Boost your pension: take up smoking

Enhanced annuity payments.

Applying for enhanced annuity is a way to increase your pension. You can get this if you are likely to die younger.

An annuity works, essentially,  as a bet with a life insurance company about how long you will live. If you die before the predicted time, the company makes a profit. The odds against your life are increased if you smoke, so you can apply for an enhanced annuity - a little more money per year.

Right now annuity rates at their lowest levels ever, but according to a survey by MGM Assurance, more than 70 per cent of those coming up to the end of their working lives are missing out on enhanced annuity payouts because they do not apply for them.

Here is a chart showing the amount of money you can get per year if your life is slightly more uncertain:

Health Male aged 65 Female aged 65

Congestive heart failure

£3,745

£3,565

Diabetes, type 1

£3,625

£3,452

Smoking (12 cigarettes/day)

£3,562

£3,406

High blood pressure and cholesterol

£3,263

£3,099

Healthy annuity

£3,068

£2,957

Gross annual income for a single life annuity, guaranteed for five years, level payments paid monthly. Source: Better Retirement Group.

 

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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