From 21 December 2012, providers will no longer be able to use gender as a factor when determining annuity rates offered to individuals. Annuity providers currently assume that males generally have shorter life expectancies than females. This is the reason that males are normally offered better annuity rates than females. In future, males and females must be provided with the same annuity rates. This means that annuity rates are likely to fall for males, but could improve for females. If you are near retirement find out how this will affect you by calling Michael O’Sullivan on 0208 941 9779.