Put simply, a single life annuity pays an income for your life only; when you die the income will cease. If you want a pension to go to your spouse/partner when you die, you can provide for them through a joint life annuity. However, it’s important to consider that the amount of initial pension you get will go down. This reduction will be greater if you have a much younger spouse because the annuity provider will assess the risk of having to pay the income for a much longer time.
If you qualify for an enhanced annuity and want to provide for a healthy spouse then you might find that the enhancements you are offered due to your poor health have eroded because the annuity payments will have to continue until your spouse dies.
If death benefits are important to you there are other flexible methods of using your pension funds to take income, and you can keep control of your fund. Please have a look at Pension Drawdown. Typically, we suggest this is suitable for funds over £100,000.
If you die the payments can continue to be paid to your spouse/partner at the same level (100%) or a reduced amount (typically 66% or 50%) of your pension.
Source: Iress – Healthy Male Annuity for £50,000 with a wife 3 years younger on 31.07.2023