The pension reforms certainly have caused big changes to annuity volumes. But after the initial annuity drought - caused by retirees holding back to explore their wider options - this last year has seen a return to a steady flow of annuities - albeit at a different level than the pre pension reform days.

For many people who do not have large wealth sums to rely on in retirement, annuities can be a useful part of a retirement plan to fund known regular costs. Other people may also want an annuity plan for the first 10 years in retirement to simplify their planning until they have moved into a more known and stable phase. Others may want to buy an annuity for later in life, for example to fund care costs.

Behaviours since the pension reforms show that all choices are being used; cash, annuity, drawdown and various combinations of these.

If an annuity is part of an individual's plan then the recommendation is to ensure you fully declare your health and wider needs, shop around and seek advice.