers shave some rates.”
Marlow adds: “We’re also seeing interesting developments in the smokers’ market. Not only are rates rising, but we’re also seeing a serious attempt to eliminate fraud with newcomer Partnership Assurance insisting on urine tests to prove how much annuity applicants smoke.”