Standard Level annuity rates: There was no change to the provider positions in April for both Single and Joint Life annuities. Unlike in March, the rates saw minimal movement.

Most noticeable for Single Life annuities were Aviva decreasing its rates by 1.67% (£87.24pa) and Prudential increasing its rates by 0.96% (£46.68pa). For Joint Life annuity rates, Aviva also reduced its Joint Life annuity rates by 1.23% (£60.00pa) and Prudential increased its rates by 1.14% (£51.60). Legal & General topped the table for both Single and Joint Life annuities, paying £5,480 and £5,091 respectively.

Standard RPI Linked annuity rates: RPI Single and Joint Life annuities showed a general reduction across the board with only two providers increasing their rates (Standard Life and Prudential). Aviva chopped 3.57% (£98.28pa) off its Single Life rates and 2.7% (£65.52pa) off its Joint Life annuity rates. Legal & General maintained its first place and Standard Life its second place for both Single and Joint Life, whilst Prudential, which has been absent from the top four for a while, entered the Single Life table in third place, pushing Aviva down to fourth.

Smoker rates: Enhanced annuity rates also came down, with Scottish Widows bucking the trend with only a small increase of 0.01% (£0.96pa) for its Single Life annuities. Legal & General, which topped the table last month, made the biggest change to its Single Life rates with a 3.73% decrease, which equated to just under £250 a year less than last month's rates. Just Retirement took the top spot for Single Life and Joint Life (Male 65/Female 63) paying an annual £6,462 and £6,390 respectively, whilst Reliance Mutual rates were best for Joint Life (Male 60/Female 57), paying £5,781pa.

(All rates are based on £100,000 Purchase Price, with no guarantee period, and payable monthly in arrears)

Richard Williams, Director, The Annuity Bureau from JLT, comments:

business-18162_1280"With Gilt Yields remaining relatively stable over the course of the last month, the marginal drop in the best available standard annuity rate seems to relate more to market positioning than anything else.

"Larger falls in rate have been felt for those qualifying for an enhanced rate as pressure builds on enhanced rate providers, whose sales seem to have been hit the hardest, with some retirees looking to keep their options open following the Budget announcement.

"It is clear that the race to innovation regarding retirement products is starting, with many providers looking for a solution combining the right degree of flexibility with as much of the guarantee provided by an annuity as possible, all potentially within one product wrapper.

"Already, the market has seen the introduction of new one-year fixed term annuities launched by LV, Just Retirement and Partnership which allow retirement income to be drawn immediately, whilst retaining the ability to take advantage of the new flexibility rules being introduced from April 2015.

"It will be interesting to see what develops later in the year."

For more information on the latest annuity rates or retirement services please contact The Annuity Bureau on 0845 072 6774 or visit www.annuitybureau.co.uk

Annuity Snapshots – Rates as at Tuesday 1 May 2014

Annuity Bureau Rates 01-04-14AB2 1-5-14AB3 01-05-2014AB4 01-05-14AB5 01-05-14AB6 01-05-2014

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