Did you know some people get the best pension annuity rates with UK postcode pension annuities. Look at a small town in Scotland, Kilbirnie, with a population of around 8,000, which has a lot of undertakers. Three firms of funeral directors are on the Main Street, outnumbering the banks and grocery shops. By cruel coincidence the Scottish town holds an unenviable title. Actuarial experts from leading pension consultant Watson Wyatt rate it as the town with the shortest average life expectancy in retirement in Britain. Apparently, a 65-year-old man in Kilbirnie will live on average a further 17 years in retirement, and that’s three less than the national average and eight less than people in places with the ‘longer-living’ postcodes.
An example is Montacute, in Somerset, which has the UK’s longest-lived residents, and someone aged 65 in Kilbirnie is more than twice as likely to die within the next year as is a person in one of the healthiest towns, such as Montacute. This is actually becoming increasingly important in people’s financial lives. Insurance compainies (annuity providers) are now increasingly using postcodes to help work out how much pension income to pay when people retire. While the average lifespan has increased in recent years, there are big regional differences. Matthew Edwards, of Watson Wyatt, analysed three million pension records to produce the data, and he stated that if you are running a company pension, you want to know about the mortality trends where employees live.
Another example, Kilbirnie, near Glasgow. Once home to an important steelworks while the huge mills in the town spun flax for fishing nets. But the steelworks closed in the early 80’s and have been demolished while the flax mills stand derelict now. Despite high unemployment and issues with both alcohol and drug abuse in the town, some residents say it does not feel as though it is an unhealthy place to live. But it is when it comes to postcode annuities.
A 450-mile drive south from Kilbirnie is the aforementioned village of Montacute, which has the nation’s longest-living residents, according to Watson Wyatt. A man of 65 years of age here can expect to live 25 more years in retirement. Darren Dicks, head of pension annuities for Aviva, says that the differences in life expectancy are down to wealth principally. Where you live is a good measure for education, lifestyle and occupation, which all have quite an influence how long a person is likely to live.